Pastor Enrolled in Doctor of Ministry Program

Pastor Valerie has been admitted into the Doctor of Ministry program in Congregational Leadership at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Chicago beginning January 2014. This program is designed to help pastors with the complex demands placed on them as pastoral leaders. The Congregational Leadership track offers a mix of practical management training and theological education to enhance the pastor’s ability to be a more effective leader and prepare the congregation to be change agents in its context. Covenant’s Staff Parish Relations Committee submitted a strong recommendation for Valerie’s application to the program. Covenant will benefit from her studies and will be the ministry site for her research and development into Congregational Development. Her doctoral work will go hand-in-hand with the work the church is already doing with the Healthy Church Initiative and the Survey 360 Program. This is an exciting opportunity that will help the church thrive in our changing environment. This program will have minimal impact on Pastor Valerie’s presence with the congregation. She will participate in two intensive courses each January and June, missing just one Sunday in each month. Management seminars with the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University will be during a Tuesday-Thursday each Fall and Spring. Please continue to pray for our Pastor as she enters into this exciting opportunity. I am glad to answer any questions you may have. Phil Hampsten Chair, Covenant SPRC...

A Year of Grace

November 15th is the one year anniversary of my husband John’s death. For several weeks I have been thinking about it, anticipating it, dreading it, and wondering how I will get through it. I do not want to simply re-live the horrible hours of that devastating day. How does one both recognize the passing of a year without one’s loved one without getting sucked back into the deep darkness of that experience? What is the most faithful thing to do? If we tread this earth long enough, we all experience significant loss. It is the hardest part of living. The loss of a loved one, a dream, a career, or one’s health can confound and overwhelm us. It is hard to conceive of life beyond that loss. But my experience has been that it is the living, the saints around us, who are best able to help us move beyond the loss and live life abundantly again. My life was forever changed a year ago, but not simply because of my loss. I have been   transformed by the love, compassion, care, gracious acts, and healing kindnesses of my amazing church family. You have been truly wonderful in my darkest hour. I have been sustained by your prayers, your cards, your words of assurance and your gracious acceptance of who I am in the wake of my experience. I have been deeply touched by your patience and understanding of the many things I have felt I needed to do.  My trip to Israel was a huge blessing at just the right time.  Our trip to Virginia to spread John’s ashes...