I revisited Community Covenant – Eagle River on January 19. Little did I realize what was in store. Blog posts of the two previous visits to Community Covenant can viewed HERE and HERE. It had been almost three years since visiting this fine church.
From the time of my arrival, no more than 5-7 minutes elapsed until I had been greeted by half a dozen people or more, including the new pastor. This is a rare occurrence among my many local church visits. (Most guests decide to make a return visit to a church 5-8 minute from arrival.) This created a favorable impression in my mind which I’ll never forget.
A few first impressions to start with. People were friendly to each other and engaged in good conversation. It felt like a happy place. The platform was ringed by "Christmassy" appearing displays which seemed out of place for late January. The musical group of six now occupied the entire top of the platform, although the group was still the same size. It appeared they was now a more important part of the service than the preaching. Nonetheless, the band was still good, singing many spiritually correct songs interspersed throughout the service. I would not place their musical contribution in the same category as last weeks article on song services, but still, they sounded great. Among the hymns performed was “Great is thy Faithfulness” and “Be Thou My Vision”, both great hymns of the church.
Previous Pastor Mark Meredith has moved on and their new pastor is Todd Michero. When he introduced himself to me, I asked why he wasn't speaking that day. He indicated the speaker would be Curtis Ivanoff, Field Director of Evangelical Covenant Church of Alaska, and that he would be consecrated for his ministry at this church later in the service.
Ivanoff's wonderful talk titled, “Jesus More Real, God’s Work More Evident”, outlined the history and work of their denomination in Alaska stretching back into the 19th century. It was replete with artifacts and historical pictures of the early days with their Alaska ministry. Click HERE to hear his wonderful sermon. Curtis ended his talk by singing, in Inupiat – Kobuk dialect, this outstanding song.
Aarigaa (Inupiat for Fine! Good! An expression of enjoyment.)
Verse 1 of 5 Verses
Jesus will come again his promise to fulfill. Christians, only those who accept it, He will receive, Good! Fine!
Good! Fine!; Good! Fine! It’s a good land. When we enter, the trail, the path is bright, Good!
Fine! It’s a good land He has given.
This was a wonderful song and affirmation in native tongue. The Inupiat translation is not complete, but it rivals most Christian hymns. Such feeling!
After Ivanoff's talk, the leadership team was called to the platform, and prayed for incoming Pastor Michero, connecting to him through corporate laying on of hands. It was a touching and fitting end to this wonderful service.
I highly recommend this church for their guest-friendly services, warmth and hospitality, good music, and worthy sermons. They have the right stuff. I look forward to listening to Pastor Michero’s teaching in the near future. You can listen to some of his sermons already through the sermon link above.