Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020
One Take: Bob on sacred symbols
Click on the video above to hear Bob reflect on the power of sacred symbols in spurring us to pursue our highest ideals.


Update from Re-Opening Task Force
After prayerful consideration and at the recommendation of the Preschool Committee, the Re-opening Task Force has made the difficult decision not to open the Covenant Preschool for the foreseeable future. 

The group cited a number of factors, including the extension of Phase Two restrictions for an additional five weeks, the decision by CMS to go to a fully virtual school year and anticipated challenges in filling vacancies on the staff.

Preschool Director Becky Stout shared the news with families: "We will miss seeing the joyful faces of your preschoolers. Know that we love being a part of your lives and look forward to a time when we can be together again."

Click here for recent updates from the task force, including opportunities for on-campus fellowship that will adhere to social distancing and other protocols.



Sanctuary open for personal prayer 
The holy space so missed by our church family is now open twice a week for personal prayer and contemplation.

Up to 10 members at a time may come on Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. under a plan crafted by the Ministry of Worship.

A prayer guide is available as a resource. Please sign in at the Welcome Center and wear a face mask while inside. Here are other guidelines.



Last chance to sign gift for Daniel Heath
Celebrate ordination of former music leader
Covenant will host a virtual ordination service on Sunday, Aug. 23 for Daniel Heath, our former director of contemporary worship and arts, as we celebrate his graduation from Princeton Theological Seminary.

We will present Daniel with the gift of a hand-print stole to represent our gratitude for sharing the journey with him. Please sign the stole! You can visit the front desk in the Welcome Center at the following times:

Get outside! Hiking group resumes Saturday
Two options to fit your schedule
Join Covenant friends for fresh air and fellowship on family-friendly hikes on Saturday at 9 a.m. or Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 6:30 p.m. 

On this two-mile outing, we'll explore the Painted Rock Trail at Purser Hulsey Park in Matthews. Groups are limited to 25 per session and participants will be screened and asked to wear masks as we gather.
Learn more and sign up here. Questions? Contact Lauren Sawyers.



Blood donor Blood drive on Sunday responds to vital need
Time slots from 8:30 to 11:45 a.m.
Your donation is needed more than ever as hospitals face shortages of blood due to the COVID-19 crisis. Please make an appointment as part of our social distancing efforts.

Adult Sunday School explores Christian practices
9:30 a.m. via Zoom 
Explore practices of faith described in the New Testament, including pilgrimage (this week), evangelism (Aug. 23), and prophecy (Aug. 30). Join us to learn more about these lesser-known topics and understand how to incorporate them into their own faith journeys. Click here for the Zoom link.





Latest on outdoor concert series
Sunday concert is full; next date is Aug. 30
All spots are filled for Sunday's socially distanced concert featuring a string quartet with violinist Emily Chatham. If you missed out, there's good news. The next concert is Sunday, Aug. 30. Feel free to bring a chair, blanket or picnic. Health screenings will be conducted. Please reserve a spot here.






Zoom interactive worship
Watch 9:30 worship with opportunities to say hello and chat in breakout rooms. 
 

Covenant media page
Worship at 9:30 and 11, follow along with an order of worship and interact with online host.
 

Facebook Live
Worship at 9:30 and 11 and interact with online host.
Blessing of the Backpacks is Sunday
An unprecedented school year awaits
A beloved Covenant tradition will happen in virtual form. Children are invited to have your backpacks with you during worship as we seek God's blessings for students in the congregation and at partner schools around the world.

Prayer bracelets and backpack tags are available in front of the Welcome Center beginning Monday.
  • Child of the Covenant: We'll also celebrate babies born or adopted in 2019 with a photo montage during the opening hymn.


New season kicks off with five events
Service project, team trivia, picnic and more
In lieu of a party, we are offering five smaller kickoff events. There is something for everyone! Each event will include a short discussion on what's in store for the fall. All young adults are welcome and this is a great way to plug in! Those who are interested can sign up here.




How we are lifting up kids, teachers            
Highland imagines limitless potential
Highland has adopted the theme of "limitless" for the school year as a way to imagine success beyond the current limitations. Here are ways that Covenant is lifting up teachers, staff and families:
  • We provided breakfast for teachers on their first workday
  • Delivered care packages to teachers with cleaning supplies and notes of encouragement 

Here's what we'll deliver in the days ahead:

  • Staff appreciation lunches during training
  • 100 backpacks with supplies packed by our fifth graders
  • Whiteboards to support at-home learning for every Highland student
  • Click here for a video interview featuring Julia Watkins and Principal Erin Barksdale.
     
  • Calling all teachers and educators! We are collecting names of educators who are members of Covenant so that our congregation can praying for them by name as a new school year begins. Please contact Julia Watkins.

Second Harvest welcomes volunteers                   
Socially distanced sorting of canned goods
Covenant volunteers respond to hunger in our community by inspecting, sorting and packing donated products at the food bank. See the available shifts and sign up here.



Outdoor fitness classes are Thursdays                  
Bring a mat, towel and water
Drop by for 45-minute classes led by Kevin Harper featuring workouts for the major muscle groups. All fitness levels are welcome. Please bring a mat, towel and water. Cost is $5. See details and sign up here.





Knitting group invites all who love yarn                  
Take part in socially distanced fellowship
Join knitting friends to knit warm scarves for sharing this Christmas. We'll provide yarn, needles, and a simple pattern (pictured). In return, we ask that you commit to completing the scarf by mid-December for Room In the Inn guests and local teachers. Contact Sally Graves to learn more.





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Congregational Notes
memorials, celebrations