February 25, 2021 Message from Pastor Alessandri

February 25, 2021 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

Hagerstown, Maryland

February 25, 2021


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)
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


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




                   (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!










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


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.”

(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.


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


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)


“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