Grace and Peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ!

For my devotions right now, I’m reading through the book of Ezra, where the people of Israel return from exile in order to re-establish their life in the Promised Land. Members of every tribe come home to find the temple in great disrepair, and together they work hard to make it a fruitful place of ministry again. Their emotions were in turmoil, with some weeping and some shouting with joy as the foundation is laid once again.

At the Synod of the Covenant, we are working to re-establish ourselves as a fruitful place of ministry.  Like the Israelite tribes, faithful people from all eleven presbyteries are joining in the process of reconstruction—including many of you who are reading this newsletter. My emotions swing wildly as I discover and work to resolve new challenges every week. Thank you for your work, and for your prayers.

The highlight of this newsletter is information about a particular way that the Synod wants to strengthen your presbyteries and churches:  grants and scholarships.  You can read about how to apply for Higher Education Scholarships and the Racial Ethnic and New Covenant Grants.

The Synod has also contracted with the Lombard-Mennonite Peace Center to gather information about how to move forward with reconciliation and to guide the Administrative Commission as it works toward turning over jurisdiction to the Synod.

Finally, I hope you’ll check out our updated website,, and give me any feedback about ways it can continue to develop.  You are the primary audience for this website, so the Synod wants it to be as helpful as possible.

Your partner in ministry,

Rev. Charles B Hardwick, PhD
Interim Executive