Covenant Matters

Covenant Matters 

February 2020

Foundation Lecture Series Coming Soon

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. 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. Find out more here

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 starts 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 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 for a 30-minute time slot to come and pray. Covenant will provide prayer guides and prepare a kid-friendly space. A security guard will be present on campus during the late night and early morning hours from 10 p.m. Friday until 6 a.m. Saturday. This is an opportunity to sit silently at the feet of our Lord in the quiet, candlelit sanctuary. Find out how to sign up and learn more here.

Drive-Thru Prayer Starts February 24

Covenant will offer Drive Thru Prayer every day the week of Feb. 24-28 from 7 to 9 a.m. We need volunteers to hold directional signs encouraging motorists to stop, and people to take prayer requests and pray for their requests. Contact Joe and Holly Skraba to volunteer and learn more. The team will impose ashes on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 26. 

John Maisano Creates a Vision at Lunch

Did you know that John Maisano, one of Covenant’s ushers, is a well-established artist? He creates both life-size creatures, such as the saber-tooth tiger at the Texas Memorial Museum, and also smaller whimsical creatures. John will share some of his work and demonstrate how it was created at our Feb. 18 VISIONS lunch, which starts at 11:30 a.m. in FE 200. Get a head-start on his program by visiting or visit the 10-foot eagle at the Leander Veterans Park that was unveiled Jan. 31. Make a reservation by calling Jennifer English 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. We meet in FE 200 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.

MARCH VISIONS Activities Day

The next VISIONS Activities Day is Tuesday, March 3. 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.

Street Youth Ministry needs help!

Terry Cole’s Street Youth Ministry (SYM) is looking for friends to query their networks and help find a new home for the ministry’s Drop-in Center for 2021. SYM's current landlord, Congregational Church of Austin, plans to sell the property. We are also looking for prayer warriors. Sign up to receive one specific prayer request about a client every three weeks, and the SYM monthly praise letter. Click here to learn more, and enter your email address on the “Join Our SYMin Family” form. SYM exists to know, love and serve street-dependent youth. It operates a day center for homeless young adults, provides access to donated food, clothing and gear, and—most importantly—provides guidance counseling to more than 600 unique clients each year. 

Amplify Donations for Drive-a-Senior

Drive-a-Senior West Austin has been a  Covenant mission partner for 35 years. The organization 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 such as museums, the Wildflower Center, etc. 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. On that day, the St. David’s Foundation will match up to 25 percent on each dollar. Visit between 6 p.m. on March 5 and 6 p.m. on March 6. Search for Drive-a-Senior WEST to donate online.

Apply to Assist with VBS in Luyanó

A Covenant team of two to four members will travel to Cuba to help with Vacation Bible School (VBS) at our sister church between July 13 and July 21. While any Covenant member may apply to assist with VBS, our sister church requests that assistants have previously spent time with the church in Luyanó. Visit to find more information about our Cuba ministry partnership, including links to the VBS application, or get an application from Evangeline Hering, (512) 947-4833, or Jack Kern. Application deadline is Feb. 29.

Austin Samaritans Spring Mission Trip

Make a difference by joining us on the Austin Samaritans spring mission trip April 18–25. 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, to help with fitting reading glasses, holding Vacation Bible School, providing school photos, maintaining mission facilities and painting a mural. Cost is $650 for in-country room, meals and transportation; plus airfare and medical travel insurance. Find applications and information at For more information, email or Peggy Gentry.

Kingdom Spirituality Class

On Sunday, Feb. 23, the Kingdom Spirituality Class will begin a study of Eugene Peterson's book "Leap Over a Wall: Earthly Spirituality for Everyday Christians." The book focuses on the life of David and how his story is also about our story as we encounter the highs and lows of our own life. The class meets in FE 107 at 9:30 a.m. All our welcome to attend and participate. 

Chapel Class in February

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

  • 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 and that were often presented as caricatures—flat, flimsy, colorful like flannelgraph figures. What if we took re-examined these caricatures 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.”
  • On March 1 and 8, the class will pay attention to the poetry that is all around us. Poetry communicates to our emotions as well as our intellect, and connects with both the heart and head. In this two-week class, we will explore the ways poems embody theological truths and help us live our lives as Christians. We 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 your prior experience reading poetry. We will find new ways to understand and enjoy poems, and tap into the unique truths they have to offer us as followers of Christ. If you have questions, contact Kathryn Sedberry.

Deidox Documentary Premiere

Covenant supports Deidox Films, Christian filmmakers who have been working to make films to inspire Christians across the world. Deidox' newest documentary, Free Burma Rangers, chronicles the story of a husband and a father who has chosen a path few American families would consider. The family serves as missionaries in war-zones like Burma, Iraq and Syria; the father fighting to bring hope through the humanitarian work of the Free Burma Rangers. This documentary is premiering on Feb. 24 and 25 at Regal Gateway Theater and Regal Arbor Theater. Purchase tickets at

Register Now: Covenant Preschool

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. Click here or call (512) 454-8370 for more information. 

Family Movie and Game Night

Bring a board game to play with other families, or sit back and watch a movie from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21. Covenant's Children and Family Ministry invites you to come and have have pizza, popcorn and fun! All activities will be held on the 3rd floor of the Fellowship and Education building. RSVP so the team knows how much pizza to order! Sign up here

Baptism Celebration for Families 

Join Covenant families who have baptized their children over the past year for fellowship and food at the home of Will and Cora Rodenbusch at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23. Families and deacons are invited to celebrate this special milestone and get to know other families in the same age and stage of life. Childcare will be available at the church. Sign up here. Contact Christy Milam for more information.

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 fundraiser provides the resources to supplement the needs of our preschool; all proceeds go directly toward the operating expenses. Your donations impact our preschool program with playground improvements, Spanish language learning opportunities, 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. Contact Katie McFarlane.

Moms Group 2.0

Moms Group will resume  Monday, March 2, in the Sanctuary parlor from 9:30-11:30. Group leaders are so excited to start back up and are looking forward to seeing you there! 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 24 hours in advance by emailing Elizabeth Moore. If you have any questions, contact Katie Seutter.

Young Adult Brunch is March 8

Covenant young adults in our congregation are connecting with one another over brunch. All young adults (roughly ages 22-35) are invited to brunch on Sunday, March 8, immediately following worship at 12:30 p.m. The brunch will be at the home of Chuck and Lorraine Volk, 5511 Woodview Ave. RSVP here or to Kathryn Sedberry.

Love Austin: Work and Play

Covenant kids in grades 6 through 12 had an opportunity to attend Love Austin, Covenant Student Ministry's in-town retreat. The weekend kicked off Friday night at Covenant when soon-to-be Middle School Director Jake Pluenneke led the opening session. On Saturday morning, the students went out into the city to learn about and to help our mission partners. Our 11th and 12th graders learned about a new partner – Helping our Neighbors (HON), a small ministry that cares for homeless neighbors in the northwest part of Austin. The kids put together supplies and interacted with some HON clients. Our younger kids helped at Street Youth Ministry, Austin Voices for Education and Youth, and Texas Reach Out Ministries.

On Saturday night, the kids started a conversation about how they can address the needs of Austin. “Often, the most profound ideas of change come from the younger generation,” High School Director Billy Streu said, adding that he is hopeful that the kids will continue to discuss ways to live out Covenant's mission.

Get Ready to Walk

Join Covenant members to help alleviate hunger in Austin and around the world by participating in the Austin CROP Walk on Sunday, March 1, at 2 p.m. at Camp Mabry. In 1947, Church World Service helped Midwest farm families share their grain with post-World War II Europe and Asia through the Christian Rural Overseas Program (CROP). This acronym serves as a reminder of our commitment to provide for the hungry. How can you help? You can walk at Camp Mabry, set up your own fundraiser page or donate to the Covenant team. Click here to learn more.  Contact Bretna Hackert by email or (512) 284-9010.

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 in need of gently used jeans (children and adults) in all sizes, and dried or canned beans. Donate "Jeans & Beans" in the basket in the lobby of Covenant Hall marked "Manos de Cristo." Lou Ann Newman.

A Look Ahead: Lent 2020

Easter comes late this year on Sunday, April 12. The Lenten season starts on Wednesday, Feb. 26, with Ash Wednesday services at noon and 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary. The following are key dates to save during Lent.

  • Ash Wednesday:                                      Wednesday, Feb. 26
  • Lenten Prayer Vigil:                                 Friday & Saturday, March 6-7, Sanctuary, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Lent Event:                                              Wednesday, April 1, 5:30 - 7 p.m.
  • Palm Sunday:                                           Sunday, April 5, all worship services
  • Taize Prayer Service:                               Sunday, April 5, 5 p.m. FE 100          
  • Holy Week Noon Worship Services:      April 6, 7 and 8
  • Maundy Thursday Dinners in homes:     Thursday, April 9, various times
  • Good Friday Worship Service:                Friday, April 10, 7 p.m.

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Sunday Worship Times

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

Contemporary Service
11:05 a.m.
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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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