[img_assist|nid=137695|title=Community Covenant Sign|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=350|height=244]SUMMARY
January 25, on a cold and snowy day, I visited Community Covenant Church in Eagle River. What I discovered was an active congregation nourished by good music, great preaching and the kinds of programmatic glue that bind people together. I was greeted in a general manner by three people before finding my seat. However, I feel more attention to this area could easily improve visitor impressions with a sincere welcome and sense of connectedness. Easy to find, I still recommend this church for a visit if you’re looking for a church home.
Lost Without Help
I was lost at the crossroads as I entered the hustle and bustle of Community Covenant Church’s entryway but soon found my bearings and drifted into the main auditorium. A sign with an arrow would have helped me. Although I was greeted by three people before I found a seat, I didn’t truly feel welcomed, which their “meet n’ greet”, like most other churches, clearly did not rectify. At a later picture taking trip to the church I did discover a sign high up in the air but probably not seen normally because it’s not at eye level. An old friend used to rave about this church, which she used to attend when living in Eagle River. With this background, I had to make this visit.
[img_assist|nid=137697|title=Community Covenant Sanctuary|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=350|height=207]
Offering gorgeous views of the mountains and Eagle River Valley through it’s floor to ceiling windows, this church effectively uses contemporary architecture. I liked the layout of the sanctuary and seating area. There were many aisles making it easy to be seated without troubling others to get up. Somewhat soaring, the sanctuary was very accommodating.
Coffee Odor Strong
This one of those churches that seems to encourage wholesale coffee drinking. Maybe it was for a good cause financially, but the smell of coffee was strong in the air in the sanctuary. A confirmed coffee drinker, I nonetheless found the smell to be overpowering.
There was Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) being played through the PA when I arrived. Prior to starting to play, I was astounded and gratified to see the musical group of seven bowing their heads in a prayer circle. This is truly a first in all of my Anchorage church visits. Good for you! The music was very well done, sincere, and a good mix of recognizable tunes for all ages. They played for about 15 minutes.
This is a family-oriented church and very casual dress. Unfortunately, I appeared to be the only one in suit and tie, and felt I stood out.
What? No Use of PowerPoint Slides for the Bible Reading?
I discovered Community Covenant is experimenting with using Bibles for the scripture reading instead of projecting the scripture on a screen. My hat’s off to you. Church attendees are so spoon fed these days it’s surprising to see a church taking a step backwards. It was refreshing to hear the turning pages of Bibles during the scripture reading. Sadly, using Bibles only for scripture reading is becoming rarer and rarer these days. Little wonder folks don’t read the Bible as much. They don’t know how to use them!
What A Sermon!
Clearly Community Covenant is blessed with great preaching. Pastor Mark Meridith gave a meaningful sermon that was open, free and extemporaneous. He roamed the platform, mostly on the steps in front of the platform. Relying for the most part on scripture and illustrations, he did not hide behind the pulpit as many ministers do, but established an effective dialog with his parishioners. Based on the Holy Spirit, he communicated quickly and effectively, sometimes the words seeming to tumble out ahead of his thoughts. But it was fresh and refreshing. You can listen to his sermon by clicking on this link.
The service concluded with the musical group playing and singing “I Surrender All”. I truly enjoyed my visit to Community Covenant and feel they afford church visitors and members alike, a fresh and spontaneous worship experience.
[img_assist|nid=137698|title=Community Covenant Exterior|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=350|height=124]