Think Outside the Boat Download this book study or a past book study by clicking the button below. Download Discussion Questions: Share a specific time you experienced the presence of God. Describe a moment you took a risk because of your faith. What happened? Share 1-2 ways that your table can be praying for you this week.
The women of Covenant will kick off their fall Bible study circles this week. All women are invited to join the monthly study, Reconciling Paul: A Contemporary Study of 2 Corinthians. Paul’s writings are some of the most influential in Christianity, and interpretations of his ideas impact the way we think about moral issues today. Five circles gather monthly during the school year for Bible study, prayer, fellowship and mission. These groups — Deborah, Dorcas, Esther, Lydia and Sarah-Elizabeth — have been at Covenant since 1965, offering welcoming friendship for new and old members. Lesson One, The Promise and Problem of Paul, will be discussed at meetings on Tuesday, Sept. 9, and Thursday, Sept. 11. There are morning, noon and evening groups, so please check here for a time that fits your schedule. Circle Coordinator is Sandra Pruett, email@example.com or (512) 454-6919.
Your input is requested to assist the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee (APNC) in its interviews with candidates seeking to be Covenant’s next Associate Pastor for Discipleship. This pastor is responsible for age and stage ministries, such as children’s ministry, student ministry, young professionals ministry, and adult and older adult ministries, as well as discipleship programs. He or she will also set up ways for members to develop meaningful and lasting relationships while doing life together. Take the survey here. Find paper copies in the Narthex and in the lobby of the Fellowship and Education Building. Return them to the Covenant office, or scan and send to Kelly Dwyer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please return by Sept. 19. Take the survey here.
Church Women United (CWU) was founded in 1941 with the motto: Agreed to Differ, Resolved to Love, United to Serve. It is a racially, culturally and theologically inclusive Christian women’s movement, celebrating unity in diversity and working for peace and justice. The United Nations recognizes CWU as a nongovernmental (NGO) organization acting on behalf of women and children throughout the world. Women from Covenant are active in the leadership and life of the Austin chapter. The CWU Austin chapter is focused on following the 2012-2016 quadrennial priority of the national CWU, “Bringing God’s Shalom/Salaam to our World,” which is carried out by promoting: 1) the health and well-being of all people, 2) personal, communal and governmental decisions that express care for God’s creation, 3) peace through understanding, education, confession, forgiveness, reconciliation and non-violence, and 4) dignity, safety and economic opportunities for all. The CWU responds to this challenge though monthly programs that educate women so they can support a world filled with justice and mercy for all humankind. Four times a year, we celebrate our solidarity with Christian women everywhere with special programs, including the World Day of Prayer in March. Other meetings promote ecumenical action and spiritual development, and every month there is the opportunity to donate to a community service such as food pantries, nursing homes, day care and refugee services. Churches all over Austin take turns hosting meetings the first Friday of the month, September through May. Come for coffee at 9:30 a.m.; the program begins at 10 a.m. The schedule for Fall 2014 is below. For questions, please contact Covenant’s CWU Coordinator Susan Holman email@example.com or (512) 452-6890. Sept. 5: Oak Hill United Methodist Church, 7815 U.S. 290 West 78736 — Ecumenical Action Program: “Do Unto Others” with speaker Susan LaSalle, Church World Service Oct. 3: St. Mark United Methodist Church, 601 Braker Lane 78753 — Human Rights Celebration: “Through God, Our Hands Can Protect” Nov. 7: Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 1711 E. Oltorf St. 78741 — World Community Day: “Through God, Our Hands Can Heal”
Think Outside the Boat Download this book study or a past book study by clicking the button below. Download
Parent Orientation Meeting for Parents of children 2 years old through 6th Grade! Picture this – 2 hours of absolutely free childcare courtesy of the Children and Preteen Ministry Committee. That’s right. Too good to be true? Read on…. Who: Parents of children 2 years old through 6th grade that will attend Pre-school Place, Zone K-4 and Club 56 for the 2014-15 school year. When: Friday night, August 22 6:00pm -7:00pm: Parent Orientation Meeting Come hear all about our programming. Visit your child’s Sunday School room. Hear from an experienced teacher in each area. Find out how you can be a part of the fun! 7:00pm-9:00pm: Parent’s Night Out! Feel free to roam about the city unencumbered by the cares of the world! Have dinner with a spouse, special friend or all of your friends! Where: FEB 300 for Parents; FEB 200 Lobby check-in for children going to childcare (2 months-12 years old) What’s the catch? Just this: you must make a reservation for your child/children, 2 months-12 years old, 48 hours in advance. You can do this by emailing Jaclyn Black at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will provide pizza for their dinner. You may bring dinner for them if they are unable to eat pizza. IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS FABULOUS OFFER: We will have an alternative meeting time Sunday morning, August 24, 9:30-10:30 in FEB 300. No childcare reservations needed for the Sunday morning meeting. Check your children into their regular Sunday School class. Questions? Stacey Grooms will gladly answer them for you: email@example.com.
Although life seems to move at a slower pace during the summer, your Session continued to meet in June and July. We also participated in two events in the life of the larger church. Frank Sheppard, Don Davis and I represented Covenant at the Mission Presbytery meeting in San Antonio on June 6-7. We were a smaller group than Covenant normally sends and based on the size of our membership, Covenant will be allotted 10 Ruling Elder Commissioners for future Presbytery meetings. Elders currently serving on the Session attend at least one of the three meetings held each year. Other elders not presently serving on Session are also invited and needed to fill commissioner slots. At the June Presbytery meeting, Don Davis was commissioned to represent Mission Presbytery as one of our delegates to General Assembly. Don traveled to Detroit, studied and voted his conscience on the issues presented there. He gave a report to interested Covenant members on July 9. We appreciate his service to Covenant and to the PC(USA). At our June Session meeting, we heard reports from the Congregational Nominating Committee (CNC) and the Children’s Ministry Search Committee. Both groups are diligently working to fill Covenant’s interim positions with permanent staff. The Session called a congregational meeting on Aug. 3 to elect an Associate Pastor Nominating Committee (APNC) with a slate presented by the CNC. Also in June, Thomas Daniel’s family joined him in Austin and he was installed as our senior pastor. The installation was a joyful worship service with Presbytery participation and guest preacher Laura Mendenhall. Thomas was very brave in inviting his wife, Beth, to give him his charge, which she did with the assistance of their daughters, Miriam and Hannah. Please be especially welcoming to Beth, Miriam and Hannah as they settle into their new life in Austin. At our July meeting, we learned the Covenant Foundation had extended its dollar-for-dollar match of capital gifts to $350,000 in response and challenge to the congregation’s gifts that have already exceeded the foundations initial $250,000 challenge. Session authorized the Finance Committee and COO Duane Dube to work with our lender to reduce the debt by at least the amount of the funds raised during the campaign and potentially more. Thanks be to God for the generous and faithful congregation of givers at Covenant. Also in July, Session approved Covenant’s Wedding Policy as recommended by the Worship Committee and took action on the food service ministry. Based on information collected over the past year, we have a better understanding of our food costs for events such as Wednesday night dinners, VISIONS lunches and Men in the Word. Upon the Personnel Committee’s recommendation, we decided to restore the chef position to full time and bring back events that had been reduced in the budget cuts. We also authorized the creation of an oversight subcommittee and a budget cap to help Covenant be good stewards of this ministry. We’ve experienced more robust congregations in worship this summer when so many people are traveling due to our three-service worship model. We’ll begin a team-teaching model on Aug. 31 when we return to four services of worship. In the meantime, enjoy summer. Blessings, Melanie
This is an exciting time in the life of Covenant Presbyterian Church! During the summer, we’ve seen increased worship attendance, an incredible week of VBS for children, meaningful youth camps and active participation in Bible Studies for people of all ages. In addition, the congregation exceeded all expectations in your generous response to the debt reduction plan that was initiated by the Covenant Presbyterian Foundation. God is on the move in our midst and we are seeing great fruit all around! This fall, we will have more opportunities for you to grow in your relationship with God, with others in the Covenant family and in your service to the wider world. In September, we will introduce a new church-wide theme titled “Think Outside The Boat.” This theme is loosely based on the book If You Want to Walk on Water You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat by noted author John Ortberg. This book focuses on Matthew 14 when Simon Peter is invited to leave the other 11 disciples in a boat on the Sea of Galilee and join Jesus who is standing on the surface of the water. Peter finds the courage and faith to swing his legs over the side of the boat, stand up and experience the sensation of walking on the sea! Similarly, our fall theme will invite each of us to discern where we can take bold steps in our life to join the miraculous work of Jesus. In the coming weeks, there will be several ways for you to explore what it means to think outside the boat. First, on Sunday mornings in worship we will be inviting you to consider how God is calling you, and our entire church, to take exciting new steps of faith. Plan to make it a priority to be with us on Sunday mornings. Second, on Wednesday nights from 6:15-7:25, you are invited to join the pastoral teaching team, and people of all ages from the Covenant family, around tables to discuss assigned chapters from Ortberg’s book. The first meeting will be on Sept. 10. Please purchase a copy beforehand so you will be ready to learn about the first reading assignment that night. Finally, each of you is invited to consider how you can explore getting more connected with the Covenant community as many of our regular programs resume. On Sunday, Sept. 7, we will have our annual Party on the Patio between worship services. There, you’ll find all kinds of information on adult Sunday school classes, connection points for Children and Youth Ministries, small groups, and several opportunities to serve our city and our world. I want to invite each of you to consider how you can structure your time to get plugged into one of these opportunities, to experience God’s bold calling on your life, and to know the joy of joining Jesus on a walk that is life changing. Come, join us as we learn to Think Outside The Boat! Joyfully, Thomas
This fall, on Wednesday evenings, Thomas Daniel will lead a study on John Ortberg’s book: To Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat. The class begins Wednesday, Sept. 10, at 6:15 p.m. in FE 200. Come hungry, grab dinner and start reading! Please purchase the book in whatever format works best for you on Amazon or other source. For more information, contact Nikki McNabb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This fall, Covenant will have many opportunities for members and friends to grow in their relationship with God, with others in the Covenant family and in service to the wider world. Our new church-wide theme titled “Think Outside The Boat” is loosely based on the book If You Want to Walk on Water You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat by noted author John Ortberg. This book focuses on Matthew 14 when Simon Peter is invited to leave the other 11 disciples in a boat on the Sea of Galilee and join Jesus who is standing on the surface of the water. Peter finds the courage and faith to swing his legs over the side of the boat, stand up and experience the sensation of walking on the sea! Similarly, our fall theme will invite each of us to discern where we can take bold steps in our life to join the miraculous work of Jesus. There are several ways for all to explore what it means to think outside the boat. First, on Sunday mornings in worship, we invite congregants to consider how God is calling you, and our entire church, to take exciting new steps of faith. Second, on Wednesday nights from 6:15-7:25, all are invited to join the pastoral teaching team, and people of all ages from the Covenant family, around tables to discuss assigned chapters from Ortberg’s book. The first meeting will be on Sept. 3. Finally, we encourage members and friends to explore getting more connected with the Covenant community as many of our regular programs resume. Explore our website or contact Nikki McNabb to find out more about all the things going on at Covenant.