July 1, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

July 1, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

July 1, 2020

Haven Lutheran Church





HOLY COMMUNION On Sunday, July 12th, we will add Holy Communion to our Drive-up/Outdoor Worship. Like wearing masks, it may seem awkward with the precautions we need to take, yet we hope you will agree that it is a wonderful opportunity to receive the Lord in a way we have not since March.

We’ve chosen the method I will describe below so that we can continue to express the unity and oneness with Christ that is part of our understanding of holy communion. We usually experience this when one loaf of bread is consecrated, distributed and shared by all who are present. As Jesus distributed the bread and cup among his disciples at the Last Supper, we put the bread and wine on the altar and distribute it to Christ’s disciples gathered in worship. Through the one body of Christ, we are united in him and through him as the body of Christ. How then to translate that truth in a drive-up and outdoor worship service where we need to be mindful of the holiness of communion AND the best practices of COVOID spread?

First, we will begin by only receiving one element, the bread. It will likely be in wafer form for easier, safer distribution. All the bread to be distributed will be on the altar. When consecrating the bread and distributing communion, the assisting minister and I will wear gloves and masks. Communion will be brought to those sitting in chairs on the lawn. After putting the communion wafer in their hands, they can temporarily push their masks aside to consume the bread.  And those in the cars? Communion will be brought to you in trays with the bread placed in disposable, individual paper or plastic cups, saying “The body of Christ given for you.”

What about our brothers and sisters worshiping at home?  We will continue to offer a worship service on-line. Communion is a more difficult dilemma. Some say, have folks have their own bread and wine/grape juice at home and during the consecration, they hold it up to be blessed in their homes. To me, that does not continue the unity I described above —- one source, consecrated, divided and distributed to all. Yet, I know many of you are hungry for holy communion, too.

So, I would offer this. If you have an outdoor space (patio, porch) on which you and I could sit socially distanced, I will gladly bring you holy communion periodically. Again, I would be masked and my hands sanitized or gloved. I know this is not “the same” as being able to receive the sacrament with the community at church. Yet, it is still THE body of Christ given for you that does unite you to all others who receive the sacrament. Think about it and give me a call if you would like to schedule a time for communion.

ADDITIONAL WORSHIP OPTION Starting the weekend of July 18 and 19, we will add the summer SATURDAY 5 PM WORSHIP service IN THE SANCTUARY. This summer service has been an offering for many years. It is casual, follows the usual liturgy of worship but has no music or singing. In the past, the attendance at this service has been between 10-18. Those factors make it a good choice to be the service we first try in our sanctuary, practicing social distancing and wearing face covering. Holy communion with the one element of bread/wafers will also be offered, giving us the opportunity to work out the safest way to distribute communion in our sanctuary.

Washington County Interfaith Coalition
Interfaith Prayers for Our Times

July 1, 2020

Ascribed to Muhammad: O God, give me, I pray Thee,

Light on my right hand

And light on my left hand

And light above me

And light beneath me,

O Lord, increase light within me

And give me light to illuminate me.

  1. E. Cummings;

i thank You God for most this amazing

day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees

and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything

which is natural which is infinite which is yes.

Holy Spirit of all that is, bring us to “yes”.  Open us to all the ways we can seek deeper understanding and acceptance of change when it comes and change when it is not what we want.  Let the light in our lives not overwhelm us, but instead open before us new pathways to love and anticipation of the next thing.  Companion us on our particular journey of living.  Light of our Hearts, be present we pray.
The Rev. Valerie Wills, Co-coordinator
Washington County Interfaith Coalition















From Pastor David Kaplan:
In the midst of struggle, my heart is filled with thanks for you and the folks at Haven. God’s blessings and peace be with you all!  Dave













From Clare Newcomer

This is the cherry tomato I planted under kitchen window.  At least a dozen clusters of bloom and it isn’t even July.
Enjoying another gorgeous day. (June 26) And my God sighting for this week…discovered I have a tree frog… enjoy listening to him after sunset.








With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off?  He’s all right now.

A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s just two tired.

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine last week is now fully recovered.

He had a photographic memory but it was never fully developed.

When she saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she’d dye.

Acupuncture is a jab well done.  That’s the point of it.

I didn’t like my beard at first.  Then it grew on me.



The latest information from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) states that the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) especially for a longer period of time (greater than 10 minutes) Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

Because COVID-19 is primarily an airborne virus, we can take measures to prevent getting or spreading it. You know them already — Practice social distancing and wear a cloth face covering when you are outside your home. (It should cover your nose and your mouth.) Avoid crowds where it is difficult to practice social distancing and others are not wearing face coverings. And then there is the long standing good hygiene practices for COVID and all those other infectious microbes —- Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer when you can’t wash with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Why repeat this information? It is good to keep in mind as we slowly try to move back into our church building for worship or other congregational activities. It is why we practice social distancing and wearing masks when seated on the lawn for outdoor worship. It is why we would insist on social distancing and wearing masks in the sanctuary or when meeting elsewhere in the building. Is it awkward and the masks uncomfortable? Yeah, we understand that. Yet, we remember that in the gospel of John, Jesus tells his disciples to love one another as I have loved you.  Following Jesus’ example, we put the health and safety of one another as a priority over our comfort or opinions.

JULY FOURTH WEEKEND BREAK  I will not write and prepare an E-Message and devotion this Friday, July 3rd.  Mary and I are going to take off Friday July 3rd as our July 4th holiday. That means, I will have two consecutive days off! Wahoo! That is a rare occurrence for many of us pastors except on vacation. Of course, I WILL be leading worship on July 5th (weather permitting) and answering Friday and Saturday e-mails that Sunday, too. HOWEVER — HEAR ME — If there is an emergency or critical difficulty please do NOT hesitate to call me at home. 301-745-4216.

I love being your pastor and I do appreciate time of rest. I have always been amazed at how understanding you are about that. I will be back with a message and devotion on Monday, July 6th and Mary will be ready to post it for you to access. I hope you have a restful weekend with sparkles of Godsightings and sprinkles of wonder. (Don’t forget to send your notes of gratitude and Godsighting to me at l.alessandri@gmail.com  I find them so encouraging and so does our congregation.)

God IS with us,
Pastor Linda M. Alessandri

Read       Psalm 145:8-14

8The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9The LORD is good to all,
and his compassion is over all that he has made.
10All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD,
and all your faithful shall bless you.
11They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom,
and tell of your power,
12to make known to all people your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
The LORD is faithful in all his words,
and gracious in all his deeds.
14The LORD upholds all who are falling,
and raises up all who are bowed down.

Aren’t the psalms a wonder? When we read and pray verses 8-13, we use these wonderfully expansive and dynamic words and images — abounding, glorious splendor, everlasting. Notice how many times the word “all” is used. In daily life, we are hesitant to use terms like “always,” “all” or “never.” We humans are not guaranteed to be that consistent. Yet when it comes to our Lord, our God is steadfast and trustworthy — “faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds.”  Even when we cannot understand, in faith we trust God is with us and desires we know great peace and joy. Notice that many of those uses of “all” refer to God’s love for everyone and all creation. God’s love is unconditional and all-inclusive. As we learn from watching Jesus, God holds all people in heart and reaches out particularly to those often excluded. this portion of the psalm that seems to sing mostly about of the greatness, splendor and power of God, but it does not miss mentioning that the Lord’s compassion and care extends to those who are “falling” or “bowed down.”

I invite you to wander in the wonder of today’s psalm selection. If you are in a good place, sing exuberantly of God’s greatness and ride on the wonder of it all. If you are not in a good place today, read of God’s faithfulness and love of all, particularly the downtrodden and take heart. Breathe in the goodness of God and rest in a trust of that never ending, never failing, abounding love of God.

Prayer (ELW Psalm Prayer for Psalm 145)
Loving God, you are faithful in your promises and tender in your compassion. Listen to our hymn of joy, and continue to satisfy the needs of every living thing, that all your creatures may bless your name, O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, both now and forever.  Amen.


“Great Is Thy Faithfulness”  ELW #733
(choral) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMACCtitfRw
(Veritas acapella) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2i7_X8RQis

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

“Your Grace Is Enough” (Chris Tomlin) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpYtYYaTFGQ