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					The Monthly Newsletter of Faith Covenant Church January 2009 30 Years of Faith

F AITH F OCUS
Do n Lo g u e

P a s to r ’s P e n
It is such a privilege for me to serve as your pastor for awhile. I know you have been enriched by having Pastor Jerry Rice here. You have also been blessed to have other capable staff and lay leadership. I’m looking forward to joining these good people in the ministry of Faith Covenant. While some of you know me quite well, many more of you do not. Let me share some of my story to help us get acquainted a little. I was born in Orlando and grew up there in a Christian family that included a younger brother and sister. When I was 14 years old, a guest speaker came to our church and perhaps for the first time I really listened to the sermons. I found out that even though I lived in a Christian family and attended church every week, I was a sinner and needed to ask Christ into my life. I did! He forgave my sins and not too long after that I knew he wanted me in ministry. After high school I attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and later Asbury College in Kentucky. Then after earning a degree from Asbury Theological Seminary, I returned to Florida in 1960 to begin pastoral ministry. I served five United Methodist churches until 1978, when I resigned from First United Methodist in Eustis and accepted the invitation of a group here in St. Petersburg to start a new church. After pastoring FCC for 11 years, in 1990 I accepted a call to pastor First Covenant in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In August, 1999 I retired and returned to Florida. Since retiring, I have served as part-time interim pastor twice here in Florida, first in Venice and then in Tavares. Peggy and I have been married for a long time… since 1954. God blessed us with four wonderful children and nine grandchildren (three of our grandchildren recently were married). Our daughter and her husband live in Grand Island, Florida; one son and his family live in Michigan; and Drew and his family live here, as you know. Our oldest son, Dean, died in 2004. Losing him was devastating to us, but we experienced God’s grace in special ways, and we still do. To return here to FCC as your pastor is very exciting. I’m looking forward to getting to know all of the church family. Please let me know what I can do to help you. As we look forward to a new year, let’s pray for the Lord to continue the mighty work he has done in and through this congregation…and in us individually. In the New Testament, Paul teaches that God calls us to be putting on and putting off various things. When a new year comes, I think of what God might want me to “put off” and what new things he wants me to grow into. Faith Covenant folks are quite familiar with the “immeasurably more” phrase in Ephesians 3. Verse 20 tells us that God’s mighty power is at work within us, which enables him to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” As a new year begins, I invite you to join me in giving some personal attention to how this truth could be applied in your life… family… work… relationships. In 2009, let’s go for it!

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F ai t h F o c u s

Children’s Ministry
Jan Osburn and I appreciate all the help from so many of you this Christmas season. Thanks to Barbara Bowman, Karen VanderPloeg, Jessie Bowman, Kimberly Liden, Lenia Liden, Tim Bowman, Geoff Nelson, Leslie Gross, and Evan VanderPloeg for helping to get the puppet backdrop ready for the puppet shows on Friday, December 12th. Thanks go to Louise (Peach) McGriff for making many puppet costumes, to Robert Chadwick for taping the puppet show and running sound, and for the extra voices of Sharon Peterson and Brian Schwerzel on our puppet recording. Last, but certainly not least, thanks to the puppeteers who have been practicing regularly for months to perform for our neighboring pre-schools and Sharon Peterson’s developmentally disabled class from the Louise Graham Center. A big thank you also goes to Jill Dean and the Junior Puppeteers for performing for Children’s Church all year, and also for the Parent’s Shopping Day and at another neighborhood preschool. They have worked hard. The Midway workers and Sunday school teachers who helped the children practice for our Sunday morning performance deserve a pat on the back as well! The puppet team performs a song called “The Gift Goes On,” by Sandi Patti. The words of the chorus are, “The Father gave the Son, the Son gave the Spirit, the Spirit gives us life, so we can give the gift of Love…and the gift goes on…” And the list goes on and on too, of all the volunteers that show that the Christmas season is about Jesus’ birth. We say thank you to all of you and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! ~ Jeannie B.

We Are Thankful for These who Serve:
Greeters: Peach Bennett, Hazel Trotman Ushers: Paul Unger, Mike Davis, Barbara Hoffman, Windy Crowder, Chuck Howard, Pat McGriff Communion: Martha Ann Gardeen, Jerry & Jane Brown

Beth Moore Study
The women’s Thursday Morning Bible Study will be doing Beth Moore’s new study of Esther starting January 15, 2009. This is a ten-week study that teaches you how to trust God’s providence for the tough times. The study will meet at 9:15 a.m. and lasts approximately two hours. If you are interested in attending, please call Debbie Bennett, 526-9768, or email her at shire19@msn.com or call Shelly Hines at 522-9012.

CHIC 2009: UNDONE
This summer, Faith Covenant Church expects to send 35 high school students to CHIC 2009: UNDONE! CHIC is the triennial Christian conference for high school students sponsored by the Department of Christian Formation of the Evangelical Covenant Church. CHIC 2009: UNDONE will be held July 12-17 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The Theme for CHIC 2009: UNDONE. It is an interesting thing to come in contact with the divine, for God does seem to undo the things that we have spent so much of our lives doing. The brilliant thing about that encounter is that after God has undone our work we are empowered to do all the undone work of the Kingdom. The Vision of CHIC 2009: BEING: a Christ-centered community of students – Genesis 28:3 KNOWING: confident in their relationship with Christ – Romans 8:38-39 DOING: committed to doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with their God – Micah 6:8 If you are interested in learning more about CHIC 2009, whether you are an eligible student or an adult who is interested in serving as a counselor or staff, please contact Pastor Craig or visit chic2009.org.

• To be on the e-mail prayer chain, write debbie@fccusa.org • If you’ll cook a meal for someone recovering from surgery or the loss of a loved one, call Michelle Tallman, 525-0504 • To be a greeter, contact Karin Wallace, 520-1009 • If you will drive folks to doctor appointments or the grocery store, call Debbie, 525-1699 • If you’ll provide a meal, short-term housing or transportation for visiting missionaries, call Jill, 343-0767. • To help with communion, call Amaryllis Green, 526-6508. • To be an usher, contact Denny Elliott or Pat McGriff

Home-Grown Missions
Craig and Amanda Keener Black are still in need of support for their ministry in Quito, Ecuador, both financially and prayerfully. If you wish to contact the Blacks, contact them at craigblack@cten.org or by Skype at craig.black1. To learn more about their mission and mission organization Commission to Every Nation, visit www.cten.org.

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Veritas
Jane Lenhart In moving forward from John Wenrich’s Veritas presentation, which included over 70 people of our church, a Veritas Committee was formed. This included: Chair Bob Burkham, D.J. Brown, Gail Lancaster, Tracey Cronkite, Hazel Trotman, Lee Ribal, Youth Pastor Craig Hancock, the Council and the Pastoral Search Committee. On Nov. 1st we had our first workshop, starting with prayer, reflection and asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide our thoughts and conversations. Our Scriptures of focus and meditation were Col. 3:12-17 and 1 Thess. 5:12-26 as we began our dialogue through the Veritas workbook. We first started working on a Behavioral Covenant, which are Holy Manners for a Faith Community. The list is as follows: S Communicate with each other in a Christ-honoring way..... S Examine our stones, not throw them.... S Embrace tension and use it to glorify God...... S Be thankful for differences.... S Speak out of love and listen with compassion.... S Seek consensus.... S Seek unity, not uniformity..... S Stick to the basics, the core beliefs.... S Love and care for each other.... S Be encouragers rather than discouragers.... S and our Motto should be: Listen, Listen, Love, Love; Intentional We discussed the differences between Catalyzers and Stabilizers and the need for both in a healthy church and agreed that both should be honored and encouraged. We looked at the marks of a Healthy Missional church, along with the three other types of churches: Stable, Critical Moment and At Risk church. We agreed that FCC was considered to be in the Stable to At Risk category. And we asked the questions, “Where are we now and where do we want to go?” Also, “How do we get the congregation to understand and take ownership of this process?” We took time to consider what were sacred cows at FCC, such as music and worship and asked of each of these items, were they missional? How do we as a church address these issues and continue to move forward? Bob encouraged each of us to examine ourselves and our church and try to realize how broken are we? Our second meeting on Nov. 16th focused more on the purposes of the Veritas Committee and answering some Vision, Intention and Means (VIM) questions for the congregation. Because we are in the process of a pastoral search, we decided to wait for the report from the Pastoral Search Committee (PSC) and use the church profile to help develop our purpose and vision. The VIM questions brought dialogue on how to communicate the vision with clarity and urgency through Sunday School classes, the pulpit, special times of devotions and prayer during Lent or Advent and plugging new people into Real Life Connections. We also asked, "Are we willing to come before God with a sense of brokenness and desperation?" We believe the answer is in prayer and recognize the need for a prayer team and for corporate prayer time to be made available in the sanctuary after the service and possibly on Sunday evenings. Prayer needs to be a priority; we want to be known as a praying church. Amen! Please feel free to express your comments and thoughts to anyone on this committee. Also note this committee is open to anyone who feels led to serve. DVDs of the Veritas Workshop with John Wenrich are available for check-out through the church office.

Ruminations on my First Lockout
Pastor Craig Hancock He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life form my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. Mark 8:34-35 (NRSV). My first-ever FCC middle school lockout did not include too many surprises. I did not expect to encounter so many nocturnal people at the 24-hour Walmart. (Did you know you can buy 900 self adhesive ring reinforcement stickers for $2, but only 750 toothpicks?) We didn’t have any surprise trips to the emergency room and we did not have to call the fire department. While exhausting, it was fun. I look forward to our high school lockout on January 9th. Fortunate to not have too many surprises, I have been able to reflect on a few valuable lessons. For example, if you wear shorts on the inflatable obstacle course at Game On, you should expect some raspberries on your knees (to which your dress pants will adhere during church the next morning). A very important lesson I learned on the dodge ball court was that it is not a good idea to let the ace of the University of Tampa baseball team participate…especially when the students’ reaction times are dulled by 24 hours of wakefulness. Lesson learned. The single most important lesson of the night was a reminder of how much our volunteers (we call them SWAT) love our youth—your children. On Friday, Dec. 12th, our church had 7 adult volunteers stay up all night long, after working a full day. Most of them went home Saturday morning to families who would require their regular familial contributions. Perhaps I value sleep too much, but I consider this an extreme example of the sacrifice and selflessness that embody our SWAT. And it got me thinking about their selflessness during other youth events. I have always been in awe that our SWAT will take a week of vacation and ride a 1,000 or more miles in a van with a dozen students hopped up on energy drinks and sugar bombs. Then they sleep 5 hours a night, eat cafeteria food, smash their fingers with hammers, shower in cold water, and get up and do it all over again. And these extreme examples of their selflessness might not compare to their commitment to weekly youth group and Sunday school. It is like they are denying themselves— maybe even to the point of losing their lives. When I am reminded of the value and pride FCC has in its children’s and youth ministry, I sometimes grimace from the pressure. Yet I know the youth pastor is not the one that makes this youth ministry special. The reason our youth ministry is a strength of FCC is the 15 active SWAT members who sacrifice their vacations, their sleep, their free time, their very selves. And the active SWAT represent countless inactive and retired SWAT who have indeed made youth ministry a hallmark of FCC. It is this kind of sacrificial giving of our selves (denying ourselves and losing our lives) that will help Faith Covenant Church to become a healthy, missional church. This is the SWAT Team currently loving our youth for the sake of the gospel: Tim Bowman, Jill Dean, Tom Fredrick, Silvia Leeper, Jane Lenhart, Diana Logue, Drew Logue, David Mostellar, Liz Mostellar, Tom Noble, Billy Osburn, Gil Ribal, Kim Towey, Bernice Willever and Mona Tomlin.

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F ai t h F o c u s

New Quest Classes Start January 4
“Experiencing God” by Henry Blackaby is being facilitated by Kit Taylor and Carol Mostellar. Do you feel God is always at work around you? Join the Experiencing God class and see how God is pursuing a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal. Come to know God by experience as you obey him and he accomplishes his work through you. God is wanting to draw you closer to him. There is a workbook that needs to be completed throughout the week. Pre-register with Debbie Wade in the church office or in the Resource Room so a book can be ordered for you. “Prayer”, led by Jim Nash & Phil Kelley “Mere Christianity”, led by Cliff Rice. C.S. Lewis laid the foundations of Christian apologetics in the post-modern world in his landmark book, Mere Christianity. Lewis argues brilliantly for the faith in his works of theology and philosophy, while his charming fiction illustrates and illuminates his profound theology. In this class, we will read and discuss the sections of Mere Christianity which provide the fundamental arguments for the existence of God, the deity of Jesus Christ, and the rationality of Christian morality, spicing the conversations with excerpts from The Chronicles of Narnia, The Space Trilogy, and the biographical movie, Shadowlands. This class will strengthen your ability to defend your faith – to yourself or to others – in the light of modern worldviews. “I Samuel”: Lessons in character and faith from three towering figures in Israel’s history: Samuel, Saul and David. Led by Fran Anderson and Deirdre Banks “Evangelism Basic Training”, with Jill & Steve Dean, will meet in the library. Learn to share your faith and the love of God.

Dates to Celebrate
JANUARY BIRTHDAYS 1 Alyssa Coburn 1 Jean Rash 3 Drew Hines 4 Lyda Graser 7 Nico Leeper 7 Lee Ribal 7 Marge St. Thomas 8 Sarah Bostock 8 Jane Brown 9 Steve Tomlin 10 Dan Hallock 20 Amaryllis Green 21 Jerry Brown 22 Jessie Bowman 23 Drew Logue 23 Tom Stebbins 27 Brawny Bronson 28 Wanda Sunter 30 Leiscia Chadwick 30 Wally Helbig JANUARY ANNIVERSARIES 15 Greg & Julie Nichols (2000) 15 Lee & Peggy Rogers (1961)

Make a Joyful Noise!
If you have a heart to praise our Lord, come join the choir on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., starting January 15th. You don’t even have to know how to read music.

Men’s Softball
Come out and enjoy an FCC softball game in January and February. Bring some popcorn and a drink and support your team. Games are on Friday nights at 7, 8 or 9 p.m. at Woodlawn Softball Field on 16th St. and 13th Ave. N. Watch for the times in the church bulletin. Thanks for your support!

If your anniversary or birthday isn’t listed, please let us know so we can include your special dates.

A Note from the Chair
As my term of Church Council Chairman closes, I would be remiss to not thank so many for their support, their hours in meetings and their commitment to Faith Covenant Church. Listing individuals would be too long, but you know who you are and what you contributed. Three pastors in one year along with two search committees and a VERITAS seminar required focus, endurance and prayer as we attempted to always be in God’s will. As council works so must staff, volunteers and numerous committees — and all with willing hearts, open minds and eyes on the Lord. Many were taken from their family times, personal tasks and businesses. But move forward we have due to God’s Grace and Mercy and all of us working together. I thank you and appreciate you and humbly hope we served well. ~ Bud Brown

Sunday Stats
Total needed weekly for 2008 budget = $11,432
Date Nov. 16 Nov. 23 Nov. 30 Dec. 7 Attend. 226 239 203 240 General Fund 6,218 7,675 13,458 10,638 Building Designated Fund Giving 330 395 640 706 175 1,133 956 605

You are joyfully invited to a bridal shower for Bria Gomez on Thursday, January 8th at 7:00 p.m. 4543-36th Avenue N. f Hosted by Stephanie Fraze, Debbie Bennett & Ellen Lain. Glenda and Aunie Gomez will also attend. f Bria Gomez & Brian Burton are registered at Target

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January 2009
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu
1 Happy New Year! 2

Fri
3

Sat

The future has many names: for the fearful it's the unknown, for the reckless it's the adventure, for pessimists it's the unattainable. For the brave, it is opportunity.

4 Communion 8:30 & 11 a.m., Worship; 9:45 a.m., Sun. Sch.; 4 p.m., Jr. Puppets; 5 p.m., Sr. Puppets

5

6 9 a.m., Pryme Tymers’ Breakfast at Denny’s on 34th St. N.

7 5:30 p.m., Picnic in the Park; 6:30 p.m., MidWay & Wired, RLC

8 9 6:15 a.m., Men’s Bible 9 p.m., High School Study Lock Out

10 7 a.m., Lock Out Pick Up

11 8:30 & 11 a.m., Worship; 9:45 a.m., Sun. Sch.; 4 p.m., Jr. Puppets; 5 p.m., Sr. Puppets

12 6:50 p.m., Men’s BSF introduction class

13 10 a.m., Pryme Tymers’ Bible Study; 7 p.m., Power House

14 5:30 p.m., Picnic in the Park; 6:30 p.m., MidWay & Wired, RLC

15 16 6:15 a.m., Men’s Bible Study; 9:15 a.m., Beth Moore Women’s Bible Study; 7:30 p.m., Choir Practice

17

18 8:30 & 11 a.m., Worship; 9:45 a.m., Sun. Sch.; 2 p.m., Carrington Nursing Home Visit; 4 p.m., Jr. Puppets; 5 p.m., Sr. Puppets

19

20 Inauguration Day 6:30 p.m., Council Meeting; 7 p.m., Power House

21 5:30 p.m., Picnic in the Park; 6:30 p.m., MidWay & Wired, RLC

22 23 6:15 a.m., Men’s Bible Study; 9:15 a.m., Beth Moore Women’s Bible Study; 7:30 p.m., Choir Practice

24 1 p.m., Suncoast Haven Rescue Mission Visit

25 8:30 & 11 a.m., Worship with missionary John Kerl; 9:45 a.m., Sun. Sch.; 5 p.m., Sr. Puppets; 7 p.m., Annual Meeting Part 2

26

27 10 a.m., Pryme Tymers’ Bible Study; 7 p.m., Power House

28 5:30 p.m., Picnic in the Park; 6:30 p.m., MidWay & Wired, RLC

29 30 6:15 a.m., Men’s Bible Study; 9:15 a.m., Beth Moore Women’s Bible Study; 7:30 p.m., Choir Practice

31

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F a ith C o v e n a nt Ch ur ch
1 5 0 - 6 2 nd Av e nu e N . E . S t . P e t er s b u rg , F L 3 3 7 0 2

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NEWSLETTER
FAITH FOCUS is the monthly publication of Faith Covenant Church, 150-62nd Ave. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33702, (727) 525-1699 Don Logue, Interim Pastor D123Gators@aol.com Craig Hancock, Youth Pastor PastorCraig@fccusa.org Jan Osburn, Director of Children's Ministries Jan@fccusa.org Jean Bowman, Children’s Ministry Associate Jeannie@fccusa.org Lynette Gill, Accompanist Drew Logue, Worship Coordinator Marilou Keener, Custodian Debbie Wade, Secretary Debbie@fccusa.org Church Website: fccusa.org Conference: se-conf.org Denomination: covchurch.org Submit information by the 15th of the month to have it included in the Faith Focus on a spaceavailable basis.

JANUARY 2009

Light in the Darkness
We who claim to be children of God live in a far too violent world. Terrorism, war, random killing and horrible sins appear all too frequently in the daily news. As Christians, what can we do? In another dark time, just before the outbreak of World War II, King George VI of England went on the radio to offer a Christmas message of encouragement for his people. As part of his remarks, he read a poem by Minnie Louise Haskins entitled “God Knows.” Here’s a portion of the poem: I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.” And he replied, “Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!” So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone east. We may not always be able to dispel the threatening darkness, but we can walk through it with God for as long as it lasts.

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