Rev. Rob Mark, Pastor
Happy May, Church!
I hope and pray this unfolding spring brings you daily reminders of God's ever-new love - in your life, and in the world. It was a joy to walk through Lent and Holy Week together. We cultivated and let go. And a tree of life has sprouted into the heart of our life together in a new way, and I give great thanks for that, and for our continued collective emergence.
Two important coming congregational moments I want to lift before us:
- On Sunday, May 26, we will be taking our Sunday worship on the road as we travel together to Concord New Hampshire to worship with our dear siblings Elsa and Reine Abele. Since they have not been able to come join us at 67 Newbury Street on Sundays since Elsa's cancer diagnosis back in August 2018 - it is high time we pick up and go to them! (The RSVP form is here.) We will gather at 9am at the church, and be back by 1:30pm. Note that those who cannot join us in worship in NH that day, we will not have any worship at 67 Newbury Street, but encourage people to join our friends at Emmanuel Church at 15 Newbury Street that day at 10am.
Please fill out this RSVP form by May 10 so we can make travel plans. For the form, click here.
- Join us after worship on Sunday, June 2, as our Pastoral Transition Team brings an engaged conversation to our community about the future vision, needs, dreams around our next Associate Pastor. A survey will go out prior to this gathering - stay tuned for that.
Much peace and love,
Covenant Cabaret Fun- and Fund-Raiser!
The annual Covenant Cabaret variety show will be on Saturday, May 18, at 7 pm in Bates Hall. This is a great occasion of fun as Covenant community members share their talent with story-telling, music, singing, sketches, dance, comedy, magic, or something else!
Don't miss this chance for a good time together, while also raising funds for Nica Companions to assist with travel costs for delegations to and from our sister community Dulce Nombre de Jesus.
If you have a talent to share, please contact Joe Waters at email@example.com to sign up, or contact any of the Nica Companions for more information.
In This Issue
News from the Pews
We had a beautiful Easter Sunday service, with a five-piece brass ensemble offering special music. Our Covenant choir presented Canticle of the Three Children, created specially for Easter/Earth Day 2019, with verses written by
. To download the Canticle file, and to hear Psalm 12 sung by the choir on Good Friday 2019,
We enjoyed an especially large attendance, with visitors filling the pews, including some athletes in town to run the Boston Marathon the next day. Pastor Rob shared a moving Blessing of the Runners, who included
Kay Olm's daughter
Easter Sunday service at Covenant
By Consumption & Justice
With Mother's Day this month, we reflect on the mother-baby bond that exists throughout nature, including in species that today's food system allows no consideration for these feelings.
Under the Mango Tree
by Tim Groves
Note: This column will be a monthly sharing of stories from our sister church community, Dulce Nombre de Jesus, in northwest Nicaragua.
Each month Dulce Nombre and Covenant have a commitment to write Community Letters to each other and keep our
hermanamiento alive and strong.
Community Letter, Dulce Nombre to Covenant after Holy Week
Hello, dear brothers and sisters.
We warmly greet you and wish that God gives you life and animo in order to continue working for the reign of God.
We wish to thank you for making possible our trip to the Community of Catorce de Septiembre [their long-time, in-country sister Christian-base community in Managua] and giving us the opportunity to strengthen our hermanamiento with them.
This Sunday we held the procession with palms and our siblings in the Catorce community showed us the special area in their community that the Government has constructed so that children have a wonderful place to play games for all ages, young children, teenagers and adults.
We want to tell you also about the Thursday [during Holy Week] we took turns washing each other's feet as Jesus did for his disciples and on that Friday in the afternoon we carried out the Viacrucis [Way of the Cross procession], and on Holy Saturday we had a bonfire together. On Sunday, the Day of the resurrection of Jesus, we celebrated the anniversary of our church. We also celebrated the birthdays of Yadira, Gloria Betancourt and Neris, the son of Ruber and Mariana. We also remembered the beginning of the hermanamiento between Church of the Covenant and Dulce Nombre and the founders from each sister-church community who are no longer with us, Newell from Covenant and from Dulce Nombre Antonia, Juana, Esperanza, all who live forever in our hearts, so our Community says, "Presenté."
After telling you about the joys, we want to share sorrows. The husband of Yadira, Francisco, is in bad health, as is Sarah, mother of Maximino and Vilma. We are also praying for the health of the husband of Esperanza, Aquileo, and the sister of Gloria Martinez, Juana Brigida. We also prayed to God to deliver rain so that we will be able to plant corn and to give us water for the animals. We hope that you share our prayers for sufficient rain and for those who are sick. We also want to say that we are waiting with eagerness for your delegation's visit.
We also are thankful that Diane [Lauber] had a good visit with some of the children of Maximino who work in Costa Rica, and that her boys are working to realize their goals. [Note: Diane, Josh and Jon were visiting Costa Rica for school vacation week.]
We send our great greetings and warm hugs, and we await news from your community.
For some explanatory background of this wonderful letter, Covenant's Mission & Advocacy Committee, through our church's annual budget, designates up to $1,000 to support priority requests from Dulce Nombre. This April the Community requested $500 to fund their group visit to Managua to visit their in-country sister church.
Second, as you can see, Dulce Nombre is eagerly awaiting the visit of our upcoming delegation, traveling to Nicaragua this July 1 to July 11. Debbie Howland, Mocky Day, Faith Perry and I are confirmed to participate. Are there others from Covenant who would like to join us?
In on a related topic, please respond to Joe Waters, who is organizing this year's annual Cabaret, an evening of fun and sharing talents and interests with our church community. Please consider offering your gifts of storytelling, playing instruments, dance, poetry, singing and telling jokes. And for all of us at Covenant,
please "Come to the Cabaret" on Saturday, March 18, at 7:00pm. It will be great fun and helps raise money to subsidize some of the costs of delegations back and forth.
By Liz Vizza for Council
April Meeting Report
Council voted the following time-sensitive matter ahead of the meeting date (by email):
To approve the position description for a half-time Interim Associate Pastor for sending along to Presbytery of Boston's Committee on Ministry and the Metropolitan Boston Association's Committee on Ministry for approval, in order for our Pastoral Transition Team to begin the search process for possible candidates.
The 2019 COTC Leadership roster is available, and it was agreed to send it out to the congregation after Easter.
Nancy Holloman distributed a list of people who have been in or under care at COTC over the years. She requested that any information on event dates or contact information be forwarded to her.
At the meeting Council received committee reports and approved the following motions:
- To endorse the proposal for Rev. Rob Mark's Annual Summer Sabbath and recommend that the congregation vote to approve the change to Rev. Rob's Terms of Call
- To call a congregational meeting on Sunday, May 5, at 12:30 PM to vote on the change to Rev. Rob's Terms of Call to include two weeks unpaid leave for an Annual Summer Sabbath
- To approve the Personnel Committee's recommendation and to recommend to the congregation for a vote to approve a 3% rather than a 2% salary increase for 2019 for Rev. Rob Mark
- Upon recommendation from the M&A committee, Council approved that Church of the Covenant commits to being a Church Partner to Villages in Partnership (VIP) (which commits COTC to pray for the community in the villages in Malawi, support VIP mission with an annual contribution, send church representatives to Malawi, invite VIP to teach/preach at COTC, and share VIP communications with the congregation.)
- To call a congregational meeting on Sunday June 2, 2019, after the service to discuss the settled Associate Pastor position
- From Building Committee regarding the allocation of costs for EPS security services to the Operation rather than Building budget, given that Council will be tracking the line item
Council addressed New Business in a proposal that the Standing Rules be reviewed and updated. Trudi Veldman, Kathryn Barry, and Arnold Rots volunteered to bring a proposal to Council.
Note: If your May birthday does not appear on this list, please notify Hillary in the church office so we can include you next year!
most up-to-date church calendar.
About This Issue
May 2019 Covenant News
Editor and Graphics: Evelyn Kimber
Template: Harry Forsdick
Deadline for the June 2019 Covenant News is Saturday, May 25. Please email your submissions to Evelyn Kimber at