Past and Present

This has been a hard year. 2020, from pretty much start to stop, has been difficult. So I’ve been engaged in some time travel. Not fast forwarding through this year (though if I could jump to a vaccine, that would be great), but rather sending myself back in time.
So far, over the past 8 months I’ve re-watched some of my favorite television shows and reveled in the sense of familiarity and comfort from revisiting those worlds. Parks and Recreation, by the way, holds up incredibly well if you are looking for some feel-good comedy. Spotify (how I listen to most of my music) has noticed this as well. It has started offering me playlists with titles like “Best music of the 2000s.” Finding old albums that I listened to in high school and college has been a real joy. Re-reading books has been another pleasure for me.

So with this in mind, when I stumbled across this New York Times article, I felt truly seen. With the headline “Go Ahead, Binge Old Movies and Jam Out to ‘90s Hits”, it discusses the surge in nostalgia that has coincided with the surge in virus cases.
"It’s not just Spice Girls and Fleetwood Mac that are having moments. Jurassic Park (1993), Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Hocus Pocus (1993) and The Goonies (1985) have hit box office charts over the past few months, pulling in thousands of dollars in ticket sales, especially at drive-in screens where social distancing is easier."
It seems that I’m in good company by turning back my internal clock to things past. The wave of nostalgia is not just because the nineties (or whatever decade you want to pick) were the height of culture, but because this nostalgia is having a soothing effect on us during the difficult year we’ve been having.

“Dr. Wing Yee Cheung, [is] an associate professor in psychology at the University of Winchester in England who studies nostalgia. 'We feel that we have lost footing at the present time, and we gain some comfort by taking a step back and revisiting something that reminds us of a time that we used to feel more connected with other people,' Dr. Cheung said. 'It gives you energy to cope with what is going on now and move forward.'”
What we’re searching for is familiarity, comfort, and connection. These basic needs are in short supply right now when things are so unfamiliar, uncomfortable and disconnected. So we find it in the past, in old memories conjured by living artifacts from our past.

How can our nostalgia strengthen our faith? What songs bring you back to that special place? For me, listening to Widor’s Toccata brings me directly to the end of an Easter Sunday worship service as we leave the sanctuary and see each other in our Easter finest, chatting and taking family photos. Silent Night transports me to the muted darkness of Christmas Eve, candles held aloft as we celebrate Jesus’s birth.
Reading the 23rd Psalm brings me back to the many funerals and memorial services where we read this together, celebrating loved ones who have come before us. Reading Matthew 25:31-40 sends me to worship services where we learn about our calling to care for our siblings.

These familiar tunes and words bring me back to a time of greater connection, helping me feel connected to my faith and to my faith family. I eagerly anticipate the time when we can stream out of the sanctuary together after a beautiful celebration, but until then I am strengthened by the memories and connections forged by our shared music and scripture.


Jeff Fox-Kline
Generosity Campaign 2021
We have high hopes for the ministry of Covenant in 2021!

Making a financial pledge to support Covenant helps us to continue making a difference together. Click on the logo to make a pledge and/or fill out the Serving Survey now.

While it is still very early, we have received 151 commitment cards totaling over $673,301 (combined operating and per capita totals). Amazing! Thank you, Covenant!
Calling All Writers!
5 spots left!
Words of Wisdom, Words of Faith Congregational Devotional

We will begin 2021 thinking about WORDS—with a congregational devotional and a sermon series. You are invited to reflect on a word for our devotional (for example, some words that have already been chosen are star, baptism, disciple, gospel, least, bread, and listen).

Click here to sign-up for writing a devotional. The form will prompt you to choose a word and accompanying scripture for your devotional writing, which should be no more than 350 words and include a short prayer.

Please submit your devotionals to Lexie Ofe by November 30.
The Great Puzzle Exchange:
A Lending Library of Puzzles for Adults and Children!

We've got a long, cold winter ahead of us. Why not cozy up with some cocoa and a puzzle?

Stop by the church courtyard to take a puzzle and leave a puzzle.
Look for the cabinet under the overhang by the picnic tables. 

Contact Donna Monson with any questions.
Hymn of the Week
A Weekly Series Celebrating Covenant Members' Most Beloved Hymns

This week's hymn, "Precious Lord, Take My Hand," was chosen by Doug Rohn. Find his reflection here and the video here!

Advent & Christmas
Church Carry Out Sunday School Lessons

The church building is closed, but Sunday School continues at your home with one Church Carry Out bag filled with four lessons celebrating the Advent and Christmas season. Learn more and find a sign-up link here!

Contact Donna Monson with any questions.
Middle and High School Youth Connections Sunday, November 15

MSYC will gather at Covenant from 4:00-5:00.
HSYC will gather at Covenant from 6:30-7:45.
Both groups will play get-to-know-you games, have small group discussions, and spend time on devotions that feature scripture, a message from one of our adult leaders, and a closing prayer.
"Science, Religion, & the Protestant Tradition”
Adult Education
Sunday, November 15 at 10:00 am
Dr. James Ungureanu, Historian in Residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will present part II of his series.

Part II: Dr. Ungureanu will discuss the origins, development, and popularization of such narratives where it becomes evident that the “conflict thesis” was just one of the many unintended consequences of the Protestant Reformation. 

Check out past Adult Ed resources on our webpage!
Sunday, November 15

  • Caregiving Sunday: Honoring those who help others
  • Pastor Jeff Fox-Kline preaching on Isaiah 41: 6-10: "Take Courage!"
  • Children's Time with Donna
  • Special music with Steve Royalton and Covenant choir members

We'd love to see you at the Sunday morning

This week, this year...
they have been exhausting.

We understand if you're feeling video'd out. If you don't have the time or energy to worship with our 45-minute videos each week, you can read sermons and listen to sermon podcasts here. Take care, Covenant!
Internet Safety
Please beware of heightened activity from scammers. Know that NO staff member from Covenant would solicit money or gift cards from you in an email! Triple-check the email address of the sender, and only click on links you can trust. If an email seems fishy, it's probably phishy!