December 18, 2022
Worship live on Sundays in person,
or on Facebook & YouTube at 10:45 am.

Faith Forum (adult Sunday School) at 9:30 am in person and on Zoom.


led by Dana


Come, you people of the promise,
Sing for joy! The time is near!
God, the covenant fulfilling,
Soon among us will appear!
As proclaimed in prophet’s story,
Christ will come in humble glory—
God with us, Emmanuel!

Long in darkness we have waited,
Through the shadows made our way,
Gloom and sorrow our companions
As we longed for signs of day—
Great our need for hope and healing,
Some great light our God revealing,
God with us, Emmanuel!

God’s own Son shall dwell among us;
Shadows vanish in that light.
Earth shall know His peace and justice:
Christ who comes shall rule in might.
Let our joy dispel all sadness:
He who comes turns tears to gladness—
God with us, Emmanuel!

Covenant Hymnal, #130


from Romans 8:35-39
Leader: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation or distress,
or persecution or famine,
or nakedness or peril or sword?
People: No! In all things we are more than conquerors
through the One who loved us.
We are sure that neither death nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor things present, nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God
in Christ Jesus our Lord
All: Thanks be to God. Amen.

Come, O come, be our light
Drive out the darkness
Come, Jesus, come

Ev’ry year under the thorn
Ev’ry wrong that we have known
Ev’ry valley will be raised
The ancient ruins will be remade

Ev’ry weapon made for war
Ev’ry gun and ev’ry sword
Will be melted in the flame
To be used for gardening

In the emptiness of grief
Through the night of suffering
Ev’ry loss and in the tears
God, our comfort, O be near

Come, O come, be our light
Drive out the darkness
Come and end all the violence
Come and do not be silent
Come, we cling to Your promise
Come, You’ll break all injustice
Come, Jesus, come

CCLI Song # 7158603 Dan Marotta | Isaac Wardell | John Swinton | Paul Zach © 2020 Integrity Worship Music (Admin. by Integrity Music) Integrity’s Alleluia! Music (Admin. by Integrity Music) Paul Zach Publishing (Admin. by Integrity Music) PG Songs And Hymns (Admin. by Integrity Music)

(Stand as you are able for the reading of the Gospel.)
Matthew 1:18-25

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.” 24 When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife 25 but had no marital relations with her until she had given birth to a son, and he named Him Jesus.

Leader: The word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God!

(first verse and second verse)
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

O Come Desire of nations,
Bind all peoples in one heart and mind;
Bid now our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

Covenant Hymnal, #120

Psalm 23:1-4

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside still waters;
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
    for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
    I fear no evil,
for You are with me;
    Your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

(verses three and four only)
O come, thou Wisdom from on high,
And order all things far and nigh;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And cause us in her ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Desire of nations, bind
All peoples in one heart and mind;
Bid now our sad divisions cease
And be Thyself our King of peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Covenant Hymnal, #120

We continue to pray for: Nikolas Arden, Messian Burgos, Frank Coszach, Vira Coszach, Gloria Evenson, Pedro Gomez, Art & Rosa Hamilton, Mary McKirchy, Shirley Nicholas, our Pastoral Search Committee, the family of Priscilla Ruppe (Brasks), Mary Smith, and Steve Staurseth

Ministries & Mission
Joshua & Lori Shinar, serving in Cameroon; Barb & Steve Swanson, serving in Sweden

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:

“Angels We Have Heard on High”

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.

Choir Anthem


(first verse only)
Oh little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

Covenant Hymnal, #154

Sweet little baby, cute little baby,
Everybody loves a baby like You.
Lying in a manger, there in the stable,
I’d love to rock Your manger bed and sing to You.

Look at His fingers, look at His nose,
He looks so little! I wonder how He grows.

Sweet little baby, cute little baby,
Everybody loves a baby like You.
Lying in a manger, there in the stable,
I’d love to rock Your manger bed and sing to You.

Away in a manger,
No crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus
Laid down His sweet head.
The stars in the sky
Looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing,
The Baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus
No crying He makes.
I love Thee, Lord Jesus!
Look down from the sky,
And stay by my cradle
Till morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus!
I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever,
And love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children
In Thy tender care,
And fit us for heaven
To live with Thee there.

Covenant Hymnal, #164

(first and second verses only)
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth, and mercy mild–
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Christ, by highest heav’n adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord!
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of the Virgin’s womb,
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see:
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

Covenant Hymnal #157

Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.

Joy to the earth! the Savior reigns;
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness,
And wonders of his love,
And wonders of his love,
And wonders, wonders of his love.

Covenant Hymnal, #146

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

Von Himmel Hoch
Martin Luther
led by Cynthia

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

Worship update
The Leadership Team of Ravenswood Covenant Church recommends mask use during services, but this is not mandatory.

Ravenswood Covenant livestreams worship each week on YouTube and Facebook, so Sunday morning worship will remain accessible to anyone who has Internet access.

Fellowship hour treats and Christmas Carol Jeopardy
After the worship service today, Christmas treats (cookies, brownies, etc.) will be served in the fellowship hall, and once again Jim Anderson will host Christmas Carol Jeopardy.

Covenant Home Altar
Free copies of the Jan/Feb/Mar 2023 Covenant Home Altar are available in the narthex. The Covenant Home Altar is the daily devotional publication of the Evangelical Covenant Church, and features devotionals written by Covenanters from across the country.

Axiom Brass Christmas concert community dinner
Prior to the annual Christmas concert by the Axiom Brass Quintet on tomorrow, December 19, we will host a community dinner at 5:30 pm in the fellowship hall. The meal will be ham and homemade mac n’ cheese. We anticipate a wonderful time of food and fellowship before enjoying Axiom Brass later that evening.

Holiday calendar
Community dinner – Dec. 19
Axiom Brass concert – Dec. 19
Christmas Eve service – Dec. 24
Christmas Day worship service – Dec. 25

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services
We will celebrate the birth of Christ with a Christmas Eve service that begins at 6:30 pm, and the celebration will continue with Sunday worship at 10:45 am on Christmas Day. Both services will be “Lessons & Carols” services, centered around singing Christmas hymns and reading the Nativity accounts from the gospels of Matthew and Luke.

Indoor Playground
Indoor Playground is back! Our weekly cold-weather opportunity to let young children run around in our gym, play with toys, and use the bounce house has begun again. Indoor Playground will be open every Thursday afternoon from 4:30 to 5:30 pm. We will be be off for a few weeks, and back on Thursday January 5th.

Aid for Ukrainian refugees
Jeremy and Amanda Foster, who attend our church, have a direct connection to a mission that is serving refugees who have fled Ukraine following the Russian invasion. Jeremy’s parents Don and Beatrice Foster are in Hazebrouck, France as tentmaker missionaries and have prepared rooms in their home for refugees coming from Ukraine.

If you would like to donate to help the Fosters pay for extra food and supplies, please give a donation to Ravenswood Covenant that is specially designated for Ukrainian refugees. If you would like to give directly online, the website for the Fosters is .

The Covenant denomination is also raising funds for Ukraine through Covenant World Relief. Here is the link if you would like to donate through the Covenant’s program.

Thursday evening Bible study
The weekly Bible study meets Thursdays at 7 pm. We are currently studying the book of Romans. The Bible study meets in the lounge, and is also accessible by Zoom. For more information, please contact Gregory Sager in the church office at (773) 784-7091 or

Join Zoom Meeting

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

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.”

RECC preaching schedule for December
December 4: Gregory Sager
December 11: Pastor Denise
December 18: Children’s Christmas program
December 25: A service of lessons & carols

Scripture for next Sunday
Luke 2:8-20
Psalm 96:10-13

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)