PEACE BE WITH YOU IN THESE DAYS:
We are so grateful to be connected as a family of faith! As we all continue to do our part to love our neighbor as ourselves to help counter 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.
NEW: UPCOMING WORSHIP ON SUNDAYS: Please join us each Sunday at 10:30 am as we come together in community through Zoom to pray, sing, share celebrations and concerns, and hear God’s still-speaking Word proclaimed.
- July 18, Livestream from Sanctuary, Rev. Joshua preaching, communion
- July 25, Rev. Joshua preaching
- August 1, Reflection on the Word, Communion
- August 8, Rev. Kate preaching
- August 15, Rev. Joshua preaching, Communion
- August 22, Rev. Rob preaching
NEW: SUMMER EVENING PRAYERS ON ZOOM:
This summer, we will gather on Zoom from 6-6:30pm for a simple prayer time together on Wednesday July 28, August 11 and August 18. Zoom link for each week here.
NEW: SUMMER EVENING PRAYERS IN PERSON: Join us on Wednesday 8/11 from 6-7pm for a safe, socially distanced outdoor in-person prayer in Brookline at Nancy Hollomon's beautiful garden. On August 24, we will gather in Cambridge for an in-person prayer and fellowship from 6-7pm.
EMERGING & GETTING TOGETHER: These past 15 months have been long and hard, and it has been extra hard being separated from in-person gatherings. This summer, we’d like to begin re-emerging well and safely together by providing some chances to gather together in-person, even before we can do so safely together in the sanctuary on a Sunday morning. Here are the opportunities that are emerging:
Porches for 8: Just as in the past we called these “Suppers for 8”, this summer we are offering the chance to gather together with a small group of fellow COTCers at someone’s back yard or porch so share a simple meal. This will be for those who have been fully vaccinated and who feel comfortable (and obviously without any covid-like symptoms). If you’d like your name to be added to the list of those who will be invited to these gatherings (dates and locations yet TBD), please email Trudi Veldman.
Outdoor Evening Prayers: Our next outdoor Evening Prayer will be in Brookline on Weds. July 14, 6-7pm (see above). Other evening prayers on Wednesday can easily be hosted at your place! If you have room for up to 10 people to sit in a circle outside, please let Rob know and we’ll find a date.
NEW: Climate Jubilee Jaunts: Once a month, our Climate Jubilee Team will be hosting some outdoor walks/ hikes in and around Boston. Here are the next two:
- On Saturday, July 17, at 1 PM Evelyn Kimber will meet up at The Peace Abbey Interfaith Center in Sherborn MA with anyone interested in viewing the Gandhi Statue, Peace Memorial Park, Global Pandemic Stone (over which Rev Rob did a blessing ceremony on April 2 as the 2.5 ton stone was pulled past Covenant) and the life-size statue of Emily the Cow. Sign up here. Four signups needed for event to occur. Contact Evelyn with questions.
- On Sunday, July 25, starting at 1 PM, Nancy Stockford and Mark Huston will lead a walk in the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain, part of Boston's Emerald Necklace. Sign up here, and Nancy will send you directions, meetup location, and parking and public transportation information. Contact Nancy with questions.
NEW: CLIMATE JUBILEE TEAM LINK OF THE MONTH!:
View Interfaith Power & Light’s summer film, Other Side of the Hill starting July 10! Register here to view it at home or screen it for your congregation and buy the kit. OTHER SIDE OF THE HILL explores the impacts of a changing climate as seen through the eyes of local leaders on the ground. The film amplifies the voices of rural communities often left unheard, and shines a light on stories of progress and hope. In a time of unprecedented cultural divide between rural and urban communities, this film finds common ground in an urgency to address a changing landscape. The film will be available for free online viewing July 10 - 25.
CYCE FAMILIES & 20s30s40s GATHERING, JULY 18:
This Sunday, July 18 at 5:00 pm, there will be a joint gathering of 20s30s40s folks and CYCE families in the Arnold Arboretum. Rev. Joshua and Rev. Kate are eager for a chance to get to know folks better after so many months mostly online. Bring your kids, bring your (child- and other-pet-friendly!) dogs, bring a blanket or chairs. Meet at the Walter St. gate. More details to come via email. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
join by phone: (646) 558 8656, Meeting ID: 104 478 666, Password: 581626
20s-30s-40s GROUP AT COVENANT:
We have a vital group for young adults, young professionals and students – and we’d love you to join us! We currently hold brunches (virtual for the time-being) on the third Sunday of each month. If you would like to be added to our email list, or connect one-to-one, please contact Rev. Joshua at email@example.com
CHILDREN'S AND YOUTH PROGRAMMING:
Our Godly Play and Youth Class will not be meeting for the summer. If you would like to learn more about or connect with our ministries with children and youth, Rev. Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org
SUMMER SABBATH: Rev. Rob’s annual Summer Sabbath (2 weeks unpaid furlough, 2 weeks vacation) will be July 20-August 17. Please contact Rev. Joshua or chair of Deacons, Anita Gram, with pastoral needs during this time.
As we all know, our Commonwealth is in the process of ensuring everyone gets a COVID-19 vaccine according to MA/CDC guidelines/ phasing – and recently opened up to kids 12-15. Check here: Mass.gov. If you are feeling confused, you are not alone, and we are here to help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Rob, Joshua, Kate or our Deacons if you could use some help. And remember, even in the face of a long history of unequal health care access, we at COTC deeply believe in the importance and efficacy of this vaccine as a necessary next step in reaching public health. Here are some helpful websites: macovidvaccines.com
WHAT CAN I DO ONCE VACCINATED? As we give thanks that increasing numbers of people are getting vaccinated, many are asking this question, here are a few guidelines:
ARE YOU OR ANYONE YOU KNOW FACING FINANCIAL CHALLENGES?
Info on fuel and electricity discounts in MA available here
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:
- Directly on our website: http://www.cotcbos.org/give.html
- 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.
- If you are uncomfortable with online giving, yes, you can still mail checks!
Here are the Zoom details for Sundays:
join by computer/tablet/smartphone:
one tap mobile:
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:
- Printing the bulletin out in advance so you have it during worship
- Pulling the bulletin up on a second device/phone/screen
- 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.
- 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.
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.
THE JUNE ISSUE OF THE COVENANT NEWS
can be read online here.