September 17, 2023

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


“Great Is Thy Faithfulness”
William Runyan
led by Cynthia


from Psalm  126:1-2
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. Amen. 

Abba Father, we celebrate Your faithfulness! Lord Jesus, we celebrate Your grace! Holy Spirit, we celebrate new life in You! Holy Trinity, may we know Your grace through faith and experience new life in You. Amen. 

Though tears may fall
My song will rise, my song will rise to You
Though my heart may fail
My song will rise, my song will rise to You
While there’s breath in my lungs
I will praise You, Lord

In the dead of night
I’ll lift my eyes, I’ll lift my eyes to You
When the waters rise
I’ll lift my eyes, I’ll lift my eyes to You
While there’s hope in my heart
I will praise You, Lord

The joy of the Lord is my strength
The joy of the Lord is my strength
In the darkness I’ll dance
In the shadows I’ll sing
The joy of the Lord is my strength

When I cannot see You with my eyes
Let faith arise to You
When I cannot feel Your hand in mine
Let faith arise to You
God of mercy and love
I will praise You, Lord

Oh, You shine with glory, Lord of light
I feel alive with You
In Your presence now I come alive
I am alive with You
There is strength when I say
I will praise You, Lord

When sorrow comes my way
You are the shield around me
Always You remain
Like courage in the fight
I hear You call my name
Jesus, I am coming
Walking on the waves
Reaching for Your light

Christopher Dean Llewellyn / Edmond Martin Cash / Gareth Andrew Gilkeson lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group, Capitol CMG Publishing

Genesis 18:1-15

The Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them and bowed down to the ground. He said, “My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah and said, “Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.” Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hastened to prepare it. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared and set it before them, and he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

They said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” 10 Then one said, “I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I be fruitful?” 13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too wonderful for the Lord? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “Yes, you did laugh.”

Mark 10:24-27

And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
Whose trust, ever child-like, no cares could destroy,
Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
Your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
Whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
Be there at our labors, and give us, we pray,
Your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
Your hands swift to welcome, Your arms to embrace,
Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
Your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

Covenant Hymnal, #89

Pastor Ryan

Jesus loves me! This I know
For the Bible tells me so,
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak, but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Covenant Hymnal, #443

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.

Genesis 21:1-7
The Last Laugh
Pastor Ryan

Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
And it is well with me

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see
And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

CCLI Song # 7021972 Horatio Gates Spafford | Kristene DiMarco | Philip Paul Bliss © 2013 Bethel Music Publishing For use solely with the SongSelect® Terms of Use. All rights reserved.

We continue to pray for: Nikolas Arden, Messian Burgos, Frank Coszach, Vira Coszach, Nora Deliso, James Egan, Art & Rosa Hamilton, Trevor Hanks, Mary Smith, Steve Staurseth, and Phillip, son of Iris Velez

Ministries & Mission
Jochy & Tammi Hernandez, serving in the Dominican Republic; 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:

led by Dana

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.

Go, My children, with My blessing,
Never alone.
Waking, sleeping, I am with you;
You are My own.
In My love’s baptismal river
I have made you Mine forever.
Go, My children, with My blessing,
You are My own.

Go, My children, sins forgiven,
At peace and pure.
Here you learned how much I love you,
What I can cure.
Here you heard My dear Son’s story;
Here you touched Him, saw His glory.
Go, My children, sins forgiven,
At peace and pure.

Go, My children, fed and nourished,
Closer to Me;
Grow in love and love by serving,
Joyful and free.
Here My Spirit’s power filled you;
Here His tender comfort stilled you.
Go, My children, fed and nourished,
Joyful and free.

I the Lord will bless and keep you
And give you peace;
I, the Lord, will smile upon you
And give you peace:
I, the Lord, will be your Father,
Savior, Comforter, and Brother.
Go, My children; I will keep you
And give you peace.

Covenant Hymnal, #676

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

Toccata in D minor
J.S. Bach
led by Cynthia

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

The rose at the front of the sanctuary is in celebration of the birth of
Beau Nils Westlind, the first grandchild of Mark and Alice Westlind, on September 10 at 5:05 am. Beau weighed 5 lbs, 14 oz, and was 19 inches long. Daddy Nils brought mom and baby home to Mayra’s visiting parents from Brazil.  Thank you all for your prayers as mom and baby are well. PTL!

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.

Sunday School and Faith Forum
Today was the first day of Sunday School and Faith Forum for the 2023-24 school year. Sunday School and Faith Forum will meet at 10:00 am every week, unless otherwise noted. We are still looking for folks who are willing to help out with Sunday School. Please speak with Beth Anderson, Bekah Carlson, or Kelly Vetter if you’re interested. Also, please check with the church office to make sure that you have an up-to-date background check if you are going to work with the church’s children in 2023-24.

“Covenant Affirmations” Faith Forum series
Faith Forum, Ravenswood Covenant’s adult Sunday School class, meets Sundays at 10:00 am in the upstairs lounge. Today began a series of Faith Forum classes centered around the six primary teachings of our denomination, better known as the “Covenant Affirmations”.
September 17: “The Centrality of the Word of God” (taught by LeRoy Carlson)             
September 24: “The Necessity of the New Birth” (taught by Gregory Sager)
October 1: “A Commitment to the Whole Mission of the Church” (taught by Pastor Ryan)
October 8: “The Church as a Fellowship of Believers” (taught by Paul Shaheen)
October 15: “A Conscious Dependence on the Holy Spirit” (taught by Colleen Carlson)                        
October 22: “The Reality of Freedom in Christ” (taught by Jim Anderson)
Coffee and treats are provided each week at Faith Forum, Please join us!                   

Choir to return for Advent and Christmas seasons
Calling all singers! The Ravenswood Covenant choir will begin rehearsals on Sunday, October 8, as we prepare for the Advent and Christmas seasons. The choir will plan to not sing or rehearse on December 24 or November 26. That leaves 10 weeks for this choir season.

Choir rehearsal is at 9:00 am Sunday mornings in the sanctuary. Anyone with a heart for singing is welcome to join the choir. Please speak to our organist and choir director Cynthia Arden if you’re interested in joining.

New Covenant Home Altar available
The fall issue of the Covenant Home Altar, the daily devotional produced by our parent denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church, is now available in the narthex. Pick up a free copy!

Scripture reader sign-up
We are seeking people to read the scripture passages of the day as part of the worship services this fall. 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 Erin Stoel.

New update from the Fosters
Dear faithful partners,

We’re having a going away party Saturday, 16 September. It’s going to be bittersweet, but we couldn’t be happier. We mentioned that Kate had good news that we couldn’t share a couple of weeks ago.

Kate is going to Kyiv on 17 September to reunite with her husband. She, her daughter, and her husband will all be moving to Brazil for her husband’s new job. Vlad is a chauffeur for diplomats and asked to be moved to Brazil. In this way, he will be in a safe country where the entire family will be together. He’s been trying to get a move for 1 1/2 years, and finally got a positive response.

Although her absence will leave a real hole in our hearts, we rejoice that we met her and have established a deep relationship since April 2022. We are so happy that this family will be together again. 

I (Don) will fly with Kate to Krakow, Poland on the 17th to help her with her daughter and her heavy suitcases (which we’ll put on the bus), and she’ll leave that evening. I’ll fly back to Lille on the 18th.

Please pray for Kate’s safety during the bus trip to Kyiv with her daughter and for the couple of months they’ll have to wait for her diplomatic passport before she and the family leave for Brazil. Bombing is very “hot” in Kyiv at this time as well as in Lviv (between Krakow and Kyiv).

Thank you all for being part of this adventure.

Please continue to pray for the 3 families (7 people) remaining in our home. They have lost so much, and they miss their families.  They struggle with depression. All 4 families (I’m including Kate) have opened up to us about spiritual things. Kate told us that she prayed this summer that God intervene and she hasn’t prayed in 1 1/2 years. Pray that Christ reveal Himself to all of them in a real way and that He draw them to Himself.

Also, please continue to pray for our financial needs which continue to increase.

God bless,

Don for the Fosters

Operation Christmas Child
Samaritan’s Purse is currently looking to hire approximately 150 Christian men and women to fill paid positions for a three-week project with Operation Christmas Child, an annual relief ministry that Ravenswood Covenant has supported in the past.
Their seasonal positions include a wide variety of customer service positions, such as team coaches, greeters, and floor coordinators. There are also a variety of warehouse positions, including dockworkers, quality/inventory control, class A CDL drivers, and forklift drivers. The ideal candidates for these positions will have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, align with the mission of Samaritan’s Purse, work well with volunteers, be flexible, and be able to function well in a fast-paced environment. 

If you know anyone who would be interested and matches this description, please feel free to share this information with them. 

God is so amazing. Last year Operation Christmas Child packed around 10.5 million shoeboxes, and each shoebox can impact around 10 people for Jesus.
If you have any questions or would like Samaritan’s Purse to send you more information, please contact Philip King at Samaritan’s Purse, 331-271-3917 or at . Their website is .

Covenant Harbor is hiring
Covenant Harbor is still looking for some kitchen staff and volunteers. All inquires can be made to Sandy Wendtland at .

Summer staff applications for 2024 are now open on the Covenant Harbor website as well. They are already hiring for next year’s summer camp positions. If you have any questions, please contact Emma Mueller at

All of these details can also be found on the camp’s website at

Apartment wanted
Rod Kutz, who is a part of our congregation, is seeking a two-bedroom apartment on the North Side. If you know of one that’s available, please see Rod or contact the church office.

Pastor Ryan’s office hours
Pastor Ryan’s office hours at church are Tuesday thru Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. If you would like to meet with Pastor Ryan during his afternoon hours, please call the church office to schedule an appointment.

Farmers market
The numbers are a bit down for the farmers market, as school now being in session is decreasing the number of families bringing their children to the parking lot. But there are still kids enjoying the activities there, and still plenty of shoppers perusing the vendors at the market.

The market will run until mid-October every Wednesday from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm in our parking lot. This year the Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce has taken over locating and contacting possible vendors for the market, so we anticipate a busier and more crowded market than has been true since Covid hit.

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

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
Genesis 32:22-30
Genesis 32:9-13
Mark 14:32-36

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)