I got in just under the wire, but I made it – two blog posts in one month! Woohoo! I really did want to finish telling y’all about what’s happening at Covenant, just haven’t had a chance until now.
Our first Easter service was so wonderful. It was amazing to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior with our new church family. As is to be expected, some of our “regulars” were gone out of town visiting family, while some others of the “regulars” had family in town visiting and brought them along to the service. As a result, we had 56 adults and 26 children with us Easter Sunday morning. Dave (whose birthday incidentally fell on Easter Sunday this year) took us through the liturgy which included the gospel account of the death and resurrection of Jesus. The way his voice and demeanor was affected as he read to us from the pages of Scripture served to remind us of the weight of what we were hearing. Daniel was likewise affected by the implications of the day and preached a wonderful message reminding us that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is not just something that happened a long time ago—it is near to us and affects our every day lives. What a great word. Thanks be to God for such godly men to lead us on this awesome day.
We also started our first round of membership classes. They began in late March and went every-other-Saturday until late April. There were three classes: “The Gospel,” “The Church as a Family,” and “The Church as an Army.” Well, I say there were three classes… there were supposed to be three classes… there will be three classes in the future… It’s a good story; I’ll get to it in a minute… First, let me just say how much I enjoyed these classes. I never get tired of hearing the gospel. Never. And that’s all the first class was about- three hours of teaching on the gospel. Love it. I love being a part of a church that is all about the gospel. The second class was great too. It is so refreshing to be reminded of the “family” distinction that characterizes Christ’s church. We are family- we are blood related (by the blood of Christ), we speak with one voice, we have family resemblance (we all resemble our Father) and we have family traditions- if that doesn’t describe a family, what does? The third class would have been equally as great if not for one tiny problem… ok, here’s the story…
The Saturday of the third and final class, a good number of people showed up at the location we had been renting for class time. Eliza slept late, so I got there a bit late and pulled up to see everyone – adults, kids, childcare workers – all milling around in the parking lot. Come to find out, the person who was supposed to open the building to let us in never showed up and was unreachable. Oh the joys and challenges of being a young church plant. Well, we visited in the parking lot for a good while, and when it became clear that we were not going to get a hold of anyone to let us in the building, Daniel explained that this class was supposed to cover the topic of the church as an army and being out on mission, so he charged us with going out and using this time to meet and visit with people in our neighborhoods. Good stuff.
Here’s an exciting development in the life of Covenant that I don’t think anyone saw coming: we have a vampire service! No, I don’t mean actual vampires come to our service (that would be cool, though). We have a small contingent of people in our church family – police officers and nurses – who work the night shift (lest anyone think we are mean or insensitive, these night shift people have dubbed themselves “vampires” because they’re awake when everyone else is sleeping, hence the name for the service). As a result, for them, making it to a 10:30am service would be the same a “normal” person going to a church service at 2 in the morning! Not exactly easy for someone who has to get up and go to work the next day! So, Daniel started inviting the night shift people to the “practice sermon” that he does at the dance studio at 7am, before the set up crew even gets there. It’s really starting to gain momentum because those who are coming have been telling friends that they work with about it and inviting them to come along after shift ends. It’s a totally informal, low-key, laid back format, and like I said, this is nothing that any of us expected Covenant to be doing, but it’s exciting to see how God is using this “outside the box” service to draw people to himself.
In other news, Covenant is also growing through births. Our church family was so excited to welcome Emma Ann, daughter of Jeremy and Kristin Perrine, on April 11th! She is Covenant’s first baby GIRL (our first Covenant baby ever, and first boy, Kai, was born in October to Kevin and Laura Waden). She is oh-so cute and tiny, tiny, tiny! We are so thankful for this new little life in our church family and are looking forward to the arrival of three (or more?) Covenant babies this year! Thanks be to God for the blessing of children!
OK, that’s enough for now. Wow, once I get started, I just can’t stop talking (or typing) about all that God is doing – and it never ceases to amaze me! There is simply no explanation for all that is happening around here with Covenant except that God is at work. It’s so exciting!