December 12, 2021
Adult Sunday School convenes at 9:30 on Zoom and in-person
Children’s Sunday School for ages 3-12 meets at 9:30 am at church


Today we light the third candle of our Advent wreath; it’s pink to remind us of the joy that comes into the world through the promise of God in Jesus.  In the midst of the realities of our world we join all people in seeking true joy. We are blessed to know that joy in the love of God who sends His Son into the world.  Even as night continues to lengthen, we hear the good news that God’s light has come, and is coming into the world in Jesus Christ who brings good news to the poor, binds up the broken, proclaims liberty to captives, & release to prisoners.

led by Cynthia

led by Dana



While we are waiting, come;
While we are waiting, come.
Jesus, our Lord, Emmanuel,
While we are waiting, come.

Covenant Hymnal, #773

We continue to pray for: the family of Kari Hutson, Ernesto Galaviz, Kristine Brandel’s friend Terrie, Nikolas Arden, Katie Collier, Chuck & Shirley Nicholas, Art & Rosa Hamilton, Esther Stoel, the Koeller family, Joyce Andrews, Brianna Randall, Mark Erickson’s sister Sue Kelly and family, Steve Hoden, Devencie Ervin and his family, Delores Staurseth, Tom Kelly, Brian Alnes, Tom Spriggs, Jane Auger, Mary McKirchy, and Brian Finnegan.

Ministries & Mission
Lisandro & Patricia Restrepo, serving in Mexico; 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.

With pow’r and glory, come;
With pow’r and glory, come.
Jesus, our Lord, Emmanuel,
While we are waiting, come.

Even so, quickly come;
Even so, quickly come.
Jesus, our Lord, Emmanuel,
While we are waiting, come.

giving opportunities:
Zelle® to:

“What Child is This”
led by Erin and 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.

Pastor Phil


L: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
P: those who lived in a land of deep darkness, on them light has shined.

L: Week by week, the light grows stronger and brighter, as we anticipate the coming Christ.
P: The candles of hope and peace are already ablaze.  Today, we light the candle of joy.

L: We anticipate the coming of the Mighty One.  The promise of healing, comfort, and freedom is good news that is meant to be shared!
P: Rejoicing in the mercy and justice of our Lord, we kindle this flame.  Together, we lift our hearts and voices in songs of joy.

Isaiah 55:1-13

Ho, everyone who thirsts,
    come to the waters;
and you that have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
    and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
    listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
    my steadfast, sure love for David.
See, I made him a witness to the peoples,
    a leader and commander for the peoples.
See, you shall call nations that you do not know,
    and nations that do not know you shall run to you,
because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel,
    for He has glorified you.

Seek the Lord while He may be found,
    call upon Him while He is near;
let the wicked forsake their way,
    and the unrighteous their thoughts;
let them return to the Lord, that He may have mercy on them,
    and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
    nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are My ways higher than your ways
    and My thoughts than your thoughts.

10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
    and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall My word be that goes out from My mouth;
    it shall not return to Me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

12 For you shall go out in joy,
    and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
    shall burst into song,
    and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
    instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial,
    for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

You shall go out with joy,
And be led forth with peace,
And the mountains and the hills
Shall break forth before you.
There’ll be shouts of joy
And the trees of the field
Shall clap, shall clap their hands.

And the trees of the field shall clap their hands
The trees of the field shall clap their hands,
The trees of the fields shall clap their hands,
And you’ll go out with joy.

Covenant Hymnal, # 663

As part of our worship today and as we remember the light of Christ that comes into the world, we invite our Lucia procession to join us.

Natten går tunga fjät
runt gård och stuva 
kring jord som sol’n förlät
skuggorna ruva 
||: Då i vårt mörka hus
stiger med tända ljus 
Sankta Lucia,
Sankta Lucia :||

Natten var stor och stum,
nu hör det svingar 
i alla tysta rum,
sus som av vingar. 
||: Se på vår tröskel står,
vitklädd med ljus i hår, 
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia :||

“Mörkret skall flykta snart
ur jordens dalar,” 
så hon ett underbart
ord till oss talar 
||: Dagen skall åter ny
stiga ur rosig sky 
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia :||


Nu tändas tusen juleljus 
på jordens mörka rund 
och tusen, tusen stråla ock 
på himlens djupblå grund.

Now shine a thousand candles bright
Upon the world’s dark sphere;
The deep blue sky is set alight
As myriad flames appear.

O star that shone o’er Bethlehem,
Now let your kindly light
With tranquil hope and glory shine
In Ev’ry home tonight.

To ev’ry dark and anguish’d heart
Send down your ray divine,
And may the light of God’s own love
Like Christmas candles shine.

Covenant Hymnal, page 176

Stilla natt, heliga natt! 
Allt är frid, stjärnan blid
skiner på barnet i stallets strå
och de vakande fromma två.
Kristus till jorden är kommen,
oss är en frälsare född.

Silent night, holy night,
all is calm, all is bright
‘round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy infant, so tender and mild,
sleep in heavenly peace,
sleep in heavenly peace.


Pastor Phil

Tänd ljus 
by Bo Setterlind

Låt inte mörkret hindra dig
att söka Ljuset.
Och när du funnit det,
låt andra se,
pröva, övertyga sig.

Vill du, att ljus skall leva,
tänd då hos andra
samma längtan.

Tänd frimodighetens ljus
i rädslans mörker,
tänd rättens ljus
i korruptionens mörker,
tänd frihetens ljus

i ofrihetens mörker,
tänd Trons ljus
i förnekelsens mörker,
tänd Hoppets ljus
i förtvivlans mörker,
tänd kärlekens ljus
i dödens mörker.
Tänd ljus!

Light a candle!

(Translation by Mark Safstrom)

Don’t let the darkness stop you
from seeking the Light.
And when you have found it,
let others see,
wrestle, be convinced.

If you want the light to live,
then ignite within others
this same desire.

Light the candle of courage
in the darkness of fear,
light the candle of justice
in the darkness of corruption,
light the candle of freedom
in the darkness of bondage,
light the candle of faith
in the darkness of denial,
light the candle of hope
in the darkness of despair,
light the candle of love 
in the darkness of death.

Light a candle!

(Stand as you are able for the reading of the Gospel.)
John 8:12

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

Leader: The Word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God

Joy bells are ringing, Christmas is bringing
Tidings of Jesus’ birth.
Candles are gleaming, gladness is streaming
Out over all the earth.

Light is ascending, nighttime is ending,
Sunshine from God appears.
Hope of the ages, foretold by sages,
Comes to dispel all fears.

Oh, what a treasure God in his pleasure
Lovingly gives to day!
Grace to the lowly, peace pure and holy,
Angels to all convey.

Come to the manger, kindred and stranger,
Hail now the new born King!
In adoration, with jubilation,
Peoples and nations sing!

Banish all sadness, fill me with gladness,
Jesus, whom I adore!
All else may perish, thee will I cherish
Now and forevermore!

Covenant Hymnal, # 166

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

Moderato du Deuxieme Ton
Jean Adam Guilain
led by Cynthia

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

music as we go, by axiom.brass

Covid restrictions for in-person worship
Chicago is now requiring the use of masks for indoor public gatherings, so Ravenswood Covenant has reinstated safety protocols for Sunday morning worship. This means that within the building masks are required at all times, regardless of vaccination status; seating is socially distant; and handshakes and hugs are avoided.

We are still observing precautions regarding children, specifically with regard to the cry room. As was the case before, if you and your family would like to worship in the cry room, please reserve it in advance by contacting Gregory Sager at or 773-784-7091. One family may choose to use the cry room upon arrival if it hasn’t already been reserved. Children of all ages are always welcome to be in the sanctuary with their parents for the worship service!

Ravenswood Covenant will continue to livestream worship each week on YouTube and Facebook; this is now a permanent feature of our ministry, so Sunday morning worship will remain accessible to anyone who has Internet access.

Axiom Brass Quintet concert
One of our enduring Ravenswood Covenant holiday traditions, the annual concert in our sanctuary by the world-renowned Axiom Brass Quintet, will take place tonight at 7 pm. Admission is free. Invite your friends and family to join us for this marvelous evening of music that is sure to be a highlight of our Christmas season.

Parenting ProGRESS Giving Tree and Holiday Party
Join us on Thursday, December 16 at 4 pm for the Parenting ProGRESS Holiday Party here at the church. RSVP to The Giving Tree is up in the lobby by the glass doors. If you would like to participate in buying a gift for one of our children or families, take an ornament and sign your name on the clipboard.

Lake County Symphony Orchestra concert
Cynthia Arden invites you to the “Welcome Christmas” orchestral celebration of carols performed by the Lake County Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, December 18 at 7:30 pm at the Village Church of Gurnee, 1319 Hunt Club Rd. in Gurnee. Tickets are $20 presale, $25 at the door; kids 12 and under are admitted free.

Thursday evening adult Bible study to study Nativity texts
Our adult Bible study is studying the Nativity texts in the gospels of Matthew and Luke during Advent season. The adult Bible study meets on Thursday evenings at 7 pm.

We are now welcoming anybody to the lounge on Thursday evenings who wants to take part in the Bible study. Please wear a mask. If you would prefer to participate remotely, or if you are out of town, the Bible study will continue to provide Zoom access as well for online participants.

Join Zoom Meeting

The Zoom meeting ID for the Bible study:  972 871 4458
The Zoom passcode for the Bible study: 1qa3CD

Children’s Christmas program
The children will have a special time in the service next Sunday,
December 19. Please RSVP to Pastor Denise if you would like your child to participate in the program. There will be no rehearsals; just come early on the day of the program to get a costume to wear.

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.”

Free masks available
The church is offering free masks to anyone in the congregation who is in need of one. If you would like, you may make a donation to our benevolence fund when you come to the church building to pick yours up. Please contact the church office at or 773-784-7091 for more information.

Scripture for next Sunday
Psalm 130:5-8
John 1:1-18

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)