December 11, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

December 11, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

Deck the Halls for the Coming of Christ
Haven Lutheran Church
December 11, 2020

A Pause in God’s Word in Our Hope and Expectation

“The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’ “
Mark 1: 1-3

Prayer: (p.31) Builder of the future, what an awesome gift and responsibility you have given to us – to be part of the work you are doing.  Amen.

Thursday & Friday ADVENT-URE WORDS:  CHOSEN & WATCH

All our lives we strive to be chosen – chosen to be on the team, chosen to be class president or homecoming queen (for most of us memories of teenage fantasies!), chosen for a lifelong relationship with the one we love, chosen for a desired position… Advent invites us to stop all our striving, all our struggle, all our stress to have someone or something choose us.  Advent instead invites us to wait and ponder and watch – not just glance around while we’re in the middle of five hundred chores – watch intently and wonder how God fulfills the promise, keeps the word, accomplishes the purpose that God has set out to do.  Watch how God embraces us in the tiny arms of a newborn infant reaching out to clutch the breast of Mary, in the healing arms of a compassionate rabbi reaching out to make whole the blind and the lame and the lepers and everyone else who will never be chosen for the team or class president or homecoming queen, in the saving arms of the suffering Servant reaching out on a cross to embrace a world full of sin and death and pandemics of every age.  Watch how he comes to us with a love stronger than death, with a hope that cuts through our despair, with an Advent that dares to look to Easter.  Even when we fail like those disciples in the garden to watch with our Lord for one hour, he still reassures us, You did not choose me but I chose you.  And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last…  I suspect that part of that fruit-bearing this Advent season is not to worry so much about choosing the right gift, but taking time to watch again and realize that as incredible as it seems, we are that gift chosen by God to bear his gift of Jesus to a dark world.
                                                                                                                        Pastor David Kaplan

Hymns:

Pastor Kaplan suggests:

O Lord, How Shall I Meet You (ELW 241) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DPBN7WzS4o

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus (ELW 254) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oy2aCXpRRA

Fling Wide the Door (ELW 259)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-_dsYaLRis

As the Dark Awaits the Dawn (ELW 261) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLW61ZrDP3g&list=RDoLW61ZrDP3g&start_radio=1

Other suggestions

“Shepherd’s Watch” (Michael Card) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LR7xpfBiEAg

Chosen” (Sidewalk Prophets – Rockin’) Great words! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1ymenyfDjs

Monday and Tuesday ADVENT-URE WORDS: PRAYER & ANGELS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS EVE WORSHIP BAGS FOR THOSE
WATCHING OUR LIVESTREAMED CHRISTMAS EVE WORSHIP AT HOME

We will have Christmas Eve Worship bags ready for you by NEXT SUNDAY, December 20. In each bag there will be a bulletin, votive light and Holy Communion that will be blessed during the in-person worship on December 20th.
If you would like to receive one of these Christmas Eve Worship bags to please call or email the church THIS week and let us know how many people will be watching at your location.
We will ask those who attend the in-person worship service on December 20th to help us deliver them OR you could pick one up at the December 20th Car-oling Event.
Here and at home, we will celebrate Christmas Eve together.

MORE FOOD NEEDED FOR CHRISTMAS FOOD BASKETS We discovered several more families who are in need of food baskets to help their families through the Christmas school holiday. We have “virtual tags” with needed food items that you can get by calling one of our Food Basket helpers —- Pam O’Connor, Pat Pile or Kelly Bracken. (If you need a phone number please contact the church office.) All food needs to be at Haven no later than December 20. Food can be left on the parsonage back porch. Monetary donations also appreciated. Come on, Haven! We are good at fighting hunger!

IT’S NEWS WE NEVER WANTED TO HEAR. Our dear, dear Bob Dean died Thursday morning in his sleep.

His son, Tim, said they are grateful for his long, full life and that he was able to die so peacefully. When Tim called to tell one of his brothers, his response was, “He’ll finally gets to meet Jesus and be with Mom.”

 

There are no words. Bob was family, friend, encourager, cheerleader and faith-filled. Even in his hundreds, he still was positive, grateful and always delighted to be with his church family and worship.

With the current restrictions, the burial will be family only next week. HOWEVER, the family wants to plan a celebration of his life when we can again gather freely on the other side of this pandemic.

Together we have a book of “Bob stories” — stories I hope we will write down to share with one another and his family.  Maybe that is how we can acknowledge our grief and share comfort without a funeral to attend— by remembering and sharing our memorable times with Bob. Send them to the church office (churchoffice@havenlc.org)  or to me (l.alessandri1035@gmail.com)

As sad as I am, I can’t help but smile when I think of Bob. I’m sure many of you feel the same.

Robert Dean, our companion in faith and brother in Christ,
we entrust you to God.
Go forth from this world in the love of God who created you;
in the mercy of Jesus Christ who died for you;
in the power of the Holy Spirit who strengthens you,
at one with all faithful, living and departed.
May you rest in peace, Bob,
and rise in the glory of your eternal home,
where grief and misery are banished, and light and joy abide. Amen.

Your pastor and partner in ministry who grieves with you,

Pastor Linda M Alessandri

St. Ann’s Advent/ Christmas Drive-Thru
for the Community

December 18 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

St. Ann’s has decided to do their own Advent/Christmas display to include two (2) Drive-Thru nights.  One night, specifically for their Parish (12/11) & one night for the whole community (12/18.)  They are going to have people from the Parish, dressed up in Santa hats, playing Christmas carols & welcoming those who drive thru.  Their high school youth group, along with several parishioners of all ages, have come together and built from scratch, a display that represents Advent, Christmas & Epiphany.  The display will be up from Saturday, December 5-Saturday, January 2.  The drive thru’s are being held Fri, Dec 11th from 7-8:30 for the Parish & Fri, Dec 18th from 7-8:30 for the community.

There will be handouts for those who come to the drive-thru nights, which consists of:

  • Book: Matthew Kelly’s, “I Heard God Laugh” book- donated by our Women of Faith Group.  They will be wrapped in Christmas paper.
  • Gratitude Beads: A decade of beads with a saint medal on one end and a St. Benedict Crucifix on the other.  The beads are able to be put on a key chain, back pack or just carried in your pocket.  They are to slide throughout the day as you look around and see things to be grateful for.  It is to promote a way to “see God” and how He is working in your life.  It is also a way to see & focus on the positive in the world, rather than the negative.  They are being made and handed out by the high school youth group.  They will have a card to explain their meaning & also allow people to know these beads can also double as a travel rosary as well.
  • A sheet that has a “look & find” for the drive-thru, as well as an explanation of what everything is.  It will also include information about St. Ann’s Parish and the Christmas masses they have to offer.
  • Candy Canes (of course!)