Monday, December 19, 2011

Angel Tree Shares the Love of Christ
December 19, 2011

Part of Covenant’s vision is to IMPACT God’s kingdom.  Here is how a few Covenant Groups were able to impact families in need this Christmas.  Michelle Culley coordinated the Angel Tree program, which is a ministry that gives gifts to children with a parent in prison.  In the past, CPC has taken the traditional approach where members individually deliver gifts to homes.  This year, Michelle decided to try a different approach; her ladies’ discipleship group invited recipient families to the church for a Christmas party and meal as well as fun activities and a family photo opportunity.  This allowed the families to see our church and get a taste of the ministries we offer, and by holding the party following our church service, it encouraged the families to try out CPC. The party option opened up multiple opportunities for several small groups to join together for a unified “kingdom task,” said Michelle.  Thirteen families attended with thirty children.

Jonathan Culley’s men's discipleship group volunteered to set up tables, chairs, and other prep.  Michelle's group organized all the food and mingled among the guests during lunch.  As the families were coming in to the Fellowship Hall, they were greeted by a family photo booth set up in the foyer for family pictures in front of the Christmas tree.  Once everybody got settled in, Jonathan opened with a welcome and prayer. Pizza was served to the kids and pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches to the adults.  As everybody was eating and socializing, other CPC volunteers joined in by mingling with the guests.  Rachel Van Buren served as the emcee for the event. Following dinner, kids participated in various activities:  decorating sugar cookies with Christmas-colored sprinkles, bean-bag toss for prizes, etc.   Leftover food was put into containers for the guests to take home.  As they left, they came up to the gift table to receive their children's Christmas gifts. These families seemed genuinely appreciative.  One of the mothers in attendance later sent this e-mail:

"Hi, just wanted to say thank you again.  
My daughter was very excited about her gift and with it saying ‘from Daddy’ was the best.  She was telling the family that ‘daddy knew just what I wanted.’  Also, for myself, that shredded chicken was very good.  Happy Holidays to all."

For the remaining thirteen, volunteers delivered the remaining gifts to their homes.  “It’s a good way to put hands and feet to the Gospel,” Michelle explained.  “Since these children are growing up with a parent in prison, this ministry also acts as the “hands and feet” of the incarcerated parent by giving gifts to the children on their behalf.  It seeks to reconcile families through the power of gifts and by pointing them to the true gift, Jesus Christ.”  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Change the World by Loving International Students
December 13, 2011

Did you know that over 100 countries are represented in the student body at Florida Tech, and that international students comprise over 20% of the student population? Many of them have been sent here on a student visa by their home country to study and then go back home with their newly-acquired education. What an opportunity to serve and love our international neighbors!

A group of people in our church comprise our International Student Ministry (ISM) Team, who have a big heart and a big burden to help and love these students. On a regular basis, they conduct "game nights" or "holiday meals" where they invite as many international students as they can to come and have fun, mingle, and build relationships with us Americans.

Game Night

The most recent game night was on Friday, October 28, in one of the Activity Rooms on the Florida Tech campus. Linda Condon, Daniel Hedman, Palmer Cash, and Tom Mlsek pulled this together, and they had at least 38 international students show up! They had a great time mingling with students from Saudi Arabia, India, Africa, the Caribbean Islands, and several other countries.

Tom led a rousing game of Pictionary with several Saudi students, and they had many laughs. Linda mused, "What was so funny was when I suggested a word to my team, many of them input the word into their smartphones to get the Arabic translation to find out the meaning of the word. Several of them told me it was helpful for them in learning English."

Thanksgiving Dinner

Another way we have been serving and loving these international students is by hosting holiday meals. This past year, the ISM Team has hosted an Easter meal and a Thanksgiving meal at Daniel's house. Both were a huge success!
At the Thanksgiving meal on November 24, over 30 international students came, hung out, had a huge feast, and built relationships. While dinner was still cooking, Tom started a game of (American) football out in the street. What a cultural experience for them!

When it was time to come in and eat, Daniel spent a little time explaining the history of the Thanksgiving holiday and talked about the plight of the Pilgrims when they came here, but also how they thanked God for the provisions He gave to sustain them. After the prayer, they all chowed down on turkey and all the fixings.

After the meal, everyone played a huge game of Crazy Uno (not your ordinary Uno, but Uno with a few "extra" rules thrown in, like whenever someone puts down a "9" everyone has to slap their hand on the center pile, and whoever is last has to draw a card).

A little later, Daniel met a few guys from Africa and a guy from India who had an interest in music. So they all shared songs they liked from YouTube and played around with the guitar. It was a fun day to connect with these students and build relationships.

If you are interested in getting involved with the International Student Ministry, contact Linda Condon at, or Pastor Jonathan Culley at

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pregnancy Resources Annual Fundraising Banquet Raises $109,000
November 29th, 2011

Pregnancy Resources’ annual fundraising banquet raised a total of $109,000.  More than 300 people attended the event held October 20th at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place.  Proceeds benefit this non-profit organization that helps Brevard County women and families who are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy.

The event included a powerful personal testimony from a Pregnancy Resources client and informative presentations about the free programs and services offered as well as the vision for the future. “These faithful donors will enable our current programs to continue,” explained Linda Evans, Founder and Board President of Pregnancy Resources.  “An unplanned pregnancy can be a very emotionally charged situation.  Our clients receive compassionate and practical care from trained counselors and medical staff who help them through one of the most difficult times in their lives.”  
“Last year we had nearly 3,000 client visits at the center,” said Judy Miller, Executive Director of Pregnancy Resources. “Our free services include medical-grade pregnancy testing, limited obstetrical ultrasounds, peer counseling, pregnancy and parenting classes, post-abortion support and referral services.”

Pregnancy Resources provides free services, education and support in a compassionate environment to women and families facing unexpected pregnancy.  For more information about Pregnancy Resources, call the center at 321-752-5540 or visit the website at

Diapers Needed
By attending pregnancy and parenting classes as well as reading and completing homework, our clients can “earn” things” they need for their babies, such as diapers.  We are in need of newborn diapers for our clients.  If you could pick up a box of diapers when you shop, it would be a huge blessing to our clients.  Drop them by the center at 165 N. Babcock Street or contact Deana Green or Judy Miller at 752-5540 for pickup.

For more information about Pregnancy Resources, click here.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

ROAR Flag Football & Free Hot Dogs
November 26, 2011

Autumn weather is a great time for football.  The ROAR flag football season wrapped up in November.  The program groups kids into teams of 5-8 year olds and 9-14 year olds who learn skills and play games on Saturday mornings.  This is a wonderful outreach ministry of Covenant that involved 45 families this season.

A few years ago, a CPC member brought and grilled hot dogs, offering them for free  to encourage parents to gather and develop relationships with other families.  This Hot Dog project became a great opportunity for small groups to serve families from the community.  Small groups sign up on a weekly rotational basis and use it as an opportunity to get to know families, build friendships, and invite people to church. 

“The season was a blessing and went very well,” said Warner Frye, the director for ROAR football.  Whether people serve as a coach or serve up hot dogs, “for such a small time commitment, the rewards are tremendous,”  shared Frye.  “Weve had several kids come to know Christ in a personal way, along with families visiting our church.  Seeing a kids eyes light up when he catches his first touch-down pass, tackles someone, gets a high five from a team-mate on a good play – these are the truly rewarding moments when I know we are making a difference in a kids life for a long time.”

For more information on ROAR sports outreach, see

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Update from Papua New Guinea - The Tanners
October 23rd, 2011

Dear Friends,

We have been back in Papua New Guinea for 3 months now.  As we look back and see the road God paved before us to get us back to PNG, once again, we stand in awe that we have such an amazing God who not only loves us, but does beyond amazing things to accomplish His plan.  It has been hard adjusting to being back, however, we are finally getting used to thing again.  Some of the things that I’ve struggled with are silly, like creepy crawly things in my lettuce, cockroaches hiding amongst my bananas, and trucks barreling over giant potholes on the road in front of our house, making such a loud noise that it wakes me from my sleep.

Recently another one of the tribes we’ve been working in heard the gospel for the first time!  Here is a picture of some of the Siar people who have just begun their walk with God.  You can pray for them now, and then meet them one day in heaven!  

Our family is doing well.  Tom is involved in a variety of things this year, from helping out our fellow missionary’s with cultural issues, to working with the missionary teens on center, as well as keeping our center a safe place to live by overseeing our security team.  The boys are working hard in school.  Brett is attending the high school located on center for our missionary kids.  He’s enjoying sports and riding his motorcycle. JWes is being home schooled and is currently enjoying that more than being in the classroom.  Both of the boys are working on learning the national language, Melanesian Pidgin.

Thank you so much for supporting the work of bringing the gospel to the tribal people here in Papua New Guinea.

Tom & Melanie Tanner

“For the Lord is God, and he created the heavens and earth and put everything in place.  He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos.  “I am the Lord”, he says, “and there is no other.  I publicly proclaim bold promises.  I do not whisper obscurities in some dark corner. I would not have told the people of Israel to seek me if I could not be found. I, the Lord, speak only what is true and declare only what is right.” - Is. 45:18-19 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Reaching Out to Nursing Home Saints
August 27th, 2011

The nursing home outreach continues to flourish under the direction of Merlita Cote. Each month the love and gospel of Jesus Christ reaches many people at the Atlantic Shores Nursing Home. This ministry goes forth through CPC members who weekly make visits to disciple, pray with, encourage and minister to residents in a variety of ways.

Additionally, each 3rd Sunday of the month (3:00-4:00pm), a small group hosts a Sunday service. Hosting a Sunday service involves providing a short message, music/hymns, encouragement and prayer for the residents.

The NHO is currently praying for a regular preacher: someone with the gift of preaching and evangelism, with a burning desire to see the Word of God go forth in the nursing home. If you sense God is leading you in that direction please contact Merlita Cote at

"Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart, for consider how great things He hath done for you." (I Sam. 12:24)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Feeding the Homeless at "Street Life"
July 18, 2011

On July 17th, several volunteers from our Synergy Young Adults ministry and a couple of our small groups joined forces to feed over 100 homeless people downtown at His Place Ministries.

We bought, prepared, and served the meal (spaghetti w/sides, brownies, and drinks), and had the privilege of building relationships with several of our homeless guests, offering the love, friendship, and hospitality that Jesus has shown us.

This particular time, we also served alongside other volunteers who are residents of "Restoration House," which is an addiction recovery ministry run by His Place Ministries.

I had the privilege of meeting "Ricky" (pictured to the right) whom I got to know a little while serving with him.  He is currently a resident of Restoration House and was so excited to tell me about his new faith in Christ.  He was baptized by Pastor Terry (of His Place) recently, and couldn't stop talking about how God had helped him overcome his addiction.  God is so good!

Click for more information about:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Flip Flop Service Project for Serene Harbor Shelter
July 13, 2011

In late June, one of the members in Billy Bright's small group took the initiative to lead a service project for a local women's shelter called Serene Harbor, which houses female victims of domestic violence.  Another one of our small groups heard about it and teamed up with them.  Together, they were able to collect and donate 64 pairs of brand new flip flops for the ladies at the shelter.

In 2010, Serene Harbor helped 200 women and 77 children with 3,909 nights of shelter stay.  They provided these women and children with over 5,837 hours of counseling, as well as food, toiletries, and other necessities.  Click here for more information about Serene Harbor.

Click for more information about:

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Camping Trip with FIT International Students
May 31, 2011

On May 29, 2011, Linda Condon and Daniel Hedman took a van packed full of camping equipment, food, and friends, and headed to Princess Place Preserve in St. Augustine for a fun weekend camping trip and beach excursion.

Linda and Daniel have built relationships with many international students from Florida Tech over the years.  Deep friendships have formed, and much love has been shared over coffee, game nights and numerous meals.

International students at Florida Tech represent over 30% of of their student body, from over 100 different countries around the globe.  Many of them know just enough English to come here for school, and most of them have never been to the United States before coming here to get educated.

There is a huge need for Americans like us to get to know these students, help them practice their English, and help them adjust to the inevitable "culture shock" of living in a completely different country, thousands of miles away from their family and friends.

If you are interested in joining Florida Tech's International Friendship Program or simply getting involved with what Linda and Daniel are doing, contact Pastor Jonathan at (321) 727-2661 or

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Parker Small Group Serves Children's Outreach
May 23, 2011

Don Parker's small group got a vision to serve the children in our church and neighborhoods.  When they heard about the need for our summer Neighborhood Backyard Bible Clubs, they kicked into gear to help Jennifer Reinecke (our Children's Ministry Director) put together teaching packets for the children that would be impacted through our summer Clubs during the week of July 25th.

Neighborhood Bible Club's mission is to take the Gospel to the neighborhoods where children live.  Children attending will hear a clear Gospel message and be given an opportunity to receive Jesus as their Savior.  Because of the sacrificial service of the Parker Group, this task was made much easier.

Click for more information about:
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Synergy Open Gym and Game Night
May 18, 2011

On May 16, 2011, our Synergy Young Adults Ministry hosted an open gym and game night.  We had about 20 folks come out, some playing basketball, and others playing card and board games.

On this particular occasion, we had three Saudi Arabian students and one Chinese student from Florida Tech join us.  We had a great time getting to know them and building relationships with them.

We use these kinds of events to reach out to all kinds of people around us, offering the hand of friendship and love.  For more information about our Synergy young adults ministry, click here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine (SCVIM) Grand Opening
May 4, 2011

On April 25th, 2011, Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine (SCVIM) held their "ribbon cutting" ceremony and open house.  With over 175 people in attendance, and with many distinguished guests, this was truly a God-glorifying moment in our community.

Among the distinguished guests were Pam Gillespie from Comgressman Bill Posey's office, Dr. Richard Roberts, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, Dr. Todd Sagin, Board Member from Volunteers in Medicine, Jim Barfield, President of Luke and Associates, Palm Bay Mayor John Mazziotti, and Dr. Heshmati of the Brevard County Health Department.

SCVIM is a local ministry that provides free health care for the working uninsured. This clinic is special because it houses very skilled Christian physicians, dentists, and dental hygieneists, nurses and others who volunteer their time and energy to help people in need, both physically and spiritually.

Covenant Presbyterian Church has joined other churches in providing both financial and volunteer help on a regular basis.  This is a great way for us to put "hands and feet" on the Gospel as we seek to make a difference in our community.

For more information, click these links:

Photos by John Trudeau, Dream Team Events.  Used by permission.
Lockmar Elementary School "Spring Fling"
May 4, 2011

On April 30th, our church had the privilege of serving our neighbors at Lockmar Elementary School by providing almost 40 volunteers to help run their annual "Spring Fling."

This year, there were a couple dozen game booths, five huge bounce houses, food, face painting, and we saw a whole lot of smiles and laughter.  A few hundred students, parents, and faculty members showed up.  What a success!

Over the past couple years, Covenant has been in the process of asking how we can make more of an impact in our community by serving the families and community right around us.

Pastor Jerry Klemm's discipleship group took on the task of mobilizing volunteers from Covenant to man booths, cook and serve food, and help set up and tear down.  What a great example of a small group serving our community!

We intend to continue helping Lockmar with this event in the coming years.  In addition, later this year, we will also be looking for volunteers to help them with their reading and math tutoring programs starting in the Fall semester.  More to come on that!

If you are interested in helping with any of this in the future, or if you would like to discuss ideas about how your small group can serve the community, please contact our Local Missions Pastor, Jonathan Culley at (321) 727-2661, or

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Dinner with FIT International Students
April 26, 2011

On April 24, 2011 (Easter Sunday), Daniel Hedman, Tom Mlsek, and Linda Condon hosted an Easter Sunday Dinner for 25 International Students from Florida Tech.

After church, everybody converged at Daniel's house, where they were introduced to a bit of American culture by participating in an Easter Egg hunt.  This was followed by an amazing Easter dinner meal orchestrated by Linda Condon.  Many people hung around for a while and played games.  Many new relationships were built, and much fun was had by all.

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Friday, February 4, 2011

IronMen "Love Opp" Project
February 4, 2011

On January 29th, our "IronMen" men's ministry gathered for breakfast, fellowship and prayer, and then split up into various teams to do a variety of handy-man service projects for needy folks in our church and community. 

For one of those projects, several of our men partnered with Love INC and men from other churches to bless a lady named "Eula Mae."  Eula Mae's home has had unrepaired roof damage and internal water damage since the 2004 hurricanes.  These men had the privilege of demonstrating the love of Christ by accomplishing significant repairs in her garage ceiling, inside floors, and other projects.

For more information, check these out:

Eula Mae with a helper from Melbourne Community Church

Tom Tanner hauling damaged carpet out Dick Bolton really enjoying the floor clean-up project
Brian Keen preparing the garage roof for new plywood Bobby Cooper cutting plywood to size for the garage roof Eula Mae really enjoying what these men are doing for her