June 15, 2017

Sunday, June 18  Worship 10:00 am
Commemorating Juneteenth

Isn't it amazing how quickly circumstances can turn our laughter into lament? Perhaps, most surprising, however, is how completely God can transform our laments into laughter. In our text, the book of beginnings (Genesis), nestled between the symbolism of the covenant of circumcision and the trauma and drama of familial, communal, and national crisis in Sodom and Gomorrah, God has the audacity to bring laughter into the equation. Yes, sometimes progress comes at a price. With reference to the fulfillment of full equality in American society, the prophetic voice of writer James Baldwin said that there was a price to the ticket. As with the lamentable circumstances of American slavery-whereby God transforms tears and laments of agony and anguish into the laughter and the joy of freedom of Juneteeth-God transforms Sarah's lifelong laments into laughter, and God will make you and I laugh too-when we least expect it. 
Why does God introduce laughter into a situation where lament has taken root? 
How do life's circumstances turn our laughter into lament? 
Conversely, how does God transform that lament back into laughter (reversal)-but this time a deeper laughter than we've ever experienced before?
What does laughter and lament have to do with Juneteeth?

Dr. Zacery William's sermon is titled, "Who's Laughing Now?" The scriptures are Genesis 18:1-15 and
Genesis 21:1-7  Our Lay Worship Leader is Jim Tomaszewski.
Join us in celebrating Juneteenth on Sunday June 18, as we welcome guest preacher Dr. Zachery Williams back to Church of the Covenant. Dr. Williams is Associate Professor of African American History at The University of Akron. He teaches courses on African American Policy History, African American Men's History, American History 1877 to the Present, Sports in American History, and Urban America, and has authored of a number of books and articles. H e was also our Adult Forum speaker for the series "Unpacking Black Lives Matter" in February.  Learn more about Dr. Williams.

Enjoy Juneteenth refreshments and fellowship in the Reception Room following the worship service, the join Dr. Williams for a sermon talk-back in Christ Chapel at 11:15.

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States when Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, with the news of the end of the war and the abolition of slavery, two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. 
Music Notes: We welcome guest soloist Chandra Turner who is an alumna of the Cleveland School of the Arts and Kentucky State University. She is accompanied by Dr. Williams Woods, director of the R. Nathaniel Dett Concert Choir of the Cleveland School of the Arts. Czech composer Petr Eben (1929-2007) composed his "Biblical Dances" in 1990, from which No. 2 "Dance of the Shulammite" is presented in the organ prelude. Eben lived most of his life under the religious oppression of communism, yet he never wavered from his conviction to express his faith through his music. The postlude Fanfare for Many Members (organ duet) by American composer and Oberlin alumnus Robert Sirota was composed for a surprise retirement celebration concert for Karen Holtkamp (former Covenant associate music director) at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. The work features the hymn tune Wareham as well as dueling passages for four feet.
Following a Time for Young Disciples,  all children age kindergarten through 7th grade are invited to a worship space created just for them. Child-friendly bulletins and creative worship materials will be provided. Parents are welcome to sit with their children in the adjacent pews. Additional adult supervision will also be provided. While all children are more than welcome to remain in the service, we have a nursery for infants through pre-kindergarten age children. Ask an usher for directions.

Contact Mindy Stewart,  Director of Family Ministries, at  MStewart@CovenantWeb.org  for information about these or any programs for youth and families. Click here for a summer schedule for youth.

Bulletins are posted at CovenantWeb.org/read/listen, where you can also read or listen to sermons.
Stories from the Book of Genesis |  Summer Sermon Series with Sermon Talk-Back  
In the beginning... This summer in worship we will be hearing stories from the book of Genesis. From creation to the extraordinary lives of the forefathers and foremothers of our faith tradition, these stories not only reveal to us who God is, but who we are as God's children, called to faithfully serve God and one another even as we care for the world around us. After worship, the preaching pastor will be in Christ Chapel for sermon talk-backs, casual conversations about the sermon -- comments, questions, and disagreements welcome!
In The Covenant Family
We keep in our prayers Akeya Clark (Marie Jones' niece), Rich Day (friend of Bill Braun and Cathy Luck), Gretchen Drushel (studying in Seoul, South Korea), Shirley Homer (Mildred Russin's cousin), Stephanie Johnson, Karen and Les Knowlton, Lawhon family (friends of Amy Starr Redwine), Catherine Reynolds (friend of Jules Tryk), Erika and Norbert Roehl (friends of Arnie and Susan Dahm), and Nathan Roth (friend of Matthew Garrett and Michael Peters). We pray for Covenant members and friends who are struggling with illness, convalescing, or are homebound; the patients, family, and staff in our surrounding hospitals; and those who have placed prayer requests in our Carpenter's Box.
Melanie Marsh Baum is on a family weekend this Sunday.
Please send prayer requests to Melanie Marsh Baum. Names are generally moved from the bulletin after four weeks unless there is a continuing need. Please let the church know if you or a loved one are in the hospital; HIPAA privacy regulations prevent hospitals from sharing this information.

Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2   
A Covenant 8's group -Helen, Karen, Shirley, Nancy, Karen, Jules, Beth and Renee - enjoying tea at the Greenbridge Teahouse in Twinsburg on Saturday. 


Text to Give: This summer, use your smartphone to be generous! Text the keyword "CovenantChurch" and a dollar amount to 73256 (for example, "CovenantChurch $50"). You'll be taken through a series of prompts that will allow you to securely make a gift of any size to the church. You can apply your gift to your 2017 pledge or in any other way you indicate. Experience the ease and joy of giving! Your donations support our ministry to youth and students and our outreach to the community, as well as sustaining our daily operations and supporting our talented staff.
Thank You to everyone who attended the annual meeting on May 21 and participated in the small group conversations. We have collected the responses to the questions (What do you see as the Church of the Covenant's biggest opportunity and biggest challenge? Where do you sense God calling you to serve?). Among the answers, the following themes surfaced:  
  • How can we reach out to our neighborhood, particularly the new residents who are and will be moving into newly-constructed housing?
  • How can we make our building more energy and resource efficient?
  • How can we best reach out to members and others who do not physically come to church?
  • How can we get to know one another better and appreciate the work we do between Sundays?
  • How can we better leverage technology and social media to spread the word about our faith community?
These responses will be shared with the appropriate ministries and boards to incorporate into their discernment and their work. In the meantime, we invite you to continue sharing your ideas with staff and church leadership as together we seek to be a welcoming spiritual home, live God's inclusive love, express Christ's compassion, and do justice in the world.
Opportunities At Covenant

George Leggiero offers compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, and George Philipp Telemann.

P erformed on the 15,000 lb McGaffin Carillon of 47 bronze bells. Bring a lawn chair; picnic on the church lawn or CWRU campus. This is the last in the Spring 2017 series of lunchtime concerts. The Summer concerts will begin on Friday, July 7 at 12:15pm and Sunday July 9 at 11am. Free parking. Go to ucbells.org for details.
Kaori Hongo
Organist for Tuesday, June 20, is Dr. Kaori Hongo,  Director of Music for Children and Youth, Church of the Covenant
Tuesday Noon Organ Recitals featuring organists from throughout greater Cleveland and beyond on both of Covenant's two magnificent pipe organs. Bring a lunch! Bring a friend!   Free and open to the public. Free parking in the Covenant parking lot.
Presbyterians participating in Cleveland LGBT Pride Weekend
Friday June 23 & Saturday June 24

Join area Presbyterians in showing support and celebrating LGBT Pride with two events during Cleveland Pride weekend. 

Friday, June 23 at 7:00 pm, Fairmount Presbyterian Church will hold a screening of Out of Order , a feature length documentary following the journey of three LGBT members of the Presbyterian Church (USA) seeking ordination. 

Saturday, area Presbyterians will join in the Pride March to Voinovich Park. 
10:00-11:00 am gather at West 3 rd between St. Clair and Superior
12:00 step-off 
1:30 rally, speeches, entertainment at Voinovich Park 
T-shirts for the march are available from the Church office at either Fairmount or Church of the Covenant; cost of each shirt is $10. Sign up in the Church office. For more information, contact Melanie Marsh Baum .

Cedar Point Outing Friday, June 30, for Covenant Youth
On Friday June 30 all rising 5th through 12th grade youth are invited to join us for our trip to Cedar Point. We will spend the day with youth from Fairmount and Forest Hill Presbyterian. The cost of the trip is $42, which includes park admission, lunch and dinner. Contact Mindy or Melanie by Wednesday, June 21, to register. Friends, grand kids, visiting cousins, etc. welcome! 

Desserts for Transplant House | Sundays July 23 - August 27 open
Thank you to everyone who has signed up through July 16 to provide a dessert for 8 to 10 residents at Transplant House of Cleveland, just up the hill on 115 Street. Sundays remain through August 27. You may sign up in the church office to bring your dessert on a specific Sunday or you can also donate to help pay for ice cream for dessert. Transplant House provides temporary, affordable housing for organ transplant patients and their families while they are visiting Cleveland for medical care. Talk with Mary Anne Bromelmeier with any questions.  
In the Community
Memories Yoga: Honoring Fathers and Other Loved Ones
June 14 at 7:00 pm | Lyndhurst Community Presbyterian Church
If you or someone you know has lost a father, grandfather, or any loved one (male or female), you are invited to attend Memories Yoga. Through gentle stretches, restorative poses, and guided meditations, Memories Yoga will help you process your grief and heal your heart. Facilitated by the Rev. Nancy Lynch, Covenant Parish Associate and  Director of Spiritual Care,  Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital and MacDonald Women's Hospital.  Click here for more information.

Wade Oval Wednesdays are back! Every Wednesday through August 30 on Wade Oval
Make your weekend start on Wednesdays!
Enjoy a FREE concert each Wednesday night in Wade Oval from 6:00-9:00 p.m. in the heart of University Circle. Food trucks, vendors, theme nights, and activities vary each week and are all family-friendly. Bring a picnic or purchase delicious treats from vendors on site. Select museums are open late on Wednesdays.   Click here for details and a schedule of events.

11205 Euclid Avenue  Cleveland, OH 44106
Wheelchair accessible

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Centered in the Circle - Open to the World