Church of the Covenant
Boston, Massachusetts

This Week at Covenant
Sunday, November 22, 2020
Reign of Christ
Matthew 25 Sunday
This Sunday at Covenant
Worship Service
10:45 am via Zoom: click here

Unity Worship Service: Gratitude
Joint Worship with Clinton and Burlington Presbyterian Churches
Please note change in worship time and Zoom link!

Bulletin: Click here to download

Scripture Reading:
Matthew 25: 31-46

Worship Participants:
Worship Leaders Rev. Meagan Manas, Rev. Trina Portillo, & Rev. Rob Mark
Lectors Youth from Burlington Presbyterian Church, Anne Crane
Ministers of Music – Jenn Bastien, Clinton Presbyterian Church & Tom Handel, Church of the Covenant
Ministers – Tom Reid
This Upcoming Week at Covenant
PEACE BE WITH YOU IN THESE DAYS:
We are delighted to invite you to this Sunday's special Unity Service: Three Churches, One Love! With Clinton Presbyterian Church and Burlington Presbyterian Church, we will gather as God's One Church - the body of Christ, together, in the one love of the Spirit!

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: 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.
  • Sunday, November 22, 10:45 AM, Joint Unity Service with Clinton & Burlington Presbyterian Churches
  • Sunday, November 29, Advent 1
  • December 6, Advent 2, Holy Communion
  • December 13, Advent 3, all-ages Advent worship with Zoom pageant
Here are the Zoom details for this Sunday’s Unity Worship at 10:45am:
join by computer/tablet/smartphone:
one tap mobile:
+16465588656,,84686768035#
join by phone:
+1 646 558 8656, Meeting ID: 846 8676 8035

Here are the Zoom details for other 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. 

COFFEE WITH KATE THIS SUNDAY:
Join us after worship on Sunday, Nov. 22 for a simple 30-minute drop in virtual coffee time on Zoom with Rev. Kate to get to know each other better, and further welcome Kate into their new ministry among us as our CYCE Coordinator and Parish Administrator.

COVENANT BOOK GROUP TO DISCUSS HOW TO BE AN ANTI-RACIST AGAIN THIS SUNDAY: The next Covenant book discussion will take place on Sunday, November 22, at 5:00 pm. We are spending another day talking about Ibram X. Kendi's How To Be an Anti-Racist. But you're welcome to join us whether or not you attended our October 25 discussion. Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/92850801090
Meeting ID: 928 5080 1090

TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE
This Sunday we mark Transgender Day of Remembrance - an important annual event where we mourn the loss of our transgender and non-binary siblings who have died in the past year as a result of transphobic hatred. As we do so, we also give thanks for the essential role of transgender and non-binary siblings in our faith communities, as we pray and work for the day their lives will be seen by all in the church and our society as sacred. See https://www.facebook.com/COTCBOS for some important videos/ posts. 

THANKSGIVING EVE EVENING PRAYERS 6-6:30pm: Our next Weds. Evening prayer will be Thanksgiving Eve, Weds. Nov. 25, 6-6:30pm. Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88999202076?pwd=bU9XQ0JuR0F1bXhrTUV2eVBDcHIxdz09
Please email Rev. Rob if you have questions: rob.mark@cotcbos.org.

PRESBYTERY OF BOSTON VIRTUAL CHOIR
If you'd like to be part of the joint Presbytery choir recording of Joy to the World, click here.
To be part of the recording of What Child Is This, click here.

Both links will take you to Soundtrap, where you will be asked to sign in using Facebook, Google, or by creating a new login in. Then you will be able to access the accompaniment and record your part directly into the website. We are singing all of the verses in each song, using the Glory to God hymnal. You can find a pdf of the hymns here. If you have questions, reach out to Jennifer Bastien.

BIBLE STUDY TIME BEING RECONSIDERED: 
Have you been interested in joining the COTC weekly Bible Study Zoom, but couldn’t participate on a Wednesday morning? We’d like to hear from you. Please contact Nancy Ammerman at ntammerman@gmail.com.
As Advent approaches, we plan to turn our attention to the gospel of Mark, which will be the source of readings in worship for the coming year. Don’t expect a dull discussion, though! Everything is on the table.
Currently, we gather on Zoom at 10:00am for about an hour for a “BYOB” (bring your own Bible) gathering. Drop in any week!
join by phone: (646) 558 8656, Meeting ID: 104 478 666, Password: 581626

CALL TO ACTION FROM THE CLIMATE JUBILEE TEAM
350 Mass, along with Raise Up Massachusetts and the Housing and Environment Revenue Opportunities (HERO) coalition, urge you to support the following amendments, which help our most vulnerable citizens while bringing in desperately needed revenue:
  • Amendment #139 (Rep Elugardo) to H5150: Providing for climate change adaptation infrastructure and affordable housing investments: increasing deeds excise fees to fund climate change resiliency and affordable housing production and access
  • Amendment #231 (Donato): Emergency Paid Sick Time
  • Amendment #524 (Sabadosa): Increase the Tax Rate on Corporate Profits
  • Amendment #675 (Connolly): Increase the Tax Rate that Investors Pay on Unearned Income
  • Amendment #719 (Gouveia): Tax Profits Shifted Overseas by Increasing the Tax Rate on 'GILTI' (global intangible low-taxed income)
Additionally, please ask your representatives to support these important amendments, while you're at it:
  • Amendment #194 (Straus): RTA Funding
  • Amendment #418 (Fernandes): Authorizing Retirement Systems to Divest from Fossil Fuels.
For more information on all of these, and to see a sample letter, here's a link:

NOVEMBER BIRTHDAYS:
5: Arnold Rots
7: Trudi Veldman
18: Donald Denniston
21: Gerri Owen
24: Dan Evans

CHILDREN'S AND YOUTH PROGRAMMING: Each Sunday beginning at 9:45AM we gather using Zoom for Godly Play and Youth Class. Our Godly Play class gathers to sing, share news with each other, pray together, and hear ancient and contemporary stories of our faith. Our Youth Class shares their weekly gathering rituals and explores topics of interest and curiosity in faith and identity. If you need a Zoom link, email children@cotcbos.org.

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. We are in the midst of settling on a weekly night for zoom check-in and prayers. If you’d like to share what night works best for you, or if you would like to be added to our email list, contact one of our group leaders: Kathryn Barry, Tom Reid, Rev. Joshua at youngadults@cotcbos.org.

NEW DIRECTORY: Thanks to our Membership Development Committee, a new updated directory has been emailed out - please be in touch with Trudi Veldman if you have not received it.

ARE YOU OR ANYONE YOU KNOW FACING FINANCIAL CHALLENGES? Info on fuel and electricity discounts in MA: https://www.greennewton.org/experiencing-financial-difficulty-you-may-be-eligible-for-electricity-and-fuel-discounts/

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!

NEW MASSACHUSETTS COVID REGULATIONS:
These went into effect as of Friday, Nov. 6, at 12:01 a.m.:
  • Face Covering Order Expanded: Everyone over the age of 5 is required to wear a face covering over their mouth and nose when in public locations, whether indoors or outdoors, regardless of whether they are able to physically distance from others. This includes walking or running on sidewalks or in parks, bicycling, or riding in cars with non-household members. People with medical conditions that prevent wearing a face covering are exempt from this requirement. The order allows fines of up to $300 per violation.
  • Stay-at-Home Advisory 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.: People are urged to stay at home between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., except for necessary activities including work or going to the grocery store, pharmacy or gas station.
  • Early Closure of Business Activities: Certain businesses, facilities, and activities (in-person dining, liquor stores, movie theaters, sports venues, gyms, and others) must close their premises to the public each day from 9:30 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. Restaurants must end table service at 9:30 p.m., although take-out service can continue later. All alcohol sales will be also be prohibited after 9:30 p.m.
  • Gatherings Sizes Reduced: Gatherings of people at private residences from different households (including at Thanksgiving) are limited to 10 indoors and no more than 25 outdoors. Indoor gatherings at event venues and in public settings are limited to a maximum of 25 people. Outdoor gatherings at event venues and in public settings are limited to a maximum of 100 people in lower risk communities (cities and towns that have not been designated in the “red” category in any of the last three weekly Department of Public Health weekly reports), and a maximum of 50 people in communities that do not qualify as lower risk. The new rules do not apply to religious activities or political gatherings. 

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.

THE NOVEMBER 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