Church of the Covenant
Boston, Massachusetts

This Week at Covenant
Sunday, June 28, 2020
"What Needs to be Sacrificed"
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
This Sunday at Covenant
Worship Service
10:30 am
Live Streaming Online link: Zoom Link
Bulletin: Click here to download

Scripture Readings:
Genesis 22:1-42
Matthew 10:40-42

Worship Participants:
Preacher – Rev. Rob Mark
Liturgist Tom Reid
Lectors – Elaine Sullivan and Ryan Surette
Minister of Music – Tom Handel
Cantor – Tom Reid  
Moment for Mission – Anne Crane
This Upcoming Week at Covenant
PEACE BE WITH YOU IN THESE DAYS : We are so grateful to be connected as a family of faith! As we all do our part to love our neighbor as ourselves to help “flatten the curve” of the coronavirus/COVID-19, our building remains closed; all meetings and events that are offered, including worship, have shifted to an online or conference call format.

We are grateful for the technology that allows the majority of us to gather together online. And in faith and through God’s ceaseless, amazing grace—as we practice “social distancing” we also practice “spiritual nearing” to each other and the Sweet Holy Spirit.

The announcements that follow reflect the ongoing abundant life that is Church of the Covenant.


UPCOMING WORSHIP ON SUNDAYS: To further adhere to our state’s excellent social distancing policy to help flatten this curve, we have decided to suspend live-streaming from the sanctuary from Easter onwards, until further notice. In place of this, we will hold live-worship on Zoom at 10:30am. I f you are newer to using Zoom, please log in early so we can explain some technical questions in order to start our worship close to 10:30.

  • Sunday, June 28, Rev. Rob preaching, Special Offering for Racial Justice
  • Sunday, July 5, Presbytery of Boston Unified Service, Holy Communion
  • Sunday, July 12, Rev. Rob preaching / Climate Jubilee Adult Ed (Noon)

Upcoming Staff Schedules:
  • Rev. Adam will be on vacation from June 22-July 5.  
  • Tom Handel will be off July 2-July 5.
  • Parish Administrator Hillary will be on vacation June 28-July 5.
  • Anita Goncalves off Sunday July 5.
  • Rev. Rob’s annual Summer Sabbath (2 weeks unpaid furlough, 2 weeks vacation) will be July 17-August 13.

Here are the Zoom details for Sundays:
join by computer/tablet/smartphone:
one tap mobile:
+16465588656,,91025989890#,,#,892502#
join by phone:
+1 646 558 8656, Meeting ID: 910 2598 9890, Password: 892502

Some suggestions to aid in your worship for you to consider:
  1. Printing the bulletin out in advance so you have it during worship
  2. Pulling the bulletin up on a second device/phone/screen
  3. Pulling both the bulletin up and Zoom, and switch between them as needed. The liturgy, songs, and scripture are the important times to have this bulletin visible if possible.
  4. And if none of these options work for you, no worries—just following the link will be fine – you will be able to worship fully. 


RACIAL JUSTICE SPECIAL OFFERING ON SUNDAY JUNE 28: During worship this Sunday, we will take a special offering to split evenly between two incredible organizations working for justice locally here in Boston to counter the sins of systemic racism: Violence in Boston and The Food Project. As m any have become newly sensitized to the ongoing injustices and violence being perpetrated upon communities of color here in our country and city in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Armaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, and a list that tragically goes on too long – our church recognizes the deep need to act and speak out for racial justice especially at this time. This special offering called for by our Mission & Advocacy Committee and with our Council’s deep solidarity, is one small step in this ongoing work. Please prayerfully discern how you might be called to participate and give online on the 28 th

Violence in Boston , is a nonprofit endorsed recently by Rev. Liz Walker in her comments at the Boston Black Memorial, with a mission of “creating safer, healthier, and empowered black and brown communities.”  violenceinboston.org

The Food Project – a group recently endorsed by our Climate Jubilee Team – is focused on food justice primarily in Boston’s Nubian Square, and the city of Lynn, and “believes that everyone has the right to fresh, healthy, affordable food – with a goal to transform the food system into a more just, community-engaged model that supports food security for all while connecting diverse communities to each other and to the land.”   thefoodproject.org  


SUNDAY JULY 5, UNIFIED WORSHIP WITH COMMUNION: Next Sunday, in the spirit of unity, we will join in the wider Presbytery of Boston for worship. Our service will be live premiered on YouTube at the regular 10:30am time slot, and also made available for those who would prefer to worship later in the day. Link will be sent out and posted to our COTC website Live-Stream page. Please note that Communion will also be a part of this service, so please come prepared as we usually do: 

Before the time of the service you will want to prepare some bread (gluten or gluten-free), a slice or a small loaf of any kind of bread. In some parts of the world tortilla, rice cake, or cassava are used as this element which is defined not as a wheat product but as the most common food of the people. Let it be something you alone or you with others in your house may break and share. Prepare a cup or cups of juice—perhaps grape or cranberry—or wine, with or without alcohol. Water is also fine. Set these elements in the place where you experience worship electronically with your siblings in faith online. Perhaps you want to put them on a cloth or fabric that reminds you of a special time or a person deeply connected with you in the communion of saints. Perhaps you will light a candle or place a flower or plant or the photograph of someone you wish to bring into the circle of faith beside the bread and the cup. More instruction will be given during our liturgy in worship. 


PRESBYTERY'S 21-DAY RACIAL JUSTICE CHALLENGE, JULY 5-26: In 2017, COTC's Race & Identity Team challenged us to take part in a 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge led by Food Solutions of New England, as we looked at food justice and racial justice together. This year, our Presbytery of Boston is challenging us to take part in a similar 21-Day Racial Justice Challenge as part of our commitment to dismantling racism. The challenge will begin on Monday, July 5 and conclude on Sunday, July 26. Each day, an opportunity for education, self-reflection, and discussion is offered through the challenge put together specifically for the PC(USA). For info and to register: 21-Day Racial Justice Challenge.


BIBLE STUDY ON WEDNESDAY MORNINGS: We gather on Zoom at 10:00am for about an hour for a "BYOB" (bring your own Bible) gathering. Currently, we are taking a look at the Book of Psalms, which runts the gamut of human emotion. Drop in any week!
join by computer/tablet/smartphone:
one tap mobile:
+16465588656,,104478666#,,#,581626#
join by phone:
(646) 558 8656, Meeting ID: 104 478 666, Password: 581626


MIDWEEK PRAYER SERVICE: We gather on Zoom from 6:00-6:30pm each Wednesday for a simple, contemplative service of prayers, singing, scripture, celebrations and concerns.
j oin by computer/tablet/smartphone:
one tap mobile: 
+16465588656,,179333716#,,#,460466#
join by phone: 
(646) 558 8656, Meeting ID: 179 333 716, Password: 460466


CHILDREN’S AND YOUTH PROGRAMMING: Each Sunday beginning at 9:45 our children and youth gather to sing, share news with each other, and pray together. At 10:00 we split into our Godly Play and Youth classes. If you need the Zoom link, email Rev. Adam.

NOTE: there will be no Children and Youth programming on Sunday, July 5.


20s-30s-40s GROUP AT COVENANT: We have an active young adult group that meets regularly to create community, even while we can’t be together physically. Join us on Monday evenings at 7:30 PM for a weekly time to pray and connect via conference call at (712) 432 - 0220, Access Code 2667480#.
If you’d like to be added to our email list, contact one of our group leaders: Kathryn Barry, Melissa Morgan, Tom Reid, or Rev. Adam at youngadults@cotcbos.org.


CONTINUED GIVING : Even in face of important, life-giving changes, our COTC ministry remains moving full steam ahead. Our staff and pastors continue to be hard at work. Our building continues to be faithfully stewarded. Our deacons and pastors continue to carry out vital pastoral care in these days. Therefore, your continued generosity and giving to help support the work of our church community is even more valued in these challenging days. And we are deeply grateful for your tangible signs of generosity. Here are a few ways you can continue to financially support the church and its ministries:
  1. Directly on our website: http://www.cotcbos.org/give.html
  2. Download free app: GIVEPLUS+ (GIVE+ by Vanco Services, LLC) in the App Store, Google Play, or at https://giveplushelp.vancopayments.com. Then, type in our zip code 02116 to find Church of the Covenant. Both online options allow you to make a one-time or a recurring gift.
  3. If you are uncomfortable with online giving, yes, you can still mail checks!


ZOOM Tutorials: If you are unfamiliar with Zoom, click this link Zoom How To for a video on how to join Zoom Meetings. Here are a few step by step procedures on how to join a Zoom meeting from your specific device.



BUILDING ACCESS: Our church building remains closed except for services connected with Women’s Lunch Place, our Food Pantry, and a subset of our church staff (Rev. Rob, Tom Handel, Bill Brown, Alan Lane, Faith Perry, Nancy Stockford, and Chuck Ferrell), who only enter for specific and limited purposes. All other staff, church leaders, and key holders are required to keep away from the church building until further notice. While we are not opening for our normal Open Sanctuary program this year, we have protocols in place to allow for safe group tours by appointment through Bill Brown.


IMAGE CREDIT: "Sacrifice of Issac" Workshop of Rembrandt, Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany


THE JUNE ISSUE OF THE COVENANT NEWS can be read online  here
 
Resources In Light of COVID-19:
Personal Practices: (as reminders)
  • As per Commonwealth's new law, be sure to where a face and nose covering when you are outside, or in need of entering a store for essential needs.
  • 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:

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 voice goes 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