We distribute Covenant Matters on the first and third Sundays of each month during all traditional services. If you do not receive a physical copy, you can typically find one at the Covenant Hall front desk, in the Narthex or in the lobby of the Fellowship and Education Building.
March 25, 2018
Looking ahead: Lent and Easter
Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14. This is a special time for Christians as we look ahead to Easter. Start planning now for this important time. Covenant will have noon worship services on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by a light lunch. Maundy Thursday services will be held in different houses throughout the city (more information coming soon!) and Good Friday services are at 7:30 p.m. at Covenant. We celebrate His triumphant return on Easter Sunday, April 1.
Holy Week Services:
• Palm Sunday, March 25: Normal worship times
• Monday, March 26: Noon service and lunch
• Tuesday, March 27: Noon service and lunch
• Wednesday, March 28: Noon service and lunch
• Maundy Thursday, March 29: Fellowship and communion in homes
• Good Friday, March 30: 7:30 p.m.
Easter Sunday Services (April 1):
• Sunrise Service: Patio 6:30 a.m.
• Traditional Services: Sanctuary at 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m
• Contemporary Services: FE 200 at 9:30 and 11:05 a.m.
Maundy Thursday Fellowship
This year, Covenant will observe Maundy Thursday in a unique way at Covenant. On March 29, from 6 to 8 p.m., we will meet in homes throughout Austin for an evening of fellowship, a potluck meal and communion as we remember Jesus’ last evening with His disciples. These will be informal gatherings for the whole family. A few homes will be designated for preschool/elementary families. Sign up at covenant.org/maundythursday2018. This is sure to be a meaningful time together with our Covenant community. Contact Kathryn Sedberry for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Early Easter Brunch
Covenant will offer early Easter church-goers a fun brunch on the patio. Between the 6:30 a.m. sunrise service and the 8 a.m. traditional service, we will serve special breakfast biscuits outside.
Covenant Preschool is Taking Applications
Covenant Presbyterian Preschool is currently accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year! With classes for children from 9 months to 5 years, our half-day program is supported by a community of parents, teachers and children working together to provide high quality, play-based learning in a Christian environment. Visit our website covenant.org/preshool for more information or call (512) 454-8370 to schedule a tour of our facility.
Lenten Labyrinth Prayer & Meditation
Walk Covenant’s labyrinth during Lent! The labyrinth is in the southeast corner of the parking lot, and printed suggestions for walking can be found inside the gate. The labyrinth, used for prayer and meditation, helps us center on God by the physical act of intentionally walking a set path. Through walking, we are invited to center our thoughts on God and be open to the action of the Holy Spirit. Questions? Contact Congregational Care Committee member Judy Embrey, email@example.com. Judy will be at the labyrinth at 3 p.m. every Tuesday during Lent.
Student Ministry Summer Mission Trips
Summer camp sign ups have started for our student ministry participants. Incoming 7th and 8th grade students will travel to Oklahoma City, where they will be part of an amazing urban mission experience from June 18 – 22.
High school students, incoming 9th to 12 graders, will travel to Houston from July 9 – 13 where they will serve with CSM (City/Service/Mission).
The cost of both trips is $475 before April 1; $525 after. Find more information and links to the registration packet at covenant.org/student-ministries.
Wednesday Programming Notes
Covenant will NOT have evening programming on Wednesday, March 28. We will be serving dinner for small groups that are meeting on campus. However, children’s and student programs will not meet. On that day, we invite all to join us for a noon worship service for Holy Week followed by a light lunch.
Helping Arms and Hands Needed For Easter
Celebrate the Resurrection and the Life by holding and nurturing precious new lives! Covenant Children and Family Ministry is looking for people to help with our babies and preschoolers in childcare at the 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m. worship services on Easter. We want to help our families worship Easter morning. Sign up at covenant.org/nurseryhelp. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions. Thank you for serving our church family and our visitors.
Explore Membership in April
Covenant will offer a condensed version of its Explore Membership class in April. Those interested are invited to attend this session, which will take place on two Wednesday nights, April 11 and April 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. Childcare or Wednesday evening children’s activities are available. To learn more, contact Amy Skaggs at email@example.com.
MOMS Group meets April 2 & 16
The MoMs Group meets on the first and third Mondays of the month from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary Parlor. Please join us for coffee, a snack and fellowship with other moms.
On Monday, April 2, we will discuss responsible technology and media use. Come create a plan that will work for your family!
On Monday, April 16, we will talk about the upcoming summer and how to plan for camps, vacations and all the fun activities that the warmer weather brings. Come share your favorite scheduling tips!
Belize Share Night is April 11
The Belize Team is excited to share all about their week in Belize. The group will present on Wednesday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. in FE 200. This is a great opportunity to learn about our partnership with the Ebenezer Church in Belize and to learn how you can be part of this amazing journey.
Women’s Retreat at Mo Ranch
Please join the group of Covenant women who are heading to the Hill Country the weekend after Easter, April 6-8, for three days of fellowship, worship, singing, relaxing, and, if you are really motivated, a belly dancing workshop! The retreat begins with dinner Friday and ends before noon Sunday, all the time spent in one of those “thin places” where heaven and earth are very close. The theme, “Singing in the Rain,” will be carried out by our hosts, the Presbyterian Women of Gonzales Presbyterian Church. The retreat is open to all women from Mission Presbytery, “no prior experience necessary.” Scholarships for the cost of registration are available, some specifically for young women. Contact Suzanne McIntosh, firstname.lastname@example.org, or pick up registration materials in the office.
The Happiness Trap: Respond with Resiliance
If you struggle with self-defeating thoughts, insecurity, anxiety, depression or feeling stuck, this new group can help you live a more meaningful life. Members will learn Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT has been found to effectively help people deal with painful thoughts and feelings, reduce stress and worry, overcome insecurity and self-doubt and connect with and act on your highest values. The primary resource will be “The Illustrated Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living” by Russ Harris and Bev Aisbett. The group will meet Mondays for five weeks beginning April 2 from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. To register (there is a limit of 12 persons) or for more information contact Donald Zappone email@example.com or Marsha LeGrand at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring Dates for Career Transitions
Covenant’s spring program of Career Transitions starts on April 3. This class, which focuses on job finding strategies, is for those facing employment uncertainty or change. Participants are invited to attend one or all of the five sessions on Thursdays at 7 p.m. in FE 100. For more information, contact Kay Austin at email@example.com.
Register for VBS 2018! June 11 – 15
Get ready for the most fun and inspirational week of the year!
VBS is one of Covenant’s most intergenerational events. We are looking for NEW adults who want to serve our children and our community in this unique way. If you have a gift to share, contact Christy Milam at firstname.lastname@example.org. Even if you have limited time, we can use your help! Please note that parents of those attending VBS are required to volunteer.
VISIONS Activities Day April 3
Due to technical difficulties, our last Activities Day movie, “The Zookeeper’s Wife” (2017) , wasn’t shown. We will show it April 3. Games, bingo, and puzzles start at 10 a.m. in FE 200, lunch is at noon, and the movie will be shown at 1 p.m. Guests are welcome. Donations are accepted for lunch and reservations are not required. For more information contact Sue Gunnels (214) 403-7981.
Armchair Travelers – Across New England
Join us on Thursday, April 5, as Jeanne Sparlin and Rob Barrington share scenes from their three-month RV travels across New England to visit presidential sites, sites related to American history, fun places and food places (lobster rolls). Note special location: We will meet in FE 200 at 7 p.m. with refreshments during the intermission. Armchair Travelers is open to anyone who enjoys travel and good fellowship. For more information contact Marv Hackert at email@example.com.
Be the Match Bone Marrow Registry
If you are between the ages of 18 and 44, in generally good health and willing to donate bone marrow, look for the Be The Match table this Sunday, March 25, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the patio. You will spend 5 to 10 minutes completing a demographic information sheet and self-collect DNA via cheek swab. You will be on the registry until your 61st birthday. This table is supporting a campaign that a Covenant family – the Furlongs – are undertaking to recruit bone marrow donors in honor of their nine-year-old daughter, Riley, who is being prepped for a bone marrow transplant after a recent leukemia relapse. She has found her match and wants to make sure everyone in need is able to find theirs, too!
Rebuilding Together in Houston
Covenant members have responded with love, generosity and perseverance over the past months bringing hope to crisis for so many in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Covenant members have been the hands and feet of Christ in much of the coastal areas of Texas. The focus now is shifting from disaster relief to rebuilding and restoring homes and lives. We need volunteers to deploy to Houston May 15-17. We will work with Rebuilding Together Houston. Bring skills in carpentry, drywall, insulation, painting or just a heart to help. Contact Steve Bissell, (512) 658-8178, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.
Cuba: Thin Places and the Quiet Center
Thin places and a quiet center, experienced by 196 Covenant members who have traveled to Cuba, are undergoing rapid dramatic pressures of change. Please prayerfully consider joining Cuba ministry trip veterans on our 38th ministry visit to our sister church in a poor Havana barrio. We enter Cuba under religious visas issued by the Cuban government, requiring registration completion many months before our late October/early November trip. Preference is given to the first 15 Covenant members completing registration by June 3. For more information, visit with Cuba veterans on the patio, view the Cuba ministry display on the east side of the patio kiosk or visit covenant.org/cuba. Contact Jack Kern at email@example.com for an application.
Austin Samaritans Mission Trip
Austin Samaritans mission trip to Nicaragua will take place from April 28 to May 5. The Samaritans invite you to prayerfully consider joining this amazing opportunity to share God’s love and grow in relationship with our broader Christian Community. Our time will be spent adding an additional classroom at Club Cristiano School, handing out reading glasses and painting Biblical Murals at Colegio Cristiano Presbiteriano School. For more information and applications, please visit austinsamaritans.org or call (512) 465-2073.