August 13, 2023

Worship live on Sundays in person,
or on YouTube at 10:00 am.


led by Dana


from Psalm 119:41-45

Leader: May Your unfailing love come to me, Lord, Your salvation, according to Your promise;
People: Then I can answer anyone who taunts me, for I trust in Your word.
Leader: Never take Your word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in Your laws.
People: I will always obey Your law, for ever and ever. I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out Your precepts.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of life and liberty! Christ the Lord, thank You for setting us free from sin and death! Spirit of God, thank You for the freedom to be more like Jesus! Father, Son, and Spirit break the chains that continue to bind us, so that we might teach the world about Your liberating love. Amen. 

And can it be that I should gain
An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

He left His Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace!
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race!
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
Amazing love! How can it be,
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night.
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light!
My chains fell off, my heart was free
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God shouldst die for me?

No condemnation now I dread:
Jesus, and all in Him, is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
Bold I approach th’eternal throne,
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou my God, shouldst die for me?

Covenant Hymnal, #306

Acts 15:1-21

Then certain individuals came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to discuss this question with the apostles and the elders. So they were sent on their way by the church, and as they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, they reported the conversion of the gentiles and brought great joy to all the brothers and sisters. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. But some believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and said, “It is necessary for them to be circumcised and ordered to keep the law of Moses.”

The apostles and the elders met together to consider this matter. After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “My brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that I should be the one through whom the gentiles would hear the message of the good news and become believers. And God, who knows the human heart, testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and in cleansing their hearts by faith He has made no distinction between them and us. 10 Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? 11 On the contrary, we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”

12 The whole assembly kept silence and listened to Barnabas and Paul as they told of all the signs and wonders that God had done through them among the gentiles. 13 After they finished speaking, James replied, “My brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has related how God first looked favorably on the gentiles, to take from among them a people for His name. 15 This agrees with the words of the prophets, as it is written,

16 ‘After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen;
    from its ruins I will rebuild it,
        and I will set it up,
17 so that all other peoples may seek the Lord—
    even all the gentiles over whom My name has been called.
Thus says the Lord, who has been making these things 18  known from long ago.’

19 “Therefore I have reached the decision that we should not trouble those gentiles who are turning to God, 20 but we should write to them to abstain only from things polluted by idols and from sexual immorality and from whatever has been strangled and from blood. 21 For in every city, for generations past, Moses has had those who proclaim him, for he has been read aloud every Sabbath in the synagogues.”

John 1:35-42

The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and as he watched Jesus walk by he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 When Jesus turned and saw them following, He said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and they remained with Him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). 42 He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).

I love You, Lord
Oh, Your mercy never fails me
All my days
I’ve been held in Your hands
From the moment that I wake up
Until I lay my head
I will sing of the goodness of God

All my life You have been faithful
All my life You have been so so good
With every breath that I am able
I will sing of the goodness of God

I love Your voice
You have led me through the fire
In darkest night
You are close like no other
I’ve known You as a father
I’ve known You as a friend
I have lived in the goodness of God


Your goodness is running after
It’s running after me
Your goodness is running after
It’s running after me
With my life laid down
I’m surrendered now
I give You everything
Your goodness is running after
It’s running after me


CCLI Song # 7117726 Ben Fielding | Brian Johnson | Ed Cash | Jason Ingram | Jenn Johnson © 2018 Capitol CMG Paragon (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) SHOUT! Music Publishing Australia (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) Fellow Ships Music (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC) So Essential Tunes (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC) Bethel Music Publishing

Pastor Ryan

Jesus loves me! This I know
For the Bible tells me so,
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak, but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Covenant Hymnal, #443

Children 6 and under are dismissed to Children’s Church in the upstairs lounge. Parents can pick up their children in the lounge after the service.

Galatians 2:11-21
Freedom Fighter
Pastor Ryan

Oh, freedom is calling
Oh, I can feel it in the air

You’re singing over me
When I don’t have a song left to sing
You sing
You fight my enemies
When I don’t have the fight left in me
You fight for me
You make a way when I can’t find one
My freedom’s coming

Oh, freedom is calling
Oh, I can feel it in the air
Oh, freedom is coming
Oh, my Deliverer is here

You breathe new life in me
And death loses power when You speak
You are speaking
Re-write my history
The fear of man has lost its hold on me
I can see again

I can hear it
In the distance
Sounds like thunder
Songs of deliverance
I can feel it
Heaven breaking through
Praise is rising
We’re singing back to You


We’re singing back

Oh, freedom is calling
Oh, my Deliverer is here
Oh, freedom is calling
Oh, my Deliverer is here

Torwalt/Torwalt/Bentley/Early @ Capitol CMG Genesis; Capitol CMG Paragon; Jesus Culture Music; Jesus Culture Music Group; Songs By That Dog Will Hunt

We continue to pray for: Nikolas Arden, Messian Burgos, Frank Coszach, Vira Coszach, James Egan, Pedro Gomez, Art & Rosa Hamilton, Trevor Hanks, Nancy Popovich’s family, Kathy Sager, Mary Smith, Steve Staurseth, and Phillip, son of Iris Velez

Ministries & Mission
Robert & Rae Rife, serving in the United Kingdom; Covenant Mountain Mission Bible Camp

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.  Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.  Amen.

giving opportunities:
Zelle® to:

Gustav Merkel
led by Cynthia

Praise God from whom all blessings flow 
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Now thank we all our God
With heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done,
In whom His world rejoices;
Who, from our mothers’ arms,
Has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love,
And still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God
Through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts
And blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace,
And guide us when perplexed,
And free us from all ills
In this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God
The Father now be given,
The Son, and Him who reigns
With Them in highest heaven,
The one eternal God,
Whom earth and heav’n adore;
For thus it was, is now,
And shall be evermore. Amen.

Covenant Hymnal, #31

L: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord
P: Thanks be to God

Adagio Du Septieme Ton
Jacques Boyvin
led by Cynthia

We’ll be back here next Sunday. We hope you can join us. Information on

Music on the Steps
Ron and Cynthia Arden  present “Music on the Steps” for violin, viola, voice, and piano, on Wednesday, August 16 at 6:30 pm on the front steps of Winnetka Covenant Church , 1200 Hibbard Rd. in Wilmette. The concert will be held indoors in the case of rain. The concert is free, and attendees are encouraged to show up from 5:30 pm onward with lawn chairs and sandwiches.

Lake County Symphony Orchestra concert
The Lake County Symphony Orchestra, featuring our own Cynthia Arden as concertmaster, will present “Broadway & Hollywood Blockbusters” on Sunday, September 3 at 7:30 pm at Gurnee Community Church, 4555 Old Grand Ave. in Gurnee. For ticket information, please go to .

Apartment wanted
Rod Kutz, who is a part of our congregation, is seeking a two-bedroom apartment on the North Side. If you know of one that’s available, please see Rod or contact the church office.

MOPS meeting
The monthly MOPS meeting will take place next Saturday, August 19, at 10:30 am in the upstairs lounge. All mothers of young children are encouraged to participate! Fathers and grandparents are welcome to take the children to the church’s playground, or, in case of inclement weather, into the gym while the meeting takes place.

September 10 is Kickoff Sunday
September 10 will be Kickoff Sunday at Ravenswood Covenant! That Sunday will mark the return of RECC to the school-year worship calendar with services starting at 10:45 am, and there will be food and fun after the service to mark the occasion, as well as an opportunity for our Sunday School teachers and Faith Forum leaders to talk about the upcoming year.

The first day of Sunday School and Faith Forum will be the following Sunday, September 17. We are looking for folks who are willing to help out with Sunday School this coming school year. Please speak with Beth Anderson, Bekah Carlson, or Kelly Vetter if you’re interested. Also, please check with the church office to make sure that you have an up-to-date background check if you are going to work with the church’s children in 2023-24.

North Park van drivers needed
This fall we would like to bring back our long-dormant ministry of offering van rides to North Park University students so that they can attend services on Sundays at Ravenswood Covenant. Does this sound like something with which you’d be willing to help? You don’t need to own a van to do this, just a valid driver’s license. If you’re interested, please contact Gregory Sager or Pastor Ryan.

Lawn-mowing volunteer needed
We are looking to find a volunteer willing to cut the grass on the church’s grounds this summer and fall. The church has a lawnmower, although you are welcome to bring your own to church if you prefer. If you’re interested in helping to keep our grounds looking good, please contact Gregory Sager, Pastor Ryan, or anyone on the Leadership Team. Thank you!

Scripture reader sign-up
We are seeking people to read the scripture passages of the day as part of the worship services this summer. If you are willing to be a scripture reader, please add your name to the sign-up sheet in the church office or contact Gregory Sager or Erin Stoel.

Pastor Ryan’s office hours
Pastor Ryan’s office hours at church are Tuesday thru Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. If you would like to meet with Pastor Ryan during his afternoon hours, please call the church office to schedule an appointment.

Farmers market
Wednesday was overcast, but the rain held off and did not interfere with the farmers market! There were 698 adult visitors and innumerable children who visited this past week’s edition of the market, Despite the fact that a lot of people are getting in their vacation time right now before Chicago Public Schools start up again in a week, the Wednesday trip to Ravenswood Covenant’s parking lot was still a part of the weekly routine for many of the people in our community.

The market will run until mid-October every Wednesday from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm in our parking lot. This year the Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce has taken over locating and contacting possible vendors for the market, so we anticipate a busier and more crowded market than has been true since Covid hit.

If you are interested in the farmers market and would like to be a part of this way for us as a church to interact with our surrounding community and provide a valuable service to them as well as a place to meet and greet neighbors every Wednesday during the warm-weather months, please contact the church office or our market director, Bekah Carlson.

Children’s activity supplies needed
The Ravenswood Farmers Market season is off to a great start with our highest attendance in several years!  If you would like to support the market we still have multiple opportunities to be involved with set-up/take-down and children’s activities during the market. If you are unable to attend the market, we could also use your help in gathering supplies. This year we need dot markers, markers, fun stamps, baby wipes, blue Dawn dish soap and light corn syrup. Thank you all for your continued support.

Church garden plots available
Are you a gardener, or would you like to become one? Ravenswood Covenant has free garden plots available along the north boundary of the church parking lot. if you would like to claim a plot, please contact the church office at 773-784-7091 or at

Coffee hour changes
There is now a coffee hour bulletin board downstairs in the fellowship hall! (It’s right next to the kids’ serving window.) Please look there for updated serving instructions as well as to find out what team you’re on. We’ve had some turnover, so we encourage you to sign up to join a serving team if you haven’t done so already. A self-sign-up will now be available on the board so that you can pick which Sundays work best for you. As always, thanks for serving!

Thursday evening Bible study
The weekly Bible study meets Thursdays at 7 pm. We are studying the Gospel of Mark. The Bible study meets in the upstairs lounge. For more information, please contact Gregory Sager in the church office at (773) 784-7091 or

Join Us in Sponsoring a Student in the NPTS SRA Program
North Park’s School of Restorative Arts offers a MA in Christian Ministry and Restorative Arts, allowing free and incarcerated students to study together. This unique degree program is designed to prepare individuals for ministries of restoration in contexts susceptible to violence and includes courses in trauma, race relations, nonviolent communication, conflict transformation, restorative practices, and transformative justice, in addition to Bible, theology, and history.  In partnership with the Illinois Department of Corrections, this four-year degree is currently offered at Stateville Correctional Center with 80 incarcerated men and a first cohort of 20 women at Logan Correctional Center.

We, Ravenswood Covenant Church, have partnered with North Park Theological Seminary by committing to sponsor a student in this program. To help us support an SRA student please send a check to church or give online and in the memo line write: “SRA Sponsorship.”

Scripture for next Sunday
Galatians 3:23-29
Romans 8:1-8
John 3:31-36

Art Used in this Bulletin: Steve Erspamer, SM
Clip Art for Year A © 1992, Archdiocese of Chicago.

Our church exists to love and worship God, and love and care for others. By God’s grace, we commit to help people find and follow Jesus Christ through the guidance of His Spirit and His word.

"With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." (Mark 4:30-32 NRS)