December 10, 2023

Worship live on Sundays in person at 11:00 am,
or on YouTube at noon.


“Lift Up Your Heads, O Mighty Gates”
led by Mary and Cynthia


from Psalm 4:6-8
Leader: Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!
People: You have put gladness in my heart.
Leader: I will both lie down and sleep in peace.
People: For you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.

Heavenly Father, be gracious and hear our prayer for peace. Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace, be gracious and lead us toward shalom. Holy Spirit, be gracious and fill us with love, joy, and peace. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, answer our call and make us vessels of your peace. Amen. 

Lift up your heads, O mighty gates:
Behold, the King of glory waits!
The King of kings is drawing near,
The Savior of the world is here.

O blest the land, the city blest;
Where Christ the Ruler is confessed!
O happy hearts and happy homes
To whom this King of triumph comes!

Fling wide the portals of your heart;
Make it a temple, set apart
From earthly use for heav’n’s employ,
Adorned with prayer and love and joy.

Redeemer, come! I open wide
My heart to You: here, Lord, abide!
Let me Your inner presence feel;
Your grace and love in me reveal.

So come, my Sov’reign, enter in!
Let new and nobler life begin!
Your Holy Spirit guide us on,
Until the glorious crown be won.

Covenant Hymnal, #126

Linda Carlson and her daughters Bertie and Diana

Isaiah 11:6-9

The wolf will live with the lamb,
    the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
    and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
    their young will lie down together,
    and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
    and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
    on all My holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.

choir sings first verse and first refrain; congregation joins on second verse

O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spir­its by Thine ad­vent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark sha­dows put to flight.

Rejoice! Re­joice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Is­ra­el!

Covenant Hymnal, #120

* GOSPEL LESSON: Gregory Sager
Matthew 1:18-23

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When His mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be pregnant from the Holy Spirit. 19 Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to divorce her quietly. 20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

23 “Look, the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a son,
    and they shall name him Emmanuel,”

which means, “God is with us.”

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.

Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art:
Dear desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever —
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.

By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Covenant Hymnal, #135

Pastor Ryan

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.

Isaiah 7:10-16
God With Us
Pastor Ryan

The world waits for a miracle
The heart longs for a little bit of hope
O come, O come, Emmanuel
A child prays for peace on earth
And she’s calling out from a sea of hurt
O come, O come, Emmanuel
And can you hear the angels singing

chorus 1
Glory to the Light of the world
Glory the Light of the world is here

The drought breaks with the tears of a mother
A baby’s cry is the sound of love come down
Come down Emmanuel, oh
He is the song for the suffering
He is Messiah, the Prince of peace has come
He has come Emmanuel, oh

chorus 2
Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world

For all who wait for all who hunger
For all who’ve prayed for all who wonder
Behold your King, behold Messiah
Emmanuel, Emmanuel

chorus 3
Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world
Behold your King, behold Messiah
Emmanuel, Emmanuel

The world waits for a miracle
The heart longs for a little bit of hope
O come, O come, Emmanuel

Lauren Daigle / Paul Duncan / Paul Mabury © 2014 CentricSongs; See You At The Pub; Oceans Away Music; So Essential Tunes; Annie and Clyde Music

We continue to pray for: Nikolas Arden, Theresa Bonk, Messian Burgos, Frank Coszach, Vira Coszach, Art & Rosa Hamilton, Trevor Hanks, Mary Smith, Steve Staurseth, and Phillip, son of Iris Velez

Ministries & Mission
Karl & Susan Peterson, serving in Mexico; Carlos & Karen Feijoo, serving in Ecuador

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:

Dona Nobis Pacem
led by Josie, Nolan, and Tom Jennings

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.

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The love of God was magnified*
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt of life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
‘Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

CCLI Song # 3350395
Keith Getty / Stuart Townsend © 2001 Thankyou Music

* words substituted

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

In Dulce Jubilo
J.S. Bach
led by Cynthia
please remain seated during the postlude

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

Thank you to Nolan Baumgartner and Josie Strathman and to their friend Tom Jennings for helping to lead us in worship today!

Please wear a nametag
We’ve had a number of visitors and new attendees lately, and it’s very important that we not only welcome them warmly to our church but also allow them to attach a name to a face. We’re asking everyone to return to our old practice of wearing nametags on Sunday morning. Blank nametags and Sharpies will be available both in the narthex and in the sanctuary.

RECC Advent/Christmas schedule
We are now entering the busiest time of year in the life of our church, and the dates have been set for all of the various holiday activities for which you’re invited to participate and/or enjoy as a spectator:

* Parenting ProGRESS Christmas party – Thursday, Dec. 14, 4:30 pm

* Sankta Lucia festival – Sunday, December 17, after worship

* Axiom Brass Quintet Concert – Monday, December 18, 7:00 pm

* Christmas Carol Jeopardy! – Sunday, December 24, after worship

* Christmas Eve service – Sunday, December 24, 7:00 pm

Parenting ProGRESS Christmas party and Giving Tree
The Christmas tree in the church’s lobby is called the Giving Tree. On it each year are ornaments that contain the name of RC4 children whose families are the beneficiaries of the church’s Parenting ProGRESS ministry. Since these familes are often in financial need, taking an ornament and buying the gift listed on the ornament for that child is a way for people to bring Christmas happiness to underprivileged children.

This coming Thursday, December 14, we will hold our annual Parenting ProGRESS Christmas party in the upstairs lounge, at which these gifts will be given. Everyone is invited! Stop by anytime from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Sunday School and Faith Forum
Sunday School and Faith Forum will meet at 10:00 am every week, unless otherwise noted. We are still looking for folks who are willing to help out with Sunday School. 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.         

Scripture reader sign-up
We are seeking people to read the scripture passages of the day as part of the worship services for the first quarter of 2024. 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 Pastor Ryan.

Covenant Harbor is hiring
Covenant Harbor is still looking for some kitchen staff and volunteers. All inquires can be made to Sandy Wendtland at .

Summer staff applications for 2024 are now open on the Covenant Harbor website as well. They are already hiring for next year’s summer camp positions. If you have any questions, please contact Emma Mueller at

All of these details can also be found on the camp’s website at

Pastor Ryan’s office hours
Pastor Ryan’s office hours at church are typically Tuesday thru Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. If you would like to meet with Pastor Ryan please call the church office in advance to schedule an appointment.

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 7:00 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

We now have Zoom available again for those who would like to take part in the Bible study but cannot be physically present. The Zoom link for the Bible study is:

Meeting ID: 839 2337 6849
Passcode: 318853

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
Isaiah 9:1-7
Acts 26:13-18
John 18:12-20

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)