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Latest News From Covenant Life Church

Summer Adult Discipleship Class

Wednesday May 31, 2017
Join us at 10:15 a.m. between the two worship services to be discipled.

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Discipleship

                                     Summer Class: June 4th - July 9th  

The Life of Stephen

The life and short ministry of Stephen (Acts 6 & 7) parallels Jesus’ life so closely. We, as Christ’ people, are called to earnestly seek, trust, and imitate Jesus’ life as Stephen did. Join us and let Stephen encourage you for gospel-fueled living.   

Teacher: Craig Coleman

 

Family Camp

Monday May 8, 2017

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family camp

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Covenant Life Church Family Camp

September 8-10

Key to our strategy to Reach Sarasota, Covenant Life Church wants to invest in equipping families to be healthy and grace-filled. With this in mind, Covenant Life Church has designed a special weekend of fun, laughter, time together and refreshment in the gospel at Southwind, a national Young Life camp just a couple of hours away in Ocklawaha, Florida. Join us for a fun-filled, memory-making family weekend. We guarantee you and your children will have a great time!

Activities

swimming pool Southwind's two pools provide refreshing fun all year long. Perfect your belly flop in the large pool or join a game of volleyball. water slide The Hurricane offers an exhilirating ride into the pool.
giant swing Test your courage on one of our two high ropes activities. Swinging towards the lake from 35ft in the air will get your adrenaline pumping. canoes and kayaks Boating on Southwind's Long Lake is a great way to enjoy the beautiful Florida weather and admire Southwind's natural beauty.
whiffle ball A throwback to your childhood, play whiffle ball on one of the very few regulation whiffle ball fields in America. frisbee golf Take on 18 holes of fun with Southwind's Gator Golf.  Fore!
basketball Leisurely shoot some hoops or join a pick-up game on our outdoor or covered basketball courts. beach volleyball Our beach volleyball court is the perfect place hang out during free time.

 
Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost? I have a big family...

We want to make this weekend affordable for everyone, so pricing is simple:

  • $60 for one person
  • $115 for a family of two
  • $165 for a family of three
  • $195 for a family of four or more
  • Kids under 3 are free

Where is the camp? How long is the drive?

Family camp will be held at Southwind, a Young Life camp, about 2.5 hours from Sarasota. We recommend that you plan to leave early on Friday to head to Southwind though to avoid rush hour traffic.

18115 SE 95th St Rd
Ocklawaha, FL 32179
Camp Phone: (352) 288-2500

Can you clarify the "camp" part for me? We're not the rustic type...

No need to worry. We’re not talking about tent sleeping or bathing in a cold stream. Southwind is a beautiful and modern facility with all the comforts of home. The cabins are air conditioned and everyone will have their own bed. Each cabin has an attached restroom and bathing facility (with indoor plumbing).

What about food?

From the time you arrive at camp, all food is included. Your family will be served 3 squares a day...with a special treat here and there. The professional kitchen staff always does an exceptional job of making sure everyone gets their fill by finding the perfect balance between kid-friendly, healthy, yummy and fun! All the food is delivered hot to your table and cleaned up for you when you’re finished. This is the type of “roughing it” we can all enjoy. 

For Friday night, we will have snacks and sandwiches available in the afternoon and hot dogs around the bonfire in the evening, but your family may want to grab dinner before you arrive.

If you have special dietary considerations, please note them on your registration and the kitchen will make sure to have a delicious menu for you as well.

What are the housing plans? Will my family all be in one room?

Southwind has dorm style facilities that will be used to house most people in camp. The dorms will be designated male or female (mothers will stay with their daughters and fathers will stay with their sons). These dorms all have attached restrooms and bathing facilities.

For families that will be attending with just one parent, bringing infants or have other special needs, a limited number of suite-style rooms are available as well. Just let us know and we’ll make sure you have a space that fits your families needs.

Is my child too young or too old?

Probably not. While most of the activities for the weekend will be designed for families with children ages 2-15, we've had campers as young as 3 months and there is no age limit.

I'm single and don't have any kids. Can I still come?

Absolutely! We would love to have you there!

Will there be trained medical professionals on site?

Absolutely! Young Life requires a medical professional be on site for the entire duration of camp.

A Call for Volunteers!!!

Monday Feb 20, 2017
Have you wondered how you can serve others this fall? The following outlines several areas in our Student Ministry, Children's Ministry and Nursery that could use a helping hand and a loving heart of participation as we work together to disciple the next generation.

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Dear Covenant Life Church attendees,

 As many of you know, finding ways to connect our members to Christ, our community, and to each other is at the heart of  Covenant Life Church.  We are blessed to have opportunities to connect our members to each other in small groups, Discipleship classes, family events, and service in our different ministries.

Have you thought recently about the different ways you are connecting to others and spreading the love of Christ to our church?  As a mature believer, or a new believer, we are all called to make disciples!  Currently, we have several places in our Student Ministry, Children's Ministry and Nursery that could use a helping hand and a loving heart of participation as we work together to disciple the next generation.

We hope you will prayerfully consider serving in one of these areas of our church.  Even if you do not currently have a child or grandchild in one of these ministry areas, we would love to find a place for you so that you can to get to know more of our younger families and bless them with your experience.  By supporting our children and young families, you may discover new blessings God has in store for you, and what an invaluable resource you are to the next generation. Below we have listed a few areas that could use your support.  Please note that there are many opportunities that do not require a great deal of physical effort, teaching experience or large time commitments. If you are already one or our awesome volunteers, THANK YOU!   We so appreciate you.

Please prayerfully consider serving in one of the following areas:

Student Ministry (6th-12th grade)

contact: Zane Hart 926-4777 or zane@covenantlifepca.com 

1.  CONNECT Wednesday Night Volunteer 

  • Behind the Scenes:  Assist with set up / clean up, run the snack bar, gather resources for games or events, etc.  
  • Breakout Group Leader:  Intentionally get to know students, worship alongside them, facilitate small group conversations 

2.  SPECIAL EVENTS 

  • Behind the Scenes:  Shop for supplies & resources, set up / clean up / security, provide food
  • Host Home:  Open your home to small groups (6-10) of students and adult leaders (1-2) for weekend events like Disciple Now, 
  • Leader:  Jump in & participate alongside students!  Example: Team leader at water wars, small group leader at Disciple Now, cabin leader at Spring Retreat, etc. 

3.  MENTOR

  • Meet one-on-one with a student to intentionally lead them further along in their faith journey.  

 

Children’s Ministry (pre-kindergarten - 5th grade)

contact:  Blythe Sizemore 926-4777 or blythe@covenantlifepca.com or Lisa Carlson 926-4777 or lisa@covenantlifepca.com

1. Check-in/greeter

  • assist families at kiosk receiving security/name tags
  • easy training, service once a month, 20 minutes  before Modern service or Classic service

 

2. Discipleship Classes (Christian Education) teachers-member couples or team of 2 (PreK-5th)

  • Gospel Project lesson plans-easy to follow
  • weekly for 10 week sessions, twice a year

 

3. Children’s Worship( Pre-K-3rd) volunteer, Sundays at the 9  or 11:15 am service

  • assist once a month, either service, assist teacher with room control, craft etc.

 

4. DOCK Wednesday night volunteer

  • assist teachers in games, craft, worship, room control
  • once a week, Wednesday evenings 6:15-8:00 from September-December and January-April

 

Nursery (0-4  years old)

1. Nursery workers-age 0-4

  • play with kids, serve snack and  be present in the classroom
  • once a month during the Modern service, CE hour or Classic service
  • Do you know it takes 108 volunteers a month to cover our 4 classes in our  nursery?  We currently need 28 volunteers to serve 1 hour per month.

2. Nursery workers ages 0-4

  • play with kids, serve snack and  be present in the classroom
  • once a week, Wednesday evenings 6:15-8:00 from September-December and January-April
  • currently need 8 volunteers

 

In Christ,


The Family Ministry Team

 

The Bible Project: Psalms

Monday Jan 9, 2017

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This is the Psalms video we showed in the worship service yesterday. There is a lot of good stuff here so we encourage you to watch it again.

New Sermon series on Psalms

Wednesday Dec 21, 2016
This book will be part of our new sermon series on the book of Psalms starting in January. If you did not get a copy you can pick one up here at Covenant Life.

Invitation to Year End Giving

Thursday Dec 15, 2016

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Reach Sarasota

We want to try something so big that if God is not in it, it is doomed to fail. Back in February, we had an incredible vision night where we laid out the dream God had given us to Reach Sarasota through making disciples, equipping families and transforming the city. Let’s reflect for a moment on how we are seeing God move to Reach Sarasota already: 

  • 100 middle and high school students attended camp this past summer through our youth group, Young Life and Youth for Christ thanks to donations we gave each
  • Sarasota Medical Pregnancy Center expanded the hours they offer ultrasounds and medical services, began advertising through a billboard on Rt41 and stocked their shelves with diapers, all from giving from Covenant Life
  • 26,136 meals were packed to feed hungry children in Haiti
  • 19 people from Covenant Life shared the gospel through VBS and more in Peru
  • A new church (GraceLife SRQ) launched in October with the financial support and participation of many Covenant Life people
  • Tony with a “YL and Tony with an “I” game 170 people from Covenant Life the best weekend of their life at our first ever family camp
  • Over 60 new people joined as members of Covenant Life Church
  • We sent 1 guy to missionary training school and several to seminary to prepare for careers in ministry… with a few more announcements coming soon!

We are just dipping our toes in the waters of all that we believe God is going to do through Covenant Life. To accomplish this great vision, we will need God’s power and your help. Will you consider a generous end of year gift to advance the kingdom of God today as together we prayerfully seek how we, Covenant Life Church, can Reach Sarasota in new and exciting ways in 2017?

Here are a few ways you can be give to Reach Sarasota as we look toward 2017:

  • Christmas Eve: Giving gifts to God at Christmas goes back, literally, to the first Christmas when the wise men brought their birthday presents to Jesus. We invite you to worship through giving this Christmas Eve.
  • Gifts of Cash/Check: All gifts must be postmarked by December 31st to be eligible for tax deduction in 2016. Last minute gifts can be made by texting “covenantlife” to 77977 at covenantlifepca.com/give
  • Gifts of Stock, Life Insurance, Wills and Trusts: Have you considered some planned giving opportunities such as giving stock or naming Covenant Life Church as a beneficiary in your life insurance policy or will? This is a great way to make a long-term impact through your giving. Gifts of securities mECFAust be arranged prior to December 29th to ensure timely completion of the transfer.

Contact Steve Jeantet, Executive Pastor, for questions or to make an

end-of-the-year gift at steve@covenantlifepca.com or on his cell at 941.363.1135.

Covenant Life is an accredited member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accounbility.

Resources for Small Group Leaders

Thursday Aug 25, 2016

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Leading a small group is a joyful privilege. You are part of God's plan to shepherd his people and grow them in grace, pointing them to Jesus. That's amazing. But it's also a tremendous responsibility.

Before the start of each semester's small groups, we offer a leader training designed to equip you for a specific aspect of leading a group. Here are the notes from some recent trainings that may be helpful to you.


*We by no means claim any of this is unique to us. Some of these materials here are adapted from Life on Life Missional Discipleship from Perimeter Church and some are adapted from Activate: An Entirely New Approach to Small Groups by Nelson Searcy and Kerrick Thomas. And, to be perfectly honest, we have no idea the origin of the discussion starter question list. Pastor Steve has been using it for years and even he doesn't know where he got it from. 

ECFA - Press Release

Tuesday Jul 19, 2016
Covenant Life Church, PCA Accredited by National Financial Accountability Organization

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ECFA

Covenant Life Church, PCA Accredited by National Financial Accountability Organization

SARASOTA, FL – The ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) announced today the accreditation of Covenant Life Church, PCA of Sarasota, FL.

ECFA accreditation is based on the ECFA Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™, including financial accountability, transparency, sound board governance and ethical fundraising.                          

Covenant Life Church, PCA joins a growing number of Christ-centered churches and ministries across America, supported by over 27 million donors that have earned the right to display the ECFA seal.  When an organization is accredited by ECFA, it demonstrates its willingness to follow the model of biblical accountability.

“We are pleased to accredit a church committed to reach Sarasota for the gospel through making disciples, equipping families, and seeking the transformation of the city and of the world,” said Dan Busby, president of ECFA.

Founded in 1982, Covenant Life Church, PCA (www.covenantlifepca.com) encounter God through personal, family, and corporate worship. They are pursuing a multiplication movement through intentional discipleship and church planting. And they, by God's grace, strive to live missionally where they live, work, and play.

ECFA, founded in 1979, provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with the ECFA Standards pertaining to financial accountability, fundraising and board governance.  For more information about ECFA, including information about accreditation and a listing of ECFA-accredited members, visit www.ECFA.org or call 1-800-323-9473.

Worship Musicians Needed

Wednesday May 4, 2016
The Modern Service bands are looking for vocalists and instrumentalists with a passion for God and musical skill. 



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Musicians Needed

 If that sounds like you, contact Maurice at  maurice@covenantlifepca.com, or 941-926-4777 ext 223.

 • Acoustic, Electric, Bass guitar

 • Keyboards

 • Piano

 •Drums

 •Singing and any other

 

Sarasota needs to be overthrown with a revival!

Wednesday Jan 27, 2016

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When people study Jonah, they often say that Jonah's prophesy didn't come true. But it did. Nineveh was overthrown with a revival. What would it take for Sarasota to be overthrown with revival? Join us on February 26 as we rollout the plan for how we believe God is going to use Covenant Life to that end.

Peru Missions Trip Video!

Wednesday Aug 26, 2015
video update from our missions team to Peru

Choir News

Thursday May 15, 2014
See how the choir has been ministering to the community!

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This month the choir will sing in the services on the 18th and 25th before taking a break for the summer.  Earlier this month the choir enjoyed their regular first-Wednesday-of-the-month dinner together before singing at choir member Hannelore Behn's living facility, Savannah Grand. Everyone came out to hear the choir sing and share the good news of God's grace.  This year the choir sang at four retirement or rehabilitation and nursing facilities in the Palmer Ranch area, each time to great appreciation from the residents and staff.

Day of Hope

Sunday May 11, 2014
On Saturday, July 26th, 2014, Covenant Life Church is hosting its 1st Annual Hope Kids Community “Day of Hope” community Impact event.

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VolunteerOn Saturday, July 26th, 2014, Covenant Life Church is hosting its  1st Annual Hope Kids Community “Day of Hope” community event. 

We will be hosting 150 Gulf Gate Elementary School students and their siblings who are in great need or homeless. This event is designed to help meet their basic back-to-school needs.

Included will be a medical exam, a dental exam, a haircut, photos, and a backpack with school supplies.  In addition, each student will receive a bag with personal care items, gift cards for new clothes and new shoes, child ID cards and many other resources.  Food will be served throughout the day.

This event is completely FREE.

We need lots of volunteers and donations to help us with this event.

Donations/Volunteers Needed

  • Volunteers to help at the event (registration, snacks escort families, etc..)
  • School supplies (full list)
  • Personal care items (full list)
  • Doctors, dentists, nurses, and hygenists to complete the various exams
  • Flouride treatment for dental exams
  • barbers and hair stylists to complete haircuts
  • Food donations (juice, water, soda, snacks, etc.) 

Thank you for your consideration in helping our neighbors in need.  We appreciate you!

To volunteer, email TJ Magnuson or sign up now on our volunteer registration form

To donate, email Art and Shawn Molesphini or drop off your donations in the boxes in the church lobby during June or July
Click here for list of supplies.

Article in The Herald Tribune about "Stop Hunger Now"

Tuesday Apr 22, 2014

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Herald TribuneStop Hunger Now

 

 

 

 

 

 

On April 21st The Sarasota Herald Tribune reported on the recent Stop Hunger Now meal packing event hosted at Covenant Life Church. Thank you to everyone that packed 51,500 meals. Click here to read the article.  

Welcome our NEW Ruling Elders and Deacons

Tuesday Apr 1, 2014

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Praise God for raising up and calling men to serve his church. Welcome to our new ruling elders and deacons.

New Deacons:

Larry Horst and Roger Sonstroem

New Ruling Elders:

Kevin Carlson, Kyle Cookerly, Art Molesphini and William Murray

DADS We Need You!!!

Thursday Feb 20, 2014
We need several D.A.D.S. to assist us on Wednesday nights at the DOCK!

Gospel Project for Parents: Unit 18

Friday Feb 7, 2014
Welcome to the Gospel Project. Our 3 year curriculum that works through the Bible. Each unit (3-5 lessons) has a Bible verse (ESV version). We will be memorizing these together. Please learn them as a family and help us teach them to your child(ren). There are also Big Picture questions each week that are a great tool for your family to use to understand the lessons. Each week, the lesson will also be posted on the website so you can follow along with your child(ren).

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Gospel Project Parent Information: Unit 18

February 2 - March 5 

Unit 18 Bible Memory Verse

Preschool-3rd Grade:

My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

Ezekiel 37:27

 

Lesson 1: God Called Jeremiah

Jeremiah 1   (February 2 & 5, 2014)

Big Picture Question for Kids: What job did God give Jeremiah?

Big Picture Answer for Kids: God chose Jeremiah before he was born to be a prophet to the nations.

Christ Connection: Jeremiah challenged the way people lived in Judah and led them to turn away from their idol worship and other sins. Christ did morethan challenge how people lived; He called people to turn from their sins, and He provided the way for people to have a relationship with God.

Key Passage: Ezekiel 37:27


Lesson 2: Jeremiah Warned of God's Judgment

Jermeiah 36  (February 9-12, 2014)

Big Picture Question for Kids: Why did Jeremiah warn God's people?

Big Picture Answer for Kids: God wanted His people to know they were in danger, to stop sinning, and to turn back to Him.

 

Christ Connection: John 1 says that Jesus is the Word. Jesus showed people what God is like. God gives us His written Word, the Bible, to tell us what He is like too. The Bible has the most important message: the good news about Jesus. It tells us that God sent His Son, Jesus, to rescue us from our sin.

Key Passage:  Ezekiel 37:27

 

Lesson 3: Judah Was Taken Into Captivity

2 Chronicles 36:1-21 (February 16 & 19, 2014)

Big Picture Question for Kids: How did God punish His people for their sin?

Big Picture Answer for Kids: God allowed their enemies to capture them and to destroy Jerusalem.

Christ Connection: God righteously punished His people for their sin but remained faithful to them, keeping the promise He made to David to provide a king. Ultimately, God punished our sin through His Son, Jesus, and made Him our King forever.

Key Passage:  Ezekiel 37:27

 

Lesson 4: Ezekial Prohesied to the Exiles

Ezekial 10  (February 23 & 26. 2014)

Big Picture Question for Kids: How did God show He was unhappy with Israel?

Big Picture Answer for Kids: God’s presence left the temple.

Christ Connection :God left the temple because He was unhappy with His people’s sin. Sin separates people from God. Jesus came to earth to fix our relationship with God by taking the punishment of our sin for us. Because of Jesus, we can turn from our sin, trust in Him, and then enjoy God’s presence forever.

Key Passage: Ezekiel 37:27

 

Lesson 5: Ezekiel Told About a Future Hope

Ezekiel 37 (March 2 & 5, 2014)

Big Picture Question for Kids: What plan did God show Ezekiel?

Big Picture Answer for Kids: God planned to bring His people back together in their own land and give them new life.

Christ Connection: God showed Ezekiel a valley of dry bones. The dry bones remind us what we are like when we sin. God had a plan for people who sin. Because Jesus came to earth, died, and was raised to life, He has the power to give us eternal life.

Key Passage: Ezekiel 37:27

 

Sing with Covenant Life Choir

Thursday Jan 16, 2014

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Sing with Covenant Life Choir!

Event Date: Wednesday 

Time: 6:30 pm until 8:00 pm

No audition is necessary but we would love to know you are coming. Contact Maurice at maurice@covenantlifepca.com

Covenant Life Choir sings in the 11:15 am Classic service most Sundays from the Sunday after Labor Day until the last Sunday in May, in addition to the Christmas Eve Classic service and other special events.

God is at work and inviting you to join in

Thursday Dec 12, 2013

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Reach. That is a key word that we laid out for this year. We wanted to be known as a church that is reaching our community and reaching our world with the grace that has reached us. To that end, we wanted to share with you some stories:

  • My Hope: Many of you hosted My Hope events and were privileged to share the gospel with unbelievers. Praise God.
  • Thanksgiving Dinners: 34 families were blessed with a turkey and sides.
  • Bells of Hope: Thousands of dollars have been raised to serve the less fortunate through our ringing of the Salvation Army bells.
  • Angel Tree: A Covenant Life record of 169 angels were taken (about double last year!) to bless both children and the elderly through our Angel Tree program.
  • Christmas in the Juvenile Detention Center: 36 stockings stuffed with gifts were assembled by our children and delivered to kids in the Sarasota/Manatee Juvenile Detention Center.
  • Denise Graham Day Care: A project that started at the beginning of the year with iMPACT has now resulted in Denise Graham's day care finally opening and receiving a great endorsement from the Salvation Army!

Amazing right?!? And those are just a fraction of the ways God is at work through Covenant Life Church. One of the key ingredients in being a reaching church is the giving of God's people. So thank you. None of this would be possible without the generosity of God's people. 

If you are still looking for opportunities to give this year, here are a few things to consider:

  • Shoes for Lesotho: $20 in the lobby buys a pair of shoes for a child in Lesotho. Available after the worship services this Sunday.
  • Christmas Eve: Giving gifts to God at Christmas goes back, literally, to the first Christmas when the wise men brought their birthday presents to Jesus. We invite you to worship through the giving this Christmas Eve.
  • Gifts of Cash/Check: All gifts must be postmarked by December 31st to be eligible for tax deduction in 2013.
  • Online Giving: Go to covenantlifepca.com/Give-Online to make a one time gift or to set up a recurring scheduled contribution. As long as the gift is made before the ball drops, it will be credited toward 2013 for tax purposes.
  • Gifts of Stock: Giving appreciated securities can make a big difference for the kingdom and maximize the tax benefit of your gift. Gifts of securities must be arranged prior to December 28th to ensure timely completion of the transfer.
  • Life Insurance, Wills and Trusts: Have you considered some planned giving opportunities such as naming Covenant Life Church as a beneficiary in your life insurance policy or will? This is a great way to make a long-term impact through your giving. 

Contact Steve Jeantet, Executive Pastor, with any questions or to make an end-of-the-year gift at steve@covenantlifepca.com or 941.926.4777 x226.


 

Checking Your GivingHave you ever wished you could have a copy of your giving statement for the current year? You can! Follow these simple instructions to check your giving for 2013 to see if you are meeting the giving goals God has laid on your heart. | more

Give Now: One Time Gift

Give Now: Recurring Giving

A Salute to our Veterans

Monday Nov 11, 2013

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We salute the veterans who are members of our church.  

Covenant Life Choir Sings in the Community

Thursday Oct 31, 2013
On October 2nd, the Covenant Life Choir sang music they had prepared for the Classic service as well as favorite hymns for about 25 residents and staff of Sarasota Medical Nursing and Rehab.

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On October 2nd, the Covenant Life Choir sang music they had prepared for the Classic service as well as favorite hymns for about 25 residents and staff of Sarasota Medical Nursing and Rehab. The choir enjoyed sharing music and encouragement with those in attendance, and afterward choir members enjoyed connecting and talking with residents. On the first Wednesday in November the choir will be singing at another nursing home in the area.

Covenant Life Art Exhibit

Thursday Oct 31, 2013
Art reveals God in the ordinary, leading us to worship God more deeply. This Sunday, November 3, photographer and painter Josh Galindo is displaying his work in the lobby. Stop by and ask Josh about his work.

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Art reveals God in the ordinary, leading us to worship God more deeply.  This Sunday, November 3, photographer and painter Josh Galindo is displaying his work in the lobby.  Stop by and ask Josh about his work.

Day of Prayer & Fasting on October 30th

Monday Oct 28, 2013

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Prayer and FastingThroughout the fall, we have been praying for our family, friends and neighbors, asking God to reach them with the gospel of grace. As our My Hope events approach, we want to invite the entire congregation to set Wednesday, October 30th, to fast and pray.

Here's how it will work:

  • After dinner on Tuesday night, refrain from eating until dinner on Wednesday night
  • You may drink water or fruit juices
  • When you feel your stomach grumble, use that as an opportunity to stop and pray for your My Hope event, for the people coming, and for others who are also hosting events next week
  • Join us at 5:00pm on Wednesday in the Music Room to pray corporately for God to reach us and to reach our loved ones through us 
  • For those who are able, we will break the fast together at the normal Wednesday night dinner (soup and sandwiches)

We know this is new territory... and probably uncomfortable territory... for many. To help you are you prepare to participate in this congregation-wide day of fasting, here are a few thoughts on fasting.

Why should we fast?

We know that for many of you, this is exactly the question running through your minds when you hear that we want you fast in preparation for our congregational meeting.  Let’s look briefly at the Biblical argument for fasting.

“Blow the trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly; gather the people” (Joel 2:15-16).

For the Israelites, when the stakes were the highest, they called a fast and gathered to inquire of the Lord. Right there lies the heart of fasting. The goal of fasting is not to gain anything, but rather to know God better – to know his heart and his mind and to discern his leading. Fasting is an opportunity to ask God to do incredible things next week.

But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matt 4:4).

At the start of his public ministry, Jesus fasted for forty days in the desert (to which Matthew tells us that at the end of this time he was hungry, as if the reader might not have figured that out!). Satan tempted Jesus to turn the stones into bread and eat, to which he made this famous reply. Richard Fosters sums this up powerfully, “Food does not sustain us; God sustains us… Therefore, in experiences of fasting we are not so much abstaining from food as we are feasting on the word of God. Fasting is feasting!” Fasting from food reminds us that God alone is the source of provision, not only for us, but for those who we want to see God reach next week through the My Hope events.

Who should fast?

We are asking the whole congregation to participate. That said, if you are sick, pregnant or otherwise physically unable, please use appropriate caution. If you can’t fast for the whole day, maybe you can for at least for a meal.

What should I do when I fast?

In a word, pray! Use this day to seek the face of God. Get on your knees in confession. Cry out that God would lead our church, would draw unbelievers to himself and would use us for his glory. As part of that, for those who are able, we invite you to join us for a time of prayer together at 5:00pm on Wednesday. From there we will go to the Wednesday night dinner served at the church property to break the fast together.


Checking Your Giving Statement

Friday Oct 25, 2013

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Check Your GivingMaybe you knew that you could give online to Covenant Life Church. But did you also know that, anytime you want, you can check your giving history or download a statement of your giving as well?

With a couple of clicks, you can check your giving and find out how much you have given and if you are on pace to meet the giving goals that God has laid on your heart. Here are some step-by-step directions:

  • Go to our giving portal (you can also click on "Give" on the top of the website).
  • If you already have an account, login. If not you create an account.
    • If you use the email address we already have in the system, it will automatically link you to your record in our database.
    • If you use a different email address, email Amy in our office and she will link your new online account with our record in the database.
  • That's it. It will automatically show the current year giving for everyone in your household. You can also view the previous year's giving or filter by members of the household.
  • To download a pdf statement, click "download statement."

If you have questions on checking your statement, please call the church office (941.926.4777) or email the office.

Honoring Armed Forces Veterans and Personnel

Friday Oct 25, 2013

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Veterans DayAre you a veteran or currently serving in the armed forces? Do you have a family member who is serving? Please submit your or their name, branch of service, years served, rank, and a picture to worship@covenantlifepca.com so that we can honor them in our Veteran's Day Weekend services.

Meals Delivered to El Salvador!

Friday Aug 30, 2013
In March, Covenant Life Church partnered with Stop Hunger Now to pack 33000 meals for the hungry. Those meals were just delivered to El Salvador. Check out how the meals we sent are reaching people and making an iMPACT.

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Stop Hunger Now Meals Delivered to El SalvadorIn March, Covenant Life Church partnered with Stop Hunger Now to pack 33000 meals for the hungry. Those meals were just delivered to El Salvador. Check out how the meals we sent are reaching people and making an iMPACT.


In the mountainous jungle about 45 minutes outside of San Salvador, El Salvador, 12-year-old Brenda is fed every day through our Children’s Feeding Initiative (CFI) before she goes to school. Along with the other 130 children who are fed at this feeding site, she is getting the essential nutrients she needs to make it through a day of school.

Most adults in this area work the land tending to corns and beans. They make around $5 per day, but there is not enough work so most people do not work more than a few days per week.

The poverty and lack of income opportunities trickles down to children like Brenda.

“The food I receive is a benefit for me,” she says articulately and confidently. “Before I was enrolled in the feeding program I’d go to school hungry, but now before I go I have lunch.”

“You can stop hunger with a program like this.”

Brenda has seen and felt the difference CFI has made and has a message for Convoy of Hope partners and supporters.

“You can stop hunger with a program like this,” she says of CFI. “Please continue sending the help because there are a lot of other children in El Salvador who need the help.”

Recommended Reading for Elijah

Monday Aug 26, 2013
This fall, Covenant Life Church is diving into the stories of Elijah found in 1 Kings 16 - 2 Kings 2. If you want to dig a little deeper, here are some great resources for further personal study.

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The Lord versus Baal in an epic battle for the hearts of the people. Over the next few months, we are all going to be challenged to examine what idols are fighting for our hearts. The Lord was victorious over Baal. He will be victorious over the false gods who fight for your heart as well. Here is some recommended reading to dive in deeper on Elijah, idolatry, and God's victory.

Breaking the Idols of Your Heart Faith in the Face of Apostasy Idols of the Heart Gods at War Counterfeit Gods Radical Elijah

Sing with Covenant Life Choir!

Friday Aug 23, 2013
Come join our choir! No audition necesssary

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Our first rehearsal is Wednesday, September 4, at 6:30 p.m. No audition is necessary but we would love to know you are coming. Contact Maurice at maurice@covenantlifepca.com.

First Wednesdays with Covenant Life Choir!

On the first Wednesday of each moth the choir meets to share dinner and conversation before rehearsal. Dinner is free. Join us and see if Covenant Choir is a place for you to serve!

Future Dates: 

Oct. 2, 2013

Nov. 6, 2013

Dec. 4, 2013

Feb. 5, 2013

Mar. 5, 2013

Apr. 2, 2013

May 7, 2013

Letter to Families of Pre-Kindergarten students!!!

Thursday Aug 15, 2013
We are excited to welcome our pre-kindergartners to The Dock! Here is some more information for you!!!

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August 15, 2013

Dear Families of  Pre-Kindergarten students,

Welcome to Children’s Ministry!  We call our Children’s Program The DOCK where we are Discipling, Outreaching and Connecting Kids. We are so excited to welcome all of our PreK4’s (those entering Kindergarten next fall, fall 2014) to the “big kid” programs.  

Our schedule for moving up is:

Sunday, August 18th  ~ 10:15 am  for our Fall Preview Day which will include breakfast with the Children’s, Hispace and Student Ministry departments.  

Sunday August 25th  ~  1st Sunday for PreK4’s to come upstairs for Children’s Worship (CW) at the 9 or 11:15 service.  Please note there is a combined  Christian Education class (CE) for parents, kids in  the children’s area tha Sunday.  We will be hearing from our 2 summer missions trips, New Orleans and Guatemala and all the PreK4’s are invited to that.

Sunday, September 1st ~  10:15 is the first day of  Children’s C.E. (Christian Education) that  the PreK4’s will be participating in our program upstairs.   

Wednesday, September 4th  ~ 6:30-8:00 Our midweek Wednesday night program begins.

This ministry will be home to your child through 5th grade, so please let us know how we can help to make this a smooth transition for your family.  We understand that some children, at age 4, are not ready to transition into the Children’s Department, so we have developed a plan that we feel works best for the way we run both the Nursery and Children’s Ministries departments.  All children in PreK4 are invited to move upstairs on August 25th as the new school year begins.  We ask that you try out our programs (including Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights) for 3-4 weeks.  Allow your child to get into the new routine and become comfortable with the volunteers and staff members.  If, at this time, you and your child feel more comfortable staying in the Nursery program, we ask that you stick with this decision until after Christmas break, where we welcome you to try out our program once again.

If you still do not feel your child is ready to go upstairs, we ask that you wait until the following academic year to move your child.  This helps us maintain smoother transitions for you, your child and staff/volunteers in both the Nursery and Children’s Ministry departments.   

We try to offer many different opportunities for your child and family to get connected at Covenant Life.  Children’s Worship, Sunday mornings at 9:00 and 11:15, we offer weekly lessons using a children’s worship curriculum, The Gospel Project.  In both of these services we spend time in prayer, music and discuss the biblical lesson presented. The Children's CE hour is from 10:15-11:00 and is broken into age level classes (PK, K/ 1st, 2nd/3rd and 4th/5th).  They will do a Bible lesson from the curriculum, The Gospel Project.  You can preview it at http://www.gospelproject.com. They have CE teachers that commit to teaching a quarter at a time.

The DOCK on Wednesday Nights is designed to be fun and active while incorporating a biblical lesson.  We rotate through games, lessons, snacks and crafts.  Wednesday Night Programs begin September 4th at 6:30 pm and will end at 8:00 pm.  Please check the website for our schedule.

During the year, we offer a variety of activities for families to participate in together. Activities in the past have included our Sand Castle Contest at the beach,  Family Water Nights, and Parents’ Night Out!  These events are designed to connect families together. Come join the fun!  

Your child’s safety is very important to us!  Please check your child in using one of our check in kiosks.  We ask that parents bring their child and pick up their child from the children’s area (unless they are being escorted for children’s worship from the service). No child is released from that area without a parent or other pre-arranged adult.  All parents are asked to be sure to have the matching sticker so we can easily identify your child.

You may find the most recent and updated information about the Covenant Life Children's Ministry by going to the church’s website at: www.covenantlifepc.com.  You can also friend us on Facebook at CLPC Children’s Ministry.   If you have any questions or concerns about this transition, please feel free to contact us by phone or email.  We are happy to help you!

In Christ,

Cean Cerny, Director of Children’s Ministries



PS:  We are always looking for new volunteers in all of our programs mentioned in this letter!  Let us know if you would like to become a volunteer!

Our Supported Missionaries

Saturday Jun 8, 2013
At Covenant Life Church, we place great emphasis on sending our people to serve and on supporting organizations and missionaries that are proclaiming the gospel in word and in deed around the corner and around the world. This is a list of some of the missionaries and missions agencies we support.

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Serve The World

The Scriptures anticipate a wonderful day when people "every tribe and language and people and nation" (Rev 5:9) will gather in the worship of the Great King, Jesus. At Covenant Life Church, not only do we believe that we are supposed to be part of taking the great story of God's redeeming love to the nations, but, even more, we want to be part of it! That is why we place great emphasis on sending our people to serve and on supporting organizations and missionaries that are proclaiming the gospel in word and in deed around the corner and around the world. Here are some of the missionaries we support (some have been withheld or truncated here as they serve in sensitive countries):

  • African Bible College: Steve & Marion Spencer; Malawi, E. Africa
  • Agape Flights Inc.: Allen Speer; Venice, FL
  • Anchor House: Timothy Huppert (Chaplin); Palmetto, FL
  • Anchor Your Life: Marji "Mike" Kruger; Lesotho, S. Africa
  • Biblical Literature France: Russ & Mary Ann Miller; French Speaking Countries
  • Christian Aid: Dorothy Sun; China
  • Christian Reformed World Missions & Street Psalms: Joel & Marilyn VanDyke; Guatemala
  • Community of Faith International: Danny & Lisa; SE Asia
  • Gideons International: Dennis Hauck; World Wide
  • Global Serve International: Greg & Julieann; Asia
  • Global Serve International: Cassie M.
  • Global Serve International: Terry Barnes
  • Global Serve International: Moises Buendia
  • Grace Medical Outreach: Wiley & Karon Smith; International
  • Light of the Word: Peter Greenidge; Sarasota, FL
  • Mission to the World:
    • Franklin & Beth; West Europe
    • Esaie & Natacha Etienne; Haiti
    • Miriam Grady; Czech Republic
    • Rick & Angelica Ramsay; Spanish Speaking Countries
    • Ron & Peg Smith; Grand Cayman
    • Carla Stevens; Atlanta/Florida
    • Bob & Joanne Tanzie; Madrid, Spain
    • Hugh & Martine Wessel; France
    • Bruce & Susan Young; Japan & Grace Spiritual Life/Atlanta
    • Eric & Rebecca Larsen; Global Youth & Family Ministry
  • Mobile Preacher: Chris Martini; Sarasota, FL
  • Navigators: Andy & Suzanne Farina; Gainesville, FL
  • Pioneers:
    • Rick & Elisabeth; Senegal, W. Africa
    • Jeremy & Amanda Ross; Peru
  • Reformed University Fellowship: Jeffrey Lee; Tampa, FL
  • Sarasota Medical Pregnancy Center: Jennifer Carey; Sarasota, FL
  • Solve Maternity Homes: Peggy Kerwin; Bradenton, FL
  • World Team: Gurudatt & Nadira Shiwdat; Paramaribo, Surinam
  • Young Life: Eric Hoskins, Sarasota, FL
  • Youth for Christ: Mike Chaplinsky; Bradenton, FL 

For more detailed list of the missionaries, along with contact information and an overview of the mission, please stop by the office to request our missionary prayer booklet. 

Secure Check In Process

Wednesday May 22, 2013
At Covenant Life Church, keeping your kids safe is a top priority. These procedures help up to that end.

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Your children's safety is extremely important to us. That's why we require you to register your child in our electronic check-in system before they may attend class. A name tag with matching pick up tag is generated for your child with their class assignment. If needed during the service, parents may be reached by cell phone number or a pager may be assigned to contact you.   At the end of the service an adult with the corresponding pick-up tag will be required to pick up a child and show it to the child's teacher upon dismissal. Once registered in the system, check in each week is quick and easy.

Here are the steps to checking in your kids at Covenant Life Church:

  • Upon arrival, go to the kiosk in the lobby (or our check-in stations located in the children's area or the nursery area)
  • If you are already in our system, scan your keytag or enter your name into the computer (one of our check-in assistants will help you)
  • If you are a guest and not already in our system, our check-in assistants will ask you to fill out a short card that provides contact information for you and the child
  • Mark which services you will be attending (Modern worship | CE | Classic worship)
  • The computer will print out name tags and a confirmation tag
  • Put the nametag on the child (separate tags will print for each child)
  • Keep the confirmation tag and take it will you when you go to pick up the child after the service(s)
  • That's it! Enjoy your time of worship. We know your kids will!

Additionally, our nursery area uses either a pager system or a text messaging system to contact parents if the child in the nursery is in need of assistance. We will verify your cell phone number or provide a pager in case your child needs you.

7 ways to pray for our missionaries

Tuesday May 21, 2013
Our role in supporting missionaries is more than just writing a support check. It is our privilege and our responsibility to pray regularly for our missionaries. This article lays out 7 specific ways to pray for our missionaries.

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Our role in supporting missionaries is more than just writing a support check. It is our privilege and our responsibility to pray regularly for our missionaries. Here are 7 specific ways to pray for our missionaries:

7 Ways to Pray for Our Missionaries

  • Relationship with God
    • Faithfulness in Bible study and prayer
    • Freshness in walk with God, focus on Jesus
    • Fullness of hte Spirit and willingness to listen to him
  • Family
    • Healthy relationships with spouse
    • Wisdom as parents, especially regarding children's education
    • Good ties with family back home
    • Contentment, if single, and friendships
  • Health
    • Adaptation to climate, foods, "bugs", living
    • Good physical health and regular exercise
    • Safety in travel and from other dangers
    • Strong emotional health in times of loneliness and discouragement
    • Continued personal growth through reading, etc.
  • Relationship with God
    • God to open doors and hearts for the gospel
    • The Spirit's guidance in effective strategy
    • Souls saved, disciples made, churches begun
    • National leaders developed
    • More laborers to be raised up, local or foreign
  • Relationships with other missionaries and nationals
    • Good communication, openness and understanding
    • Healthy dealing with tension and foregiveness
    • Mutual building up in the spirit of love and unity
  • Country of Service
    • National and local political leaders
    • Peace and safety so that the gospel may spread
    • Openness to Christian activity and securing of visas
    • The national church to grow strong and effective

Resources for Parents of Teens

Monday May 20, 2013
Parenting teens is tough enough. But making the teen years an opportunity for you to disciple them in the Lord? Almost sounds too good to be true. This list is designed to be a resource for parents who want to do more than just survive the teen years.

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Parenting teens is tough enough. But making the teen years an opportunity for you to disciple them in the Lord? Almost sounds too good to be true. This list is designed to be a resource for parents who want to do more than just survive the teen years.

All these books can be ordered from Amazon:

  • Youth Culture 101 by Walt Mueller
  • Parenting Beyond Your Capacity by Reggie Joiner
  • mY Generation: A Real Journey of Change and Hope by Josh James Riebock
  • Teenage Girls: Exploring Issues Adolescent Girls Face and Strategies to Help Them by Ginny Olson
  • Teenage Guys: Exploring Issues Adolescent Guys Face and Strategies to Face Them by Steve Gerali
  • Good Sex 2.0: A Whole-Person Approach to Teenage Sexuality and God by Kara Eckmann Powell
  • Kids Online: Protecting Your Children in Cyberspace by Donna Rice Hughes
  • Dad, If You Only Knew: Eight Things Teens Want to Tell Their Fathers (but Don't) by Josh Weidmann
  • You Lost Me by David Kinnaman
  • Teaching True Love to a Sex-at-13 Generation by Eric Ludy
  • When Kids Hurt: Help for Adults Navigating the Adolescent Maze by Chap Clark
  • Hurt 2.0: Inside the World of Today's Teenagers by Chap Clark
  • Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp
  • Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel
  • Give Them Grace: Dazzing Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse Fitzpatrick