View Bulletins— 8:15 930, 11
The Covenant Presbyterian Foundation (CPF) is sponsoring a matching campaign for the Fellowship and Education Building. The CPF will match dollar for dollar the money earmarked for the capital campaign, up to $250,000. This means that we can potentially reduce our debt by $500,000.The program has started and will run unti July 31, 2014. Members should indicate “matching program” on checks or contributions, which can be made at the church office, in worship or online at covenant.org/donate. if you would like more information, contact Duane Dube at email@example.com.
View bulletins: 8:15 and 9:30 and 11
View bulletins: 8:15, 9:30 and 11
“There is no way 11 members of a committee can agree on one person,” That was the message Senior Pastor Nominating Committee (SPNC) member Diane Davis got from a friend. That friend was wrong! On Sunday, Feb. 9, the SPNC announced to the congregation that the committee unanimously voted for the Rev. Dr. Thomas R. Daniel to be our next senior pastor. Thomas is the pastor at Kairos Church in Atlanta, Ga., a church he helped to start with seven people in 2007. Today, the church has moved three times to accommodate the more than 300 people who attend the church The Long Process to a Call The committee became interested in Thomas this summer, when he was one of 12 candidates to make a short list, and one of four to be called for a second interview. He was the sole candidate to have the unanimous support of the committee. Thomas and his wife Beth visited Austin in August and the committee unanimously agreed to call him to Covenant. After several days of prayer and consideration, Thomas declined the offer. He did leave the door open to future discussions and made suggestions about organizational issues facing Covenant that he felt needed to be addressed in order for our church to be attractive to potential pastors. The SPNC continued seeking our senior pastor, interviewing seven candidates, but not reaching a consensus on any one. Meanwhile, the Session began addressing the issues that concerned Thomas. The SPNC sent him a letter thanking him for considering our call and for his feedback. Upon receiving the letter, Thomas invited the committee to join him in two weeks of intense prayer. After a video conference in which the committee and Thomas felt the Holy Spirit, he returned to Austin. He observed church services at Covenant, toured neighborhoods, and met Covenant Associate Pastors Jill Williams and Munn Hinds. The SPNC unanimously agreed to issue another call to Thomas. This time, Thomas accepted, telling the SPNC he is excited about coming to Covenant. SPNC Member Insights At the meeting on Sunday, each member of the SPNC gave a short summary of why Thomas stood out. Members repeatedly talked about Thomas’ Christ-inspired confidence and assuredness, his discernment, joyfulness, and engaging straightforward manner. Here are a few comments from various members: Clark Weatherby, Session liaison: “It was his pastoral nature that led him from being a candidate to THE candidate.” Allison Dwyer: “He can preach!” Julie Stillwell: “His joyfulness struck me. He is a joyful Christian!” Regina Schlotter: “Discernment was the key word for us. Thomas told us, ‘the difference between decision and discernment is prayer.’” Steve Martens: “He was a fit on paper. He was a fit on the phone, in the pulpit, on podcasts, and in person.” Steve added that Thomas’ church met their annual budget goal in nine months. The next week they took the weekly offering plate and gave it to missions. Nola Ross: “I liked his sense of humor. Meeting him and his wife sealed the deal for me.” Joy Baskin: “I was impressed with his commitment to his family. Thomas is concerned about where his entire family is called. Their intention is to lay down roots for many years to come.” Thomas is married to Beth and they have two daughters, Miriam Grace and Hannah Joy, third and first graders respectively. Beth, a native of Wales in Great Britain, is finishing her Doctor of Ministry from Columbia in May. Born and raised in Atlanta, Daniel graduated from Davidson College. After teaching English in Japan for two years, he attended and Columbia Theological Seminary, graduating with a Masters of Divinity in 2003 and a Doctor of Ministry in 2011. While in seminary, Thomas worked for three years as the Director of College Ministry at North Avenue Presbyterian Church. Upon graduation, he served there as Associate Pastor for Evangelism before serving as Co-Pastor and Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church of Evanston, Ill. Covenant is thrilled to welcome him to Austin and to our church family. The congregation will get the chance to meet him and his family on Feb. 19 at Wednesday dinners, which run from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thomas officially starts at Covenant on April 1 and will first preach on Sunday, April 6.
Meet the Rev. Dr. Thomas Daniel at Wednesday Dinner on Feb. 19 The Rev. Dr. Thomas Daniel has accepted the call to be Covenant’s Senior Pastor and Head of Staff. Members affirmed the call at a congregational meeting on Sun., Feb 9. Rev. Daniel will start on April 1. His first Sunday in the pulpit will be April 6. The Daniels will visit Austin from Feb. 19-22 and will be at our Wednesday dinner on Feb. 19, which runs from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Come and meet our new pastor that night in Fellowship Hall. If you plan to eat dinner, please email Melissa Martin. The Rev. Dr. Thomas Daniel comes to Covenant from Kairos Church in Atlanta, Ga., where he was the organizing co-pastor. The new church development launched in September 2007 with seven people, and quickly grew to more than 300 members. Born and raised in Atlanta, Thomas graduated from Davidson College. After teaching English in Japan for two years, he attended Columbia Theological Seminary, graduating with a Masters of Divinity in 2003 and a Doctor of Ministry in 2011. While in seminary, Thomas worked for three years as the Director of College Ministry at North Avenue Presbyterian Church. Upon graduation, he served as Associate Pastor for Evangelism at the same church before serving as Co-Pastor and Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church of Evanston, Ill. Thomas is married to Beth, who will finish her Doctor of Ministry from Columbia in May. They have two daughters: Miriam Grace is a third grader and Hannah Joy is in the first grade.
View Bulletins— 8:15, 9:30, 11:00
Do you love Vacation Bible School at Covenant? Do you appreciate weird animals? Do you get a kick out of teaching kids about God’s unconditional love? You may be the perfect person to lead Covenant’s 2014 VBS team! Covenant’s children and preteen ministry team is looking for a few individuals to step up and provide the leadership for this year’s VBS. While the need is prompted by Covenant’s smaller children’s staff, the shift to lay leadership running bigger events is a positive move. “This is an opportunity for people who have these gifts to use them and put their mark on VBS,” said Children and Preteen Interim Director Stacey Grooms. “They can bring their perspectives and their talents to the job.” Specifically, the VBS lay leadership team should consist of a director (or co-directors), an assistant director and a registration/admin person. “The director should be someone who loves VBS, “Stacey said. “The person needs to be able to juggle multiple responsibilities and tasks, and be very positive and excited about the week.” Stacey added that Covenant already has all the information in place. “We have a system, we have volunteers who have been leading key stations every year, and we have the materials. This lay leader will be responsible to recruit the right people and then manage them.” Covenant staff will support the person in charge. Stacey said she will provide all the resources and advice, and show the team how it all works. She and the rest of the staff are also willing to be at any station where the leader needs help. VBS is the first recent, major children’s event that will be run by lay leadership. “We are going to start using lay leadership teams for all of our events. We’ll also recruit help for Advent Event, and Trunk or Treat.” Stacey pointed to Upward Basketball as a good example of a program that went from staff-run to volunteer-driven. The program, in its second year of lay leadership, is stronger than ever. “Lay leadership makes programs better. It encourages people who might not otherwise to step up and take a leadership role in areas where they are super qualified. It will be fun to see the positive changes this shift produces.” To volunteer or to learn more, contact Stacey at firstname.lastname@example.org or (512) 334-3005.