Church of the Covenant
Boston, Massachusetts

This Week at Covenant
Sunday, August 2, 2020
"Unknown Blessings "
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
Holy Communion
This Sunday at Covenant
Worship Service
10:30 am via Zoom: Link

Bulletin: Click here to download

Scripture Readings:
Genesis 32:22-32
Matthew 14:13-21

Worship Participants:
Preacher – Tom Reid
Liturgist – Tim Groves
Lector – Betsy Groves
Minister of Music – Tom Handel
Communion Celebrant and Cantor – Rev. Adam Isbitsky
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.

COMMUNION PREPARATION: This Sunday we will once again celebrate communion together in an online way as we celebrate the truth that the table of Jesus is unbound and is much wider and larger than any single wooden structure in any single church sanctuary. Here are some more details for what you will need to do in advance for communion preparations before Sunday's service:

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. 


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, August 9, McKenna Lewellen preaching
  • Sunday, August 16, Rev. Adam Isbitsky preaching, Holy Communion
  • Sunday, August 23, Rev. Rob Mark preaching

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. 


SUPPORTING BOSTON’s common cathedral: During these challenging days, the ministry of accompaniment with those experiencing homelessness in our neighborhood continues. One way to support this work is to supportive the work of common cathedral through donating sandwiches( click here ), or donating items on their wish list ( click here).  


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, 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.


SUMMER SABBATH: Rev. Rob’s annual Summer Sabbath (2 weeks unpaid furlough, 2 weeks vacation) will be July 17-August 13. Please contact Rev. Adam with pastoral needs during this time.


IMAGE CREDIT: Raychel Sanner via unsplash.com


THE AUGUST 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