At Bridge, you’ll find people with a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences, and ages. Some of us are single, some are married. Some have children, some do not. Some are retired, some are unemployed. We are brown, and black, and white. We celebrate different cultures and different languages, and that’s the way we like it.
It takes extra time, patience, and grace to be a community with all the differences between us. But, with the help of our God who created all these different peoples and differences, we like to think we come to know God better and be the people God wants us to be better if we go the extra bit to live in community.
Come and find out who we are! Share yourself with us!
SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP TEAM
Bridge is a congregationally led church. Covenant Members recommend and approve leadership, participate in ministries, and take action on approving budgets (among many other things!) The Spiritual Leadership Team (SLT) is chosen to be responsible to the congregation for building, maintaining and overseeing the spiritual welfare of the church and for directing and overseeing all ministries and business affairs of the church. (For more information, ask to see a copy of our constitution and bylaws. Please feel free to contact them for Bridge related topics (our emails end with bridgecovenant.org).
Our current SLT includes:
Jennie Pino (co-chair), slt@
• special focus: team and gift building
Olivia Sanchez (treasurer), olivia@
•special focus: finance team
Kim Ogren (unassigned), kim@
Carmen and Scott Bensink Lewis (serving ex officio as pastor’s at Bridge)
•special focus: finance team, hospitality team, women’s ministry, reconciliation team
•special focus: music team, bridgeKIDS, facilities
Carmen and Scott are both ordained to Word and Sacrament by the Evangelical Covenant Church.
Carmen believes God is always preparing us for the next step in our lives. She has seen this happen time and again in her own life as she has courageously followed Jesus’ call to foreign places. Her love for different cultures (specifically the Spanish-speaking community) has developed as she’s served God in a variety of contexts and places.
Carmen’s world view and deep conviction that every person has equal and inherit value has been shaped by her work with Habitat for Humanity International and the Evangelical Covenant Church. While leading teams to Central America with Habitat for Humanity, Carmen was captivated by the vastness and diversity of God’s kingdom. As a missionary in Colombia she was exposed to (and participated in) a holistic approach to sharing the love of Christ which she hopes will always shape the way she engages people and ministry.
After time in Colombia, Carmen knew serving God was the call of her life. She moved back home to Salem, Oregon and began working with Young Life, specifically with a ministry called Vida Joven (a Young Life club created for Spanish-speaking youth). Recognizing her gifts for preaching and pastoring, people in her church often asked when she was going to attend seminary. She finally said “yes,” and moved to Chicago in 2005 to study at North Park Theological Seminary.
Her husband Scott arrived on campus from Montana in 2006. Carmen was instantly interested in Scott, but he was in Chicago to study. (Dating was out of the picture!) After a year of friendship, Scott realized he was interested in something other than studying: Carmen! They were married in December of 2007, and moved to Salem in 2010 to plant Bridge Covenant Church.
Carmen enjoys gardening and being creative. She adores her nieces and nephews and feels fortunate to be close to her family during this season of life. Carmen has always had a love for nature and appreciated the beauty of God’s creation. However, her exposure to wilderness has been expanded as she enjoys hiking, skiing, and camping with Scott.
Carmen’s friends say she is transparent, compassionate, loving, adventurous, honest and passionate. Her 5-year old niece Brooklyn says her tia is “cool!”
Thanks for taking the time to read a little bit of Carmen’s story. Carmen enjoys sharing her story with others and believes the journey of faith cannot be lived alone. Most recently her faith has been stretched by infertility and cancer. She’d love to meet you and hear your story. You can connect with her at 5-0-3.409.31-31 or at carmen-at-bridgecovenant.org.
Scott Bensink Lewis, co-planter & co-pastor
Scott was born and raised in Montana, and thinks its one of the greatest places…EVER!
But, he likes to think of OR as MT’s sister state. There are a lot of similarities! There are a lot of differences too. Scott loves the variety of people in Oregon. Oregon is home to a huge and exciting Spanish-speaking population, and that’s one of the main reasons Carmen and Scott are here!
Scott has many interests. Carmen, for instance. And his 2-year old son Gideon. And the outdoors. And the indoors, too! Scott loves to get out into the mountains for all manner of sport and activity, all year long. He goes out on his own when he can’t find a partner, but he loves to get out with old and new friends, too.
When he’s indoors he might be reading, or designing something on his Mac, or watching a movie. He likes to do that with friends, too!
Scott feels very blessed to be co-planter and co-pastor of Bridge Covenant Church. He doesn’t take either of those callings lightly, and he is very excited and honored to be serving this small new community. He is learning more about Jesus every day, and hopes he can help you learn along with him!
P.S. That’s just a bit about Scott. He’ll gladly tell you more and he’d be honored to learn more about you.
Scott is on facebook, or can be reached at 5zero3.931.4zero50. Or write Scott a note: scott@