Church of the Covenant
Boston, Massachusetts

This Week at Covenant
Sunday, March 22, 2020
Gumboots
The Elements of Lent: Mud
Fourth Sunday in Lent
This Sunday at Covenant
Worship Service
10:30 am
Live Streaming Online link: https://www.facebook.com/COTCBOS)

Bulletin: Click here to download

Scripture Reading:
Gospel – John 9:1-17, 25

Worship Participants:
Meditation – Rev. Rob Mark
Minister of Music – Tom Handel
Liturgists – Rev. Rob Mark & Rev. Adam Isbitsky
Moment for Mission – Becky Evans
Lector A Sanctified Art
Cantor – Rev. Adam Isbitsky
Sexton – Fred Lopes

This Upcoming Week at Covenant
PEACE BE WITH YOU IN THESE DAYS : You all are deeply in our hearts and prayers in these unsettling times. Due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, we are suspending in-person worship at this point through 4/7, but are grateful for the technology that allows the majority of us to gather together online.

All potlucks, church meetings, and scheduled events linked to the building are currently suspended through at least 4/7, and more than likely beyond Holy Week and Easter. All meetings have been postponed or shifted to conference calls.

The announcements that follow are the best we know at this point, keeping in mind things are shifting rapidly in these days, as more and more events are shifting as we all do our part to love our neighbor as ourselves and practice “social distancing” to help “flatten the curve” of this virus’s spread. And in faith and through God’s ceaseless, amazing grace – we also practice “spiritual nearing” to each other and the Sweet Holy Spirit.

See below for previously sent links and info about COVID-19.

LIVE-STREAMING DIRECTIONS : In solidarity with most faith communities, and following direction from our denominations, we have suspended in-person worship and are bringing them “online” at the same time of 10:30 am. We will live-stream on Facebook (anyone, with or without a FB account can participate by clicking on this link here https://www.facebook.com/COTCBOS . To join in fully, consider these options as you might be able:
1. Printing the bulletin out in advance so you have it while live-streaming
2. Pulling the bulletin up on a second device/ phone/ screen
3. Pulling both the bulletin up and your Facebook link, and switch between them as directed/ needed. The liturgy, songs, and scripture are the important times to have this bulletin visible if possible. 

UPCOMING SERVICES (WORSHIP / AFTER WORSHIP)
Note, due to COVID-19 spread, we are in a state of flux, and we ask your patience as specific themes and plans are unfolding. At this point, in-person worship is suspended 3/22, 3/26, 3/29, 4/5 (and likely beyond) and is shifting to being online via live-streaming.

Thursday, March 26 at 6:30 PM (streaming) ~ Mid-Week Lenten Service online only

Sunday, March 29 at 10:30 AM (streaming) ~ Fifth Sunday in Lent: FIRE, Rev. Rob Mark preaching / Worship & Music Zoom Meeting

Sunday, April 5, at 10:30 AM (streaming) ~ All Ages Palm to Passion Sunday: Holy Week: TREE / Adult Ed Serpentino’s Restoration Process of our Stained Glass Windows / 2pm Climate Justice From a 5-Fingered Perspective: Protecting a Good & Sacred Earth with special guest Earl Tulley of the Diné (Navajo) Nation.

Holy Week - stay tuned for details still emerging.....

ONLINE GIVING : During these days of altered worship where we may not be face-to-face and passing the offering plate, please keep in mind there are easy ways to give online. During these challenging times, we are extra grateful for tangible signs of generosity:
  1. Download free app: GIVEPLUS+   
Then, type in our zip code 02116 to find Church of the Covenant,
then follow this link , and you can set up regular payments or make them
once at a time 
    2. Directly on our website: http://www.cotcbos.org/give.html

SUNDAY 10am: CHILDREN’S CIRCLE TIME via Zoom with Rev. Adam, for those young families, children, and youth, please join us:
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/5010088802  
Meeting ID: 501 008 8802
One tap mobile: +16468769923,,334644701# US (New York)
Dial by your location: +1 646 876 9923 US (New York)

DEACONS MEETING SUNDAY 12:15 pm:
Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/664559704 
Meeting ID: 664 559 704
One tap mobile: +16465588656,,664559704# 
Dial by your location: +1 646 558 8656
 
COTC CYCE MEETING SUNDAY at 12:00pm:  
Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/5010088802
One tap mobile: +19292056099,,5010088802# US (New York)
Dial by your location: +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 501 008 8802

CHURCH OF THE COVENANT BOOK GROUP: Covenant’s book discussion group will meet by Zoom Sunday, March 22, at 5:00 pm, to discuss the second half of Destiny Disrupted by Tamim Ansary. See details below!
Time: Mar 22, 2020 05:00 PM 
Meeting ID: 792 374 158
Password: 462623
One tap mobile: +16465588656,,792374158# 
Dial by your location: +1 646 558 8656 

FAREWELL CELEBRATION FOR REV. WENDY VANDER HART ONLINE : After serving for a dozen years as the Associate Conference Minister for the Metropolitan Boston Association of the UCC, former Covenanter Rev. Wendy Vander Hart is moving on to a new position as Interim Senior Minister at First United Church of Christ in Northfield, MN. From Wendy: “This is a BIG change, since I have served the entire 33 years of my ministry in the Metropolitan Boston Association!” An event to say farewell and celebrate her ministry event will take place this Sunday, March 22nd at 5:30 pm https://zoom.us/j/593729677

GREATER BOSTON INTERFAITH ORGANIZATION (GBIO UPDATE): As in much of our life now days, GBIO’s Healthcare plans are requiring a reset. We will not have an action at the State House on April 1, but we still need letters sent to your Representative, Senator Cindy Friedman, Chair of Senate Ways and Means. GBIO organizers say that personal stories of healthcare obstacles, complete with detail, would be very helpful in the Senate’s negotiation with the House. Please continue to complete the pdf letters to your House Representative. If you need that link again let Holly know at Holly Humphreys , or call. We plan to have an after church Zoom House Meeting to bring everyone up to date and share stories.

CHURCH ZOOM ACCOUNT: If you are a committee chair, for now please email Rev. Rob if you would like to use the zoom account to set up meetings. Soon our Parish Administrator Hillary (who is now back from medical leave!) will be in charge of this account. As a reminder, all church meetings are either to be postponed, or brought online via zoom. 

40 ACTS OF GENEROSITY THIS LENT: Sign up for this simple but profound daily discipline in practicing generosity brought to you by your Generosity Generators: https://40acts.org.uk/ 

OUR OPEN SANCTUARY MINISTRY:  is recruiting volunteers for the 2020 season! While we are unsure as to when we will open due to COVID-19, we are still hoping we will be able to open our doors at some point. For those unfamiliar with OS, we open our sanctuary to the public on select days from May to November. Last year we received 17,500 visitors. Volunteers have rated this experience highly, with the unique opportunity to share our beautiful sanctuary with visitors from around the world. 2, 2.5-, or 5-hour shifts on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, or Mondays are available. We will host an online training for new volunteers on the evening of March 31. For more information, contact Simone DeVito, Karen Henry, or Betsy Groves.
 
THE FOOD PANTRY REMAINS OPEN AT THIS TIME AND NEEDS VOLUNTEERS: The Food Pantry remains open and providing food at this critical time to those most in need - while having made important changes to adjust for required social distancing. The pantry is in need of volunteers. If you are not in any high risk category, and would be interested in being trained at this time, please email Faith Perry .

20s-30s-40s GROUP AT COVENANT: We have an active young adult group that meets regularly to share meals, visit sites around New England, and discuss how our faith motivates and guides us to live through this unique life stage. If you'd like to join us, or be added to the e-listserv, contact one of our group leaders: Kathryn Barry, Melissa Morgan, Tom Reid, or Rev. Adam at youngadults@cotcbos.org .

CREW INTERFAITH CLIMATE SUMMIT MOVING ONLINE : March 29, 2:00-4:00 pm, this is moving to Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/795374789
Meeting ID: 795 374 789
One tap mobile: +16468769923,,795374789# 

THE MARCH ISSUE OF THE COVENANT NEWS can be read online  here
 
Resources In Light of COVID-19:
Personal Practices: (as reminders)
  • Throughout the day, wash your hands for 20 seconds while singing the doxology or "this little light of mine" or saying a prayer for the world. Soap, rigorous rubbing and rinsing is the best way to stop the virus/ germs.
  • When hand-washing is not an option, use hand sanitizer, rub hands well, and air dry your hands.
  • Drink water, a lot! Hydration is a great way to stay healthy, and if any virus comes to you, water does a great job in helping to rid the lungs and body and restore health sooner. "Its great to hydrate!"
  • Avoid all large gatherings - stay put as much as you can - and of course keep loving your neighbor fully by keeping that sacred social distance of 6-feet away.
  • Sneeze and cough into your armpit. Then wash your hands anyway. Wash your clothes regularly.
  • Do the impossible by avoiding to touch your beautiful faces. :)
  • Clean/ sanitize commonly used surfaces regularly.
  • Even if you're young and healthy, it is critical that you take all of these steps because they help protect the rest of your community. You'll reduce the risk of unknowingly passing on the disease to someone else.
  • Do everything you can to follow these guidelines and take care of yourself. And if you're able, please take care of your friends, your family, your neighbors, and anyone around you who might need a little extra help — pick up groceries for an older neighbor or order takeout from a local restaurant that is struggling.
  • And again, with each pump of the hand sanitizers, each washing of the hands in these days, let us remember not just our own needs, but the needs of others. With each pump, a prayer: "God, may your blessings of wellness, wholeness, health and healing come to all in harm's way. And over, and in, and through all, may there be love blanketing all. In the strong name of Christ we pray, Amen."

Take Media Breaks & Get Outside: In these days of rapidly shifting realities, it is tempting to stay glued to media - public radio, news, websites. While it is important on some levels for us to stay in tune and be aware with what is unfolding - it is also an important psychological and spiritual step to take a break from it all at times. Unplug. Turn off. Go outside and seek out an early blooming crocus. Look up at tree buds beginning to bloom. Take a walk. Take a nap. Read a book. Veg out. Listen to music. Sing. Call a friend. Whatever relaxes and calms, take a break, and breathe deep.
 
Pastoral Care: We are continuing to check in on one another in these days - but if you are in any particular need for a visit or a call, please reach out to your pastors or your deacons.
  
Here are some helpful pages, with live links:
 
CDC  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Finally, as we continue to hear the daily refrain of COVID-19, I offer us Psalm 19 as a hopeful, spiritual counter-refrain:
 
The heavens are telling the glory of God,
  and the elements Her handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
  and night to night declares wisdom.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
   their voice is not heard;
yet their voicegoes out through all the earth,
   and their words to the end of the world.
In the heavens, God has set a tent for the sun...
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
   be acceptable to you,
   O God, my rock and my redeemer.

617.266.7480  info@cotcbos.org  www.cotcbos.org
67 Newbury St
Boston, MA 02116