Unclear. Sure, they do all kinds of nice things in Arlington, like fund a part time social worker for the town and run what sounds like a bang-up Xmas pageant. But they are _also_ affiliated with ECC; they are an Evangelical Covenant Church.
I'm a single-issue sort of person. So when when I want to know precisely what kind of church I'm dealing with, I look at two things, in order: what do they have to say about abortion, and just exactly which brand of awful are they about marriage equality (and believe me, I am overjoyed whenever I stumble across a congregation of truly loving people who truly understand that we are all responsible for our own selves, and should be supported in our own decision making. But boy, is that rare.).
Here is the 1994 ECC statement on abortion.
Here is the relevant sentence: "However, we recognize that in some tragic instances abortion may need to be considered to safeguard the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest."
Here is the 2004 ECC statement on abortion.
Here is the _same sentence_, with a key change. "However, we recognize that in some tragic instances abortion may need to be considered to safeguard the life of the mother."
Apparently, Highrock is affiliated with an organization that thinks a child impregnated by her father should bring that kiddo to term, unless doing so will kill her.
It may be a wonderful Xmas pageant. But that position is Immorality. It is what happens when people who are lucky enough never have to make a hard decision expend several paragraphs distracting you from how they are going to judge you for doing something that they've never had to deal with.
I'm sure you've already figured out how they stand on marriage equality, but just in case you haven't:
"to care for persons involved in sexual sins such as adultery, homosexual behavior and promiscuity, compassionately recognizing the potential of these sins to take the form of addiction."
They haven't updated this position, altho they do file this statement under sexuality, without any explanation of why within the statement.
Truly, they have no idea how much of the problem they really are.
Anyway. If you happen to run across Highrock, know this. They're smart, well-educated, and they are diverse in a way that, sadly, a lot of congregations are not diverse, especially in the Boston area. Don't let that distract you from the _lack_ of diversity in certain other core areas -- or from the profound failure of empathy that underlies the larger organization with which they are affiliated.
Also, you know, Park Street Church connection. A word to the wise is sufficient, amirite?
ETA: On the off chance that some of my readers are going, yeah, but you know maybe the Acton plant is kind of a renegade, nicer group within ECC, not really connected to the highest, policy setting levels of the organization, contemplate the fact that Rebecca Barnett was a candidate for ECC's Executive Board this calendar year.
ETAYA: I love the internet. This kind of research used to take hours, and I often wound up having to go to the library, because while I owned several denominational references, they were rarely detailed to up to date enough to answer the questions I had.