February  8
Sunday, February 11
 Worship 10:00 am

As we prepare for the season of Lent, which begins on Wednesday, February 14, we consider once again the story of Jesus's transfiguration. This is a story that reminds us that our God cannot be domesticated. Though we long for comfort, security, and familiarity, a genuine encounter with God leaves us forever changed -- if also somewhat bewildered! Amy Starr Redwine's sermon is "Terrified," and scriptures are 2 Kings 2:1-12 and Mark 9:2-9. Our lay worship leader is Omar Siddiq.

Bulletins are posted at CovenantWeb.org/read/listenwhere you can also read or listen to sermons. Printed sermons now include the pastoral prayer.

Music NotesThe transfiguration narrative brings together both Old and New Testament figures in a miraculous display, reflected in many musical settings. The story of the prophet Elijah inspired two famous spirituals: "Ezekiel Saw the Wheel" and today's anthem, "Swing Down, Chariot." AndrĂ© Thomas wanted to personalize Elijah's story through his composition. We hear this first in the "me" statement: Swing down, chariot, stop and let me ride; in other words, get me out of here! Thomas also wanted to emphasize the promise of another home, meaning a place in heaven. He notes, "The slave was fixed on having this other existence, for it brought comfort, encouragement, even optimism" (2007). The disciples' heavenly vision of the transfigured Christ is mirrored in Alice Parker's setting of the beloved Irish hymn "Be Thou My Vision." In an effort to use inclusive language, the stanza "Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise" is modified in our hymnal to, "Riches I heed not, nor vain, empty praise." Our service concludes with Jean Langlais' majestic setting of the Te Deum composed in 1934.

The children will have Sunday School this week. The memory verses for February 11 are: 
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" - Jeremiah 29:11  "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, her mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

There will be an Adult Forum this Sunday at 11:30 am in Beckwith Hall. See below for details.
Lent Adult Education Series

Our Lent Adult Education series is entitled "Going Out."  Every two weeks, we will engage with a different Covenant mission partner. The first week, a member of the partner organization will come to the church to share information about the work that we do together. The second week, all are invited to travel to the mission partner sites to meet staff, residents, and community members . This week, we will hear from our partners at North Presbyterian Church at 11:30 am in Beckwith Hall.

Schedule (Sundays unless otherwise noted):
February 11 & 18: North Presbyterian Church
February 25 & Saturday, March 3rd: Garden Valley Neighborhood House
March 11 & 18: Transplant House
March 25: Family Promise
In the Covenant Family

We pray for  Judy Bourne, Andrew Bullen (Melanie Marsh Baum's cousin), Akeya Clark (Marie Jones' niece), Anne Wombwell deConingh, Marlene Finkenthal (David Finkenthal's mother), Eliseo Hairston (Shirley Thompson's grandson deployed to the Pacific), Greg Madison, Mollie Hoar (family friend of Gene and Diane Papp), Elizabeth Mierke, Ward Porch, Sue Salvator, Liam and Emilee Stewart (Mindy Stewart's nephew and sister), Connie Brand, and Louise Wolfcale. We pray for those struggling with illness, convalescing, or are homebound; the patients, family, and staff in our surrounding hospitals; and those who have placed prayer requests in our Carpenter's Box

Please send prayer requests to Melanie Marsh Baum. Names are generally moved from the bulletin after four weeks unless there is a continuing need. Please let the church know if you or a loved one are in the hospital; HIPAA privacy regulations prevent hospitals from sharing this information.

Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. ~Galatians 6:2
Pray for those affected by gun violence  

Since a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, 
killing 26 people, 20 of them children; 909 people in Cuyahoga County have been killed by guns. Since last month, 16 more individuals have died by gun violence in Cuyahoga County. The names of those at least 18 years of age are: Marla Kay Hammel, Caleb Javier Olan, Martinus Gregory Sanders, Steven Louis Csire, Robert Peacock, Julianne Rosemarie Fischbach, Michael Ryan Fischbach, Alex N. Hatrick, Renee Lynn Mur,Thomas Edward Yatskop, Teon Dayvon Webber, Shaylamar, Walter Gilmore, Nicole Sherise Thorpe, James Dowell, John Justin Gnatowski, and Benjamin Clyde White. Seven of those who died were by suicide. 

Believing God calls us to be peacemakers, by Session action, each month we pray for people affected by gun violence and to reduce the evil of gun violence in our nation, marked by the tolling of the tower bell. The Church of the Covenant partners with God Before Guns, a multi-faith coalition of individuals and faith communities created in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, to reduce gun violence. Go to  GodBeforeGuns.org to learn more. 

2017 Contribution Statement and 2018 Contribution Envelopes 
Thank you for being a vital part of Church of the Covenant and for your faithful financial support. In mid-January, we sent out the contribution statements for 2017 for tax purposes. If we have your email address, your statement was emailed to you.  If not, we mailed it to you. If you have not received it, or if you would like a hard copy, please contact Este Pozza at  216-421-0482 X226. We have contribution envelopes for the year available for your use, per request. Please let Este know if you need envelopes and whether you want them for monthly or weekly donations.
Opportunities to Serve

40 Days of Giving!

Beginning  Sunday, February 4th,  Covenant youth will begin a "40 days of Giving" Fundraiser for their Summer Youth Mission Opportunities. You can learn more about choosing an envelope, donating money, engaging in a Lenten activity, and receiving our thanks by talking with Mindy Stewart or a youth in the Reception Room after the service.  With your generous donations, the youth will have the opportunity to partner with Fairmount and Forest Hills Presbyterian Churches this summer by serving alongside "Memphis Youth Mission" in Memphis, TN; engaging in worship and learning at Montreat Youth Conference in Montreat, NC, and reaching out locally during a "Mystery Mission" in Cleveland. Thank you for all the ways you support the our young disciples !

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time! Order Your Cookies Today!
Church of the Covenant hosts a Daisy Troop on Thursday Nights as part of  CWRU's Center for Civic Engagement and Learning's Scholars Program. They are now selling Girl Scout Cookies. If you are interested in purchasing cookies please contact Kevin Lowry at  klowry@CovenantWeb.org. There are Vegan and Gluten Free options! Help support this community outreach of Church of the Covenant and Covenant Student Ministries!
Partnership with North Church

Here are pictures with some of the church members  volunteering with North Church . We would like to thank all who participated.

Session Update
  • At the January 22 meeting of the Presbytery of the Western Reserve, Ruling Elder commissioner Jim Tomaszewski helped present a motion from the Church of the Covenant, Fairmount, and Old Stone for the Presbytery to pass a resolution objecting to Ohio House Bill 233. This bill would allow licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons into prohibited spaces, including schools and churches, without criminal penalty if they leave upon discovery and do not return, weakening protections previously offered by law. In part thanks to Jim's testimony, the Presbytery passed the resolution.
  • At the January 24 meeting of session, elders spent time in small groups considering how innovation applies to the church; discussed a report from the Audit Committee; heard a report from the Personnel Committee regarding the senior pastor's annual review and approved a recommendation to present changes in the  pastors' terms of call to the congregation; and, after discussing the experiment of holding the reception in All Saints' Chapel on Jan. 14, agreed to occasionally hold receptions in this location with additional logistical support for the deacons.
  • The next stated session meeting is Wednesday, February 28 at 7 pm in the office area. At this meeting, the session will continue strategic visioning, receive the 2017 financial report, hear a final report from the Stewardship team regarding the 2018 campaign, and make final adjustments to the 2018 budget.
11205 Euclid Avenue  Cleveland, OH 44106
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