On May 1, 2016, Covenant Presbyterian Church celebrated 50 years of worshiping and serving God as a community of Christ in Athens, Georgia. In biblical terms that’s our Jubilee year, an opportunity to remember the many ways God has blessed us in the past while rejoicing in the promises of new life and ministries that will shape our future. In the tradition of God’s people, the Jubilee was marked by the liberation of all slaves and servants, the restoration of land to its original owners, and the forgiveness of debt. It was a joyous time to reclaim the truth that the earth and all who dwell in it belong to the Lord. It was a festival of fresh starts and new beginnings. It was, in a word, a celebration of God’s gift of freedom.
While many wonderful plans are in the works to help us enjoy a fun and festive 50th birthday, the Covenant session believes that an important and appropriate way to celebrate our gift of freedom through God’s grace is by engaging in a capital funds drive. The purpose of this campaign will be two-fold: first, to fully pay off our mortgage so that we can enter our next fifty years of life together debt free; and second, to equip ourselves to continue serving God and our neighbors through imaginative, compassionate ministries and outstanding, hospitable facilities.
In other words, the session wants us to not only be free from the financial burdens that come with a mortgage, but free to follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit as we discern new ways to be a witness to God’s Beloved Community. And what better time to start than right now? In this Easter season when we proclaim God’s power to bring about resurrection and new life, each of us is invited to offer something of ourselves back to the One who has given us everything.
Our deep hope is that together we can pay off our existing mortgage ahead of schedule. At the same time we also have set our sights on significant renovations to our building and grounds along with future staffing goals that would put us in an excellent position to faithfully engage our neighborhood, city, and world with the gospel of Jesus Christ for generations to come. So we do not want to limit our imaginations to realizing the answer to our Presbyterian version of the Lord’s Prayer, namely that our debts be forgiven. Instead we want to ask you to give as generously as you can so that we can joyfully partner with God in fulfilling the part of the prayer that asks for our Creator’s kingdom to come and will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
In the days and months to come you will be hearing more about some of our session’s specific dreams for the future, along with ways that you can help turn those dreams into lived reality. But in the meantime we ask that you prayerfully discern what your financial contribution to our Jubilee Capital Campaign will be. Please note that you can contribute whatever amount feels appropriate to you, and that your commitment can be made all at once or it can be spread out over the course of the next year. If you have specific questions about convenient ways to give, including Covenant’s new PayPal account, please contact Karen Wetherington or Sharon Edwards in the church office.
God has set us free to love and serve our world in his name. How will you celebrate our gift of freedom?
Grace and peace,