Covenant Matters

Covenant Matters 

January 2020

Save the Date: Foundation Lecture Series

Save the date for Covenant's inaugural Foundation Lecture Series Speaker Peter Enns, a Harvard Ph.D.. Peter will present at Covenant on Friday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. and on Saturday, Feb. 29, at 9 and 11 a.m. Pete’s deep curiosity about the Bible led to questions that nearly cost him his faith before they deepened it in new ways. Peter is passionate about helping all understand the Bible in a way that deepens faith, freeing us to bring our doubts, fears, and questions to God.  

Peter's lecture is sponsored by the Covenant Presbyterian Church Foundation and the Discipleship Committee. These groups are partnering to present this new annual lecture series to bring prominent Christian speakers and authors to our campus. Covenant members, friends and the broader community have the opportunity to engage deeply on topics of faith, community and service. Find out more here.  

Growth Task Force Seeks Input

The Covenant Growth Task Force, created in August to research ways to increase capacity on campus, gave an update at two different meetings this week. Daniel Campbell, who chairs the committee, said the team has been looking at how all the buildings on our campus, specifically the Sanctuary and Eaton Hall, are being used. The intent of the team is discovery. 

“We are here to start a conversation,” Daniel told the members who attended the meetings. "We are looking at all of our options and inviting everyone to provide their insight." 

The Growth Task Force continues to meet weekly to research and discuss possible solution for our campus. If you have a suggestion, contact Daniel. The group's next meeting with the congregation will be Sunday, March 29. Find out more here.

Chapel Class in January and February

Covenant's Chapel Class meets in the chapel (FE 100) on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. Several speakers will lead the class in January and February.   

On Jan. 19 and 26, Dr. Beverly Gaventa, Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Baylor University, will present "When in Romans: An Invitation to Read Paul's Most Important Letter." Beverly will guide the class through an overview of Romans, a look at Paul's style compared to other ancient letters of the day, Paul's own understanding of the gospel, and what his texts mean to us as 21st century Christians. 

On Feb. 2, 9 and 16, Covenant member Dan Hart will introduce participants to "Flannelgraph to Flesh and Blood: Jacob." In this series, Dan and the class participants will examine the people, stories and ideas from scripture that we learned as children. For many, those people, stories and ideas were presented as caricatures—flat, flimsy, (often white, Anglo-Saxon), vibrant colors like flannelgraph figures. What if we took those caricatures and re-examined them as adults— took them from 2D to 3D, flannelgraph to flesh and blood?

On Feb. 23, Stephen Murray will offer a follow-up session to his January class on evangelism, “Glad You Told Me.” 

If you have questions, contact Kathryn Sedberry.

Covenant's New Middle School Director

Jake Pluenneke, Covenant's current student ministry intern, will take over as the middle school director in June. For the last two and half years, Jake has served as the group's intern and even served as the middle school interim director for a semester. 

"I am so excited to be the next middle school director," Jake said. "Working at Covenant throughout college has been such a joy and honor. I've worked with so many incredible leaders that have prepared me for this job. I have also been able to experience many different trips, retreats and events at the church that have helped me feel confident moving forward."     

Jake's new job is the result of High School Director Billy Streu leaving to pursue graduate school, and Ali Bolsinger taking over as high school director. "I have so many exciting, fun ideas that I can't wait to get started to see all the amazing things God has in store for our student ministry," Jake said. 

All the staff changes will be effective on June 1. Find out more here

Women's Ski Retreat

There are a few spots left for the Women's Ski Retreat, March 4-8, at Wolf Creek Ski Area in Pagosa Springs, Colo. Click here to learn more and to register. When registration fills up, a wait list will open at this same link. Contact Kathryn Sedberry with questions.

Church Women United Meet February 7

Church Women United of Austin will gather on Friday, Feb. 7, at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, 4509 Springdale Rd. Everyone is encouraged to “wear red” for women’s heart health; we’ll celebrate Black History Month with a program on Gospel Music. The charitable action project recipients are Austin schools supported by St. Peter’s. Please bring 3-inch binders, mechanical and #2 pencils, and snacks; also hygiene items and clothes for K-6 students who might need a change during the school day. Church Women United, founded in 1941, is a Christian women’s movement, celebrating unity in diversity, and working for peace and justice. Churches take turns hosting; coffee and fellowship starts at 9:30 a.m., program is at 10 a.m. For more information, contact Lynn Bell at (512) 968-1425.

Women's Lunch Bunch is February 5

All women are invited to join the Women’s Lunch Bunch on Wednesday, Feb. 5, from noon to 1 p.m. in FE 107. This monthly gathering provides Covenant women an opportunity for fellowship and to learn about various topics. Please RSVP for the meeting and complimentary lunch by Monday, Feb. 3, or (512) 825-0275. Free childcare is available: make a reservation at least 48 hours in advance.

Preschool Spring Fundraiser

The Covenant Presbyterian Preschool will host "A Night with Covenant," our annual spring fundraiser, on Saturday, March 7, at Austin Beerworks. The spring fundraiser provides the resources to supplement the needs of our preschool; all proceeds go directly toward the operating expenses. Your donations directly impact our preschool program with playground improvements, foreign language learning opportunities through a Spanish program, classroom and teacher support to ensure the best in play-based learning opportunities, and continued exposure to musical education. 

Become a sponsor or donate a silent auction item to directly benefit the preschool and the 120 children in our program. To support the fundraiser, please contact Katie McFarlane.

Journey Takes a Mini Mission Trip

Journey Youth Choir traveled to San Antonio this weekend. The group's mini-mission trip included visiting the zoo and the Riverwalk, and leading worship on Sunday morning at Trinity Baptist Church. Trinity is the home church of Covenant Director of Children and Families Christy Milam. The group is excited to be part of their service today! 

Volunteer for our Children's Ministry 

One of the greatest privileges we have is sharing the word of God with our children ... and Covenant's Children and Family Ministry needs volunteers! One perk for volunteers is a "Volunteer Night Out," which gives you some kid-free time. If you are interested in volunteering and the many perks you realize by serving our children, contact Christy Milam. She can tell you more and help you sign up. 

Jeans & Beans Needed!

Manos de Cristo, a Covenant mission partner, has a food pantry and clothes closet providing emergency assistance for those in need. The organization is now in need of gently used jeans (children and adults) in all sizes, and dried or canned beans. "Jeans & Beans" can be donated in the basket in the lobby of Covenant Hall marked "Manos de Cristo." If you have questions or need additional information, contact Lou Ann Newman.

Downtown Men's Bible Study

The Downtown Men's Bible Study meets the second and fourth Wednesday of the month. The next meeting will be Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 11:30 a.m. at Max's Wine Dive on 207 San Jacinto Blvd., Suite 200. This groups meets for fellowship, relevant teaching and lively discussions about scripture. The lunch costs $20 and reservations are required.  For more information and to make a reservation, email Maureen Crawley or find it on the events section of our website.

Help End Modern Day Slavery!

Today more than 40 million people are living in slavery. This is more than at any time in human history, and about 10 million of those slaves are children. They are forced to work in factories, on fishing boats, in brothels, and yes, slaves are still making bricks by hand and working plantations. Covenant has committed to a three-year partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM) to help fight slavery in Southeast Asia. There are many ways to help right here in Austin. Visit the IJM table on the patio on Sunday, Jan. 19 and 26. Learn more here or contact Thais Kilday at (512) 565-8613.

February VISIONS Activities Day 

The next VISIONS Activities Day is Tuesday, Feb. 4. Please check the kiosk for the movie title. 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.

Visions to host Dr. Andy Dearman 

Covenant's long-time friend Andy Dearman returns to the church to share an illustrated presentation that traces the fascinating life of Cecil Rhodes at the VISIONS lunch on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 11:30 a.m.  Dr. Dearman was formerly a professor at Austin Presbyterian Seminary, and more recently he was the Associate Dean and Professor at Fuller Theological Seminary in Houston. Come enjoy his show titled "Cecil John Rhodes: Pastor's Son, Philanthropist and Imperialist Extraordinaire," and learn about several of his interesting (and horrible) pronouncements. Make a reservation by calling Jennifer English at the church office at (512) 454-5231. Please bring $6 for your lunch.   

Drinking from a Firehose in India/Nepal

The next meeting of Armchair Travelers will be Thursday, Feb. 6, when Suzanne and John McFarlane share part 2 of their trip to India and Nepal, much of which is centuries older than the New World, but certainly still very much alive and thriving. Visit amazing sites of forts, cremations, palaces, tigers and visits to the Himalayas. Armchair Travelers meets in FE 200 at 7 p.m., with refreshments during the intermission. The group is open to anyone who enjoys travel and good fellowship. For more information, contact Marv Hackert.

Winter Dates: Walking the Mourner's Path

Walking the Mourner's Path, Covenant's eight-week grief support series, is being offered Saturdays this winter, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. The series starts Jan. 25 and runs through March 14. To sign up or to get more information, contact Kay Austin at (512) 334-3030.

Ash Wednesday Services are February 26

Lent is a season of 40 days, not counting Sundays, beginning on Ash Wednesday and concluding on Holy Saturday. These 40 days, an imitation of Christ’s time spent in the wilderness, issue a call for those who follow Jesus to renew our commitment to Him. Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Lenten season on Feb 26. Covenant will have Ash Wednesday Services at noon and 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Ashes will also be imposed at the Wednesday Morning Prayer service, which takes place at 7 a.m. in FE 100. 

Covenant's Got Talent is February 8

The 6th annual churchwide talent show, "Covenant's Got Talent," is Saturday Feb. 8, in FE 200. We are looking for acts of all ages and types! A silent auction starts at 6:30 p.m. with the talent show at 7 p.m. Email Stacy Curtis to find out more. Proceeds support Journey Youth Choir mission trips. Sign up here!

Making Plans: Love Austin 2020

Covenant Student Ministry's Love Austin weekend is Feb. 14-16. Love Austin is an in-town retreat where students do service projects in Austin and grow in their friendships through prayer, worship and fun. Registration is open. Cost is $75 by Jan. 26; $100 by Feb. 5. Sign up here. The student ministry team also needs Covenant volunteers to provide a meal (Saturday breakfast, lunch or dinner, or Sunday breakfast) for a Love Austin group. If you have a question or want to bring a meal, contact Billy Streu

Ride the Shuttles

To alleviate parking concerns and leave spaces for our visitors, Covenant provides shuttle service from 7:55 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. carrying worshipers from the parking lot at Texan Eye (5717 Balcones Drive) to Covenant. Thanks for riding!


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