Last week, I encouraged you to invite grief to Christmas dinner (read here). This week, I encourage you to consider inviting John the Baptist.

Yes I know the Bible portrays him as eccentric—coming from the wilderness, eating locusts and honey, dressed in camel’s hair. Conversation might be tough with JTB as well, given that he denounced the religious people of the day, calling them a brood of vipers.

But I think he has a message for us. 
When asked what repentance looks like, John said “Whoever has two shirts must share with the one who has none, and whoever has food must do the same.” (Read the biblical text here: Luke 3:1-18 John seemed to be concerned about people having more than they need, and about people who didn't have enough.
On Christmas Day, on the assumption that I’ve been a good boy, Santa (and my loving family) will likely leave me some gifts under the tree. Maybe some books, a sweater, some wool socks. Maybe a lump of coal.

While I look forward to whatever gifts might come my way, I already have plenty of books, sweaters, and socks.
If I get a sweater for Christmas, I will find a sweater that I rarely wear, and donate it to charity. If I get a book or two, I’ll donate a book or two to Madison Public Library. And so on. Most of us already have too much “stuff” in our lives, so maybe we can hear John the Baptist's words as a call for generosity and de-cluttering.

I’m going to try to make this a net-zero Christmas for me. For every new and wonderful thing that might arrive, I will share/donate something that I already have.

John the Baptist prepares the way for Jesus—the one who calls us to new life and new purpose, to simplicity and generosity, and to loving our neighbors in real and concrete ways. 

Merry Christmas, you brood of vipers!
  • In-person services at 9:00 (band) and 11:00 (organ), with a livestream at 11:00. (click)
  • Baptism of Jack William Wise (9:00)
  • Pastor Jeff Fox-Kline preaches on Luke 1:46-55 with a sermon called "Where Do I Begin?"
  • Children's Time with Marge Resan
  • Follow our BLOG (click) to read Pastor Jeff's weekly reflections.
  • Sunday School classes will NOT meet so that families can go to the Carol Sing!
  • Carol Sing at 10:00 in the sanctuary (in lieu of Adult Ed)
Advent Vespers - December 15, 2021
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

The PDA is responding to the recent tornadoes that ravaged the Midwest. Visit (or click the image) to find out ways to give, act, and pray.
Fall Generosity Campaign Continues

The Fall Generosity Campaign asks people to support Covenant’s ministry with their time, talents, and treasures. If you have not yet gotten your pledge in, please do so soon.

Here is a quick snapshot of where we currently stand financially as of 12/15/2021:
2022 Campaign203 pledges = $904,139
2021 Campaign: 190 pledges = $847,713
2020 Campaign: 219 pledges = $911,967
COVID Safety
We continue to have in-person worship. To be as safe as possible, the entire left side of the sanctuary is now socially distanced seating, with every other pew taped off. We are also asking people to sing quietly to limit germ spread.

Masks required for all people, regardless of vaccination status.