Why the name Genesis?
Genesis means "beginning." The people who started Genesis are betting the farm that God is still inviting all of us into new beginnings, sometimes even out of tragic endings. We believe the truest thing about Jesus, and about Christianity, is that we are being made new.
When does Genesis meet?
Why do you meet in a Jewish community center?
Our original plan was to rent a “churchy” building for gatherings each Sunday. So we looked. And looked. And looked, but no luck. Finally we stumbled upon our rather unlikely first home - the theater at Sabes Jewish Community Center. Sabes JCC has been an incredible host and partner from day one - gracious even when we pack out the parking lot. We think it's the perfect place for our beginnings as a church. While we have no official ties to any Jewish organization, we're grateful for the weekly reminder of our sacred roots as a people of God.
What can I expect on a Sunday morning?
The people of Genesis gather together on Sundays to worship God, to remember the story of God, and to find our place within in it again (because we forget it so often). We gather to join God’s work of cultivating new beginnings in all of us, everywhere.
It's kind of awkward to talk about ourselves and how we are together as a community, so the best way to find out about us is to just come and see. Our gatherings are simple; we like to call ourselves "warmly liturgical." We sing, pray, preach, and celebrate the Eucharist (communion) together every week. Our worship gatherings last about an hour.
The atmosphere at Genesis is interactive and intimate. The music is understated and beautiful. The prayers are often call and response. We move forward out of our seats to take communion. The sermon is conversational and thoughtful. People dress casually. Parking is easy and convenient. The whole thing lasts about an hour. Oh, and we don't use screens - we print liturgy bulletins. This can be a bit of a stretch for some people, but we stare at screens all day so we thought we could get away with no screens for an hour.
What is liturgical?
Liturgy actually means "the work of the people." We believe our Sunday gatherings are a time for the community of God to be together, to worship together, to pray together... to be "in it together." We plan our Sunday gatherings to be participatory, with call and response prayers, conversational sermons, and heartfelt worship.
Each week we begin with a call to worship and spend time singing together. Then, after announcements and the offering, we read the weekly Scripture, which leads us to the sermon (about 25 minutes long). Next is the prayers of response. Then comes the central element of our Sundays, the Eucharist (communion), which we do every week. Taking the Eucharist every week reminds us that Jesus is present with us and available to us at all times. We close with a benediction.
Our entire liturgy is printed out for you each week to read and take home. We hope it brings you encouragement throughout the week.
What about kids?
We love kids. They show us so much of what it's like to approach God honestly. And their comments during the sermons are (trust us) priceless. For those first grade and under we offer fun and meaningful kids programming during the service. Kids in second through fifth grade alternate weeks worshiping with us in the theater and having their own programming. Teens meet once a month during the service, and otherwise worship with us.
We keep the kid-to-volunteer ratios very low because we want each child to be seen and known in a safe environment. All of our volunteers go through Genesis Kids training and a background check. We use a computerized check-in system for added safety and accountability.
What is the Evangelical Covenant Church?
Genesis Covenant Church is a church plant in the Northwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church. The ECC is a vibrant, multi-ethnic, and growing group of more the 825 churches across the United States and Canada, and serves communities in more than 53 countries.
We hold 6 affirmations that help define the views and ethos of our denomination:
1. We affirm the centrality of the word of God.
2. We affirm the necessity of the new birth.
3. We affirm a commitment to the whole mission of the church.
4. We affirm the church as a fellowship of believers.
5. We affirm a conscious dependance on the Holy Spirit.
6. We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ.
What is the Revised Common Lectionary?
We follow the Revised Common Lectionary to guide us in our Scripture readings and sermons. The Revised Common Lectionary follows the church calendar, so it's a great way for us to stay rooted in the bigger story of God's ongoing redemption week-to-week, year-to-year, and in-and-out of every season. Many of us read the lectionary readings to prepare for each upcoming Sunday. Click here to read this week's lectionary readings.
Why follow the church calendar?
"It is a wise person who knows what time it is."
The story of God is told - and lived - in seasons, and the church moves in and out of those seasons together, reminding us of the big themes of God's story: waiting, giving, seeing, turning, dying, rising, and going. At Genesis we love inhabiting the church calendar, because it anchors us in something which can hold us, no matter what life throws our way.
The following is a brief summary of each church season:
Advent begins on the nearest Sunday to November 30 (which happens to be the Feast of St. Andrew, if you're keeping score), and ends at midnight on Christmas Eve. Advent, which means arrival, gives us the opportunity to practice waiting for the light of Christ's coming into the dark places of our world and our lives. During Advent, we are enlarged in the waiting.
Christmastide begins on Christmas Day, and ends on January 5th. So you see, there really are twelve days of Christmas. During Christmastide the waiting is over, so we share our gifts and our lives together and enjoy God's abundance. During Christmastide, we are enriched in the giving.
Epiphany begins on January 6th and ends on Ash Wednesday. Epiphany comes from the Greek word phainein, which means "to cause to appear" or "to bring to light." Epiphany is a season of enlightenment. We focus our attention on the life of Jesus, watching him heal, listening to him teach, and coming to a greater and greater understanding of who he really is. During Epiphany, we are enlightened in the seeing.
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Good Friday. On Ash Wednesday we receive the sign of the cross on our foreheads in ashes, and we are reminded that we are finite beings and sinful persons, destined to die. We begin the long journey of turning from sin and turning towards God, the only one who can redeem us and restore us. During Lent, we are humbled in the turning.
Paschal Tridium is only three days long: Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. The word Paschal comes from the Hebrew word pesach, or Passover. Tridium simply means three. The Paschal Tridium are the three days of the Christian Passover which represent the great saving act of God. This is the center of the Christian year, because it represents the heart of Christianity: the death and resurrection of Jesus. During the Paschal Tridium, we are healed in the dying.
Eastertide begins with Easter Sunday and ends with the Day of Pentecost, fifty days after Easter. As with Christmas, Easter is both a day and a season. During Eastertide, we focus on faith, hope, and love. We place our faith in Jesus because of the great victory of God when Jesus overcame sin and death. We put our hope in Jesus for the resurrection of the body. And love is the mark of our transformed hearts. During Eastertide, we are heartened in the rising.
Ordinary Time lasts from Pentecost all the way until the First Sunday of Advent, when the story begins all over again. It's the longest season of the church calendar. In Ordinary Time the incarnate and risen Christ is now present in the world in a different way: the Spirit indwells the believer and empowers the church to engage in God's redemptive mission in the world. We reveal his light, we exhibit his life, and we embody his love. During Ordinary Time, we are empowered in the going.
We highly encourage anyone who wants to learn more about inhabiting the Church Calendar to read Living the Christian Year: Time to Inhabit the Story of God by Bobby Gross. Much of what was written above is taken from this fantastic book.