May 29, 2022


“Gather Us In”
led by Cynthia and Erin


Leader: God has called us to gather together as beloved children.
People: We come ready to share our authentic selves, our hearts, with God and one another.
Leader: Wherever we are in our faith journey, God meets us right where we are, calling us out from isolation and fear into sacred community.
People: We come to humbly praise and worship the One who chose vulnerability for the sake of perfect love.

Here in this place the new light is streaming,
Shadows of doubt are vanished away.
See in this space our fears and our dreamings,
Brought here to You in the light of this day.
Gather us in, the lost and forsaken,
Gather us in, our spirits inflame.
Call to us now, and we shall awaken;
We shall arise at the sound of our name.

We are the young, our lives are a mystr’y;
We are the old, who yearn for Your face.
We have been sung throughout all of histr’y,
Call to be light to the whole human race.
Gather us in, the rich and the haughty;
Gather us in, the proud and the strong;
Give us a heart so meek and so lowly;
Give us the courage to enter the song.

Here we receive new life in the waters;
Here we receive the bread of new birth;
Here you shall call your sons and your daughters,
Call us anew to be salt for the earth.
Give us to drink the wine of compassion;
Give us to eat the bread that is You;
Nourish us well, and teach us to fashion
Lives that are holy and hearts that are true.

Not just in buildings, small and confining,
Not in some heaven, light-years away,
Here in this place the new light is shining;
Now is God present, and now is the day.
Gather us in and hold us forever;
Gather us in and make us Your own;
Gather us in, all peoples together,
Fire of love in our flesh and our bone.

Covenant Hymnal, #511

(Stand as you are able for the reading of the Gospel.)
Luke 6:43-45

No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil, for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.

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

Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me;
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, us me.
Spirit of the living God,
Fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the living God,
Move among us all;
Make us one in heart and mind,
Make us one in love:
Humble, caring, selfless, sharing.
Spirit of the living God,
Fill our lives with love.

Covenant Hymnal, #276

Philippians 2:1-16

 If, then, there is any comfort in Christ, any consolation from love, any partnership in the Spirit, any tender affection and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or empty conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

who, though he existed in the form of God,
    did not regard equality with God
    as something to be grasped,
but emptied himself,
    taking the form of a slave,
    assuming human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a human,
    he humbled himself
    and became obedient to the point of death—
    even death on a cross.

Therefore God exalted him even more highly
    and gave him the name
    that is above every other name,
10 so that at the name given to Jesus
    every knee should bend,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue should confess
    that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

12 Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence but much more now in my absence, work on your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

14 Do all things without murmuring and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world, 16 holding forth the word of life so that I can boast on the day of Christ that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

Looking Out for Number Two
Gregory Sager

Though I may speak with bravest fire,
And have the gift to all inspire,
And have not love, my words are vain,
As sounding brass, and hopeless gain.

Though I may give all I possess,
And striving so my love profess,
But not be giv’n by love within,
The profit soon turns strangely thin.

Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control,
Our spirits long to be made whole.
Let inward love guide ev’ry deed.
By this we worship and are freed.

Covenant Hymnal, #581

Pastor: God, giver of life, you intend for humans to live togetherin peace. In this time of grief over gun violence, we pray for your presence among us. That, trusting in your mighty and gentle healing, we may life in hope, we pray:
All: Make us instruments of your peace.

Pastor: God of resurrection, we remember before you those who have died. We commend them to your eternal love. Grant healing and wholeness to the survivors who are wounded or traumatized and restore all whose spirits are maimed by such violence. That we may serve as Your arms of care to those in distress, we pray:
All: Make us instruments of your peace.

Pastor: God of the promise in word and sacrament, we pray for the church. Give us a voice, Your voice, to plead for a society marked by justice and sustained by cooperation among diverse peoples. Train us to resist the lure of brute force. That by your Spirit we may become words and signs of Your mercy, we pray:
All: Make us instruments of your peace.

God of true might and redemptive mercy, receive our prayers, and grant us to become Your instruments of peace, through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.
A moment of silence as you sit in God’s presence listening

Lament prayer from the ELCA book of worship

How long, will You turn your face away?
How long, do You hear us when we pray?
On and on, still we walk this pilgrim way
How long?

How long, till Your children find the rest?
How long, till You draw them to your breast?
We go on, holding to Your promises
How long?

Till You wipe away the tears from every eye
Till we see our home descending from the sky
Do we wait in vain?
Jesus, give us hope again

How long, till Your word will still the storm?
How long, till You bare your mighty arm?
How we grow, till You snatch us from the thorns
How long?


Amen, Jesus, come
Amen, Jesus, come
Amen, Jesus, come
Amen, Jesus, come
Amen, Jesus, come

Isaac Wardell, The Porter’s Gate

We continue to pray for: Nikolas Arden, Kristine Brandel’s family, Michael Bucci, Barb Cannon, Art & Rosa Hamilton, the Koeller family, Mary McKirchy, Shirley Nicholas, Mary Smith, Delores and Steve Staurseth, Pastor Phil and Kerry Staurseth, Esther Stoel, and the family of Joyce Andrews

Ministries & Mission
Marta Klein, serving in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Carlos & Karen Feijoo, serving in Ecuador

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: giving

“Take My Life and Let It Be” (Chris Tomlin version)
led by the worship team

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.

All praise to God who reigns above
In majesty supreme,
Who gave His Son to die for all,
That He might all redeem!
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord;
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord.

His name above all names shall stand,
Exalted more and more,
At God the Father’s own right hand,
Where angel hosts adore,
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord;
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Redeemer, Savior, friend of those
Once ruined by the fall,
You have devised salvation’s plan,
For You have died for all.
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord;
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord.

His name shall be the Counselor,
The mighty Prince of Peace,
Of all earth’s kingdoms Conqueror,
whose reign shall never cease.
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord;
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name,
Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Covenant Hymnal, #296

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

Jean Sibelius
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

Worship update
Due to an uptick in Covid-19 cases in Chicago, the Leadership Team of Ravenswood Covenant Church recommends mask use during services, but this is not mandatory.

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.

Memorial Day Remembrance
Have a meaningful Memorial Day weekend. We are grateful for our service men and women who have made great sacrifices to serve our country. A prayer for this weekend: Almighty God, we commend to Your gracious care and keeping the men and women of armed forces around the world. Defend them day by day with Your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of Your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Joyce Andrews funeral
A funeral for long-time Ravenswood Covenant member Joyce Andrews, who passed away a week ago Friday at the age of 88, will be held this coming Friday afternoon, June 3, at 1 pm. Pastor Denise will officiate. The service is open to to all members and friends of Ravenswood Covenant.

Cards for Joyce’s family may be sent to Mr. John Andrews,
6007 N. Sheridan Rd., Unit K, Chicago, IL 60660. The family has designated Ravenswood Covenant to be the recipient of memorial gifts for Joyce, so if you wish to give a memorial gift in Joyce’s name, please indicate so when giving to the church.

Congregational meeting
There will be a congregational business meeting following worship on Sunday, June 5. We will vote to fill openings on the Leadership Team and will receive updates from the Leadership Team and the pastoral search committee. Please make plans to attend this meeting.

Graduation recognition
Please let Gregory in the office know if you have a student in your family who is graduating from elementary school, high school, college, or graduate school. Please let us know so we can celebrate with you with a cake reception on Sunday, June 5!

Tacos and Tunes
Our first Friday of Tacos and Tunes will be June 10 in the parking lot from 5:30 to 7 pm. Chef Bobby will be preparing the tacos, and we’ll have music as well. Plan to join us!

Fellowship hour returns
Fellowship hour is back! The aim is to hold fellowship hour every other week until there is a full roster of volunteers for each of the fellowship hour serving teams, at which point it will again be a weekly aspect of our community life. We are in need of people who are willing to make coffee and set out food downstairs as well as clean up afterwards. If you would like to bake or bring treats to donate, you can also volunteer in that way. Please connect with Kari Johnson or Beth Anderson if you are willing to help out. We will teach you what you need to know for making coffee and finding what you need in the kitchen. We will pair people up so that no one has to do it all themselves. Contact Kari by email

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.

Wanted: Church directory coordinator
Ravenswood Covenant is in the process of updating its online church directory, with the intention of eventually making paper copies of the directory available. We are seeking a volunteer who is willing to take on this project, which means gathering information and photographs and inputting them onto the church’s WordPress-based website. If you are interested in coordinating the directory update, please contact Gregory Sager in the church office at 773-784-7091 or

Farmers market season begins June 15
Farmers market season is almost upon us! The first farmers market of the year will be held on Wednesday, June 15, and the season will run until our annual fall festival on Wednesday, October 12. This year’s markets will run from 4 pm to 7 pm, and as always they will be held in the church parking lot.

As always, we are looking for market volunteers to help out with set-up, assisting with kids activities, and take-down on Wednesdays. If you can assist, even if it’s only for one Wednesday, please contact Sneha John, Pastor Denise, or the church office.

Thursday evening adult Bible study
Our weekly Bible study meets on Thursday evenings at 7 pm. We are currently studying the book of Romans. We welcome anybody to the upstairs lounge on Thursday evenings who wants to take part in the Bible study. 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

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 May and June
May 29: Gregory Sager
June 5: Pastor Kevin Swanson
June 12: Pastor Denise
June 19: LeRoy Carlson
June 26: Chaplain Eric Hillabrant

Scripture for next Sunday
John 14:8-17
Acts 2:1-21
Philippians 4:4-7

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)