July 10, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

July 10, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

July 10, 2020

Haven Lutheran Church







Strength for the journey- God sighting yesterday was the word, Psalm 65, and Pastor’s message about our journey together in this Covid year from disorientation to reorientation.  For me an additional personal layer as I struggle from a disorienting fall to resume for a while anyway a more dependent and less mobile life style.  So yesterday’s devotion came like a refreshing oasis to bring renewed hope in my heart and praise on my lips.  On to the next trail marker!

God’s peace and blessings, Haven – thanks for your thoughts, calls, cards and prayers,

Dave Kaplan


Washington County Interfaith Coalition
Interfaith Prayers for Today

July 9, 2020

Prayer from Zaire

I shall sing a praise to God:

Strike the chords upon the drum.

God, who gives us all good things—

Strike the chords upon the drum—

Wives, and wealth, and wisdom.

Strike the chords upon the drum.

Sufi (Jelaluddin Rumi)

You, the Holy, are the notes, and we are the flute.

We are the mountain, and you are the sounds coming down.

We are the pawns and kings and rooks

You set out on a board:  we win or we lose.

We are lions rolling and unrolling on flags.

Your invisible wind carries us through the world.


May we bring into symphony the beating of our hearts in love and acceptance.  May we dare to encounter that which has been alien to us.  May our bravery allow us to blend our voices with an unlikely other.

Holiness is for all. You who are the guardian of our lives, help us learn new ways in this time of illness and unrest to offer the stranger acceptance and a listening heart. Even distanced, help us learn to create music with the new instruments of possibility. Amen

The Rev. Valerie Wills, Co-coordinator

Washington County Interfaith Coalition

ANN LOCHBAUM’s surgery went well at Mercy Hospital. She is experiencing pain but hopes to soon be moved to the physical therapy unit to work her way home. With no visitors allowed, Ann is understandably homesick. Lots of cards and notes would certainly cheer her. (Mercy Medical Center, 345 St Paul Pl, Baltimore, MD 21202) And, of course, keep Ann in your prayers.

From the weekly COVID Update from Delaware-Maryland Synod Bishop William (Bill) Gohl, Jr.

Together for Vacation Bible School!
We will be offering a free, three day Synod VBS under the theme Where’s Jesus? that will be available August 3, 5, and 7! That information is now live and can be found at https://demdsynod.org/vbs/ Through our ongoing partnership with Mar-Lu-Ridge, our camp counselors will also be a part of this program.

We hope that this program will help churches who are scrambling to figure out how to do VBS during COVID-19. If your congregation is doing its own digital VBS program, that’s great! We encourage you to consider signing up for our synod’s VBS program along with your congregation’s VBS for the opportunity to engage with other children and families from across our synod.

Why is registration required? We will be providing resources, by delivery, to all the families who register – so there needs to be lead time to secure enough materials and make sure they get to everyone!  Registration closes on July 12th so that materials can get out to everyone, so please help us push this out into our congregations and networks!

Mar-Lu-Ridge at Home
We are excited to share MLR at Home with you! Beginning July 5, you can visit https://www.mar-lu-ridge.org/mlr-at-home/ for FREE access to crafts, nature lessons, games, and campfires led by our amazing summer staff. Everyone is welcome to use these materials: families, congregations, youth groups, folks of all ages! We also invite you to Sunday and Thursday worship services on our Facebook page. Join us to see our summer staff and volunteer pastors as they lead joyful, Christ centered worship. We can still live and work and walk #sidebyside even though we aren’t able to be together on the Ridge this summer. We’ll see you soon for MLR at Home!

Racial Justice Series: Listen and Learn about Racism
Our Synod’s Racial Justice Team invites you to participate in an educational series about racism that will provide historical context, facilitate your personal journey, and help you find your voice in this national conversation. Recognizing that systemic racism is a sin which has been perpetuated by the institutional silence of our predominantly white denomination, these sessions are being led by predominantly white leaders in our synod to facilitate greater accountability for addressing the sin of racism within our congregations and the ELCA.  It will be held on Zoom on four consecutive Monday evenings from July 27th to August 17th. For more details and to register go to https://demdsynod.org/listen-and-learn-about-racism/.  You are also encouraged to view additional resources on the Racial Justice Ministry’s newly updated webpage. https://demdsynod.org/connectedness/racial-justice-ministry-team/

COVID-19 Response Effort
Thank you!!
In 79 days we raised over $335,000.00 together. This includes gifts, pledges and matching gifts to date, and some gifts are still arriving! We thank you once more for the generosity of all who participated. Please look for additional updates as we conclude this fundraising effort and are making the financial aid available to our churches and ministries most in need during this challenging time. Thank you once more!

The Church is not closed
The Church is not closed and I see signs of it throughout our synod! Good Shepherd (Wilmington) continues its Shepherd’s Garden Ministry, gathering from its own produce and donations from the community, over 4,000 items to share for the needs of their neighbors; St. Philip’s (Wilmington) is continuing its popular Summer of Service series, gathering school supplies for the Eagles School Readiness Program in the Dominican Republic and building a tower of food for their feeding ministries; and St. Paul (Cumberland) continues to offer its feeding ministry program, Bountiful Blessings, as a twice-monthly drive-through ministry! Thanks be to God for your creative and adaptive witness, you are the body of Christ alive in the world!

With my love and prayers,



Read:  Matthew 13: 1-19

1That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9Let anyone with ears listen!”

What kind of a farmer or gardener so wildly, so generously throws precious seed everywhere and anywhere he or she goes?  What kind of Lord loves everyone and anyone without requiring or knowing if there will be a response?  “Let anyone with ears listen!”

“Lord, let my heart be good soil, open to the seed of your word.
Lord, Let my heart be good soil, where love can grow and peace is understood.
When my heart is hard, break the stone away.
When my heart is cold, warm it with the day.
When my heart is lost, lead me on your way.
Lord, let my heart, Lord let my heart, Lord, let my heart be good soil.”   ELW #512


“Lord, Let My Heart be Good Soil” ELW 512  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9VuPi0RRaM

“For the Fruits of all Creation” ELW 679 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbBUFSOkbdM

“The Sower’s Song” (Andrew Peterson) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32JRkxjSwxE
(Includes portions of our first reading this Sunday, Isaiah 55:10-13 )

“Your Labor Is Not in Vain” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPj3Kf7Dorw

“Open the Eyes of My Heart” (Michael W Smith) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idQ1n3cdgfo