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 Worship Services when we share the memory and anticipation of Christ's coming, decorating the church with symbols of life, joy and hope. The decorations, traditionally white and gold, show symbols Christians have used for centuries to represent aspects of our faith. 

Journey to Bethlehem and Carol Sing is Dec. 5

Our entire Covenant family joins together to create Bethlehem in Eaton Hall and YOU can be a part! Come serve our community by facilitating a craft or activity during Journey to Bethlehem. It's a great opportunity for the family to serve together. Step back in time to explore the extraordinary events surrounding Jesus' birth. Visit and care for the animals at the stable from 5:30-6:30 p.m.; stroll through the marketplace and work with our shopkeepers to make bread, sample exotic foods, build toys, and create pottery from 6 to 7:15 p.m.; then step across the patio into the Sanctuary for the All-Church Carol Sing from 6:30 to 7:20 p.m. All are welcome. Invite friends and neighbors. If you have questions or would like to volunteer, contact Deon Wright at

Save The Date: Celebration Ahead

Covenant is very close to being debt-free. If we receive all of our Capital Campaign pledges for the Fellowship and Education Building, we will have erased all the debt incurred on the building that has been a bridge to Austin. We will celebrate on Sunday, Jan. 27, after the 11 a.m. services. There will be food, music, a presentation and more. Save the date. You won't want to miss this festive afternoon!

A look ahead: Christmas Eve at Covenant

Christmas Eve is Monday, Dec. 24. On that day, Covenant will have five services:     2 p.m. – Traditional Service with candles   4 p.m. – Service for preschool children   5 p.m. – Contemporary Service in FE 200 with candles   8:30 p.m. – Traditional Service with choir and candles   10:30 p.m. – Traditional Service with candles, communion and a string quartet     Childcare is available for the 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. services. Shuttle service will run from 1:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. from the Texan Eye location.  

It’s Tamale Time Again!

Spice up your holiday celebrations with delicious tamales while supporting Covenant’s longtime mission partner Manos de Cristo. You may know Manos from the Back-to-School Project, but the tamale sales help fund other year-round programs like the food pantry, clothes closet, ESL classes and the dental clinic. The tamales are $15/dozen with a choice of pork, jalapeno pork, bean (not vegetarian), chicken and vegetarian southwest blend. This year, we encourage all to order online at and designate Covenant as the pick-up location. We will still sell on the patio on Sundays, Nov. 4 through Dec. 2. Order deadline is Monday, Dec. 3 and pick-up is Friday Dec. 7. To get more info or to volunteer, contact Sally Rowe, PW mission coordinator, at or (512) 527-9073.  

Wednesday Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer on Wednesdays began with Advent 2007, so this fall marks our 12th year. This half-hour service (7:00-7:30 a.m.) means a lot to those faithful ones who come. The Wednesday Service of Morning Prayer meets in the Covenant Chapel (FE 100) at 7 a.m. The half-hour service of worship encourages discipleship, fits the daily schedule, allows time to get to work and enhances the weekly routine. Contact  Don Davis at

Covenant's Bible Translators Visit

Covenant supports Pam and Nico Daams and their work with Wycliffe Bible Translators in various locations across the South Pacific, from French Polynesia to Papua, New Guinea. They focus on recruiting, training and encouraging Pacific Islanders to keep Bible translation work going through future generations. The Daams will give a brief presentation and answer questions about their work at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28, in FE 200.

Cuban Church Partnership Holiday Potluck

You are invited to a potluck Friday, Nov. 30, at the home of Brynn and Carl Anderson, 5812 Gentle Breeze Terrace. Gather around 6:30 p.m., begin eating about 7 p.m. We will hear reflections from many of this year’s 15 traveling team members from three different trips: July to help with VBS: Beth Feger, Evangeline Herring, Joy Baskin; October to El Centro Presbytery with Mission Presbytery: Clark Weatherby, Jack Kern, Michael Knisely, Monroe Talley, Thomas Daniel and Travis Mellard; November introductory Cuba immersion trip: Gail Atkins, Jack Kern, Jane Harris, John Harris, Linda Rutherford, Mary Jane Parker and Tammy Linn. Bring your favorite dish to share. Water and tea will be provided. For more information, contact Brynn at or (512) 297-9552.

Communion Conversation is November 18

Covenant Children and Family Ministry will have a "Communion Conversation" in FE 300 on Sunday, Nov. 18, from 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. During the event, suggested for students in second grade and older, kids will learn more about the meaning of the sacraments, and explore the purpose and importance behind the ritual of communion. Associate Pastor Jon Wasson will serve communion. Lunch will be available. To learn more about the event, contact Christy Milam at cmilam@covenantorg.  

It's Christmas Giving Tree Time!

Covenant’s Mission Committee will again sponsor the Christmas Giving Tree program this year. This is an opportunity for members to provide inexpensive gifts for organizations the church supports. The gifts range from sleeping bags to gift cards. Instructions for giving are found on the ornaments. This year’s lineup will include the Covenant Refugee Ministry, Street Youth Ministry, MACares, Texas Reach Out Ministries, New Covenant Fellowship, LifeWorks Daily Bread, Austin Voices for Education and Youth, and Movin’ and Groovin. Trees will be located in the lobby of the Fellowship and Education Building, in the Sanctuary Narthex and available on the patio between services. For more information, contact Paul Mowry at

MoMs Group November Meetings

The MoMs Group meets on the first and third Mondays of the month from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Parlor of the Sanctuary. Please join us for coffee, a snack and  fellowship with other moms. On Monday, Nov. 26, we will hear from a speaker on helping children cope with grief and loss. Join us as we learn how to explain life's hard moments and how to best support our children through them. For more information on MoMs, contact Katie McFarlane at For free childcare, please make reservations at least 48 hours in advance by contacting

Half-Day Advent Retreat is December 8

Save the date! Covenant will host a half-day silent Advent retreat on Saturday, Dec. 8, starting at 9:30 a.m. at Cedarbrake Retreat Center in Belton. Find out more by contacting Kay Austin at 

Covenant Pledges Continue to Be Strong

Thank you, Covenant! Senior Pastor Thomas Daniel challenged congregants to be extravagantly generous so we can further reach out to our community and beyond. Our congregation has stepped up. In week 3 of our pledge drive, 51 more families have made a 2019 pledge, with promised amounts exceeding last year's pledges by more than $250,000. As we dream about 2019, we are encouraged that we will be able to "Love Austin." We will continue to support our mission partners here in the city and throughout the world.     If you haven't made a pledge yet, please consider helping us in this effort. You can turn your pledge card in at worship services, to the church office, you can pledge online at, or email your pledge directly to Covenant Administrator Duane Dube at Contact Duane with your questions.

Help Austin voices Distribute Food

Austin Voices for Education and Youth  (AVEY) has been  managing the Central Texas Food Bank Mobile Pantry food distribution at the For the City Center since the beginning of the year and needs volunteers. Please come out on the second Thursday morning of every month to help AVEY serve 200-250 families with about 10,000 pounds of food. To help, contact Janna Allen at 

Make Reservations Now for Spring Retreat

Covenant women have a unique opportunity to attend the Mission Presbytery Mo-Ranch Retreat on March 22-24, 2019. Held annually for almost 40 years, this is the first time Covenant women are planning and hosting. Beth Daniel will be the keynote presenter, speaking on the “Gift of Friendship.” Other Covenant participants will be the music team of Alice Sessi and Meredith Weatherby, and a workshop led by Jan Skaggs. Many others have volunteered to help. Come, share in the fun! Rooms set aside for the retreat will be released Dec. 15, so register now. Find forms online: Scholarships are available. For more information, contact Bretna Hackert at    

Job Opening at East Austin Young Life

East Austin Young Life, a Covenant mission partner providing hope and support for students in northeast Austin schools, is seeking a part-time employee to work 10 to 15 hours per week helping with various administrative and support tasks, including communication, marketing/fundraising and some bookkeeping. Hours are very flexible, and the position is ideal for someone with school-aged children. For more information, contact Chris Fisher at (512) 669-1577 or

It’s Chile in December

On Thursday, Dec. 6, Melissa Gaskill will present at Armchair Travelers. A mountainous country famous for clear, dark skies, Chile is home to some of the world’s top scientific astronomical facilities as well as those for amateur star-gazers. Melissa will talk about her visit to Paranal Observatory and Las Campanas in the Atacama Desert, and sights in Isla Negra and Santiago. We will meet in FE 300 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

Movin' and Groovin' needs Furniture!

Movin' and Groovin', Covenant's ministry that provides gently used furniture to families exiting homelessness, needs to rebuild its inventory and is soliciting donations of beds, sofas, dining sets, living room chairs, dressers, coffee tables, end tables and night stands. Contact Jim Troiano at to schedule your pickup. Donations are tax-deductible. Pickups take place on Saturday mornings or by appointment.

Seeking Input for Music Program

Covenant is searching for our next Director of Music. The search committee seeks your input on our music program and its future. Please take the survey online at or look for a printed copy on the table in the Narthex. Drop off your completed surveys in the entry to the church office.

Ride Safe on the Shuttles

Covenant members and friends are riding the shuttle! Thanks for taking advantage of this great service that saves parking spots for visitors and takes riders right to the patio. Covenant is using two shuttles every Sunday so they arrive at Texan Eye less than five minutes apart. If there are no seats remaining on the shuttle, please wait for the next one. Covenant’s priority is the safety of our members and standing during the drive is not safe. As a reminder, our shuttle picks up at Texan Eye at 5717 Balcones. 

VISIONS Activities Day december 4

The banishment of the true meaning of Christmas by the secular mainstream is the starting point for our Dec. 4 VISIONS Activities Day movie "Last Ounce of Courage" (2012). The story develops via the efforts of the son of a deceased soldier to connect with his grandfather years after his father's death in battle. They "discover a way to unite and to make a difference in their community by claiming their freedom of expression." 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 at (214) 403-7981.

Posted by Stephanie Schultz at 11:01 AM