Celebrating

Good things happen. Jessica Dizon came to the U.S. as a young bride. She became an employee of Covenant Church twelve years ago taking care of receivables and payables. In time she and Froilan, her husband, were blessed with Nathan, a son, and Jillian, a daughter.

Recently Jessica was asked to apply for a position with one of the most elite accounting firms in Charlottesville. Out of love for Covenant and the staff she works with, she would not apply.  I insisted that she do so.

Interviews done she was offered a position with significant pay increase and incredible benefits.

At Covenant we love for good things to happen to good people!

We especially celebrate when pastoral staff members and church leaders move into bold futures offering them greater opportunities. Our list of successes is long and growing!

Following is a note from Bill Woodruff, former Youth Pastor of Covenant. He currently serves as Youth Director of the State of West Virginia. About a year ago Bill's vehicle was hit in the rear by a large truck. Bill had incredible and successful surgery last week at the University of Virginia. He is home in West Virginia recovering wonderfully. Enjoy his reflections of his relationship with Covenant:

I looked up Wednesday evening to see Pastor Bare at the foot of my bed at UVA Hospital. Things had truly come full circle. 

From 2004-2008 I had served as Youth Pastor, then Worship Pastor, then Discipleship Pastor at Covenant and had learned a new appreciation for Hospital visitation and its impact on people. Encouraged by Pastor Bare and enforced by Robert McCready, I was scheduled every Tuesday for visitation. 

I didn't have time to visit the hospitals, I thought, "I have ministry to do!" Submission was immediate. I doubt Pastors Bare and McCready ever knew the initial resistance in my heart. I quickly learned what an opportunity hospital visitation is to get to know parishioners.

And now here they were, first Pastor Bare and then Robert with my former protege, Lyndsey Dunn, visiting me. This was far from the only lesson I learned at Covenant. 

I often share with people that my diploma may say Lee University, but I received my education in Charlottesville, VA. Covenant opened my mind to what a church can be. It forever changed my understanding of what the church should be. 

To a young boy from the cornfields and industrial parks of northern Indiana, the diversity I found at Covenant seemed miraculous. The level of ministry was more than I imagined possible. I saw our staff engage cultures in ways I'd only dreamed. 

While most churches would complain that the local high school was advertising the local abortion clinic, our staff put together a similar sized advertisement for the local Christian crisis pregnancy center and sent it to the school board with a letter from a lawyer demanding that the school advertise both organizations or neither. 

This is just one of many examples of next level ministry at Covenant. Other stories on my heart would speak of learning how to develop a team instead of trying to do it all myself (and then making that more than just words). I remember my 5 year old daughter handing cans of foods to refugees and taking teenagers to Chicago and Louisiana after the hurricane Katrina. 

I remember two dear homeless friends, "Ed the Tarot Card Reader" who eventually gave his heart to the Lord and "Seven the homeless prophet" who encouraged me so much when I would hit Mudhouse Coffee Shop on my way back from hospital visitations.  

I had the opportunity to learn so much from so many great men and women in the congregation that I dare not start naming names. Covenant will forever be part of who Amanda, my wife, and I have become, and I'd like to personally thank Pastors Bare, McCready and Dunn for some very special hospital visits last Wednesday.

My prayer is that we as a congregation may continue to prepare leaders for the harvest!

Much love

Pastor Bare

Matthew 28:18-20