March 2, 2021 Message from Pastor Alessandri

March 2, 2021 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

March 2, 2021                     

HAVEN HAS ITS ANNUAL MEETING
and the highest in-person attendance of the pandemic

What a great response for our 2021 Annual Meeting on Sunday, February 28! We had over 40 present in the church, including 3 guest. (One of those guests was DE-MD Synod Bishop Bill Gohl!) When we added the members who joined us on ZOOM, we exceeded our needed quorum! Thank you, Haven.
Council President Doug Wright, announced that he had signed a contract for the roof project and there would soon be a project meeting to finalized a starting date. (Right now, estimated to be the first week of April.) The paperwork with Middletown Valley Bank would be signed this coming week. It was then announced that Haven member, Jim Cannon, had graciously agreed to chair the committee that will lead us through a campaign to retire the loan.
Jim provided an enthusiastic introduction. Among his comments was the announcement that $6,550 had already been donated toward the roof project. A pledge of $10,000 over the next 5 years had been received. To offer some incentive, a generous $5,000 had been donated for a matching fund — Starting February 28th, any donations to the roof project fund will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $5,000. What a great start! That is 21.55 % of the $100,000 we need to pay back! (Sorry for all the exclamation marks, but there is a great deal of good news.)  We learned that there will be several ways we can all get involved — with periodic donations to the roof project fund AND through making a pledge to be given over the next five years. It’s important to remember, any such giving toward retiring our loan needs to be above and beyond our usual giving to Haven’s financial plan for ministry (aka Budget or current expenses.) Caring for the building is our witness to the importance of God’s mission and ministry.
We thanked those who had completed their Council terms: John Bracken, Dick Hess, Scott Rhodes, Ned Strange, Susan Strobl, Ed Yelinek and immediate Past President, Amy Mason. We unanimously elected new Council Members June Hess, Will Seilhamer, Ken Tice and Aura Wiles for 3-year terms and Nancy Newkirk and Scott Rhodes for 1-year unexpired terms.
Our final order of business was to consider a proposal from Council to contract with Shifler Electric Associates, Inc to replace the heat pump that service the Gathering Room to cost $5,890. The current system is over 35 years old and uses a Freon that will become illegal to produce starting this year. Though it will make our reserves tight, there was a greater concern that postponing the replacement would only become costlier and leave us with a system that could go totally kaput at any time. The motion passed unanimously.
Thanks to Seminarian Katy Moran for again masterfully managing ZOOM so members could participate from their homes. Thanks to Marge Cunningham who recorded the attendance, prepared the slips for our “door prizes” and baked a blueberry pie and Jewish Applecake for prizes. In case you missed it, the Strange’s won first choice and chose the blueberry pie. Joan Schupp with second choice, selected the bucket of ACT chicken. And finally, Sue Nelson won the Jewish Applecake. I think everyone’s mouths were watering as our acolyte, Austin Suchy, drew out the winning names.

Despite a pandemic, we again gathered to do our best “to honor God, to reach out with love to our members and the community, and to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Your pastor and partner in ministry,
Linda M. Alessandri

GRATITUTDE AND GOD SIGHTINGS
God Sighting:

God Explorer Quill reading about the Woman at the Well in his Sparks Bible as his grandfather helps him with the tricky words. 

We continue to watch clips from the Chosen, and as we did, Quill said “Hey, I just read about her in the Sparks Bible and that’s exactly what happened.”  For those who want to journey to the well, I have included the clip below.

We then had great discussion about how Jesus LOVES to use water to do important things.  A few they named: “He calmed the storm.”  “He met them on their fishing boats.”  “Didn’t one of them walk on water to Jesus”?  Then one said “And then there was the story about Jonah and the Whale.”  And “what’s that guy’s name that baptizes in the water?”  And we always end with getting quiet.  So James Paul read Psalm 23….”He leads me beside still waters and restores my soul.”  James Paul then said “I feel calm when I am outside fishing, so I really get this one.”       Jamie Cannon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el7dzoNV3IY)

Valerie and Grant’s newborn granddaughter,
Amelia Grace, seems to like the water and looking at her mother.

 

 

 

 

Certainly not your run-of-the-mill snowman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It seems some have felt Lent to be oppressive and disheartening, especially in a year when a pandemic has already thrown life into a whirlwind and has us questioning the world, our priorities and maybe even ourselves and our worth. Maybe this is a year to simply breathe in the presence and breath of God to steady us and ready us for going forward into new and renewed life.

“But Lent”

And so,

in this holy season….

I will do nothing

but breathe,

receiving the quiet gift

of every inhale

and every exhale,

receiving it even

when I am too busy

or distracted

to notice.

Somehow,

God is present

in the breath,

in the breathing.

And from time to time,

if I simply

stop

trying,

I may be given

the grace

of knowing it.

Copyright Diana Carroll

February 20, 2021

NEED YOUR HELP DELIVERING OFFERING ENVELOPES.
I just went to the post office to see about mailing offering envelopes that haven’t found their owners. It would cost $1.85 to mail each pack of monthly envelopes and $4.85 to mail the weekly sets of envelopes. 15 x $1.85 plus 11 x $4.85 = $81.10. YIKES! I really think we could use those funds elsewhere in ministry.
I am going to lay out the envelopes on a table in the narthex on Sunday and ask those who attend worship to PLEASE deliver several. You don’t have to know the people personally — just live nearby or pass their house on your way to work or appointments. I will have some handled bags so you could leave them on door handles if needed.
IF you still haven’t gotten your envelopes and are able to get to the parsonage, I will gladly leave them on the back porch for you to pick up. Just leave a message (301-733-5056) or send me an e-mail (l.alessandri1035@gmail.com)

                 National Lutheran Choir
FREE Virtual Hymn Festival

On March 14 at 5 pm EST, join the NATIONAL LUTHERAN CHOIR and guest artists, the Keith Hampton Singers, for the FREE virtual program, “Hope Lives,” which blends spoken reflections, songs and familiar hymns of joy and hope with new music that speaks to our present time, inviting all people of faith to sing in joy together!

This program will take place on Sunday, March 14 @ 4pm (Central Daylight Time) and can be accessed at https://nlca.com/ . For a virtual subscription to exclusive content ($10/month), visit NLCA.com

BECAUSE WE NEED TO LAUGH

 

 

A PAUSE IN GOD’S WORD

Read: Exodus  20: 1-17

1God spoke all these words:
2I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3you shall have no other gods before me.
4You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
8Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.
12Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13You shall not murder.
14You shall not commit adultery.
15You shall not steal.
16You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Reflection:   Today’s reflections were prepared by Professor Lois Malcolm as posted on Luther Seminary’s God Pause

What guarantees our safety, health, and flourishing, even amidst diseases, disasters, and interpersonal or societal conflicts? The Ten Commandments, which Jesus concisely summarized with two great commands: Love the Lord your God with the totality of your being, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.

These commands create the conditions for trustworthy relationships; they make clear that genuine love never compromises truth or justice. They free us to rebuff all false gods incapable of generating life within and among us—including the gods of wealth, fame, and power, and any human or creaturely thing that we allow to consume our energy and suck up our attention. Moreover, by rejecting any action that would violate the sacrosanct dignity of human beings, they keep us from turning others into a means for our ends, just as they call us to resist anyone who would turn us into a means for their ends.

Prayer: O God, help us recognize the false gods in our lives so that we can respect and care for others with the same love that enables us to respect and care for ourselves. Amen.

Music:
“Keep the Commandments” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3–thiRbM_I

“Trust and Obey” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQB_rYBz2pE

“Only A Holy God” (The Acapella Company) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uORftJ2jDnI

“The Promise” (Michael Card) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyX-uriW3qk

“I Will Follow” (Chris Tomlin) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ohvhmGSfxI

“Together (We’ll Get Through This)” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-U7X2DR2C4                 

February 28, 2021 Sermon – Lent 2

February 28, 2021 Sermon – Lent 2

Announcements

February 28, 2021


A:        Return to the Lord, your God, with all your heart.
C:        Return to the LORD who is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.
                         (Joel 2: 12, 13)


Sisters and Brothers in Christ, welcome to worship at Haven Lutheran. We gather joyfully knowing the presence of our Lord is steadfast and sure.

*TODAY at 10:30 am we will have Haven’s Annual Meeting, simultaneously in-person and via ZOOM. Again, we need a quorum of 50 members to be able to conduct business, which includes electing new Council members and a proposal about replacing the Gathering Room heating pump. We hope those of you here at church will stay after worship for the meeting. We hope those of you worshipping at home will join us via ZOOM. Many thanks for your patience as we try our best to navigate technology. And I wonder…. who will win the bucket of ACT chicken or one of two prize desserts?

*The March newsletter is available in the church narthex AND at Haven’s website. Be sure to check it out!

*On the Wednesdays of Lent we will livestream a midweek worship service at 7:00 pm. The order of worship will be the lovely Holden Evening Prayer and there will be a brief meditation on Living into our Baptismal Promises. There are still copies of Holden Evening Prayer available in the narthex and on the parsonage back porch. Take a break and feed your faith each Wednesday of Lent.

*For you who are worshiping at home, please remember that there are hymnals, bulletins and blessed communion elements available to you at the parsonage back porch. Whether you are a member, friend or guest, we want you to be able to fully participate and enjoy worship.

This week’s concerns and joys:

*We ask your prayers for Becky Plavcan who is recovering from COVID, Karla Pile recovering from surgery and Jean Carbaugh’s Husband, Fritz, who is currently hospitalized.

*Best wishes to Delores Carson who celebrates a birthday this Saturday.                                                         

(after the announcements)

A:        Now, we prepare ourselves for worship as we listen to the prelude.

Updated Annual Meeting Agenda & March 2021 Haven Messenger (Newsletter)

(Updated) Annual Meeting Agenda 2021 (pdf)

Haven Messenger (Newsletter) March 2021 (pdf)

Sunday, February 28, 2021 Bulletin, Responses and Worship Information

Responses Bulletin 02282021 (pdf)        Bulletin 02282021 (pdf)

WORSHIP SERVICE IN-PERSON & FACEBOOK LIVE

Sunday mornings at 9:30 am

Worship Service with Communion in person in the church sanctuary

(social distancing and masks required)

 Worship Service LIVE on the Haven Facebook page

Starting around 2 p.m. on Fridays, you can pick up a bulletin, hymnal and communion sets on the parsonage back porch.  For extra precaution, use hand sanitizer before opening cartons/boxes. Keep the hymnal at your home for future use. The baggie of communion elements are enough for one person so please take on for each person watching at your home.

(Haven Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Haven-Lutheran-Church-134647913268366 or you can get to the page by clicking the ‘F’ icon in the upper right corner (center of page if on a mobile device) of the Haven website www.havenlc.org The live service will remain on the page for viewing later too.  If you are not familiar with Facebook please scroll down past the ads, map and photos until you see Haven Lutheran Church with a small circle of the church photo in a post. It will say ‘Haven Lutheran Church is live’ Sunday at 9:30am. This will be the first post Haven will have that day. If you have issues please email the church office or call and leave a message and I will try to get back with you so I can walk you through how to find it.)

If you plan to attend the in-person worship service Sunday morning at 9:30 am in the sanctuary, please remember to bring your mask and continue to social distance. Please follow the directions of the ushers and diagrams in the narthex.  We need to be very conscientious of following advised and good practices to protect ourselves and others from COVID. We will gather together cautiously and carefully, seeking to be fed and upheld by time with our Lord and a community of believers in worship. Thank you.

HAVEN ANNUAL MEETING ON ZOOM THIS SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2021 at 10:30 AM
Again, we need a quorum of 50 to elect new Council members and vote on a proposal for a new heat pump for the Gathering Room.

See the bulletin announcements for more information.

EASTER FLOWER ORDERS DUE NEXT SUNDAY, MARCH 7, 2021

(flower options)              (cost per flower)

Lilies                                      $9.30

Yellow Tulips                        $8.25

Pink Hyacinth                       $8.25

White Hyacinth                    $8.25

Please email (havenoffice@havenlc.org) or call the church office (301-733-5056) to give your order.  Payments can then be placed in the offering plate, mailed or dropped in the offering box on the Parsonage porch.

Please include the following information in your email or call.

  1. If they are in Memory or Honor of and the name(s) to be printed in the bulletin.
  2. Who they are given by so these name(s) are included in the bulletin.
  3. What type of flower and how many you want of each one.

February 25, 2021 Message from Pastor Alessandri

February 25, 2021 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

HAVEN LUTHERAN CHURCH
Hagerstown, Maryland

February 25, 2021

HAVEN ANNUAL MEETING ON ZOOM

THIS SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2021 at 10:30 AM

Again, we need a quorum of 50 to elect new Council members and vote on a proposal for a new heat pump for the Gathering Room.

(Can I lure you with a chance to win a bucket of ACT chicken or one of two homemade desserts?)

Join Zoom Meeting on your computer click (or copy and paste in your browser)
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89944487001?pwd=VnhkYm8xNXZTaE5CR0RzYjRVemM0QT09
Meeting ID: 899 4448 7001                       Passcode: 481006

Join on your phone by dialing       +1 301 715 8592
Meeting ID: 899 4448 7001           Passcode: 481006

Please MUTE yourself as you join the meeting. Let seminarian Katy Moran “unmute” you to check you in and whenever you want to ask a question or make a comment. One of the causes for excessive noise that folks complained of was caused by everyone picking up the background noises in everyone else’s home. This will help with that. Don’t worry, Katy won’t ignore you! “Raise your hand” or use the “Chat” feature if you want to get Katy’s attention to ask a question or offer a comment. Thank you for your patience! We are still learning!

Karla Pile who has surgery today to remove glass from her foot.

Dr. Bill and Becky Plavcan, recovering from COVID.

 

 

Washington County Interfaith Coalition

INTERFAITH PRAYERS FOR OUR TIMES

February 23, 2021

West African prayer

Lord, we brought in the harvest

The rain watered the earth,

The sun drew cassava and corn out of the clay

Your mercy showered blessing after blessing over our country

Creeks grew into rivers; swamps became lakes

Healthy fat cows graze on the green sea of the savanna.

The rain smoothed out the clay walls,

The mosquitos drowned in the high waters…

Your creatures give thanks

Your praise rises in us like the great river.

Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali (Muslim)

O, God, grant me light in my heart and light in my tomb,

light in my hearing and light in my seeing,

light in my flesh, light in my blood

…and light in my bones.

Holy Unity of promise, our eyes open to what is holy in so many ways.

Help us always to remember the signs of hope with which you surround us.

…Open our eyes in acceptance as we reflect on your gifts to the world.  Amen

The Reverend Valerie Wills, Coordinator
Washington County Interfaith Coalition

 

EASTER FLOWER ORDERS

DUE NEXT SUNDAY, MARCH 7, 2021

                   (flower options)              (cost per flower)

   Lilies                                      $9.30

                        Yellow Tulips                    $8.25

                        Pink Hyacinth                  $8.25

                        White Hyacinth               $8.25

Please email (havenoffice@havenlc.org) or call the church office (301-733-5056) to give your order.  Payments can then be placed in the offering plate, mailed or dropped in the offering box on the Parsonage porch.

Please include the following information in your email or call.

  1. If they are in Memory or Honor of and the name(s) to printed in the bulletin.
  2. Who they are given by so these name(s) are included in the bulletin.
  3. What type of flower and how many you want of each one.

This hen was found taking care of two kittens in a snow storm!

 

 

 

 

 

BECAUSE WE NEED TO LAUGH

 

 

 

Just once, I want a username and password prompt to say:  “close enough.”

A PAUSE IN GOD’S WORD

Read: Genesis 18: 1-7

1When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. 2And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.” 3Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, 4“As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. 5No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. 6I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. 7I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.”
15God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”

Reflection:
(I offer you two reflections that captured me. They were prepared by David Scherer ’15 M.A., Contextual Learning Associate, Luther Seminary as posted on

Luther Seminary’s “God Pause” posted at https://www.luthersem.edu/godpause)

 From February 22

Hey you! Yes, I’m talking to YOU. You who, like Abraham, have prayed for God to show up with blessings. You who have grown too weary to hear any promises of good news. You who, like Abraham, have entertained strangers having no idea that it was God coming to visit. You who, like Abraham, are lying with your face to the ground, afraid of hearing God’s blessing proclaimed to you. Lift your face. Hear good news. You don’t have to believe it now. Take a minute. You can laugh in disbelief with your partner if you need to. God’s promises can sound a bit absurd at times, but they are just as sure as the rising of the sun. God has called you “blessed and beloved.” God is on the brink of using you to bless many generations to come through your faithful actions. Trust in the one who has made you, named you, called you, and sent you.

Prayer

God of Abraham, give us faith to trust in the promises that feel unanswered.
God of Sarah, give us faith to look into the barrenness of our days and see new life.
God of the promise, give us trust to remember that you are good.
God of blessing, help us to see your new mercies every morning. Amen.

From February 24

“I promise to never let you down.” These were the well-intentioned words of some of the loving adults in my life growing up. As time progressed, however, I began to see that they were fallible humans whose word was not always reliable. Many of us have heard similar unkept promises from friends, family members, leaders, and institutions that have left us wounded and longing for someone who makes good on their word. The good news for us, and for Abraham and Sarah, is that our God is one who shows up with blessing and makes good on promises, especially for those who are perceived as too old, too weak, or too imperfect to be worthy of grace upon grace. If this is you today, rest in the presence of the risen one who keeps promises

Prayer

Open unto me—light for my darkness.

Open unto me—courage for my fear.

Open unto me—hope for my despair.

Open unto me—peace for my turmoil.

Open unto me—joy for my sorrow.

Open unto me—strength for my weakness.

Open unto me—wisdom for my confusion.

Open unto me—forgiveness for my sins.

Open unto me—tenderness for my toughness.

Open unto me—love for my hates.

Open unto me—Thy Self for my self.

Lord, Lord, open unto me!

—from “Meditations of the Heart” by Howard Thurman)

Music:

“I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light” #815 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfDuT5-NCfM

“I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” #325  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MNbHQLnawA

“The God of Abraham Praise” ELW #831
(Choir) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_k0WbiQXiHw
(Congregational singing with words) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvTgzJ2nZGo

“Hymn of Promise”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RHek8k5WoY

LISTEN and begin to learn for our Annual Meeting on Sunday

“Build Us Up, Lord” ELW #670 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0Zz4X7ep3Q

“God of the Promise” (Elevation Worship) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69WW5A6dofw

“Promises” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muEqwtYjdB0

“Less Like Me” (Zach Williams) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hawc0emHq8c

 

Wednesday Lenten & Annual Meeting Information

LENT 2021 – A SEASON OF RENEWAL AND REFRESHMENT

WEDNESDAY LIVE-STREAMED LENTEN WORSHIP 7:00 pm
Our music and order of worship will be the lovely Holden Evening Prayer, with brief meditations on Living into our Baptismal Promises.

February 24             “To Live Among God’s Faithful People”

March 3                    “To Hear the Word of God and share in the Lord’s Supper”

March 10                  “To Proclaim the Good News of God in Christ through Word and Deed

March 17                  “To Serve All People, Following the Example of Jesus”

March 24                  “To Strive for Justice and Peace in All the Earth

(Haven Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Haven-Lutheran-Church-134647913268366 or you can get to the page by clicking the ‘F’ icon in the upper right corner (center of page if on a mobile device) of the Haven website www.havenlc.org The live service will remain on the page for viewing later too.  If you are not familiar with Facebook please scroll down past the ads, map and photos until you see Haven Lutheran Church with a small circle of the church photo in a post. It will say ‘Haven Lutheran Church is live’ Sunday at 9:30am. This will be the first post Haven will have that day.)

HAVEN ANNUAL MEETING ON ZOOM THIS SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2021 at 10:30 AM

Again, we need a quorum of 50 to elect new Council members
(Can I lure you with a chance to win a bucket of ACT chicken or homemade dessert?

Join Zoom Meeting on your computer click (or copy & paste in your browser) https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89944487001?pwd=VnhkYm8xNXZTaE5CR0RzYjRVemM0QT09      Meeting ID: 899 4448 7001         Passcode: 481006

Join ZOOM Meeting on your phone, dial +1 301 715 8592        Meeting ID: 899 4448 7001         Passcode: 481006

 

February 23, 2021 Message from Pastor Alessandri

February 23, 2021 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

HAVEN LUTHERAN CHURCH
Hagerstown, Maryland
               
February 23, 2021

Dr. Bill and Becky Plavcan have COVID. They have been so very careful, yet…   Becky is quarantining at home. Bill is at the Shippensburg Health Care Center (121 Walnut Bottom Rd, Shippensburg, PA 17257) Please keep them both in prayer.

 

GRATITUDE AND GODSIGHTINGS

I WANT TO THANK YOU for the gift and ovation for my 14th year installation anniversary. You still surprise me! As the livestream showed, I was speechless. I continually ask the Lord why it is that I was so blessed to partner with a church that does such a good job of loving one another and caring for a pastor. And when there is no answer to that “why,” I simply say “Thank you, Lord.”

In case you are curious about the gift the Council gave me, let me share. It is Always a Guest: Speaking of Faith Far from Home, a book by favorite preacher, Barbara Brown Taylor. Thank you, Council. I’m looking forward to a good read!

SOAP ON YOUR MIRROR?  I invited all of us to use the soap of repentance and cleansing to make a cross on the mirror where you wash your face for brush your teeth each morning.
“I am a baptized child of God, forever loved and forgiven.”  I am wondering how many have made this part of their Lenten walk. Well, I heard from one member:

“Just a beloved wannabe follower remembering his baptism in a way suggested last Wednesday.”
                                                      Pastor Dave Kaplan

 

ANGLERS FOR JESUS (aka “God Squad Explorers at Cannon’s house) had an exciting lesson last weekend.

“Are you surrounding yourself with friends who would carry you to Jesus?”

This week the God Explorers journeyed with the disciples and learned about a place where some friends had to carry their friend on a mat to Jesus for healing.  Roark, Quill and James Paul had to determine,” How would we get Quill to Jesus”? They could select from a blanket, yoga mat or sheet.   They are coloring their accordion of disciples and when they have memorized the names of 4 disciples, have perfect attendance for 3 classes and memorize 3 scriptures, they earn a pizza and game night.  This week, they recited “Come, follow me, Jesus said and I will send you out to fish for people.” Matthew 4:19. It was a night overflowing in blessings as Quill said “what does it mean to fish for people…what bait to you use”?  And his brother very easily replied “the bait is love from Jesus.”  James Paul, an avid fisherman told them about using different bait to catch different fish.  (wow…now that is the start of great lesson.)    Jamie Cannon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAROL SHULL SENT A PRAYER for our Lenten walk.

A GIFT OF A SONG AND A SMILE from Pam O’Connor:

 

LYO Lenten Devotional Series: “Grounded”
“Grounded” is a Lenten video devotional series for children based on the life cycle of a plant. Each Sunday during Lent, we will share a video on our synod’s Facebook page  (https://www.facebook.com/DelawareMarylandSynod) and YouTube channel  (https://www.youtube.com/channel) where a member of the Elementary Team (E-Team) of the LYO will read a brief Bible passage connected with the various stages of growth, discuss it, demonstrate a craft that goes along with it, and provide a link to a song that fits with the message. Be on the lookout for these videos each Sunday in Lent, and please share with our youngest disciples! (So this is a Lenten series prepared for elementary children by teens from the DE-MD Synod. Rather cool!)

BECAUSE WE NEED TO LAUGH

I don’t have grey hair.  I have wisdom highlights.

I don’t trip, I do random gravity checks.

A PAUSE IN GOD’S WORD
Today I offer the reflections of DE-MD Synod Bishop Bill Gohl from his weekly posting.

A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. – Ezekiel 36:26

Even in a time of pandemic, the season of Lent is the springtime remedy for the places in our life that strike a dissonant chord with our faith; a time to turn our hearts away from sin and back towards the heart of God. Lutheran Christians have sometimes observed Lent with striking sobriety and somber spirits, but Lent in and of itself leads us to the ever new, joyful and hope-filled promise of resurrection. Lent invites us to be attentive, especially in times of isolation from in-person community, to that which could dampen or even corrode our heart of faith.

Pope Francis in 2017 said, “the whole of the Lenten season is imbued with this conviction, which we could say is echoed by three words offered to us in order to rekindle the heart of the believer: pause, see and return.

Pause a little, leave behind the unrest and commotion that fill the soul with bitter feelings which never get us anywhere.

Pause from a distracted life that robs us of time with family, with friends, that hallows time with God.

Pause and refrain from the urge to want to control everything, know everything, consume everything; to take stock, with gratitude for the gift of life, and all the good we receive.

Pause and turn away from the emptiness of everything that is instantaneous, momentary and fleeting, from the babel of blustering aloud and online, back to the fruitful and creative power of silence and contemplating the enduring faithfulness of God.

See the face of God in the marginalized neighbor, in those who blend into the backgrounds of our lives, to see in others God’s tenderness and goodness working in our midst.

See the face of our families, of biology and choice, who continue striving, day by day, with great effort in the midst of perilous times, who, despite many concerns and hardships, are committed to making our lives together a school of love.

See the faces of our unhoused, sick, addicted, incarcerated and isolated siblings, and the many who take care of them; recognizing in their vulnerability and service that the value of personhood can never be reduced to a question of calculation or utility.

See the faces of so many who try to repair their errors and mistakes, and who from their misfortune and suffering fight to transform their situations and move forward.

Return to God, to Crucified Love, who from the cross continues to bring us hope, his hand outstretched to those who feel crucified, who experience in their lives the burden of failure, disappointment, and heartbreak.

Return to Christ, to an invitation filled with hope for this Lenten, pandemic time, in order to defeat the demons of distrust, apathy and resignation; indeed, to the one who invites us to believe and act, in word and deed, proclaiming “the kin-dom of God is possible, the Kingdom of God is near!”

Pause, see and return.

Prayer: In some ways, Lord, it feels like we have been on “pause” for a year. Yet I know it hasn’t usually been a stillness that brought rest, peace or a nearer walk with you. Help me to choose to pause each day to see you, my neighbor, your love and healing in small acts of kindness or the beauty of sunshine after days of gray. Help me to then return to you with thanks and entrust you with my worries so that I am ever freed to serve you and neighbor in love. Amen.

Music:

“Lord Jesus, You Shall Be My Song” ELW #808 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgwGPPM2ytc

“Mothering God, You Gave Me Birth” ELW #735 (based on Julian of Norwich writings)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oyR2SQKOY0

“Now the Silence” ELW #460 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJxNqY4sf70

LISTEN and begin to learn for our Annual Meeting on Sunday

“Build Us Up, Lord” ELW #670 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0Zz4X7ep3Q

Some rockin’ Contemporary Christian music:

“Your Grace Is Enough) (Matt Maher) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LISbMRp0Y64

“Strong Enough” (Matthew West) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_gCfA0Dmgg

Sunday, February 21, 2021 Bulletin, Response Sheet and FB Live login information

Bulletin 02212021(pdf)                             Responses Bulletin 02212021 (pdf)

WORSHIP SERVICE IN-PERSON & FACEBOOK LIVE

Sunday mornings at 9:30 am

Worship Service with Communion in person in the church sanctuary

(social distancing and masks required)

 Worship Service LIVE on the Haven Facebook page

Starting around 2 p.m. on Fridays, you can pick up a bulletin, hymnal and communion sets on the parsonage back porch.  For extra precaution, use hand sanitizer before opening cartons/boxes. Keep the hymnal at your home for future use. The baggie of communion elements are enough for one person so please take on for each person watching at your home.

(Haven Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Haven-Lutheran-Church-134647913268366 or you can get to the page by clicking the ‘F’ icon in the upper right corner (center of page if on a mobile device) of the Haven website www.havenlc.org The live service will remain on the page for viewing later too.  If you are not familiar with Facebook please scroll down past the ads, map and photos until you see Haven Lutheran Church with a small circle of the church photo in a post. It will say ‘Haven Lutheran Church is live’ Sunday at 9:30am. This will be the first post Haven will have that day. If you have issues please email the church office or call and leave a message and I will try to get back with you so I can walk you through how to find it.)

If you plan to attend the in-person worship service Sunday morning at 9:30 am in the sanctuary, please remember to bring your mask and continue to social distance. Please follow the directions of the ushers and diagrams in the narthex.  We need to be very conscientious of following advised and good practices to protect ourselves and others from COVID. We will gather together cautiously and carefully, seeking to be fed and upheld by time with our Lord and a community of believers in worship. Thank you.

 

February 18, 2021 Message from Pastor Alessandri

February 18, 2021 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

HAVEN LUTHERAN CHURCH

Hagerstown, Maryland                 February 18, 2021


WHAT ABOUT THAT SOAP? I hope you were able to tune in for our Ash Wednesday service last night. In case you missed it and you are wondering why you have a bar of soap in your Lenten Travel Bag, let me share.
More many, many centuries, ash was used to make soap. (Ash + water will yield lye). So, in this year in which we could not receive ashes, we use soap as both a sign of ashes and of the cleansing power of God’s love and forgiveness.
I asked everyone to use the bar of soap to draw a cross on the mirror where they brush their teeth or wash their face each morning. Put the cross in the place where it will look like it is on your forehead when you look in the mirror. (If you have more than one person sharing the mirror, you will need to put one at the right height for each person.)
Then, when you look in the mirror and notice the cross on your forehead like it was traced there on your baptism, say “I am a baptized child of God, forever loved and forgiven.” (I’m putting a sticky note on my mirror to help me remember the words.)
Martin Luther suggested we “return to our baptism” each day to remember who we are and whose we are. Remembering we are a baptized child of God forever loved and forgiven, gives us the foundation, strength and encouragement to be God’s child who brings God’s light, love, healing and compassion into the world around us.

PSALM 51 AND SNOW  Psalm 51 is traditionally used on Ash Wednesday since it seeks God’s forgiveness. Did you notice verse 7?Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”
So, I was thinking….. Let today’s snow to be an “Amen” to our Lenten prayers or maybe God’s blessing on our Lenten walk.

 

WORSHIP THIS SUNDAY 9:30 AM in the church and live stream on Haven’s Facebook. Don’t do Facebook? You can still get to it by going to our website (https://havenlc.org) and clicking the “f” icon you will see in the upper right corner of the home page). Stay safe. Stay warm. Come in the presence of our Lord and God’s community at Haven this Sunday.

 

HAVEN ANNUAL MEETING ON ZOOM
FEBRURAY 28, 2021  10:30 AM

Again, we need a quorum of 50 to elect new Council members
(Can I lure you with a chance to win a bucket of ACT chicken or homemade dessert?)

Join Zoom Meeting on your computer click (or copy & paste in your browser)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89944487001?pwd=VnhkYm8xNXZTaE5CR0RzYjRVemM0QT09

Meeting ID: 899 4448 7001         Passcode: 481006

Join ZOOM Meeting on your phone, dial +1 301 715 8592

Meeting ID: 899 4448 7001         Passcode: 481006

STRAWBERRY PICK-UPAT BOONSBORO HIGH I had offered to pick up strawberries for anyone else who had ordered them from Boonsboro High. I just got word that the pick-up day is next Wednesday, Feb. 24th, 3:30 -5:30 pm. If you need me to pick up your order, please send me an email (l.alessandri1035@gmail.com) or leave a message at church (301-733-5056)

BECAUSE WE NEED TO LAUGH

A PAUSE IN GOD’S WORD

Read: Mark 1: 9-15
9In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
12And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
“Desert Voice- Jesus’ Temptation in the Desert” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phiVW2ycgWU

Reflection:   Today’s devotion and prayer prepared by Rev. David Kaplan)

Sometimes designated “Temptation Sunday,” the first Sunday in Lent, in all three liturgical years, shares Gospel readings that describe Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness by the evil one, variously referred to in the readings as Satan, the devil and the tempter.  Perhaps you recall the familiar story: how the tempter appeals to a famished Jesus, fasting for forty days, to turn stones into loaves of bread; or to jump off the Temple spire to attract a huge following; or simply to bow down at Satan’s feet for a brief moment to gain all the kingdoms of the world without any messy suffering on a cross.  In each case Jesus resists with an appropriate word from Scripture.  In so doing he blesses his followers, who by ourselves continually succumb to temptation, with the power and the example to resist our adversary.  The temptation accounts in Matthew and Luke are very similar; the most noticeable difference is the reversal of the last two temptations.

This Sunday’s reading (above), however, is Mark’s version of the story.  Except it’s not a story at all – it’s a two verse summary.  Only two verses?  Two verses surrounded by a helpful context that allows us to place Jesus’ temptation in the broader setting of the beginning of his public ministry: right after his baptism (which we celebrated six weeks ago) and before he began proclaiming the good news of God’s Kingdom and calling disciples (which we heard four weeks ago).  The sequence of those three events are more than a helpful time line; taken together they introduce us to the wonder and depth of God’s saving work to be accomplished in Jesus.  A perfect way to begin the Lenten season!

But the two verses themselves are significant, for they contain some phrases that are not found in the longer stories.  In Matthew and Luke Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness; Mark more graphically declares, And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness (literally, threw him out!).  The contrast is intentionally stark: the same Spirit who gently descended on him at Baptism suddenly hurled him into a place of conflict and struggle.  The same Spirit continues to lead his people in both gentle and forceful ways into mission and ministry.  I love the hymn “Spirit of Gentleness,” but that title may be somewhat ironic.  You swept through the desert, you stung with the sand, and you goaded your people with a law and a land  sounds more like the driving, throwing out action of the Spirit than the gently descending dove!

Even more intriguing is the phrase with the wild beasts.  What’s that all about?  At the surface level, it may simply be a statement of surroundings.  Lions and bears – oh my!  Although lions are extinct in the Holy land today, both lions and bears were present in Bible times.  As were antelopes, jackals, wild dogs, mountain goats, hyenas, various kinds of raptors including owls, vultures, ravens and eagles.  Some of them were undoubtedly part of the desert scene when Jesus was tempted.  Their very mention, however, is a reminder that God’s care for a fallen world extends beyond the pale of human sin to include all of creation.  And that phrase is not the only reminder we have this Sunday.  Today’s first reading describes God’s covenant with Noah after the flood (Genesis 9:8-17).  The covenant is not only for Noah and his family and descendants, but includes every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark (9:10).  Have you noticed in the Prayer of the Church each Sunday there’s a petition for God’s blessing on various parts of the created world?  That prayer along with the Noah covenant and this little phrase from Mark’s temptation summary remind us that from the very beginning God has appointed us as caregivers for the rest of creation.  If Jesus’ time with the beasts at temptation is worth noting, then our care for God’s creative work is worth doing!

But the word here for wild beasts also has a more sinister meaning.  In addition to flesh and blood animals it can also refer to demonic spiritual beasts. It’s used with that meaning frequently in Revelation (chapter 13 especially) and also perhaps in 1 Corinthians 15:32.  The desert area was considered the earthly haunt of such creatures, and Jesus’ Spirit-driven presence in that setting is no coincidence.  In fact, I believe it is at the heart of Mark’s understanding of Jesus’ testing, which was much more than refusing a series of appealing, but seductive, offers from the evil one.  For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, St Paul wrote to the Ephesian Christians (6:12), but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (and maybe also for that moment in the Judean desert).  With all those beasts raging against us, who possibly can stand victorious?  The very one who was thrown into that situation for that purpose – to begin to reclaim humanity and all creation for the true authority, the Kingdom which endures forever.  Of course, this was just the opening skirmish.  The decisive battle lay ahead, down the road, at the end of our Lenten journey with him.  With the victory in this desert struggle, however, the final outcome was certain.

In the meantime, angels would come to wait on him, to renew his strength so that he could wait on others.  As Pastor noted in her sermon a few weeks ago, he would use that same word in declaring to his followers why he had come: For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (10:45).  In the meantime, with demonic beasts already in flight he would announce the breaking in of the true kingdom, The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near.  Lent is just such a time for us as we turn to God again and believe in the good news that Jesus came to bring, that Jesus came to be.  In the meantime, Jesus would continue to expel vestiges of the demonic beasts that crippled God’s people as he cast out demons of blindness, deafness, epilepsy, misunderstanding, greed, despair and even death itself.  In fact he continues to do the same for his people today – even when those beasts are microscopic in nature, and the exorcism comes in the form of a vial of vaccine for which we give thanks!  And one more word to be aware of: the word Mark most frequently uses for Jesus’ casting out demons is exactly the word that he used to describe the Holy Spirit driving out Jesus into the wilderness.  Driven out into the wilderness, so that he could drive out evil beasts and principalities and powers, our tempted but triumphant Lord is ushering in a Kingdom where wolves and lambs will dwell together, and a little child shall lead them, and all creation will give praise and thanks to God.

Prayer: Lord God, as we begin another Lenten season, we thank you for the healing and renewal you bring to broken bodies and spirits and hearts, as well as your concern for all creation.  Through Jesus’ struggle and victory over all hostile powers that would pull us away from you, help us to use this season as a time for denying self; turning around to receive your mercy, grace and forgiveness; and sharing your love and care with one another and a world in need.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Hymns:

Pastor Kaplan’s suggestions:

O Lord throughout These Forty Days (ELW 319)
(different tune than ELW) 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2S1DJoNOk9A
Eternal Lord of Love, Behold Your Church (ELW 321)
(a quintet)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1FhpA082XU
(Organ solo) 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rG3W5IjH-w

Through the Night of Doubt and Sorrow (ELW 327)
(Organ) 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF69-20_GTU
(anthem – different tune) 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsiW_r9hRuU

Let All Things Now Living (ELW 881)
(acapella, youth choir)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpMCE1G3N7Q
(organ and choir) 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSRO1cMb_70

As Your Spirit in the Desert (ACS 923)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYfAbUmU9Tc

Other Suggestions

“The God Who Sees” (This is so lovely!)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz81dIfwf4Y
(some more desert stories in a modern oratorio telling the stories of Hagar, Ruth, David, and Mary and the promises God made to them.)

“Lord, I Need you” (Matt Maher) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e37m3I5eH8g&list=PLBxunSRZWbKbxu6PQdwl-gWhL1J3MtId2

“Desert Song” (Hillsong)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3l1z7bXY9Y

 

 

Ash Wednesday Sermon

February 17, 2021 Sermon – Ash Wednesday (pdf)