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November 2022
 
On Sunday, November 6, Daylight Save Time Ends. Turn your clocks back one hour and arrive on time to church!

In This Newsletter

Pastor's Page

Recently, my husband Brian was invited to give an educational program on composting to RUGN (Racine Urban Garden Network). Covenant’s Caring for Creation committee connected with RUGN last year to see if there were ways we could be in partnership. That led to the building of a three-bin compost bin (like we use) for their newest garden, the Butler Garden. (Thanks to Bob Dean and Brian Gleichauf). We hope it will lead to continued partnership. 

At the program, Brian highlighted our church’s compost program and there was a lot of interest and a great deal of fascination that a church would do such a thing. When we shared that Covenant has diverted approximately 2,845 gallons of food and yard waste from the landfill, they were impressed. It is definitely something to feel proud of as a congregation.

But why do we compost? Well, certainly one reason is the environmental incentive to keep waste out of the landfills, especially waste that can be converted into something so valuable (soil). Another reason is so that we can use the finished compost on our own gardens which is very beneficial for their health. Yet, another positive outcome is that by coming together as a community, we can make composting more available to more people who might not be able to compost at home for lack of space or physical challenges. 

But, I’d like to suggest that we are also doing something very spiritual when we compost. We are caring for God’s creation. We are paying attention to how we use God’s gifts. We have the opportunity to marvel in wonder at the way something we might otherwise throw away can be resurrected into good. Or as Author Jeff Chu more eloquently suggests:

Isn't the story of compost really just the story of God? Turning fear to courage, sorrow to joy, death to life. 

A robust theology of the compost reminds us that death and the things of death, our sin, our suffering, the ways we hurt each other, the ways we harm ourselves— These things are never the end of God's story.

A robust theology of the compost reminds us that we are still in the process of becoming, and God has written redemption into the story of creation itself.


So, I hope we’ll keep composting together – definitely turning our food waste into soil, but also our own hearts and this world “from fear to courage, sorrow to joy, death to life."

Blessings,
Pastor Jenny

Remembrance Sunday, November 6

This Sunday, November 6, we will be celebrating All Saints/Remembrance Sunday during worship. We will be lighting candles in memory of those members who have died in the past year and you will have an opportunity to come forward to light a candle for the people in your life you remember as we celebrate communion. If you are joining us via Zoom, we invite you to have a candle to light in addition to communion elements at hand.

Stewardship Update

Thank you so much to all of you who have turned in your pledge for 2023. Kathy Miller is hard at work entering those numbers and we will have an update in the near future about where we stand financially. In the meantime, please know how grateful we are for all that you give to Covenant, be it your time, your talent, or your financial resources. And, if you haven’t turned in your pledge, it’s never too late! Email Kathy Miller and she can help.

Session Highlights

OCTOBER 2022

As we move into the closing months of this year, the members of the Session and committees are busy with year-end projects, Advent preparation, and plans for the 2023 year.  As the Stewardship Campaign continues, we are grateful for those who have shared their faith journeys during Worship.  We hope this inspires you to consider yours, as well.  The Elders have been at work on the 2023 budget, which is formalized in December.  We continue to be vigilant to rising costs, particularly in the utility and technology areas. 

We also voted to accept Jacob Ansari as our new treasurer. Jacob is working with Kathy Bower (our current treasurer) and Mike Howard (our assistant treasurer) to learn the ropes. More information about Jacob and the transition will be coming in the new year. We also voted to continue doing our Reverse Advent Calendars with the food bank as well as Stockings for Soldiers. And, we discussed what it means to be a Matthew 25 church and how we will continue to be intentional in our efforts around this identity in the years to come.

It is also the time of year to consider leadership roles, committee, and project involvement.  What’s on your list of things to do at Covenant?  Whether that is a committee role, time in the gardens or composting, working with the children and youth, or spending time nurturing your own spiritual growth, we hope you’ll find a way to invest a piece of yourself in the work of the Church.  We are always happy to see you, whether in person or on Zoom.  Wherever we are, we are better together.

Calling all Singers!
Advent Choir Opportunity

All singers from high school on up are invited to come and sing in our seasonal choir. No experience necessary. I ask that you attend 3 of the 4 planned rehearsals, with the last one required to sing that day. The plan is to work on one, maybe two anthems and will be 3 or 4 part songs based on participation. All rehearsal will be in the sanctuary but that may change based on availability. Folders and music will be provided, but bring a pencil!  Rehearsals are as follows:
 
November 20 9:00am-9:40am
November 27 9:00am-9:40am
December 4   9:00am-9:40am
December 11 9:00am-9:40am with service to follow
 
My contact information is listed below if you need it. Hope to see you there!
 
David Kapralian
dkapralian@yahoo.com

Poinsettias - Orders Due November 27

We will order red poinsettias from Milaeger’s at $14 per plant.
 
The poinsettias will be displayed in December, and may be taken home following the 9pm Christmas Eve service on December 24 or following 10am worship on December 25.  Plants must be ordered by Sunday, November 27.

You can pay for your poinsettias in all the usual ways but you also need to notify Kathy Miller. Kathy needs to know your name, how many plants you want, and if you wish to give them in honor, memory or celebration of someone and the name of that person. We will list these in the December Tidings.

Refugee Family Update

The organizing committee continues to work on connecting us with a refugee family. If you have any leads or ideas about housing in Racine that is: 1. Affordable (under $1200/mo); 2. Near public transportation; 3. Up to code; 4. At least 2 bedrooms, please be in touch with Pastor Jenny

Habitat for Humanity Build Day Opportunity

Covenant has a long partnership with Habitat for Humanity in Racine. In recent years, we have continued to give financially to Habitat but the Mission Committee is wondering if it might be time to put together a group for a build day. If you are 16 and up and have interest in helping to work on one of Habitat’s Racine houses, please speak with Pastor Jenny. We need 8-10 people to schedule a build day. No particular skills are needed and they will have a foreman there to coordinate us and show us what to do. Learn more about their good work here: https://www.habitatracine.org/

Mission Outreach

Upcoming Service opportunities
Brown Bag Breakfasts
We will be collecting Brown Bag Breakfasts on Wednesdays, November 2 and 16. Thanks to Claudia Grace and Candy Lively for picking up the BBBs and delivering them to The Hospitality Center twice a month. Contact Claudia or Candy for more information. Sign Up Here or Contact Kathy Miller

Veterans Outreach MealThe next opportunity to serve our Veterans is on Sunday, November 13. Click here to sign up. Thank you to Candy Lively for coordinating this. Contact Candy for more information. 

Monday Night MealsThe next meal we are serving to those in our community who are food insecure is on Monday, December 19. Sign up using the SignUp Genius, or at church, or contact Kathy Miller. Thank you to Barb Albee and Karen Fretschel for coordinating this. Contact Karen Fretschel or Barb Albee for more information. Food Pantry ListMary Lou and Howard Short take the food donations to the Food Pantry for Covenant. For more information contact Mary Lou Short. WANTED ITEMS: Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, Deodorant, Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, Cereal

Teenage Foster Care Basket Thank you to Brandy Smith who takes the donations to Kenosha Human Development Services. Contact Brandy for more information. WANTED ITEMS: Hygiene Products, Open unused/new socks and underwear, Feminine Hygiene products, Hair clips, Small trinkets for boys/girls and women/men

Stockings for Soldiers - Due December 4

Calling all Christmas Cookie Bakers!

On December 11, the Worship and Music Committee will be hosting our Second Sunday coffee. They will bring delicious treats, but invite you to bring your favorite Christmas cookie to share. You can bring as many as you would like. 

Reverse Advent Calendar - December 1-24

Christian Formation

We are thankful for our Sunday School Shepherds who help with Sunday School. They serve about one time every two months. This allows for one adult Shepherd to visit each Sunday School classroom and help as needed. They are Jacob Ansari, Sarah Baty, Eden Jensen, Naisbert Nyamatutu, Naison Nyamatutu, Linda Potter, Leon Potter, Tim Strand, and Kathleen Woodbury.

Sunday School - Kindergarten - 6th Grade November 6
"Live in Community" unit - "Transitions and Traditions" session
November 13
Service projects in Welsh Hall with members of the Mission Outreach Committee
November 20
Craft project with Fellowship, Fabric, and Fibers Group members
November 27
NO Sunday School for Thanksgiving weekend – join us in worship

Sunday School - 7th-9th Grade November 6
"What is Worship?" unit - "A Place of Worship" session
November 13
Service projects in Welsh Hall with members of the Mission Outreach Committee
November 20
"What is Worship?" unit - "How Do We Worship?" session
November 27
NO Sunday School for Thanksgiving weekend – join us in worship

**Make sure you check out the article on our Wednesday evening Advent programs beginning November 30. These will be great, family friendly, intergenerational evenings for us to come together as a church family for a simple dinner, crafts and stories.**
Dates for your December calendar
December 4
From 4:00-6:00pm join us at church for an intergenerational evening with a Christmas Movie, "A Boy Called Christmas" and yummy treats.
December 11
During Sunday School we will have our annual Advent Workshop – a chance to make gifts and crafts for the season.
December 18
We will be bringing back our annual Christmas Pageant – more details to come with a rehearsal schedule.

Youth Group
November 13

After church for discussion, snacks, games and fun until 12:15.
November 20
Bowling and dinner at The Lanes on 20 from 4:00-6:00pm.

Grown-ups Book Study Starting in February We are going to study the book "Parenting Forward: How To Raise Children with Justice, Mercy, and Kindness" by Cindy Wang Brandt. We will meet on the first Sunday of the month starting February 5 for an hour after worship. There's plenty of time before then to get your book and start reading! Childcare will be provided if needed. Sunday School Family Gathering – Saturday, November 19, from 5-7pm Bring your own dinner and we will meet in Welsh Hall for a casual evening of good conversation and laughter. We have a few older youth who come to watch younger kids so parents can more easily enjoy each other’s company.

Newly Painted Sunday School Hallways Downstairs

There was a vision for the hallways in the Sunday School area and it has blossomed! Be sure to go see the hallway between Welsh Hall and the Sunday School wing which includes a sign directing people either to Welsh Hall or to Sunday School and the Nursery. The hallway in the Sunday School wing is also painted. It really brightens up the whole area and it will make you smile to see it. Thank you to Robert Miller, our Facilities Tech, for painting the base color, and to Anne Risler and Tim Risler, for drawing and painting the flowers and signs.

Intergenerational Wednesday Suppers During Advent

Save the dates! Our theme for Advent this year is 'From Generation to Generation'. To that end, we are going to be hosting Wednesday evening soup suppers on November 30, December 7, 14, and 21 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. During supper, we'll get to know one another and then after supper we'll have a craft/project appropriate for all ages that will help us deepen our experience of advent. RSVPs will be needed, so look for more information in future Covenant Connections!

Fellowship Opportunities

Coffee Zoom - Every Friday at 11:00 a.m. (November 4, 11, 18, 25) - Join others for conversation every Friday. Bring your own coffee! See the Covenant Connections for the Zoom link. Contact Steve and Dawn Wolf for more information. Men's Breakfast - 1st Wednesday of the month at 8:00 a.m. - Men get together at Dynasty Restaurant, 2427 Lathrop Ave, Racine, on November 2. Contact Steve Wolf for more information. Women's Breakfast - 2nd Wednesday of the month at 9:00 a.m. - Women get together at Dynasty Restaurant, 2427 Lathrop Ave, Racine, on November 9. Contact Sue Richardson for more information. Fellowship, Fabric, and Fibers - 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, November 3 and 17, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at church in the Providence Room (opposite the sanctuary). Contact Claudia Grace for more information.

Caring for Creation Fall Work Day

Thank you to all of you who came out or supported us from afar for our Fall Work Day. We were certainly blessed with a gorgeous day which definitely made the work more fun!  

A special thank you to: Chuck and Barb Albee, Will Archer, Leslie Babcox, Tim and Sue Bolter, Bob Dean, Brian Gleichauf, Mary Jones, Jacob, Gabriel, Annalise, Erza and Simeon Ansari, Mike and Pam Lewis and son, and Sandy Veit - the Kringle was amazing!! Thank you!

We accomplished a lot:
  • A huge truckload (more than 10 yards) of wood chips/mulch was moved, most of which now enhances our path through the NW corner of our property.  BTW- the mulch was donated by one of the members of Wild Ones who toured our property in August.  
  • Buckthorn was removed and the stumps treated to prevent regrowth from along the path in the NW corner and along the South lot line near our SW prairie
  • Vines were removed from some lovely trees along our South lot line, which will help the trees to flourish
  • Weeds were removed along the Living Fence garden area
  • Dead trees were removed along the NW path and along the South lot line- normally, we would leave dead trees to provide habitat for insects and animals, but the ones we focused on were along the path and right along the South lot line which will make it more inviting for all of us to explore our grounds
  • Everything we cut was loaded onto a truck and taken away for proper disposal - a Huge Thanks to Mike Lewis for his help on this!!  
I was particularly impressed with the beauty of our NW corner. We’ve made significant progress eradicating the Buckthorn in there over the past few years and now there are some very beautiful trees and plants that are thriving. I encourage you to take a walk through our little forest, along the mulched path.  

Bless you all, Linda Webster

Do You Need A New Church Directory?

We no longer have a photo directory, but we can print you a directory with all our members and friends with their contact information. Contact Kathy Miller if you would like a current, updated Church Directory. You can get it by email as an attached file or she can print you a directory for you to pick up (or you can request to have it mailed to you).

Sermons and Recordings of Worship

Sermons are available on the website for reading (https://covpres.org/worship-services/sermons/). There are also paper copies of the three most recent sermons in the Gathering Space at the church. If you would like to watch a recording of the worship service you can request it from Kathy Miller, either one time or get them in your email every week.

Paper Copies of This Newsletter

Do you have a preference for a printed copy of this newsletter? There are some available for you to pickup in the Gathering Space. If you need to be added to the snailmail list for the Tidings (because you cannot get here in person) please contact Kathy Miller.

Invitation to Like our Facebook Page
and leave a Google Review

We invite you to "like" or "follow" our Covenant Presbyterian Church Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/welcometocovpres. You can also leave us a review on Facebook. (What makes Covenant special to you?) You are also invited to leave a Google Review for our church on Google Maps. Look up the church and then select to write a review. Think about what brought you to Covenant: What were you looking for and What did you find here? By leaving a review, others might find us because of your input.

News of the Church Household

A Wedding:

Congratulations to Miranda Babilon and Sarah Fox who were married on October 29, 2022. Miranda is now Miranda Fox. 

Peace and Global Witness Offering: You gave $1,120 this year. A gift to the Peace & Global Witness Offering enables the church to promote the Peace of Christ by addressing systems of conflict and injustice across the world. Covenant Presbyterian Church is encouraged to utilize up to 25% ($280) of this Offering to connect with the global witness of Christ's peace. The Presbytery of Milwaukee retains an additional 25% ($280) for ministries of peace and reconciliation. The remaining 50% ($560) is used by the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the PC(USA) to advocate for peace and justice in cultures of violence, including our own, through collaborative projects of education and Christian witness.

A Thank You:

In writing his second letter to the church of Corinth, the Apostle Paul penned, 'The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians 9:6-7, NRSV).

Your congregation may invite members to make a financial pledge for 2023 during October. You may also include a Consecration Sunday, giving thanks for the generosity of commitment. These tangible acts of generosity are both a response to and a reminder of God's grace and gifts we receive, even in challenging times.

On behalf of Presbyterian Mission, please convey our appreciation to your mission committee, pastor, session, and congregation for your gracious and faithful support. On September 28, 2022, we received $1,000.00 for 102 Shared Mission Support.
[Click here for more info about PCUSA Shared Mission Support.]

Your support, dedication, and partnership make it possible for Presbyterians to be engaged in God's mission around the world. You are a valued partner in mission. As always, please let me know how I can support you in your mission efforts.

Yours in Christ, Bill McConnell, Mission Engagement Advisor,
Office of Mission Engagement and Support
(502) 569-5027
william.mcconnell@pcuas.org
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