Northwest Conference Approves Two New Churches

Post a Comment » Written on April 24th, 2007     
Filed under: News
By Stan Friedman

SIOUX FALLS, SD (April 24, 2007) – Delegates to the Northwest Conference Annual Meeting celebrated the addition of two new churches and recent national recognition of Minnehaha Academy during their gathering Friday and Saturday at Prairie Hills Covenant Church.

Delegates voted to accept Emmaus Road Covenant Church in Hastings, Minnesota, and Frontline Covenant Church in Maplewood, Minnesota. In 2006, Emmaus celebrated two years of meeting for weekly worship. Dave Hugare is the lead pastor. Frontline is an adoption – Pat Hall is the senior pastor.

NW ConferenceThe weekend was a celebration of ministry that includes reaching out to immigrants. Pastor Soudinh Penkhay inspired the gathering with a report on the continued growth of the Laotian Covenant Church, which meets in Brooklyn Center and in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Many young adults are converting from Buddhism, he noted.

During the Friday night worship service, James Tang, a Sudanese pastor in Fridley, Minnesota, helped lead the delegates in worship. The delegates also heard testimonies from ordinands.

Jan Bros, pastor of the conference’s newest church plant, Abbey Way Covenant Church in Minneapolis, spoke during the worship service Saturday morning. The unique congregation is built around the members committing to spiritual disciplines that include morning and evening prayer, as well as Lectio Divina, a practice of meditating on scripture.

In his report to the delegates, John Engstrom, president of Minnehaha Academy, said the school continues to be an educational leader. He noted, for example, the recent award honoring the school for the students’ performance on advanced placement tests.

Children of Evangelical Covenant Church members will receive 100 percent of their financial need to attend Minnehaha, Engstrom said. For example, if a family needs assistance to pay 40 percent of the tuition cost, that family will receive the entire 40 percent, he explained. Previously, they would have received a portion of the need, and families would have to seek financial assistance elsewhere to pay the difference.

Engstrom said the school made the decision in order to attract more children from Covenant families. Currently, only 9.4 percent of the students attend Covenant churches.

Engstrom said attendance at the three campuses that educate students grades pre-kindergarten-12 was 1,214. He added that 15.5 percent of the students represent minority populations, the highest percentage in the school’s history.

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