Covenant Matters

Covenant Matters 

December 2019

Hanging of the Green Is Dec. 1

Advent starts on Sunday, Dec. 1, with Covenant’s annual Hanging of the Green at the 9:30 and 11 a.m. Traditional Worship Services. We will share the memory and anticipation of Christ's coming, decorating the church with symbols of life, joy and hope. 

Get your Advent Devotional today!

We encourage each family to pick up one copy of Covenant’s 2019 Advent Devotional, which will guide us through the season with daily scripture passages, reflections and more. You can also find the Advent Devotional online. Personal reflections from the Advent Devotional will be included in the Daily Devotional email, which is sent out every morning at 5 a.m. Subscribe here.

Advent Family Night and Carol SIng

The Covenant family is invited to join together at Advent Family Night and Carol Sing on Wednesday, Dec. 4. At this intergenerational celebration, we will remember when God came down in Jesus to be with God's people. Through various activities, we will engage hearts and minds while thinking about ways to bless those in the community. 
EVENING SCHEDULE 

5 - 6:30 p.m.  -  
Dinner served; cookies and hot cocoa on patio; family activities, including nativity photo booth, ornament making and gift-making for baby Jesus in FE 200
6 - 7 p.m.  -  
Carol Sing beginning in FE 200 and continuing onto the patio
6:30 - 7:15 p.m.   -  
Journey to Bethlehem marketplace and Prayer Labyrinth in Eaton Hall
People of all ages can engage and participate in this joyous event. Don't miss this special night and this whole-church celebration. For more information, contact Christy Milam.

Sign Up Now: Silent Retreat Is December 7

Covenant members and friends are invited to unplug using the ancient spiritual practice of solitude. Please join us for a silent prayer retreat on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cedarbrake Retreat Center in Belton. We have space for up to 30 people, ages 16 and up. Cost is $10. Sign up here. For more information, contact Kay Austin.

GraceNotes Christmas Concert is Dec. 8

The GraceNotes Ensemble with the Pro Musica Handbell Choir will present "Christmas is Coming," a concert of Advent and Christmas music, on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 4 p.m. in the Covenant Sanctuary. Come, enjoy beautiful music from across the ages as we prepare for Christ's birth.

Lessons and Carols In all Services

On Sunday, Dec. 15, Covenant will have a Service of Lessons and Carols in our worship services. This service of scripture readings and songs covers the story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah and the birth of Jesus interspersed with congregational songs, musical meditations and prayer.

A Look Ahead: Christmas Eve at Covenant

Christmas Eve is Tuesday, Dec. 24. On that day, Covenant will have five services:

  • 2 p.m. – Traditional Service with candles
  • 4 p.m. – Service for children and families
  • 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 at 5717 Balcones Drive.

Christmas Star Presentation

Join us in the Chapel Class on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 9:30 a.m. in FE 100 for a special presentation on the Christmas star. Covenant member Ken Van Lew, retired astronomy lecturer at Colorado State University, will lead us through this discussion of the star's various theories, using the Bible and his astronomical scientific knowledge. For more information, contact Kathryn Sedberry.

Drive-Thru Prayer In December

Covenant will offer Drive-Thru Prayer in our parking lot every day the week of Dec. 9 - 13,  from 7 to 9 a.m. to offer prayers during the often stressful holiday season. We need volunteers. Come, help for two hours, or just 30 minutes. We need people to hold directional signs encouraging motorists to stop and people to take prayer requests and pray for their requests. To volunteer or to learn more, contact Joe and Holly Skraba.

Order Christmas Poinsettias

Order poinsettias now to remember a loved one. Plants are $15 and the name of the person you are honoring will be printed in the bulletin. Contact Melanie Dixon to order your poinsettia by Dec. 10. 

Welcoming Volunteers Needed!

Are you hospitable? Covenant is looking to grow its team of volunteers who welcome and direct our members and friends on Sunday mornings. We need volunteers for two welcome teams — one as people approach the church from the parking lot and new team to help direct people as they enter the Fellowship and Education Building. We also need coffee bar volunteers and ushers for our traditional worship services. If you are interested or want to learn more, contact Amy Skaggs.

Reserve your Spot for the Men's Ski Trip

Join men from Covenant on the fifth annual ski retreat to Wolf Creek, Colo., on Thursday, Feb. 6. In addition to skiing, this trip is an opportunity for examination, connection and rest. The group will depart Covenant Thursday morning at 6 a.m. and return Monday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m. Space is limited! The cost of the weekend is $175 and includes travel, lodging, and breakfast and dinner at lodging. Travel meals, lunches on the mountain, lift tickets and ski rentals are not included. Learn more and register.

Looking for an Opportunity to Serve?

Manos de Cristo (4911 Harmon Ave.) is a Covenant mission partner and needs the following volunteer assistance:    

  • Food pantry help, 4th Friday of each month from 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
  • Pick up bread from a specific location on S. Lamar on Monday mornings and deliver it to the Manos de Cristo food pantry    
  • Best Plus Testers needed and additional education-based opportunities    

Boxes designated for Manos de Cristo donations are located inside the doors of Covenant Hall. Needs are gently used clothing and coats for children and adults; cereal, oatmeal, laundry detergent, rice, beans, apple sauce, macaroni amd cheese, pasta, juice, jelly, canned fruit and Maseca Instant Corn Masa. Contact Lou Ann Newman at (281) 687-5463.

Last Chance for Tamales!

This Sunday, Dec. 1, is the last opportunity to order tamales on the patio! Spice up your holiday celebrations, and help Covenant’s mission partner Manos de Cristo fund year-round programs like the food pantry, ESL classes and more. The tamales are $15/dozen with a choice of pork, jalapeno pork, bean (not vegetarian), chicken and vegetarian southwest blend. We encourage ordering through manosdecristo.org; designate Covenant as the pick-up location. Online order deadline is Monday, Dec. 2. Pick-up for tamales is Friday, Dec. 6. We will donate unclaimed orders to Street Youth Ministry. For questions or to help, contact Bretna Hackert, (512) 284-9010.

Mo Ranch Spring Women's Retreat

Many of you shared in the faith- and fun-filled weekend at Mo-Ranch last year when Covenant hosted the Mission Presbytery Spring Gathering. This spring, let’s support the women of Wimberley Presbyterian who have riffed on the year of perfect vision, 20/20, for the theme “Open Eyes, Faithful Lives: Psalm 121” for the March 27-29 retreat. Housing set aside for the retreat will be released Dec. 15 so the earlier you make your reservations, the better chance of getting your preferred location. Registration forms are available in the Presbyterian Women (PW) mailbox or contact PW Moderator Maria Raper, (512) 963-6393.

VISIONS Musical Museum Adventure

Want to learn the Temptations' "walk," see the Supremes' flashy gowns and Gene Autry's ornate Lucchese boots, and experience the giant mural from the Armadillo Headquarters? Visions will tour the LBJ Library's "Motown" exhibit and the UT Briscoe Center for American History's "Greatest Hits" music exhibit on Tuesday, Dec. 10. Leaving the church at 9:15 a.m., we will tour from 10 a.m. to noon, then have lunch together. Cost is $10 in advance, plus your lunch at Rudy’s Bar-B-Q on north Lamar. To sign up, contact Lynn Bell, (512) 454-3990. Let Lynn know if you are an LBJ member or associated with UT ($5 admission waived).

VISIONS Activities Day

“Joyeux Noel” (2005) is our movie for the Dec. 3 VISIONS Activities Day. WWI was the bloodiest war in human history to date. On Christmas Eve 1914, a remarkable event took place in many trenches where the Germans faced the British and the French. A spontaneous cease-fire occurred and front-line soldiers peacefully met each other in No-Man’s Land for a fleeting few hours of brotherhood. 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.

Around the World in 180 Days

The next meeting of Armchair Travelers will be Thursday, Dec. 5, when Don Davis and Anita Pisciotte share their experiences as two folks, nearly 80 years old, sail around the world and live to tell about it—one ship with some 90 ports of call and many exotic places to see in 180 days and 47,000 nautical miles. We meet in FE 200 at 7 p.m., with refreshments during the intermission. Armchair Travelers is open to anyone enjoys travel and good fellowship. We hope to see you there. Please invite your friends. For more information, contact Marv Hackert.

VISIONS December Lunch: Michael Shuman

Michael Shuman, our Director of Music Ministry, will help celebrate the Christmas season at the VISIONS lunch at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 17, in FE 200. Come share seasonal music, blending your voice with his on some of our favorite carols, and get to know Michael on his first Christmas in Texas. VISIONS luncheons are monthly and are targeted to our seniors, but are open to anyone interested in sharing a meal with fellow believers, while enjoying speakers and performers on various topics. Make a reservation by calling Jennifer English at the church office at (512) 454-5231. Bring $6 for lunch.

Covenant Preschool and Child's Day Out

Did you know that Covenant hosts a preschool and child’s day out? Located in the Fellowship and Education Building, 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. Students enjoy chapel and music every week; our three- to five-year-old’s are also introduced to Spanish. Let us partner with you during these precious years! Please call the preschool office at (512) 454-8370 or click here for detailed information regarding our program.

Say "Yes" to Children & Family Ministry

This past summer, we asked our congregation to "Be A Somebody" by volunteering the week of VBS and you answered the call! We are now asking our members to say "YES" to joining us as we serve our children together every Sunday morning. We are looking for 25 volunteers to lead, connect and teach our children during the 9:30 a.m. Sunday school and nursery hour. Our ministry is busting at the seams! When we baptize children, all members take a vow to travel with our youngest congregants on their Christian journey. Being a part of this journey starts with saying "YES!" We will train you, love on you and promise that your cup will be filled in the process! Contact Christy Milam.

Super Sunday Chefs Return

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. We want to hear from you! Four times a year you can cook, bake or shop to support this ministry. Together we will keep the church freezer stocked with casseroles, soups, breads and baked goods that may be just what the doctor ordered. Dec. 29 is our next Super Sunday with food collection on the patio. If you are interested in cooking or referring a friend, contact Diane Murray, (229) 977-7234. 

Thanks, Covenant!

Covenant has had an excellent pledge season and we are so eager to start the new year showering more love on those in need right here in our city. We've had more than 50 percent of our members and friends pledge, but are still hopeful that the entire congregation will participate. If you haven't yet pledged, please consider doing so. By looking back and seeing where God's fingerprints are on our stories, Covenant members and friends are able to pledge without anxiety, knowing that God will continue to provide. There will be pledge cards in the worship services or visit our website to learn more or to pledge.

 

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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