From your Synod Executive,

Last month I was thrilled to attend the Covenant Gathering in northern Indiana.  The many, many children, from toddlers to teenagers, surprised and inspired me.  The retirees were wise and winsome.  The people like me, somewhere in the middle, did our best to keep up with the energy of the folks on both ends of the age spectrum!

This annual conference builds on the legacy of Synod School in the Synods of the Covenant and of Lincoln Trails (IN and IL), but is now coordinated and led by a fantastic group of leaders outside of the Synod structures.  After attending the last two Gatherings on line, I was so glad to be together with them in person.

There were adults who started attending as toddlers, and there were brand-new attendees tearfully sharing at the end of the week how much it meant to them.  Several pastors were grateful to bring their whole families; they were grateful for the all-too-rare opportunity to have continuing education programming for their kids and themselves.

My favorite memory will be the fifth grader who walked into the Bible study I led on the first day, loudly proclaiming “This is going to be SO BORING.”  I took that as a challenge, and he told me at breakfast the next morning that it wasn’t so bad. We were in a small group discussion together that day, and the next day when it was time to split into twos, he made sure we were together.  I learned a lot from him, and maybe he learned something from me, too!  Intergenerational ministry does my heart good.

Next year’s gathering will be July 9-14, 2023, at Geneva Center in Rochester, IN.  Visit www.CovenantGathering.com for more information.  I hope I’ll see you there!

Your partner in ministry,

Rev. Charles B Hardwick, PhD
Executive, The Synod of the Covenant
chip@synodofthecovenant.org