Covenant Matters

Covenant Matters 

March 2020

Covenant Lenten Prayer Vigil

Covenant is holding a Prayer Vigil beginning Friday, March 6, at 7 a.m. and running until Saturday, March 7, at 1 p.m. All are invited to spend a few minutes in prayer during this vigil. Sign up here for a 30-minute time slot to come and pray. This is an opportunity to sit silently at the feet of our Lord in the quiet, candlelit sanctuary. If you have questions, contact Kay Austin.

Lent and Easter Information, and Playlist

Covenant has scheduled many activities and services during the Lent. Click here to find a complete list of all the ways you can participate as we journey toward the cross. This week, Covenant pastors are encouraging all to listen to our Lent playlist. You can find the playlist here.

Get Your Lenten Devotional

Pick up your Lenten Devotional! Copies are available in the narthex, in the Fellowship and Education Building, and in the church office. Filled with prayers, poetry, scripture, art and various Christian practices, the devotional is designed to help us pay attention and draw closer to Christ. This devotional will not be online as a way to further focus our attention. We have enough copies to ensure each family receives one. Contact Kathryn Sedberry with questions.

Welcome New Members! 

Covenant welcomed 41 new members after our most recent Explore Membership class that wrapped up Feb. 23. While most of those new members were introduced this past Sunday, some will be introduced in worship services next Sunday, March 8. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a member, our next Explore Membership class is a two-session abbreviated class on Wednesday, April 22 and April 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. in CO 208. Click here to find out more and to sign up, or contact Amy Skaggs.

VBS 2020: Focus! 

It may seem far away now, but summer will be here before we know it and so will Vacation Bible School (VBS), the most fun week of the year. This year, our kids will participate in Focus VBS: “Let us keep looking to Jesus. He is the one who started this journey of faith. And he is the one who completes the journey of faith” (Hebrews 12:2a). Covenant kids and friends will meet from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Thursday, June 8-11. Sign up here.

  • Camp VBS is for kids age 2 by June 1, 2020. The cost is $80.  
  • VBS Rotation is for current kindergarten through 5th grade students. The cost is $30; free if a parent/family member volunteer all four days. 
  • Youth Volunteers are current 6th through 12th graders. There are a limited number of youth spots available. Students may also sign up to be characters or dancers. Sign-up deadline for this group is May 15.   

Thrive Sports Camp

Families interested in a full day of activities that week can take advantage of THRIVE Sports Camp, which is offered to campers 5-12 years. This Christian Sports camp will run from noon to 4 p.m., June 8-11. This is a separate registration and cost. Sign up here to be a VBS camper or volunteer, and for Thrive Sports Camp. Contact Christy Milam with questions.

Chapel Class: What Poems Tell Us About God

The Covenant Chapel Class meets Sundays in FE 100 at 9:30. On March 1 and 8, Rev. Travis Helms, PhD, who serves as the Campus Missioner at the University of Texas Episcopalian Student Center, will encourage class participants to pay attention to the poetry all around us in the class titled "Incarnation and Insight: What Poems Tell us about God." In this two-week class, participants will explore the ways poems embody theological truths and help us live our lives as Christians. The class will also focus on the work of Christian Wiman, who wrestles with questions of faith, and often blossoms into revelations that move and heal. Everyone is welcome, regardless of poetry reading experience. Contact Kathryn Sedberry with questions.

Easter 2020

Easter is April 12. Covenant will have six worship services. 

  • Sunrise Service: Patio at 6:30 a.m. (followed by a light breakfast)
  • Traditional Services: Sanctuary at 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m.
  • Contemporary Services: FE 200 at 9:30 and 11:05 a.m.

Save the Date: Lent Event is April 1

Families of all ages are invited to participate in Covenant Children and Family Ministry's Lent Event on Wednesday, April 1, at 5:30 p.m. Kids start in Eaton Hall and get their ressurection egg set, visit a petting zoo and attend a mini family worship service. Volunteers to share scripture and man stations, all on the patio, are needed. Contact Elizabeth Moore with questions.

Preschool: Taking Registrations

The Covenant Presbyterian Preschool is currently enrolling children for the 2020-2021 school year. The half-day program is supported by a community of parents, teachers and children working together to provide high-quality experiential learning in a Christian environment. Our school serves ages nine months (by Sept. 1) to four years, Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and five years, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. We aim to assure exceptional school beginnings in a caring environment to enable children to develop spiritually, socially, physically and intellectually. For more information, click here or call (512) 454-8370 to schedule a tour.

Say "Yes" to Children & Family Ministry

Covenant Children and Family Ministry is asking our members to say "YES" to joining us as we serve our children together every Sunday morning. Each week, the ministry needs 43 volunteers to lead, connect and teach our children during the 9:30 a.m. Sunday school and nursery hour. Our classrooms need small group leaders, preschool class teachers, class assistants and rotation station leaders. Volunteers will be trained to teach, assist and foster a welcome and safe learning experience for our children. We offer every week, every other week, monthly and one-time commitments. Contact Elizabeth Moore with questions.

Moms Group 2.0

Moms Group will resume  Monday, March 2, in the Sanctuary parlor from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Join us as we talk about motherhood: the good days, the overwhelming days and the supermom days. Motherhood is such an amazing gift but it is hard! Come join other moms as we navigate this journey together.  Childcare is available and reservations can be made at least 48 hours in advance by emailing Elizabeth Moore. If you have any questions, contact Katie Seutter

Women's Lunch Bunch is March 4

All women are invited to join the Women’s Lunch Bunch on Wednesday, March 4, 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, March 2, by email or call (512) 825-0275. Free childcare is available: make a reservation at least 48 hours in advance.

Church Women United is March 6

Church Women United (CWU) of Austin will gather on Friday, March 6, at Wesley United Methodist Church, 1106 San Bernard St. for the World Day of Prayer celebration, “Rise Up! Take Your Mat and Walk.” The charitable project recipient is the Montopolis Friendship Community Center, founded by United Methodist Women. Bring paper plates, cups, bowls, napkins and plastic utensils, toilet paper, paper towels or a monetary donation. Jackets and warm clothing, blankets and towels for the thrift store are appreciated. CWU is a Christian women’s movement celebrating unity in diversity. Churches take turns hosting; fellowship is at 9:30 a.m., program is at 10 a.m. Contact Lynn Bell by email or phone (512) 968-1425.

Women’s Retreat at Mo-Ranch

After hosting the Mission Presbytery retreat last year, Covenant women are looking forward to being attendees at the 2020 Spring Gathering, March 27-29. The theme, “Open Eyes, Faithful Lives,” will be carried out in the words of the keynote speaker, Rev. Kathy Anderson, and through the songs and activities chosen by hosts, the women of Wimberley Presbyterian Church. Housing is fully reserved but there are always cancellations if you are interested in joining. If you have housing but have not sent in your registration to Mission PW, find forms in the PW mailbox. The retreat begins Friday evening and ends Sunday morning. Contact Bretna Hackert with questions by email or by phone (512) 284-9010.

Apply For Cuba Ministry Trip

Applications to join Covenant’s 2020 fall Cuba ministry team are available here. A team of Covenant members will travel to Cuba in late October/early November, staying at our sister church in the Havana barrio of Luyanó. More than 200 members have gone since 1994, many more than once. The team enters Havana under Cuban government-issued religious visas, requiring registration months in advance. Preference is given the first 15 members who register by May 31. For more information click here, or contact Jack Kern.

Amplify Donations for Drive-a-Senior

Drive-a-Senior West Austin, a  Covenant mission partner for 35 years, provides free rides to seniors over 60 who do not drive. Although medical trips are a priority, Drive-a-Senior supports rides to the grocery store, banks, hairdresser and exercise classes, as well as van trips for group activities. Statistics help tell the story. In 2017, Drive-a-Senior provided 6,482 rides; in 2018, 6554; and in 2019, 7,758 rides. Set a reminder for March 5 and consider donating through Amplify Austin when the St. David’s Foundation will match up to 25 percent on each dollar. Visit Amplify Austin's webpage between 6 p.m. on March 5 and 6 p.m. on March 6. Search for Drive-a-Senior WEST.

Three Canyons, Saguaro East and a Church

The next meeting of Armchair Travelers is at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, in FE 200. Fred and Barbara Worley will share slides from the second half of their 4,300-mile road trip last April, covering Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon and the south rim of the Grand Canyon; then Saguaro National Park. No trip for Fred is complete without an historic architectural tour, this time San Xavier del Bac. Armchair Travelers is open to anyone who enjoys travel and good fellowship. Please invite your friends. Contact Marv Hackert with questions. 

VISIONS Activities Day is March 3

“Peanut Butter Falcon” (2019) is the movie for the March 3 Activities Day. In this movie, Zac, a man with Down Syndrome, lives in a nursing home. One night he escapes to pursue his dream of attending wrestling school. Adventure follows. Games, bingo and puzzles start at 10 a.m. in FE 200, lunch is at noon and the movie starts at 1 p.m. Guests of all ages are welcome. Donations are accepted for lunch and reservations are not required. For more information, contact Sue Gunnels at (214) 403-7981.

Harry Ransom Center films visit VISIONS

Did you know that the Harry Ransom Center has an extensive film and film memorabilia collection, including items from “Gone With the Wind,” Robert DeNiro, Eli Wallach and "Mad Men"? Steve Wilson, the curator of the Harry Ransom Center’s film collection, wrote a best-selling companion book for “Gone With The Wind.” Come hear Steve share some of what is involved in collecting, displaying and maintaining acquisitions at the UT campus. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 17.  To make a reservation, call Jennifer English at the church office at (512) 454-5231. Please bring $6 for your lunch.  

CROP Walk This Sunday—Donate Now

Since the first Austin CROP Walk in 1970, thousands have walked to raise millions of dollars for much-needed food assistance locally and around the world. Join the Covenant team at Camp Mabry at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 1, to enjoy a beautiful afternoon outdoors for a good cause, or donate on the patio on Sunday or online; it's easy to find and support Covenant team members. For more information, contact Bretna Hackert by email or phone, (512) 284-9010.

Austin Samaritans Spring Mission Trip

Austin Samaritans provides funding and other support for mission associates in Nicaragua, who provide educational opportunities for 650+ students, medical and dental services, and breast/cervical cancer screening and treatment for women with limited resources. The group will travel to Managua, Nicaragua April 18–25. Cost is $650 for in-country room, meals and transportation; plus airfare and medical travel insurance. Find applications and information here. For more information, email Austin Samaritans, or Peggy Gentry.

Nurtured Heart Approach for Parenting

Children and Family Ministry will host Jeffrey Swan, MA, LPC, who will present on the Nurtured Heart Approach on Saturday, March 28, from 2-5 p.m. in FE 300. This nationally recognized approach helps parents learn to strengthen relationships with their children by recognizing the characteristics we want to see instead of focusing on the behavior we wish to change. This energy shift works wonders in the lives of parent-child relationships and particularly with strong-willed children. Registration is free; sign up here. Make a childcare reservation 48 hours in advance.

"Ladies Let's Talk" Comes to Covenant

Covenant’s Presbyterian Women are excited to announce that Ladies Let’s Talk (LLT), a 501c3 program that provides conversational English sessions for immigrant and refugee women, will begin quarterly meetings at Covenant. Women volunteers are encouraged to sign up for one or more meetings to visit and help women improve their English skills. The spring session will take place on Fridays, March 6, 13 and 27, and April 3, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in FE 107.  Click here to volunteer and learn more. Your registration will be confirmed with an invitation to SignUpGenius. Contact Chichi Armstrong for more information.

Have a Mental Health Conversation

Let's Talk: a conversation and presentation about mental health and how to communicate with your child, hosted by our Student Ministry team, is Wednesday, April 22, at 7 p.m. in FE 100. Research shows that 1 in 5 teens experience a mental health issue; depression and anxiety are the most common diagnoses. More than 40 percent of teens are not receiving the care and treatment they need. This one-hour presentation equips caregivers with tools to proactively address this issue. The goal is to encourage positive conversations to help teens feel more comfortable seeking help. Contact Billy Streu for more information.  


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

Contemporary Service
11:05 a.m.
Fellowship Hall

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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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