Covenant United Methodist Church

Changing Lives with Jesus

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Covenant Caller Vol. 10, no. 1

January 1, 2018

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away;
see, everything has become new!

2 Corinthians 5:17

As we begin a new year, it’s natural to think about New Year’s resolutions, new starts, and putting our past behind us. For some there is a desire to drop a few pounds, for others the goal is a new job, and maybe for all of us a closer walk with the Lord. What are your goals and how do you plan to accomplish them?

Winter TreesWhen I think about the opportunities a new year brings, I am reminded of a fresh blanket of snow. The snow changes the look of the landscape: unsightly leaves left on the lawn disappear, there is no litter to be seen in the street, the tree branches are coated in white, and everything takes on a crisp clean look. It’s picture perfect!

Ah, but therein lies the problem. It’s “picture perfect,” yet beneath the snow leaves are still on the ground and litter is still in the street. A few degrees rise in temperature will return everything to the way it was, well almost! Little has really changed; there are no permanent improvements. If anything, things may be worse than they were before. Leaves are matted together, litter is stuck in place, and tree branches are stressed from the weight of the snow.

So it is with our lives. Each day and each year brings fresh opportunities to accomplish our goals, strengthen our relationship with the Lord, and become a better person. But it takes work, sometimes really hard work! If I truly want to drop the extra pounds, I need to drop the fork, drop the extra-large helping, and learn to be satisfied with a more appropriate serving. If you want a new job, you need to apply for it; you may even need to hone your skills to qualify. If we want to walk closer with the Lord, we need to spend time with God in prayer and then act in ways that are in accordance with God’s will.

In 2018 I’m going to drop the fork, the extra-large helping, and learn to be satisfied with the more appropriate serving, but more importantly, I’m going to spend more time with God in prayer and act in ways that are more in accord with God’s will. I invite you to join me on the spiritual part of my journey. Together let’s do the work needed to be God’s new creation.

Grace & Peace,
Pastor Jim



About Covenant Caller

The Caller is our monthly church newsletter, published the 3rd Tuesday of each month.

The deadline for submitting news for each issue of the Caller is the 15th of the prior month.

Previous Callers

December 1, 2017

There are two ways of looking at the Christmas season: as the great winter holiday season that has the potential for stimulating the retail economy, or as the season centered on a Holy Day celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. These two ways of considering the season are vastly different. How do you celebrate the season?

Covenant Church is offering a number of opportunities to help you to focus on the Holy Day aspects of the Christmas season. We begin the season by offering a new study led by Pastor Kevin called “A Different Kind of Christmas,” based on the book by Mike Slaughter.

November 1, 2017

For the month of November our Sunday messages will revolve around the idea of our “legacy.” As we begin this sermon series, I thought it might be helpful to understand what we mean by the word. From Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary we read the following: “Legacy, noun: 1. A gift by will esp. of money or other personal property: BEQUEST 2. Something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.” It is this second definition we will be focusing on during the month.

When I think of my own life, I realize how blessed I am by the legacy left to me by those who have gone before.

October 1, 2017

For some time now, we have been engaging in a process of discernment about a building project at Covenant. You may be wondering what the process is, when we will know the final plans, and how soon the project will begin. The process has been and will continue to be deliberate. It began with prayerful discernment of God’s will for the future of Covenant Church. It was during this time of discernment that we made some changes to our Statement of Purpose (see below) and began using the tag line “Changing Lives with Jesus.”

Next, we began to look at how our buildings impact ministry. The Board of Trustees saw a need for changes and updates. After working with architect Jack Althouse, they recommended the creation of a Building Committee (BC) which picked up where the Trustees left off.

September 1, 2017

You may or may not have noticed, but I am not the most athletic guy around. I’ve never been particularly good at sports, though I do enjoy watching some, playing others, and listening to baseball on the radio. Sports can offer all kinds of benefits: they help kids become physically stronger, develop muscle and hand-eye coordination, acquire a sense of fair play, and maybe most of all, experience the importance of teamwork.

Teamwork: think of the people that were, despite their fame, just one side of a great team. Would pitcher Steve Carlton had as many strikeouts without his catcher Tim McCarver? Would comedian Johnny Carson have been as successful without straight man Ed McMahon? Could Moses have confronted Pharaoh without his spokesman Aaron? Probably not, yet the general public gives just about all the credit for success to a single individual.