Why is our name Covenant Reformed?
We chose Covenant because the Bible teaches that God has provided salvation for His people in terms of a covenant. A covenant is similar to an agreement or contract between two or more people. In the case of a biblical covenant, God is the initiator and administrator. God first made a covenant with the first man Adam (Gen2). This covenant is commonly known as The Covenant of Works, that is, if man would keep this covenant and all its laws perfectly, he would live eternally. But Adam, as man’s representative, fell into sin, that is, he transgressed the law of God (Romans 5), Thus no man was able to keep this covenant (Rom 3:23). Therefore, God sent His Son into the world to be the Mediator of a new covenant whereby Christ fulfills the requirements of the first covenant in the place of His people. This new or better covenant is known as The Covenant of Grace. It was first foreshadowed by the Covenant of God made with Abraham (Gen 17) and later with Israel (Exodus 20-24) which we know as the Old Covenant (Hebrews 9). It is a covenant of grace because we enter it by faith in Christ alone and, thereby, receive all the glorious benefits of salvation through the unmerited favor of God.
We are called Reformed because we are indebted to the Reformation of the 16th century, which sought to reform the church and all of life according to the Bible alone. We are united to the churches of the Reformation by our adherence to such Biblical creeds as the Heidelberg Catechism (1563) the Belgic Confession (1561), the Canons of Dort (1619), and the Westminster Confession and Catechisms (1647). These documents clearly define the fundamental truths taught in Holy Scripture and provide us with a unity of belief in what the Bible teaches.
We are called Church (NT, ekklesia, assembly) because God is calling a people to assemble before him in worship. This church is built upon Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16-18). “Church” designates both the local body of united believers as well as that holy congregation of true Christians spread out and dispersed over the whole world yet joined and united with heart and will, by the power of faith, in one and the same Spirit.
We believe that God has called all who believe in Christ into fellowship with one another. This fellowship is called the church or congregation of Christ. In it God has given gifts to believers by which they can help each other mature in the Christian faith. Furthermore, because God is a God of order, He has also given men to lead, rule, teach, and disciple the members of the church of Christ . These men the Bible calls pastors and elders or overseers. Christ also gave deacons to care for the temporal needs of the church.
Rev. William Boekestein
Pastor Boekestein received his B.A. from Kuyper College and his M.Div. from Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. He has worked in residential construction and taught at a Christian school for several years. He and his wife have three children.
Rev. George W. Mall was born and raised in Sialkot Pakistan (then India) and has been ministering to Covenant Reformed Church (Carbondale, PA) since shortly after his arrival in the States in 1996. Rev. Mall was ordained to the ministry in 1954 after studying at the Theological Seminary of Gujranwala (Presbyterian) which was overseen by the church of Scotland. Pastor Mall was previously credentialed with the RCUS and served his present congregation for five years during a recent vacancy. He leads worship in our church several times a year and speaks nearly every month to the residents of local nursing homes. He has translated several Reformed works from English into Urdu, the language of Pakistan (including The Canons of Dort, and one chapter from Lorraine Boettner’s Roman Catholicism).
|Rev. George W. Mall
||S. George Mall
|Frank T. Tedesco
Our affiliation is with United Reformed Churches of North America.
On October 15, 2008, Covenant Reformed Church of Carbondale, Pennsylvania was received into provisional federation with Classis Eastern U.S. of the URCNA, pending her pastor sustaining a Colloquium Doctum. With God’s help, Classis Eastern U.S. granted Pastor William Boekestein a Classical Diploma on March 25, 2009. Covenant Reformed Church’s membership in the URCNA was ratified at Synod 2010.