As we move into Spring, it has been exciting to walk the path of Jesus during Holy Week. Remembering his entrance into Jerusalem, the crowds celebrating the upcoming holy day, then facing betrayal, arrest, an unfair trial , suffering and death….and then the Resurrection. Celebrating the lives and resurrection of George Woodward and Teresia Reid were worthy worshipful expressions of our faith in the midst of life. Thank you to all who surrounded these families and helped with the receptions. I especially appreciate our deacons who led the effort in the receptions: good times to enjoy fellowship. In addition, thank you to Richard Brooks for his pastoral ministry in my absence, and to our office staff and their support of Richard.
I would also like to thank our choirs and Chris Walters (our Interim Music Director) and Betty Augsburger (our Organist/Pianist/Harpist) for their leadership in worship throughout Lent and especially during Holy Week. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday were extraordinary experiences of worship as we remembered Jesus’ last supper with his disciples and his suffering and sacrificial death on the cross. Friday night as we left, it was dark and getting cold. But the thought occurred that “Sunday’s a-coming.” As I type this on Saturday night I wait with enthusiastic anticipation for our Easter celebration. What a privilege to gather freely to worship, celebrating Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, and the inheritance that awaits us. George and Teresia, you join that great cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1) and are at this very moment cheering us on in the arena of life.
I would like to inform you about our progress relating to staff leadership positions. First, our Associate Pastor Search Team has reviewed almost a hundred resumes and conducted three Skype interviews. We are finalizing a personal visit for later in April or early May. We tried to arrange another but the candidate accepted another position. It makes sense that if we like someone, another church likes them as well. The team is prayerfully reading resumes, discussing our needs and discerning those who best fit Covenant. Please pray for them.
In March, after three months of prayerful discussion, our Session made important decisions regarding two positions: youth and music/worship. First of all, we decided to seek a full-time Director of Youth and Young Families/Adults . Looking to Covenant’s future, we agreed that our youth ministry remains a priority, and we see the value of adding Young Families/Adults to this position. The breakdown will be 75% Youth and 25% Young Families. The Associate Pastor would share in this responsibility. What we hope to create is a powerful and effective synergy between our Associate Pastor, Director of Youth and Young Families/Adults and Cyndy, our Director of Children’s Ministry. We hope this will help us excel in discipling the young families who are part of Covenant, and aid in our outreach to young adults/families. We have our eye on someone at this time and are prayerfully moving to make this happen. We hope to complete these plans by late April. We will communicate with you as soon as our plans are finalized.
We also decided to proceed with a search for a part-time Director of Music Ministry. As we discussed our needs and financial ability, it became clear that we could build an effective music and worship ministry using part time staff. In addition, as we look to the future, we concluded that we cannot afford four full-time staff leadership positions. We have appreciated Chris Walters work among us and would have loved to have him continue in this part time role. However, we recently learned that he will be moving to Atlanta to assume a new job. So we have set a search team for this Director of Music position and hope to make a decision by May. We already have several people who have expressed interest in serving at Covenant. The members of the search team are: Jack Royster (chair and Elder Worship Team), Art Woodling (Elder Worship Team), Rebecca Boone (Elder Admin Team), Sheila Cloud (Elder Admin Team), Marian Woerner (Choir Member), Syd Hoyt (Choir Member), Annette Shingler (Choir Member), David Wilkie (Choir Member) and Tanner Lindbloom.
Finally, our Session approved the position of Executive Assistant to the Pastors, a part-time position of 25-32 hours to replace Debbie upon her retirement May 31st. They decided to consider someone who is not a Covenant member, thinking it would be good to have one office staff member from outside Covenant. The search team will be: Rebecca Boone (Elder Admin), Sheila Cloud (Elder Admin), Bill McDowell, Alice Searcy, Susan Pendergrass and Hal (ex officio).
Please keep all of these leadership teams in your prayers as we prepare for our future which God so faithfully holds.
Blessings Upon You,