COVID-19

March 19, 2020

Dear Covenant Family,

On behalf of the elders, I wanted to make you aware of the following changes we are making to every aspect of our ministry due to necessary precautions surrounding the spread of COVID-19.

Do you have a need?  Please reach out to us by calling 304-876-2212, or send us an email at prayer@covenant-mail.com.

Sunday Worship:  Starting this Sunday, and until further notice, we will be gathering ONLINE for ONE SERVICE at 10 AM!  You can join us on any of the five channels where we can be found online:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/experiencecovenant/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFFxfhqpEV3DBbwl_4ZZ6Jw
The Covenant Website: http://covenantexperience.com/live-stream/
We are also available on AppleTV, and on the Boxcast app for your Roku device!
Sunday, March 22 will be our first completely online worship experience, and I will take a short break from our current series to bring a message entitled “Sufficient for This Moment.”  I believe the Lord has something very timely to teach us at this time.  I look forward to seeing you there!

We recognize that we do have a few folks without internet access.  We will be providing pre-recorded options for them, so please let us know if you are aware of a need like this so we can meet it.

Covenant Kids!  Parents, keep watching your inbox for some “turn-key” online curriculum that you can use with your kids!  It will be delivered to your email address by this Saturday morning!  Additionally, please join the Covenant Kids Facebook page if you haven’t already.  https://www.facebook.com/CovenantKidMin/
When you join and request it, you will be granted access to a “closed room” exclusively for Kid’s worship so that your children can still see their friends and interact with their teachers each weekend in an online environment that is secure!

Covenant Youth and Young Adults! I’m thankful for Pastor Joe Richardson, who has already begun reaching out to our young people during these uncertain times, and who has already met with them.  Join our youth page here https://www.facebook.com/groups/24.7youth/ to stay up to date on the latest!  Young adults, Pastor Joe will be in touch very soon about opportunities for you to gather online, and help your larger church family serve our communities during these times!  Both our teens and young adults can expect to stay connected on a regular basis for as long as this lasts.

Discover Covenant:  Previously scheduled for March 29, the on-campus session of Discover has been cancelled.  HOWEVER, if you signed up for this class, we will be reaching out soon with information on how to make this class and coming into the Covenant family easier for you.  If you are new to our church family and want to sign up for the next online session (date still to be determined) you can sign up here.  http://covenantexperience.com/discover/

Small Groups.  If you are part of a Covenant small group, please reach out directly to your small group leader for the information you need.  Pastor Ken has already communicated with them, and we are working on a number of ways to be able to stay connected–and also to call people to serve when it is time.

The Shepherdstown Campus:  All on campus activities are cancelled until further notice.  This includes any on-campus small groups.  The campus will be secure, protected, and monitored 24 hours a day as always, but activities on campus for the moment will cease operations in cooperation with the requests of public health authorities.  The four exceptions to this are:

  1. Prayer meetings–to be held in groups of less than 10 as announced, and 10 or more separated into different parts of the building.
  2. Celebrate Recovery–(for the moment and subject to change)  CR will continue on schedule, but with no shared food, and in the Great Room to allow for social distancing.
  3. Covenant Food Pantry–The food pantry will be on schedule, but we are working on “crowd control” options so that there will not be 100s of folks inside together.  “Curbside” service and other forms of distribution are being explored, and we will have that problem solved by next Thursday’s distribution.
  4. Cold Weather Shelter–  We will keep our commitment to house our homeless neighbors at the end of March. Social distancing requirements will be observed and enforced, enhanced hygiene requirements will go into effect and any member of the homeless community exhibiting symptoms of sickness will be housed at an alternate location (hotel room) in Jefferson County.

Community Service.  I have been so encouraged to hear from so many of you who have said “Pastor, when you all have a need, call me!  I’m ready to serve!”  Look for those calls to come soon!  I anticipate that our own members will have needs we need to meet soon.  Additionally, we are in contact with leaders of local school systems, and WVU medicine to inquire how we can help with everything from tutoring services, to making our campus available as a medical testing site, or place of treatment if needed.

Support.  First, I remain profoundly thankful for the generosity of our people!  I am thankful that because of that generosity over the past several years, we have no building debt to be concerned with, and we have reserves that allow us to focus at this time where we should be focusing–on our community!

Furthermore, we know a lot of our folks have already started to “feel the pinch” of what this issue has done to our national economy.  If you are hurting financially, we want to be here for you!

To those who are able, your continued generosity will help us continue to provide what is needed to our communities as a church family.  There are THREE ways you can give:

  1. You can mail a check to Covenant Church, PO Box 1674  Shepherdstown WV 25443
  2. You can give a one-time donation or set up recurring giving online at www.givetocovenant.com.  If you are capable, it would help us greatly to have as many as possible sign up for recurring giving.  You determine the amount and the frequency, and your giving is automatically received.  If you have questions or need help contact Stacy at sboyles@covenant-mail.com.
  3. You can Text to Give by sending a text to 855-842-3555 with the keyword: “Tithe” then put a space and then the amount you want to donate.  Example: “Tithe 5” If you have not given in this way before it will prompt you to set up an account.

More resources:  Last week, we sent a resource to you to help you protect yourself and your family during this outbreak.  If you missed it or need the link again, it is here:  http://covenantexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID19.pdf

These are unprecedented days that are full of promise if we will continue to be faithful!  Obviously, this is not the year any of us thought we would see, and I personally would not wish these experiences on anyone!  But if I have to face something like this, I’m thankful to be in it together with you!  I love you Covenant family!  Jesus is faithful!  Stay well, serve as He calls, and let’s continue forward together!

Blessings,
Pastor Joel