April 6, 2020
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus.
It’s Holy Week, the week when we remember and celebrate Jesus’ final days in Jerusalem. The events of that week aren’t simply of historical significance, although their historical significance is immense. The events of that week are the means by which Jesus reconciled us, and the whole broken world, to his Father. He laid down his life for the life of the world. He did this with resolve, and joy, and love. Jesus said, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord (John 10.18).”
So we fix our eyes on him, and tune our hearts in adoration of the one who loved us to the end.
We’d like to offer several ways for us to do that together this week. You can find a harmony of gospel readings for personal or group reading and reflection here. Reading and meditating on these is a great way to follow along with Jesus during this week.
On Wednesday, we’ll have midday prayer together and we hope you’ll join us. For Maundy Thursday, we’ve prepared a table liturgy for you to use at home. We hope this will be helpful to use with families, or virtually with friends or in small groups.
There are several things happening on Good Friday. Our denomination is joining with several other Anglican and Presbyterian denominations for a united day of prayer and fasting. You can read more about it, and find resources for fasting and prayer here. Please consider joining with our sisters and brothers in prayer and fasting for all or part of the day on Friday.
At noon on Good Friday, we’ll have our usual Way of the Cross service. We’ll gather virtually this year, and use the liturgy and artwork that we usually use. And then at 5pm, we’ll release our recorded Good Friday worship. And then, of course, we’ll worship the Risen King together on Sunday. You can look for those two services on the website, and we’ll also send out reminders on social media (Facebook, Instagram).
On a personal note, let me say thanks for your prayer and encouragement this past week. I’m happy to say that whatever I had was relatively mild and passed quickly. I’ll be able to emerge soon from isolation, and I’m grateful for that and can’t wait. Allison has been amazing, and she and the girls are well.
Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus this week, and praise him for his grace, mercy and love.
April 1, 2020
This Sunday is Palm Sunday. It’s my favorite Sunday of the year. I love the celebratory nature of it, I love watching the kids process with palms, and I love singing Hosanna, Loud Hosanna. But mostly I love the central image of Palm Sunday: our King, striding among us, unhurried, unsurprised, and unafraid. He’s in unfettered control that day, and it’s beautiful. And church, he’s still in control, only now in his risen power.
Even though we won’t be together physically this Sunday, we’ll keep our practice of offering recorded worship. We’re working on a little surprise for it too, so stay tuned. At noon on Palm Sunday, Larissa will offer a Zoom class on Holy Week, which begins this Sunday.
There are several other ways to be connected during this time, all of which can be found on the events page. We’re offering virtual classes and small groups, as well as midday prayer several times a week. Please consider joining one of those. If you’re interested in joining a small group that’s open right now, you can email Pastor Dan.
You can always check here for the latest news from us, and we’ll do our best to keep you posted via social media (Facebook, Instagram). Since the stay at home order has been extended until the end of April, we’ll extend not meeting together until at least April 26.
Please remember to check the “How Can I Help?” page on our website. It’s regularly updated with ways to help both our church and our partner ministries in the city. As a reminder, I hope that everyone who’s able will consider giving to the Deacon’s Fund of our church. And if you need help please ask the deacons! They stand ready to serve you. Lastly, one of the very concrete ways you can help Covenant is by continuing your regular gifts to the church. You can give to both the Deacons and General funds here.
I have one last bit of news to share with you. I wish it was an April Fools, but alas, it’s not. I’m in quarantine at home now. I came down with a fever last night, and it stayed with me. I don’t have any other symptoms – no cough, no shortness of breath, no sore throat. Just the temperature and I feel kind of worn out. I don’t really feel that badly, and I’m grateful for that. I’d be glad for your prayers, but honestly, even more glad for your prayers for Allison and the girls.
I know that the King who strode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday is with us in his power; he’s with all of us.
March 25, 2020
I hope all of you are doing well this week and adjusting as best as you can to the stay at home order from our governor. I’d like to update you on some new things and remind you about some things I’ve mentioned before. You can always check here for the latest news from us, and we’ll do our best to keep you posted via social media (Facebook, Instagram).
First, since the shelter at home order is in place until April 7, we won’t meet together for worship at Covenant through at least April 5. I hope you’ll continue to use the recorded liturgy we’re making available each week. You’ll be able to find it here on Sunday.
We had our first midday prayer on Zoom today, and it was really sweet to see some folks and pray together! We’ll be offering that regularly throughout the upcoming weeks. It lasts about 15-20 minutes, and it’s a great way to stay connected to the Covenant family. You can see the schedule and the information for joining on the events page of the website. We’ll also remind you via social media. I hope you’ll join us!
Many of you have asked about helping. We’ve put together a page that will be regularly updated with ways to help both our church and our partner ministries in the city. You can find it here. As a reminder, I hope that everyone who’s able will consider giving to the Deacons Fund of our church. I think that in the coming weeks it will be an important tool for congregational care. And one of the very concrete ways you can help Covenant is by continuing your regular gifts to the church. You can give to both the Deacons and General funds here.
On behalf of the staff, let me say that we really miss seeing all of you! We love you, and we’re regularly praying for you. If you have something specific you’d like us to pray for, just send a note to Pastor Dan and he’ll share it with us.