Thursday, August 1, 2013

IronMen: IronDad
August 1, 2013

On Saturday, July 20, the deacon-led IronMen ministry hosted its second Eat & Serve men's work event of 2013. This particular time, the theme was "IronDad". This time around, in addition to inviting all able bodied men of the congregation to come out and work for those in need, we also encouraged dads to bring out their children to work alongside them!

This particular event completed 17 different projects utilizing a volunteer workforce of over 40 men and numerous children! Those being served by this event included widows from out congregation, needy neighbors of congregant members, and one Love INC client. The projects ranged from pressure washing driveways and siding, painting hallways, light to moderately-heavy yard work, to fence and in-home repair.

To be frank, when I first joined Covenant, I (wrongly) presumed the IronMen projects were for older guys or for a certain sub-set of the men of the church. I don't know why I presumed that, but I did. If you are thinking a similar thing, let me set the record straight.

If you are a man, IronMen is for you!

It's that simple. If you are not convinced yet, here are some more reasons: If you like breakfast, if you have the desire to serve REAL needs in our congregation and community, if you have the ability to do anything from pulling a single weed or swinging a hammer with great skill, IronMen is for you. Our next Eat & Serve Event will take place sometime this winter (after City Impact - being help in October). We'd really love to see you there, please consider joining us as the IronMen serve our neighbors in need.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Homeless Bags: A Practical Way to Love Your Neighbor
June 7, 2013

One of the components of our church's small group vision is to do a group service project. In the past, many groups have helped out at the local Cold Night Shelter (His Place Ministries), served hot dogs at ROAR Sporting events, or even done Nursing Home Outreach and visitation. This year one of the more creative and practical service projects was something called "Homeless Bags" (see contents to the right).

At least two of our ladies' groups from Covenant participated in this type of service project and have found it to be a very simple way to make a small yet significant difference in our community. "What is a homeless bag?" you might ask. Well, one group describes them as such: "[We] made bags to keep in our cars to give to people when we see them... And if we see someone holding a sign that says "hungry" we give them these pre-made bags that have in them (ours are all different) something like a water bottle, a fruit cup and plastic spoon, a protein bar, some packaged trail mix or a granola bar. I have some with small cans of chicken salad and crackers. Whatever we can keep in the car."

But as we all know, just doing something for someone is not always enough. Every group that made the bags also included some form of evangelistic message. Whether it was a Gospel tract or simply a message that said, "You are made in the image of God. That makes you precious! God loves you! I hope this snack blesses you." Sandy Beckwith reports, "I've given out quite a few. One time really blessed me as I watched the guy read it as he walked back and he seemed touched...David and Katie are keeping one in their cars too. David gave out his first one the other day. He was glad to have it ready."

If you or your group have participated in any other service projects throughout this past year, please let us know (email me at, or simply leave some descriptions of the practical ways your group has shown God's love in the comment section below.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Love, INC Love Op

On May 4, The Axsom/Patterson Small group partnered with Love INC to help accomplish a Love Op. What is a Love Op you might ask? In short, A Love Op is Love INCs way of assisting its clients by connecting them with local churches to meet whatever physical need is most urgent. In this particular case, Love INC was assisting a woman in our community whose house had been invaded by black mold. It was beyond the point that she could fix herself. After contacting Love INC and partaking in the action plan they had developed for her, assistance was offered and the problem was resolved. 

Five members of CPC and several other members from other area churches suited up and spent a few hours lending a helping hand by removing the mold infested waste from the living space. Materials, training, and lunch were all provided by Love INC. All the volunteers had to do was show up! 

"It was so beautiful seeing the 'local body' unite to accomplish a missional task together," said Jonathan Culley of the event. "We held hands in a circle and prayed before we got to work.  I felt that this event brought both physical and spiritual needs together nicely.  Although I didn't personally meet the resident, I felt a personal connection with her just by being there helping."

The great thing about the Love INC Love Op is that it is meant for YOU. It is tailored for anyone to have a meaningful and impacting experience with minimal preparation, planning, and/or skills. You simply need to show up. As Don Patterson put it, "After suiting up, there was equipment to be moved, drywall and insulation to tear out and transport to the trailer, decisions to be made, nails to be removed, and clean up to be done." There is literally something for everyone. 

If you want to join the ranks of this small group, our Diaconate-led Iron Man Teams, and droves of other CPC members who have been part of a Love Op, I would love to help you make that happen. I can't sum it up better than Don did when he said, "I enjoyed helping meet this very real need, and worshiping with other believers in the process. I overheard one of the residents saying that he wanted to help out at other Love INC operations. And I do too."

If you are even lightly interested in partaking in a Love INC Love Op please contact me at Love Ops happen seven days a week and can meet whatever skill set, challenges, or preferences you might have. 

Let's get out there and make a difference in our community!

For more information about Love INC please visit our church's website at

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Spring Fling 2013
May 2, 2013

On Saturday, April 27th, Sixty three volunteers and countless CPC families converged on the Lockmar Spring Fling. For the third year, our congregation has assisted our local public elementary school in throwing its annual spring student celebration. Our sixty three volunteers assisted with: supervising the six bounce houses, helping with the teacher-led games, cooking and serving over 500 hot dogs,  preparing 300 prepared meals, and serving over 700 drinks!

Norma Hostetler, Lockmar’s principal, said of the event, “The teachers, students, and parents thought the event was well attended and the students had a great time.  We could not have covered bounce houses and food with the limited number of volunteers that we had.  Your church volunteers and the bounce houses made the event a huge success.” 

I would like to send a HUGE thank you to all the families who came to spend time with their neighbors and the many volunteers who sacrificed at least an hour of their time to make this event a “huge success”. If you would like more information about how you can assist in helping with our ministry to our local schools, please go to our church’s website under the Adopt-a-school ministry page (linked below).

If you have any other questions or interest in our Local Outreach Ministries, please feel free to email me here.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Ironmen Serving Church and Community
March 21, 2013

Thirty-two men served at the recent Ironmen Eat and Serve.  After enjoying a time of hearty breakfast and fellowship, the men headed out to serve in 12 projects.  Various projects included painting a house for Love INC, yard work, pressure washing, carpet replacement, drywall repair, window maintenance, and plumbing. 

Ransom Kent reflected upon the day with these words:  “I took part in two separate projects. First, I worked with a fellow Ironman to help a member of our church shape up some hedges in their back yard, as well as clean out some gutters and remove an unwanted plant.  On the second job I was part of a large team of Ironmen who were assisting Love INC with a LoveOP. We painted the front side of the home for one of Love INC's clients. " 

He greatly enjoyed working with his brothers in Christ to accomplish a task for the kingdom.  Ransom said that "Even stirring gravy to the Lord for the Ironmen breakfast is more enjoyable than just stirring gravy for gravy-stirring sake!" 

David Schatz mentioned, "It is cool to see men of all ages come together for the common goal of being Jesus to the body."  He was especially touched by how blessed the people are that are the recipients of the work.  David was amazed by how each time he became worried about an event detail, he prayed and God tangibly over-blessed the situation. 

Men, the next time you hear about an Ironmen event, make plans to attend.

For more information on Ironmen events, visit

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Food Pantry Offers More Than Just Food
February 14, 2013

Every few weeks, the CPC bulletin includes an announcement that the church food pantry needs donations. Members donate canned or boxed goods, and those who need food assistance are helped. But the food pantry is just the beginning of a process that helps people in need – spiritually as well as physically and financially.

To start, food is dropped off in a bin in the Fellowship Hall on the weekends or at the church office during the week. The best kinds of items to donate are the following:
  • Canned food (stews, meats, tuna, chicken, soups, vegetables, etc.)
  • Pasta (all kinds)
  • Small jars of sauces (spaghetti, salsa, etc.)
  • Small / medium jars of peanut butter
  • Boxed meals (tuna helper, hamburger helper, macaroni and cheese, etc.)
  • Cereal (all kinds)
  • Powdered milk
Donated items are sorted onto the shelves of the food pantry and then packaged into bags that make a complete meal. For example, one bag holds six or seven items like tuna helper with a can of tuna, pasta with sauce, and a can of fruit or vegetables. Each bag contains a protein as well as the makings of a complete meal.

Rosalie Wareing’s small group helps with the food pantry by emptying the bin from the Fellowship Hall each Sunday, sorting donations, and creating the individual bags of meals that are ready to hand out to those in need. “We rotate one couple each week who takes care of updating the food pantry,” Rosalie said, “so the whole group doesn’t have to do it each week, just one couple at a time. It takes about fifteen minutes on average each Sunday.” It’s a small investment of time for a big return for those who receive the food.

Depending on the number of requests during the week, the bags of meals can quickly disappear until Rosalie’s small group members arrive on Sunday to sort and bag donations. It would be helpful to have another small group or two organize the pantry and create food bags during the week.

Certain types of food donations are welcome while others, unfortunately, cannot be used to help needy families. Items that cannot be given away include the following:

·         Expired items (Covenant is responsible for the food that is given out, so these items must be thrown away)
·         Opened items (Also must be thrown away for health safety reasons)
·         Condiments (Cannot be made into meals and so are not useful)
·         Items requiring refrigeration (A homeless family has no way to store such food)
·         Bulk items (Single bulk items are difficult to break up into one-family portions)
·         Others – Some items don’t necessarily translate into a healthy meal unit (for example, a box of crackers; a jar of peanut butter would be more helpful)
·         Non-food items – Personal healthcare items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, or deodorant, and diapers/baby care items are too difficult to store and perhaps a bit insulting to put in a bag; sharing centers help with providing these items

Covenant gives out hundreds of bags of food each year to families in need. The volunteer receptionists in the church office help manage food pantry traffic, which can be heavy at times. There is a great need for more volunteer receptionists to handle food pantry requests as well as other light office duties in the church office.

And CPC members may not realize that some of our own members get help from our food pantry; the CPC families in need are also brought into contact with the CPC Mercy Team to help with long-term needs.

People who come to the church office for food pantry donations receive two food bags (each representing a complete meal) and a referral to Love INC. Covenant works with Love INC to meet the deeper and long-term needs of those who visit the food pantry. Love INC is a Christian organization that “helps people in churches help people in need by bringing Christian churches together to help the poor, meeting immediate needs such as food and clothing, to longer-term responses such as budget mentoring,” according to its website. “Churches coordinate their resources and services through Love INC so that those in need are not turned away. The result: Communities see churches join together to show Christ's love to their neighbors.

“The heart of Love INC is the Clearinghouse, where volunteers receive requests, assess needs, refer people to the help they need, and follow up. Through the Clearinghouse, Love INC also identifies gaps in services and resources in the community and helps churches develop ministries to fill the gaps.”

So donating to the CPC food pantry is about more than just canned goods – it’s a link to a network of resources that meets people’s practical needs as well as their spiritual ones.

You can learn more about Love INC and about donating monetarily to the organization by visiting

To help with the CPC food pantry or to volunteer as a CPC receptionist, contact the church office at 727-2661 or