It's strange to think about spring in the middle of a blizzard. Record-setting snow event or not, Lent does begin today and there are so many great ways to connect, grow, and be in community together in the coming weeks. Lent is a season of preparation where we hold back from rushing to Easter. It is our hope and prayer that these opportunities help you prepare to once again encounter the cross and Jesus’ victory of life over death anew. We've got it all here -- you won't want to miss it.
LENTEN DEVOTIONAL: A Just Passion: A Six-Week Lenten Journey
Injustice is rampant around us. It is also present within us. To better confront oppression in the world, we must own that reality and look to Christ our liberator. Lent is an opportune time for this as we contemplate his suffering together.
Our Lenten Devotional, A Just Passion, has been curated to hold in tension the immense weight and hope of the Lenten season. This collection of short readings, breath prayers, and Scripture passages from the First Nations Version guides readers through a six-week journey of repentance, lament, worship, and healing. You can use the devotional for your personal devotions through Lent or join us for the Wednesday Morning Bible Study where we will be journeying together with selections from the devotional led by members of the staff. Pick up your copy at the Welcome Center for $5.00
A FAMILY CALENDAR FOR LENT
Especially for families with children, A Family Calendar For Lent, encourages families to practice a gentle, age-appropriate fast as a family with repeated activities to do together as a family at the beginning, middle, and end of each week. Each week, families give up a show, a story, and a dessert, and spend time with each other and with Jesus instead. We pray that these simple experiences will create meaningful moments and closer friendships with Jesus and each other as you prepare to celebrate Easter. This free resource is available as a tear-off calendar at the Lent Resource Table in Upper Fellowship Hall or as a digital download at the link below.
COVENANT WORLD RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT EASTER OFFERING
Covenant World Relief & Development (CWRD) is the Evangelical Covenant Church's to join with local partners around the world to reduce human suffering for the most vulnerable people and support healthy communities. The mission of CWRD is to join God in loving, serving, and working in relationship together with the poor, oppressed, traumatized, and marginalized.
Throughout Lent you'll hear about different initiatives through
CWRD leading up to our special offering for this important
ministry area on Easter Sunday, April 9.
FINAL REHEARSAL SCHEDULE
Below are rehearsals that are different from regularly scheduled Sunday & Wednesday practices.
Wednesday, February 22 at 7:30pm -- Important Informational Meeting for Caregivers & Cast on Zoom
Friday, February 24 from 5:00pm - 9:00pm at Johnson High School
Saturday, February 25 from 1:00pm - 5:00pm at Johnson High School
Sunday, February 26 from 11:00am - 1:00pm at First Covenant
this problem solving rehearsal is on an "as-needed" basis
Tuesday, February 28 from 5:00pm - 9:00pm at Johnson High School
Wednesday, March 1 from 5:00pm - 9:00pm at Johnson High School
Thursday, March 2 from 5:00pm - 9:00pm at Johnson High School
CAST SINGING IN WORSHIP & CAST PARTY
Sunday, March 12
Our Broadway Is Back! cast will share with us in worship on Sunday, March 12 and then gather for a celebrative cast party for all cast, crew, volunteers, and families. Don't miss a fantastic end to a great run!
9:30am // Worship
Most Sundays you can find us either person and on our YouTube live stream as we gather for worship in the sanctuary. We hope that by your worshiping with us, you’ll catch a glimpse of the Kingdom, and be encouraged to find your place in it. Each weekend has familiar components but no week is the same.
We are excited to welcome Gary and Pauline Carlson, First Covenant's Missionaries to Japan, on Sunday, March 26. Pauline will be sharing specific ministry updates as the Carlsons conclude their time in Japan, and Gary will be our guest preacher for the morning.
10:30am // Fellowship Time
Volunteers provide coffee and treats on Sundays as First Covenant folks connect with one another before Spiritual Growth Hour begins.
10:45am - 11:45am // Spiritual Growth Hour (SGH)
There's something for every age and stage! Check out what's coming up this season.
Nursery (birth - 4 years): Our nursery is open and staffed by loving adults to care for the youngest among us. Interested in serving? Contact Lora Murtha.
Children's Sunday School (preK - 5th grade): Our children are "exploring the Bible with interactive, hands on learning opportunities that combine fun and faith formation.
3rd - 5th graders will begin Sunday School on Sunday, March 19.
We are welcoming all preK - 5th graders to join our Palm Sunday Children's Choir.
Children will work on learning songs during Sunday School so we will be ready to wave
our palm branches and shout Hosanna! There will be a rehearsal in the sanctuary on
Saturday, April 1 from 9:00am - 10:30am.
Confirmation (6th - 8th grade): Our Confirmands continue their journey through the Old Testament focusing on examples of faith when everything falls apart through the lens of the prophets and the exile. Meets on Sunday, March 19 only.
Youth Sunday School (6th - 8th grade): Our youth are exploring scripture through small group discussions, activities, and a "micropractice" where they put what they've learned into practice back at home. Senior High youth (9th - 12th graders) also help serve in Children's Sunday School and are welcome to attend the adult option during SGH. Youth Sunday School begins meeting on Sunday, March 26.
Adult Spiritual Growth Hour (9th grade - adults): On February 26 we meet in the Choir Room for a lively hour of discussion where we dig deeper with the day's sermon and build community as the body of Christ. Beginning Sunday, March 12 we will meet in Upper Fellowship Hall for our guest Lenten speakers. See above for more information.
Monday, February 27 from 6:30pm - 8:30pm // Young Adult Book Club
Young adults are meeting at the Nosich's for dinner and a discussion through the book The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World by John Mark Comer. This is the final book club and supper for the winter. Check out what else is coming up for our FCC Young Adults during Lent:
YOUNG ADULT GAME NIGHT
Sunday, February 26 from 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Gamezenter (1975 County Rd. B W, Roseville, MN)
Our community of young adults is excited to gather around the table for a night of board games and fun at Gamezenter! Bring your own game if you want, or grab one of the free ones off the shelf. This event is free, there is food available for purchase.
Check out our regular Wednesday morning, afternoon, and evening schedule. All options meet weekly, except for April 5, unless otherwise noted.
10:00am - 11:00am // Wednesday Morning Bible Study
We gather for Bible study and conversation using First Covenant's Lenten Devotional as our guide.
3:30pm - 5:45pm // After School Programs for Children and Youth
McVay Youth Programming (5th - 12th graders)
Connect with other Eastside Youth in a safe, fun, and free program. Students spend time with friends creating art, music, drama, and receive homework help. Transportation provided. Email Jane Krentz at firstname.lastname@example.org to fill out a registration form. Also meets on Mondays and Fridays.
After School Program with Family Values for Life (K - 5th graders)
Family Values for Life provides a safe and welcoming space for lower elementary student from our partner schools and First Covenant to connect with friends, receive a healthy snack, and enjoy homework help along with other academic enrichment activities.
4:30pm - 5:45pm // Handbell Choir Rehearsal except March 1
5:45pm - 6:15pm // Free Dinner for All from Loaves & Fishes
Loaves and Fishes prepares delicious and nutritious meals each Wednesday. Join us in Lower Fellowship Hall for a community meal. Volunteers to help serve and do a light clean up for these meals are needed.
6:15pm - 7:30pm // Evening Programming for Youth & Adults
"Broadway Is Back!" musical rehearsal (3rd - 12th graders) March 1 only
See above for more Broadway Is Back! information, including special rehearsals.
Youth Group (9th - 12th graders) beginning March 8
Let's connect with one another as we grow in relationships with one another and Jesus. Bring your questions, joys, and whole self as we gather for fun and faith-filled conversations.
Journey To The Cross And Beyond Through The Gospel of John (adults)
During Lent, we will be finishing our study of John’s Gospel using the N.T. Wright for Everyone Bible Study Guide. During the six weeks of Lent, we will read and discuss John’s account of those last days. Even if you haven’t been part of the study, join us as we journey through the last chapters on our way to Easter morning and breakfast on the shore with the disciples.
Sanctuary Choir (adults) except March 1
Childcare: Childcare is provided on as-needed basis, please contact Lora Murtha to confirm.
7:30pm - 8:00pm // Easter Choir Rehearsal except March 1
We're preparing to present "Come To The Cross and Remember" by Pepper Choplin. This Easter Cantata was written in 2017 and is a beautiful work encompassing portions of Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
SAVE THE DATE
MUSICAL MOVIE NIGHT (3rd - 5th graders)
Friday, March 24 from 5:00pm - 7:30pm
Are you feeling a post-musical let down? Wondering where you can see your friends from the musical for a night of fun? We've got you covered! We're gathering for dinner and to watch the movie musical Annie together! Questions? Contact Lora Murtha.
DISCOVER BIRMINGHAM: COMMUNITY SERVICE LEARNING TRIP
July 29 - August 5, 2023
Incoming 6th - exiting 12th graders, caregivers, and all adults are invited to join us for a week of service and learning in Birmingham, AL with YouthWorks! During our time in Birmingham we will learn about, interact with and experience the history and culture of the city and serve alongside existing organizations to meet community needs through children’s programs, painting and minor projects, and relational opportunities with elderly folks and those experiencing homelessness. Then, in the evenings, we will visit the Vulcan, explore local sites and tour the historic Civil Rights Museum. Take advantage of this one of a kind, intergenerational, service learning experience! Cost: $325 per person (This cost includes a $50 non- refundable deposit.)
COVENANT-WIDE CALL TO PRAYER
March 2 & April 6 at 2pm on Zoom
In times of uncertainty and anxiety, we seek the One who is our rock and foundation. And in times of joy and gratitude, we turn to Christ, our focus and center. Through prayer, God speaks, and we listen. You are invited to join a Covenant-wide Call to Prayer, an opportunity for our denomination to unite together in prayerful dependence upon the Holy Spirit. Find out more at: covchurch.org/prayer
JONATHAN HOUSE COMMUNITY MEAL
Saturday, March 18 from 10:00am - 11:30am
St. Stephanus Lutheran Church (739 Lafond Ave, St Paul, MN 55104)
Jonathan House extends shelter, hope, and healing to asylum seekers in the Twin Cities by offering supportive housing, strategic, connections, practical assistance, and a welcoming community to help our new friends recover from forced displacement Meet residents and learn more about their stories at a community meal each month.
FRUIT OF THE VINE FOOD SHELF
Fridays from 10:15am - 1:15pm (volunteer set up)
Our Creation Care Team coordinates volunteers to serve at our partner's food shelf. On Fridays, two trucks deliver food and volunteers then distribute the produce into boxes, break down boxes, and haul waste into our 3-stream recycling and compost containers. This is a key way to care for the environment and come alongside our partners with Fruit of the Vine Food Shelf in the process.
Questions? Email Susan Carlson.
Saturdays from 9:00am - 12:00pm (food shelf open to the public)
Guests receive a box of produce and “shop” for staples. This ministry is a great gift to our neighborhood as it serves about 150 families each week. Individuals and families turning to the Fruit of the Vine Food Shelf often come in crisis and stay to build stability. Sudden issues like job or transportation loss or medical crises cause food and/or housing insecurity, which all weaken the stability of a household. Fruit of the Vine Food Shelf offers basic needs support, and crisis and resource assistance. These services are designed to relieve immediate stress for low-income neighbors while also helping them build a more stable foundation for their future.