This summer 5,000 students gathered at the University of Tennessee Knoxville for CHIC, the Covenant’s triennial youth gathering. The theme was Unite, so the Companion convened a diverse group of students from across the Covenant to share about their experiences at the event, how God is working in their lives, and what it means to them for the church to “unite.”
Last summer an explosion destroyed part of Minnehaha Academy, a preK–12 school operated by the Northwest Conference. Staff members Ruth Berg and John Carlson were killed and several others were injured. President Donna Harris reflects on what their community has learned in the past year and how they have drawn together.
Recently Devyn Chambers Johnson, co-pastor of Community Covenant Church in Springfield, Virginia, hosted a daylong seminar called Talking with Children about Race. She invited fellow Covenanter Rukiya Davis from Windsor Mill, Maryland, to be the presenter. Davis earned a master’s in Christian ministry from North Park Theological Seminary and recently earned her master’s of social work. “From my perspective,” Davis says, “there aren’t a lot of clinically trained people who work with children and families in need inside the church. I want to advocate for people who are caught up in the foster care or assistance systems.”
I was team teaching second-grade Sunday school. Another teacher asked the class, “Does anyone know what Lent is?” A quiet boy who rarely participated raised his hand excitedly. “Lent is the stuff you find in your belly button!”
The book called out to me. That’s all I can say. I’d heard about it in passing, then one day I saw it on my colleague’s desk. Perhaps it was the phrase “I’m perfect” that was scribbled out and re-written “The Imperfect Pastor,” that struck me. But I still didn’t read it. Several years later, it sat languishing on my nightstand until I finally had enough wisdom (or desperation) to pick it up.
Where do you go when you’re sick and homeless? Often the ER is the best option for chronically homeless individuals with medical issues. Across the country emergency department staff find themselves greeting the same faces again and again. Without the safety and stability of permanent housing, homeless people are vulnerable to illnesses, accidents, and violent crime necessitating medical attention.
Phil and Rici Skei did not set out to plant a church. Twelve years ago Phil was working for Intervarsity Christian Fellowship as the executive director of their Fresno Institute for Urban Leadership.
More than a century ago, a small group of Swedish immigrants and children of immigrants in my hometown of Attleboro, Massachusetts, decided to build a church. They wanted a place to worship together. And they want to sing the songs they knew, in a language they understood, among people they could love and trust. So they built a home where their little family of God’s friends could flourish.
Dominique Gilliard is the director of racial righteousness and reconciliation for the Covenant, and author of Rethinking Incarceration: Advocating for Justice That Restores (IVP Books, 2018), which has received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. We asked him what the church can do to address mass incarceration and how we need to rethink our legal system.
As an alcoholic in recovery, I occasionally have to deal with painful reminders of my past. It’s part of the deal. You go into recovery, and it’s really hard, and sometimes you have to pay your dues.