COVENANT PRESBYTERIAN   A Welcoming And Nurturing Community
Welcome To Covenant Presbyterian

 Welcome

Welcome to Covenant Presbyterian Church! We are excited to meet newcomers and share all the ways God is working through our church and in our lives.

Whether you're someone just starting your first steps on the walk of faith or have been on the journey all your life, you will find fellowship and a home at Covenant Presbyterian.

We are an active congregation and in addition to our many ministries, we also enjoy having lively discussions over current events in the world and the ways we can work to bring all of God's people together in peace.

We invite you to explore our website, come visit us at 321 Taraval Street for service on Sundays at 9:30am, and if you have any questions – give us a call or send us an email. We're delighted you stopped by and look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

 —  Covenant Presbyterian

 Our Mission Statement

With God’s grace, we seek to share Christ through a welcoming and nurturing community of faith, doing God’s work in the world.


 Who We Are

  • We are a multi-cultural church, welcoming people of all races, ethnicities,and cultures.
  • We celebrate diversity, and are inclusive of all people. Our current membership happens to be about half Asian and half Caucasian, and we have quite a few multi-racial families.
  • We are a multi-generational church, honoring and cherishing the gifts of people from different generations and experiences.
  • We are caring, spirited, and positively open to all people.
  • We have the courage to challenge and explore our faith.
  • As an inclusive community, we create a safe place to explore the deepest questions as we travel together on our spiritual journeys. Together we encourage one another to grow in our faith and our relationship with God and others.
  • We believe strongly in advocating and working for justice causes. We are actively involved in a variety of ministries, which serve those in need in the community and world. We believe in community-building and support various community programs and activities in our church building.
  • We celebrate the rich musical traditions of our denomination with a variety of organ, piano, guitar, and ukulele music plus our choir.
  • We welcome everyone in all walks of life to come through our doors and discover the peace of our Lord


 What We Believe:

  We are a part of the Presbyterian Church USA. While views can be varied among our congregation on individual topics of faith and religious practice, and our denomination is one that enjoys allowing the diverse voices of its members to be heard, we would like to outline our church’s background and some basic tenets of our faith that are shared by all in the hopes of greater clarity for those new to our denomination:

When did the denomination come into existence in its current structure/form?
1983. The Presbyterian Church(U.S.A.) claims continuity back to the founding of the Synod of Philadelphia in 1706. In 1983 the United Presbyterian Church in the United States and the Presbyterian Church in the United States reunited to form the Presbyterian Church(U.S.A.).
What are deacons, ruling elders, and teaching elders (pastors and other ordained ministers) asked in their ordination vows about Scripture?
"Do you accept the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be, by the Holy Spirit, the unique and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ universal, and God’s Word to you?"
What are deacons, ruling elders, and teaching elders (pastors and other ordained ministers) asked concerning Jesus Christ as Savior?
"Do you trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, acknowledge him Lord of all and Head of the Church, and through him believe in one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?"
Is the belief in the incarnation (that Jesus is fully God and fully man) upheld?
Yes. The official statements of the Presbyterian Church(U.S.A.) uphold this.
How do Presbyterians understand the doctrine of atonement?
The official statements of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) uphold substitutional atonement. To further understand the doctrine of atonement, we suggest the following links:

From the official Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Mission Website:
What Do Presbyterians Believe About the Atonement

For a broader understanding of the varying perspectives on atonement:
Wikipedia's Article on Atonement in Christianity

Rev. Gregory Anderson Love, who is a Presbyterian Pastor and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at San Francisco Theological Seminary, wrote a wonderful article discussing the doctrine of atonement which has been helpful to many:
The Meaning of the Cross

Who can take part in communion?
Covenant Presbyterian practices an open table, meaning all who wish to partake in communion are welcomed to do so.
What makes up the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s religious views?
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s religious views are based upon 3 books: The Bible, the Book of Confessions, and the Book of Order.

The Book of Confessions is Part I of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and contains historical statements of what we believe as a church.

The Book of Order is Part II of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and contains the Foundations of Presbyterian Polity, the Form of Government, the Directory for Worship, and the Rules of Discipline. Additional information is provided to the reader through the inclusion of Received Ecumenical Statements of Guidance, Articles of Agreement, and material on the seal of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

You can download the Book of Confessions for free by clicking on this link.

You can download the Book of Order for free by clicking on this link.

Are there any Confessions/Creeds?
Yes, there are 8 confessions plus 3 catechisms.

"F-2.01 THE PURPOSE OF CONFESSIONAL STATEMENTS
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) states its faith and bears witness to God’s grace in Jesus Christ in the creeds and confessions in The Book of Confessions. In these statements the church declares to its members and to the world who and what it is, what it believes, and what it resolves to do. These statements identify the church as a community of people known by its convictions as well as by its actions. They guide the church in its study and interpretation of the Scriptures; they summarize the essence of Reformed Christian tradition; they direct the church in maintaining sound doctrines; they equip the church for its work of proclamation. They serve to strengthen personal commitment and the life and witness of the community of believers. The creeds and confessions of this church arose in response to particular circumstances within the history of God’s people. They claim the truth of the Gospel at those points where their authors perceived that truth to be at risk. They are the result of prayer, thought, and experience within a living tradition. They appeal to the universal truth of the Gospel while expressing that truth within the social and cultural assumptions of their time. They affirm a common faith tradition, while also from time to time standing in tension with each other." — (from our Book of Order:)

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s website provides downloads for our Book of Confessions if you would like to read more about our beliefs, the confessions, and the catechisms that make up our faith views. Click here to go to Presbyterian Church USA’s download page to download the Book of Confessions in either English or Spanish or to view the Book of Confessions online.

Recently our Moderator of the 220th General Assembly also discussed the nature of the Confessions and the relationship of the Book of Order and Book of Confessions in the Presbyterian Church(USA). If you would like to read a transcript or watch; click the link here.

Are women ordained into leadership positions?
Yes. The belief that women can be ordained into leadership is required to be affirmed by all ordained leaders and congregations.
What is the denomination’s position on marriage?
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) allows both opposite–sex and same–sex marriage.

From our Book of Order:

"Marriage is a gift God has given to all humankind for the wellbeing of the entire human family. Marriage involves a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman, to love and support each other for the rest of their lives. The sacrificial love that unites the couple sustains them as faithful and responsible members of the church and the wider community.

In civil law, marriage is a contract that recognizes the rights and obligations of the married couple in society. In the Reformed tradition, marriage is also a covenant in which God has an active part, and which the community of faith publicly witnesses and acknowledges.

If they meet the requirements of the civil jurisdiction in which they intend to marry, a couple may request that a service of Christian marriage be conducted by a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), who is authorized, though not required, to act as an agent of the civil jurisdiction in recording the marriage contract. A couple requesting a service of Christian marriage shall receive instruction from the teaching elder, who may agree to the couple’s request only if, in the judgment of the teaching elder, the couple demonstrate sufficient understanding of the nature of the marriage covenant and commitment to living their lives together according to its values. In making this decision, the teaching elder may seek the counsel of the session, which has authority to permit or deny the use of church property for a marriage service."

Are ordained leaders expected to live in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman or chastity in singleness?
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has decided to practice mutual forbearance toward each other and other councils of the church regarding ordination.

By practicing mutual forbearance on this matter, this allows congregations that wish to ordain members of the LGBTQ community the ability to do so.

What is Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s view on abortion?
"Abortion ought to be a last resort, because life is sacred to God." In its resource for women facing problem pregnancies, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) writes that the church "would like to support you as you make decisions about your pregnancy" and explores three options:
1) keeping the baby; 2) making an adoption plan; and 3) having an abortion.
Does the church have a per capita (request for funds to help pay for administrative costs of denomination)
Yes. It is currently $35.15 per member and is voluntary.

$5.22 goes to The Synod of the Pacific
$7.02 goes to the General Assembly
$22.86 goes to the Presbytery of San Francisco

To find out more information about the Per Capita and how the funds are used, visit the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)'s Per Capita Resoures page.

Who owns each congregation’s property
Congregations hold property in trust for the use and benefit of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

(Many of the questions and answers were excerpted from This Official PDF from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s website )

 Our History

    

A Brief History of Covenant

  • 1926 Portalhurst Community Church established.
  • 1937 Church on the corner of Taraval and Funston built.
  • 1954 South building sanctuary built.
  • 1955 Name changed to "Portalhurst Presbyterian Church."
  • 1975 The TLC ministry to Developmentally Disabled Adults begins.
  • 1995 To better serve the local faith community, which had many ties to Chinatown Presbyterian Church, "Sunset-Parkside New-church Development" replaces Portalhurst and Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow becomes Pastor.
  • 1996 With 19 members of other churches (chiefly Chinatown PC) and 66 members of Portalhurst, Covenant Presbyterian Church created.
  • 1999 Bruce Reyes-Chow departs. Rev. Jim Wheeler interim pastor
  • 2002 Rev. David Brown becomes pastor at Covenant.
  • 2002 Wind blows the roof off the sanctuary, which becomes a 2-year distraction
  • 2004 The Food Pantry begins.
  • 2009 Harry Chuck designated moderator of the Session from 2009 through 2011.
  • 2011 Worship moved out of the south building Sanctuary into Portalhurst Hall as weather damage makes the south building Sanctuary unusable.
  • 2011 Rev. John McEntyre becomes Pastor of Covenant
  • 2013 Presbytery loan to Covenant to repair outstanding property damages. Tower, which had become unsafe, removed. South building water damage addressed.
  • 2014 Bay Church moves into the South Building.
  • 2014 Rev. Jeff Cheifetz becomes Pastor of Covenant

 Next Steps

Now that you've gotten to know us,
come visit and let us get to know you!


What should I wear?

  Our congregation is a mixture of sport coats, Hawaiian shirts, blue jeans, and dresses. Wear something tasteful and that you feel comfortable wearing – whether that means a full suit and tie or shorts and flip–flops.

What style of preaching can I expect?

  Our church usually follows the Liturgical Calendar. Each Sunday we typically have one reading from the Old Testament and one reading from the New Testament. Our Pastor then discusses the passages in his sermon – showing the relationship between the passages and how God's Word might be speaking to those same themes in our lives today.

To explore the Christian Year with links to the Presbyterian Lectionary and other worship materials Click Here

What style of music is used for service?

  We embrace a diverse musical background at our church, but predominantly feature more traditional music. On a typical Sunday we sing hymns from the Presbyterian Hymnal, hear a selected piece sung by our choir between bible passage readings, and enjoy a variety of classical music and jazz-inspired standards, hymns, or worship songs played by our talented choir and musical director Steve Scholz.

  Our Ukelele group occasionally gives our choir a break and plays hymns for our congregation, and some of our guitar players every so often get together to play more modern Christian songs.


How do I get to your church?

  Directions, as well as a Google Map, are provided on our Visit Us page.

    
Weekly Services held Sundays at 9:30AM at 321 Taraval Street at Funston Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94116