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‘Faith is a journey’

Every Road Covenant: Local church uses social-networking site, community help to bring together cong

Posted: December 17, 2010 10:28 p.m.
Updated: December 18, 2010 4:30 a.m.

Darla Schackart of Every Road Covenant Church hands out gifts to children as part of the locally-based church’s recent outreach project for Single Mothers Outreach. The outreach is part of the church’s focus to reach out to the community by creating programs for those in need. The church recently found a new space for its weekly Sunday services ...

When Every Road Covenant Church first formed three years ago, they were a small Bible study group based out of a home.

Monthly services soon began, but with a little help from the social-networking site Facebook, the locally based church began renting a permanent space for their church home.

Pastor Tess Cox said. “We are thankful for God’s love for us, and our love for Christ.”

A unique style
This Sunday, Every Road will be volunteering at the Santa Clarita Valley Emergency Winter Shelter, the community’s only homeless shelter, as a part of their commitment to service within the community. Their philosophy builds on a four-part, monthly worship program, that they call the Weekly Service Cycle.

Each month focuses on one common theme, and the first Sunday concentrates on Biblical teaching, followed by Bible study the second week.

During the third week, the church plans and participates in community-service activities, and for the final Sunday of the month, the church holds a worship service that celebrates thankfulness.

“We all come from different life stories,” Cox said. “We have different strengths and weaknesses. We want to share that life road with people, whatever it looks like. Our hope is to include faith in God in the reality of working full-time, activities, children and busy lives.”

The basis for the service-cycle approach comes from the idea that people lead different lives and come from different backgrounds. This format allows the church to focus on serving the community and being supportive in a way that utilizes each person’s talents.

The congregation enjoys this format and responds to the ability to focus on one topic for the whole month because it gives them a chance to learn and celebrate, Cox said.

“Our church isn’t for someone that wants to come to church to sit and listen to a sermon and go home,” Cox said. “Our church is for people that want to learn, get involved and reach out to the community around them.”

Small beginnings
Tess and her husband, Dean, began the church three years ago, and it has grown from its early roots as a Bible study group.

Tess Cox is a graduate of the Fuller Theological Seminary and holds a master’s degree in divinity. She recalls how they contemplated and prayed about making a “team church plant.”

The group began with six people, some of their closest friends. It later grew enough over the year-and-a-half that followed to include hosting a once a month church service at the Newhall Plaza in addition to their weekly home meetings.

Now thanks to the new location that they rent from the Santa Clarita Tutors, they have a space to offer weekly church services.

“We really focus on the importance of team,” Cox said. “We believe in the quality of men and women coming together to use their greatest strengths and skills to create a stronger team. The whole model of the church format wouldn’t function without the team.”

Journey in faith
Every Road believes in reaching out to the community, which is why its Weekly Service Cycle focuses on community service. Other than the volunteering scheduled at the homeless shelter Sunday, they have previously coordinated events with the Santa Clarita Single Mothers Outreach and the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

“Faith is a journey,” Cox said. “We want to walk that journey with people and be a source of reason. Every person faces different challenges in life; people want and need relationships to help them.”

Another building block for the church is having the children of the congregation participate in the programs and activities with their parents.

“We help the parent-child dialogue,” Cox said.

The church also holds weekly Bible-based teaching for the children during the regular weekly services. The goal is to raise them in a way that they learn alongside their parents, Cox said.

“By building relationships with God, we build relationships with one another, our kids and the community,” Cox said. “We have a love for people, God and faith.”

Every Road understands that their church model is a different approach than traditional churches. Cox affectionately refers to the church as a “boutique kind of church,” since it offers a unique format.

“We continue to pray that we can be a source of encouragement, physically and spiritually for the Santa Clarita Valley,” Cox said.

Every Road Covenant Church is located at 26370 Diamond Place in Santa Clarita. Sunday services begin at 10:30 a.m. For more information visit


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