July 13, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

July 13, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

July 13, 2020

Haven Lutheran Church



REQUEST FROM SARI KILHEFFER’S FAMILY  I just heard from Sari’s daughter, Holly. They are about to put Sari’s Smithsburg home on the market next month. Its sale will help provide the funds for Sari continued care in a great memory care facility in Minnesota.
Problem? Sari had a LOT of stuff packed in that little house! They have had yard and on-line sales. They have had antique dealers come and buy things. Now they need to get the house cleaned out ASAP. So Holly asked if there might be folks who would like a “picking adventure” in Sari’s house to see if there are items you would want and would purchase. There would be no prices on items and you may need to dig into some boxes, but whatever you would offer for items would be accepted and put toward Sari’s continued care. (Cash preferable)
How to do this in a COVID-safe way? Call or text Sari’s daughter, Heather, (507-920-0506) to arrange for your own private “picking adventure.” Heather works long hours Monday-Thursday so contact and visits to the house would be best Friday – Sunday.
Some of the things available: dish sets, mugs, housewares, stereo system, quilts, knick knacks, pictures, furniture, craft and quilting supplies, a wood chipper, some tools, video tapes, some Dvds, cassette tapes, decor, games, toys, wine glasses, jars, bottles, pillows, pillow forms, stuffed bears and other assorted critters, baskets and more.

Another possible way to help – Have you had to clear out a dear relative’s house before? Did you find a trustworthy business that took the belongings and sold them for a percentage of the proceeds? If so, please let me know (l.alessandri1035@gmail.com or 301-745-4216) as soon as possible and I will pass that information on to Holly and Heather.



Darylene Blickenstaff is wearing a brace and doing physical therapy as she continues her recovery from surgery after breaking her wrist. She is hoping she will get cleared to drive soon. Keep Darylene in prayer.

Pastor Dave Kaplan was released from Fahrney Keedy on Saturday. He is home planning to arrange for a continuation of his physical therapy. He will let us know if he needs rides and/or meals.

Ann Lochbaum continues her recovery from back surgery at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. With her hearing difficulties, it has not been possible to speak with her on the phone unless an aid is there to adjust her phone. We’ll keep trying. Ann can use encouragement! Cards, notes and prayers are appreciated.

Charlotte Loveless managed to drive herself to Drive-up/Outdoor Worship yesterday. Pray that Charlotte’s recovery from elbow surgery goes steadily and smoothly.

HOLY COMMUNION AT WORSHIP went well yesterday.  After being so careful to sanitize my hands and wear gloves as I handled and blessed the communion elements, I then forgot to wear my mask when I went to distribute communion. (Duh!) I promise to be more mindful.

A reminder that we are adding a third worship option this coming weekend. At 5 pm on Friday we will have a spoken worship service with holy communion in the sanctuary. All are required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. Communion will be bread wafers, no wine to make it simpler for these initial services.

ANOTHER STEP IN RE-OPENING HAVEN’S BUILDING The Re-opening team is putting together a list of guidelines for groups to follow if they wish to begin to meet again at Haven. Each group will need to agree to abide by the guidelines and keep a log of those who attend their meetings. We will confine meetings to the Gathering Room where social distancing can be more easily arranged. Before we notify any groups, the Council will need to approve of this step and the agreement we will ask each group to sign. Keep our efforts in prayer, that we may be wise, follow medical advice and do all we can to safeguard one another.

SCHOOL SUPPLY COMMUNITY PROJECT Tonight the team guiding this year’s project will meet and confirm the supplies we will be purchasing for our Pre-K to 8th grade students. We need your sponsorship so we can purchase the needed items on-line or through a few willing shoppers. We think an average of $20 will supply one student. Can you sponsor one or more student? Donations can be mailed in, turned in at one of the in-person worship services or left in the offering box on the parsonage back porch. So we have time to make purchases, we ask donations to be in by August 2nd!
In the GOOD NEWS category, we have received two community project grants of $250 from Thrivent toward this project! That $500 will provide for 25 students!
How many students can we help start their school year off well equipped?


These pictures have been circulating on line this weekend. Acts of kindness are priceless. (“It’s how Jesus taught us to sow God’s love,” a pastor said yesterday)

This store employee who gives extra service.









This motorcyclist who stopped to help an elderly woman cross safely.





This dog owner who mourned by giving.














Read   Isaiah 44:6-8

6Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel,
and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
I am the first and I am the last;
besides me there is no god.
7Who is like me? Let them proclaim it,
let them declare and set it forth before me.
Who has announced from of old the things to come?
Let them tell us what is yet to be.
8Do not fear, or be afraid;
have I not told you from of old and declared it?
You are my witnesses!
Is there any god besides me?
There is no other rock; I know not one


“Once again this week, the [first lesson] invites us to reflect on God’s words of comfort to Judean exiles in sixth-century BCE Babylon, as preserved in the middle chapters of the book of Isaiah…It appears that the audience needed to be reminded of the identity of their God. Decades into the exile, all external evidence suggested that Israel’s God was a minor deity who’d been defeated by Babylon and its mighty divinities. Against this claim, the text dares the audience to reclaim faith in their God, to trust that God loves them enough and is powerful enough to bring them home.” (Professor J. Blake Couey posted on www.workingpreacher.org)

We can understand the struggle of the exiles who find themselves in the midst of a difficult time and circumstances that seems like they will never end. Most of us feel that way right now. We’re tired of the restrictions, the arguments about the restrictions, the changes that may or may not “change back,” and all the unknowns about the coming months. We can understand the struggles of those exiles in Babylon.

Maybe can also understand why the prophet-poet responds by holding up the greatness, faithfulness and goodness of God for the people to remember. In this strange place of exile — Babylon or COVID — we are surrounded by many other voices and gods seeking our attention and allegiance. But, Isaiah reminds us, there is only ONE God, who is our rock and redeemer, who is an everlasting, loving, and powerful Lord of all creation.

As we struggle, Isaiah advises, keep your eyes on the only true God. When you are feeling consumed by worry and anxiety, lean into the Lord who with us and WILL have the final words. Those words include — I love you. Do not fear. I am here. I am the truth, the light and the life. You can count on me.

When we feel helpless and things are not going well, we begin to falter, wondering why you do not do what we think is so obviously the answer. Take our sighs and turn them into songs of your glory, might and love that remind us of your faithfulness and profound, perfect love. Amen


“When Morning Guilds the Sky” ELW 853  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaUxsgkKcAo

“You Are the Only One” (Casting Crowns) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gh5dwdSTadM

“The Greatness of Our God” (Newsboys) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gf8qQLGZ3o8