Covenant Presbyterian Church - Charlotte, NC

COVID-19 News and Updates

“And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.”

update on campus activities

Below is an update on Aug. 26 from Deana Cooper, Clerk of Session, and Bob Henderson on behalf of the Re-Opening Task Force (amended September 17). 

Dear Covenant family:
The Re-Opening Task Force, consisting of various volunteers, has been hard at work as we seek to continue Covenant's vibrant ministry in Charlotte and across the globe. As we have learned more about the pandemic, many decisions have remained in effect, and a few have been appropriately refined.
Now, as we turn our attention to autumn, we face additional important decisions about our life and ministry. Below, you can read descriptions of our way forward. These decisions will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. Please be aware, however, that we will continue to work diligently to make wise enhancements and necessary adjustments as meaningful new information becomes available.
Unfortunately, today's reality is that the risks surrounding COVID-19 are as current today as they were when we closed the campus in March. We continue to be challenged by the charge to love God and neighbor as best we can.
Worship: There will be no in-person corporate worship until further notice. Corporate worship is recognized as a super-spreader event and considered highly risky to personal health. In addition, were we to decide to host in-person worship, we would have to limit attendance, eliminate choral and congregational singing, corporate prayer, greeting, and even self-seating. We would also need to eliminate bulletins and Bibles, and the ministers/worship leaders would have to speak at strictly defined distance from others. Perhaps most problematic, we would have to segment the congregation in ways that cut across our values.

We will continue to offer livestream services at 9:30 and 11 a.m. on Sundays, conduct funerals, weddings and baptisms (with approved attendance and health protocols). In fact, we have been deeply moved by those who have moved forward with these important spiritual exercises and have found them to be significant events with unexpectedly beautiful dimensions. We are working diligently to enhance these services and appreciate your patience and input.

Indoor/Outdoor Programming: Under the guidance of medical professionals, we have decided to allow for outdoor programming with appropriate health protocols and designated leadership. These protocols include the following: group leaders must be Covenant members or staff, temperature checks and check-in questionnaire required, participants will be limited to 50. Click here to see the full guidelines.
Preschool: This was, perhaps, our most complex decision, but in conjunction with the recommendation of the Preschool Committee, we have decided to close the Preschool until further notice. We are firmly committed to continuing this vital ministry once health and logistical realities are more conducive to such a larger endeavor. We recognize the interruption this imposes on families and look forward to the day when the Preschool re-opens.

Child Development Center: Again, this was a complex decision, but the Child Development Center is open and will remain so as long as health conditions allow. The Child Development Center has significant differences from the Preschool (nearly half the size, strict Health Department guidelines, room access, and others) and is closely monitored.

Mission and Outreach: Our commitment to serve the most vulnerable remains resolute. Though mission trips are presently canceled, we are keeping - and in some cases increasing - our commitment to our mission partners here in Charlotte and throughout the world. Your generous support of the budget thus far has allowed us to reach out to families in need and join in many creative endeavors to serve those in need. Please click here for opportunities to serve as we seek possibilities to expand in-person efforts to serve.

Individual meetings with clergy: Our clergy staff continues to meet with congregation members on a regular basis. These meetings carefully adhere to appropriate health protocols and can take place on site when deemed necessary.
Outside groups: Building access remains strictly limited and will be re-considered when North Carolina enters Phase 3. While a number of outside groups typically use our facilities when the campus is open, we do not have oversight or control of their participants' behavior and activity and thus would be challenged to ensure safety compliance.

Staffing: Employees who are able to do their work remotely will continue to do so with the oversight of their supervisors. For those staff whose work benefits from being on site, we are allowing on-site presence with improved safety measures in place. These include plexiglass screens between work areas, face mask requirements, 6-foot distancing, and continuous sanitizing of office spaces.

None of these decisions have been easy, but they have been clear, and they all grow out of our commitment to love God and neighbor as best we can. They also affirm our trust that God's Spirit is not limited to what happens within the physical structures of a church building and that God's church is oftentimes most active and alive in the places where we live and work. Please be assured that we remain resolute in our commitment to live into our vision as a congregation and trust that God will guide our steps.
As always, we ask for your prayers and patience for our congregation and the world as we continue to move forward.  


update on preschool

Our commitment to providing a leading preschool remains unchanged. In just the past few months, we have re-aligned the Preschool’s reporting structure, placing it back into our overall educational ministry, as it was for many years.

We have also recruited a top-notch search committee to find our new Preschool Director. That search committee, along with the Covenant staff, will work closely with our new hire to assure a seamless re-start of the school.

This committee will be led by Lecia Shockley, an experienced teacher and long-time Covenant member. The rest of her committee will consist of Amy Capitano, Luke Askins, Jackie Pharr, and Lauren Scarboro.

Additionally, the Re-Opening Task Force and Personnel Committee are committed to opening Covenant's Preschool for the 2021-22 school year. Please see the job posting here and help us spread the word to potential candidates. Click here for the full letter to families

New! small group fellowship opportunities

We are excited to share plans for small group fellowship that will adhere to social distancing and other protocols. We ask you to RSVP so that our staff can manage the size of gatherings, wear a mask while on campus, and avoid physical contact. In the weeks ahead, we will share more on how to participate in these and other activities.

Opening of the Sanctuary and Chapel for prayer, meditation
Up to 10 members at a time may come on Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. under a plan crafted by the Ministry of Worship. A prayer guide will be available as a resource for your time of reflection. In keeping with church protocols, members must sign in at the Welcome Center and wear face masks while inside the building.  Here are other guidelines.

Outdoor activities for Young Adults
Family drive-in nights for Youth
Park your car and enjoy popular films projected on a big screen. Hosts are Alyssa Pacheco and Martin Pruitt, our middle and high school youth directors.

Outdoor concert series 
Enjoy music and friendly faces in a socially distanced setting. A carillon prelude at 5:45 p.m. is followed by instrumental programs, including a string quartet and flute ensemble. Feel free to bring a chair, blanket or picnic. Space is limited. Health screenings will be conducted.

Grab-N-Go dinners on Wednesdays
Drop by the Fellowship Hall patio on Wednesday evenings beginning in September for individual and family-style meals prepared by the kitchen staff. Meals must be pre-ordered and pre-paid. Details here.

ways to Worship & Learn

Online worship on Sundays

Worship online on Sundays at 9:30 and 11 a.m.

Zoom interactive worship

See faces and chat in breakout rooms during breaks in the service as part of an interactive 9:30 a.m. worship experience via Zoom.

Daily video reflections from ministers

Sign up to receive Covenant One Takes, weekday video reflections from the ministers sent to you via email.

ways to Serve our city

This list is regularly updated with the needs of Covenant's nonprofit partners.

Join the crew at Second Harvest Food Bank 

Join the crew to help provide food for those in need. In order to participate, you should be 17 or older and not in a high-risk category or caring for anyone who is. Afternoon shifts are available.

Weed, mow and plant with QC Family Tree

We'll clear and maintain properties owned by QC Family Tree in Enderly Park -- a way to invest in the ground so many call home. Teams will serve on alternating Saturday and Tuesday mornings. Click here to see the schedule.

ways to Support one another

Get in touch with a minister

As hospitals and retirement communities limit visitation, we ask that you call or write to us for special needs regarding pastoral care, illness and isolation. You can contact Katherine Kerr or any member of the pastoral staff.

Connect with a friend for the journey

Stephen Ministers are companions on your journey, even if it simply means talking on the phone after a tough day. Click here to learn more.

Pray for people in need

We're building a web of prayer that lifts up our friends, church family and those most vulnerable. Trust that someone in your Covenant family is lifting you up in prayer, too. Sign up here to commit to a specific time to pray.

Ask a volunteer to deliver groceries

A group of volunteers led by Todd Capitano is offering to deliver groceries and essential items for elderly people and those who are confined at home. Click here to contact Todd.