December 7, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

December 7, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

Deck the Halls for the Coming of Christ
Haven Lutheran Church
December 7, 2020

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

In accordance with [God’s] promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home. Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.”
2 Peter 3: 13-15

Prayer: Christ, you alone are our hope. May we celebrate and rejoice in the amazing gift of community you have given us to share in this good news! Amen.



Alan Butsch needed to go to Hawaii for work and the rest of the family decided to tag along. I got this picture from Emily. “We made it safely to Hawaii last night and I thought I would share this God sighting of mine with you.” And one of our Advent-ture words just so happened to be LIGHT.  (I wonder!)

STRETCHED AND STRAINED FAITH The Christmas season can be tough for many folks for lots of reasons. especially this year. It can be particularly difficult for those who have lost a loved one, when just putting one foot in front of the other is an act of FAITH. People can feel guilty about not being able to get into the “holiday spirit” for those around them. But as this poem that Marge Cunningham saw on Facebook says, be gentle with yourself and let “less” be more than enough.






AN ACT OF FAITH? Have you thought that wearing our masks during a pandemic as an act of FAITH? The Rev. Richard Bott did and he composed this prayer for when we put on our masks:

as I prepare to go into the world,
help me to see the sacrament
in the wearing of this cloth –
let it be “an outward sign
of an inward grace” –
a tangible and visible way
of living love for my neighbors,
as I love myself.

since my lips will be covered,
uncover my heart,
that people would see my smile
in the crinkles around my eyes.
Since my voice may be muffled,
help me to speak clearly,
not only with my words,
but with my actions.

Holy Spirit,
as the elastic touches my ears,
remind me to listen carefully –
and full of care –
to all those I meet.
May this simple piece of cloth
be shield and banner,
and each breath that it holds,
be filled with your love.

In your Name
and in that love,
I pray.

May it be so.
May it be so.

“The Promise” (Michael W. Smith)

“Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers” ELW 244

“Shine, Jesus, Shine” ELW #671

“All Is Well” (M W. Smith & C. Underwood)

“His Light in Use” (St. Olaf Choir; Composer Kim Andre Arnesen)  WORDS BELOW!

God’s distant call flares in the night
So long expected, so longed for;
And all my life, Christ called my name
And now at last, I’ll answer Him

Renewed, his hope, his light in us
Incarnate, fragile, our Lord appears
Alleluia, alleluia!
Eternal, so perfect, his cry of changeless love

Alive, awake, his call is here:
It is the crying of the Child;
I know Christ’s call
Its hidden flame
It makes my spirit flare with hope!

Renewed, his hope, his light in us
Incarnate, fragile, our Lord appears
Alleluia, alleluia!
Eternal, so perfect, his cry of changeless love

This root, this stem, this flowering Love
This mustard seed
It grows to the greatest tree
The birds of souls have nested there
The light of the night
Now blazes at dawn!

You’ve lead me here, O little child
Your being singing with God’s life
The kingdom sings
It choirs with earth
All creation lives Christ’s peace

Renewed, his hope, his light in us
Incarnate, fragile, our Lord appears
Alleluia, alleluia!
Eternal, so perfect, his cry of changeless love

Please send in thoughts, quotes, pictures, stories or anything that speaks to your about FAITH  or ROUSE. Send to

REACH COLD WEATHER SHELTER HAS A MATCHING GRANT From now until December 31, 2020 every dollar you donate to REACH will be matched, doubling the amount you give.
The support provided by the community in 2020 was able to support 3,500 Washington County residents through REACH’s programs: 6,385 shelter bed nights during the cold weather season, case management, crisis services, mail services, eviction prevention, IDs and birth certificates, permanent housing, and financial literacy. Additionally, in 2020, the dedicated case managers permanently housed 43 individuals. None of this would be possible without the public’s support. And while it has been challenging with COVID-19, the need for help and REACH’s assistance have continued.

If you would like to make a donation to the work of REACH, you can mail it to
REACH of Washington County, 140 West Franklin Street, Suite 300, Hagerstown, MD 21740 or donate online at


CONTINUE TO HOLD IN PRAYER — Haven members recovering from COVID-19: June and Dick Hess, Eric, Stephanie, Piper & Tanner Meredith, and Amy Mason. Please ADD to your prayers: Irene Giffin, who recently tested positive at Hagerstown Health Center (750 Dual Hwy, Hagerstown, MD 21740) and Danny Kiblinger who is self quarantining at home with many COVID symptoms.

HAVE YOU BEEN MISSING OUR DEAR MELITA? To keep her safe and healthy, Melita Kaplan has been quarantining at her ARC group home. Her Dad, Pastor Kaplan, has strict guidelines and limits he must follow to see her. While it is so important she stays safe, Melita does miss coming to worship and Haven. How about being a LIGHT to her and letting her know we miss and love her. Melita’s address is 229 Maplehurst Rd., Williamsport, MD 21795

IT WAS A FIRST ZOOM EXPERIENCE FOR DANNY AND DOT Danny Kiblinger was able to meet with Dorothy “Dot” Zinkard via ZOOM to wish her a happy birthday. Dot is 99 years old. To make her birthday even sweeter, her grandson, Ben Zinkard, had just come home from his deployment overseas.