In this service you will see a mix of people; some in jeans and others in suits. The music in this service is a variety of styles, from traditional hymns to the very newest worship music. We also use liturgical elements such as responsive readings, a variety of prayer moments, and choral singing as a regular part of worship. High value is placed on giving space for people to connect with God, so everything we do in this service – teaching, videos, music, reading and messages – are done with this in mind.
Other Sunday Morning Offerings
Coffee Hour with pastry and other treats is served in The Gathering Place following the 9:30AM service.
11:00am Christian Formation: A variety of classes, seminars, Bible Studies and small groups for all ages and childcare for infants and toddlers
Communion for all those who believe Jesus Christ is their Savior and Lord is served the first Sunday of the month during the worship service.
We Believe in the Centrality of the Word of GodThe person and life of Jesus described in our Bibles, both Old and New Testaments, is the revelation of God to humanity. Jesus is the ultimate guide for what we think, what we believe, and how we live. The Bible is the God-inspired record of God’s purpose in our world.John 3:16-17, 2 Timothy 3:16-17
We Believe in the Necessity of New BirthA relationship with Jesus results in a changed life, not because of our own effort, but because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.2 Corinthians 5:17-20
We Believe in the whole mission of the churchsus instructed his followers to “love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” and to “love your neighbor as yourself.” And who is a neighbor? Our neighbors are those like us and unlike us, those who are oppressed and in need, those in our community and those around the world. In short, we are all connected in the eyes of our Creator, which means everyone is a neighbor.Matthew 22:37-40, Matthew 28:18-20
We Believe the Church is a Fellowship of BelieversWe are united by our shared identity as children of God, our shared story as those rescued and redeemed by God’s grace, and our shared mission as Jesus’ disciples. This is why we worship together, participate in the sacraments together, study Scripture and pray together, and serve together.1 Peter 2:9
We Believe in Consciously Depending upon the Holy SpiritWe are not dependent upon ourselves to live into and live out this mission on which God sends us. Jesus said that God would send a helper, a comforter, One who would empower us and aid us in being God’s good news people in our world.Romans 15:13, John 14:16, Romans 5:5
We Believe in the Reality of Freedom in ChristWe choose to focus on what unites as followers of Jesus rather than what separates us.Galatians 5:1
As a congregation, we commit to:
To stay in step with God’s will and direction because this is God’s church; To seek God’s wisdom in every activity and venture; for one another in love; for church leaders.
We seek to maintain the unity of the church. When we don’t understand each other, we will seek to understand with humility. When we disagree, we will seek peace and not create factions. When we get anxious, we will take a deep breath and respond with grace.
We will relate to everyone with love and grace. We will choose listening and respectful conversation over anger and gossip. We will choose to forgive one another because we have been forgiven. We will seek to build each other up and not tear each other down.
The Evangelical Covenant Church
The Evangelical Covenant Church is a rapidly growing multi-ethnic denomination of more than 850 churches in the United States and Canada with ministries on five continents of the world. Founded in 1885 by Swedish Immigrants, the ECC values the Bible as the Word of God, the gift of God’s grace and ever-deepening spiritual life that comes through faith in Jesus Christ, the importance of extending God’s love and compassion to a hurting world, and the strength that comes from unity within diversity.
For more information visit: www.covchurch.org
East Coast Conference of the Covenant Church
The East Coast Conference is a movement of God, organized in 1889 by an immigrant people with a spiritual heritage as Mission Friends. Now a multi-cultural communion of Evangelical Covenant congregations, we are gathered by God, united in Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to obey the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.
The conference is called to carry out our mission to the peoples in twelve east coast states and the District of Columbia: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, eastern New York, New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.
For more information visit: http://www.eastcoastconf.org
Pilgrim Pines Conference Center
Located in southern New Hampshire, Pilgrim Pines has two camps: Squanto: a summer camp for kids. Mayflower: Family Camp and Retreat Center. From our children’s and youth camp to our men’s and women’s conferences, the goal is the same – to create exciting experiences, memorable moments, and a safe place to meet God. Whether it is through our weekend retreat opportunities, phenomenal worship, and teaching, unforgettable camp activities, or simply relaxing by the lake, a camp experience at Pilgrim Pines provides a breath of fresh air in the midst of our hectic world. Each year many children and families from Bethany attend Pilgrim Pines.
For more information: http://pilgrimpines.org
Our congregation began in 1870 in New Britain, Connecticut, located about 15 minutes from its current location in Berlin, Connecticut. The congregation’s earliest iterations were as a Bible School led by John Smith and Professor D.N. Camp in Smith’s home. On April 4, 1884, a group of sixteen individuals gathered and organized a church. They rented a space over the local post office. They named themselves the Swedish Evangelical Bethany Congregation Church in New Britain. They adopted their constitution in May 1884 and their first pastor, Rev. J.M Ahnstrom, arrived from Sweden one year later.
Within just a couple years, the membership of the church exploded as a massive influx of Swedish immigrants came to the area. These immigrants were seeking fellowship in a new land. Many of them needed the financial support of Christian community. The congregation was formed with the conviction that the best response to the Bible’s message about Jesus was a “Spirit-energized life” marked by fellowship and joy. The church became even more established with the purchase of their first building, sold to them by an American Methodist Congregation.
One of the congregation’s defining events was the purchase of their second church home on Franklin Square on April 3, 1921. The congregation became well-known to its community because of the building’s distinct architecture and central location in downtown New Britain. The 1920’s and 1930’s brought an important, but controversial shift, as the worship services began to be held in English, instead of solely in Swedish. After 75 years of worshipping at Franklin Square, the congregation had outgrown that space. Desiring to expand, especially in the area of Christian Education, they made the emotional decision to move and build a new church building on Mill St. in Berlin. This choice is remembered by elder members of the congregation as a moment they chose together to trust God.
Throughout its history, Bethany Covenant Church has been characterized by a priority on Christian Education. As early as 1948, a daily Vacation Bible School was held during the summer with church buses traveling the streets of New Britain, picking kids up to participate. Their first Christian education director was hired in 1958 and there was a consistent effort to create adequate and proper space for classes. The first youth pastor was hired in the early 1970’s. The church was also characterized early on by a love of music. This is reflected in the significant funds poured into their first pipe organ in the Franklin Square church. In addition, the first Christmas candlelight service was held in 1928, which brought in many people from outside of the congregation.
Bethany Covenant’s history is preserved in its annual meeting minutes, in archive at the church. These records were heavily reviewed recently when the church went through the Vitality Pathway and a history report was compiled (2018). Many photographs of the church’s various meeting spaces and Confirmation classes have been well preserved. Bethany still has many eldery members who remember much of our history and pass it on verbally.