Sunday, December 2, 2018
First Sunday in Advent: HOPE
Celebration of Holy Communion
This Isn't Working
McKenna Lewellen, preaching
This Sunday at Covenant
10:30 Sunday Worship in the Sanctuary
Guest Preacher - McKenna Lewellen
Liturgist - Rev. Jack Ammerman, Rev. Rob Mark, Rev. Julie Avis Rogers
Lector - Barbara Darling
Minister of Music - Tom Handel
Ushers - Evelyn Kimber, Ellice Miller, Dan Evans, David McKinney
Advent Liturgist - Kay Olm
Communion Servers - Evelyn Kimber, Debbie Howland, Barbara Darling, Christine James
Sexton - Fred Lopes

Scripture Readings:     
Gospel of Mark 1: 4-8
Gospel of Luke 21: 25-36

This Upcoming Week at Covenant

WELCOME TO CHURCH OF THE COVENANT: We  are delighted to welcome you to our community of faith today! If you are new to our community, we hope you will feel at home and welcomed during today's service. If you would like to get to know us better, please fill out a visitor's card found in your pew. Every third Sunday of the month, we hold a potluck lunch downstairs in Bates Hall with a designated Newcomers Table for visitors to meet some of our leaders and to learn more about this community of faith. Our next potluck is Sunday, December 16 and all are heartily invited to attend! 
DETAILS ON THIS SATURDAY'S KINDLING ZINE LAUNCH: Our new initiative for students and young artists, the Kindling Collective, is launching it's second zine publication this Saturday, December 1 from 4-6 pm and you are invited! This new zine, entitled Meditations, features a wide range of artwork from talented young Boston artists who have creatively shared their perspectives on faith, spirituality, and belief through poetry, short story, comic, and photography.
Please join us for a celebration of this work at Emerson College's Private Dining Room located at 25 Boylston Place, Boston (just steps away from the Boylston T stop on the green line). Boylston Place is a a pedestrian walkway off of Boylston Street and the Private Dining Room is about midway down the walkway on the left. We will have signs outside so you'll know where to go. Since this is a new location for many of us, we will also have a member of the Kindling Advisory Team (likely either Alyssa Avis Rogers or Rob Mark) waiting outside the Boylston T-stop from 4:00- 4:10 to walk over together with any Covenant-ers who would prefer to gather there.
SUNDAY we welcome back Guest Preacher McKenna Lewellen and friend of COTC:  McKenna is a graduate of BU School of Theology, and serves as the Program Coordinator at The Center, a mission initiative of the Baltimore Presbytery. 
ART ON BULLETIN COVER: Raise Your Head, by Lauren Wright Pittman of A Sanctified Art, inspired by Luke 21:25-36 Note from Artist: In the past, I have met this text and spiraled out in my own grief and anxiety. Previously in my reading, these apocalyptic signs pointed to my own smallness, fragility, and mortality, stirring up fear and confusion. This year, however, for me these signs boldly point to the unfathomable, overwhelming greatness of God. This text feels massive, and it invites us into this Advent season in a thundering fashion. Jesus says to respond to these apocalyptic signs with staggering hope and confidence. When it feels like the very foundations of the heavens are crumbling, we are to stand up. When the roaring sea and the waves confuse us, when the sun, moon and stars come tumbling out of the sky, we are to raise our heads. When the news cycle feels like an endless fire hose, people pour into the streets in protest, families are separated, and fires blaze through neighborhoods, we are to stand up and confidently usher in and claim the redemption that God promises. Just as the trees signal the changing of the seasons, these signs will prepare us for the coming of Christ. Instead of getting lost in the worries of this life, stand up, raise your head, and get lost in the fact that this expansive, infinite God is drawing near to you. Choose to get lost in wonder.
ADVENT WREATH MAKING: Before and after the service today in Bates Hall, please come join us in making your own Advent Wreath with candles thanks to our CYCE committee.
FREE ORGANIC FAIR TRADE COFFEE: Every Sunday! Yes, join us down in Bates Hall for a free cup of coffee and conversation (or just the coffee if you'd prefer J ) - there is always something good brewing at COTC...

A LIGHT THROUGH THE AGES: Sunday Dec. 2, 4pm, Central Reform Temple, 15 Newbury Street. Celebrate the meaning of Chanukah in story, song, and a dramatic candle lighting ceremony with Rabbi Howard A. Berman. The Zamir Chorale of Boston will perform traditional and contemporary holiday classics. This year Central Reform Temple will honor eight distinguished Boston religious leaders, who will light the candles of the Menorah, symbolically spreading the light of their and their congregations' gifts to the life of our city.  
CHANGES TO BATES HALL: Please note, in our ongoing effort to create and maintain Safe and Welcoming Spaces in our church building, beginning today, we will designate our Bates Hall fellowship space fully to our to our children, youth, parents, caregivers and teachers, during the worshiping hour ( approximately 10:30- 11:30am). We ask congregants and visitors to refrain from descending into Bates Hall (the fellowship hall in our "basement") during this worshiping time. As always, our two all-gender restrooms on the first floor will remain open and available to all during the service (one located near the elevator, one just outside the "secret door" in the sanctuary, just past the baptismal font). Also, the small bathroom just in front of our Nursery will now only be used for children and youth on Sundays. Please ask Rob or ushers if you have questions - thanks!
P OINSETTIA MEMORIALS DEADLINE : If you would like to honor your loved ones with a poinsettia plant in our sanctuary, please fill out the form enclosed in the bulletin, place it in offering plate today or next week, or let the church office know by Sunday, December 16.
20-30s GROUP THIS FALL: We have an active young adult group that meets regularly to share meals, visit sites around New England, and discuss how our faith motivates and guides us to live through this unique life stage. This fall we've already ventured through Cape Cod, apple orchards and a delicious afternoon tea! Our next event together will be Christmas Cookie baking and decorating (to both enjoy and support our Deacons ministry of holiday hospitality) on Saturday December 15, from 2-4pm at Julie's apartment in Watertown. If you'd like to join us, or be added to the email listserv, email Rev. Julie at
BOOK GROUP THIS SUNDAY DECEMBER 2: Covenant's book discussion group will meet on Sunday, December 2, at 5 pm at the home of Nancy Stockford and Mark Huston in Jamaica Plain.  We'll be discussing the Autobiography of Malcolm X.  As always, we start with a potluck.  And as always, you are welcome whether or not you have ever attended before, and whether or not you have read the book.  For more information contact Barbara at
SUPPORTING OUR BELOVED SIBLING IN CHRIST ELSA ABELE: As Elsa is now out of the hospital and in rehab in the same assisted living center where she and Reine live, one way to support her in her journey facing this new diagnosis with brain cancer is to please visit/ post/ follow her new CaringBridge site: We will of course continue to keep her and Reine in our prayers. If you would like to visit Elsa in New Hampshire, please be in touch with Kay Olm at Mid week visits are best as her family visits on the weekends. Elsa LOVES simple "thinking of you" cards - address: Elsa Abele, Havenwood Heritage Heights, 33 Christian Ave., Room 152, Concord, NH 03301
UPCOMING EVENTS AT COTC:  The New England Conservatory will hold a concert Dec. 7th and the New England Conservatory Prep School will also hold their concert on Dec. 15.  Both will be in Sanctuary at 7pm. All are welcome.

MISSED GIVING TUESDAY??? NO PROBLEM!!! Thanks to our COTC Generosity Generators, we can all now give fully online and set up automatic, recurring giving to the life and ministry of our beloved church. Simply click on the "Give" tab on our website to do some generous clicking! THANK YOU!!
RACE, ART, AND IDENTITY:   Free art exhibit by Carrie Mae Weems: Strategies of Engagement, McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College until Dec.13. 
The December  issue of Covenant News  can be read online  here

Every Sunday at Covenant
click on the links to learn more:   
  • NURSERY CARE FOR CHILDREN:  Nursery Care is provided by our wonderful caregivers each Sunday from 9:15 am onward. Please ask an usher for directions if you need help finding it. 
Upcoming Events

A new year is in full-swing with new and inspiring opportunities for children of all ages to grow in faith and community. Our nursery continues to be open and staffed from 9:15 am - 1:00 pm each Sunday. In addition, there are two classes for kids each Sunday (each begins at 10:30 am with a circle time for all ages):
*      Godly Play for children ages 3-9: A multi-sensory, Montessori based curriculum focused on Bible stories and children's spirituality.
*      Youth classes for children ages 10-13: A class that engages a monthly focus-scripture and includes opportunities for service, art, and worship around the focus scripture.
Church of the Covenant looking to expand our team of  Open  Sanctuary  hosts and Event Sextons. Both hosts and sextons are so important in helping us make Covenant a welcoming place for the wider community. OS hosts staff our  Open  Sanctuary  program that opens our building to the public, welcoming visitors and telling them about our building. Event sextons work with outside groups holding events here,  opening  and locking up the building, assisting with set-up (must be able to lift/carry moderately heavy objects), and making sure that events run smoothly. If you think you or someone you know would be a good fit for either of these positions, please email Bill Brown at to set up an interview! Please note that these are both paid positions.

December 9 - Advent Two, Christmas Joy Offering, Rev. Rob preaching
December 16 - Advent Three, Instant Christmas Pageant & Choir
December 20 - Thursday 7:30pm, Longest Night of the Year / Blue Christmas service with Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St.
December 23 - Advent Four, Rev. Julie preaching
December 24 - Monday Christmas Eve 6pm, Candlelight Festive Lessons & Carols Service