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Towards the end of March last year, I had my first ever experience with vertigo. The first time it happened, it came on strong and I had to spend the day in bed with help from Brian holding me steady anytime I needed to get around. The next morning, I woke up and it was gone as suddenly as it came. A week later it was back. A little less strong that time but enough to keep me sitting most of the day. And again, I woke up a day later and it was gone.  But then it came back in a more subtle way where I mostly notice it when I go to lie down or bend down to pick something up off the floor or during a workout where I’m getting up and down a lot. And that has persisted for this entire past year.
 
Yes, I’ve seen a special therapist and I do a number of exercises regularly to keep the dizziness at bay, but those exercises have only managed to keep the vertigo at the edges of my life, not gotten rid of it. And while I’m still seeking help with it, I’m starting to think this might just be how it is going to be. Perhaps the vertigo is here to stay – not enough to incapacitate me or keep me from my daily life, but enough for me to know it’s there regularly.
 
So now, as we return to the season of Lent, I wonder, can my vertigo be a spiritual practice for me? It’s a small problem in the scheme of things, so instead of letting it frustrate me, can I work to find a bit of God’s presence in this strange dizziness?  Each time things start to spin a bit and I feel unsteady, can I remember the promise that I am steadily in God’s hand? When I have to slow down, can I let it remind me of the frailty of the physical body, while giving thanks for all the things my body still does perfectly well?  When I start each morning with the awkward exercises, can I take a few deep breaths and let those quiet moments center me in the day?
 
Spiritual practices are available to us in so many forms. If we say God is always present with us, then that offers us the opportunity to find God in each moment. During this Lenten season, I hope you’ll find new parts of yourself to offer to God and find God in new places.

Pastor Jenny

Session Highlights
March 2021

The Session gathered on February 15, with new Elders Sue Gabbey, Beth Kapralian, David Steege and Youth Elder Naisbert Nyamatutu.  We know that this will be an exciting year, as we chart a course for 2021.

We had all hoped that 2020 would be in the rearview mirror, and that the challenges we faced would be history.  Unfortunately, we still carry the burden of the pandemic, and the disruption that it has caused to our old ‘normal’.  As we move into this year, we will look at opportunities for creating a new ‘normal’.  We know how blessed we are to have our Co-Pastors Jenny and Sarah, who continue to carry us through and create ways to Worship together, hold Bible Studies, Sunday School, Adult Spiritual Growth sessions, witness at the funerals of several of our members…and on and on. Kathy Miller has kept us together with her email updates, reminders, and news of the Church Family.  Our new normal brings us together face-to-face from our own kitchens, dining rooms, and sometimes our cars. But, together we are!

The Reopening Taskforce will again begin meeting, monitoring the local situation, the State and Federal guidelines, and the Presbytery recommendations. We have concurred to keep the building closed through the first quarter of the year.  Updates will continue as we move forward.

The Session extends gratitude to the Pastors, to Kathy, and to the committee chairs and members, and to each and all of you.  As we continue through our Lenten Journey, remember that the Church remains open in each one of our hearts and in the work of our hands. 

When we choose each other, we choose God.

Lent at Covenant

There are many ways to live into the season of Lent, here are just a few suggestions and opportunities.
 
Special Lenten Worship Services:
  • Maundy Thursday, April 1, 7:00 p.m. (on Zoom)
  • Good Friday, April 2, 7:00 p.m. (on Zoom)
**All worship services will use the same Zoom ID that we use for Sunday morning worship

Lenten Class:
Join us Wednesday evenings in Lent (February 24, March 3, March 10, March 17 & March 24) from 7:00-8:15 p.m. on Zoom for Testimony: A Vocabulary of Faith. This curriculum (put out by the Presbyterian Outlook) asks the questions, how do we articulate what we believe fluently and in ways that clearly demonstrate our faith to the world? And, how do we live and move and have our being in ways that embody our deepest Christian commitments? Join us as we explore scripture and contemporary theology in our exploration of these questions. If you'd like to attend, please RSVP to Kathy Miller.
 
Devotionals:
  • Daily Devotional Email: if you’d like to receive a short daily devotional email that includes a word or phrase for the day, a scripture passage, 2-3 reflection questions, and a prayer, please sign up here: https://mailchi.mp/covpres/lent-email. Emails will go out every morning beginning on February 17 through April 4.
     
  • Printed Devotionals: (both books and booklets) can be found in the Little Free Library beginning on February 14.
     
  • Online Devotionals: you can find a list of online devotionals (both those you can download and those you can sign up for via email) on our website: https://covpres.org/lent-2021-online-devotionals (more will be added as they become available, so be sure to check back).
     
  • Again & Again Devotional: printed copies can be found in the Little Free Library beginning on February 14; if you’d like a digital copy, you can download one here (you’ll need the Zoom password to access the file): https://forms.gle/QtHs9t2pxS6QbWiV9
 
Lenten Boxes for Children & Youth:
All of our Sunday School children and High School youth had special Lenten boxes delivered to their homes prior to the beginning of Lent. These boxes contained goodies and supplies for Lenten-themed crafts and devotions.

Holy Week and Easter at Covenant

  • Palm Sunday (March 28th)—Worship at 10 a.m.
  • Maundy Thursday (April 1)—Worship at 7 p.m.
    (with communion and a homily)
  • Good Friday (April 2)—Worship at 7 p.m.
    (a Tenebrae service of readings and darkness)
  • Easter Sunday (April 4)—Worship at 10 a.m.

All services will be held on Zoom (using the link and password we use for Sunday morning worship), but otherwise will be similar to services Covenant has offered in the past during Holy Week. We hope you will join us.

Covenant Reads – An opportunity to share a favorite piece of writing

Do you have a favorite children’s book?  Or poem? Or short story? Would you make a video of yourself reading it?  We’d like to offer this new opportunity to share with one another some of our favorite things. We’ll put videos on our YouTube channel with links in the Midweek Musings. This is a nice way to “see” and share with each other while we are still remote. And if you read a children’s story, the kids in our congregation will enjoy it too. If you have a video or have questions about making one, please contact Pastor Jenny.  If you don’t have a way to make your own video (or it’s hard to tape while showing pictures from a book), Pastor Jenny or Pastor Sarah can meet you on Zoom and record it there.

Covenant Deacons

Each year, our 12 Deacons are assigned a portion of the congregation to "shepherd." This gives each Deacon 17-20 individuals or couples to check in with periodically throughout the year and to be praying for over the course of the year. It also gives each of you a particular Deacon whom you are welcome to call/email/zoom/text/etc. whenever you need or want. Deacons at Covenant are our "first line" of pastoral care. Because there are so many of us and only two part-time pastors, our Deacons help keep the congregation connected and help keep our pastors informed of pastoral care needs. In addition, they provide care themselves with meals when they might be helpful or rides to church (when we're not in the middle of a global pandemic), among other things. 

Hopefully by now you have received an email, phone call or letter from your Deacon. Because of COVID, our means of communicating are different this year, so the means of communication will vary based on the Deacon. Regardless, if you haven't yet heard from your Deacon, please feel free to reach out to Kathy Miller and she can let you know who your Deacon is this year and how you can be in touch with them. We know that emails can get lost in Spam mailboxes and voicemails get lost in the ether, so please do reach out if you haven't heard from your Deacon yet.
 

Additionally, each year, our Pastors and Deacons "pray through the membership rolls." This means that each week there are certain members whom our Deacons and pastors are intentionally praying for during the week. When your name comes up in the rotation, you'll receive a letter in the mail letting you know that you're being prayed for—while we hope you'll reach out to your Deacon anytime, this is a particularly good time to reach out and share with them what's going on in your life. 
 

Our Deacons (like our pastors) do their best to be in touch with as many members as possible throughout the year, but many of them also work and have families, so please do reach out to them if there are specific ways in which they can be praying for you or if you have a need they might be able to help meet. 

Mission Outreach

March Service opportunities

School Supply Collection - March 7
With schools bringing students back in person, supplies are needed. Please bring school supplies to Covenant on Sunday, March 7, between 1:00-1:30 p.m.  Everything we collect will be taken to West Ridge Elementary School.

Brown Bag Breakfasts - We will collect Brown Bag Breakfasts on Wednesdays, March 17 and 31. (2021 Dates through June: March 17 and 31, April 7 and 21, May 5 and 19, June 16 and 30.)

Hospitality Monday Night Meals - The next meal will be on Monday, March 8. (2021 Dates: March 8, June 7, August 2, September 20, and December 20.)

Veterans Outreach Meal - The next meal will be on Sunday, March 14. (2021 Dates: March 14, May 2, July 11, September 12, and November 14.)

Read the Covenant Connections email on Mondays to learn more and sign up for these service opportunities.

Christian Formation

Sunday School following Sunday Worship
  • March 7 – All Sunday School children are invited to participate in a craft project with the Fellowship, Fabrics and Fiber Group.
  • March 21 and 28 – Sunday School classes will be held after worship on Zoom.
 Youth Group at 4:00 p.m. on Sundays on Zoom
  • March 14 and 28 – High School Youth Group
  • March 7 and 21 – Middle School Youth Group
Sunday School PARENTS Group
  • Saturday, March 20, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Fellowship & Hospitality

Zoom links are at the end of this newsletter. The same password is used for all Zoom meetings and to access content on our website. Contact Kathy Miller if you need the password.

Coffee Zoom - Every Friday at 11:00 a.m. - Join others for conversation every Friday. Bring your own coffee! 

Men's Breakfast - 1st Wednesday of the month at 8:00 a.m. - Men get together on Zoom for conversation. Breakfast optional!

Women's Breakfast - 2nd Wednesday of the month at 9:00 a.m. - Women get together on Zoom for conversation once a month. Breakfast optional!

Fellowship, Fabric and Fibers - 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Get together with other crafters on Zoom to share projects, work on projects, and to keep in touch. During the year there are a variety of group projects - the kindness bears project every once in a while and planning special Sunday School projects.

Game Night – Tuesday, March 16, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Join us for a game of CatchPhrase!  You’ll be given words that you have to get the rest of your team to say. Signup with Kathy Miller.

Adult Spiritual Growth - Bible Study

Bible Study continues to meet via Zoom every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to noon. Each week, one of our co-pastors leads us through a study of the scripture passage that will be preached on that coming Sunday. No Bible knowledge or past attendance is necessary, all are welcome any time.

However, there will be NO BIBLE STUDY the following weeks in March and April:
Wednesday, March 3 — Pastor Sarah has a conflict that morning.
Wednesday, March 31 — Holy Week
Wednesday, April 7— There will be a guest preacher that week.

Adult Spiritual Growth - Book Study

Beginning April 14th, join Eddy Huffman and Brian Gleichauf every Wednesday evening from 7:00-8:15 p.m. for five weeks for a book study on Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. 

This is a great book with lots in it to spark discussion, but it is a longer book, so we highly recommend you get your copy sooner rather than later (though you don't need to have finished by the first meeting).

The dates for the book study are:
  • Wednesday, April 14 (7:00-8:15 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, April 21 (7:00-8:15 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, April 28 (7:00-8:15 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, May 5 (7:00-8:15 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, May 12 (7:00-8:15 p.m.)
Please RSVP to Kathy Miller if you're interested in attending and she will email you the Zoom link and a reminder when we get closer.

News of the Church Household

Congratulations
...to Sue Lange Pruitt and Curt Pruitt on the birth of their new granddaughter in Phoenix, Arizona. Holiday Alejandrina Diaz, named after her Peruvian grandmother, was born to Sue's daughter, Katelyn Harris Lange and Eric Diaz, on February 19, 2021.

Directory Updates
Terry Hogue moved to assisted living and really appreciates receiving mail, even from folks he may not know. You can send cards to him at his new address: 5321 Douglas Ave, Unit 1121, Racine WI 53402

New email for Anne Risler: risleranne@gmail.com

To Access Our Online Directory
Go to our webpage (covpres.org). Click on "About Us" at the top and then in the dropdown menu choose "Membership Directory". Use the regular Zoom password as the online password to access the directory.

Church Updates and Reminders

Worship and Sermons: Due to copyright concerns we are not posting the worship service on Facebook.  If you want a copy of the sermon to read, or to watch the service please contact Kathy Miller.  She can share a link for you to watch the service, or email (or snail mail) you a copy of the written sermon.

First Sunday Communion: We will have communion together on the first Sunday of the month as usual.  Pastors Sarah and Jenny will lead us through the Words of Institution and prayers that usually accompany communion.  This will mean you will need something to eat and drink nearby where you are watching.  Please don’t get hung up on having a specific kind of bread and grape juice.  Jesus used bread and wine because that is what he had available to him at the time.  We are invited to use what we have available also – whether that is crackers, muffins, coffee or water.

Zoom Password: After entering your ID for the Zoom worship service or meeting you are attending with Covenant Presbyterian, you are required to enter a password.  Please contact Kathy Miller if you need the password. This same password is used to access password protected content on our website.

Invite your Family and Friends to Worship: If your family or friends would like to get the Covenant Presbyterian emails so they can join us at Worship or Bible Study please send their name and email to Kathy Miller and she will add them to the distribution lists.

Contacting Kathy Miller, the Ministry Assistant: You can still reach Kathy by calling the church, but it is more direct if you call her cell phone number which is 262-880-6621.

Church Building Closed: The Session has determined that the church building will continue to be closed due to the pandemic.

How we Handle the Mail: All church mail is held at the Post Office.  It gets picked up once a week on Tuesdays. The offering is counted and your checks are deposited every other week.  Please note that this process may slow down how soon your check clears.

Food Pantry: If you have items to be picked up, email Kathy Miller.

Needed Items: (Please no fresh food items, only non-perishable in cans or boxes).
* Peanut Butter
* Egg Noodles
* Mac and Cheese
* SpaghettiO's
* Soup with Meat or Potatoes (not "cream of" soup)
* Kids Flavored Cereal
* Toilet Paper
* Liquid Laundry Detergent
* Diapers - any size
* Dishwashing Soap
* Toothpaste
* Shampoo
* Bar Soap
* Deodorant
* Face Masks
* Donate Packs of Paper Bags for Client's Groceries

Donate your items in any kind of bag: plastic, paper, re-usable (if you don't want it back), or in a box.

Thank you!

Zoom IDs

Bible Study
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/93016801365
ID: 930 1680 1365
 
Coffee Zoom
https://zoom.us/j/290593820
ID:  290 593 820
 
Fellowship, Fabric and Fibers
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87240738547
ID: 872 4073 8547
 
Game Night
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84005550020
ID: 840 0555 0020
 
Lent Study
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87032955690
ID: 8703 2955 690
 
Men's Breakfast
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82426888429
ID: 824 2688 8429
 
Women’s Breakfast
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87877007789
ID: 878 7700 7789
 
Worship
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/956669638
ID: 956 669 638
Copyright © 2021 Covenant Presbyterian Church, All rights reserved.


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