VBS 2018 – Registration Now Open!

July 23 - July 26, 2018 · 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

VBS 2018 Registration is Open till July 8th

Ahoy Kids 3 Years-old through 5th Grade! Venture onto an uncharted island where kids survive, thrive, and learn that Jesus carries them through life’s storms.
To register or sign up to volunteer, please click here!

Disaster Day & Health Fair

May 12, 2018 · 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

This event is FREE and open to the community!
Featuring: LifeMed Alaska Helicopter, LIFEmobile Blood Drive, Disaster Preparedness Resources, Health Care Screenings, Activities, Giveaways, and Perry the Preparedness Penguin

Cristina Tharin enters season of service at Community Covenant

By Mary M. Rall
Community Covenant Church

Community Covenant is excited to welcome Children’s Ministry Director Cristina Tharin to the church staff.

  Learn More »

Covenant Bible Camp

It’s time to start thinking about how you might be able to serve at Covenant Bible Camp this season!

  Learn More »

Help Keep Our Children Safe

Community Covenant values children and their safety! We’re implementing an electronic form of checking children into the nursery and children’s programs in the upcoming weeks during Sunday services.

AWANA

Wednesday nights through May 16. AWANA will resume again in the fall
6:30 – 8:00 PM

Register NOW!

Let us know if you would like to help!

Volunteer to help!

Email Awana@communitycovenant.net if you have questions or need more information.

Emergency mission partners help community prepare together

State, municipal and military emergency support organizations gathered to help inform area residents May 13 at the Disaster Day: Preparing Together disaster preparedness event at Community Covenant Church in Eagle River.

About 100 people attended the first-ever event, said Ted Smith, the event organizer and the Emergency Preparedness manager with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.

“We want to make sure the community has the awareness necessary to get the help they need during an event or disaster,” Smith said. “You need to be able to be independent and on your own for three to seven days.”

Smith said emergency response and government organizations are apt to be overwhelmed during an extreme crisis or a natural disaster and may not be able to help everyone in need of aid right away.

“The more prepared you are for you and your family, the better chance you have to make it through those three to seven days before emergency resources become available,” he said.

A natural disaster could cause resources such as natural gas distribution systems to go offline for an extensive period of time, making it imperative that individuals and families have the ability to meet their own needs until services are restored, said Senior Captain Mike Murphy with Anchorage Fire Department Station 11 in Eagle River.

“Any time an emergency happens, the best protocol is to take care of yourself,” Murphy said, explaining people must be prepared to provide their own food, water and power during a crisis. “You have to be self-sufficient and plan to be self-sufficient for a few days.”

Working together to prepare individuals and to support the community during a disaster is key for state and federal emergency responders, said Master Sgt. Kelly Rathbun, the Emergency Management Plans noncommissioned officer in charge with Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson’s 773d Civil Engineer Squadron.

“No one has it all. We need to complement each other,” Rathbun said, who worked with other 773d CES airmen to help event participants understand how to build emergency preparedness kits.

“We always tell people they should have three types of kits,” Rathbun said, explaining the first should be an extensive kit for the home that includes items such as food, water and medications and is capable of providing for the entire household for several days.

Smaller kits should also be created for family vehicles, she said, and ought to include things like jumper cables and flashlights, as well as some of the same provisions in a home kit.

The third kit is reserved for pet owners, Rathbun said, noting items such as pet medications, leashes and pet food may help ensure the needs of domestic animals are met during an emergency.

In addition to preparedness resources, Smith said the event featured interactive displays, to include an AFD fire truck, a LifeMed Alaska medical evacuation helicopter and an earthquake simulator from the State of Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Joyce Guest of Eagle River was one of many who braved the earthquake simulator, which allowed her to experience the impacts of a magnitude 5.5 quake.

“It’s really jolting and made me think that I need to secure some things and my bookcases,” Guest said. “It’s very realistic and gets you thinking.”

According to Smith, Disaster Day: Preparing Together will be an annual event to help the community become progressively more aware and better prepared in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Until then, Smith said additional disaster preparedness information and resources are available online at www.ready.alaska.gov, www.ready.gov, www.beready.af.mil and www.acsim.army.mil/readyarmy.

 

Flight nurse Brian Anderson guides a LifeMed Alaska medical evacuation helicopter as it lands behind the church May 13 at the Disaster Day: Preparing Together disaster preparedness event.

Senior Airman Cierra Andrews, an emergency manager with Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson’s 773d Civil Engineer Squadron, explains the necessity of creating emergency preparedness kits to Roy Daw of Eagle River.

Aimee Malnoske of Eagle River experiences what a magnitude 5.5 quake would feel like as Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Response Manager Claude Denver operates an earthquake simulator.

Mission team paints, plays its way into Mexican hearts, lives

Nine members of Community Covenant Church returned April 1 from a short-term mission trip to Tepic, Mexico, where they helped meet the needs of developing churches and a children’s home.

Located in west-central Mexico, Tepic is the capital of the state of Nayarit and the home of La Fuente Ministries, which includes more than 20 church plants and Nana’s House children’s home among its many ministries.

The teens and adults serving on the team all hailed from Eagle River and spent a little more than a week in the Tepic area, where Community Covenant Lead Pastor Todd Michero said they had an opportunity to worship alongside local residents; paint and make repairs at Nana’s House and La Fuente’s flagship church in Tepic; provide hearing and vision screenings for the children’s home residents; and help transform a bar into a church.

Todd said this is the third year in a row Community Covenant has sent a short-term mission team to Tepic in an effort to build long-term relationships with the communities La Fuente serves.

“Ministry is built on relationships. Our long-term relationships with the ministries we partner with through short-term missions enable us to truly understand the ministries and missions of those we support,” Todd said. “The result is that we’re able to serve their needs, as opposed to providing the assistance we think they need. Ours is not a ‘hit and run approach.’ The impact of our participation is cumulative.”

Lori Michero has also been a part of the team annually and said the most challenging part of the trip is transforming the team members’ mindsets.

“We’re not there to tell them how to do their mission, we’re there to assist them in their mission. We’re not there to tell them how we think things should or shouldn’t be done,” Lori said. “When in Mexico, it’s the Mexico way, the Nana’s House and the La Fuente Ministries way, not my way.”

While Todd said the group spent a significant amount of time painting and making repairs at several different locations, the emphasis of the team has always been Nana’s House children’s home, which provides full-time care for about 27 boys and girls from elementary through high school.

La Fuente Co-founder Mary Jo Hansen said the children in the care of Nana’s House have known extreme abuse and neglect that’s left Mexico’s version of Child Protective Services unable to place them with traditional foster families.

“I was blessed by every one of these children. I was incredibly impressed with the joy that radiated from each one,” said first-time team member Chrissie Hoover. “There’s a drive to succeed and a hope for the future that one wouldn’t expect from children from severely abusive backgrounds.”

Chrissie is a registered nurse, who provided vision and hearing screenings for more than 20 of the Nana’s House children, several of whom needed glasses or new prescriptions and had hearing issues identified.

“Due to their traumatic pasts, these children aren’t used to prioritizing their needs,” Chrissie said. “Although they’re having issues with basic functions, such as seeing or hearing, they don’t communicate their needs. Identifying issues will help them succeed.”

Heidi Porter has served on the mission team all three years, which she said has made spending time with the Nana’s House children familiar and comfortable.

“We’ve established relationships with the girls and the house moms. They greet us with open arms. It’s like coming home to family,” Heidi said. “The kids like to hug, laugh, play and tease us and each other. It’s easy to love them.”

Brad Bistodeau returned to Tepic for the second time this year and said spending time playing with the boys and girls and making repairs at Nana’s House has helped strengthen connections with the children and La Fuente Ministries.

“Each time we go, we solidify our relationship with them and show them we’re in it for the long run,” Brad said. “Those deepening relationships with both the children and staff make me feel like more of a family member. That relationship continues to grow and makes me even more excited to go back again next year.”

Todd said the impact of the projects and the differences made in people’s lives become more tangible each successive year as well.

“The first year we visited Nana’s House, our team helped repair an outdoor play area for the children,” Todd said. “In following years, we’ve not only been able to see the children enjoy the equipment, but have been able to play on it with them. To experience their joy and hear their laughter as they play is incredibly gratifying.”

While the team spent plenty of time investing in the Nana’s House children and projects, Todd said they also spent two full days remodeling a bar into a church in the town of San Blas, about 40 miles west of Tepic.

The endeavor wasn’t a small one he said, explaining the interior of the building was decorated with a giant Ghostbusters logo on one wall, sported neon polka dots, had vibrantly painted glass bottles embedded in the walls and featured cement benches that were covered with aged fabric.

Over the course of two days, Todd said the team worked alongside members of La Fuente Ministries to paint the interior with gallons of paint, to build walls to create several classrooms and to strip and paint the benches in an effort to help get the building ready for worship services beginning in September.

“Stepping into the nightclub for the first time, I couldn’t imagine us being able to make much of a difference in two days,” Brad said, adding the interior of the building looked significantly different after a lot of hard and dirty work. “We were able to see a huge transformation into what I now can imagine as a wonderful church for the people of San Blas.”

Todd said he hopes a long-term commitment to Nana’s House and La Fuente Ministries can likewise transform people’s lives.

“It’s a global expression of Community Covenant’s mission of bringing Christ’s hope, healing and wholeness to our community and to our world,” Todd said. “Our prayer is for God to expand our vision of His kingdom beyond the boundaries of ourselves, our families and our community.

“The Great Commission makes it clear that Christ’s followers maintain a global perspective and engagement,” he continued. “It’s humbling to realize that ministry to the ‘least of these,’ in this instance to orphaned children at Nana’s House, constitutes ministry to Christ himself. What could possibly be of greater value?”

The 2017 Nana’s House mission team included the husband and wife duos of Todd and Lori Michero and Tim and Heidi Porter; the father and daughter team of Brad and Madelyn Bistodeau; Chrissie Hoover; Adin Krumanaker; and Mary M. Rall.

Brad Bistodeau provides some leverage for Tim Porter as he drills a hole in a Nana’s House bedroom wall March 25 in Tepic, Mexico. The team spent the day making minor repairs, painting a bedroom and creating a mural at Nana’s House, as well as playing relay games at a local park with the children. (Photo by Mary M. Rall/Community Covenant Church)

Adin Krumanaker, 16, applies the first of many coats of paint to the walls of a bar in San Blas, Mexico, March 28. The team worked to help transform the building into a church, which will open for its first worship service in September. (Photo by Mary M. Rall/Community Covenant Church)

 

Event to give foster children a camp to remember

March 24, 2017 · 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Royal Family KIDS Camp will feature its annual Night to Remember fundraiser March 24 from 7-8:30 p.m. at Community Covenant.

Night to Remember will be free, will be open to the entire community and will include a dessert gala; a live auction of items such as hand-turned wood bowls and sage fly fishing rods; the camp’s history; stories of children in foster care; and special guest Dr. John DeGarmo of the Foster Care Institute.

According to drjohndegarmofostercare.weebly.com, DeGarmo is a leading international foster care expert and consultant who’s toured around the world as part of international supergroup Up with People, served as a DJ at four radio stations on two continents, worked in the professional wrestling industry, taught high school English and drama, worked as a media specialist and founded Never Too Late, a residential group home for boys in foster care.

Proceeds from Night to Remember will benefit the Anchorage Royal Family KIDS Camp, which will be offered in June for children ages 6-11, said Chris Scott of Eagle River, who volunteers annually as the camp’s director.

“They all come from or have been in foster care,” Chris said of the children who’ll be attending this year’s jungle-themed camp. “Some may have returned to their biological parents, but this is a respite time for their ‘bio’ parents.”

According to Chris, about 64 children attend the Anchorage camp for free annually, which costs $500 per child and a total of $64,000 per week to operate.

Camp operations are done in large part by volunteers, Chris said, and RFKC is a non-profit organization that relies on donations to provide what may be a life-changing experience for campers.

“You can change the trajectory of a child’s life,” Chris said, adding the camp provides a safe and healthy environment for foster children. “I think Royal Family KIDS Camp is the epitome of hope, healing and wholeness.”

The Anchorage Royal Family KIDS Camp is entering into its 13th year, but has only recently come under the covering of Community Covenant Church in Eagle River.

“There are many wonderful opportunities available to serve the local community. In considering all of them, one of the questions we could ask is ‘What reflects the heart of God?’”  said Lead Pastor Todd Michero. “Royal Family KIDS Camp touches lives that could easily be forgotten, overlooked or marginalized.”

No advance signups are required to attend Night to Remember, Scott said, and interested volunteers who are 16 and older are also encouraged to participate in the event to learn how they can support the camp as counselors, kitchen staff, prayer warriors, activity center helpers, camp crew members, registration staff and lakeside lifeguards.

More information on Royal Family KIDS Camp is available at royalfamilykids.org.

Strategic Ministry Plan affirms CCC’s calling to provide hope, healing and wholeness

Vitality PathwayBy Mary M. Rall
Community Covenant Church

Community Covenant’s new mission focus and Strategic Ministry Plan were shared for the first time at the Sept 11 worship services.

“Our mission is to bring Christ’s hope, healing and wholeness to our community and to our world,” said Lead Pastor Todd Michero with excitement, adding God has provided the vision for Community Covenant’s faith community to be one that embodies that same hope, healing and wholeness as well.

Developing the SMP was a labor of love for the members of the Strategic Ministry Planning Team, who Todd said met almost weekly over the course of nine months to discern how the Holy Spirit would shape the church based on the information gathered by the Vitality Pathway’s Internal and External assessment teams and PULSE assessment.

“This is a Holy Spirit-guided process,” Todd said of developing the Strategic Ministry Plan. “That team was tasked with taking all of the information and prayerfully discerning what God would have us do with it.”

It’s been almost a two-year journey along the Vitality Pathway since the church featured the Veritas workshop as the first step toward becoming a healthy missional church to the unpacking of the Strategic Ministry Plan, which has helped shape the mission, vision and values of CCC’s next steps along the pathway.

“We put together some words and we wrestled with them,” said SMPT member David Wille, who said it took some time to discern what the Holy Spirit was communicating about the plan to the team. “It’s kind of like a sculpture to keep buffing it and polishing the words.”

Todd said the Holy Spirit did indeed respond to the team’s prayers for guidance over the months, helping them understand how the 10 Healthy Missional Markers would serve as the building blocks for Community Covenant’s values, which include:

  1. We believe in the centrality of the Word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16)
  2. We pursue a life-transforming walk with Jesus. (Galatians 5:22-23)
  3. We practice intentional evangelism. (Matthew 28:18-20)
  4. We transform communities through compassion, mercy and justice. (Micah 6:8)
  5. We encourage global engagement and perspectives. (Acts 1:18)
  6. We cultivate compelling Christian community. (Acts 2:42-47)
  7. We express heartfelt worship. (Psalm 138:1a)
  8. We engage in sacrificial and generous living and giving. (Romans 12:1-13, 18)
  9. We promote a culture of Godly leadership. (Hebrews 13:7)
  10. We develop fruitful organizational structures. (Exodus 18:13-26)

“This is how we’re going to go about living into the mission God gave us,” Todd said. “These have moved from markers to values that we’re going to own.”

Todd explained the Strategic Ministry Plan is just a starting point for Community Covenant and that intentional steps are being taken to bring the visions of hope, healing and wholeness into all of the church’s ministries and to people of all ages.

Everything from the Prayer Ministry to home groups to youth ministries will seek to be infused with hope as they build a sense of community, connect people and establish new partnerships within the community, he said.

Healing will be central to CCC’s ministries as well, Todd said, explaining the church seeks to develop a culture in which prayer is commonplace and a shared practice for people by increasing participation in prayer ministries, to include healing prayer, intercessory prayer and use of the prayer wall.

Equipping people through discipleship to be confident and capable followers of Jesus by implementing spiritual formation offerings and spiritual gift assessments is central to helping people realize wholeness in God as well, he said.

Although the church does have a Spirit-led design for the future, Todd stressed the Strategic Ministry Plan is serving a springboard for the church’s immediate next steps toward Congregational Vitality and that God will continue to shape Community Covenant as it continues along the Vitality Pathway.

“We’re starting here, but a year from now, this may look very different,” Todd said, explaining the PULSE assessment will be taken every two years and will help CCC further discern how God would have the church take future steps toward becoming a healthy missional church.

Regardless of where God may take CCC in the future, though, Todd said the congregation can look forward to how the Strategic Ministry Plan will unfold to impact the church, the local community and the world in the weeks and months ahead.

“I really think this is sitting into a good, sweet spot for us,” David said of the plan. “The best days are ahead of us, and I look forward to what God has in store for us.”

Community Covenant Church would like to express its heartfelt thanks to the members of the Strategic Ministry Planning Team, which included Pastor Todd Michero, Kevin Halvorsen, David Wille, Denise Smith, Stephanie Eklund Stockhouse, Cary Moore and former Pastor Erika Whittington.