January 21, 2024

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



from  Psalm 126
Leader: When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.
People: Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy.
Leader: Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’
People: The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.
Leader: Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses in the Negeb. May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. 
People: Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.

Truly amazing God, we rejoice that none of the story has lost its edge, that the great words and realities of the gospel are freedom, light, love, grace, the cross, the crown, the throne. By the power of Your Spirit, make us bold again to reach out and take Your treasures of new life through the inspiration of this time of worship. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Christ for the world we sing;
The world to Christ we bring
With loving zeal:
The poor and them that mourn,
The faint and overborne,
Sin-sick and sorrow-worn,
For Christ doth heal.

Christ for the world we sing;
The world to Christ we bring
With fervent pray’r:
The wayward and the lost,
By restless passions tossed,
Redeemed at countless cost
From dark despair.

Christ for the world we sing;
The world to Christ we bring
With one accord:
With us the work to share,
With us reproach to dare,
With us the cross to bear,
For Christ our Lord.

Christ for the world we sing;
The world to Christ we bring
With joyful song:
The newborn souls whose days,
Reclaimed from error’s ways,
Inspired with hope and praise,
To Christ belong.

Covenant Hymnal, #677

* GOSPEL LESSON: Don Hodgkinson
Mark 4:1-20

Again He began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around Him that He got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. He began to teach them many things in parables, and in His teaching He said to them: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on a path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” And He said, “If you have ears to hear, then hear!”

10 When He was alone, those who were around Him along with the twelve asked Him about the parables. 11 And He said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything comes in parables, 12 in order that

‘they may indeed look but not perceive,
    and may indeed hear but not understand;
so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.’ ”

13 And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. 17 But they have no root and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, 19 but the cares of the age and the lure of wealth and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. 20 And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”

Reader: The Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.

Our mouths, they were filled, filled with laughter
Our tongues, they were loosed, loosed with joy
Restore us, O Lord!
Restore us, O Lord!

Although we are weeping
Lord help us keep sowing
The seeds of Your Kingdom
For the day You will reap them!
Your sheaves we will carry
Lord, please do not tarry!
All those who sow weeping
Will go out with songs of joy!

The nations will say,
“He has done great things!”
The nations will sing songs of joy
Restore us, O Lord!
Restore us, O Lord!

Although we are weeping
Lord help us keep sowing
The seeds of Your Kingdom
For the day You will reap them!
Your sheaves we will carry
Lord, please do not tarry!
All those who sow weeping
Will go out with songs of joy!
All those who sow weeping
Will go out with songs of joy!

Isaac Wardell © © 2012 Bifrost Arts Music


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.

Mark 4:26-34
Parables of the Kingdom
Pastor Ryan

I love to tell the story
Of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory,
Of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story,
Because I know ’tis true;
It satisfies my longings
As nothing else can do.

I love to tell the story,
’Twill be my theme in glory
To tell the old, old story
Of Jesus and His love.

I love to tell the story;
More wonderful it seems
Than all the golden fancies
Of all my golden dreams,
I love to tell the story,
It did so much for me;
And that is just the reason
I tell it now to thee.


I love to tell the story;
’Tis pleasant to repeat
What seems each time I tell it,
More wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story;
For some have never heard
The message of salvation
From God’s own holy Word.


I love to tell the story;
For those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting
To hear it like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory,
I sing the new, new song,
’Twill be the old, old story,
That I have loved so long.

Covenant Hymnal, #681

We continue to pray for: Nikolas Arden; Messian Burgos; Frank Coszach; Vira Coszach; Art & Rosa Hamilton; Trevor Hanks; Nancy Popovich’s family; Sara Rosado; Mary Smith; Steve Staurseth; Phillip, son of Iris Velez; and Lauren Vilardo

Ministries & Mission
Christopher & Kristi Johnson, serving in Thailand; 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.

giving opportunities: ravenscov.org/giving/
Zelle® to: giving@ravenscov.org

Jean-Francois Dandrieu
led by 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.

Your labor is not in vain
Though the ground underneath you is cursed and stained
Your planting and reaping are never the same
But your labor is not in vain.

Your labor is not unknown
Though the rocks they cry out and the sea it may groan.
The place of your toil may not seem like a home
But your labor is not unknown.

For I am with you,
I am with you.
I am with you,
I am with you
For I have called you, called you by name
Your labor is not in vain.

The vineyards you plant will bear fruit
The fields will sing out and rejoice with the truth,
For all that is old will at last be made new:
The vineyards you plant will bear fruit.


The houses you labored to build
Will finally with laughter and joy be filled.
The serpent that hurts and destroys shall be killed
And all that is broken be healed.


Isaac Wardell / Paul Zach / Wendell Kimbrough © 2017 Wendell K Songs; Hymns From The Porter’s Gate; Porter’s Gate Publications; Porter’s Gate Publishing. Administrated by Essential Music Publishing LLC

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

March from Idomeneo
W.A. Mozart
led by Cynthia
please remain seated during the postlude

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

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.

Congregational meeting
The meeting to approve the church budget for 2024, as well as to receive reports and handle other important matters, will be held on Sunday, February 4, in the upstairs lounge following worship. While only members can vote, everyone is encouraged to attend the meeting.

Adam Edgerly to speak at RECC
Adam Edgerly, the director of Covenant World Relief and Development for the Evangelical Covenant Church, will be at Ravenswood Covenant next Sunday, Jan. 28 to give a presentation in Faith Forum at 10:00 am and then bring the message in the worship service at 11:00 am. The mission of Covenant World Relief & Development, our denomination’s humanitarian arm, is to join God in loving, serving, and working in relationship together with the poor, oppressed, traumatized, and marginalized. Adam works with other Covenant leaders and ministry partners to respond to disasters, world hunger, water issues, women empowerment, economic development, and human trafficking. CWRD believes in accomplishing two main goals: reduce human suffering and increase human flourishing.

Adam’s presentation in Faith Forum will deal with themes surrounding disaster relief and refugees, in light of the fact that Ravenswood Covenant is in a community that has been impacted by a large influx of refugees from Latin America over the past year.

Lake County Symphony Orchestra presents “Timeless Masters”
The Lake County Symphony Orchestra, featuring our own Cynthia Arden, will present a concert entitled “Timeless Masters” that will feature Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2. It will be held on February 3 at the James Lumbar Auditorium of the College of Lake County. Tickets and more information are available at www.lakecountysymphonyorchestra.com.

Camp Booster Fund
Interested in sending your children to overnight camp at Covenant Harbor or Covenant Point next summer? We have a camp booster fund that will give $200 towards the fee of any Ravenswood Covenant child (or that child’s friend) who wishes to attend one of our two Central Conference summer camps. We feel that every child from our congregation who wants to attend camp should have the opportunity to go!

Sunday School and Faith Forum
Sunday School and Faith Forum meets at 10:00 am every week, unless otherwise noted. Sunday School is currently in its annual three-week holiday hiatus; Faith Forum is continuing to meet. Come join us as we gather together to learn and grow in faith every Sunday morning.        

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.

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 office@ravenscov.org.

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
Mark 5:14-20
Mark 5:1-13
Psalm 89:1-4

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)