From Gale Pendergraph: As someone who has lived across the street from our church for 29 years, Anita and I have seen a lot of things taking place over the years. In the past weeks, as the church has been closed to the public, it has been interesting seeing the activity around the campus:
- Lots of people are walking by and stopping to look at the flowers/trees/etc. Many are going into the Columbarium to just sit (some seem to be praying) or enjoy the quiet. Some are taking pictures of the blooming trees.
- Many people are standing in the circle looking up towards the steeple.
- The FUN activity was the day when a number of fathers had their young children on tricycles having races around the circle. The families were spaced around the circle cheering them on.
- So we may be closed, but we are still part of Charlotte and Dilworth.
Ministry area highlights
Stephen Ministers find new ways to keep connected
Even though they can’t meet with their care receivers face to face right now, there is nothing virtual about the care Covenant’s Stephen Ministers are providing. These trained lay caregivers are paired with individuals facing challenging circumstances – grief, job loss, relationship difficulties, transition challenges and more – and with compassion, they listen, pray, and provide support and encouragement.
While they typically meet with their care receivers in person, Stephen Ministers are now providing care via phone calls, texts, emails, and FaceTime. As with so many things, it’s not the same as a face to face meeting, but the compassionate care they are providing to numerous people in our community is making a difference.
If you or someone you know could benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister, contact Katherine Kerr for more information.
Coming together in prayer
It's called Pray Without Ceasing. You're invited to commit with the congregation to pray for 15 minutes as we build a web of prayer that lifts up our friends, church family and those most vulnerable in our community. You can 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.
Mission & Outreach: What can we do?
When this strange season began to set in, one of the first questions Covenant members asked was, "What can we do?" Many have reached out to lend a hand in support of our partners, yet few agencies are able to accommodate volunteers at this time.
You can read below about actions we have taken to support partners and learn how you can respond, even in small ways. Because each of us is a member of Christ's body, we all have something to offer, even as we are privileged to share in power and purposes far beyond ourselves. See the full list of ways to help here.
- Distributed Room in the Inn kits, delivered Texas Hash to the Men's Shelter, purchased groceries for Urban Ministry Center, gave left over food and snacks to various partner agencies, and continued monthly support for Dove's Nest meal at Community Matters Cafe until Elizabeth Circle resumes
- Re-purposed 100+ "move in" bags that Covenant members had gathered for The Mezzanine to be distributed at McCreesh Place and Urban Ministry Center
- Displaced Queens University students took up residence in the Fellowship Hall basement and were fed by Covenant families
- Donated RITI bedding to the Salvation Army Center of Hope
- Covenant members are making masks for partners working on the front lines
Capital campaign update
Just because the projects supported by our Capital Campaign For a Whole Community are out of sight these days, doesn’t mean they should be out of mind. As of April 16, approximately 89 percent ($11.1 million) of budgeted pledges have been received. With that money, we have completed campus construction and fulfilled start-up expenses for the Child Development Center, slightly under budget.
We’ve also funded the first $1.2 million in the CDC Scholarship Endowment. Contributions have been made to the Cornerstone Endowment Fund and more will be added to both Cornerstone and the CDC Scholarship Endowments in the coming weeks.
At the Mezzanine on Freedom affordable housing community, supported by a $2 million investment from our congregation, the first building has obtained a Certificate of Occupancy. The 30 units in that building have been fully leased, with 26 of them reserved for residents below Area Median Income and four at market rate. Move-ins began at the end of this month on a staggered basis in order to maintain appropriate social distancing measures.
Though this remains a time of many unknowns, one thing is certain: We will need the remaining budgeted pledges to fully fund and complete the commitments we made. Click here to read a full capital campaign update.