Covenant Presbyterian Church - Charlotte, NC

Outdoor ministry

Cultivating our faith

Join Covenant friends for practical opportunities to experience nature; deepen relationships with the church, each other and our natural surroundings; and grow in faithful stewardship of the environment. We do this through:

  • Community Connection: We use nature and the environment as a universal context to foster relationships within and beyond the Covenant community. 
  • Earth Care/Sustainability: We examine and put into practice our spiritual convictions about taking care of the environment, both on the Covenant campus and within our local community.
  • Eco-theology: We provide programming and curriculum to enhance ecological and environmental knowledge with a biblical, spiritual and theological emphasis.
  • Fresh Air and Fellowship: We provide people of all ages and life stages a simple, compelling, low-barrier-to-entry option for nurturing their physical health and for building their relationships with and through the church through fellowship.

Check out upcoming opportunities to get involved below! Questions? Contact Lauren Sawyers.

Upcoming Events

Ecotheology @ Open Table 
On Wednesday, Nov. 10 and 17 at Open Table, continue a three-week screening and discussion of the documentary “Thomas Berry: The Great Story.” The film, which portrays the work and life of Berry, a NC native, Roman Catholic priest, cultural historian, author and mystic, explores the beauty of the natural world through an eco-theology lens. We'll gather in Fellowship Hall Room 203 (or on Zoom) from 6:45-7:30 p.m. Our time together will address the global environmental crisis and ground and inspire our faithful response. No RSVP needed.

Stream Clean
Covenant has officially adopted the stretch of the Briar Creek Greenway that runs through the Chantilly Ecological Sanctuary. Our last beautification day of the year will be Thursday, November 18 from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. This is a great activity for folks of all ages, including kids. Sign up here.

Sunday Strolls
For those interested in an all-accessible "urban hike" we'll meet this coming Sunday, December 5 at 4:00 p.m. at Elizabeth Park, located at 101 N Kings Dr., Charlotte, NC 28204. (**Park in the lot facing Elizabeth Ave.) Sign up here.

Earth Care for Sacred Spaces
Have some time during the weekday? Join a committed crew of gardening volunteers to work on the grounds at Covenant, including columbarium landscape maintenance and installation of a new pollinator garden in the upper parking lot. This group meets every other Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon. Sign up here.

Contemplative Winter Solstice Hike – James Boyce Park
On Tuesday, December 21, we'll gather for a contemplative Winter Solstice prayer hike at 4:15 p.m. at Charlotte’s James Boyce Park. Join friends in faith outdoors seeking the eternal light of hope in anticipation of the longest night passing away for increasingly longer days. Those who struggle to find joy and hope during this traditionally festive season may find this experience especially helpful. Sign up here.

Outdoor Ministry Activities

Earth Care for Sacred Spaces: Campus gardening and beautification 

Help cultivate the Columbarium and other garden spaces on Covenant’s campus, including the preschool playground area. We’ll spend time improving, restoring and beautifying the landscape of this sacred space. Activities will include weeding, digging, and planting. Come dressed to get dirty and bring gardening tools, including shears, pruners, shovels, rakes and a wheelbarrow, if you have them. We’ll meet every other Wednesday morning from 9:00 a.m. to noon beginning September 15 through December 8. Questions? Contact Zeno Wall

Community Care: Charlotte Stream Cleans

This opportunity begins with a presentation from Charlotte Mecklenburg Stormwater Services to help us learn more about stormwater and the quality of local streams and lakes in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Then, join Covenant friends for a stroll around the Chantilly Ecological Sanctuary as we enjoy nature and beautify the space by removing litter in and around the wetland ponds and along the banks of Briar Creek. This group will meet the third Thursdays from September through November. 

Gleaning with Covenant

Join Covenant friends in the age-old practice of gleaning. We’ll collect leftover crops from local farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or where it is not economically profitable to harvest and donate the produce to those in need. Contact Lauren Sawyers to join our gleaning team.

Earth Care and Sustainability

Join Covenant friends in studying and understanding our environmental impact and discerning ways to mitigate the church’s footprint. Hear from environmental leaders and experts and engage in conversation and action around conservation and sustainability within the broader community.

Coming soon: Climate and Sustainability

In 2022, we'll embark on an exploration of climate change and our call to action as humans and Christians. Make plans to engage in a book study, join discussion groups, and participate in activities. Interested in learning more? Contact Mary Gaertner.

Fresh Air and Fellowship: Hike with Covenant

Join Covenant friends for fresh air, fellowship and family-friendly hike in the woods on the second Saturdays of each month at 9:00 a.m. A great opportunity to get to know people and check out new trails around town.

Coming soon: Fresh Air, Fellowship and Fly Fishing

A free introductory class (all equipment provided!) at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education with classroom and on-the-water learning. More information to come!

Hike with Covenant

Contemplative Winter Solstice Hike – James Boyce Park
On Tuesday, December 21, we'll gather for a contemplative Winter Solstice prayer hike at 4:15 p.m. at Charlotte’s James Boyce Park. Join friends in faith outdoors seeking the eternal light of hope in anticipation of the longest night passing away for increasingly longer days. Those who struggle to find joy and hope during this traditionally festive season may find this experience especially helpful. Sign up here.

What to bring:
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Water
  • Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Snacks or a picnic lunch