Hello, Bailey-

Three things have jumped out at me in the first few chapters of Exodus, making me wonder.

 

Women are central. The first heroes of the book are Shiphrah and Puah, the midwives who courageously defy the power of empire. In chapter 2 we read about the mother and sister of Moses as well as the daughter of Pharaoh. These courageous and creative women set the stage for the exodus, which has been called the Easter event of the Old Testament. So I wonder if we are being called (perhaps by unlikely leaders) to some sort of civil disobedience, toward a greater good.  

 

God’s presence. God speaks to Moses through a burning bush. As I read that, I remember Eugene Peterson’s quote: “To the eyes that see, every bush is a burning bush.” And I wonder how often God is trying to speak to us.  

 

God’s persistent call. God calls Moses to lead the people out of slavery, but Moses doesn’t think he’s up to the task, so he gives excuses: What if they don’t believe me? I don’t know your name. I don’t speak well. And so on. Finally in desperation, Moses says “send someone else.” God persists and gives Moses Aaron to help with the journey. So I wonder, to what or where is God calling us?

We have invited the congregation to read Exodus this month, and I hope you’ll join in. Crack open your Bible or try an online Bible like Bible Gateway or the YouVersion app.

Covenant members and staff have written brief reflections on each chapter of Exodus. Sign up for online devotionals or get a hard copy of the booklet next time you’re in church.  

 

You can also join me and others in Bible study, starting next Thursday, going for four sessions. Come to one, or as many as you want. Each study is self-contained, and beginners are welcome. We will meet in person at 10:30am for 90 minutes and via Zoom at 6:30pm for an hour. If you’re interested please sign up HERE to help us plan. But if you don’t sign up, feel free come!


We also have two Adult Ed classes, overviews of Exodus, at 10am on January 7 and 14.

To get a big picture overview of Exodus, check out the Bible Project, which has two six minute videos on the themes of the book. Click on the image to watch the first one.


If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll read Exodus this month. You could read a chapter or so each day, or read the whole thing at once. One source says it takes two hours and 51 minutes to read Exodus, which is about 5.5 minutes per day for a month. You can do this!

Exodus tells the story of God’s people on a journey, moving forward with hope into an uncertain future. That feels kind of like us. I pray that God will teach us and guide us as we read.

On the journey together,

Charlie

PS - Last Sunday at our congregational meeting, we officially welcomed Rev. Jess Scholten to be our Associate Pastor for Mission, Spiritual Growth, and Care. She starts on February 1 and will be preaching on February 11. Click on the photo of her with me and Megan to access her sermon from last Sunday.

Worship

  • In-Person and Livestream worship: 9:00AM & 11:00AM
  • Epiphany Sunday | "Word Power" Sermon Series begins
  • Epiphany Stars! (click for more info)
  • Holy Communion
  • Preaching: Charlie Berthoud | "Dwelling Among Us" | Text: Matthew 2:1-12, John 1:1-5,14 | Marilyn Krichko reflects on her Epiphany word from 2023
  • Music: Ben Welch, pianist (9:00); Doug McNeel, organist (11:00)
  • Children's Time with Megan Berry
  • Nursery Care: 8:45am-12:15pm
  • Bradfield Café: 10:00-10:45AM
  • Visit our Worship HQ for everything you need to worship with us online!

If you missed a service or would like to watch a service again, all livestreamed services are saved to our YouTube channel. Or you can give the sermons another listen on our sermon podcast!

Our January sermon series is called “Word Power,” and we’ll be reflecting on the possibility for our words to build up each other and to benefit the common good. We’ll also be thinking about how words change and about the challenges of putting words into action. The series is based on God’s word for us. Jesus was described as “the word made flesh, dwelling among us.”

Adult Education

Join us Sunday (January 7) at 10:00am with Part 1 (of 2) of an overview of the book of Exodus, led by Covenant member Melissa Hardy. In January, Covenant is reading the book of Exodus. Join us in Adult Ed for a two-part companion class. We will walk through Exodus discussing the storyline and how this epic journey fits into the larger biblical story. Along the way, we will uncover the many parallels to Genesis and reflect on how our current lives mirror the Exodus narrative.

All classes meet in person and online at youtube.com/c/CovenantPresbyterianChurch.

Visit covenantmadison.org/adult for more info on Adult Education at Covenant.

Children's & Youth Education

Other Youth Connection dates:

Heifer TLC Day - January 13 at 3:00pm

Youth Lock-In - January 13-14

Join us THIS SUNDAY (January 7) at 12:15pm for a Mexican food fiesta in honor of Charlie’s 60th birthday! Please RSVP below, or on the bulletin board sign up list. No gifts, but please bring 60 cents (60 years!) or any donation (or give on our webpage), and all money received will be donated to the The River Food Pantry. 

RSVP Here!

Christmas Eve Mission Offering UPDATE

On Christmas Eve, we collected our annual Christmas Eve Mission Offering. The 2023 recipient of this offering is Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and their aid to the Middle East as the crisis in Israel/Palestine continues. To date, we have received $7,977.15 which will all go to PDA. Thank you to everyone who donated! If you still want to donate, you can do so HERE until this Monday (January 8).

Pick up a hard copy of our devotional at Covenant or SUBSCRIBE to receive daily email devotions from this devotional as we delve into Exodus in January!

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New this week: Carole Moore, friend of Jan Minardi; DM Ford, cousin of Peg Balisteri; Carol Gomez, mother of Chris Gomez-Schmidt.


Loving God, in your mercy, hear our prayers for each of these your children. We pray for healing, for courage, and for peace, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Full Prayer List

Bradfield Café Volunteer

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Greeter & Welcome Center Volunteer

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Feel free to bring a friend as we enjoy a time of good food and warm fellowship! Cook something at home, pick up something at your favorite grocery store, or favorite restaurant for a carry-out dish to share. Beverages, plates, and utensils will be provided. These potlucks normally take place the 1st Wednesday/mo. January is an exception.

Come together to learn and grow! We are reading Exodus as a congregation in January, and we want to help each other learn more about the this ancient text and its contemporary relevance. Never done Bible study before? No worries! Beginners are welcome! Sign up below to help us plan if you can. Come join us as we explore some major themes in Exodus. Please note: 10:30 studies are in-person, 6:30 studies are on Zoom only.

SIGN UP!

Women of Covenant are invited to Soul Sisters! Wendy Weber leads this month’s discussion topic: “Celebrating the Sabbath.” Soul Sisters is a group of women who gather on the 2nd Sunday monthly (Sept-May) for interesting discussions and Bible study, always in loving support of each other. For more info, contact Barb Eikenberry.

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