Music & a visit from some friends

Variation on Simple Gifts, a Shaker melody
led by Cynthia


led by Kara, Leah & Dana

Blessed be Your name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be Your name

Ev’ry blessing You pour out I’ll
Turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s all as it should be
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord blessed be Your name

CCLI Song # 3798438 CCLI License # 349090
Beth Redman | Matt Redman © 2002 Thankyou Music

Genesis 50:15-21

15 Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, “What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?” 16 So they approached Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this instruction before he died, 17 ‘Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.’ Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, “We are here as your slaves.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? 20 Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. 21 So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.

“Forgive our sins as we forgive,”
You taught us, Lord, to pray,
But you alone can grant us grace
To live the words we say.

How can your pardon reach and bless
The unforgiving heart
That broods on wrongs and will not let
Old bitterness depart?

In blazing light your cross reveals
The truth we dimly knew:
What trivial debts are owed to us,
How great our debt to you.

Lord, cleanse the depths within our souls
And bid resentment cease.
Then, bound to all in bonds of love,
Our lives will spread your peace.

Matthew 18:21-35

21 Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.

23 “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25 and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. 26 So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. 31 When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32 Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. 35 So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

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 with out end
Amen, Amen

Bob Auger

Mercy Me!
Pastor Phil, working with Matthew 18

I Sing with Joy and Gladness
(verses 1,3 & 5)

I sing with joy and gladness,
My soul has found release;
Now free from sin and sadness,
With God I live in peace:
His everlasting mercy
To me has been revealed,
His truth in my heart has been sealed.

When thoughts of guilt oppress me
And I through weakness fail,
The Savior yet will bless me,
his mercy does prevail:
Forgiveness for the sinner
His loving heart provides,
His faithfulness ever abides.

Now marching on courageous,
With joy I see my goal:
The blessing of the ages,
The have of my soul:
And on the pilgrim journey
My voice in song I raise,
My God and my Savior to praise.

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: Nikolas Arden, Katie Collier, Dan Erickson, Art and Rosa Hamilton, Shirley Nicholas, Paul Mounce, Jane Auger, Joyce Andrews, Steve Hoden, Mary Spriggs, the family of Joe Heikes, the Morales/Randall family.

Ministries & Mission
Joel and Kim Delp, serving in Ecuador; Renee Nicholas, serving local graduate students and faculty with InterVarsity

Prelude No. 6 in B minor, by Frederick Chopin.
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. 


We Are God’s People

We are God’s people,
the chosen of the Lord,
Born of the Spirit,
established by the Word;
Our cornerstone is Christ alone,
and strong in Christ we stand;
O let us live transparently and walk
heart to heart and hand in hand.

We are God’s loved ones,
The bride of Christ our Lord,
For we have known it,
The love of God out-poured.
Now let us learn how to return
The gift of love once giv’n.
Oh, let us share each joy and care,
And live with a zeal that pleases heav’n.

We are the body
Of which the Lord is head,
Called to obey him,
Now risen form the dead.
He wills us be a family
Diverse yet truly one.
Oh, let us give our gifts to God,
And so shall his work on earth be done.

We are a temple,
The Spirit’s dwelling place,
Formed in great weakness,
A cup to hod God’s grace.
We die alone, for on its own
Each ember loses fire;
Yet joined in one the flame burns on to give
Warmth and light, and to inspire.


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

Andantino in G minor by J.S. Bach
led by Cynthia

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

As we go out to love and serve the Lord:
It Only Takes a Spark & Foolish Gospel, maxeltoft

It only takes a spark
To get a fire going
And soon all those around
Can warm up in it’s glowing.
That’s how it is with God’s love
Once you’ve experienced it.
You spread God’s love
To everyone, You want to pass it on.

What a wondrous time is spring
When all the trees are budding,
The birds begin to sing
The flowers start their blooming.
That’s how it is with God’s love
Once you’ve experienced it.
You want to sing, It’s fresh like spring
You want to pass it on.

I wish for you my friend
This happiness that I’ve found;
You can depend on God
It matters not where you’re bound.
I’ll shout it from the mountain top.
I want my world to know.
The Lord of Love has come to me
I want to pass it on.

I’ll shout it from the mountain top.
I want my world to know.
The Lord of Love has come to me
I want to pass it on.

This foolish gospel . . .

Why on earth would anyone choose
If by this path on earth we lose?

How can we continue to praise?
Relinquishing life is what we face

Since it all ends when I start to forgive
It’s going to be awful tough to live with . . .

Why in death would I care to be saved
If while alive I’m still afraid?

How am I supposed to behave?
This trail meanders to the grave

Since it all ends when I start to forgive
It’s going to be awful tough to live
I guess this gospel is ill-advised
But I guess this gospel is wise

The rose at the front of the sanctuary today marks the birth of Everett Maurice Nicholas on Friday morning. He is 7 lbs., 14 oz., and he and Renee are both doing well. We congratulate Renee and Trevor and big brother Ethan on this addition to their family, and celebrate God’s blessing in the form of new life in our midst.

Book discussion
On Tuesday, September 15 at 7 pm, we will continue discussion of The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby on Zoom by looking at chapters 7-9. Tisby focuses on the history of the American church to present day in regards to race relations. If you don’t have the book and happen to have Amazon Prime, there is a video series where the author Jemar Tisby talks through each chapter. The videos are about 20 minutes each. Contact Pastor Denise if you have any questions. 

Zoom Bible Study
Our Thursday night Bible study has resumed meeting. For the next few weeks we will be going through the book of Ruth. The Bible study meets every Thursday at 6:30 pm via Zoom, 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. There are also a limited number of spaces available for those who wish to attend the Bible study in person in the lounge using social-distancing protocols. If you’re interested, please contact Gregory Sager in the church office at or at 773-784-7091.

Axiom Brass Concert
Our friends in Axiom Brass are kicking off their 2020-21 concert season with a virtual performance today for the Artist Series of Tallahassee. The concert will be livestreamed free of charge this afternoon at 3 pm Central at this link: . For a preview, check out this link: .

Sunday School Supply Pick-up
Please stop by the church parking lot today between 1-3 pm to pick up supplies for your Sunday School student. Danielle Hoden and Pastor Denise will be passing out curriculum for ages 3 to Confirmation age. If you can’t make it, but would like your child to participate in Zoom Sunday School, please email Pastor Denise at and we will get the supplies to you!

(You can also pick up a copy of the new Covenant Home Altar in the parking lot if you would like one.)

Children’s Sunday School begins next week
Children’s Sunday School classes will begin on September 20, a week from today. All children’s Sunday School and Confirmation classes are approximately 30-40 minutes long. Zoom links will be emailed to parents and not posted on public sites.

9:30 am Sundays — Grades 1 & 2 with Eli and Lorri Yurick
12 pm Sundays — Ages 3 thru Kindergarten with Danielle and Phil Hoden
1 pm Sundays — Grades 3 thru 6 with Bekah Carlson and Neil Johnson
4:30 pm Sundays — Confirmation Class with Pastor Phil and Pastor Denise. The first class is today for Confirmation Class only.

Prayer meeting begins again
The church’s weekly prayer meeting that gathers on Monday nights will re-commence starting this coming Monday, September 14. As long as attendance remains low enough to accommodate the meeting under the church’s current guidelines, it will be held live in the Nelson Lounge, beginning at 7 pm. Quarantine protocols (masks and social distancing) are required.

New issue available
The fall 2020 issue of the Covenant Home Altar, the daily prayer journal of the Evangelical Covenant Church, is now available for free. You may pick up a copy at church during business hours, or request that the church office mail you a copy. You can also pick one up in the parking lot this afternoon during Sunday School Supply Pick-Up.

Joe Heikes, 1966-2020
Joe Heikes died suddenly on August 28. He had been a member of Ravenswood Covenant and was active for many years in our praise band and in other activities of the church before moving to the suburbs. He is survived by his wife Heather and son Tristan. Joe was the son of Glennis and Anna Heikes, retired Covenant missionaries who served in Ecuador, and his in-laws were Ravenswood Covenant members Buzz and Gloria Rankin.

A memorial visitation celebrating Joe’s life will be held on Friday, September 18, 2020 from 4-6 pm at Springbrook Community Church, 10115 W. Algonquin Rd., in Huntley in the far northwest suburbs. A private family service will follow visitation at 6:30 pm, and will be livestreamed by Springbrook Community Church at

Joe’s obituary can be viewed at

Peace to his memory.

Farmers market update
Our farmers market continues to meet every Wednesday afternoon in our church’s parking lot. Although the city’s social-distancing and food-handling restrictions during the pandemic are limiting what the market can offer in terms of crowd size, vendors, and programming, we nevertheless continue to welcome our community back into our space for what has become a tradition for many of our neighbors. Right now, our object is to continue re-establishing our presence as a farmers market and to welcome people back into the routine of frequenting our vendors every Wednesday afternoon and early evening. The turnout is improving from week to week, and we have re-introduced food trucks as part of our market for the first time this summer. It’s good to welcome our neighbors and vendors back for another summer, restrictions or not!

Thursday night dinners
Chef Bobby, Hannah, Marlene, and Mary are taking a break from providing our church’s Thursday night community dinners for about a month, but the plan is to have the program return within the next couple of weeks. 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 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:
August 30: $1,730

General fund giving:
September 6: $1,647

Scripture for Sunday,
September 20
Numbers 21:4b-9
John 3:13-17

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)