Presbyterian Church of the Covenant

The Courier 

Our Monthly Newsletter





The Book of Worship reminds us that the redeemed of every time and place “will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God” (Luke 13:29). Each month we gather at the Lord’s table to share the sacrament of Christ’s sacred meal. The liturgical term is ‘the Eucharist’ or “giving of thanks”. The church is reminded that our lives are dependent on the gifts of body and blood for our sustenance in every way. This November will be no different. Let us give thanks. In a time of national and global upheaval it is essential for those who love Christ with heart, soul, mind and strength to reflect on the essential of our faith. Jesus is Creator, Sustainer, Master and Friend. He has chosen to be our servant and the servant of the world. We will be asked to remember the generosity and grace of God’s spirit that has allowed us to live in generations of freedom and decades of prosperity. Some of us have accumulated material resources beyond our wildest imagination contrasted with generations past. Some of us have struggled to hold relatively meager lifestyles in a time of rampant inflation. It has always been so. The church in Corinth was encouraged to give of their abundance so that the poverty of others would not be their undoing. No one is ever asked to carry the whole load, but each are asked to consider what they can contribute to the good of the worship, fellowship and mission of Christ’s church.

We are stewards of the gospel. We are to learn the story, tell the story and pass the story on. We are stewards of our financial resources. From week to week we offer a “drip” of our income. From generation to generation we offer “a drop” of what we have accumulated so that the church of the future has a financial foundation to stand on. We are stewards of time, talent and treasure from week to week and season to season and generation to generation. We are Christ’s stewards of the faith, hope and love he came to bring to the world.Please ponder and pray over your role as a steward of God’s faithfulness to you this November as we give thanks for the gifts that have been entrusted to us. Happy Thanksgiving.

Yours in Christ, Mike Mansperger


Grace, Generosity and Stewardship

Covenant has been on financial “cruise control” in recent years. We were blessed by elder Kay Purcell with a wonderful sign on highway 41. During the pandemic, the government provided funds so that employees could continue to work even though worship attendance and offerings had changed dramatically. In 2022 and 2023 there were a variety of repairs required after the wind and rain of hurricane Ian—at least two, still to be completed! Bob and June Wright completed their stewardship of a lifetime of financial giving with a bequest to their church of twenty five percent of their estate. Do you think it was coincidence that the church then spent $73,000 replacing the air handler and two large condensers serving the sanctuary? We were compelled to replace three ‘horns’ that were installed in 1986 for the smoke and fire detection system in the sanctuary building. The twenty one year old kitchen refrigerator ceased to function and was replaced. The septic system needs to be repaired as we await a permit to address that need. One Chapel a/c unit burned out a fan motor; a drain line clogged the twin unit. This summer seemed to flow from one short

term crisis to the next, but because of the Wright’s faithfulness to their church, we were simply busy han- dling “fixes” instead of trying to raise additional income to cover required repairs and expenses. Last week we discovered a large pine tree at the edge of the parking lot has died, threatening parked cars. We dare not forget that Sarasota County and a developer anticipate breaking ground on Sarasota Square Mall and property on the north and west of the church for some 1,400 new residences and apartments!

2023 brought us both Michele James-Pruyne, our Director of Music and Priscilla Fullerton as organist. Alice Sherwin continues to develop her skills in the Office Monday-Friday from 9-3 (as she recovers from knee re- placement). Dr. Danny Zirpoli shares his gifts on the piano from week to week!

Our mission co-worker, Pam continues her ministry with university students (in a nation too sensitive to identify without putting Christ’s mission and her life in jeopardy). One Hundred Women who Care, Roots Nature & Leadership Academy, A.A. (through five groups), HOA meetings; Neighborhood Development meetings, make Covenant’s campus purposeful week after week, year after year.

We will hear from The Rev. Miguel Estrada, pastor of Mision Peniel on Sunday, November 19th as he shares God’s goodness flowing from the nation to care for the most vulnerable in our region. We will hear a repre- sentative of A.A. share the value of Covenant’s campus in establishing and maintaining sobriety in Fellow- ship Hall and the Chapel on Sunday, November 26th. We know the educational opportunities for children and families provided by Roots Nature and Leadership Academy for some 37 children. One Hundred Wom- en Who Care will meet on Wednesday, November 15th at Covenant continuing to support noble Not for

Profits in our community adding to their $257,000 of donations since their founding!

We will read from the books of Genesis 28:18-22, 2 Chronicles 31:5; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-9 and the gospel of Luke 11:42; God’s people are both warned about displaying outward shows to others and encouraged to give generously in response God’s gifts for the world.

We pray you will join those who have contributed generously to our church’s future of worship and witness on Sunday, November 26th in worship as we express God’s goodness in our “Drips and Drops” in person, on line or through the mail.


Alice’s Corner

School started for the Fall on September 6, 2023. Instead of only 25 students, Roots Nature Leadership Academy now has 37 students and four teachers. This is a Student-led approach drawing inspiration from Montessori, nature-based education , and project-based learning. Teaching how to learn, not what to lean, and a focus on inspiring life long love of learning.

They start at Pre-kindergarten to Grade 6 at the present and hope to add Grades 7 and 8 soon. They are learning all the academic classes like reading, writing, mathematics, music, art, cooking,gardening, yoga/meditation, archery, homesteading and so much more.    Classes are held outside unless the weather is unfavorable then they move to their classrooms inside the church.



November Birthdays: Dr. Curtis Hood 2nd, Betty Angotti 13th, Marian Wissenberg 22nd, Ray McCray.

December Birthdays: Jean Cota 13th, Alice Sherwin 14th, Donna Adams 24th, Lenore Karo 27th.






Come one, Come all to hear the classical tunes from Priscilla Fullerton as she

tickles the ivories.


Prayers and concerns: Fred and Ellen Hummel and their daughter Cynthia, James Pratt, Norma Cunningham, Carol Hartz, Anna Fox, Tom Cunningham’s family, Jane Pyle, Meg Richmond, Herman and Marian Wissenberg, Onie Morse, Barbara Gerhardt, Norma Lewis, Marilyn Gabriel, Clark and Barbara Niepert, Barbara Pratt’s sister Faye, Binnie Trimble, Judy Bremer’s daughter-in-law Carin, Bob Harrod, David and Mary Owen, Pam our mission co-worker, Curt and Nancy Hood, Eddy Ruby, Ron and Jean Cota, Linda Page and her son Ryan, Ken Angotti, our nation and its leaders, Roots Nature &Leadership Academy students, family, staff and leadership: Mision Peniel and Beth El, our gratitude to God for The Reverend Victoria Millar and Bill Kraft for filling  Covenant’s pulpit in October


Mission and Action Team  - Misión Peniel


In 2006, Misión Peniel began as a distinctively Christian ministry including pastoral care,

worship and Christ’s presence through an ordained pastor supporting the farmworker com- munity in Immokalee, Florida. Misión Peniel is a ministry of charity and service, providing food, necessities, fellowship and emergency support. Pastoral care is provided to farmwork- ers, including counseling, hospital visitation, and assistance in orienting migrants to a new culture. Every Friday, somewhere between 300 and 450 individuals are served through their food distribution program.


On November 19 Pastor Miguel Estrada from Misión Peniel will be joining us for worship.

We would like to provide some of the needed items from their donation request list. We

will be collecting items from October 29 until November 19. As of this time they are still not collecting clothing items except as specifically listed below.


Items requested at this time include: Linens & Clothing – Blankets, Sheets, Pillows, Towels, New shirts and New Long Sleeve T-shirts, Hoodie Sweatshirts, Jackets (no coats), New Socks. Toiletries - Shampoo (Regular Size), Conditioner (Regular Size), Body lotion, Shave gel, Bar Soap, Deodorant, Disposable Razors, Toothpaste & Toothbrushes. Non-Perishable Food -

Rice, Beans, Peanut Butter, Canned Meat, Dry Cereal, Oatmeal, Pasta, Pasta Sauce, Dry Milk, Canned Fruits & Vegetables. General Household – Pots, Pans, Basic Dishes


As a separate activity, we will be collecting toys for the children of Immokalee. The goal of Misión Peniel is to be able to give 500 children aged birth to 10 years old a new toy. They

are asking for a new toy worth about $20 to $25, unwrapped and in a gift bag. The toys will

be delivered to Misión Peniel in early December. The Misión Peniel website :

( has an option under the Current News section to order a gift from Walmart that will be sent directly to the mission.


The Mission and Action Team thanks everyone for their continued generosity to Misión Peniel.


  The Knit N Sew ladies are collecting bibles for Port Manatee sailors. Will be taking them to Port Manatee the week before Thanksgiving. Please bring your donated bibles to the church and they will be taken to the sailors.


  Christmas Poinsettias will be available to order in the coming weeks.


6.5 inch pot

$ 7.00

8  Inch pot


16 inch pot


We will be decorating the sanctuary for Christmas on December 2, 2023 at 9:00 am. Come join the fun and have some conversation and coffee and do- nuts.


Stewardship Time is here. Please fill out a Commitment Card and send it in to the church or bring it to a service in November. We will also have cards at the office