News

Evening of Reflection and Encouragement

Members and friends of Covenant,

This past Sunday night we had our Evening of Reflection and Encouragement.  Thank you to all who attended. If you were unable to attend, the following is a summary of our time together.

The overall message we wanted to communicate was gratitude for what God has done and is doing in and through Covenant/Alianza.

We began by looking back on 2019, giving thanks for the many ways that God has blessed Covenant/Alianza. The following is a summary of just some of the ways the Lord has both blessed and used us to be a blessing to others:

  • Christianity Explored completed a second year with a great turnout and opportunity for people to be exposed to the gospel.
  • 50/50 Campaign – We raised $70,000. $35,000 helped to build a Habitat for Humanity house and the other half is going to projects within our own building (we will be replacing the chairs in the multi-purpose room very soon with some of this money).
  • VBS – We completed our second year of writing and running our own VBS. To date there have also been twelve other churches who have purchased this curriculum from us.
  • New Members and baptisms – We saw another year of many new members and baptisms. To be especially noted was one particular Sunday in December where Alianza had 14 new members join.
  • ESL continues to minister to many families in our area. Kids Club faithfully ministers to our neighbors. The After School Program has 70 children this year – the most we’ve ever had!
  • The Gospel continues to go out across the world and one of the ways we partner in this effort is through our missions committee. We are so thankful for the work they do.
  • Discipleship is happening throughout the church including 19 active Home Groups, and several men’s/women’s Bible studies.
  • We have set a regular pattern of church Prayer Nights every other month. We are thrilled to have God’s people gather and pray together.
  • 2019 saw the ordination of four officers – two new deacons (Ben Jacobsen, Mike Yoder), two new elders (Anthony Tongen, Jerry Weniger).
  • Our kids hear the gospel over and over, in many different venues, from many different people. This should not be something we take for granted.
  • We continued our Salvation Army community outreach meal each month.
  • The Mercy Fund continues to minister to many in the congregation. The December offering for the Mercy fund was $43,000 which is such an encouraging blessing.
  • There are so many other things we could mention. There are lots of good, ordinary things happening in the life of the church and for this we are grateful.

After looking at the past and what God has done, Todd updated us on an elder’s resignation. I will quote what he said:

“In an effort to keep you informed, the session wishes to let you know that one of our elders, Lyle Jacobson, has resigned his office.”

“There is no scandal. Lyle was not asked to resign nor did he resign for any scandalous reason. He wrote the session and explained his reasons which were understandable. But we also want you to know that Lyle and Terri have also decided to seek a new church home. And again, there is no scandal.”

“We love Lyle and Terri and thank God for their presence and ministry among us. We encourage you to continue to extend kindness and love to them whenever you may see them.”

“There was a season characterized by some disagreements. Those disagreements were met with prayer, counsel, and mediation which did result in reconciliation. Yet we know that reconciliation does not always result in continued fellowship in the same church.”

“So please let us avoid gossip in this matter. Rather let us be humble and loving.”

We finished the meeting by looking forward to what we feel God is calling us to in 2020 and beyond.

The two words that summarize what we want to focus on are “Welcome and Worship.” We want people’s experience of our church community to be consistent with the gospel that we proclaim. This has practical implications in a few areas:

  1. Hospitality – We want to take a comprehensive look at the way Covenant shows hospitality, particularly on Sunday mornings. A group is getting together to look at ways we can improve the way we welcome and assimilate guests.
  2. Building –We need to address some issues with our current ministry space. Sunday School rooms are crowded (especially for children), we have limited storage space, and navigating the building can be difficult (especially if you have to go to the Annex or Mobile Units). Alianza does not have a permanent place for worship or for Sunday school; instead they are currently using children’s ministry space. We dream of creating a chapel in the front of our current space for Alianza so that both Covenant and Alianza have intentional overlap in the common areas of our building. We are putting together a Building Committee to look at ways to improve our current space and propose additional space to further our ability to welcome guests and aid us in our worship.
  3. Church Planting – We have planted two churches in the past twenty years (Tabernacle and Christ Pres). Moving forward, we want to be more intentional with church planting as we know this is one of the best ways to reach the unchurched. We will be partnering with the three other PCA churches in Augusta/Rockingham County with each committing 1% of their annual budget to be allocated for a joint church planting venture.
  4. Budget – All these things we’ve talked about take people and finances. We are proceeding with caution because we are currently behind in our budget (projected to be around $180,000 short at the end of our fiscal year in June). Yet, we are convinced that this is what God is calling us to.

Consider how you can be a part of this calling with your time, talent, and treasure. Our desire is not to just sustain what we are doing, but to grow so that we can welcome more people into our community to hear the gospel and so that we can all continue to grow in our worship of our Lord and Savior.

If you have any questions regarding any of these things discussed please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any of the elders.

In Christ,

Tim Frost

 

Christmas Services Schedule

Covenant Services

Sunday, December 22, 8:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.
Nursery and Children’s Church will be provided and Sunday School will meet as usual.

Tuesday, December 24, 7:00 p.m. (Covenant Christmas Eve Candlelight Service)
Join us for a time of Scripture, song, and celebration of our Savior’s birth. There will be no nursery so that families may worship together. The offering collected at this service will be used to replenish the Mercy Fund.

Sunday, December 29, 9:30 a.m.
Join us for one English-speaking service. We will celebrate this last Sunday of the year with come-forward communion. Nursery will be provided but there will be no Children’s church. Children’s, Youth, and Adult Sunday School will not meet.

Alianza Services

Sunday, December 22, 11:15 a.m.
Alianza will meet for a Christmas Worship Service followed by a meal. Sunday School will meet as usual.

Sunday, December 29, 11:15 a.m.
The Spanish-speaking congregation will meet for worship. Sunday School will not meet.

New Year’s Eve Celebration, Tuesday, December 31, 10:30 p.m.
Join us in the activity room for a time of sharing and reflection followed by a potluck midnight meal  and piñatas. Everyone is welcome!

Summer College Study

Are you college-aged? We’d love to have you join our Summer Wednesday evening study from 6:30-8:30p.m., beginning June 12th. Meeting in East Rockingham, we will study the 10 Commandments and be led by Pastor Aaron Roberts. Contact Zoe Fowler (zoe.fowler.17@cnu.edu) to sign up or for more information.

Habitat for Humanity Project

FINAL UPDATE 7/15/19 – We reached our goal of $70,000! The Habitat for Humanity house has been built and the Gebru family has moved in.

Look around at the church in the coming months to see how the money raised for the church is starting to be utilized.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the fundraising and the work of this project!

UPDATE 6/5/19 – We are currently at $69,603. Only $397 more to go!

UPDATE 5/28/19 – We are currently at $68,963. Only $1,037 more to go!

UPDATE 5/22/19 – We are currently at $68,313. Only $1,687 more to go!

UPDATE 5/13/19 – We are currently at $68,293. Only $1,707 more to go!

UPDATE 5/7/19 – We are currently at $65, 943. Only $4,057 more to go!

UPDATE 4/30/19 – We are currently at $65, 503. Only $4,497 more to go!

UPDATE 4/24/19 – We are currently at $63,903 of our goal of $70,000.

Here are a few photos from the house dedication!

UPDATE 4/3/19 – We are currently at $61,723 of our goal of $70,000.

UPDATE 3/18/19 – We are currently at $61,083 of our goal of $70,000.

UPDATE 3/15/19 – We are very close to finishing up the work on the house. The date for a dedication ceremony is Sunday, April 14 at 2 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

UPDATE 3/4/19 – We are currently at $60,223 of our goal of $70,000.

UPDATE 3/1/19 – We are currently at $59,393 of our goal of $70,000.

UPDATE 2/13/19 – We are currently at $57,919 of our goal of $70,000.

UPDATE 2/4/19 – We are currently at $57,164 of our goal of $70,000.

As of this past Saturday most of the flooring and trim work has been completed. We will still need to do another coat of paint and a few other smaller projects on the inside of the house. After that we will focus on the landscaping and exterior work.

UPDATE 1/29/19 – We are currently at $51,909 of our goal of $70,000

UPDATE 1/2/19 – We are currently at $48,985 of our goal of $70,000.

UPDATE 12/13/18 – We are currently at $38,980 of our goal of $70,000.

UPDATE 11/21/18 – We are currently at $23,030 of our goal of $70,000.

UPDATE: 11/1/18 – The HVAC work was provided at a great discount by a local company. Next up is the electrical work. Once that is done we will begin having our group work days.

–PREVIOUS UPDATES–

9/20/18 – The framing for the house has been donated by a local company. Once it is under roof the next step is to have the HVAC and electrical work done. As soon as those are completed we will be organizing a work day to help with the next steps.

There are two commitments that come with sponsoring this project: 1) committing to raise $35,000 and 2) providing volunteers to help build the house. (Click here to fill out the VOLUNTEER SKILLS AND AVAILABILITY FORM.)

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For the fundraising side of things we will be launching a 50/50 campaign. This means that 50% of this campaign will go to the Habitat for Humanity project and 50% will go to the church. We will raise the $35,000 for the duplex while at the same time raising $35,000 for needs we have in our own building that need to be addressed (aging or broken furniture, more seating in the lobby and connector, and re-purposing the library to make it more of a reception area). Our overall goal for this campaign is $70,000. (Funds can be given directly to the church either online through our “give” section of the website or through other check, cash, or stock donations. Please make sure the 50/50 fund is designated.)

On the volunteer side of things, we need people of all skill sets who will be willing to give of their time to help provide the labor to build this house. Particularly we need a few skilled people who would be willing to help coordinate the volunteers and help work with Habitat for Humanity’s general contractor to oversee parts of the build.

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The location of the project is 969 Roberts Court, Harrisonburg, VA.