510-845-7315 forkner.1@opc.org

Pastor’s Welcome

Greetings!

On behalf of our congregation, I invite you to explore this website. Here, you’ll get to meet us and find out who we are, what we believe, and what we do as a local congregation of Jesus Christ’s church in the East Bay.

Let me summarize our congregation in this way:  In Paul’s letter to the Church at Ephesus, he writes, “speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Eph. 4:15).  Speaking the truth in love is what we as a congregation of Jesus Christ are called to do.

Truth
Jesus Christ is the truth and He reveals Himself to us through His Word: the Holy Scriptures.  We believe that our gracious Lord is at work using His church, of which we are a particular congregation, to call sinners to be reconciled to the Father and to grow everyone in the congregation to maturity of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13).

We, at Covenant, submit to Jesus’ stated means of grace to accomplish our given mission.  Those means of grace include preaching, prayer, worship and the sacraments.  In all these, we proclaim the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ.  The gospel is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom 1:16).  We preach Christ, for He is the one we all need. “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

Love
We are called to do everything in love, therefore we strive to do all things in love.  Christians are justified sinners and always in need of Christ, our Savior.  While we call “sin” sin, in proclaiming the gospel we speak of the solution to the sin problem.  It is not our purpose to condemn anyone.  We do not shy away from saying that every human being is a sinner and justly deserving of the wrath of God.  But we do so acknowledging that we ourselves are sinners who found redemption, the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ.

Truth and Love
We are a congregation, in reliance on the grace of God, which strives to speak the truth in love.  I often tell people that “truth” and “love” are inseparable.  There are some who speak of the “love of God” in such a way that they deny the truth of His holiness and coming judgment.  In doing so, these people are not being loving just as a doctor who tells a patient with a malignant tumor that they are in perfect health would not be loving.

Others, emphasize truthful facts such as God’s holy hatred of human sin and rebellion in a “judgmental” way by neglecting the message of the glorious Gospel.  God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8).  Paul said, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” (1 Tim. 1:15).

As a congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC), we accept the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Westminster Larger & Shorter Catechisms as a reliable (though not inspired) summary of what the Bible teaches.

The best way to get to know us is for you to come and visit with us.  We are a warm and welcoming congregation that prays for visitors, so we will not only try to make you welcome, we will see your visit to us as a part of God’s answer to our prayers!

Yours in the service of the Lord Jesus,

Wayne Forkner, Pastor
Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church
1623 University Ave, Berkeley
California 94703
Tel: 510-845-7315

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