July 8, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

July 8, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

July 8, 2020

Haven Lutheran Church




“AMAZING …. God continues to bless Haven with generous members that have supported Haven through uncharted times.    Church Offering is still ahead of our year to date budget now by $4,342.80 or 4.2%.  Haven’s staff] is doing an excellent job of controlling expenses that are $4,020.48 or 3.9% behind budget. This shows a continued increasing surplus of $8,233.78 to the bottom line for the first six months of 2020. Hopefully, members will sustain contributing when they see or hear “IT’S OFFERING TIME”.

CHARLOTTE LOVELESS had surgery on Tuesday at Meritus to repair a broken elbow. Walking her neighbor’s dog last week, the dog took off and Charlotte came down on her elbow. Of course it is her right arm, so I asked Charlotte to let us know if she needed help (caring for her cat, rides to therapy, etc.) Card, encouragement and prayers are appreciated.
(I just heard from Charlotte. “My treatment, nurses and other staff was over the top. Helping, caring and competent.” She is resting at home.)

ANN LOCHBAUM I’m still trying to get word on how Ann’s surgery went. I’ve been connected to her room at Mercy but no one has answered the phone. I’m hoping that is because she is up and walking. I’ll post an update as soon as I get any further information.

PASTOR DAVE KAPLAN continues physical therapy at Fahrney-Keedy. Yesterday, he even climbed steps. If all goes well, Pastor Kaplan may be discharged next Tuesday to go home and continue therapy. Keep him in your prayers.
















HAVEN WORSHIP HELPERS  As we continue to worship outside and begin a Friday 5 pm service on July 17th, we are in need of folks to help make this happen. At the Drive-up and Outside worship service, we need some more folks to take a turn distributing bulletins and directing cars to spaces. We have about 6 volunteers so far. If we get two more, each team-of-two would only need to help one Sunday a month. Could you help?
When we begin our indoor Friday 5 p.m. service, we will need two “ushers” each week to help direct people into the sanctuary, to communion  and then dismiss folks by rows at the conclusion. Nothing too complicated but important. If you plan to attend this service, could you help occasionally?
As we take careful steps toward more worship and other events at Haven, we will again need the help of the community to make it happen. Prayerfully consider how you may be safely available to help.

God IS with us,
Pastor Linda M Alessandri


Read  Psalm 65:[1-8] 9-13
1Praise is due to you,
O God, in Zion;
and to you shall vows be performed,
2O you who answer prayer!
To you all flesh shall come.
3When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,
you forgive our transgressions.
4Happy are those whom you choose and bring near
to live in your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
your holy temple.
5By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,
O God of our salvation;
you are the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas.
6By your strength you established the mountains;
you are girded with might.
7You silence the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples.
8Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.
9You visit the earth and water it,
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide the people with grain,
for so you have prepared it.
10You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
11You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
12The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
13the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.

Walter C. Bouzard writes, “Although the central section of this psalm is comprised of hymnic praise of God, the psalm as a whole suggests that the prayer exemplifies what Walter Brueggemann categorized as psalms of reorientation.  Psalms of reorientation are prayers uttered after the disarray and disorientation of life slips into the past. Like the ancient psalmist, we recognize and give thanks to God for the rescue for which we had longed and prayed.(from Bouzard’s Commentary posted on WorkingPreacher.org

When I read “psalm of reorientation,” I had to go back to read the psalm again as a “prayer uttered after the disarray and disorientation of life slips into the past.” It is a beautiful song of deep and overwhelming gratitude. But when you add the idea of that gratefulness arising after circumstances have quaked the psalmist’s life, it adds another layer of feelings and gratitude in and between the words and lines.

I think most of us are more likely feel “disorientation” these days. It’s a good word for what we are experiencing, isn’t it? We have been totally stopped in our “usual” tracks. What use to come without much thought — leaving our homes, going out for meals, spontaneous hugs or handshakes of greeting, attending church, getting our hair cut, and so forth — now requires we make deliberate, conscious decisions for safety and health. Sometimes I think it is like someone came into my house, rearranged the furniture and I keep bumping into things that weren’t there before. I feel a bit bruised or frustrated or, dare I admit, like cursing. I want to put things back where I had them, but I can’t. Disorientation is a good word for our COVID times.

And while this is unlike anything I have ever experienced before, today’s psalm reminds me that I have had other times of disorientation — going off to seminary, the death of parents in the same year,
moving from St. Louis to Hagerstown, recovery from rotator cuff surgery. Each one was different but each put me in a situation that was new, with lots of unknowns and I was uncomfortable with the lack of control I felt I had. Today’s psalm of “reorientation” reminds me that I, too, by the grace and love of God, came through those other disorienting times to adapt and find a peace with a new way of being. “Reorientation”

I’m sure you have had your own times of “disorientation” even before COVID. Perhaps one way of coping with these unsettling times is to remember those other times of disorientation and how we came through, scars and all, to find life and joy again. In remembering, we deepen our trust in the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord who got us through before — somehow, some way — and will help us get through again.

Prayer  Steadfast, loving Lord, please hold us close as we try to navigate this very strange and strained time. Steady our hearts and open our eyes to hope displayed each day. Though we cannot see too far down the road, help us to trust you are walking with us and there is still reason to sing and ways we can show your love to others. Amen


“How Firm A Foundation” ELW #796 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JdIrdKPfHA

“You Are Faithful” (Hillsong) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXTU1JIcIgA

“Ever Be On My Lips” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhasSpSBdEE

“Just Be Held” (Casting Crowns) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yutmTFtalKs

“We Won’t Be Shaken” (Building 429 ) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BJhOgb-unI