Dec. 9, 2020
One Takes: Cooking up hope
In today's One Take, Bob speaks with Blaine Sanders about the difference between hope and optimism. Hope involves more than a positive outlook -- it's a faith-based belief that God will intervene. "I'm always tempted to hope in myself," Blaine says. "Really what I need to do is hope in God." Read Blaine's devotion here.

How to worship with us on Christmas Eve
Timeslots from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
This Christmas Eve, we hope the Covenant campus will be alive with music, lights, decorations, animals and contemplative time in the Sanctuary.

While plans for the day remain fluid as we monitor and consider all outside factors, you are invited to sign up for your family (however you define family, in groups of up to 12 people), to spend some time at our church home before returning to your own home for a Christmas Eve livestream worship with the Covenant community at 5 and 8 p.m.
Katie and Lee Cornwell, our stewardship chairs, will share an update in Sunday worship on the progress of the campaign.

The Session will adopt a budget in January with the necessary adjustments. To make your commitment, you can click on the buttons above or use the QR code at right.

Outdoor movie night features Christian comedy
Tonight at 6:30 p.m. in upper parking lot
A special night of Open Table features The Star, a Christian comedy about a small but brave donkey, three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals.

  • Hear the choir tonight: Covenant Choir will host a caroling drive-through from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Roll down your windows and drive slowly around the Circle to hear carolers lining the drive.

  • Coat drive: You can also donate women's coats for our friends at Dove's Nest.

Memorial service for D.A. Bradley
Saturday at 10 a.m. via livestream
Covenant will remember the life of Doris Anne “D.A.” Bradley, a charter member. 

D.A.’s devotion to Covenant stretched some 70 years, from the library where she volunteered to the front of the Sanctuary where she took her place every week with the choir.

Please join us in celebrating a lifetime of faithful witness. Messages shared on the worship chat will be compiled and shared with D.A.’s family. You can watch the livestream here.

Hike in Evergreen Nature Preserve
Saturday at 9 a.m.
Enjoy a leisurely hike at Evergreen Nature Preserve, an urban hardwood forest preserve with a stream and trails. It's haven for migratory birds. The 2021 hiking schedule is now posted! See details and RSVP here.

A tradition endures as the singing and ringing choirs of Covenant, accompanied by organ, piano and brass, celebrate Christ's birth in a traditional Lessons and Carols service.

See and hear Covenant Choir, Covenant Ringers, Youth Singers, Angelus and Chorister Choirs along with Charlotte Brass -- all under the direction of Heather and Kenney Potter and Rob Dicks.

A special offering will support Crisis Assistance Ministry at a time when many are struggling with rent and utilities. Choose "Crisis Assistance L&C" on the drop-down menu. 

Mid-day worship at noon on Mondays
Weekly readings, music in the Sanctuary
Come to the Sanctuary for 15 minutes of readings, music and ritual observances. These services are also available via livestream. They are re-broadcast at 7:30 p.m. Details here.

3rd Monday in Advent (Dec. 14) – Ian Clark
Opening Organ Music: Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming
Scripture Readings: Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 (OT) John 1:1-5; 14
  • Hymn: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Service for wholeness and healing
Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. via livestream
Amid holiday celebrations, many of us struggle with hard realities of grief, loss, illness and unfulfilled dreams. A candlelight service led by Katherine Kerr is intended to bring comfort and re-center our focus.

Young Adults host virtual Christmas gathering
Thursday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m.
A virtual gathering will let us see the work of students at Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture, located in the city of Jesus' birth, Bethlehem.

Our own Dr. Suzanne Henderson, a board member of Bright Stars of Bethlehem, will be on hand to help us learn about life as a young adult in the Holy Land. Learn more here.
Julia Watkins, Ian Clark will say farewell
Pastoral residents accept new positions
Please join us in congratulating Julia Watkins and Ian Clark as they solidify plans for their next steps in ministry.
Julia has been called to serve as Associate Pastor for Mission and Congregational Life at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC. Her nomination was enthusiastically approved by the congregation on Dec. 6. Julia’s last day with Covenant will be April 8 and she will begin her ministry there on May 3.
Ian has been accepted into the United States Navy Chaplain Corps. He is scheduled to report to Naval Station Newport in June, from there he will receive orders to join an active duty station either stateside or abroad. His last day with Covenant is projected for late May.  
As a congregation, we have been blessed by the enthusiasm, creativity and spiritual gifts both Ian and Julia have offered while serving at Covenant. As their departure dates draw near plans will be made to safely and properly thank Ian and Julia for their time and contributions. In the meantime, we will be grateful we have a few more months of time together. 

What's new in Child Development Center
Message from Alexis Modebelu, interim director
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around the Covenant Child Development Center (CDC) and students and staff are excited to share Christmas cheer! The center will hold a holiday spirit week next week, inviting families to dress in a different theme each day. 

The CDC is also forming a Parent Advisory Board to help plan activities at the center, including holiday programs and staff appreciation events. 

Finally, the CDC continues to follow all recommended guidance on managing COVID-19 and remains committed to doing everything possible to keep families and staff safe and healthy. See the CDC e-newsletter here.

With our help, kids can experience joy of giving
We'll provide gifts for our partners at Urban Promise
We can make it possible for children to find gifts for their parents and guardians at Christmas. This program is led by Urban Promise, a mission partner that works in Charlotte's historically under-served communities.

It's an exciting day for children to experience the joy of giving by selecting small gifts. Street Leaders teach the students about God's boundless generosity and then help students package their gifts. Learn more and sign up here.

Last week to purchase honor cards
Choose your favorite mission partner
Make a gift in honor of a loved one. Honor cards are available through Dec. 16 if mailed to you and Dec. 23 if you pick up at Covenant. These gifts are 100% tax deductible and appear on giving statements.

Teacher brunch is Monday
A way to lift up staff at our partner school
You can contribute food, drinks, flowers or notes for staff at our CMS partner school to enjoy a light breakfast and simple reminder of our admiration. Please leave items in the Welcome Center bin by noon on Friday. See list of needs here.

Plan ahead for next Operation Sandwich
Deliver to the church on Monday, Jan. 4
The missions team invites you to make 25 sandwiches and bring them to Covenant. Julia and Lucy will be outside to collect and deliver directly to Roof Above's day services center. Bottled water is also needed.

Collecting holiday cards, 2021 calendars
For Crisis, Center of Hope, Moore Place
Contribute 2021 calendars and new greeting/Christmas cards for neighbors in need. Drop off at the collection bin in the Rec Wing through January. We collected over 400 calendars last year. For questions, contact Jane H. Taylor.

Guide to Advent season
click image for full schedule
Congregational Notes
births, weddings, in memoriam