Well, since it is the beginning of October, I thought I should give an update about Covenant’s first summer.
Summer came a little early this year when Simon Coe Davis decided he couldn’t wait until his late June due date to make his appearance into this world (or any date remotely close to it, for that matter), and he joined the party on May 22nd (5 weeks early). Being the third Davis child, and I assume not wanting to get lost in the shuffle, Simon made his presence known in a big way: he was born with some breathing issues that kept him in the Neonatal ICU for three weeks. As you can imagine, this was terribly difficult for Daniel and Joy (to say the least), but it was incredible to see the way Covenant responded. Our church families delivered meals to the Davis’s for 6 weeks straight. The ladies of the church cleaned their house. People took turns watching Reid and Annelise, as Daniel and Joy had to take Simon to doctor and hospital visits continually, even after the little guy finally made it home. It was so cool to see God use our small church body to love the Davis’s so well.
In the midst of all of this going on, Covenant moved to a new building. The last Sunday in June was our last Sunday in the first building our church called “home.” You see, the lady who owns the dance studio we rent space in moved her dance studio to a new location… and invited us to make the move with her! So, we are still renting space in the same dance studio… it’s just that the studio itself moved to a new space, so we moved too. The new space is a lot larger than the old building. It has more storage on site, and the main room we use for our Sunday services is significantly bigger, which means we have lots of room to grow in this new building. We are continually amazed and overwhelmed to see how God unfailingly provides for our church in this way.
Moving to a new building provided some new, unique challenges… which means it also provided some room for our body to grow in service! Rather than meeting in homes as usual, community groups met at the new building a few weeks in a row to help paint the walls and set up equipment. People met at the old location to move all the stuff (dance studio stuff and church stuff) to the new location. Having the opportunity to work together as an entire church family on this new place was a great experience. It was fantastic to see everyone come together and work toward a common goal, similar to a nuclear family working to get their new house ready to move in.
The other cool thing about this new space is that it is really close to houses and neighborhoods. (The other location was in and across the street from shopping centers with a bunch of other businesses). So, we had a “welcome to the neighborhood” party for the fourth of July in an effort to meet our new neighbors. I, however, don’t know a lot about this party or what all went on at that party because Jude decided to make his appearance in the wee hours of the morning on the fourth of July, so Tim and I were at the hospital while all the partying was going on… maybe someone else can fill in the details of Covenant’s fourth of July party.
Jude’s birth provided yet another opportunity for Covenant to step up and serve and boy did they ever! Tim, Eliza and I ate like kings for nearly a full month! So many people in our church family brought us such yummy meals, and I was incredibly thankful I didn’t have to even thing about cooking for basically the whole month of July. Plus, food was delivered in such abundance that we didn’t have to really grocery shop at all in July- we would make quick trips for small things like bread and milk, but that was all we needed. What a blessing. We were so humbled to be the recipients of such loving generosity and kindness.
Toward the end of July, a couple of the families in our church had the idea of hosting a movie night and inviting our neighbors. So, a couple of people went door to door inviting those who lived nearby and one very sweet lady in our church family cooked an wonderfully yummy dinner for ALL of us (yes, she IS amazing!) The food was delicious, the movie very cute (Disney’s Up!) and a few people from the neighborhood came, which was great- fun had by all!
Similarly, in August, a few families had the idea of hosting a one-day Vacation Bible School for the children at our church. It was held in Galveston at a state park there. There were different stations set up for crafts and other activities, and each station had its own Bible story/lesson as well. And of course it’s always fun for kids to be at the beach!
Here’s the coolest thing about the two summer activities that I just mentioned: they were totally initiated by members of the church! The pastors had little to do with the brainstorming and planning of these events. It was so amazing to see members initiate and joyfully serve to make these two events happen, rather than wait for the pastors or official “leaders” to plan something. God is truly working in people’s hearts to see outreach and mission as something we are ALL to take part in.
The summer also provided opportunities for our church family to hear a variety of men preach. Especially during the early summer months, Daniel had a lot on his plate with Simon in the hospital, so a few guys stepped up to take sermon prep off his plate a little bit. Tim, Dave and a pastor from another local church Jason Hess all blessed us by preaching God’s Word to us on different occasions throughout May, June, July and August.
At the end of June, the pastors finished up the first sermon series ever preached at our church, which was preaching through the book of Colossians. They then began a series preaching on our core values. Throughout July and August, they painted a picture of what we are about as Covenant Community Church: the Bible, the Gospel, Community and Mission. At the end of August, Dave put all the values together for us in an application sermon on the Christian and his money. It was incredibly challenging and convicting for our church family- for example, Tim and I have had many, many conversations since that sermon about our budget and our giving.
This summer, Covenant Community Church also tasted part of a well-known statistic in the church-planting world. The statistic goes something like this: “Within the first 6 months of launching public services, 40% of a church plant’s core group will leave.” While not quite 40%, Covenant did indeed experience the leaving of a few families who were part of our core group. Although we were sad to lose those families, we know God is in control, and we are thankful for all those He has led to be a part of our church- for however long they are with us.
So, summer is gone, and we are knee deep into fall now. We are in a new sermon series, as our pastors are now preaching through the book of Psalms. It has been encouraging, challenging and convicting. We look forward to our first baby dedication service, thanking God for all the children he has blessed our church with and dedicating ourselves to encourage these children to grow in faith and character. In the same spirit of thanksgiving, we will celebrate our first baptism at Covenant Community Church! Sometime this fall, we also expect to complete the membership process and have a celebration with the first members of our small church. Wow, God is so good, and who knows what else he has in store for us in the coming months!