Since Covenant URC (Colorado Springs) received concurring advice to organize at the SW Classis meeting in September of 2018, we have experienced difficult Providence from our Lord in that several families have left, lost several officers (including our pastor), and we expect to lose two more military families within a month. Due to the congregation’s size and ongoing pastoral search, we will not likely organize anytime soon and effectively the ministry here is starting over as a church plant. At times, this has caused us to wonder if God doesn’t care for us or if there is something that we are doing wrong that is causing the ministry here not to be more established as Psalm 13 expresses: “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?”
Currently, the regularly attending congregation size is 28 (29 if you include the expectant baby) even though we have several more families still on our membership rolls. Though the congregation is small, the group that remains is faithful and we are a great source of encouragement to one another in Christ: loving God’s Word and Sacraments, Reformed doctrine and piety, loving each other, and desiring to grow in Christ. For those reasons, the congregation desires to continue on with the church plant and is eagerly waiting and trusting on our Lord to provide another faithful minister. Our previous pastor Tony Phelps faithfully shepherded and nourished this flock during much of our difficult time. During this difficult time of transition, we have had the gospel faithfully brought to us by Rev. Allen Vander Pol, Rev. Ted Gray, and other faithful brothers.
Also, during this time as we have looked for a pastor, we have been blessed to have met many other faithful, encouraging brothers in Christ and it has been a time for us to reflect more deeply on Christ’s ministry through this church plant. We have also been encouraged by the support of churches in our Federation through prayers and financial support. Especially, we are thankful for Coram Deo URC (Rev. Derrick Vander Meulen) and Calvary URC (Rev. Chuck Tedrick). Due to us not having to pay a pastor salary and some savings from online services during this pandemic, our financial situation is the strongest that it has ever been. In reflecting back, since we started in 2011, although the growth has not been large in numbers, the blessings from this ministry have been abundant.
The faithfulness of the brothers and sisters in Christ that our Lord has brought to Covenant (including those that have left) has been tremendous and I wouldn’t trade that for a larger congregation. We have been blessed to see those from outside our Reformed tradition come into the church and grow in their understanding of that tradition and most importantly grow in Christ. Due to the faithful preaching that I mentioned that has been sustaining us, we are confident for the future because we continue to be reminded of God’s love for us because we believe and faithfully confess that our Heavenly Father who has sent these things that seem to be against us also sent His Son into this world to save us from our sins; so, we know that He is for us and not against us.
I hope and pray that you and your churches continue in this fellowship that we have with one another (1 John 1:7) as we confess “Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” Please pray for us to grow numerically and spiritually. Please pray that among those that He sends, that He would send men that are equipped to serve as officers and to nurture those in our midst to serve as officers. Lastly, please pray that the Lord would send us a faithful minister of Word and Sacraments.