February 9, 2021 Message from Pastor Alessandri and COVID Vaccine Flier

February 9, 2021 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

Washington County COVID-19 Vaccine Info – Churches (11) (pdf)

Hagerstown, Maryland

   February 9, 2021


HAVING TROUBLE GETTING AN APPOINTMENT FOR A COVID VACCINE? I got the following notice that I was asked to pass on to the congregation. Please pass the information on to any else you know who needs help arranging an appointment.

We recognize that many seniors 65 and older in Washington County may not have internet and are having a difficult time navigating the registration process for the COVID-19 vaccine. This email is to serve as information to assist the elderly members of your congregation. 

Attached is a flyer detailing information regarding how seniors 65 and older in Washington County can register for the vaccine. We have set up a Senior Assistance COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline where seniors who do not have internet or need extra assistance can call to get registered for the COVID-19 vaccine. The toll-free hotline is 1-833-231-1852. Please encourage everyone to leave a voicemail with their name, date of birth, and phone number. Please feel free to distribute this information to others as you see fit.

 For awareness, Meritus Health is prioritizing those 65 and older to receive the vaccine. There are currently over 23,000 people on the Meritus call list. It will be several weeks, potentially months before Washington County has enough vaccine supply to meet the current demand. Please reassure anyone that is on the list that they will receive a call from Meritus to schedule their vaccination appointment. When Meritus calls to schedule their appointment, it may show up as Cascade, MD on their caller ID. 

If you have additional questions, please let us know. 

Thank you for your assistance as we work together to help to reach those most vulnerable in our communities across Washington County!

Brittany Arizmendi, Public Relations Coordinator

Washington County Government,
100 West Washington Street, Ste 1401  Hagerstown, MD 21740

P: 240-313-2389 | C: 240-382-0789  www.washco-md.net

INFORMATIONAL MEETING THANKS  I thank Doug Wright and Mike Manspeaker who did a terrific job summarizing the building project and financial proposal to all who attended in the sanctuary after church and, again, for those who met via ZOOM at 12 noon.
The good questions and thoughtful comments were also appreciated. We hope you feel prepared for this Sunday’s SPECIAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING, February 14th, 10:30 am where we will vote on the Council’s Roof Project and Loan Proposals. WE NEED 50 of you there in person or via ZOOM to vote. We thank Seminarian Katy Moran for coming back to help moderate the ZOOM meeting.

We have printed it several times already, but here is the information you need to join the February 14, 10:30 am Special Congregational Meeting via ZOOM:

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


Meeting ID: 895 0218 5081                       Passcode: 193326

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

Meeting ID: 895 0218 5081                       Passcode: 193326

Washington County Interfaith Coalition
Interfaith prayers for today

February 9, 2021

Navajo Sweathouse Chant


The earth has been laid down,

the earth has been laid down,

the earth has been laid down

It has been made.

The earth has been laid down: it is covered with growing things,

it has been laid down

The sky has been set up,

the sky has been set up,

the sky has been set up,

it has been made.

The mountains have been laid down,

the mountains have been laid down,

the mountains have been laid down

They have been made

The waters have been laid down,

the waters have been laid down,

the waters have been laid down

They have been made

The clouds have been set up

The clouds have been set up

The clouds have been set up

They have been made


British Christian author C.S.Lewis

The prayer preceding all prayers:

“May it be the real I who speaks.”

“May it be the real Thou that I speak to.


Our lives are lived in patterns, Holy One.  May the many repetitions of the patterns of our lives carry us through the hours of each day blessed by the gift of life around us.

May we embrace the earth, raise our eyes to the mountains, hear the sound of flowing water, and gaze skyward at the multitude of shapes offered by the clouds.

To You who have offered them to us we bow in acceptance and in the reality of Your presence.


Reverend Valerie Wills, Coordinator
Washington County Interfaith Coalition



On Monday I visited Harold Rice at Washington County Detention Center. I would ask your prayers for him since there are currently several floors of the Detention Center that are housing folks with COVID and Harold has COPD. He sends his regards to all of you.
Now you are wondering where the gratitude is, aren’t you? On my way back to the office, I stopped to visit Chuck who has been staying in Harold’s apartment watching over his things and his pets. Chuck told me I stopped by in the nick of time. An eviction notice had been posted on the door on Sunday and he had until Tuesday to evacuate the property. Chuck was going to WalMart to get a backpack for his belongings so he could go to the Rescue Mission Tuesday evening. There still was this problem. Harold had already found a home for his dog, Daisy, but not his cat — less than a year old, gray and black striped, male and very friendly and loving.
Still waiting for the good part, right? I went back to the church and called a Haven member who has rescued abandoned cats/kittens. She gave me some places to call where I could get the cat his shots and be neutered and some nearby animal rescue shelters. I left messages at the rescue sites and headed out to help Chuck clean out the apartment. I was realizing I was likely going to have to bring the cat home with me until I got some replies. Now how would my older female cats feel about that, even though I would put him in a room by himself at first?
When I got back to Harold’s apartment, Chuck had already gathered items that needed to go to Goodwill. I bought boxes and large, heavy duty bags. Chuck said he would take care of cleaning out the place since I was making the trip to Goodwill, which was very nice of him. I looked around for the cat. He wasn’t there. A neighbor had decided they wanted a cat and gave the furry guy a home. Now, that was a quick answer to prayer!
The other bit of good news was that Harold’s stimulus check had already arrived, otherwise it might have been sent back or trashed. As you may or may not know, those at the detention center have to buy items like soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, paper, envelopes, stamps, underwear, etc. So these funds will be a great help for Harold whose trial may not be scheduled until March or April.

So amid chaotic and unfortunate circumstances, I am grateful for the glimmers of grace.
Pastor Linda M. Alessandri

ASH WEDNESDAY IS A WEEK FROM TOMORROW As it is with most things this past year, Ash Wednesday will be celebrated differently. Worship will be live streamed at 7:00 pm. There will be no distribution of ashes. Still, we will begin our walk into Lent thoughtfully together. Especially, if you remember…..

REMEMBER — WE’RE PACKING A BAG FOR YOUR LENTEN JOURNEY  It will have a Lenten devotional for each household, a bulletin for Ash Wednesday, *blessed communion elements,  that mysterious  bar of soap and a copy of Holden Evening Prayer (for mid-week Lenten worship.) We will have extra supplies so you can add bulletins, communion elements and copies of Holden Evening Prayer for any additional persons in a household.
Those who attend worship in the sanctuary will be able to pick up their Lenten Bags on Sunday, February 14. Those who are worshiping at home can pick up their Lenten materials on the parsonage back porch any time after 2 pm on Friday, February 12.






As I wrote in my newsletter article this month, I am thinking that this year we do not need a deeply somber Lent. Reflective but not dark or dismal. After a year of can not’s and restrictions, maybe this Lent we need to choose to follow the light of Christ and cultivate God’s joy and peace in ourselves, in our lives, families, communities.

I do not know what that would be for you. Picking up an old hobby, making or baking items to surprise and please others, sitting by the window admiring God’s creation, writing down three good things that you witnessed each day, taking walks, planning a garden, freeing yourself from unneeded stuff in your house, setting up a weekly ZOOM coffee break with friends, writing or calling folks to let them know why you appreciate them, dropping funny cards or postcards to our shut-ins or our Sunday School children, or whatever would draw you to the light, the grace, the love of God. No, not a chore but a ministry of love that feeds your heart and soul.

I apologize to those who cannot watch the video I offered today. It is a lovely story of an elderly man who decides he wants more than survival. Once a great athlete, he tries to get in shape but soon become discouraged, until…. Until he gets a vision and finds a reason for his efforts. Though the training is still challenging, he has a totally different attitude because he is now doing it for the sake of love. He throws himself into his dream with determination that gradually brings him joy and a peace in himself. When he arrives at his daughter’s home for Christmas, he brings a special gift for his granddaughter. When she opens it, she finds a beautiful golden star for the top of the tree. Proudly, with great pleasure, the grandfather is able to lift his granddaughter up high enough to put the star on top of the tree. It was the picture of his granddaughter — no, actually the love of his granddaughter that had inspired him to dream and strive.

After watching the video several times, I wondered if it wasn’t a good parable for Lent. How might I express love this Lent? Who might I be able to lift in the name of love? AND, on the other hand, how might I let the Lord lift me up with divine delight? Yes, I’m thinking of Lent a bit differently this year. How about joining me?

Prayer Lord, you are the source of all that is good, all that is love. Help me to sink my roots deeply into that goodness and love this Lent. Help me to recapture some COVID-free joy by delighting in you, your creation, and loving those around me and those I meet. Lift me up, Abba, that I may lift others up in your name. Amen.


“You Raise Me Up” (Selah)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DorNUsi5LE

“Oh, How He Loves You” (acapella) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNCtcITOP0w

“Unending Love” (Hillsong) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDIuFrdKiXg

“Reckless Love” (Cory Asbury)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc6SSHuZvQEFebruary 9, 2021 Message from Pastor Alessandri Washington County COVID-19 Vaccine Info – Churches (11)