Covenant welcomed two new staff members in early June. Michael Shuman started as the Director of Music Ministry on June 3. He comes to Covenant from First United Presbyterian Church (FUPC) in Fayetteville, Ark. When asked what excites him about Covenant, Michael said, “What’s not exciting about Covenant? It’s a whole new set of people, of backgrounds, of tastes, of likes and dislikes.” Michael said the also excited about the musical possibilities of the church.
Ali Bolsinger started June 9 as Director of Middle School Ministry. Ali just graduated from Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., where she's been on the Young Life staff for four years. "I've been studying Christian Ministries and got the call to be here. I'm so excited to live into that and use what I’ve learned."
Jill Williams has been an associate pastor at Covenant for nearly 12 years. This past December, she asked for – and received – the blessing of Session to take a three-month sabbatical. Beginning July 1, Jill will step away from her job to rest, build relationships, study and travel. “I am deeply grateful to you for the approaching gift of a sabbatical. I know that God will lead us through this time – and beyond – into God’s good purposes for us." Read Jill's letter here.
Summer Choir is a seasonal opportunity for anyone interested in singing. Come work with Michael, Covenant’s new Director of Music Ministry, and other singers as they rehearse each Sunday at 9 a.m. in the Choir Room and provide musical leadership in the 9:30 Traditional Worship Service. No need to commit to sing each week, just sing when you can. All are welcome to sing with the Summer Choir, including those high school age and above.
Contact Michael Shuman with questions.
Covenant's Reel Ministry film series will kick off Wednesday, July 10! Join us for four evenings at Alamo Drafthouse (2700 W. Anderson Lane) as we explore elements of faith within four uniquely different films. Doors open at 5:45 p.m., feature begins at 6:15 p.m. The event is free-of-charge, but an RSVP is required for each participant. Click here to learn more and to RSVP.
Contact Kathryn Sedberry with questions. .
July 10: Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade (PG-13)
When Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) discovers that his father, played by Sean Connery, has gone missing, the archaeologist soon finds himself on an adventure to find the legendary Holy Grail. The podcast team of Matt Gaventa and Adam Hearlson of Sunday Morning Matinee will host the evening, as we discover elements of faith within this classic film.
July 17: Free Solo (PG-13)
Free solo climber Alex Honnold prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: scaling the 3,200-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park without a rope
July 24: The Iron Giant (PG)
A young boy rescues a huge robot that has rocketed to earth from space - and tries to protect the gentle giant from a nosey government agent and the military.
July 31: Paterson (R)
Paterson (Adam Driver) is a hardworking bus driver in Paterson, N.J., who follows the same routine every day. He observes the city and listens to fragments of conversations, and he writes. Hosting the evening will be Alissa Wilkinson, film critic for Vox.
Covenant will have an adult retreat at Laity Lodge Oct. 4-6. Retreat theme is "Habits of Mind in an Age of Distraction." Save the date to join other adults from Covenant as the group is led by Alan Jacobs, Distinguished Professor of the Humanities in the Honors Program at Baylor University. Jacobs' most recent books are How To Think and The Year of Our Lord 1943. Cost of the adults-only retreat is $175 per person. Click here for more information and to register.
Covenant started its summer worship schedule on Sunday, May 26. We have three worship services on Sunday mornings: Traditional Services at 8:15 and 9:30, both in the Sanctuary; at 11:05, we will have a Contemporary Service in FE 200. Fewer Sunday services will enable one pastor to preach at all services and be present with congregants throughout the entire worship service. Covenant will return to four services on Aug 18.
Covenant rising 7th and 8th graders are invited to pool parties most Wednesdays this summer. This is a time to swim and make friends, and also to worship and learn about the Bible.
Schedule of middle school pool parties which run from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
June 26: The Burnett home, 5810 Lookout Mountain Dr.
July 3: The Kilday home, 5408 Shoal Creek Blvd
July 17: The Schell home, 6800 Rockledge Cv.
All incoming 7th-12th graders, their friends and families are invited to Covenant's Student Ministry Movie Night at the Alamo Drafthouse (2700 W Anderson Ln.) on Sunday, July 21. The feature will start at 6:30 p.m. Please be there by 6:15. The cost is only $5! Come ready to buy the yummy food and snacks the Drafthouse offers. The full menu will be available. Contact Billy Streu for more information.
Triumph Sports Camp will offer sports camps for kids of various ages Aug. 5-8. Triumph Rookies Camp is for kid from 3 -5 and will be from 10 a.m. to noon. The sports camp, for campers from 5 to 12, runs from 1 to 4 p.m. Through both camps, kids get their energy out while learning more about God's love. This program includes sports like basketball, soccer, flag football, and may include other fun games like capture the flag and kickball. Every camper receives a Triumph Sports T-shirt. The camps take place in the Covenant gym, FE 400. Get details and sign up here.
ATX Ballers is excited to bring its summer basketball camps back to Covenant for the second summer in a row. Players can register at atxballers.com/summer-camps-1. The organization is offering five different camps at Covenant. All Covenant attendees receive a 15 percent discount. Use the discount code: FPDETHF. If you have questions, contact Nick Erskine at (512) 230-8965.
VISIONS Activities Day is Tuesday, July 2. Please check the kiosk for the title of the movie. 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.
Summer is here! Drive-a-Senior needs more volunteers in the summer because many of our regular drivers are out of town. Volunteering is very flexible—from a couple times a week to once a month. Schedule drives during the day based on your schedule. Drive-a-Senior offers rides from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Kids are welcome to come along. Meet new people and have fun! Call (512) 472-6339, and our team will schedule an orientation for you. For more information, call Kit Chenault at (512) 791-2225.
“There’s an app for that!” Download the Realm app, “Connect-Our Church Community” by ACS Technologies, on your smartphone from the app store. If you have questions or need assistance, contact Maureen Crawley.
Not receiving Covenant's Daily Devotional email? The Daily Devotional contains scripture passages taken from a two-year lectionary guide, a short reading from one of our confessions, a weekly prayer and a daily examen guide. The Daily Devotional is delivered to your email inbox each morning at 5 a.m. If you are already a subscriber, we would love your feedback! Click here to subscribe and find a brief Daily Devotional survey. Contact Kathryn Sedberry with questions.
If you have received the gift of a home-cooked meal at a time of need, you know what a true blessing it is. Maybe you have a friend who is in need of a meal. Four times a year, we invite members and friends to cook, bake or shop to support this ministry of meals. Together we will keep a church freezer stocked with casseroles, soups, breads and baked goods that may be just what the doctor ordered. Our next Super Sunday is June 30. We will collect food on the patio. If you are interested in cooking or want to refer a friend, contact Diane Murray (229) 977-7234.
Covenant's new ministry of encouragement will offer a pie-making class on Sunday, June 23, at 2 p.m. in FE 300. Class participants will learn how to make a pie and they will also learn the joy of giving it away. Stuart Young will teach the class. Spaces available! Click here to reserve your spot (first come, first served), email Kay Austin with questions.
Donations to the Manos de Cristo Back-to-School Program enable more than 2,000 children to start school with a feeling of excitement and academic readiness. Covenant is a generous participant. A $60 donation provides the funds for Manos to give a backpack, school supplies and two sets of clothing for one child. Any amount is appreciated. Look for tables on the patio June 16 and 23. Donate online or volunteer to help at the Back-to-School distribution week here. Indicate Covenant in the affiliation space. For more information, contact Lou Ann Newman (281) 687-5463.
Presbyterian Women like to connect with their church sisters. Last summer, women from all over the world gathered in Louisville for their triennial celebration. This July 25-27, the women from Synod of the Sun (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana) will meet in Tulsa for three days of worship, Bible study and fellowship carrying out the theme from John 10:10, “Live Abundantly in Christ.” Several women from Covenant will attend. Make plans now to join them. Contact Maria Raper at (512) 861-5678.
Covenant is cutting its trees back. Keeping the trees trimmed and at least six feet from the Sanctuary helps Covenant to control ants and preserve the building. Also, the City of Austin will trim some trees to help the church avoid power outages during storms. Covenant's Administration Committee is working hard to preserve the beauty of our campus while keeping the power on during storms and doing its part to keep everyone safe. If you have questions, contact Duane Dube.
Most men feel like their faith is small, inadequate or just undeveloped. Many men cannot seem to make their Sunday experiences last through the week. We hide in our “comfort zones” yet sense that we are missing out on an adventure. The Men’s Summer Discipleship series will address these issues. All men (even your friends outside of Covenant) are invited. Small group discussions in a casual atmosphere will be stimulated by a time-tested workbook authored by Greg Ogden and titled Discipleship Essentials. The group will meet for six weeks on Thursdays at 6:30 a.m.; we started June 13. Each week has a different topic to accommodate for summertime absences. Contact Skip Crowe at (512) 657-3249.
Three places remain to renew and create relationships with each other and with Cuban Christian brothers and sisters witnessing to the ends of the earth in very different circumstances from ours. This is facilitated by the Holy Spirit and special religious visas allowing us to stay at the church in Havana. Is it time to step out of your boat, find your thin place and quiet center in Covenant community? Learning ministry together and encouraging each other to follow Jesus wherever we live, work and play in Austin and Havana is a bountiful spiritual blessing. Pick up information on the patio, visit with Cuba veterans or contact Jack Kern.
Want to beat the heat this summer? Come to the air-conditioned playdates! Everyone is welcome to attend! Playdates began on June 12, and will be held on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday morning from 9:30-11:30 a.m. in the FE 402 Gym. Playdates continue through Aug. 14. We encourage you to bring bikes, riding toys, balls and other indoor stuff for your kid(s) to play with. (Church play items are not available.) For more information on the air-conditioned playdates and MoMs, contact Katie McFarlane.
2019 dates: June 20 and 26; July 11, 17, 25 and 31; and Aug. 9 and 14.
Covenant will print only one Covenant Matters in July. Our solo July issue will come out on Sunday, July 7. We will update Covenant Matters on the web during the month so you won't miss any information. If you have articles to submit, do so online with this form by 5 p.m. the Tuesday before we print. The July 7 deadline is July 2. The first issue in August will be available on Sunday, Aug. 4.