In the Fall of 2013, our Session approved the undertaking of a plan to celebrate Covenant’s strong heritage and strengthen Covenant for the future. We set out a three year plan with three phases, with specific goals for each phase. Sheila Cloud graciously accepted the call to lead this effort, and she has done an outstanding job. The current make-up of the team (Special Ops)is: Sheila Cloud, chair, Ray Rowley, Kerry Rowley, Debbie Hester, Tom Coon, and Roland Walker. Numerous others have worked on specific tasks over the past two and one half years. This team has worked diligently under the authority of our Session through our Administration Team. What has this group accomplished? Let’s take a look.
The first thing we realized we needed was a Covenant Operations Manual. We had all this institutional information inside peoples’ heads, but it was not recorded anywhere; it was not accessible. So the team set out to develop a comprehensive manual providing details of the history, policy, organization and governance of Covenant. We interviewed hundreds of people to determine the many ways different people are serving within Covenant. We have documented most, if not all, of them. We documented position descriptions for staff and volunteers, so that if someone accepts a new volunteer position, they have access to the description of that volunteer job. They realized that maintaining such a Manual would be ongoing, so attention has been given to how best to manage the process. Not only do we have this Manual in print (four large volumes), in addition they developed the Covenant Wiki. It is now online so anyone can access this information. This has been immensely helpful to David Kling as he began as our Associate Pastor.
Our Special Ops Team supported the Session in reviving our Associate Pastor Search Team (APST), realizing the importance of filling this position at this time. Our APST restarted their work last December and worked diligently toward calling David Kling as our new Associate Pastor. With David joining new staff members, Steven Herriott, Matt Carey and Lana Stapler, we are well positioned to move into the future with superior leadership.
In addition, our Special Ops Team began the process of helping us through a self –assessment. They identified a tool, CHURCH HEALTH ASSESSMENT TOOL (CHAT). In May 2015 approximately 200 of you participated in this process, taking the in-depth survey. Thank you for helping with this. Following the survey, Special Ops spent months evaluating the assessment, determining our strengths and weaknesses as a church. From that they developed a visioning process, involving about fifty people who participated in a visioning workshop. Further, we received almost 150 “ideas” from you. All of these were considered as they adopted a new Covenant Vision:
Covenant’s vision is to be a Christ-centered church where our love for God is evident in all that we do. Our vision is to be a growing church, living as exemplary followers of Jesus Christ, viewing the world biblically, making disciples intentionally, and serving the Church faithfully in the power of the Holy Spirit. Our vision is to be a church known in the community for open doors, acts of grace, God-centered worship and growing leaders. This family of faith envisions each of us loving and ministering to all people whom God brings into his or her presence.
Our Special Ops Team is currently working with David Kling to develop a new strategic plan for our ministry going forward. This new plan will guide us into the next five years. This Fall they will be engaging our Session and a small group of leaders and then plan to engage the whole congregation in 2017. You will be hearing more about this.
This is one of the most exciting times to be a follower of Jesus within Covenant. God has been faithful to us in providing strong, sound leadership. God has been faithful in lifting up so many – 200 to 300- to serve in a variety of ways. Each of us seeking to glorify and enjoy God through our service. This is God’s vision for us- “from (Christ) the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”(Ephesians 4:16)
Thank you for the privilege of sharing this journey with you.