FAQs about The Brook's Integration into Sanctuary Covenant Church 

What does an “integration” mean?
The Brook Community Church will join and become a part of the congregation of Sanctuary Covenant Church. This means that, as of January 1st, 2024, The Brook will be dissolved as a religious non-profit organization and all assets will be transferred to Sanctuary Covenant Church. Pastor Edrin C. Williams will continue as the Lead Pastor of Sanctuary and Pastor Seth Martin will join the Sanctuary staff as a member of the Teaching Team and the Director of Formation, and will serve as a part of Pastor Edrin’s Staff Lead Team.
Why are we doing this integration?
The discussion about a potential ministry collaboration with the leadership of The Brook and Sanctuary began in July 2023 and involved much prayer and interaction. Since 2019, the Lord had placed the desire for greater collaboration in ministry on the heart of Pastor Edrin and confirmed that desire in Pastor Seth, and with counsel, they prayerfully considered the question: could we do more for God’s glory united than we are alone? By combining, integrating, and unifying the people and resources of The Brook with Sanctuary, it is our hope to achieve a greater common purpose: doing life and ministry together as a vibrant, healthy, local expression of God’s church.
One specific driver of this integration is the addition of Pastor Seth and his unique pastoral giftings to Sanctuary as a second, seminary-trained pastor with a deep appreciation for and connections to the Black, Chrisitian tradition. Upon integration, he and Pastor Edrin will assume the vast majority of the Sunday preaching and Pastor Seth will be a key voice in development of the annual preaching calendar and themes at Sanctuary.
Who will preach each Sunday?
Pastor Edrin will continue to lead as Senior Pastor and Pastor Seth Martin will join the Sanctuary staff as a member of the Teaching Team, preaching approximately 50% of weekends, and the Director of Formation, and will serve as a part of Pastor Edrin’s Staff Lead Team. Pastor Edrin and Pastor Seth will both assume the vast majority of Sunday preaching with other members of the Teaching Team preaching on occasion.
Will there be ministry opportunities at Sanctuary Covenant?
There are many opportunities for serving in ministry at Sanctuary to prayerfully consider, both on Sundays and through the week. Volunteers can serve as a part of the Super Greeter Team, Tech Team, Worship & creative arts, Children’s Ministries (Royal Hood & Mosaic), Care Ministry, Neighboring Team, and Facilities Care, among others.
What are the financial liabilities?
The Brook is debt free and brings no financial liabilities into its integration into Sanctuary. Sanctuary Covenant Church has an annual budget of about $1.2 million. It is the plan for Sanctuary to cover expenses for hiring Pastor Seth and his administrator from the current level of giving. Those interested in more information on the current budget and finances of Sanctuary are invited to attend the Sanctuary All-Church Meeting on January 20th, 2024.
What will happen to The Brook’s staff and volunteers?
Pastor Seth and his administrator would be the only staff of The Brook Church joining the Sanctuary staff at this time. Other staff, who were either volunteer or contractors, would be free to apply for open positions at Sanctuary in the future.
Sanctuary’s Board of Elders consists of the Lead Pastors and a group of lay members selected to 3-year teams by the congregation. Day-to-day church leadership is led by the staff under the leadership of the Staff Lead Team, which consists of the Lead Pastor, Executive Pastor, and Director of Operations. Pastor Seth would be invited to join that team upon hire.  
What will the worship services be like?
Worship services at Sanctuary take place on Sunday mornings at 9:00 & 11:00am with children’s ministry programming available for children from birth through high school during both services. There are typically between 600-700 people in attendance in person and online over both services on a given Sunday. Sanctuary’s worship services are intended to be a weekly touch-point for members and regular attenders to gather for celebration, encouragement, prayer, and biblical preaching. The music is a blend of urban contemporary, Christian contemporary with “seasoning added,” and maintains a place of honor for traditional gospel hymns, anthems, and songs. Sanctuary includes a choir at various times of the year and the dance ministry is being relaunched with a vision to minister monthly. The worship values & aims of Sanctuary are to be: Story-Driven, Participatory, Excellent, Artistically Creative, & Culturally Diverse.
How will current membership be transferred?
Covenant membership is an important part of congregational life at Sanctuary and the Membership Matters course is a half-day church membership course taught several times a year. The course covers the history & ethos of Sanctuary and the history & ethos of the Covenant Church, walking carefully through the Covenant Affirmations: the biblical and theological values that connect Covenant churches to each other and to the broader Christian Church. After completing the Membership Matters course, individuals apply to become Covenant members. Once approved, they are inducted and celebrated as Covenant members during a worship service.
Present members and attendees of The Brook will have the opportunity to gain Covenant Membership by going through the Membership Matters process and completing the membership application.
How will I transfer my giving and tithing from The Brook to Sanctuary?
All recurring and end-of-year gifts to The Brook can be given through The Brook’s giving platform on PushPay through December 31st, 2023. As of January 1st, 2024, The Brook’s giving platform will be terminated and all future recurring and one-time gifts will be canceled.
At that point, recurring and one-time gifts can be setup through Sanctuary’s giving website, by searching for Sanctuary Covenant Church in the Church Center App, by sending a text message with the dollar amount you want to give to 84321, or by sending a check to Sanctuary Covenant Church, 710 West Broadway, Minneapolis, MN 55411.
Will our denominations and affiliations change?
Sanctuary is a congregational church that is a part of the Evangelical Covenant Church (www.covchurch.org) through whom all its pastors are credentialed. Although affiliated with the ECC, Sanctuary owns their property, chooses their own leaders, and determines their own values, vision, and budgets. Sanctuary will continue that affiliation with the Covenant Church after the integration.
The Brook was planted as a church in the Southern Baptist Convention but chose to disaffiliate in 2021 and has since been non-denominational. Sanctuary and the Brook have compatible orthodox, evangelical theological beliefs that place a high value on the Bible as God’s word, new life in Christ, discipleship, and justice. While women serving in the role of senior pastor is not the precedent at The Brook, we understand the Covenant theology reaffirms the biblical basis for the full participation of women in the ministries of the church and has ordained women for over 50 years.
Members will have the opportunity to become Covenant members as a part of the ECC denomination upon joining Sanctuary.
What will happen to the supported ministries and organizations of The Brook (Truth House, Cru)?
No ministries or non-profits supported by The Brook will be adopted as a part of this integration.
What is the timeline for integration?
November 2023 - Pastor Edrin made presents Elders with discussion about The Brook’s integration
Mid-December 2023 - Pastor Seth hired into Formation/Teaching Team role
December 16th, 2023 - Final worship service of The Brook Community Church
December 23rd, 2023 - Christmas Eve service at Sanctuary Covenant Church
December 31st, 2023 - No in-person service, online worship with Sanctuary or join Pastor Seth as he preaches at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church
January 7th, 2024 - Inaugural Integration Service: Pastor Seth is announced as Director of Formation and the integration of The Brook is celebrated as a congregation
January 14th, 2024 - Starting Point lunch held for those interested in meeting leaders at Sanctuary and having questions answered.
February 4th, 2024 - Membership Matters class for those interested in becoming a member of Sanctuary
What are my next steps?
1. If you are a member or regular attender of The Brook, we invite you to prayerfully consider attending and pursuing membership with Sanctuary Covenant Church. We believe that God has knit our community together in a unique way and it is our strong desire to continue to do missional life together as a part of the larger community of kindred saints at Sanctuary.
2. As you are able, continue to give to support the end-of-year expenses at The Brook through December 31st, 2023. Set a reminder to transfer giving to Sanctuary’s giving platform in 2024.
3. Continue to attend worship with The Brook through the final worship service on December 16th. Make a plan for worship on December 24th (Sanctuary’s Christmas Eve service ) and December 31st (online with Sanctuary or with Fellowship Missionary Baptist as Pastor Seth preaches). Join us for the Inaugural Integration Service at Sanctuary on Sunday, January 7th, 2024.
4. Pray that the Lord would continue to guide the steps of his saints towards the building up of his Church. Pray that all of us may be one so that the world may believe that the Father has sent Jesus and has loved them even as he has loved his Son (John 17:20-23).