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Pastor's note on Dr Richard C. Chewning - In Memoriam

On Tuesday morning February 17th, 2015 our beloved Richard. “Dick“ Chewning went to be with the Lord. His passing was sudden and while not surprising given his many health struggles, it was still unexpected. His enormous spiritual presence and huge personality will be greatly missed here on earth. 

I hope we at Covenant are not so overtaken with loss that we forget the great Gospel truths that Dick loved to sit under at Covenant and to impart to others. I would encourage all who miss Dick’s teaching to purchase or check out of the church library Dick’s book, Becoming Partakers of the Divine Nature.  Indeed it is his spiritual legacy to the church. Personally, I can hear Dick’s voice when I open its pages and read the wisdom that Dick so often shared in his teaching and personal ministry at Covenant.

What is true of Abel in Hebrews 11:14 is also true of Dick’s life. God accepted Dick’s offering of his gifts for service, and like Abel in the Faith Hall of Fame, he serves as an example for us. “Through his faith, though he died, he still speaks.“ (Heb 11:4 ESV)

Here are a few things that the life of Dick Chewning speaks to us at Covenant: 

First and foremost it speaks to his love for the Gospel. Dick reveled in the message of God’s grace for sinners. It was at Dick’s suggestion that we adopted the church motto: “Apart from Christ we can do nothing.”

Right after a love for the Triune God of the Scriptures was a passionate love for people. One family member described it as “big love.” Foremost in his love was his deep affection for Shirley and his family.  He never missed an opportunity to speak of how much he loved Shirley, and all of his children, and grandchildren. 

 Dick loved to mentor young people. His sincere concern and interest in loving people and discipling them was a great example of spiritual leadership.

Dick was a churchman. He loved Covenant Church. His last Sunday on earth was marked by attendance at public worship and Sunday School. He regretted that he didn’t have the strength to return to Sunday evening worship that night (which was cancelled due to weather). He never missed a stated Elder meeting or prayer meeting unless he was providentially hindered, which was extremely rare. In addition few Christians have served the broader church more that Dick Chewning. He served as a board member and advisor for numerous Christian institutions, and I have yet to hear of anyone else who has been a three-time Moderator of General Assembly in a Presbyterian denomination. 

Several people have commented on the “hole” in our congregation left by Dick’s absence from our midst.  Indeed he for many years occupied a big space at Covenant. Let us not be discouraged but rather confident in the grace of the Lord Jesus, which supplies us with everything we need to carry out the work God has given us to do. Let us rejoice that Dick is absent from the body is present with the Lord and has joined that great cloud of witnesses cheering us on to victory.


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For those of you who know us and are a part of our fellowship, this is a place to keep current with events and announcements of our church. For those new to Covenant, you can find information about who we are, what we believe, and what we are seeking to do for God's glory.

Our desire is to teach the gospel of grace in such a way as to lead people to glorify God by loving Him and loving people.

We invite you to browse our website and worship with us to learn more of what God is doing at and through Covenant Church.


This Week's Sermon

The Christian Life

Dr. Paul Sagan from 1 Peter 4:1-11


Sunday Evening, March 29: Rev. Tim McClymonds will bring the message, "A Most Compelling Testimony", based on the scripture passage Luke 24:13-27,44-45. This is part of an ongoing series of messages on the Westminster Confession of Faith, taught by various pastors in our congregation on Sunday evenings.




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