One of the greatest attributes embodying the Christian life is helping others. Helping others and those less fortunate unites Christians, and promotes fellowship, compassion, and understanding. The Alpine Ministerial Alliance, a group of clergy and lay representatives of local congregations, fulfills that mission, not just by addressing the spiritual and meaningful needs of the people, but also by touching hearts and continuing to fulfill God’s purpose.
Lana Covington, minister at First Christian Church of Alpine, has achieved that purpose through her diligent work with the Ministerial Alliance as both its secretary and treasurer. Besides preaching the sermon and organizing the worship service each week, Covington is a member of the Disciples of Christ regional and national churches, and coordinates various functions with them. She also schedules the weekly devotionals published in the Alpine Avalanche.
“It’s common in most towns to have a ministerial alliance where ministers can meet for fellowship and for any events that may be happening,” said Covington.
The Ministerial Alliance has traditionally provided a Thanksgiving service for the community, as well as an Easter sunrise service.
“We have a fund called a Compassion Fund, which is traditionally how we have raised money during the Thanksgiving and Easter services,” said Covington. “In 2019, the American Legion helped us with a fundraiser, and we got a nice donation from one of the employee groups at Big Bend Regional Medical Center.”
But this year there were no special services and no fundraising events.
“At some point, unless something changes, we are going to run out of money, and that’s the sad fact of it,” said Covington.
The Ministerial Alliance provides utility and rental assistance, along with lodging in the event of an emergency, such as those who have family members hospitalized overnight and can’t afford lodging on their own.
Said Covington, “Occasionally there will be people who need surgery early in the morning, and they need to come up from Terlingua or somewhere down south, and they need to stay overnight at the hospital. There is no place for them, so we try to help them with lodging.”
The Ministerial Alliance has a limit on the amount of funding and assistance provided, so Covington works with local churches, such as Grace Christian Fellowship, the Salvation Army, and others, who are better able to combine funds, especially this year due to coronavirus concerns.
“COVID-19 has had a big impact. It’s one of the big reasons people need assistance because people have lost jobs and they don’t have enough savings to make up for loss of income,” explained Covington.
Despite this year’s extra challenges, Covington said there was hope by trusting God.
“We need to put our faith and our trust in Him, and ask Him to lead us through this difficult time. Our hope is always first in the Lord and in His leadership,” she added.
To make a charitable donation to the Compassion Fund, send it to Alpine Ministerial Alliance, P.O. Box 356, Alpine TX 79831.