April 27, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

April 27, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

April 27, 2020

Christ is risen! Alleluia!
He is risen, indeed! Alleluia

Here is a great place to start today. “Peace in Christ” I thank Valerie Wills for sharing it with us.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Waitmz6C100   “When there is no peace on earth, there is peace in Christ.” Amen!

I hope you had a good weekend. I am full of gratitude:
Saturday’s sunny beauty was breathtaking. I was able to catch a picture of my elusive younger cat, Domino, for my children’s sermon. The “trial” Zoom meeting for the Council went well. Someone left a piece of chocolate cake inside my backdoor which was delicious! Amy Mason spread the needed fertilizer on the church vegetable garden. (Thank you, Amy!) I took a luxurious Sunday afternoon nap. I woke up today feeling refreshed. I do hope you can look back and see some of God’s blessings making footprints on your days, too.

HAVEN WORSHIP I thank Steve Pastena, Grant Wills and Pastor Kaplan for their worship leadership in our Third Sunday of Easter service. Thanks to Mary Grabill for her behind the scenes work and Steve Pastena for preparing the tape for posting.  I admit that I feel very blessed to be able to gather with three others in our church for worship. I hope you sense how much we hold you there with us as we lead and tape worship.
We still couldn’t get all the sound to work as we wanted BUT Dick Hess and Bill Byers came in on Saturday, with masks and proper social distancing, and figured out why the altar microphone was not working. Hurray and thanks, Dick and Bill.

RED GERANIUMS FOR PENTECOST May 31st is Pentecost Sunday. Usually we invite folks to order red (traditional Pentecost color of the day) geraniums to adorn the sanctuary and then take home to enjoy in their homes and gardens. I know I usually order 10 plants myself to use in my front garden and in pots for my backyard and patio.
With hope in our hearts, we have told our plant provider that we would like to order geraniums for May 31st.  Each geranium will be $3.85 and you can order as many as you wish. Our deadline is May 11th.
So how do we do this without the envelopes we usually have for our orders, dedications and payment?
Step 1: Please e-mail your order to havenoffice@havenlc.org  with the following information:
Your name _____________________________
The number of plants you wish to order ________________
In whose memory or honor do you wish to dedicate the plants
The total amount of payment ________________________
Step 2: Mail in your payment or drop it off in the offering box on the parsonage back porch.
Be sure to put “geraniums” on the memo line of any checks and/or on an envelope with cash
IF YOU DO NOT E-MAIL or YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED WHO DOES NOT USE A COMPUTER, PLEASE TELL THEM to please call the church office with your order — 301-733-5056 — and leave the relevant information in Mary Grabill’s voice mailbox. Please leave all the information so we don’t have to do follow up calls.

What if we are not worshiping together in the church by May 31st? Pastor will enjoy riding around to drop them off and see your lovely faces.


From our Administrative Assistant, Mary Grabill:

Check out this link below


In a time where everyone is home, isolated and feeling a little cooped up, it’s such a beautiful site to see God’s creatures frolicking freely, in a normally unavailable area for them, whilst we stay away. Hopefully people will take this time as a way to better appreciate this world and the people in it and not just go back to the normal rat race everyone was accustomed to, where nature and family seem to sometimes take a back seat to the crazy, busy days.
I know we are enjoying some time sitting back and watching God’s wonders.  We had a Robin build a nest on the back door seal. This was obviously not good for us so Jason removed it twice. On the third day it had eggs. So with rubber gloves, a box and holding my breath, I carefully removed it. The box is now sitting amidst my fenced in garden. To my amazement the momma bird appears to be okay with this move. I’ve seen her hovering over the garden a lot. I’m staying away but I pray when I go out and check on them, that the eggs will be hatched. On the flip side, I kinda didn’t think about my garden so my half falling down fence and planting veggies will be taking a back seat this year, to this momma and her babies, which I’m okay with.
We have been watching worship services and reading inspirational stories of people helping their communities which has been refreshing my soul.
Oh and Jason’s baking which isn’t good for losing weight but he enjoys it and me and the girls enjoying eat it.

From our friends out in Western Maryland, Hazel and Wayne Gaumer:
Hazel and I are very happy that we still get these posts.  They sure help many days!

I really liked what Nancy posted – all so very good and thought provoking.

I hope you are well and staying safe and healthy – and tell Pastor hello and wishing her the same.

Miss you all but we are doing fine – just so much miss not seeing our daughters and grandchildren for 6 weeks now – it seems like 6 years!  Facetime – etc – really helps but it is not hugs and kisses             Take care.  Wayne Gaumer

From Haven member, Jamie Cannon

I highly recommend that you take 15 minutes out of your weekend and watch “Some Good News”; it is hosted/produced by John Krasinski (from The Office) from his house during the shelter in place based on true and good stories coming from this COVID 19 crisis.

I encourage you to watch with your loved ones that are sheltering in with you. You will laugh, you will cry and dare I say, you may be inspired.  This is one of 4 episodes. (In case you want to watch more after this one). But again, grab the Kleenex. (He is up to 16 million views)

Enjoy, Jamie                      https://m.youtube.com/watch?autoplay=1&v=F5pgG1M_h_U


I send you off with this blessing attributed to John Wesley. Bishop Bill Gohl used it as a closing blessing in a recent DE-MD Synod on-line worship service. I think it is a mission statement for all people everywhere.

Do all the good you can.
By all the means you can.
In all the ways you can.
In all the places you can.
At all the times you can.
To all the people you can.
As long as ever you can.

God’s peace IS with you!
Pastor Linda M Alessandri

A Pause in God’s Word

Read: Psalm 23 (Psalm for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, traditionally “Holy Shepherd Sunday”)
1The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
3he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
4Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff —
they comfort me.
5You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
my whole life long.                             (New Revised Standard Version currently used in worship)

1The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.               (King James version)

The 23rd Psalm is one of the most popular and well known pieces of Holy Scripture. It is by far the most requested Bible selection for the funeral services I have led. When I once served on a floor designated for those suffering from Alzheimer’s,  I could begin reciting the King James version of the 23rd psalm and many of the resident would recite it right along with me. It was stored in their long term memory from when they had first learned it as children in Sunday School.

I’ve begun reading for my sermon this Sunday. One British Episcopal priest, Samuel Wells,  makes this observation:
“God gives us the Ten Commandments because God wants to show us ten good ways to live. But at least as important is for us to hear the ten joys God offers us in the Twenty-Third Psalm. The commandments are there to help us find the joys. But the joys are there — the joys are there just because in the end they’re what last forever.”

Ten, huh? Place yourself in God’s presence — in quiet or with music — and read through any version of the 23rd Psalm you prefer. Check off or underline each joy or blessing lifted up in this psalm. Then, go back and read each joy and think about how that plays out in real life, in your life.
What does it mean to “lie down in green pastures”? How has the Lord lead you in right pathways?
You may want to do this over several days, lingering on one joy at a time. However you decide to bask in the love of God as described in the 23rd Psalm, remember to give thanks, smile and let your heart overflow.

Prayer:  (ELW Psalm Prayer for the 23rd Psalm)
Lord Jesus Christ, our good shepherd, you give us new birth in the waters of baptism, you anoint us with oil, and you nourish us at your table with heavenly food. In your goodness and mercy, dispel the shadows of evil and death, and lead us along safe paths, that we may rest securely in you and dwell in the house of the Lord now and forever, for your name’s sake. Amen.

Music:  Have a favorite “Good Shepherd” hymn? Here are some in our ELW  hymnal:
“The King of Love My Shepherd Is” ELW #502  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHnrF3rPZQ8
“The Lord’s My Shepherd” ELW #778  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6TXXzrYOd8
“Savior, like a Shepherd Lead Us” ELW #789
(choral) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UL-Od8Uwus
(acapella)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRmRQR_VuYU
“Shepherd Me, O God” ELW #780 (Marty Haugan)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFgZGlZ5t80