Grace Covenant in season of change

IRON RIVER — After nearly 10 years of ministry under the direction of The Rev. James Swanson II, Grace Covenant Church is in search of a new pastor.

In December, Swanson announced he had accepted a call to Pleasant Community Church in his hometown of Warren, Pennsylvania.

In the Evangelical Covenant Church denomination, each church seeks its own pastor with help from the central office. Nine members of the church were elected to serve on its search committee, which is in the process of reviewing profiles of candidates.

Interim Pastors the Rev. Terry Cathcart, who is finishing May 31, and the Rev. Tom Beckstrom, who succeeds him, have embraced the necessity of doing things differently during this time.

Study groups have found Zoom helpful to meet for discussion, encouragement and accountability. The established prayer chain continues to share concerns.

The church recently was blessed with a $30,000 gift, which met its $105,000 goal for a kitchen remodeling project. The out-of-town donor cited the desire to give because of the church’s contribution to this community during this crisis.

With the COVID-19 regulations in place, Grace Covenant has a live-streamed service on Facebook from its sanctuary at the normal summer worship time of 10 a.m. each Sunday. The new website, gccir.org, also provides a link for later viewing.


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