December 9, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

December 9, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

Deck the Halls for the Coming of Christ
Haven Lutheran Church


December 9, 2020

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

In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD,

make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lift up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
and uneven ground shall become level,
and rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
Isaiah 40: 3-5

Prayer: God-with-us, open our hearts so we perceive you on our journey in the wilderness of our lives. Smooth out the rough places in us so we can prepare a way for you in our world. Amen.

Tuesday & Wednesday ADVENT-URE WORDS:  FAITH & ROUSE

One person sees a mask as both a necessity and nuisance.
Yet another sees a mask as an angel, both holy and a blessing.






“The Christmas spirit
is that hope
which tenaciously clings
to the hearts of the faithful
an announces
in the face
of any Herod the world can produce
and all the inn doors slammed in our faces
and all the dark nights of our souls
that with God
all things still are possible
that even now
unto us
a Child is born!                         Ann Weems,  Kneeling in Bethlehem

– v. “to bring out of sleep; awaken”

What inside of us needs to be roused, awaken? It feels like we have been in a bad dream for about nine months. Much of life on stand-by or stand-still. We’re feeling weary, stagnant, confined, limited, anxious or maybe lethargic. What has gone to sleep inside of us? We’ve had to put to rest plans, vacations, milestone occasions, traditions, worship life, socializing, hugging, holidays for the safety and health of ourselves and one another. But in putting them to rest, have we also put to sleep other parts of ourselves and our lives that we really need? Maybe, this year, Advent is here to tell us to let rouse love, good memories, hope, possibilities, song and a happy dance or two. Awake! Awake! The Lord has come. The Lord is here. The Lord will come. Advent is shaking us awake from our fog of what isn’t to what IS. Let the angel of Advent open our eyes, ears, nose, tongue and fingers to the coming of much more than we can see. “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” Is. 60:1

“We Walk by Faith” ELW #635

“Arise, Shine!” (Haugen)

“Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn” (instrumental)

“Wake up, Sleeper” (VERY rousing contemporary Christian song)



Washington County Interfaith Coalition

Interfaith Prayers for Today’s Times
December 8, 2020

Christian (C.S. Lewis)

For prayer is a request
The essence of request,
as distinct from compulsion,
Is that it may or may not
be granted.

Orphic Hymn (excerpted)

I call to the one, who is never tamed
the narrator, the Giver of Light
Strongest of the strong who gives her breasts to all
Who never dies, the first born, known in legends, who helps us do,
Born of the night, all wisdom, carrier of light, a strong restraint.
We see your footprints that whirl silently
when you are still.

Source of Love and hope, Comforter of loneliness and despair, help us to know that the value of our wishes, hopes and prayers lies in the ability for us to be open to whatever life has to offer.

May we carry with us the possibility of celebrating the Great Gift of whatever may be before us. May we see the option to make life anew through the vehicle of holy love, and the willingness to step into new ways of embracing this moment of life.

Holy Spirit let there be streams of remembrance and hope for coming possibilities. In holiness, we pray. Amen

Reverend Valerie Wills,  Coordinator
Washington County Interfaith Coalition







Haven member, Irene Giffin, is currently in quarantine at Hagerstown Health Center (750 Dual Hwy, Hagerstown, MD 21740) with COVID and now pneumonia. She could really use some calls, cards and notes of encouragement from her church. 240-500-5234

Though feeling a bit better, I’m sure Danny Kiblinger would also appreciate some calls of cheer. 240-500-9105

UNFORTUNATE NEWS  Our dear Harold Rice is back at the Washington County Detention Center after an altercation with a neighbor. Bond has been denied and the date for his preliminary hearing will likely be after Christmas. First, please keep Harold in prayer. Second, words of encouragement, support and faith would be appreciated. POSTCARDS ONLY are allowed (so address labels.) The address is:
Harold Rice #53564 W.C.D.C. 5500 Western Maryland Parkway Hagerstown, MD  21740

Lastly, Harold’s dear dog, Daisy (see picture,) will need a home. It could be temporary if charges are dismissed or Harold is found not guilty. Daisy will need a permanent home if he is convicted. Currently, Daisy is at Harold’s apartment being cared for by a roommate but he will likely be evicted come January.

Daisy is a bit skittish until she knows you but very affectionate when she does. She likes laps and walks. I have no idea how old Daisy is but she has had several litters of puppies. Her bark has a “hound” accent. If you or someone you know could take Daisy in, that would be a great relief to Harold. Contact me at 301-733-5056 or

Harold also has an older kitten who is gray & black striped. I don’t know if it is a he or she but the cat is VERY friendly and gets along very well with the dog. If you would like to give s/he a home, please contact me. Again Harold would be grateful.