In Troubling Times

I am going to state the obvious here. It has not been a good week. The aftermath of the shootings in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton have left me feeling drained and saddened. I’ve felt, to varying degrees, exhaustion, helplessness, anger, and fear.
The book of Habakkuk opens with this lament from the prophet:
O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
    and you will not listen?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
    and you will not save?
Why do you make me see wrongdoing
    and look at trouble?
Destruction and violence are before me;
    strife and contention arise.
So the law becomes slack
    and justice never prevails.
The wicked surround the righteous—
    therefore judgment comes forth perverted.
It can feel that way. This past week has felt that way. “Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise.” Ancient words that remain, tragically, resonant today.

As I’ve been processing, I’ve been looking for resources to help me navigate these emotions.  The New York Times Parenting Section published an article that I’ve found helpful on August 6 th entitled “Managing Fear After Mass Violence”. The article is about how parents and their children can manage their anxieties, but the article provides advice that is universal to all people.
You can click on the image to read the whole article, but the main points of the article are as follows:
·           Understand that a few days of increased anxiety is normal.

·           Reach out to friends.

·           Try to stick to your routine.

·           Channel anxiety into action.

·           Step away from the news.

·           Don’t dodge the hard conversations.

·           Know when to get help.
All of this is good advice.
Another piece of parenting advice that comes up in these difficult times comes from one of the great saints of the Presbyterian Church. If you’ve been online in the wake of any disaster, perhaps you’ve come across this quote from Mr. Rogers. 
I love this, and I love Fred Rogers. But this is a lesson for children, albeit an important and hopeful lesson. For adults, Fred Rogers Productions has a video from Mr. Rogers himself. While the children look for the helpers, I hope the adults can listen to this quote from his video (click the text below for a link to the video):
The Times article tells us to find a friend, and Mr. Rogers tells us to be available to talk about anything. I don’t have answers, and I can’t guarantee I have the right words, but I’m here to talk to anyone if they need it. Please reach out to me – we are not alone in this.

I’m always glad to be your neighbor,

Jeff Fox-Kline
The Lord's Prayer Small Group Sign Ups

Starting in September, these groups will meet for six weeks with many options for dates and locations. We will have more information and sign ups available in the gathering space outside of the sanctuary this Sunday.

Questions? Contact Pastor Jeff at
Blood Drive
Wednesday, August 14
1:00-6:00 at Covenant
Covenant is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive, this coming Wednesday, and we need your help! We still have several slots open for donors. The need for blood is urgent, especially in the summer.

Please consider donating this Wednesday. Click the image above to reserve your spot with Sign Up Genius. Don't know your schedule yet? No problem! Walk in's are always welcome!

Volunteers are needed for hosting as well. Contact Pastor Jeff Fox-Kline if you'd like to help or have any questions!
Covenant Summer Photos!
We want to see your photos! Please send in your favorite summer photo (just one or two, not all of them!). New photos this week from Peru, Madison, Vermont and Door County.
Click on the Peruvian picture to see more photos from Covenant travelers. Photos are on display outside the sanctuary. 

If you have photos to share, please send print and/or digital copies to Pastor Jeff Fox-Kline ( ) or the church office.   
Sunday Worship
9:30 Single Service
Sunday, August 11
Sermon: "Ask Again Later"
Scripture: Luke 13:6-9
Preacher: Pastor Jeff Fox-Kline
Piano: Ben Welch
Sunday, August 18
Sermon: "Knock Knock!"
Scripture: Luke 11:5-13
Preacher: Pastor Jeff Fox-Kline
Piano: Ben Welch
Soloist: Kathy Mohs