‘Top Newsmaker’ Stories in 2006: What’s Your Choice?

Post a Comment » Written on January 23rd, 2007     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (January 23, 2007) – The year 2006 generated hundreds of news stories for Covenant News Service as we reported each day on ministries and news of interest from Evangelical Covenant Churches in North America and around the globe – churches and people making a difference.

Whether it was rebuilding the lives of individuals inhabiting Gulf coastal regions, aiding the poor in destitute countries, or helping change the way the music industry markets its products, members of Evangelical Covenant churches left their collective mark.

Below is the list of what we have selected as “top newsmaker” stories for 2006 – they are listed in no particular order.

We are interested in knowing your picks for the year – and they may not have made our list, which is fine. To review the year’s stories, go to the online News Archive (link also will be found on the home page) and scroll through the monthly folders for 2006. Then, let us know your choices by emailing us at Covenant Newsdesk. Please include a brief explanation of your choices and include your full name, city and state, so that we can share our reader responses.

If you would like to keep abreast of the daily news developments and not miss a single important story, then sign up for the free Covenant Newswire daily news headline service at Covenant Newswire.

Phoenix – A Witness to God’s Goodness in Midst of Turmoil

Covenanters have sent work teams from across the country – as well as money – to continue helping the Gulf Coast recover from Phoenixthe devastating effects of Katrina. Covenant World Relief (CWR) has teamed with Hillcrest Covenant Church of Prairie Village, Kansas, to build new homes in Phoenix, Louisiana, a historical African-American community that was nearly wiped out by the storm.

The congregation and other Covenant churches also rebuilt 31 homes in Pascagoula and provided much needed assistance. Michael Gromer, of Hillcrest Covenant Church, led the church’s construction work in Pascagoula and is heading up the Phoenix project. He says the church chose to help in Phoenix “because it seems to be where God is leading.”

Delegates Approve New Department

Delegates to the 121st Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church unanimously approved the formation of the new Department of Compassion, Mercy and Justice.
“This is a historic moment in the life of the Evangelical Covenant Church,” said Donn Engebretson, executive vice president of the denomination. Denominational leaders hope to present a candidate to lead the department at the Annual Meeting in June this year.

New Mission Focus Responds to Changing World

The Department of World Mission was re-aligned into four new divisions: administration and finance, personnel, mission mobilization and connection, and mission advancement and communication. Executive Minister Curt Peterson said the changes were necessary to adjust to the changing realities mission work.

CHIC: Youth Pack Food, Donate to Sudanese

Teenagers at CHIC 2006 demonstrated compassion far beyond what organizers had hoped by raising more than $100,000 to build a school, health clinic, and operate a food program in Sudan.

“This would not have happened if you had not done it,” President Glenn Palmberg told the students who attended the triennial gathering in Knoxville, Tennessee. The young people also packed nearly 600,000 meals for Feed My Starving Children, which provides food to impoverished people around the world.

Holmgren on Congo: ‘Signs of Hope’ Appearing

HolmgrenKathy Holmgren, wife of Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, attracted worldwide attention to the Democratic Republic of Congo when she traveled to the nation on a medical mission trip sponsored by the Paul Carlson Partnership.

Holmgren, a nurse, and her daughter, Calla, an obstetrician, traveled Congo, although it meant missing the Super Bowl in which the Seahawks were playing. ABC-TV aired a segment about the trip during the Super Bowl. The network also named Kathy, a lifelong Covenanter, its “Person of the Week” on its nightly newscast.

Parkyn Elected President of North Park University

ParkynA number of changes and new initiatives highlighted the year at North Park University and at North Park Theological Seminary. David Parkyn was elected to be the school’s ninth president, and Jay Phelan, dean and president of North Park Theological Seminary, was named to the university’s newly created position of executive vice president for academic affairs.

The school also boasted record undergraduate enrollment officials believe will continue to increase due in part to the opening of the $12.7 million Helwig Recreation Center in September.

CBC Suspends Operations at Colorado Campus

Declining enrollment forced the closure of the Windsor, Colorado, campus of Covenant Bible College.

Two Covenant Churches Among Top 20 in U.S.

Two Evangelical Covenant Church congregations are among the 20 most influential in the United States, according to a poll conducted by The Church Report magazine.

LifeCovenant.tv in Edmond, Oklahoma, was ranked number seven and Bayside Covenant Church of Granite Bay, California, was listed as number 20. Both congregations are multi-site churches with congregations in different cities.

Life has campuses in Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and Tennessee, as well as an Internet campus with live Internet broadcasts of its worship services. The church has a combined membership of more than 14,000 people. It recently was named the Most Innovative Church in the country.

Bayside has five daughter congregations with a combined attendance of more than 9,000 individuals.

Delegates Approve Resolutions on War, Immigration

ImmigrationImmigration issues were widely debated in the country, and members of the Covenant added their voices. Delegates at the Annual Meeting approved a resolution calling on Christians to care for all individuals, regardless of their immigration status. Hispanic pastors endorsed a letter calling for immigration reform, and Covenanters also participated in major marches around the country.

Chaplain Receives Commendation Medal for Valor

Covenant chaplains and members of the military continued to risk their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan in a wide range of ways. Chaplain Mark Nakazono was honored for heroism in the face of gunfire. Meanwhile more churches began sending care packages to troops and grapple with how to help combat veterans re-integrate into daily life.

Band Sees Success as Opening to Share Faith

Denver rock band The Fray, which includes two members of Christ Community Covenant Church in Arvada, Colorado, sold more than two million copies of their debut album, How to Save a Life. The record captured two Grammy Award nominations and became the best-selling digital album of all time as it became a prime example of changes in marketing by the music industry.

Companion Named Third Best in North America

For the third time in six years, The Covenant Companion was named the third best denominational magazine in North America by Associated Church Press (ACP), whose nearly 200 members have a combined readership of several million subscribers. The ACP also recognized The Covenant Companion with eight additional honors in its “Best of the Christian Press” awards. The awards covered content published during calendar 2005 that was created not only by staff writers, but also by Covenanters across the denomination – including readers who contribute letters to the editor that appear in the popular “Our Readers Write” column.

Meeting of Congo Leaders Bodes Well for Peace

Congo residents went to the polls and elected a new president – a significant accomplishment for a country torn by violence and civil war for many years. A December meeting between Joseph Kabila, the president-elect of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and his chief political rival, Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba, provides an opportunity for peace going forward, says Bob Thornbloom, Covenant missionary to the African nation. A Covenant medical missionary delivered Bemba when he was born.

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