An adult Sunday School class meets before church
9:30 on zoom
This season of preparation is half done. 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.
Music & a visit from some friends
led by The Merula Choir
WELCOME, GREETING & COMMUNITY LIFE
LIGHTING OF ADVENT CANDLE
AND RESPONSIVE READING
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.
WAIT FOR THE LORD
Wait for the Lord, whose day is near.
Wait for the Lord: be strong, take heart!
From the Covenant Hymnal, page 143
OLD TESTAMENT LESSON
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
3 The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
4 Restore our fortunes, Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
5 Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
Leader: The Word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, Amen.
REFLECTING ON THE WORD
“Reflecting on the Word”
NOW SHINE A THOUSAND CANDLES BRIGHT
Now shine a thousand candles bright
Upon the world’s dark sphere;
The deep blue sky is set alight
As myriad flames appear.
In suburb, ghetto, farm, and town
They spread the news abroad
That Jesus Christ is born tonight,
Our Savior and our God.
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.
From the Covenant Hymnal, Page 176.
PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH & THE LORD’S PRAYER
Folks We Are Praying For:
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.
Church family who work in and around hospitals & nursing homes:
Alex A, Kyra A, Hannah A, Sam A, Linda C, Carl G, Katie G, Eric H, Rachel H, Chona I, Abby H, Dana J, Bryan J, Kari J, Neal J, Eric S, Don T.
(If we missed any people’s names above please let us know.)
We continue to pray for: Bud & Audrey Hodgkinson, Kathy Salzano, Ron Arden, Bob Auger, Nikolas Arden, Katie Collier, Mike Sager and family, Art and Rosa Hamilton, Shirley Nicholas, Paul Mounts, Jane Auger, Joyce Andrews, Steve Hoden, Mary Spriggs, Alice Nilsson (Nancy Popovich’s sister), the Morales/Randall family.
Ministries & Mission
Robert & Rae Rife, serving in Great Britain; Carlos & Karen Feijoo, serving in Ecuador.
DOXOLOGY & PRAYER
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.
WELCOME TO OUR 2020 LUCIA PROGRAM
JOY BELLS ARE RINGING
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!
From the Covenant Hymnal, page 166
L: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord
P: Thanks be to God
In Dulci Jubilo, J.S. Bach
(based on an ancient German hymn)
led by Cynthia
SONGS AS WE GO INTO THIS WEEK:
A Special (second) Lucia Concert with our own
Mark Safstrom and the Swedish Language Students of Augustana College
Axiom Brass Concert
The annual Christmas concert performed by the world-renowned Axiom Brass Quintet will be held THIS TUESDAY, December 15, at 7 pm. The concert, entitled “Visages of Nick,” is a worldwide journey through the past thousand years of Christmas music. It will be livestreamed from the Ravenswood Covenant sanctuary on YouTube and Facebook Live.
Axiom, which uses our sanctuary as its practice space, has blessed us for many years with brilliant Christmas concerts that have become a beloved part of the Ravenswood Covenant holiday tradition. Make plans to enjoy it again this year ON TUESDAY EVENING!
Today‘s 2020 Sankta Lucia Celebration
In lieu of being able to hold an actual Sankta Lucia celebration at church this year, Hannah and Bobby organized a DIY Lucia for the church with help from our church’s bakers! Tack så mycket! (Or, in English, thank you so much!) We hope that some folks were able to serve their families today and that everyone enjoyed a taste of the holiday. Make sure you take in some of the Lucia music at the end of today’s worship service.
Sunday School for All Ages
Thursday Night Bible Study
What, exactly, do we celebrate at Christmas? During December, as part of the Advent season, the Thursday night adult Bible study is looking at the Nativity stories in Matthew and Luke, in tandem and by comparison. The Bible study meets every Thursday at 6:30 pm via Zoom , and if you are not conversant with Zoom, don’t let that stop you! We can teach you how to activate Zoom so that you can take part. If you’re interested, please contact Gregory Sager in the church office at email@example.com or at 773-784-7091.
The Zoom link for the Thursday night Bible study is https://zoom.us/j/95052558015?pwd=N3d1eFpUUmUwenhCSzNJNUk3WEV2QT09
Meeting ID: 950 5255 8015
Faith Forum update
Faith Forum, Ravenswood Covenant’s adult Sunday School class, is back in session! The class is currently studying the book of
I Thessalonians. It meets via Zoom at the traditional meeting time of 9:30 am on Sunday. This is the Zoom link for Faith Forum. The link is also provided at the top of the bulletin every week.
2021 camp registration update from HarborPoint Ministries
The calendar may show December … but at Covenant Harbor and Covenant Point Bible camps, the staffs are already thinking about summer! For those who are wondering about camp options for summer 2021, please be aware that online registration for next summer’s camping season will open on Tuesday, January 5.
Day, overnight, and family camp options will be posted to www.covenantharbor.org and www.cpbc.com on December 15 (this coming Tuesday) so that you can get familiar with your choices.
Prayer meeting canceled for 2020
The church’s biweekly prayer meeting that gathers every second and fourth Monday night each month has been canceled for the remainder of November and for December as part of the church’s response to Chicago’s heightened Covid-19 infection rate and the mayor’s “Stay-at-Home Advisory.”
A group of women in our church are meeting every night at 7 pm via phone calls and texts in order to keep our various needs before God in prayer. They are asking the congregation to bring their needs to them to be lifted up in prayer as part of this evening prayer time. If you have any needs that you would like to have added to their prayer list, please contact the church office.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-396-6175 for more information.
We need your (in worship) videos and pictures
As part of our ongoing efforts to stay connected with each other during this time of physical separation, we’re asking members and friends of the church to send us pictures of themselves as they take part in online worship. You can, if you choose, accompany the picture with a short (one or two sentences) greeting, or a brief video of no more than ten seconds, so that we can share them as a part of Sunday morning worship. Please be aware that they may have to be edited for space reasons. You can send them as downloadable files to email@example.com.
Our response to the current health crisis
As a community of faith we continue to pray for the health and welfare of our church and community as we resist the temptation to fall prey to fear. We do, however, want to continue to look out for the welfare of our friends and neighbors. We are doing our best to stay current with best practices for this unique time — please stay tuned as these may change. Our primary place for timely communication will be our website, ravenscov.org. We will also offer reminders and notes on our Facebook page and by email. We are livestreaming our Sunday morning worship on Facebook Live and YouTube so that you may continue to be a part of our worship. Do not, however, become isolated. If you need any help there are folks in our church who can do so. Call the office (773-784-7091) or email the office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
General fund giving:
November 29: $1,043
General fund giving:
December 6: $2,685
Scripture for next Sunday
2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26
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.