Blog

A Scripture a Day: Gifts of Grace

Thomas Daniel suggested in his sermon on Sunday that we read scripture daily this week, as we ponder the fruits of the spirit and try to live out our eulogy virtues. Following are suggestions for how to read scripture, followed by the daily verses. Schedule 15 minutes each day this week to spend time in God’s Word.  Find a quiet space to be present with God. Turn off technology, and before you read, say a prayer for God to open your mind and heart to the power of His... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Sunday, September 22, 2019

"Gifts of Grace" Sermon Series Starts September 22

Covenant will embark on a new sermon series titled "Gifts of Grace" on Sept. 22. For nine weeks, we'll journey through Galatians 5 as the Bible goes into a great deal of detail of what is truly valuable and worth something in this world, the fruits of the spirit. Each week, the Covenant pastors will consider how we cultivate these gifts. According to Thomas Daniel, it's not as simple as 'learn it and do it.' These are gifts that have to be received before they can... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Friday, September 20, 2019

Cheryl Banks Awarded Lifetime PW Honor

Covenant member Cheryl Banks was awarded the Honorary Life Membership in Presbyterian Women at the PW annual kick-off luncheon on Aug. 28. This honor goes to a woman whose life exemplifies faithful service and/or leadership in the work of the church.  Since joining Covenant in 2001, Cheryl – a pediatrician – has been a church leader in many areas, most significantly in Manos, mission and music. She has been teaching Manos ESL (English as a Second Language) classes for... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Thursday, August 29, 2019

Explore Membership at Covenant

Dictionary.com defines speed dating as an organized social activity in which people seeking romantic relationships have a series of short conversations with potential partners in order to determine whether there is mutual interest. At Covenant’s Explore Membership classes, Visitor and New Member Coordinator Amy Skaggs takes this dating concept in a different direction. As part of the four new member classes she holds each year, attendees engage in speed dating – Covenant style.... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Covenant Volunteers Help Rebuild Houston

Summary of Covenant Disaster Relief Team Trip -- June 2019 Covenant is helping to rebuild Houston. Seven members, the largest crew from Covenant since the 2017 Hurricane Harvey, traveled to east Houston the last weekend in June. Volunteering for Rebuilding Together Houston (RTH), the team was assigned a home in the Fifth Ward where Tony Trahan and his sister Agnes Harper live with a daughter as their caregiver. ( V olunteers and licensed contractors for RTH repair the homes of... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Friday, July 26, 2019

Seeing Homelessness with New Eyes

by Henry Sedberry Editor's note: Henry recently returned from the Middle School Mission Trip to Oklahoma City. He shares his experience with us here:  I had just gotten back from a long trip the day before Covenant middle school students left for our mission trip to OKC. You would think I would’ve packed ahead of time and gotten everything ready for the trip so I wouldn’t have to stay up super late and just throw everything in a bag. Sorry to disappoint, but... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Friday, July 12, 2019

The Entrepreneurial Spirit of SYM

by Paul Mowry Before Covenant missionary Terry Cole left a high-tech career to found St reet Youth Ministry (SYM) in 2008, he was known as an innovator. Working at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), he led teams that made key contributions during the early development of wireless networking technology (what we blithely take for granted today as "WiFi"). Terry’s high-tech work is history, but his knack for innovation lives on. As SYM serves street-dependent youth living just... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Monday, July 8, 2019

Children and Family Activities Sign-up

Covenant Children and Family Ministry has activities for fun and to learn about our programming and how you can be a part of it!  Join Covenant Children and Family Ministry for our Back-to-School party. This will be a night of pizza, fun and an introduction to our 2019-2020 programming on Aug. 16 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Kids will eat pizza and play in the gym while parents and volunteers learn about all the offerings in Children and Family Ministry. This is a great time to get plugged in... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Monday, July 1, 2019

Welcome Ali

Alison "Ali" Bolsinger jumped in with both feet as Covenant’s new Director of Middle School Ministries. Ali graduated from Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., at the end of May and by June 17, she was on her way to Oklahoma City with a group of 26 Covenant middle school students, and high school and adult leaders. Armed with a degree in Christian ministries with a concentration in pastoral ministries as well as four years of experience working with students through Young Life,... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Friday, June 28, 2019

The Rhoades to Adventures.net

The year was 1976 when Mike and Ruth Rhoades started volunteering with Covenant kids. You remember that, right? It was the U.S. Bicentennial! Jimmy Carter was president; Bruce Jenner won the Olympic men’s decathlon; Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak formed Apple Computer; Emily Howell Warner became the first female pilot of a major U.S. airline; Rocky and A Star is Born were tops at the box office. Forty-three years later, much has changed -- but not everything. A Star is Born is... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Jill's Upcoming Sabbatical

Dear Covenant family, Beginning July 1, I will begin a three-month sabbatical, a request Covenant’s Session graciously approved at the end of 2018. I have been curious about the possibility of a sabbatical for some time but the timing has not been right for me personally or professionally. With Session’s blessing, I will soon step into the generous gift of sabbatical. The last twelve years at Covenant have been an amazingly rich time of ministry and shared life. The idea of... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Michael Shuman at Covenant

Michael Shuman started in early June as Covenant’s Director of Music Ministry. Michael most recently served as Director of Music Ministries at First United Presbyterian Church (FUPC) in Fayetteville, Ark. He has also been an adjunct instructor at the University of Arkansas. Michael sat down last week with our interim music director Louise Avant to answer some questions about himself and his journey to Covenant. Watch it online and/or read much of the conversation below.  ... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Covenant Lends a Hand

By Julie Weeks Covenant members put their faith into action in partnership with Austin Voices for Education and Youth and the Central Texas Food Bank Covenant has partnered with Allen and Julie Weeks and Austin Voices for Education and Youth (AVEY) to bless and serve kids and families in the St. John community and at Webb Middle School for more than a decade. Through the school-based Family Resource Centers, families are screened for social service needs including basic needs,... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Friday, June 7, 2019

Thanks Teachers, Lunch is on Us!

Covenant’s Koinonia and Kairos Sunday School classes combined efforts and resources to observe Teacher Appreciation Week by providing a luncheon for teachers and staff at Webb Middle School on May 6. Class members donated $250 and Covenant's Mission Committee added $300 to cover costs. Koinonia members Florence Atiase, Robbie Albracht, Rick Gerber, Kathy Willis and Lynn Bell helped prepare the meal. “We were delighted to provide this... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Thursday, May 23, 2019

Lynda MacQueen: Preschool for 25 Years ... and Counting

Messy notes and hand-drawn pictures hang from the wall in Lynda MacQueen’s classroom at the Covenant Preschool and Child’s Day Out. Happy kids walk in, giving her a hug, a high five or a cheery “Hi!” This has been happening for 25 years; that’s how long Lynda has been teaching the 4’s class there. The remarkable thing about her tenure: “I think I can remember every kid I’ve taught, and I can remember something quirky about each one of them,”... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Thursday, May 9, 2019

Covenant Hires Michael Shuman as Director of Music Ministry

Covenant has hired Michael Shuman to serve as our Director of Music Ministry. Michael, most recently, has served as Director of Music Ministries at First United Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville, Ark. He has also been an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Arkansas. While in Arkansas, Michael has worked on numerous musical events in the community, including collaborating with the University of Arkansas, John Brown University, area high schools, community theatre groups and... Read More
Posted by Erin Becker at Thursday, April 25, 2019

IMF Formation Cohorts

The Institute for Missional Formation, or IMF, prepares men and women from Covenant to take their place in God’s mission in the world. A key way that we do this is through Formation Cohorts. Covenant's first cohort, a trial run that Covenant’s three pastors as well as three of our members journeyed through with two other churches, was launched in fall 2017. Currently, three more cohorts of 20 people each are participating in the yearlong program. We are inviting... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Thursday, April 18, 2019

Journey to Waco

Covenant youth choir, Journey, spent a weekend in Waco in early March. Journey Director Stacy Curtis said she was looking to travel someplace close and accessible so a majority of the kids could attend. She also wanted a “doable” activity for the teens. “Waco was great because the kids got to enjoy each other and I got the enjoy the kids too. It’s not often that I get to really participate in the fellowship of the group because I’m always conducting and leading.... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Ali Bolsinger Named Middle School Director

Covenant has hired Alison "Ali" Bolsinger to serve as Director of Middle School Ministries. Ali, who will graduate from Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., at the end of May, has been on the staff of Young Life for four years; three years as a volunteer and the past year as a staff person. Ali’s degree will be in Christian Ministries with a concentration in pastoral ministries. She has honed her skills by developing, planning and providing oversight to weekly Young Life club... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Sand Glass

Covenant 6th grader Cadalyn Burris is a writer! Below is her amazing short story/poem about sand and gla ss and the things we become. If you are interested in submitting an article or poem for Covenant's blog, email us at publications@covenant.org . Sand Glass I am a grain of sand. A beautiful grain of sand. I am magnificent. I live in a colony of sand. Some have seen the world and traveled the ocean. Some have only just been broken down from the Mother Rock. But... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Finding Comfort (and More) in Pie

Covenant member Stuart Young has a talent for making pies. What began as a cathartic exercise for himself quickly grew to a practice of generosity. Read Stuart's story about his pie-making journey and find out how you can be part of his April 14 pie-making class.  It began with my dad’s passing. On the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007, I walked into his room at the assisted living center to discover his still form slumped over on a sofa. In the days that followed, I was in... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Tuesday, March 12, 2019

4th Grade Mission Projects

Covenant fourth graders are getting a lesson on how to live out Covenant’s mission statement: “ Encouraging one another to follow Jesus wherever we live, work, and play .” The group of about 25 boys and girls learns about a local mission every six weeks.   Covenant’s Children and Family Ministry (CFM) team started a new curriculum for fourth graders this fall. Titled “Connect,” it takes the kids through the Old Testament and, as is the case with... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Tuesday, March 5, 2019

An Invitation to Fast

“We must be prepared to give up some things if we intend to get things that are even more important.” -Joan Chittister   For centuries, Christians have practiced the discipline of fasting during Lent. Fasting is an act of imitation of Christ’s own 40 days in the wilderness, where he met the temptations of greed, idolatry and power with the power of the Spirit. This holy experience must be what the author of Hebrews referred to when reminding... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Friday, March 1, 2019

Poems on the Spot

Covenant Explore membership participant Ed Seymour writes poems on the spot. Ed desribes it here: "My skill is really taking an exchange and converting to a poem. This dates back to my mom. Each day she was alive she wrote two to three poems and handed them out to people she met. I am simply carrying on family tradition of echphrasis, responding to one art form with another in the moment." The following are two of Ed's poems. The first is his... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Debt Relief Celebration

On Sunday, Jan. 27, Covenant celebrated being debt-free after paying off the mortgage on the Fellowship and Education Building. Speakers at the event, "Mission Accomplished," looked back the decision to build and looked forward to what’s next for Covenant. See more pictures here.  Looking Back Nearly 10 years ago, the Fellowship and Education Building was officially opened and immediately provided meeting and practice space for more than 100 organizations.... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Sponsoring Singane

by Donna Vliet “We saw her picture,” George McDonald said of Singane Ly from Tattaguine, Senegal, Africa. “She had a sad look on her face. She looked like she needed help.” George and his wife, Mary Jim, learned of the World Vision sponsorships in the early 2000s through a Covenant display on the patio. That’s when they started sponsoring Singane, believing it was something they could do for a child of our world in a very direct way; their experience has... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Thursday, January 24, 2019

Covenant Matters January

Celebrate! Food and Fun on Jan. 27 Covenant is debt-free! We have erased all the debt incurred on the Fellowship and Education Building that is now serving as a bridge to Austin. We will celebrate! On Sunday, Jan. 27, after the 11 a.m. services, we'll enjoy a brief program, music and a few surprises, as well as pizza, salads and tacos. Food trucks from Tia's Kitchen and Roppolo's Pizzeria will be here. Bring the whole family for a free lunch and lots of fun fellowship with the... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Friday, January 18, 2019

The Holy Land

Seeing The Holy Land Five men from Covenant traveled to Jerusalem at the beginning of December. Each walked away with a new understanding of life in the area. The “Israel” of the Middle East did not match the Israel we read about in the Bible, they agreed.   Watch this video for a brief history of Isreal.    The Trip’s Purpose Covenant member Dustin Johnson, the founder and president of Long View Equity, invited the group to join him on... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Friday, January 11, 2019

Two Step Up to Help with Student Ministry

Two people very familiar with Covenant's Student Ministry program will be a huge help while the church searches for a new Director of Middle School Ministries. Covenant member Jennifer Maham will serve as Interim Student Ministries Assistant. Jennifer has four children in the student ministry program and has served as a leader on two mission trips. She will assist Billy and the ministry to carry out administrative tasks, and help plan and run big... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Tuesday, January 8, 2019

New Year Examen

In Covenant's last sermon of 2018, Jon Wasson offered the following "examen" for congregants to use in order to prepare for 2019.    Examen for the New Year (adapted from Wil Hernandez) Look back – Look over the events of the past year. Reflect on these questions: Where have I been? What significant changes have come my way? When have I been most stressed, exhausted, or discouraged? When have I felt loved and given love... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Sunday, December 30, 2018

Daams: Changing Destinies One Language at a Time

“It’s pretty amazing that you can change the destiny of a language group,” said Pam Daams, Wycliffe Bible translator and Covenant-sponsored missionary. For more than 40 years, Pam and her husband Nico have been translating Bibles for Wycliffe Bible Translators. Their work has taken them to places too numerous to list, mostly in the Polynesian islands, but also to training and conferences around the world. In talking with them about their amazing journey, I can’t help... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Friday, December 21, 2018

Volunteer with Kids in 2019

Covenant's Children and Family Ministry is growing and we need more volunteers. We have spots for many teaching assistants, both in our preschool classes and with our fourth and fifth graders. It's fun and there are many perks: amazing Christ-centered relationships with awesome kids, free date nights (Feb. 8) and monthly thank you surprises! Contact Rachael McConnell at rmcconnell@covenant.org. Assistant for our Older 2's Class Assistant for our Younger 2's Class ... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Covenant Seeks Middle School Ministry Director

Covenant is a thriving, intergenerational, missional church in Austin, Texas with a broad base of committed lay leaders whose mission is to encourage one another to follow Jesus wherever we live, work, and play. We are seeking a Director of Middle School Ministry who, along with a team of volunteers and parents, will minister to a vibrant group of sixth to eighth grade students.  Qualifications for this position are: A commitment to the Christian faith and to serving God through... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Luke Sermon Series

Dear Friends, As we begin Advent on Dec. 2, we enter into what many describe as “the most wonderful time of the year!” Indeed these days bring back memories; it’s a time when we deepen relationships and engage in beloved traditions. These things give us a sense of meaning and deep joy. The week after the Christmas holiday, we often get to relax a bit as 2018 draws to a close. We start to dream about what the new year will bring, looking forward to 2019. This... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Thursday, November 29, 2018

Subscribe to the Advent Devotionals!

The word Advent, which means “coming” or “arrival,” marks the four-week period leading up to Christmas Day. We celebrate the arrival of the birth of Jesus Christ in His first Advent, while anticipating the return of Christ the King in His second Advent. Covenant has created an Advent Devotional. Delivered daily via email, our Advent devotions are intended to draw you and your family closer to Christ during this special season of anticipation. You’ll find... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Thursday, November 29, 2018

Make A 2020 Pledge!

Covenant is encouraging all members and visitors to sign onto Realm, our new online community, to make their 2020 pledge. Realm will also enable members and visitors to sign up for classes and events, to access our directory and to participate in groups online. If you have not yet signed into the system, step-by-step instructions are given below. If you are not interested in joining Realm at this time, email your pledge to  Duane Dube , Covenant Administrator, or drop your pledge... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Monday, November 19, 2018

Faith Through Film

“Fifteen years ago, I was a filmmaker in L.A. and God got a hold of my heart and changed things greatly.” Brent Gudgel, partner in Deidox Films, was a speaker at the Presbyterian Women’s (PW) fall luncheon. He told the group of about 100 women about starting Deidox Films and shared some of his documentaries with the group. It was 2003 when Brent and now-Deidox partner Dave Mahnaes were showing a film at a mission conference in Florida. On the flight back to... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Sunday, November 18, 2018

Covenant Matters: November 2018

Thanksgiving Worship Service Covenant will hold a Thanksgiving worship service at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 21. The service will be followed by a light lunch in FE 200. Please join us for this time to give thanks. There will be no additional programming that night. The Covenant business offices will be closed on Nov. 22 and 23.  Hanging of the Green Is Dec. 2 Advent starts Sunday, Dec. 2, with Covenant’s annual Hanging of the Green at the 9:30 and 11 a.m. Traditional... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Covenant Seeks Director of Music

Covenant Presbyterian Church is growing. The church is home to 1,700 members who worship in four different Sunday morning services – three traditional services and one contemporary service. Located in central Austin, the church attracts a diverse mix of congregants who come together to follow Jesus. Music at Covenant One thing that attracts worshipers to Covenant is its vibrant music program. Led for nearly a quarter-century by Director of Music Ministry Tom Brown, the choirs... Read More
Posted by Noel Kalmus at Monday, November 12, 2018

How To Use the Advent Devotional

The word Advent, which means “coming” or “arrival,” marks the four-week period leading up to Christmas Day. We celebrate the arrival of the birth of Jesus Christ in His first Advent, while anticipating the return of Christ the King in His second Advent. Covenant has created an Advent Devotional. Delivered daily via email, our Advent devotions are intended to draw you and your family closer to Christ during this special season of anticipation. You’ll find... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Thursday, November 1, 2018

Sunday Bulletins

The printed bulletins provide members with the order of service and a prayer list for those hospitalized and/or healing. We also print birth and death notices, as well as a prayer for a specific mission or desire. The latest bulletin will be provided here on Fridays, for the upcoming Sunday. Pamphlets are handed out at the entry to the 11:05 a.m. Contemporary Worship Service.  Sunday, Jan. 27:  8:15 ,  9:30 ,  11 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 20:  8:15 ,  9:30... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Thursday, November 1, 2018

Are You Shaped to Serve?

Shaped to Serve 2018, Covenant’s tenth annual church-wide day of service, is Nov. 10. On this day, members form teams to do proj­ects in the community that benefit our mission partners. On Saturday morning, from 10 a.m. to noon, bring the following items to Covenant Hall for  Refugee Services of Texas Items needed:  Cleaning supplies: all-purpose cleaner, sponges Laundry supplies: Laundry baskets, detergent, fabric softener Paper products:... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Register for the 2019 PW Retreat

Download the registration form here. The Covenant women are so excited about the March 22-24 Mission Presbytery Mo-Ranch Retreat that they are planning! Keynote speaker Beth Daniel will explore the theme of “friendship.” The Covenant team has been working hard on all aspects of this weekend and appreciate those who have already signed up to help. However, they hope as many Covenant women as possible will share this experience. Don’t wait to make your reservations!... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Congratulations Whitney!

Covenant has hired Whitney Bell as our Mission Director. This new position is a key to growing our mission ministry. As such, the search committee was seeking a person who could both expand the ministry and get more Covenant people excited and involved in mission. Whitney is very qualified to achieve those goals. As Covenant Director of Middle School, Whitney has been instrumental in growing Covenant Student Ministry in terms of number of students involved and depth of programming. During... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Sunday, September 30, 2018

ESL Teachers Needed

Did you know Covenant is a satellite campus for Manos de Cristo educational classes? Five years ago, we started with one English as a Second Language (ESL) class of five students and two teachers that met twice a week. This year we have three English classes with about 30 students; and three morning classes (Levels Intro, 1 and 2) and one evening class (Level 3). Our classes meet Tuesday/Thursday, 9:30 - 11:45 a.m., and Tuesday/Thursday 7 to 9 p.m. Would you consider being a teacher... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Monday, September 24, 2018

The Music Man: Tom Brown raises the bar for church choirs

illustration by Noel Kalmus Four senior pastors. Three interim senior pastors. Too many associate pastors to count. One music director. Tom Brown has been Director of Music at Covenant for 25 years. “What’s kept me here is the ambitious attitude of our adult choirs and their willingness to sing good music that spiritually enriches worship. Our choirs don’t merely entertain or appease congregants. We are a very active ministry with a rather diverse... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A Letter from the Pastor: Fall Sermon Series and More

Friends,   I hope this letter finds you well as our long and hot Texas summer begins to wind down. I trust that these days allowed for times of rest, reflection and renewal. As fall approaches, it is natural to feel the increased pressures of busy calendars and “to do” lists crowding in on us. In all of this busyness, however, I encourage you to intentionally ask: “Am I busy with the right things?” We should not allow our schedules to drown out our... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Wednesday, August 15, 2018

IMF Cohorts

“It’s very simple,” Associate Pastor Jill Williams said when describing the Institute for Missional Formation cohort journey that Covenant started three years ago. “We’ve been meeting in small groups to figure out how to do the work of following Jesus in our very ordinary lives with some other men and women in ways that will cause us to grow.” Jill was one of six Covenant representatives in the first cohort that was launched with two other churches in... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Wednesday, August 8, 2018

FAQ

This is a test of the pop up window capability. This is only a test QUestion:    Answer   Question   Answer Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Monday, August 6, 2018

Reel Ministry Summer Film Series 2018

This summer’s Reel Ministry film series will again be shown at Alamo Drafthouse Village. We will screen films three Wednesdays, July 11, 18 and 25, starting at 6:30 p.m. After seeing the film, we will have the opportunity to discuss the various themes each film presents and the ways each speaks to us about such things as moral courage, forgiveness, love, faith, grace and redemption. Doors will open at 6 p.m. – get there on time to order snacks.  The films are free, and Alamo... Read More
Posted by Stephanie Schultz at Monday, July 30, 2018
Sunday Worship Times

Traditional Service
8:15, 9:30 and 11 a.m.
Sanctuary

Contemporary Service
11:05 a.m.
Fellowship Hall

Office Hours
Covenant Hall is open Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.

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