Covenant CONNECTIONS
Taking the Easy Route
Greetings!

Sometimes it can be hard to do good. 

I’m often paralyzed by the enormity of the task of justice that we are called to carry out. Where does one even start when looking at the hugeness of the problems that we face. And even if I make it through the fog, how do I know that what I’ve done actually makes a difference? This is the problem we face in our world, one that sees intractable problems and stubborn obstacles to keep good from happening.
He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
     and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
     and to walk humbly with your God?
And then sometimes it can actually be quite easy to do something good.
This past Wednesday I had a chance to do something that was both easy and good. We hosted our first ever blood drive with the Red Cross at the church and I was one of the first in line to donate. This was a good thing, because we had a full house through pretty much the entire afternoon. All told, we collected 33 units of blood. I say it was easy to do, but want to acknowledge the excellent work getting this set up undertaken by Polly Guequierre to get the whole show up and running. For me, it was as easy as walking from my office to Bradfield, sitting down in a bed and letting them take some blood from me.
I understand that not everyone has an easy time giving blood – whether that’s because of medical history, weight, or a host of other reasons. I don’t have that issue, I bleed well, so this is something that is easy for me. 

What good do you do that you find is easy?
You can click on the image to see more photos from the drive.
That’s the first step. There are things you can do now. Today. That will make a difference in people’s lives. Maybe you’re a good listener – Agrace hospice accepts volunteers. Maybe you love animals – reach out to a local animal shelter. Maybe you ended the month with some extra spending money – there are plenty of places that could use a donation. Maybe you are passionate about a particular issue – you can write to your elected officials. I can’t tell you what you should do, because I don’t know what you would find to be easy. I know that there is something out there for you, and I hope you can find it.

All of those things require some effort, but by and large won’t have you moving mountains. And you know what? It makes a huge difference. It doesn’t nebulously do some potential good someday, but it actually makes a change now. That doesn’t mean we should abandon the long-game kingdom building that Jesus requires of us, but sometimes it feels good to know that you made a difference. 

I’m coming out of my blood donation not exhausted by the blood loss, but energized by knowing that we can make a huge difference in someone’s world.

Blessings,

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, or click the photo below to sign up online.

Questions? Contact Pastor Jeff at jfoxkline@covenantmadison.org
Blood Drive Thank You
A huge thanks to everyone for making Covenant's first blood drive a success! We collected 33 units of blood, and had a wonderful time while doing it. Thanks to Polly Guequierre for leading the charge on it and a big thanks to everyone who volunteered their time with donor registration, donor support, and canteen help. We couldn't have done it without you. Thanks to everyone who baked treats for the donors. We even had a warm apple pie brought in!

Especially thanks to everyone who came in to donate blood. You saved lives on Wednesday - feel good about that!
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 Montana, Arkansas, South Carolina and Door County.
Click on the Perry's 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 ( jfoxkline@covenantmadison.org ) or the church office.   
PERU MISSION TRIP

Our 10 day trip was enlightening, encouraging, and inspiring. We (six adults and six teens) worked, played, and learned with a group of ten teenage environmentalists, from the polluted region of La Oroya in central Peru. We planted trees, went on hikes, sang songs, played games, and shared meals together. We have new appreciation for Presbyterian World Mission, through the work of Rev. Jed Koball, who has been in Peru for ten years. Together with the Peruvian teens, we shared our challenges and our efforts and our hopes with the environment, as we seek to care more faithfully for the world that God has entrusted to our care. Over the final two days, we enjoyed the history and majesty of Cusco and Machu Picchu. The Peru trip will be the sermon focus on Sunday, August 25. Thanks for your prayers and support.

--Charlie and the group
Mark your calendars for Sunday, September 8th, and plan to join the festivities! 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 18
Sermon: "Knock Knock!"
Scripture: Luke 11:5-13
Preacher: Pastor Jeff Fox-Kline
Piano: Ben Welch
Soloist: Kathy Mohs
Sunday, August 25
Sermon: "Reflections from Peru"
Scripture: Luke 8:4-15
Preacher: Peru Group
Piano: Ben Welch
Special Music: Handbells