I’m just returning from the national gathering of The Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians (ECO), a new Reformed denomination. ECO has been in formal existence for a year, has taken in 28 churches, is in the process of receiving another 48 churches, and has over 75 more churches in conversation with them. The Synod met over three days in Orlando, Florida. There were around 1,200 people in attendance.
There seemed to be three key themes of the conference: leadership, church planting, and mission. There is a palpable energy to the group. They are entrepreneurs looking to promote the gospel and replicate their ministries, particularly in a culture where the number of people who call Jesus “Lord” is declining. They wanted to talk about Syria and human trafficking. They wanted to talk about collegial ministries with a flexible infrastructure that allows the local church to powerfully impact its community. Notably absent was discussion of human sexuality, which doesn’t seem to be a defining issue for ECO.