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Christ Covenant Church meets at 10:30 a.m. Sundays
10222-101 Ave (Grande Prairie Golden Age Center).

Email: info@christcovenant.ca

Get to Know Love

Love is a word that pops up everywhere. Teenaged boys tell teenaged girls that they love them. Adoring fans proclaim their love for musicians, sports stars, and celebrities.

But not everything called "love" is really worth having. Teenaged boys usually move on to different teenaged girls quickly enough. And we all know how fleeting are the fortunes of fame.

Love that flows out of God, however, has staying power. The Bible tells us that God is love. And the love that He places upon His people isn't something He just decided to do one day. God chose us in Christ "before the foundation of the world" (Ephesians 1.4), and it is that love that transcends time that comes into history when the Son is born of a woman. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3.16).

We at Christ Covenant are not perfect - like everyone else in this life, we are in transition. But we have encountered the love of God, and we are learning to share in that abundance with others. Whatever the circumstances of your life, we would delight in the opportunity to surround you with some of that love.

Get to Know a Loving God

God is Trinity. That is a mystery, but the Scripture reveals enough for us to say that there is but One God, and that God is Three Persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is the core of the historic Christian faith.

The doctrine of the Trinity teaches us that community is not simply a contruct invented by men for convenience. Community is eternal, for God is a community.

This is a community of love. That much is already implied in the fact that God is One. If there were three "divine" persons who were not characterized by love, God could not possibly be One. The three persons would be in rivalry with one another, and no unity, much less genuine oneness, would be possible.

It is thus no surprise that the Bible says that God is love. Love is supremely defined by the eternal relationships between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

We get hints and insights into those relationships in various ways throughout Scripture, particularly in the Gospel of John. "The Father loves the Son" (John 5.20; 15.9) and gives all judgment into His hand (John 5.22), so that all will honour the Son as the Father is honoured (5.23).

The Son for His part also loves the Father (John 14.31). He "exegetes" or declares the Father (John 1.18) - that is, makes the Father known in all that He is and does.

The Spirit comes down from the Father, marks out the Son and bears witness to Him (John 1.32; 15.26).

Each Person of the Trinity glorifies the Others and speaks of the Others (e.g. John 17.1, 4-8).

This is perfect love, and it is the eternal life of God.

Mysteriously, God shares this eternal life with creatures. In His high priestly prayer in John 17, Jesus speaks not only of the Father loving the Son - He speaks of the Father loving the disciples just as He has loved the Son (17.23), praying further that the very love which the Father has for the Son "may be in them, and I in them" (17.26).

This love is costly. Human beings cannot share in that eternal life of God simply on account of being creatures. Human sin and rebellion against God have brought alienation and dis-communion. But as Jesus puts it so famously in this same Gospel, God so loved the world that He sent His Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

That sending has a purpose. The rescue does not take place simply by means of the Son's arrival, by the Incarnation. From the very beginning of Jesus' ministry, we are told that He has come as the sacrificial Lamb (John 1.36). Jesus' purpose entails a costly mission. It is by means of His death that He will effect reconciliation ("re-friending") between God and sinful human beings. That death turns God's wrath away and brings communion, partnership.

Once again, this is not a case of God the Father hating us and God the Son intervening. God is One. It is God the Father who sent the Son (John 3.16), and God the Son who gave Himself of His own accord: He had power to lay down His life as well as to take it up again (John 10.18).

How great is God's love toward us? Well, the eternal life of God is perfect love - and God the Father spared not His own beloved Son (Romans 8.32), and God the Son spared not Himself... for us.

There is no love greater than that. Perfect love sent the Son to earth, and to the cross - for us.

And the perfect love by which God the Father through the Spirit raised the Son up from the death of that cross is the same love that raises us up with Christ, and promises a like share in His resurrection (Romans 8.11).

This is our God, and He is love.

A Loving Leadership Team

Pastoral care at Christ Covenant is provided by a team of vocational elders (i.e. elders who have full-time callings outside of church ministry). We are also served by one vocational deacon.


George Plante

George Plante

George Plante has a degree from Peace River Bible Institute, and also studied at Mid-America Reformed Seminary.

In his outside vocation, George has recently been involved in the construction industry. He serves as council chairman, and is one of three preaching elders on our leadership team. He and his wife Rosalyn have six children.

Dale and Bonita Callahan

Dale Callahan

Before God rescued him as a young man, Dale Callahan appeared headed for a life of violence and petty crime. That rescue has helped maked Dale particularly effective in communicating God's grace to the unchurched.

In his other vocation, Dale is a letter-carrier. He serves as vice-chairman of our church council, and is one of three preaching elders on our leadership team. He and his wife Bonita have four children.

Tim and Kristi Gallant

Tim Gallant

Tim Gallant graduated with honours from Mid-America Reformed Seminary in May 2000. Vocationally, he runs a graphic design and web site development business, and also finishes concrete.

Tim serves as clerk of our church council, and is one of three preaching elders on our leadership team. He is also in charge of the church web site. He and his wife Kristi have eight children.

Note: Tim is presently on leave of absence.

Jamie and Valerie Soles

Jamie Soles

The music of Jamie Soles has spread around North America by means of family concerts and CD sales. Two of his key gifts are fresh musical word-for-word renditions of the Psalms, and child-friendly retellings of Bible lists and stories. In his day job, he is a guitar teacher.

Jamie is our chief musician and also serves as alternate treasurer. He happens to be our only elder who does not preach... for the time being. He and his wife Valerie have eight children.


Leo and Yolanda Wattel

Leo Wattel

The only member of our ordained leadership who was raised in the Reformed faith from infancy, Leo Wattel was born in Holland and moved to Canada as a teenager.

Leo owns a couple of local businesses involved in concrete work and construction. He serves as our deacon and treasurer.

Leo and his wife Yolanda have nine children.

A Loving Community

2010 congregational photo - mobile version

Jesus said that people would know we are His disciples (committed followers) when we have love one for another.

At Christ Covenant, that calling to community is something we try to take with joyful seriousness. Not only the ordained leadership, but all of us recognize our calling to be involved in one another's lives as brothers and sisters, as mutual members of a common body.

A Feasting Community

That's why we place a very strong accent on hospitality - newcomers generally find that people are interested in more than a quick handshake. Chances are, you're going to be invited to someone's house for lunch within the first couple weeks you're here - or sooner.

It's also why we have a time of laughter and refreshments and fellowship following every morning worship service.

It's also why we have a shared fellowship meal following worship, at least once a month.

We believe all that is as it should be. If - contrary to Cain's assumption (cf Genesis 4.9) - we are all called to be "our brother's keeper," then we need to know each other, and be involved with one another.

One of the features of the kingdom in Jesus' ministry was eating. Think of this:

Then too, the center of Christian worship in Scripture is a table where Christ shares His body and blood with all the members of His body (1 Corinthians 10.16-17) - an event intended to be celebrated every week (compare Acts 20.7; cf 1 Corinthians 11.18, 20).

Since all that is so, making sure we eat together frequently is an important part of life in Christ's Church. This is the sort of kingdom that Jesus brings - one of communion, sharing, and mutual joy. It's the sort of kingdom we want to live out at Christ Covenant.

And it's the sort of kingdom we want to share with you.

A Close Community

Entering 2012, Christ Covenant is a community of about 20 families and a good number of singles. Geographically, we live scattered from Hines Creek to Wembley to beyond Grovedale to Bezanson - yet we find ways of spending time together and enjoying one another.

We come from a spectrum of backgrounds - but Christ is in the foreground, and He brings us together. As the apostle says, in Christ there is no Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male and female - all who have been baptized into Christ have put Him on and are partakers of His inheritance (Galatians 3.27-29).

No matter where you are in the Grande Prairie area, we invite you to experience the kingdom hospitality that we are seeking to implement at Christ Covenant Church.

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