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Good Morning, Covenant Family!

It has been several months since I shared a Covenant Weekly with you. I took time off from doing it as a part of my sabbatical. And getting back into things during Advent made starting it back up again right away a challenge. During the first couple of weeks of January, I’ve been prayerfully considering if this is something I should be doing and, if so, how I should be doing it.

I’ve thought about keeping the space open as something I do periodically. I’ve thought about maybe doing it bi-weekly or even monthly. After some reflection, though, it seems to make sense that if I am going to do it, I should do it as a weekly practice – both for my sake and for the regularity it offers you.

But having to come up with a new thing from scratch every week can be a challenge. What if there was a way to build both structure and diversity to this that allows me to plan and offers you something different depending on the week? Thinking about that question has led me to the following plan.

  • On the first Tuesday of each month, I will share a prayer or a poem with you. That prayer or poem will, more often than not, be something written by someone else that I’ve found helpful. I pray it will be helpful for you, too.
  • On the second week of the month, I will talk about a ministry that Covenant is connected to. It may be one of our regular programs, like our youth ministry. It may be one of our Compassion Projects. It may be a Compassion Partner that we seek to support. I may even talk about a ministry that doesn’t have a formal Covenant connection, but that people from our Covenant family are connected with. But that second week will be a ministry highlight and may even involve an interview with someone involved in the ministry.
  • As a part of a rotation of things, I do want to spend time unpacking some things in the Bible. These won’t be sermons, but short devotional thoughts. Since we are Jesus-centred people, on the third week I’ll look at something that is a part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. One way of thinking about anabaptists (the broad family of Christians we are a part of) is that we seriously believe Jesus meant what is included in the Sermon on the Mount. Revisiting this regularly will be a great way for us to stay Jesus-centred!
  • But the Sermon on the Mount is not the only part of the Bible. On the road to Emmaus, Jesus unpacked all of scripture in light of himself. There are also some amazing stories in the Old Testament. For this year, on the fourth week of the month, I’m aiming to look at a fascinating OT story and dig into it briefly. Again…these won’t be sermons. But hopefully, they’ll be fun and they might get you reading or hearing stories you haven’t heard in a long time or haven’t ever heard before!
  • That does leave a few fifth Tuesdays throughout the year. And I’m not sure what I’m going to do in those weeks. In my schedule, I’m just calling them “Wildcard” weeks. That’s a tough term for Browns fans to think about right now. But I’m just leaving them open for whatever comes that week.

I hope that gives you a sense of what to expect. By sharing this with you, I have some accountability, too! However, if this starts to be unhealthy for me or unhelpful for you…I do reserve the right to change things. I pray that won’t be the case, however. I pray that it will be a blessing to all of us as we journey through this year together.

Now for January…we are already on the third Tuesday. So for this week, in addition to outlining this plan, I would like to offer you a prayer. As yesterday was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, this is something that he prayed. Dr. King faced a lot of struggles and difficulties in his life. As he did, he prayed these words. May they become ours also.

And now unto him who is able to keep us from falling, and lift us from the dark valley of despair to the bright Mountain of hope, from the midnight of desperation to the daybreak of joy; to him be power and authority, for ever and ever.

Amen.

Peace to you, Covenant family.

Jon


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