Hello Bailey,

I’m delighted to share that we have staff leadership for our youth ministry for the program year, 2022-23. Jo Wiersema and Bailey Green will be leading, along with several experienced youth advisors. On Tuesday evening, the Session officially affirmed this plan, which came from the Personnel Committee over the past month.

Jo has been at Covenant since November as our Children’s Ministries Coordinator, while also helping out with mission, young adults, and worship. She expressed a desire to increase her hours, from 20/week to 30/week, so a good chunk of those extra hours will go toward youth ministry.

Bailey has been at church since June as our Church Administrator. She has ten years of experience in youth ministry and she will be assisting Jo in providing opportunities for Covenant youth to grow in faith, hope, and love. You can read their bios on our website.

Youth Connection groups will launch on Sunday, September 11 with Middle School (4:30-5:30) and High School (6:00-7:30). After all the challenges of Covid, along with the retirement of Steve Royalton, I’m excited for a fresh start for the youth of Covenant. Jo and Bailey have lots of ideas and enthusiasm. It’s going to be a good year. 

In other staff news, Rev. Clara Thompson returns to Covenant next week, and she’ll be with us for 15 hours/week through next spring, helping with pastoral care, worship, and fellowship.

As we think about seeking an Associate Pastor, the Session approved a team to begin working on a Mission Study—which is kind of like a planning document. To help us move forward with planning, we’re having a retreat on Saturday, September 17, for church officers, staff, and key leaders. We’ll do a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) and plan our next steps. 

With the hope of staying grounded during this transitional season, I recently began re-reading a spiritual classic--A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society, by Eugence Peterson. 

He writes about the Christian life as a long slow journey that requires persistence and encouragement. Click on the image to learn about the book. 

The title is inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche, who wrote: "The essential thing 'in heaven and earth' is ... that there should be long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living."

The experience of being in transition "is like the time when a trapeze artist lets go the bars and hangs in midair, ready to catch another support: it is a time of danger, of expectation, of uncertainty, of excitement, of extraordinary aliveness."

--Eugege Peterson

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, p. 16

As we continue through this journey of major staff transition (with uncertainty and excitment), I’m really grateful for our capable Personnel Committee. I'm grateful for our hard-working staff--and grateful for grace when we make mistakes. And I'm grateful for the good people of Covenant and the call of God. We truly are one body with many parts, and together we do great things. 

On the journey together,


  • Rev. Kathleen Owens preaching: "Trust in God's Presence" (Psalm 139:1-18)
  • Music from Doug McNeel and the Covenant Chancel Choir
  • Children's Time with Nick & Claire Von Bergen
  • 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!

NOTE: We return to two services (at 9:00 and 11:00) on Sunday, September 11. 

Join us for our next Spiritual Stroll! This Sunday, we'll visit Owen Conservation Park, which is located at 6021 Old Sauk Rd. As always, we will take a light stroll through the park and receive the beauty of God's creation. All ages welcome! Notethere is construction on Old Middleton Road, so finding an alternate route is advisable.

These Spiritual Strolls are always on the 4th Sunday of the month, and are part of a Covenant program called CONNECT, a program of events sponsored by the deacons of Covenant Presbyterian Church with the intention of fostering connection within the congregation and community.

Registration closing Friday August 26!

Don't miss the opportunity to participate in this eye-opening and vital 9-week elective course hosted by Rev. Dr. Alex Gee! This course honors the true events of Black history, triumph, trial, trauma, and all that made it happen. Register HERE! For more information, click HERE for a FAQ pdf.

Note: we anticipate having a group from Covenant in the spring 2023 course. 

"A crisis is simply when the stress you can handle is no longer less than your ability to cope."

The end of the summer brings some stress, along with other feelings. It's that time of the week to muse with us, and hopefully find some comfort amidst the chaos. Click on the image above to read this week's blog "Finding God in the Mess" by our own Jo Wiersema.

We have a new sermon series coming up for the month of September! Women of Genesis: Hearing the Voices of People Long Silenced will focus on women in the book of Genesis – Sarah, Rebekah, Dinah, and Hagar. “Hearing the voices of people long silenced” is from "A Brief Statement of Faith" of the Presbyterian Church (USA). We’re excited to kick off the Fall with this sermon series!

You are invited to the kickoff gathering for Soul Sisters with a potluck in Covenant's courtyard picnic benches after the second service. If it is raining heavily, we have the option of moving indoors into Bradfield Hall but outside is preferred because of COVID concerns. Please bring a dish to share (main, side dish, or dessert) and your own plates, cups, and utensils (we will have some available if needed). Also, if you want to find out more or would like to join Soul Sisters and haven’t before, please send your email and phone number to coordinator Barb Eikenberry.

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