Church of the Covenant
Boston, Massachusetts

This Week at Covenant
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Jubilee Series (1 of 3)
Roots in Rest
Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
This Sunday at Covenant
Worship Service
10:30 am via Zoom: click here

Bulletin: Click here to download

Scripture Reading:
Genesis 2:1-4
Exodus 20:8-11
Leviticus 25:1-12
Isaiah 58: 13-14

Worship Participants:
Preacher – Rev. Rob Mark
Liturgist – Barbara Darling
Lector – Kiersten Tate
Minister of Music – Tom Handel
Special Thanks – Our Choir!
Cantor – Tom Reid
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: 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.
  • Sundays, September 13-27 Special Sermon Series on the scriptural roots of Jubilee, Rev. Rob preaching:
  • September 13 Jubilee: Roots in Rest: Genesis, Exodus and Isaiah
  • September 20 Jubilee: Soil of Solidarity: Leviticus 25 / Communion
  • September 27 Jubilee: Branches to Blessing: Luke 4
  • Sundays, October 4-18 Special Sermon Series on Climate Jubilee:
  • October 4 World Communion Sunday & Special Offering
  • October 11 Blessing of the Animals Service
  • October 18 Communion
  

Upcoming Adult Eds following worship on Sundays:
  • Sept. 20 – Climate Jubilee team introduces us to the work of GreenRoots.
  • Oct. 4 – Climate Jubilee Team helps us focus on voting with creation in mind this fall
  • Sunday Oct. 11 – presentation and congregational meeting on the columbarium proposal at COTC


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. 


CELEBRATION! We are overjoyed to share that on Sunday September 6, at a duly called meeting of our congregation, Rev. Joshua Lazard was unanimously called by Church of the Covenant to serve as our next Associate Pastor! He will begin this half-time, two-year designated called position on September 15. Stay tuned for more details on how we can celebrate and welcome Rev. Joshua!

 
LOCAL CLIMATE ACTION AGAINST THE COMPRESSOR STATION in WEYMOUTH: This Saturday, September 12, there is a socially distanced, masks required car parade and rally at the Kings Cove Park, Weymouth, beginning at 9:00 AM. This action is to show Enbridge we are not stopping our fight to stop them from operating. RSVP on Facebook here


GREEN TEAM SUMMIT “A JUST RECOVERY”: September 13-17. Join the Presbyterians for Earth Care in their partnership with Faith in Place for this free virtual climate justice related summit. Rev. Otis Moss III will be among the keynoters, 5pm Sunday 9/13. RSVP here (https://www.greenteamsummit.org/register). 


SIX AT SIX 5:30PM FOR SIXTY MINUTES: IN PERSON WEDNESDAY EVENING PRAYERS AND FELLOWSHIP: UPDATE: Due to fading evening light, we have changed start time to 5:30: A significant challenge for all of us in these pandemic days is not being able to see each other in person. This September, while the summer weather lingers, we have decided to create some chances to safely gather in small groups, socially distanced sitting 6-feet part, outside, while wearing masks for a simple time of fellowship and evening prayers at Rob & Becky's home and in Brookline. There is still some room if you'd like to join us on September 23, or 30th. Uber/LIFT assistance available if needed. If you are interested, sign up here https://forms.gle/KSRUz2Uynec4T1Ap8 and indicate which of these evenings you are available. Thanks and (actually) see you soon!


CONGREGATION CLIMATE JUSTICE VOTER CHALLENGE: Covenant’s Council voted unanimously on August 18 to join the Congregation Climate Justice Voter Challenge initiated by the Southern New England Conference of the UCC. Needless to say, our country is at an important crossroads this year and our ability to address and deal with climate change and climate justice issues, as well as other important social justice issues which are important to us, will be affected by our elections this Fall. This is true at all levels – local, state and Federal. So voter engagement is crucial! And Council accepted the recommendation of the Climate Jubilee Team to join this Challenge for at least 75% of our members to sign. So please sign!--at this link: (https://sneucc-reg.brtapp.com/CreationCareVoterPledge

By signing the Pledge, one simply says that they “pledge to be a consistent voter” and “always to prioritize caring for God’s creation in how I vote.” The Challenge has two levels: First, individual congregations are asked to challenge themselves to have a least 75% of their members commit to being faithful and regular voters. Second, the Southern New England Conference's Environmental Ministries Team hopes that many churches in MA, CT and RI will join in accepting the Challenge for their congregations. And remember that the Massachusetts primary is coming up on Tuesday, September 1!

More information on the Congregation Climate Justice Voter Challenge is on the SNEUCC.org website (https://www.sneucc.org/congregation-climate-justice-voter-challenge). 


UCC ANNUAL MEETING: September 26, 2020, 8:30am - 12:30 pm on Zoom. Info https://www.sneucc.org/eventdetail/14027304


BIBLE STUDY ON WEDNESDAY MORNINGS: We gather on Zoom at 10:00 am for about an hour for a "BYOB" (bring your own Bible) gathering. Currently, we are exploring the Book of Psalms, which runs 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


CHILDREN’S AND YOUTH PROGRAMMING: Each Sunday beginning at 9:45 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. 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, or Tom Reid, 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.


THE SEPTEMBER 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