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Advent calls us to prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ. Normally, this time of year, we join people all around us preparing for parties, dinners and presents. Perhaps, this year, without all these distractions we might hear a fresh the voice of one crying from the margins:  “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.”  May we make a straight path for the Prince of Peace.  The second candle of Advent we light today is a sign of the peace Christ brings.

Music & a visit from some friends

On Jordan’s Bank, the Baptist’s Cry,
led by Cynthia & Mary



        THE ADVENT CANDLE   (based on Isaiah 9, 11)
led by Stacey & Bryan & Jared & Svea & Gus & Solveig

Leader:  The people who walk in darkness
have seen a great light!
People:  On those living in the land of the shadow of death,
a new light has dawned!

L:  A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from this root a Righteous Branch will bear fruit.
P:  The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon Him –
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.

L:  In righteousness He will judge the needy,
with justice He will decide for the poor of the earth. 
P:  In that day He will bring peace to the earth.

L:  The wolf will live in peace with the lamb and
the leopard will lie down in stillness with the goat.
P:  No more will anyone harm or destroy another,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord!


Come, O Come
Be our light
Drive out the darkness
Come, Jesus, Come

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

Come, O Come
Be our light
Drive out the darkness
Come, Jesus, Come

Every weapon made for war
Every gun and every sword
Will be melted in the flamе
To be used for gardening

Come, O Come
Be our light
Drive out the darkness
Come, Jesus, Come

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

Come, O Come
Be our light
Drive out the darkness

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# 7158603 CCLI License # 349090
Paul Zach, Isaac Wardell, Dan Marotta, John Swinton © 2020 Integrity Worship Music/PG Songs And Hymns/ASCAP, Integrity’s Alleluia! Music/Paul Zach Publishing/SESAC

led by Jared
Isaiah 40:1-11

Comfort, O comfort my people,
    says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
    and cry to her
that she has served her term,
    that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
    double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
    and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
    and all people shall see it together,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry out!”
    And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All people are grass,
    their constancy is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
    when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
    surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades;
    but the word of our God will stand forever.
Get you up to a high mountain,
    O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
    O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
    lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
    “Here is your God!”
10 See, the Lord God comes with might,
    and his arm rules for him;
his reward is with him,
    and his recompense before him.
11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
    he will gather the lambs in his arms,
and carry them in his bosom,
    and gently lead the mother sheep.

led by Bryan
Mark 1:1-8

 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,

“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
    ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
    make his paths straight,’”

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

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.

All Dressed Up & Ready to Go
Pastor Phil

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung,
Of Jesse’s lineage coming
As saints of old have sung,
It came, a flow’ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half-spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright
She bore to us a Savior,
When half-spent was the night.

This flow’r, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness every where.
True man yet very God,
From sin and death he saves us
And lightens every load.

From the Covenant Hymnal, Page 148.

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: Pastor Phil and Kerry Staurseth, 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 McLeod, serving in Mexico; Covenant Mountain Mission
Bible Camp.

giving opportunities:
Zelle® to:

What Child Is This,” a 16th century English melody
led by Cynthia & Mary

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. 




L: The proof of God’s amazing love is this: while we were sinners Christ died for us. Because we have faith in Christ, we dare to approach God with confidence. In humility and faith let us confess our sin to God.

L: The Lord be with you.
P: And also with you.

L: Let us confess our sins against God and neighbor.

All:  We confess that we love the works of darkness more than your light. We have sought to satisfy our deepest longings through material things of creation rather than through you, our Creator. We are quick to judge others, yet we fail to see our own failings. We ignore the cries of the poor and grow weary of working for justice. Restore us, O God; let your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

L: Hear the glad tidings of God!
The Word was made flesh and lived among us,
Clothed in our humanity,
Jesus Christ is not ashamed to call us brothers and sisters and claims us as beloved children of God.
In Jesus Christ we are forgiven and restored to wholeness, in him we are free to serve God and our neighbor without fear.

L:  Since in Christ we are reconciled to God, so also we are reconciled to each other, the members of his body, the Church.  May God’s peace extend throughout this congregation.

L: Peace of Christ be with you
P: And also with you.
L:  Let us extend to each other signs of that peace.

(extend greetings to those you’re with ,
comments online are welcome.)

As we gather at your table,
As we listen to your Word,
Help us know, O God your presence;
Let our hearts and minds be stirred.
Nourish us with sacred story
Till we claim it as our own;
Teach us through this holy banquet
How to make love’s victory known.

Turn our worship into witness
In the sacrament of life;
Send us forth to love and serve you,
Bringing peace where there is strife.
Give us, Christ, your great compassion
To forgive as you forgave;
May we still behold your image
In the world you died to save.

Grant us vision, gracious Spirit,
Seeking guests to share that feast
Where triumphant love will welcome
Those who had been last and least.
There no more will envy blind us
Nor will pride our peace destroy,
As we join with saints and angels
To repeat the sounding joy.

From the Covenant Hymnal, Page 551.

Holy God, we praise you.
Let the heavens be joyful and the earth be glad.

We bless you for creating the whole world,
for your promises to your people Israel,
and for Jesus Christ in whom your fullness dwells.

Born of Mary, he shares our life.
Eating with sinners, he welcomes us.
Guiding his children, he leads us.
Visiting the sick, he heals us.
Dying on the cross, he saves us.
Risen from the dead, he gives new life.
Living with you, he prays for us.

The Lord Jesus, on the night when he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembering me.”

In the same way he took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.  Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembering me.”

With thanksgiving we take this bread and this cup and proclaim the death and resurrection of our Lord.

Receive our sacrifice of praise.
Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
that this meal may be a communion in the body and blood or our Lord.

Make us one with Christ
and with all who share this feast.

Unite us in faith,
encourage us with hope,
inspire us to love that we may serve

As your faithful disciples
Until we feast at your table in glory.

We praise you, eternal God,
through Christ your Word made flesh,
in the holy and life-giving Spirit now and forever.  Amen.

Prayer of Consecration
Sharing in Communion

led by AxiomBrass

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

“Long Ago, Prophets Knew,” Piae Cantiones arr. by Gustav Hoist
led by Cynthia & Mary

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

led by Cynthia

Advent 2020
While the pandemic has forced us to reimagine how we will celebrate the holiday season this year, Ravenswood Covenant will, as always, take the opportunity over the next four weeks to enter into the sacred time of expectation and waiting for the coming Savior. A special addition this year will be an Advent Calendar puppet show featuring Buddy and friends that airs each evening at 5 pm on the church’s Facebook page, which will run from December 1 until Christmas. Did you miss a day? Don’t worry! Each show will remain posted on the RECC Facebook page.

Festival of Lessons and Carols
It is a North Park University Advent tradition for the school to present its Festival of Lessons and Carols service. Although we are not able to gather in person this year, North Park University invites you to watch a Festival of Lessons and Carols virtually online this afternoon. Consider joining North Park students, faculty, and staff to celebrate the season together through moving performances and Scripture readings shared by members of the NPU campus community.

This year’s Festival of Lessons and Carols focuses on the theme: A Light in the Darkness. Their hope is that these readings and performances will provide a beacon of hope for all watching. Please tune in online this afternoon, Sunday, December 6, at 4 pm to share in this wonderful Advent service.

To view the event on YouTube, click here.

To view the event on Facebook, click here.

The Festival of Lessons and Carols service will feature performances from music department ensembles, Women’s Chorale, University Choir, University Orchestra, Gospel Choir, Concert Band, and Jazz Ensemble. The alternating series of music and Scripture readings spoken by North Park students, faculty, and staff tell the story of Christ, from the creation of the world to the birth of Jesus. We hope you will join them this afternoon for this annual service to worship together in the Lord’s light.

RECC’s 2020 Sankta Lucia celebration
In lieu of being able to hold an actual Sankta Lucia celebration at church this year, Hannah and Bobby have organized a DIY Lucia for the church with help from our church’s bakers! This will be done in a similar way to the Thursday night community dinner format: folks can place an order online, all the treats will be wrapped up, and folks can pick up their treats at their scheduled time on Saturday afternoon, December 12. We will print out Lucia crowns and Star Boy hats as well for the kids to make and decorate. We hope that some of the kids will be able to serve their families on Sunday, December 13, and the rest of us can enjoy a taste of the holiday. We hope to also have some Sankta Lucia music as part of the livestream right after the worship service that Sunday.

Axiom Brass concert
The annual Christmas concert performed by the world-renowned Axiom Brass Quintet will be held on the evening of Tuesday, December 15 at 7pm. The concert, which will feature some Christmas carols along with Axiom’s current concert repertoire, 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 a week from Tuesday!

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 (except for this coming Thursday, which is Thanksgiving Day), 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 or at 773-784-7091.

The Zoom link for the Thursday night Bible study is

Meeting ID: 950 5255 8015
Passcode: 141628

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.

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.”

Prayer requests
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 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

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, 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 (

General fund giving:
November 22: $7,015

General fund giving:
November 29: $1,043

Scripture for next Sunday
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
Psalm 126
John 1:6-8, 19-28

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)