Vision and Values
Our vision is to cultivate a community of Christians and locally-focused congregations that bring God's kingdom deeper into every neighborhood and institution in Greater Boston. This will happen as we live and love in such a compelling and Christ-like way as to challenge our neighbors to seriously consider the claims of Christ, be reconciled to God, and serve others in the unique ways God designed them to, so that Boston becomes a "city on a hill" that will be a blessing to the world.
The mission of Highrock Harvard Square is to see this vision realized in the homes, neighborhoods, universities, and institutions of Harvard Square, Cambridge, and Greater Boston.
Highrock Harvard Square Pastor
Made in Korea but born in the USA, John grew up in north-central New Jersey. Ever the skeptic, he didn’t become a believer until his first semester at Carnegie-Mellon in Pittsburgh where he connected with Intervarsity. Even after giving his life to Christ, his theological and scientific questions only deepened. This quest for answers led him to pursue undergraduate and graduate studies at Wheaton College in Illinois. He met his wife, Aimee, while attending Willow Creek Community Church. Their experience at Willow finally led John to believe not only in Jesus but in His church as well. After serving for several years as a ministry leader in Willow’s young adult ministry, John and Aimee moved to Massachusetts in 1998 to be part of a church start-up called Beacon Community Church. John served as a pastor at Beacon since 1999 and is very excited about his new role at Highrock. His family loves Highrock, too, including Aimee and their children Xander (11), Jazzie (10), and Eliza (8).
Highrock Harvard Square Campus Director
A Baltimore native, Walt attended the University of Maryland in College Park where he met his wife Jen. For the past decade he has served on staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship as a Campus Staff and an Area Director. In 2009, Walt and Jen moved to Cambridge for Jen's graduate education, and they began attending Highrock shortly thereafter. Walt didn't think Highrock could get any better until the Harvard Square Campus was launched, right in his backyard. He and Jen have been thrilled to be a part of that community and mission ever since. He likes nothing more than enjoying good food and drink with friends, and is pursuing graduate studies through Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
Highrock Harvard Square is part of the Highrock Network, which consists of a family of churches throughout Greater Boston. Specifically, Highrock Harvard Square is an extension of the ministry and mission of Highrock Arlington. Highrock Arlington launched the Harvard Sqaure Campus in the Fall of 2012.
Our denomination and COVENANT AFFIRMATIONS
We are a member of the Evangelical Covenant Church. The Evangelical Covenant Church seeks to form and nurture communities that are deeply committed to Jesus Christ and passionately engaged in Christ’s mission in the world.
Our essential beliefs are summed up in what we call Covenant Affirmations:
We affirm the centrality of the word of God. We believe the Bible is the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct. The dynamic, transforming power of the word of God directs the church and the life of each Christian. This reliance on the Bible leads us to affirm both men and women as ordained ministers and at every level of leadership. It is the reason we pursue ethnic diversity in our church and is the inspiration for every act of compassion, mercy, and justice.
We affirm the necessity of the new birth. The Apostle Paul wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17, TNIV). New birth in Christ means committing ourselves to him and receiving forgiveness, acceptance, and eternal life. It means being alive in Christ, and this life has the qualities of love and righteousness, joy and peace. New birth is only the beginning. Growing to maturity in Christ is a lifelong process for both individuals and communities of believers. God forms and transforms us—and it is through people transformed by Christ that God transforms the world.
We affirm a commitment to the whole mission of the Church. The early Covenanters were known as “Mission Friends”— people of shared faith who came together to carry out God’s mission both far and near. Mission for them and for us includes evangelism, Christian formation, and ministries of compassion, mercy, and justice. We follow Christ’s two central calls. The Great Commission sends us out into all the world to make disciples. The Great Commandment calls us to love the Lord our God and our neighbors as ourselves.
We affirm the Church as a fellowship of believers. Membership in the Covenant Church is by confession of personal faith in Jesus Christ and is open to all believers. We observe baptism and Holy Communion as sacraments commanded by Jesus. We practice both infant and believer baptism. We believe in the priesthood of all believers—that is, we all share in the ministry of the church. We also affirm that God calls some men and women into professional, full-time ministry. The church is not an institution, organization, or building. It is a grace-filled fellowship of believers who participate in the life and mission of Jesus Christ. It is a family of equals: as the New Testament teaches that within Christian community there is to be neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, but all are one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).
We affirm a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit. The Covenant Church affirms the Trinitarian understanding of one God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The New Testament tells us that the Holy Spirit works both within individuals and among them. We believe it is the Holy Spirit who instills in our hearts a desire to turn to Christ, and who assures us that Christ dwells within us. It is the Holy Spirit who enables our obedience to Christ and conforms us to his image, and it is the Spirit in us that enables us to continue Christ’s mission in the world. The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to us as individuals and binds us together as Christ’s body.
We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1, TNIV). This freedom is a gift of God in Christ, and it manifests itself in a right relationship with God and others. It is not a private gift to be used selfishly, but is given to serve the community and the world. For Paul, this freedom means that we are set free from the power of those things that on their own tend to divide. United in Christ, we offer freedom to one another to differ on issues of belief or practice where the biblical and historical record seems to allow for a variety of interpretations of the will and purposes of God. We in the Covenant Church seek to focus on what unites us as followers of Christ, rather than on what divides us.
You can find more resources on the Covenant Affirmations here.