We Journey Together

Last Thursday the banker who works with us came by to take pictures and share time together. We walked thru all of the construction areas and finally stood on the future patio above the covered drive-thru. He was impressed by the view and complimentary of the progress of the work.  This past Sunday completed the 37th year that Laila and I and our family have served Covenant Church as the lead pastor's family. Another anniversary marked. The journey continues.    The dream is emboldened that Covenant Church shall be a force for the Kingdom with a healthy congregation serving our community and missions around the world until Jesus comes.   Buildings are important. We keep in mind that many congregations in our community struggle to purchase land and/or have a place of worship to call their own. All 25 local public schools are now rented for weekend worship by congregations. Other congregations rent commercial space, meet in homes, rent space in other churches, halls, motels, etc.   Covenant is blessed. What began as a faith venture to purchase two acres of an old farm and build a modest 6,000 sq. ft. cinderblock building in the late 1970's has multiplied. Almost 7 acres will soon be blessed with more than 65,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art facilities.    Our land is zoned commercial office. We have strategically built to keep the facilities practical. Useful. Consistent with zoning to maximize value.   Wise leaders have thru the years made hard decisions that maximize future possibilities. We have avoided sloped floors, stained glass windows and other designs that would be liabilities in the event of future transition. We have designed the buildings to provide for five legally separate areas divided by firewalls.    We have numerous secured areas that can be accessed with handicap restroom, sink and microwave. This allows for several functions to happen at the same time with each enjoying a private area.   The new office area is wonderful. Pastoral staff is preparing/decorating for the congregation to tour.   The energy being unleashed by contractors is amazing. Synergy. Everyone is beginning to sense the excellence of the design and how it will impact ministry.   Yes, ministry. Jesus grew up in a carpenter's family. It is only reasonable to see Jesus as a child with a hammer, chisel, saw, rasp, etc., in his hands. Joseph may well have been engaged to help rebuild a city that had been destroyed by an angry Caesar.   Terminology of the church is "build my church" (Matthew 16:18).    Let it be said that we are not in competition with other buildings or congregations. We bless those who follow Jesus. We are glad to be part of the Family of God. We celebrate life in Christ.    We are like a good farmer. We have our land. We have our home. We have a job to do. We will help other farmers when we can. We want other farmers to be blessed with rain and sunshine. We sow. We reap.    I am grateful in this first week of a 38th year as lead pastor that Laila is with me. I am grateful for my family. I am grateful for wise elders. I am grateful for associate Robert McCready and his wife Nicole.    I am blessed by the heart and hands of a wonderful congregation. Sundays are a treasure! Life together is sweet fellowship! We walk in unity. We keep our eyes on the cross for humility and the empty tomb for HOPE!   We face the coming weeks with holy boldness. We have planned for this moment. We are not here by accident. What is happening is a result of much prayer, careful planning, hard work and God's favor.    We rejoice for the present. We are praising God for the harvest that will come when facilities are completed and ministry is expanded.   Much love,

Pastor Bare Matthew 16:18; I Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ; I Corinthians 3:9-15.