Covenant CONNECTIONS
PERU--Seeds of Hope
Greetings!

Our mission trip to Peru wasn't like most mission trips.

Rather than doing minor construction, serving food, painting a building or cleaning an area, the focus was on learning and mutual encouragement in efforts to protect the environment, to take better care of the world for current and future generations.

Twelve of us (six teens, six adults) spent five nights up in the mountains of central Peru--in the heart of mining country, far from the touristy regions. We spent most of our time in La Oroya, one of the most polluted cities in the world, according to TIME and other sources. Studies have shown that 99% of children have lead poisoning.

A large metal processing plant has polluted the air, the water, and the soil. The mountains around La Oroya are an eerie white--covered with sulphur dioxide. There are no fish in the river, the local farmland lies dormant, and the air causes breathing problems.
We spent our days with a courageous and energetic group of about a dozen Peruvian teenage "environmentalistas" who are advocating for better care of air, water, and land in their communities and schools. We also met with a conservation group, which has planted over 30,000 trees just outside La Oroya, in an effort to reclaim the soil.
Together with the Peruvian teens, while we did paint murals, make posters, and plant trees, and while we played soccer and musical chairs, our time of mutual sharing and support was most significant.

On our final day in La Oroya, the teens gave presentations on the environmental problems and possible solutions in each of their communities. We heard their struggles and we offered encouragement. I continue to pray for them.

And we shared info about issues in Wisconsin: farming, lakes, immigration, and more. We even talked about Covenant's "Green Team" and our solar panels.

To see more photos from our experience, click on the "we care for God's creation" poster below. To read a more detailed trip report, including individual reflections from participants, click here: Peru Mission Trip Report .
My hope is that together we planted good seeds in the soil and in our hearts--seeds of friendship, courage, and hope--so that we can do better at caring for the world that God has entrusted to our care.

On the journey together,
Charlie

PS--I'm very grateful to Rev Jed Koball, a Presbyterian Mission Co-Worker in Peru for over ten years, who coordinated our experience.
Please keep Jed and the people of Peru in your prayers. Click on the photo of Jed and his wife Jenny (also a Mission Co-Worker) and son Thiago to learn more about their ministry.

They also work with a deaf community and with Presbyterian Young Adult Volunteers.

Jed and Jenny are two of several Mission Co-Workers that Covenant supports with mission dollars and prayers. Others are in Guatemala, South Sudan, and Indonesia. Your generosity makes a difference. Thank you.
The Lord's Prayer in September

On Sundays in September, our focus is on the Lord's Prayer, and we are encouraging everyone to pray the LP every day all month. We have also organized multiple small groups, for learning and fellowship.
The small groups will meet for six weeks with many options for dates and locations--most at homes, with some at church and local restaurants. We will have more information and sign ups available in the gathering space outside of the sanctuary this Sunday, or click the photo below to sign up online. Questions about the small groups? Contact Pastor Jeff at jfoxkline@covenantmadison.org
Sunday, September 8
Happy 65th Anniversary
to Covenant!
After 9:30 worship with special music, we will gather for a group photo (wear your Covenant t-shirt to worship, or any other colorful shirt) and then we’ll head to Bradfield Hall to party and celebrate! Sloppy joes, birthday cake, and lots of fun activities! Bring the whole family or come on your own, but don’t miss out … it’s a celebration to remember! This free special event is sponsored by the Deacon’s Fellowship Committee and the Children’s Ministries Team.
Sunday Worship
9:30 Single Service
Sunday, August 25
Sermon: "Seeds of Hope: Reflections from Peru"
Scripture: Luke 8:4-15
Preacher: Charlie Berthoud
Piano: Ben Welch
Special Music: Handbells and Jennifer Morgan, Peruvian flute
Sunday, September 1
Holy Communion
Sermon: "Teach Us to Pray--Persistently"
Scripture: Luke 11:1-13
Preacher: Charlie Berthoud
Piano: Ben Welch
On Sunday, September 15 , we resume our school year schedule:
9:00 New Day Contemporary Worshp
10:00 Sunday School
11:00 Traditional Worship