Looking Back, Looking Forward

Recently I was going through an old book that I found in the church. In it, I found the bulletin from Sunday, March 27, 1983. Yours truly wasn’t even around at that time. 🙂 It piqued my curiosity, so I took a few minutes to read it over. What I found was absolutely fascinating.

Here’s what it said:
The reality of the church is this:
The commitment of ourselves
Into relationship with one another;
interweaving our lives
by acts and attitudes of love.
Love taught by the word of God,
inspired by the spirit of God,
enabled by re-creation of our natures
through individual faith in Christ,
who revealed love’s redeeming strength
by giving Himself up for us
and living again to dwell in us

I was enamored by this simple yet profound statement. Throughout the next few weeks I would like to go through this statement with you. I would like to break it down and talk about what this means. But I hope that this isn’t purely a monologue from me. I also hope to receive feedback from you all about how this church used to operate in the ways mentioned above.

What I propose is a fun and interactive way to talk about the best of what our church was and still is. Despite the fact that I changed some aspects of how we do church at Covina Evangelical Free Church, I want to preserve and celebrate all the things that this church has represented to so many people. It is my prayer that you will join me as I look to learn about our history and celebrate the ways in which God has blessed it, and will continue to bless it into the future!

In order to post a comment below this blog post, simply add your first name, last name, email address and viola, you can post! I’d love your comments and feedback!


  1. Michael Callahan says

    I haven’t been in the church for very long, but I have experienced firsthand the kindness, generosity, and care that Covina Evangelical Free Church parishioners have for one another. When I stood up one Sunday shortly after our son, Luke, had been born and we had discovered that he had a heart issue, I was overwhelmed by the compassion the church showered on me and my family. I am the recipient of your love, and for that I’m grateful! I love you all!

  2. Sarah Callahan says

    I love this idea and I’m looking forward to reading all the memories!
    From the first time we came to Covina EFC I have felt so much love! One special memory is when you all had a shower for me before Luke was here. It really meant so much to our family! I love all the gifts I received and every time I use my stroller I’m reminded of the generosity of you all! Love you all,

  3. Dennis and Chris Sowa says

    After attending a large church for over 30 years, we are blessed to be at EVFC. We love the pure simplicity and oldness of this church. The solid teaching, sweet worship, and welcoming love keep us returning week after week.

  4. Nancy Stockham says

    My relationship with our beloved church family began in 1970! I will say that over the years, as my life became lovingly interwoven with other believers, this church family filled in for me missing or broken pieces of relationships that I didn’t even know I needed. God used, and still uses, these very relationships in my emotional healing and spiritual growth continuously.

    With this many years of precious memories and treasured relationships, it’s difficult to pick just one that’s special—so I’ll share about my marriage to my Jim! We met here in January, 1986 when Jim started coming to our church through an invitation from a man he worked with…who just happened to go to cefc! I was a single parent at the time and was singing in the choir. Jim joined the choir—and we began a friendship that led to marriage on July 30, 1988.

    From first date to the altar, this church family encouraged, prayed for, and loved on us every step of the way! They helped with the preparations and plans, and showed their love by their very participation in our marriage celebration. Yet the real test of love came just a year-and-a-half later, when our home burned one night, and our church family showed up in the early morning hours with a rental truck to help sort through the rubble and get us moved into an apartment. And not only that, but one Sunday morning at the end of worship, they sat us up on the stage and surprised us with a second wedding party as they ‘showered’ us with gifts to start all over again in our new home! I still treasure that memory!

  5. Corrie Hawes says

    Michael, thank you for this great idea! And, Nancy, I love everything you shared! How precious!

    One memory I hold close is experience the CEFC helpfulness that happened after I hosted my first event as a staff member at church. I was planning on working 2 hours after our Pumpkin Party on cleaning up everything on my own (as I’ve had to do at other churches in the past). But I was amazed at how every single person stayed after the event was over and cleaned everything up! I walked into the kitchen to wash dishes and they were already cleaned and put away. I walked outside and all of the tables and hay bales were put away. I will always be blessed by the cheerful clean-up attitude I get to experience by everyone at CEFC all the time!

  6. Aaron & Janet Allen says

    As the 2014 year drew to a close Janet and I were looking forward to a new year filled with promise. I was blessed with a new job and we were looking for a new church to fellowship at. We had gone to a large church and felt it would be nice to be a part of a smaller congregation. I looked online and discovered that Michael was to pastor here at Covina Evangelical Free Church. We decided we would visit to see if we would fit in.

    That was on January 5, 2015. As we arrived we were greeted by several people who welcomed us warmly. There was a sweetness to this church fellowship that we hadn’t experienced elsewhere. After attending for several weeks, we made a decision to call Covina EFC our home fellowship.

    Michael’s teachings were rich and provided new depth to the scriptures. The vision the leadership of the church had for missions, to reach out internationally, nationally and locally, was a goal of ours as well. We were excited to be able to serve the fellowship by helping out in the audio and video ministry. We also enjoyed being able to work along side others to help clean up and maintain our church property.

    By being involved in these activities we have been able to develop authentic relationships with many church members. It’ been a joy going out to lunch after service and connecting with each other. We look forward to being a part of the church body at Covina EFC.

    For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 3:10

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