How many churches are in ECO?
We currently have 391 congregations in ECO, as well as a few dozen churches that are in various stages of being planted. Other congregations are in the process of joining ECO. A current list of congregations and clergy, as well as an interactive map, can be found on this website. Congregations are also listed under their presbytery.
How many covenant partners (members) are in ECO?
There are over 127,000 covenant partners within ECO churches. The average size of an ECO congregation is approximately 400 members per church.
How many presbyteries are in ECO?
There are currently twenty-two presbyteries as of February 2018. A full list of presbyteries and the geography that they cover can also be found here.
How is ECO funded?
ECO receives 1% of a congregation’s annual budgeted expenses. This supports ECO nationally, but funds are also given to each of our local presbyteries. In the future, presbyteries may need to charge congregations a nominal amount to support a local budget, but ECO is committed to maintaining low administrative costs.
If a congregation wants to join ECO, when and how should they apply?
Applications can be obtained by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If a congregation is transferring from another denomination, applications to join ECO should be submitted:
At least 60 days prior to the congregation voting to join ECO. This way a congregation can know they are accepted by ECO before they go through a congregational vote.
At least 90 days prior to a congregation’s anticipated date of entering ECO. This timeframe allows the ECO benefits group to work with pastors and staff to ensure a smooth benefit transfer.
Ideally, the earlier applications are submitted, the better. However, submitting an application to ECO doesn’t mandate that a church then joins ECO.
What happens in the application process for a congregation?
After a session applies to ECO, the session will be interviewed by members of the ECO presbytery that they are seeking to join. Ideally, this interview is done in person, but it can also be done via phone or videoconference. After a successful interview, the session receives a letter that it will be received into the ECO presbytery pending dismissal from their judicatory.
If a congregation is independent prior to joining ECO, then the acceptance letter will state that they are received into membership when all necessary paperwork has been completed.