Wednesday, July 22 , 2020
Bob speaks with Mary Wood Stallings
In today's edition of One Takes, our series of conversations with Covenant members features Mary Wood Stallings, who has found purpose by serving as a reading buddy, pen pal and mentor to people in need of companionship.

"In pandemic times, walls can close in," Bob says. "But we can also carve out parts of our lives for something larger than our own immediate concerns."

Since March, a Covenant Re-Opening Task Force has guided our church's response to COVID-19 with a focus on the safety of participants and staff. Today, we are excited to share plans for small group fellowship that will adhere to social distancing and other protocols.

We ask you to RSVP so that our staff can manage the size of gatherings, wear a mask while on campus, and avoid physical contact. In the weeks ahead, we will share more on how to participate in these and other activities.
  • Outdoor activities for Young Adults 
    • Bring a lunch to the Freedom Park amphitheater on Sunday, Aug. 2 at 12:30 p.m. for a First Sunday community meal and conversation. 
    • Hike to the top of Crowders Mountain and hear a devotion at the summit on Saturday, Aug. 8 at 9:30 a.m.
    • Details here.
  • Family drive-in nights for Youth
    • Park your car and enjoy popular films projected on a big screen. Hosts are Alyssa Pacheco and Martin Pruitt, our middle and high school youth directors. Details TBA.
  • Outdoor concert series beginning in August  
    • Plans are underway for bi-weekly 30-45 minute concerts in the Circle. Listeners can expect to encounter beautiful music and friendly faces.
  • Takeout meals for Open Table
    • Drop by the Fellowship Hall patio on Wednesday evenings beginning in September for individual and family-style meals prepared by the kitchen staff. Virtual programs will follow at 6:30 p.m.
  • Exercise classes outside the Rec Wing
    • Get moving with 45-minute group fitness classes on Thursdays at 9 a.m. featuring body weight and calisthenics-style workouts led by Kevin Harper. All levels are welcome. Bring a mat, towel and water. Details here.
  • Fresh Air. Fellowship. Hike with Covenant.
    • The hiking group returns with a visit to the two-mile Painted Rock Trail at Purser Hulsey Park in Matthews. It's gentle and shaded. Join us Saturday, Aug. 15 at 9 a.m. or Wednesday, Aug. 19 at 6:30 p.m. Details here.
  • Opening of the Sanctuary and Chapel for prayer, meditation 
    • Within the next month, we hope to open the Sanctuary and Chapel in a disciplined, careful way for people to pray and meditate in sacred space.

Update from Child Development Center 
Children bring joy, laughter to campus  
While much of the campus remains quiet, our Child Development Center buzzes with activity as youngsters learn and grow.

The drop-off routine looks very different. Parents do not enter the classroom hallways as before, but instead greet staff upstairs in the Welcome Center for temperature checks and a brief health screening. 

Director Chris Callaway and the CDC leadership team wish to thank families for your patience and willingness to adapt.

Want to help?

Below is a list of ways you can support children in our program. Contact Chris to get connected.

  • Record a reading of your favorite children's book.
  • Contribute a second set of homemade masks for the teachers to wear.
  • Make a video of a hobby that you enjoy at home, ideally one that children can incorporate with the use of classroom materials.
  • Donate magazines, fabric scraps and other collage supplies.
  • Donate gently used children's clothing (newborns to age 6) for our borrow box.

Starfish Class - Toddlers
Children enjoy water play with sprinklers on the playground. 

They're also taking part in STEAM (Science Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) projects led by specialist Abigail Avalos.

Stingrays Class - Two's
The Stingrays created a night sky mural, a Stingray State Park sign and used a 
tent to go camping. 

We practiced our counting and sorting skills with ladybugs and insects at our light table.

Dolphins Class - Three's
The Seals learned about the letter 'P' by practicing sounds and thinking of words that start with the letter "P."

As part of an ocean theme, the class read about sea life 
and shared thoughts 
about the ocean.

Meet Christianity's early 'influencers'
Summer Sunday School at 9:30 a.m. via Zoom 
We are often tempted to reduce Noah to a character in a cute children's story. But he is actually a vitally important person in God's story. This week, Grace will draw comparisons to contemporary figures to illustrate how Noah's legacy continues to shape our world. Click here for the Zoom link.

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.
Zoom worship offers a chance to say hello
Worship among friends at 9:30 a.m. via Zoom
For those who yearn to say hello to church friends, the 9:30 a.m. Zoom worship experience is designed to feel like old times.  Try Zoom worship this Sunday and enjoy the chance to chat in small group breakout rooms. A moderator will guide us.

Add your voice to a virtual choir
Record yourself singing the Lord's Prayer
The music ministry is adapting to the realities of COVID-19. For our next endeavor, we hope to assemble as many "virtual" voices as possible for a musical presentation of the Lord's Prayer. All ages and experience levels are invited to record yourself at home.

You'll need only a computer and a phone (or two phones) and a pair of earphones. Contact Heather Potter for instructions to get started.

Spotlighting the work of UrbanPromise Charlotte  
Inspiring youth to become leaders
UrbanPromise Charlotte equips children and youth in economically fragile neighborhoods to become Christian leaders who will restore their communities. 

The organization has pivoted to virtual summer camps.  Its three centers on South  Boulevard, Freedom Drive and Idlewild Road are now serving as feeding centers for students and their families. Please join us in praying for neighbors as they face disruption and uncertainty.

Shared struggle of our Palestinian partners      
Consider pathways to peace with Mitri Raheb
Our partners at Bright Stars of Bethlehem are hosting a virtual book study on Mitri Raheb's free book, The Double Lockdown: Palestine under Occupation and COVID-19.
On Monday, explore how art can pave the way for justice. We'll hear from students and faculty of Dar al-Kalima as they share how art provides a social justice lens in which to critically reflect on reality while imagining new futures. Please RSVP here.

Preparing the ground for an orchard                   
Opportunity to serve in Enderly Park
Here's a way to get involved in a cause near and dear to the heart of Covenant. Our partners at QC Family Tree envision a community orchard to serve neighbors in Enderly Park. 

A Covenant team led by Anne and Jimmy Davis uses rakes, shovels and hedge trimmers to turn this grand idea into reality. The effort happens Saturdays and Tuesdays at 8:30 a.m (before it gets too hot). You can learn more and sign up for a shift here.

A way to respond to hunger crisis       
Second Harvest asks volunteers for sorting help
A few spots are left for today! Volunteers age 17 and over can enjoy socially distanced fellowship while inspecting, sorting and packing donated products. Click here to sign up online with the Covenant team.

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