Covenant Presbyterian Church - Charlotte, NC

a new season of ministry

In October E-Newsletter:   Worship  |  lEARN & gROW  |  cARE & sUPPORT  |  sERVING oUR nEIGHBORS

message from bob henderson

One of the (many) good parts of my work is how frequently I witness quiet acts of faithfulness. Though health and safety concerns have made us adjust social practices, the resilience of our congregation is more than up to the challenge.

Whether it’s making sandwiches for our homeless neighbors, tutoring children over Zoom, writing notes to loved ones, baptizing children, joining the church, or any number of other endeavors, the life of faith is being lived and embraced in full measure at Covenant.

It’s tremendously heartening, and I thank you for the privilege of it all.
This edition of the newsletter features many of our continued commitments, and we invite you to remain up-to-date about them all. But, more importantly, we invite you to embrace the support and strength of this faith community as, together, we run with perseverance the race that is before us. These are tumultuous days in which we need each other and need God, too.

Please know that I continue to miss seeing you all and pray for you regularly. I hope you can tell that the staff and elders are making valiant efforts to enhance the vitality of our life and mission, and I am deeply grateful for the privilege of working with them.


ahead in worship in october

We'll stay grounded in familiar rituals -- communion, baptisms and a day to remember those we have lost -- while considering the Christian response to the national reckoning on race and racism.

  • Sermon series: Guide My Feet While I Run This Race
    • Oct. 11 - "I Just See People: But Did Jesus?" by Bob Henderson
    • Oct. 18 - "A Pilgrim's Progress" by Bob and Serenitye Taylor, our seminary intern
    • Oct. 25 - "Moral Man: Immoral Society?" by Bob and Rev. Jerry Cannon

  • All Saints Day (Nov. 1): We'll say thank you for the 'saints' in our lives who entered the heavenly realm during the last 12 months -- those who have mediated to us something of the divine, the sacred, and the holy. This service includes Communion.

stewardship begins with covenant impacts charlotte

Covenant Impacts Charlotte, our annual churchwide service event, is taking place throughout October! Each day this month, there will be at least one opportunity to serve. As we dedicate our time and talents in service to God, we also prepare to dedicate our pledges in November as a part of Covenant’s 2021 stewardship campaign.
With ways to engage: from your home, on Covenant’s campus, and in the community, there is something for people of all ages, abilities, and comfort levels.  Check out the calendar link below or contact Julia Watkins to sign up.
We will also be collecting the following donations: new or gently used twin sheet sets, pillows, books (especially for children), non-perishable food items, and Welcome Bags for The Mezzanine apartments. You may deliver donations to the Welcome Center during regular business hours or drop them off at our closing celebration of Covenant Impacts Charlotte, which will be on the Circle on Oct. 31, from 1 to 4 p.m.

congratulations to new class of elder emeriti

The Session named John Baxter, Jane H. Taylor and Susan Hickok as elder emeriti in recognition of their many years of faithful service. Any Elder who has faithfully served three full terms or at least nine years at Covenant and has reached the age of 70 is eligible for this distinction. Please join us in congratulating these individuals.

John Baxter
John was ordained as an elder in 1982. He has served on seven committees, including as Vice-Chair of Mission and Outreach and Chair of Engagement. John has also served as Clerk of Session. He has participated in five mission trips and, as a trivia note, during his four terms on Session, the number of elders went from 120 to 62 to 52 to 42 to the current size of 32.  

Susan Hickok
Susan was ordained as an elder in 1982. She has chaired the following committees: Planning and Evaluation, Education, Pastor Nominating, Cabinet for the Recreation Wing Construction in addition to serving on numerous other Session Committees and task forces. Susan began Covenant’s Stephen Ministry, recruiting and training Stephen Ministers for over a decade. She has sung in the choir since she was 14, serving as choir president, chairing choir retreats, and designing summer musical productions and adviser to the youth choir. Susan has served as a Quest mentor and Sunday School teacher.

Jane H. Taylor
Jane was ordained as an elder in 1980. She served on Covenant’s staff in the mid-1980s as Director of New Member Enlistment and Assimilation. She has served on the Music, Worship, Bereavement and Prime timers committees and participated in numerous mission trips to Mexico. She serves as a choir “Grandmother” and is a member of the Naomi Circle. Jane enjoys serving at Roof Above (formerly Men’s Shelter) and participating in the annual CROP Walk.

Care and Support

Congregational care initiatives in a time of physical and social isolation

Stephen Ministers are friends for the journey: Connect with trained, listening friends who can bring the caring presence of the church to those experiencing difficult life situations, large or small. Click here if you or someone you know might like to be paired with a Stephen Minister on a confidential basis.
This week! Hear from experts on staying well in pandemic: Discover new ways to practice physical and mental wellness in the age of coronavirus. A two-part series at 7 p.m. via Zoom is presented by the Health & Wellness Committee. Details here.
  • Sunday: Michael Leonard, MD - Infectious Disease Specialist tells us about the latest treatments and progress toward a vaccine for COVID-19.
  • Oct. 11: Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea, PhD, Executive Director, Presbyterian Psychological Services on Stress, Isolation and Self-Care in the time of COVID-19.
New group for those who have lost a spouse: A new group called SOS (Surviving Our Spouses) invites widows and widowers to a casual "Mix-nic" under the magnolia tree outside Fellowship Hall on Sunday, Oct. 18 at 12:30 p.m. Tables, chairs, and dessert will be provided, along with live music, a blessing from Bob Henderson and the opportunity for socially distanced mixing. Click here to learn more.

Open Table offers weekly programs, grab-n-go meals

Be Still and No with Gail Henderson-Belsito
Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m.
Gail will speak on being still in the midst of chaos and also help us to consider ways to say "no" to certain habits and invitations in order to tend to our souls. We can be still and "no," knowing that God is still doing what only God can do. Gail is director of worship at Caldwell Presbyterian Church. She is a native of Brooklyn, NY.

Book study on Love Is the Way
Wednesdays Oct. 14-18
In October, Open Table will feature a three-week study on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. based on the book Love Is The Way by Bishop Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church. Bishop Curry maintains a national preaching and teaching ministry, having been featured on The Protestant Hour and as a frequent speaker at churches, cathedrals, and conferences around the country and internationally.

  • Week One – Oct. 14 – What is this Thing Called Love?
  • Week Two – Oct. 21 - Love Isn’t Easy
  • Week Three – Oct. 28 – The Still More Excellent Way 

Looking ahead to November: Katherine Kerr and Juliet Kuehnle will host “Leaning into the Discomfort: How to Have Difficult Conversations” on Wednesday, Nov. 11 and 18 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Grab-N-Go Meals
Take home a freshly prepared meal for you and/or your family prepared by our kitchen staff. Here's how it works:
  • Menus will be posted in Windows and on the Covenant website, where you can order and pay online. If you do not have access to the website, please call Michelle Williamson at 704-804-7560 to place an order and pay.
  • Meals are available a la carte, so you can choose what you want and how many portions you need. 
  • All orders must be placed on the Friday before pickup. There will be no drive-up or walk-up ordering.
  • On Wednesdays, drive-thru pickup is from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the upper parking lot. Volunteers will bring the food from the kitchen to your car.

happening in
adult education

  • New podcast! Discover contemporary twists on familiar stories in the Bible, continuing this week as Grace and Katherine consider God as the ultimate multi-tasker. Check it out here.
  • Connect Groups: This fall, our Connect study focuses on the Book of Hebrews, a beautifully written letter that examines the power and movement of Jesus in the lives of the early disciples. See the series here.
  • Uptown Bible Study welcomes you for a look at the Epistle to the Hebrews. We seek to better understand who Christ is while also learning a great deal about the religious and cultural contexts from which he came. We meet every Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m. Click here for the Zoom link.
    •  Read Hebrews for Everyone by N.T. Wright, which will be a nice (but optional) supplement to our discussions

Below are Sunday School classes welcoming you throughout the fall season.

Open Door – Meets Sundays at 9:30 a.m. for a short video followed by discussion on theology.
Men’s Fellowship Study – Meets Sundays at 8:30 a.m. for check-ins and conversation on the previous week's sermon.
People Class – Meets Sundays at 9:30 a.m. to discuss Scripture.
Foundations Young Parents Class – This class meets twice a month to discuss the sermon from the 9:30 service. If you are interested in joining, please email Jessica Lowry.
Fellowship Class – The Fellowship Class have been invited to join the Open Door Sunday School class for the fall.
Coffeehouse – Meets on third Sundays at 9:30 for Young Adults to explore intersection of faith and current events.

covenant kids

Weekly Chapel Time via Zoom

Preschool Children's Chapel 
Children ages 2 through TK are invited every Thursday at 11 a.m.
Click here to join us.

Elementary School Children's Chapel 
Children in grades K-3 gather every Thursday at 2 p.m. Click here to join us.

Zoom Book Study

We loved our summer book read so much that we are doing a fall book read for Grades 4-5 using Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis.
Book discussions and activities continue Oct. 6, 13, and 20 from 5 to 5:30 p.m.  Stay tuned for more details, including Zoom links.

Christmas Crafts, Cocoa and Caroling!

Open Table on Wednesday, Dec. 2
Beginning at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom
Children will make holiday cards for elderly church members,
as well as reindeer food and clay ornaments.
Heather Potter will lead a virtual caroling night.

youth pivot to zoom, outdoor programs

Our back-to-school drive-in kickoff night surpassed expectations with 150+ youth and parents in attendance. This year, we are focusing on having a sustainable youth ministry program through our four pillars of worship, service, community and study.

In October, middle schoolers will make wreaths and door mats for Habitat homes in conjunction with Covenant Impacts Charlotte. High schoolers will build benches and re-surface picnic tables as part of CIC.

how young adults
are pivoting

This fall, Young Adults is hosting smaller events with something for everyone. Space is limited for in-person events. Each event will have an opportunity to learn more about ways to be involved.

  • Second Saturday Service: Oct. 10, 9 to 11 a.m. Join us as we support the church's annual Covenant Impacts Charlotte efforts. It's a great time to volunteer! We'll be at Crisis Assistance Ministry: a local organization which supports families who are experiencing financial distress, eviction, and homelessness. We are looking for 20 volunteers.
  • Virtual Book Club: Join us as we read You Are Not Enough (And That's Okay): Escaping The Toxic Culture of Self-Love by Allie Beth Stuckey. This book takes aim at the contemporary notion that if we simply learn to love ourselves more, we'll be happier. Stuckey suggests something different: in acknowledging our weakness we open ourselves up to the true source of joy: God's love. 
  • Hike With Us At Congaree National Park: Did you know that one of America's amazing national parks is right in your backyard? Join us for a free day trip to Congaree National Park, located outside of Columbia, SC. This is a great chance to experience an incredible ecosystem while building great friendships! 
  • New Small Group! Young Adults Bible Study: Open to any interested young adults, our Bible Study Small Group blends and intentional and thoughtful study of Scripture with fellowship. All are welcome! The group will meet on the last Tuesday of each month. This year, they'll be working their way through Mark's Gospel.

births, marriages, baptisms, prayer concerns, deaths in the church family

In August and September
Graham Hudson Call, born August 24, child of Lauren and Creighton Call
Connor Thomas Wixted, born September 6, child of Rachel and Ryan Wixted
Miles Bevan Nixon, born September 8, child of Erin and Nick Nixon
Bennett Reams Lipsey, born on September 16, child of Sarah and John Lipsey

Candace Carter and Shawn Johnson on September 19

Ezra Mosantu Butler, child of Laura and Will Butler, on August 27
Ellison Sims “Ellie” McGrath, child of Ginny and Richard McGrath, on September 23

In Memoriam
Phyllis Ratliff Perry
August 19, 1958 - August 28, 2020
Margaret Gillespie Holroyd
August 27, 1920 - August 30, 2020
Mary R. Arnett
December 12, 1924 - September 2, 2020
Nancy Lou Crites
December 1, 1942 - September 12, 2020

Christian concern to the families of:
Kathy Pickard on the death of her husband, Robert Holt Pickard, on August 22
Keith Perry and London and Chadwick on the death of Keith’s wife and London and Chadwick’s mother, Phyllis Ratliff Perry, on August 28
Mary and Phil Delk on the death of Mary’s brother Joel Brauer, on August 31
Frances and Bill Thompson on the death of her sister, Lou Crites, on September 12
Victoria and Mark Stack on the death of her father and Jillian and Campbell Stack on the death of their grandfather, Serge Storelli, on September 18
Sally and Bill Jackson on the death of her mother, Connie Owen, on September 23