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As our days grow shorter and our nights longer, we who are people of faith turn to symbols such as candles, evergreens and wreaths to proclaim our belief in the unquenchable Light coming into the world.  As the days grow darker and colder, the people of God remember the gift of God in Jesus Christ, and the light grows brighter within the church.  The symbol of the evergreen wreath speaks of eternal life that comes in fulfillment of God’s promise of the Coming One.   The first candle we light speaks of our hope in the promise of the prophets.  In hopeful anticipation, we prepare for the advent of the Reign of God

adapted from Webber’s Services of The Church Year.

Music & a visit from some friends

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
led by Cynthia



        THE ADVENT CANDLE   (based on Psalm 130, Isaiah 9)
led by Renee, Trevor, Ethan & Everett

Leader:  Out of the darkest depths
I cry to you, O LORD!
People:  O LORD, hear my voice!  Let Your ears
be attentive to my cry for mercy!

L: If You, O LORD, kept a record of sins, who, O LORD,
could stand?  But with You there is forgiveness;
therefore You are revered.
P: I wait for the LORD; my soul waits, and in His word
I put my hope.  My soul waits for the LORD more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen
wait for the morning.

L:  O Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD there is unfailing love, and in Him is full redemption.
P: He himself will redeem His people from their sins.

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

Come, thou long expected Jesus,
Born to set thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in thee.

Israel’s strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth thou art:
Dear desire of ev’ry nation,
Joy of ev’ry longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
Born a child, and yet a king,
Born to reign in us forever
Now thy gracious kingdom bring.

By thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By thine all sufficient merit
Raise us to thy glorious throne.

From the Covenant Hymnal, Page 135.

led by Renee
1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you— so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

led by Renee
Mark 13:24-37

24 “But in those days, after that suffering,
the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light,
25 and the stars will be falling from heaven,
    and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

26 Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27 Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

28 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35 Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36 or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”

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.

Even Better Than We Can Imagine
Pastor Denise

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 remained

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

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
Marta Klein, serving in the Democratic Republic of Congo; Renee Nicholas, serving local graduate students and faculty with InterVarsity.

giving opportunities:
Zelle® to:

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
led by Cynthia

led by Max
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. 


Now thank we all our God
With hearts and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things hath done,
In whom his world rejoices;
Who, from our mothers’ arms,
Hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love,
And still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God
Through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts
And blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in his grace,
And guide us when perplexed,
And free us from all ills
In this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God
The Father now be given,
The Son, and him who reigns
With them in highest heaven,
The one eternal God,
Whom earth and heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now,
And shall be evermore.

From the Covenant Hymnal, Page 31.

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

Allegro Non Troppo J.S.Bach
led by Cynthia

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 a daily Advent Calendar puppet show featuring Buddy and friends that will air each evening at 5 pm on the church’s Facebook page. A new video will be posted every day from December 1 until Christmas. Stay tuned for more announcements concerning Sankta Lucia, the annual Axiom Brass concert, and the Christmas Eve service.

In-person ministry update regarding Covid-19
Until further notice the church leadership is asking everyone to worship at home. Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot has instituted a “Stay-at-Home Advisory” that begins tomorrow, Monday, November 16. “Residents are advised to only leave home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, picking up food, or receiving deliveries.” We are committed to our online presence in worship and Christian education. Courage, everyone.

Book discussion
On Tuesday, December 1, at 7 pm there will be another group discussion via Zoom of the book Rediscipling the White Church, From Cheap Diversity to True Solidarity by Rev. David W. Swanson, pastor of New Community Covenant Church in the Bronzeville neighborhood in Chicago. “In this simple but powerful book, Pastor Swanson contends that discipleship, not diversity, lies at the heart of our white churches’ racial brokenness. Swanson proposes that we rethink our churches’ habits, or liturgies, and imagine together holistic, communal discipleship practices that can reform us as members of Christ’s diverse body.” 

Please contact Pastor Denise ( if you have questions or would like help getting a copy of the book.

Thursday night Bible study
What, exactly, do we celebrate at Christmas? Beginning next Thursday night (December 3), as part of the Advent season, the Thursday night adult Bible study will be 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

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.”

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.

Thursday night dinners
Chef Bobby, Hannah, Marlene, and Mary are once again providing our church’s Thursday night community dinners on an every-other-week basis. The dinners are sign-up-and-pick-up only. The next dinner will be this Thursday. Contact the church office to be put on the sign-up email list, and follow the prayer email and the Sunday bulletin on the church’s website at for more details.

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 (

Offerfest giving:
November 8: $17,217.40

General fund giving:
November 22: $7,015

Scripture for next Sunday
Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
Mark 1:1-8

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)