Church of the Covenant
Boston, Massachusetts

This Week at Covenant
Sunday, May 24, 2020
What Goes Up...
The Feast of the Ascension
This Sunday at Covenant
Worship Service
10:30 am
Live Streaming Online link: Zoom Link
Bulletin: Click here to download

Scripture Reading:
Acts 1:6-14

Worship Participants:
Preaching – Rev. Rob mark
Liturgists – Nancy Ammerman
Lector – Debbie Howland
Moment for Mission – Anne Crane
Minister of Music – Tom Handel

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. If 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, May 24, Rev. Rob preaching
  • Sunday, May 31, Pentecost All-ages Worship – Wear RED
  • Sunday, June 7, Rev. Rob preaching, Communion

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. 

CLIMATE JUBILEE DISCUSSION: Please join the Climate Jubilee Team at 12 noon on Sunday, June 7th, after our worship service, for a discussion of the connection between COVID-19 and the climate crisis. In advance of that gathering, we invite you to view and read two background informational pieces:

Councilor Wu and Bill McKibben discuss how COVID-19, injustice, and climate change are linked - and how this is the moment to advocate for a just and equitable recovery.

A Washington Post article on “Meat is not essential, Why are we killing for it?"

If you have any difficulty accessing these pieces, please contact Betty at southwickbetty@gmail.com or Barbara at barbarakdarling@yahoo.com.  We look forward to an enriching conversation!

SUPPORTING BELOVED IMMIGRANT SIBLINGS DURING COVID-19: During this pandemic, undocumented immigrants are among those being hardest hit, in a number of ways. One way is economically: many are without income because of jobs lost to the shutdown and because federal assistance, like stimulus checks and unemployment benefits, is not available. There are few places for them to turn. The Nicaragua Companions have compiled a list for those who may wish to donate, whether from a portion of your stimulus check or otherwise, to local organizations with initiatives that respond to this crisis. Because of Covenant's sister relationship with a church community in Nicaragua, two of the three organizations focus on immigrants from Latin America.
·     The MassUndocuFund
A longer note with details about these organizations and additional organizations went out in a church-wide email on May 6. If you did not receive it, please email info@cotcbos.org and we will send you all the details. Thank you for your generosity and prayerful considerations.   

BIBLE STUDY VIA ZOOM @ 10:00 ON WEDNESDAY MORNINGS: Have you always been curious, but that pre-worship Sunday morning time just hasn’t worked for you? Are you eager for more ways to connect during this time of physical isolation? Then this “BYOB” (bring your own Bible) gathering is for you. If you aren’t otherwise occupied and can take a break for an hour or so at 10:00 on Wednesday morning, join the gathering. We are midway through a look at Matthew’s gospel, but we’ll be glad to fill you in on what’s come before.
join by computer/tablet/smartphone:
one tap mobile:
+16465588656,,104478666#,,#,581626#
join by phone:
(646) 558 8656, Meeting ID: 104 478 666, Password: 581626

WEEKLY WEDNESDAY EASTER EVENING PRAYERS: In an effort to both see each other more often as we continue our firm commitment to social distancing, and also pray together, we are beginning a weekly evening prayer service during the 50 days of Easter. We will gather on zoom from 6:00-6:30pm each Wednesday for a simple, contemplative service of celebrations and concerns.
join 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 CIRCLE TIME : Each Sunday from 9:45-10:00 am via Zoom, Rev. Adam, Kathy Bull, and Anita Goncalves lead a time where children, youth, their parents, and CYCE leaders gather to sing a song, share news with each other, and pray. If you need the Zoom link, email Rev. Adam.

GODLY PLAY AND YOUTH CLASS : Each Sunday from 10:00-10:25 am via Zoom. CYCE leaders continue to offer programs for our children and youth, as we learn and grow alongside each other. If you need the Zoom link, email Rev. Adam.

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

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!

CHURCH ZOOM ACCOUNT : If you are a committee chair, email Rev. Rob or Rev. Adam if you would like us to help you set up a meeting via Zoom. As a reminder, all church meetings are either to be postponed, or brought online via Zoom.

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.


SCAM WARNING: Many churches across the country—including ours!—are reporting a scam where you will receive an email or a text message that appears to be from a pastor, church administrator, or another church official, often closely mimicking the sender's real email address or phone number, and using their name. One common approach is to ask the recipient to purchase gift cards and then reveal the codes. These are very sophisticated scams that take advantage of the generosity of churchgoers. Please know that we at COTC will not ask for you to give gifts in this way. One all-purpose step to combat this scam is this: when in doubt, check it out. If something appears even slightly odd about a request from a pastor or church staff person, DO NOT REPLY TO THE SCAMMER. Reach out in a different way to the real person you know to find out if the person truly made the request using an email address or phone number you know. If the request was a text, do not call the number. Email the person instead, or call the church office number. And never send personal or financial information by replying to a text or email from an unknown source.

BUILDING ACCESS: Our church building remains closed except for essential services connected with Women’s Lunch Place, our Food Pantry, and a subset of our church staff (Rev. Rob, Rev. Adam, Tom Handel, Bill Brown, 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. The reason is to both keep you at home to keep you safe, but also to reduce any additional potential spreading of germs on doors, railings, surfaces that could endanger those who remain critical to our ministry at this point. Please contact Rev. Rob with any questions or concerns.

IMAGE: cocoparisienne on Pixabay

THE MAY 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