Michael Livingston, Former Executive Director, International Council of Community Churches and Past President of the National Council of Churches, speaking at Grace Covenant.
Grace Covenant Church purposefully speaks of itself as interdenominational rather than nondenominational. We have no problem with denominations but are led by the diversity of denominational backgrounds represented in our congregation and community to choose an alternative course. We are aligned with two like-minded organizations of churches--the International Council of Community Churches (ICCC) and the Alliance of Baptists. Both organizations are comparatively new and small. Both are strongly ecumenical and hold membership in the National Council of Churches. Both have strong traditions over their short lifetimes of standing for racial reconciliation, interfaith dialogue and a ministry of justice and peace.
The ICCC was organized in 1950 when two fellowships in the Community Church Movement joined in a historic merger. With one of the fellowships being primarily African-American and the other, primarily Caucasian, the union of the two groups represented the largest interracial merger of religious bodies in America. Strong bonds of friendship have developed over the last sixty years as the Council has dedicated itself to the work of Christian unity and reconciliation in human society.
Originating in 1987, the Alliance of Baptists has spread nationwide while establishing international partnerships with Baptists in Cuba, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Brazil. In its 25+ years, it has has consistently spoken to social-moral issues, beginning with its 1990 statementon Racism and Repentance and continuing with statements on Jewish-Christian and Muslim-Christian relations, human sexuality, environmental responsibility, U.S. relations with Cuba, and the death penalty. In 2003, the Alliance formalized a Partnership in Mission and Ministrywith the United Church of Christ and the Disciples of Christ, in anticipation of a shared ministry in the future.