We distribute Covenant Matters on the first and third Sundays of each month during all traditional services. If you do not receive a physical copy, you can typically find one at the Covenant Hall front desk, in the Narthex or in the lobby of the Fellowship and Education Building.
February 18 – March 4, 2018
Looking ahead: Lent and Easter
Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14. This is a special time for Christians as we look ahead to Easter. Start planning now for this important time. Covenant will have noon worship services on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by a light lunch. Maundy Thursday services will be held in different houses throughout the city (more information coming soon!) and Good Friday services are at 7:30 p.m. at Covenant. We celebrate His triumphant return on Easter Sunday, April 1.
Holy Week Services:
• Palm Sunday, March 25: Normal worship times
• Monday, March 26: Noon service and lunch
• Tuesday, March 27: Noon service and lunch
• Wednesday, March 28: Noon service and lunch
• Maundy Thursday, March 29: More info coming!
• Good Friday, March 30: 7:30 p.m.
Easter Sunday Services (April 1):
• Sunrise Service: Patio 6:30 a.m.
• Traditional Services: Sanctuary at 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m
• Contemporary Services: FE 200 at 9:30 and 11:05 a.m.
Read the Me I Want To Be!
Covenant Groups are reading John Ortberg’s book, The Me I Want To Be. Covenant. But even if you are not in a group, this is a great book to read and digest, and we’ll be talking about some at worship services. Covenant has a limited supply of books available to purchase for $7 each, or purchase a book online. Contact Kathryn Sedberry at email@example.com.
Silent Lenten Retreat is March 17
Covenant members and friends are invited to unplug using the ancient spiritual practice of solitude. During Lent, we will have a guided silent retreat. Please join us on Saturday, March 17, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cedarbrake Retreat Center in Belton. A silent retreat is an extended period of time in which an individual seeks to be alone with the Lord to listen, rest and be transformed by God’s spirit. We have space for up to 50 people, ages 16 and up. Cost is $10. Sign up at covenant.org/lentsilentretreat. For more information, contact Kay Austin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resurrection Scavenger Hunt March 21
Families of all ages are invited to participate in our first annual Resurrection Scavenger Hunt Wednesday, March 21, hosted by Children and Family Ministries. Drop in to Eaton Hall anytime between 5:30-7 p.m. to begin your hunt — this is not a timed event! Your family will be able to visit 11 stations throughout the campus where you will hear the Passion story, collect your very own resurrection egg set and decorate an egg carton. We are taking donations of egg cartons that can be dropped off in Covenant Hall anytime or on the third floor of Fellowship and Education Building on Sunday mornings or Wednesday nights. Volunteers to share scripture and man stations are needed. For more information or to volunteer, contact Rachael McConnell, email@example.com or Deon Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Covenant’s Got Talent: Feb. 24
Covenant’s 5th annual talent show will be Saturday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. in FE 200. Covenant’s Got Talent is a fundraiser for Journey Youth Choir. Proceeds help fund the choir’s spring break mission tour. Tickets will be on sale on the patio between services or can be purchased from any Journey member. Contact Stacy Curtis at email@example.com for more information.
Journey Homecoming Concert is March 18
Every other year, Covenant’s student choir, Journey, takes a mission trip to share their lovely music with other churches and to do some volunteer work. This year, the group is leaving for the trip on Saturday, March 10, and will travel to Jennings, La., Montgomery, Ala., Atlanta, and New Orleans.The group is eager to share their music and experiences with the congregation and will host a homecoming concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 18, in the Sanctuary.
The MoMs Group meets on the first and third Mondays of the month from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Parlor of the Sanctuary. Please join us for coffee, a snack, and some fellowship with other moms. On Monday, Feb. 19, we will learn about “The Highly Sensitive Child” and how we can all improve our approach as we minister to our children’s tender hearts. For more information, contact Katie McFarlane at Kates46@msn.com. For free childcare, please make reservations at least 48 hours in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Raising Highly Capable Kids
Would you like to invest in your family and experience cross-cultural missions at the same time? Consider taking a series of classes in parallel with families from Cook Elementary School in this program offered by Austin Voices for Education and Youth in collaboration with the HEB Foundation. Your family will spend time with these families, culminating in a FREE family retreat at the HEB Camp in September. Raising Highly Capable Kids will equip parents with insight and tools to help raise kids that are healthy, caring and responsible. Families from both groups will gather on Wednesday, Feb. 28th to meet for dinner at Covenant. Classes begin March 7th – May 30th from 6:00pm-7:30pm in FEB 107 (skipping March 14 and 28). For more information, contact Evangeline Herring at email@example.com.
Women’s Retreat at Mo Ranch
Please join the group of Covenant women who are heading to the Hill Country the weekend after Easter, April 6-8, for three days of fellowship, worship, singing, relaxing, and, if you are really motivated, a belly dancing workshop! The retreat begins with dinner Friday and ends before noon Sunday, all the time spent in one of those “thin places” where heaven and earth are very close. The theme, “Singing in the Rain,” will be carried out by our hosts, the Presbyterian Women of Gonzales Presbyterian Church. The retreat is open to all women from Mission Presbytery, “no prior experience necessary.” Scholarships for the cost of registration are available, some specifically for young women. Contact Suzanne McIntosh, firstname.lastname@example.org, or pick up registration materials in the office.
Armchair Travelers – Joy of the Summit
Join Armchair Travelers on Thursday, March 1, as Noel Durrant describes climbing the highest freestanding mountain in the world – Mt. Kilimanjaro. Hear what it took to get there, including planning, training, worn out boots, altitude acclimatization, a mountain of gear, camping with monkeys, sudden vegetarianism, a Rachmaninoff piano concerto and the joy of reaching the 19,341-foot summit. Armchair Travelers will meet in FE 300 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 at email@example.com.
Love Austin 2018, by the numbers
104 students / 133 metro bus passes / 41 hours / 10 houses / 1 God.
More than 100 students gathered at Covenant on Friday evening to start their “Love Austin” weekend. The theme of the weekend “Learning to See Better” prompted students to ask and explore:“How can we see God’s creation better? How do we truly see?” The kids did that by slowing down. After the gathering at Covenant on Friday for worship and prayer, the students went their separate ways until Sunday, meeting up again at the 11:05 Contemporary Worship Service.
In between, they volunteered at various places including in the St. John neighborhood with Julie and Allen Weeks and Austin Voices in Education and Youth, downtown with the Street Youth Ministry, at Westminster visiting residents and bringing flowers and notes, and doing yard work at Texas Reach Out Ministries homes. Covenant’s high school girls learned about Redeemed Ministry and took a prayer tour, handing out with manna bags to residents of a neighborhood reputed to have a high amount of trafficking. The students also took an urban plunge, traveling near the capitol looking for certain Austin landmarks (“Obscure landmarks,” according to Association Director of Student Ministries Billy Streu) and asking questions about Austin and the city’s needs. They traveled by foot or bus, hence the 133 bus passes. “The kids were not in hurry,” said Whitney Bell, Director of Student Ministries. “The scavenger hunt was not intended to be a huge competition. We wanted them to slow down and see each other, and see God.”
Faith and Parenting starts in February
A New Faith and Parenting study will start on Feb. 4 and run through March 25 on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. in FE 109. Participants will read Tech-Wise Family by Andy Crouch. The book explores how can we develop our heart, mind, soul and strength when we’re tempted to settle for entertainment and consumer satisfaction. We will explore making good choices about technology in our families while building character, wisdom and courage. To RSVP for the class and get a book, contact Kathryn Sedberry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Havana Nights-Preschool Spring Fundraiser
Covenant Presbyterian Preschool will host “Havana Nights,” our annual spring fundraiser, on Saturday, March 3, at Chez Zee American Bistro. This fundraiser provides our preschool with needed supplemental resources. All proceeds go directly to our school’s operating expenses. Last year we raised more than $20,000 and we need your help to do it again! There are many opportunities for you or your business to get involved, from becoming a sponsor to donating a silent auction item. Sponsor information will be displayed prominently at Covenant. Help directly impact our preschool program’s 120+ children through facility and curriculum enhancements, teacher support and learning opportunities such as Spanish and music. To support the fundraiser, please contact Katie McFarlane at email@example.com.
VISIONS Activities Day March 6
“The Zookeeper’s Wife” (2017), our March 6 Activities Day movie, is based on the true story of Warsaw Zoo keepers Antonina Zabinska and her husband Jan Zabinski who “hosted” Jewish refugees after the September 1939 German invasion of Poland. What was once an animals’ zoo became a sanctuary where the couple hid persecuted Polish Jews in plain sight until safe houses could be found. Through their efforts, approximately 300 Jews were rescued from the Warsaw ghetto during the Holocaust. 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 are welcome. Donations are accepted for lunch and reservations are not required. For more information contact Sue Gunnels at (214) 403-7981.
VISIONS Luncheon is Feb. 20
Join the VISIONS group for lunch and an interesting program about one of Covenant Presbyterian’s mission partners, International Justice Mission (IJM) on Tuesday, Feb. 20. IJM is the leading antislavery organization in the world. Doug and Thais Kilday who worked in Cambodia for IJM for a year in 2017, will talk about their work, everyday life for them and their children, and their travels in Cambodia and other areas in that region of the world. Please make a reservation by calling the church office at (512) 454-5231. Cost of lunch is $6 at the door. We look forward to seeing you for fun, fellowship and an informative program.
VISIONS Travel to see Ghost of a Chance
VISIONS Travel will see the Way off Broadway Players perform the comedy “Ghost of a Chance” on Sunday, March 4. Bethany’s husband, Chance, was killed in a hunting accident at their hunting lodge. She would like to sell the lodge, but the ghost of Chance is still there. Sure to tickle your funny bone, the cost for the play and for transportation to Leander is $16. The group will leave Covenant at 1:45 p.m. After the play, the group will have dinner at the Cherry Creek Catfish Restaurant. (Cost of dinner is on your own in the $9-$15 range). Sign up on the patio Feb. 11, 18 or 25. For more information contact Pat Noel at (207) 730-2741 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Everyone is welcome.
Rebuilding Together in Houston
Covenant members have responded with love, generosity and perseverance over the past months bringing hope to crisis for so many in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Covenant members have been the hands and feet of Christ in much of the coastal areas of Texas. The focus now is shifting from disaster relief to rebuilding and restoring homes and lives. We need volunteers to deploy to Houston tentatively March 20-22 and May 15-17. We will work with Rebuilding Together Houston. Bring skills in carpentry, drywall, insulation, painting or just a heart to help. Contact Steve Bissell, (512) 658-8178, email@example.com, for more information.
CROP Walk 2018 is Feb. 25
Rock the Walk, AKA CROP Walk, is the largest interfaith event in Austin and is celebrating its 40th year! CROP Walk supports hunger, empowering people around the world to meet their own needs for food and water. A quarter of the money raised stays in Austin to support local food banks. Covenant has been an active participant over the years, both in donations and attending this family-friendly event. How can you help? Join the Covenant group at Camp Mabry on Sunday, Feb. 25, at 2 p.m. or sponsor a walker. Donate online by choosing Covenant Presbyterian at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Austin Samaritans Mission Trip
Austin Samaritans mission trip to Nicaragua will take place from April 28 to May 5. The Samaritans invite you to prayerfully consider joining this amazing opportunity to share God’s love and grow in relationship with our broader Christian Community. Our time will be spent adding an additional classroom at Club Cristiano School, handing out reading glasses and painting Biblical Murals at Colegio Cristiano Presbiteriano School. For more information and applications, please visit austinsamaritans.org or call (512) 465-2073.
Welcome and Resettlement
Join our Refugee Ministry Welcome Team as turn an apartment into a home for a soon-to-arrive refugee family. We anticipate their arrival to be late February or early March. We are accepting donations of gently used household items for the apartment. Please visit covenant.org/refugeeneeds to see which articles are needed. There is a collection box beneath the stairs in Covenant Hall for donations. Contact Kathy Willis at email@example.com or at 512-826-6309.
Covenant Matters Slide Schedule
Covenant Matters publishing schedule will slide in March and April. The publication will come out on March 4, and then not again until March 25. In April, Covenant Matters will be distributed on the second and fourth Sunday of the month, April 8 and April 22. We will resume our normal schedule (the first and third Mondays of the month) in May. Articles are due to covenant.org/submit by 5 p.m. the Tuesday before we publish.