Come join us on Sunday at Rennebohm Park for some fellowship and good food! We will provide brats/hot dogs (and veggie/vegan/gluten-free options), water, and utensils. Bring a side dish or dessert if you are so inclined! If it rains, we will move the picnic to Bradfield Hall at Covenant.

Melissa Hinz is putting together a band for the picnic to provide some live entertainment! If you are interested in participating, email Melissa.

Feel free to wear your picnic clothes to worship at 9:30! See you Sunday!
Greetings!
Some days I think I need fewer words in my life, especially in my prayers.

Words are important, but they are not the only way to connect with God. Thanks to a recent group book study of Opening to God: Lectio Divina and Life as Prayer, I’ve been reminded of non-verbal ways of praying and connecting with God.
Being with God only in worded ways keeps us in our heads and keeps the volume of mental noise high enough that it interrupts the develpment of deeper knowing. Being with God in unworded stillness allows this deep knowing to develop and allows our prayers of attention, pondering, and responding to flow from those deep places.
--David G. Benner, in Opening to God
In the coming weeks, I’m hoping to be in God’s presence without words:
  • Using a coloring sheet
  • Enjoying the beauty of nature
  • Sitting in silence in the sanctuary
  • Driving without turning on the radio or a podcast
  • Sipping coffee without reading a book
I spent some time this week in the church courtyard, just enjoying the flowers. To see more of our beautiful flowers, click on the image--or better yet come sit in the courtyard. (Big thanks to our church gardeners!) Or enjoy a local park!

Life is hard now, so we need to stay strong in God and find ways to remember that God loves us. Words can help, but we don’t always need words. Make some time for silence and stillness with God.

On the journey together,  
Charlie Berthoud, Pastor

PS--Summer book club continues! On Wednesday July 27 at 7:00 pm join me and Jo Wiersema in person at church to discuss the Ukrainian-based novel, I Will Die in a Foreign Land, by Kalani Pickhart.
I Will Die in a Foreign Land follows four individuals over the course of a volatile Ukrainian winter, as their lives are forever changed by the Euromaidan protests.

Katya is a Ukrainian-American doctor stationed at a makeshift medical clinic in St. Michael’s Monastery; Misha is an engineer originally from Pripyat, who has lived in Kyiv since his wife’s death; Slava is a fiery young activist whose past hardships steel her determination in the face of persecution; and Aleksandr Ivanovich, a former KGB agent, climbs atop a burned-out police bus at Independence Square and plays the piano.

Click on image to learn more about the book.
THIS WEEK
Sunday Worship at 9:30
  • Chelsea Cornelius preaching: "Homegoing" (Ruth 1:6-18)
  • Weekly Memory Verse
  • Music from Ben Welch and Martha Stoner
  • Children's Time with Jo Wiersema
  • Kaleidoscope Kids during worship following Children's Time
  • In-Person and Livestream worship at 9:30am (ONE SERVICE)
  • 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!
Wednesday, July 13
12 noon through 5:00 pm
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Jo Wiersema recently spent two weeks in Europe. She spent time in Scotland, the home of Presbyterianism and she went to worshi there. Read her musings on church and home. #MidweekMusings. Click on image above.

Midweek Musings is a weekly Covenant blog with a variety of authors and spiritual topics. Feel free to leave a comment as you are moved. We hope that it blesses you this week and the weeks to come.
COMING UP
Donate or participate! The Presbywheelians are assembling a bike team as they do every year for the MOVE4BGC fundraiser for Boys & Girls Club of Dane County. Click HERE for our team page. To join, click 'JOIN TEAM' and follow instructions. To donate, click 'DONATE.' On the next page, you have the option to select a specific fundraiser (optional), or just give a general donation.
Mark your calendars for “A Program for Peace,” a benefit concert for Ukraine, sponsored by Covenant, Westminster Presbyterian, and Christ Presbyterian churches for an afternoon of beautiful music to support our Ukrainian neighbors who are still in dire need of aid. Freewill donations will be accepted for the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and Wisconsin Ukrainians Inc.
Steve Royalton Retirement
Our Youth Ministries Coordiantor for 26 years(!) is retiring in August. We are having a reception in his honor on Sunday, August 7, at 10:45 am. More info coming soon. Save the date!
SESSION UPDATE
Your Session met on June 28 for their regularly scheduled meeting and had a very full agenda. The meeting began with an excellent review of the Covenant finances by Treasurer Gordon Enderle. This is an annual learning session so that new Elders can understand how money goes in and out of Covenant and the various funds involved in keeping the church going. It also provides a welcome refresher for continuing Elders.
The business of the church conducted included:
·       The lighting in the Sanctuary, specifically the spot lights in front, are being updated. Many are out and in need of repair. New LED lights will be used in the fixtures going forward. The lighting in the rest of the sanctuary has been fixed and the outage discovered the weekend of June 18/19 was likely the result of the storm on June 13.
·       Covenant is working with a neighbor who wants to build an addition onto the back of their home on Marathon Drive and will require access to their backyard through our parking lot. The Session agreed to grant this access and you may see progress this summer.
·       Pastor Charlie announced that Youth Ministries Coordinator Steve Royalton is retiring effective in August after 30 years on staff at Covenant. A celebration is being planned.
·       A task force will be created to explore the current state of our children’s/youth/young adult ministries and determine what the best way forward is as we explore ongoing staffing.
·       The Personnel Committee brought a Pastoral staffing model forward to Session which was approved. We will welcome Pastor Clara back this fall and Jo Wiersema will add an additional 10 hours to her work contract at Covenant for the coming programmatic year.
·       The Mission Committee brought a motion to work with the Jewish Social Services agency to sponsor a family for resettlement. The funding will be provided out of their new mission initiative line item. The Session agreed with the committee and passed the motion.
·       Ruling Elders Julie Sadowsky and Jennifer Morgan will serve as Commissioners to the John Knox Presbytery Meeting on August 20.
·       Funding for a new pan/tilt/zoom camera for the sanctuary behind the organ was approved using Gifts, Memorials, and Bequests funding so that additional video may show Doug playing the organ.
The meeting was ended with prayers for one another, the congregation, and the world in which we make our way to follow Jesus. There will be no Session meeting in July.
--Laurie Jones, Clerk
(NOTE: This update usually appears in the monthly Caravan newsletter but we had to print before the Session meeting.)