Dear Covenant Church Family,
Two weeks ago, Bob communicated to us his desire to resign from the role of lead pastor at Covenant Church. That announcement left us all disappointed and saddened.
Reluctantly, the Elder Board of Covenant Church has not contested Bob’s resignation and our denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), has accepted it.
There are no words to adequately convey Bob’s blessings to our Church, and to each and every one of us as members and regular attenders at Covenant. When Bob came to Covenant, we were a congregation of just over 400 meeting in a facility on Durham Road with limited facilities part of which had been built in 1892. We had acquired new land with plans for erecting a new building that would enable us to build a larger Covenant community to reach the broader community of Bucks County and beyond.
In 18 years, the Lord has blessed all of us with a new building and over 1,500 members and attenders. As incredible as that sounds, those are the least of Covenant’s accomplishments with God using Bob as our Lead Pastor. Bob has been used by the Lord to facilitate change in so many lives and to bring countless souls into a relationship with Christ. So yes, we are sad that Bob is departing, but we also know that the Lord is not done with Bob, nor is He done with Covenant.
Bob has mentored and built a staff that has equipped Covenant to serve the Lord for years to come. We thank God for such a talented staff that exude love for Christ. To lead Covenant through this transition, we are delighted to announce that Bruce Finn and Rob Bloss will serve as co-leaders of our Transitional Pastoral Leadership Team. In addition to Rob Bloss continuing to provide for the day-to-day operations of the church and adult ministries, he will also ensure our church is provided with ongoing pastoral care and direction. Bruce Finn will continue as our Missions Pastor and will utilize his 32 years of experience as the PCA Church Planting Coordinator, and as a former Lead Pastor, to help partner with the Elders in planning for the future. Bruce’s new title will be Associate Pastor and the Elders will be working closely with both Bruce and Rob to ensure we are aligned with staff to continue delivering ministry that glorifies God.
Additionally, Rob Chifokoyo’s title will be changing to Teaching Pastor. He will share regular preaching duties with Rob Bloss and also take on other responsibilities as needed. Other staff and guest preachers will fill the pulpit from time to time as well. Please join us in thanking God for His provision of such godly, gifted persons to serve Covenant.
We understand and appreciate that there are still many questions to address. We will be scheduling a meeting in the weeks immediately following Bob’s last Sunday where anyone who would like can ask questions directly and for us to then pray together for God’s continued blessing on Covenant.
As we have had some time to reflect, we see that Covenant Church is well equipped to continue the work of Christ. Our mission and values have not changed, and for us to be successful and build upon all God has done here, we all have a role to play. Every member and regular attender of Covenant will be instrumental in showing our community how to truly live for Christ. Our values are to live out the gospel, to be intentional, and to be missional. This starts with our relationship with Christ and ends with us living out His example in our daily life. We ask for your prayers and support as we move forward. Pray for and actively encourage Rob, Bruce, and our entire staff as they are tasked with leading the ministry of our Church.
Finally, there is so much to celebrate in God’s goodness to us as a church through Bob’s ministry. We are looking forward to doing that on August 16. The staff is planning something special for both the 9am and 11am worship services that day. And then, after the second service, you are encouraged to join in a ‘drive-by’ reception line at the church to show your love and appreciation for the Bob, Liz and their entire family!
To help staff prepare a fitting farewell for Bob, please send pictures and/or a short video (15 seconds or less) expressing your gratitude and offering your blessing on Bob and his family. Please send either or both of these to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 9.
So, by God’s grace, we have a good way forward, and gifted people to serve, lead and feed us. But ultimately our confidence must rest on the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is with us. Our prayer is that these challenging times will drive us all to lean more heavily upon Christ Jesus. Let’s hear his promise and exhortations.
"The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing . . ." (Phil 4.5, 6)
"I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous . . ." (Josh. 1:5,6)
God Bless you all.
Brad Brautigam, Galen Burleigh, Jon Gindhart, Bruce McMordie,
Greg Michael, Duane Smulling, Doug Wesney