Covenant Presbyterian Church – Athens, GA


The Chaos of Pentecost

“The Chaos of Pentecost”        (Gen.11:1-9 and Acts 2:1-13)             Sunday, June 9, 2019

My family has a legend about our Mathes name.  When folks were moving from the British isles across the pond to the new world in the 1700’s, they too like those in Scripture were worried they’d lose touch with one another, as they spread across the land.  So they decided to change their name from Mathews to Mathes, simply by dropping the one letter “w.”  Surely then, they would recognize their kin when they ran across each other – but never knowing that there was also a German family doing the very same thing as they came into America, dropping one letter “t” from their heritage, so they could surely recognize each other by their name Mat-hes.  You see the dilemma.  The funny thing is – if you go back far enough, I bet those two families were related to each other.  I bet we all are, if you go back far enough. Read more

“Utter Nonsense”

Utter Nonsense”              (Luke 9:18-22 and Luke 24:1-12)       Easter Sunday, Apr.21, 2019

Are you a morning person?  The most important story of the Christian faith unfolds very early in the morning.  As a pastor, a preacher, a teacher, I’ve always been a night person, up past midnight reading & studying, sorting my thoughts, preparing for the new day, when most of our gatherings begin at the decent hour of 10 or so!  But now as a 24/7 caregiver, I get it.  Now I’m always awake, through the night, listening for the one who needs me, never too deep into my dreams to keep me from rising to answer.  The dawn’s early light simply brightens the new day which has already begun – and warns me that the one I care for is probably already up and going, so I’d better too. Read more

One More Year: A Sermon Based on Luke 13:1-9

One More Year: A Sermon Based on Luke 13:1-9                                                                                                                             Peached by Mark Harper at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Athens, Georgia                                                                  March 24, 2019 – The Third Sunday in Lent

Nothing gets us talking like tragedy. At the same time, the talking we do in the wake of tragedy is often tragic itself; it can be misguided and is seldom  thoughtful or helpful. Sometimes what we say or think serves only to compound the pain triggered by the awful thing that happened. Read more

Look Up to the Sky!” (Gen.15:1-6 and Ps.27 and Phil.2:13-16a)

Once again, we have a story of faith & trust, a welcome message for the journey of Lent.  Seems the authors of the Bible must have known how much we need to hear such stories, again & again & again.  For it’s hard to hold on to hope, when life just doesn’t look like it’s going the way God promised.  So often we’re called to believe something very different, than what we’re experiencing right now, in the moment.  Take Abraham, for example. Read more