EFCA Week at Trinity focuses on mercy, justice and reconciliation
Trinity CommunicationsJanuary 26, 2018
Leaders and pastors of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA), the denomination with which Trinity is affiliated, gathered on the Deerfield campus January 22–26 to celebrate the evangelical movement embodied in both institutions during EFCA Week.
With each new EFCA Week comes a variety of seminars, interviews, chapels, community gatherings and other events. The theme connecting this week together was “How Isaiah 58 factors into the EFCA mission.”
Chapter 58 of Isaiah is part of the second major section of the book and deals less with Judah’s immediate plight than with its future deliverance from Babylonian exile and ultimate glory. The prophet Isaiah takes to task those who go through the motions of religious observance while at the same time sinning without remorse and promoting corruption. The kind of worship pleasing to God, according to Isaiah, includes a desire to live a life that honors him and to help the poor and oppressed. It also means setting aside the Sabbath as a time to worship God and delight in him rather than pursuing matters that serve only the self.
Students had the opportunity to explore how to get involved in various ministry opportunities, internships, and global missions during the week. Several EFCA preachers and leaders shared their experiences and encouraged students to engage in outreach in ATO chapel services. EFCA President Kevin Kompelien, Pastor Lawrence Scott (Harvest Point Fellowship), U.S. Executive Director for Recruiting for ReachGlobal and Apex Global Projects David Rofkahr, Executive Director of the EFCA All People Ministry Alejandro Mandes, and Latino Ministries Pastor Pablo Cachon (New Hope Church) were the featured speakers throughout the week.
Pastor Lawrence Scott kicked off the week’s chapels on Tuesday with a message on reviving authentic Christian justice.
“Those of us who know the mercy and justice of God are best prepared to dispense justice in the right way!” Scott said, as he exhorted students, faculty and staff to be about the godly business of doing and fighting for justice among those who cannot do so for themselves.
On Wednesday, Rofkahr focused on the question, “What does justice have to do with the gospel?” during undergraduate chapel, and during the Mosaic Gathering that day, Mandes spoke on the mission of reconciliation being a foundational part of God’s calling to his people in this world. On the next day, a forum was held that discussed creating “synergy between a focus on justice/reconciliation and making disciples/planting churches.”
EFCA President Kompelien led Trinity’s weekly “Be Free” gathering on Thursday (in which conversations about free churches are held) and set out the EFCA’s hopes for the future.
“Our vision is that we be one, that we work together toward common ministry objectives with shared values and trusting relationships,” Kompelien said.
Kompelien then went on to unpack the EFCA’s mission, supported by its foundational values (in which Trinity shares), and invited participants to join them in their work to “shape a culture of transformation—conforming more closely to the person of Jesus—in our leaders, our churches, our ministries, and our people.”
Cachon wrapped up the week with a chapel address on Friday, challenging his hearers to find out what true compassion looks like and to pursue it passionately.
Trinity’s chapels from EFCA Week can be viewed on its YouTube channel.
The EFCA is a network of 1,500 evangelical churches across over 50 countries involved in various works, both nationally and internationally. Passionate about developing effective leaders who multiply churches and equip more leaders, the EFCA provides opportunities for people to plug into current efforts such as planting churches, sponsoring kids, helping immigrants, responding to disasters, caring for pastors, gaining professional development, and serving internationally.
The denomination’s stated mission is to glorify God by multiplying transformational churches among all people.
Trinity’s affiliation with the EFCA dates back to 1897. Since the beginning of their partnership, they have worked together in their shared passion to grow God’s kingdom and to see students strive towards a common vision of where they best fit in service to Christ.
An EFCA booth was placed outside of Hawkins Dining Services where students could collect brochures, informational cards, mini booklets, and sign-up to receive more information about the EFCA. The additional material advertised different internships, ministries, conferences, and opportunities in which students could get involved.
Among other opportunities for students, Trinity partners with the EFCA’s Challenge Conference to assist with logistics on the mission outings, lead group sessions that reflect on conference messages, and pray with students in attendance. This provides a space for attendees to learn, play and grow, and cultivates an environment where lifelong relationships are made.
The five-day conference for junior and senior high school students challenges and equips them to lean into their daily mission to embody God’s love in all circumstances. This year’s 2018 theme is for students to make “Bold Moves” as followers of Christ—whether that be as witnesses of the gospel, worshiping him in spirit and truth, knowing the facts of the faith better, or seeking true healing in a hurting world.