Jan. 27, 2021
In today's edition of One Takes, Bob talks with Ariel Gritter about the meaning behind our congregation's presence at the Mezzanine at Freedom.

Ariel leads a team in building community at the Mezzanine, home to 185 apartments for residents of diverse economic backgrounds. We've held voter registration and Census drives, distributed information on flu shots and built Little Free Libraries.

"I see God working through us as folks who can walk alongside the people at the Mezzanine," Ariel said. "We want to be...a partner in creating community and being a catalyst."

This week, the team will assemble housewarming gifts -- cookies, cocoa and mugs -- to hang on each apartment's doorknob. Learn more and get involved.


What does it mean to practice gratitude?
Tonight at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom
Discover practices for gratitude as Open Table welcomes Lara Grotz, an engineer and participant in the Young Adults program.

Twenty years ago, Lara and her family boarded a plane in Turkey bound for their new home in the United States. Lara will tell us how a practice of gratitude expanded her worldview and helped her to reshape her life and identity. 

Next week: Jordan Benoit on service
Feb. 10: Practicing grace and forgiveness

Elders take racial equity challenge
Understanding white privilege
The Session is taking part in a community-wide racial justice initiative.

The 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge helps participants build personal awareness around issues of race, power and privilege. We seek to understand how inequity and racism affect our lives and communities.

Covenant has added its name to the list of organizations helping the United Way spread the word about this effort.



Session approves budget
With your generosity, we're prepared for challenging year
The Session has approved a $5.4 million budget that positions Covenant to invest strongly in mission, congregational care and education at a time when our church's leadership is needed more than ever.
 
"I know I speak on behalf of all the staff when I say we consider it both a joy and a privilege to fulfill our calling," Bob said in a congregational meeting to present the budget on Sunday.
 
Confronting the challenges of COVID-19, our mission team is actively partnering to serve hungry people in our own city and support feeding programs around the world. At home, we continue to enhance online worship to make it as engaging as possible. The goal is to sustain a sense of community among the congregation.
 
"In spite of everything that happened in 2020, we finished the year on a positive note," said Damon Nelson, chair of the budget advisory committee. "It shows the commitment and generosity of the Covenant congregation -- and provides a firm financial footing as we enter 2021."
 
Please join us in thanking Katie and Lee Cornwell, our stewardship campaign chairs, for their leadership. A detailed budget is available for your review at the front desk in the Welcome Center.



Kathy Pickard is our new morning receptionist
Welcome Kathy to the staff
Kathy Pickard will join the staff on Monday, Feb. 8 as our morning receptionist (Monday to Thursday) in the Welcome Center.

Kathy is a familiar face to many in the congregation. A Covenant member since 1983, Kathy volunteers her talents as a photographer to capture images of new members and church activities.

Kathy brings considerable experience in administration, having served for the past 12 years as a document specialist with CST Data, where she was responsible for digitizing client files. She previously owned Cotswold Photographers from 1982 to 2008. Kathy graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in English.

Kathy said she was drawn to the opportunity to help carry out Covenant’s mission and values in a “person-centered environment.” She will be the first face to greet people, including families coming into the Child Development Center.

Please join us in welcoming Kathy to the staff and supporting her work among us.



What's new with Grab-N-Go
Chicken Caesar salads, pimiento cheese
Stop by the church on Wednesdays for prepared meals to heat in the oven at home. February specials are chicken Caesar salad, pimiento cheese by the pound and sugar cookies. Here's a look at upcoming menus:

Feb. 3: Broccoli chicken casserole, rosemary roasted potatoes, minestrone soup, bread pudding

Feb. 10: "Sweethearts Dinner" with baked ziti (cheese or meat), caprese salad, garlic bread, Italian wedding soup, cannolis, mini tiramisu

Feb. 17: Meatloaf, mac & cheese, squash casserole, cornbread muffins, fire roasted vegetable soup, apple pie

Fitness and nutrition challenge kicks off today
New program from the Rec Wing
The Run with Perseverance Challenge is a coaching program to help you find the time, motivation and strategies to reach your wellness goals. You'll pursue a customized nutrition and exercise plan over the course of 12 weeks.

  • Receive a heart rate monitor to track real-time data
  • Access to a mobile app for video-on-demand classes
  • Accountability coaching with Kevin Harper, Rec Wing Director

First Sunday Talk with Lucy Wambua
Sunday, Feb. 7 at 9:30 a.m. via Zoom
What does remote education look like in Kenya? Hear from a longtime friend of Covenant who serves as director of Renguti School, our mission partner near Nairobi. Teachers at Renguti are adapting to meet the needs of young people. Learn more here.



Food drive on Super Bowl Sunday
Middle schoolers will collect on the Circle
Middle school youth will host a food drive on Feb. 7 in support of Loaves & Fishes. Please bring contributions from 1 to 4 p.m.

Priority needs are canned meat and fruit, low sugar cereal, pasta and low sodium vegetables. No glass please.
Show some love for teacher heroes
Next brunch is Thursday, Feb. 11
We'll deliver food, drinks, flowers and notes to welcome back educators and remind them how much we appreciate their work. Highland is our CMS partner school.

Sign up below and drop off items in the bin in the Welcome Center by Wednesday, Feb. 10 at noon.





Blood drive coming up
Sunday, Feb. 14 from 8 a.m. to noon
Your donation is vital as hospitals face shortages of blood due to the COVID-19 crisis. Please adhere to our social distancing efforts.


  • Click here to contact Covenant member Louise Rogers for questions.




College students can apply for internship
A summer of social justice
Covenant helps college students gain leadership experience in matters of social justice. Students work with a nonprofit and share with peers through weekly guided conversations. Pay is competitive. Apply by Feb. 15. Learn more and apply here.

Director of Preschool
The Preschool consistently earns sterling reviews from parents who place their children in our church's care. The Director creates a preschool that ministers to young children and their families as an outreach of the church. Learn more here.

CDC Assistant Teacher and Floater
Covenant’s Child Development Center is a year-round program for children from six weeks to five years old. Our mission is providing high quality child care and education to children from a variety of backgrounds. Learn more here.

Congregational Notes
births, weddings, in memoriam