Just Asking a Favor
Sunday is coming. I love Sundays at Covenant. Each one is special. Our sincere desire as a pastoral team is to create a worship experience that leaves every person feeling they have been in the presence of the Lord!
This coming Sunday is really special. It will be the 1,820th Sunday that Laila and I (and our family) have served Covenant Church as the Lead Pastor's Family. The end of 35 years - as we are launching into a bold future!
One of our Filipino families was on vacation for a couple of weeks. I talked with Ernie today and he said: "Pastor I saw the new sound/video booth." We laughed together about every Sunday being subject to some nuance of change intended to serve people and enhance worship.
A lot has changed in 35 years. We arrived to a 6,000 square foot cinderblock educational/worship building intended as a first phase. A 900 square foot apartment with two bedrooms was adjacent. We moved our family of five in and called it home. Our infant son, Josh, would say "We live in a huge house…it has a church tacked on to it."
In the first year, we added an 8,000 square foot addition - a lot of volunteer labor. Banks would not loan money. Parishioners loaned until we completed the building.
Time passed. The building became a constant. At any given time Covenant has either been building or planning to build. We are waiting now for steel to arrive for the North Annex. County officials have already approved another addition when the North Annex is completed.
While buildings have been necessary our focus has been people. How do we serve? How do we reach the unsaved? How do we provide space for our needs and for community groups that are mission-minded with us?
God has graciously added to us Breath of Life (ten churches) in the Philippines, New Covenant in Juba, South Sudan, Valley Covenant in Waynesboro, and seven Sunday services on our main campus (five are ethnic).
Our mission heart is DNA at Covenant. The generosity of weekly giving touches the world.
In the early years, it was necessary for me to be bi-vocational. A wonderful lady volunteered to assist with office work two evenings per week. Laila served for years [unpaid] as secretary/administrator. Our Pastoral staff has now grown. We are blessed. We have apt and dedicated persons. A few months ago we added two terrific associate pastors. This was a giant step that will take us into the harvest with greater momentum.
Our children have grown up. We now have 9 grandchildren. Our life is full. We are blessed. We feel the happiness of working with leaders of Covenant Church who are united, committed and excited about the future.
My request of you is that you bring someone with you this Sunday. Let us fill the house with praise to God. Let us celebrate what the Lord has done!
Seeing you and worshipping with you this Sunday would make us so happy!
Pastor Bare Philippians 4:8
Reflecting on last Sunday’s sermon: How are you doing with your Samaria?