June 1, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

June 1, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

June 1, 2020

PENTECOST WORSHIP AT HAVEN What a glorious day of worship and celebration. We had folks watching worship at home and we had 37 on the lawn and parking lot at Haven. The Holy Spirit was certainly present. Please see the pictures in the attached pdf of the Drive-up and Lawn worship.

Yesterday I reminded us that we are living between Creation in the book of Genesis and Christ’s return at the end of human time in the book of Revelation. Like those first disciples, WE are in God’s story which is not yet completed. Nadia Bolz-Weber (with editing by yours truly) puts it this way:

“It’s so easy to see the tragedies and endings and hardship and diagnosis all around us as the end of the story – … not unlike those who mourned as Jesus was laid in his tomb, we [can put]… a period where God places a comma. God is still writing, still sighing, still loving us…This makes us an odd people, you know. I mean Christians, people who believe in God the Father, Christ the son and the Holy Spirit – we are a people for whom the story isn’t ever finished. A people for whom there is always more. Within our suffering, there is always more… when we think our lives are hopeless there is always more…when the plot points of our lives don’t end up the way we planned, there is always more… when we feel powerless there is always more. Why? Because after the humiliation and suffering of the cross – there was more – after Jesus was laid in a tomb there was more – and after there was Pentecost flames on people’s heads and speaking in other languages there was more. We as Christians base our hope not on our own power, not on the Dow Jones, not on how awesome [or confusing] our lives look, not on our own righteousness, but on the God of an empty tomb”1 — on the Holy Spirit who always has something more to bring to rooms, homes or parking lots of frightened or baffled people.

 

Come, Holy Spirit, come. Bring “something more” to our homes, our waiting, our community and our world, so that we may be renewed, re-created and ready to spread the good news of your love with gusto and passion. Amen. God’s peace IS with you!’ Pastor Linda M Alessandri

GRATITUDE AND GODSIGHTINGS

I thought the Pentecost service was beautiful & meaningful. What a blessing to be able to worship together again! Thanks to you & *everyone who went to a lot of hard work to make the service possible. Elaine Michael

Joyce and I send our thanks to you for the beautiful worship service yesterday. The blue sky, the red geraniums, and back to church made for a special day. We appreciate all who helped with the work to make this possible. God Bless, Craig & Joyce Meredith

*Thanks, Elaine, Craig and Joyce. It did take a good number of volunteers to make this first outdoor, drive-up worship service happen. So I’ll add my thanks. *First, it was the incredible generosity of Trinity Lutheran member, Scott Paddock that made it possible. He had the FM transmitter and sound board that was needed AND he came to manage the equipment and sound for a Saturday trial and Sunday’s worship. *I thank the “Haven Re-opening Team” — Dick Hess, Dave Resh., Susan Strobl and Doug Wright —- who not only are helping us research and plan for worship as restrictions are reevaluated but also took up many of the volunteer positions on Sunday. *I thank Marge Cunningham and Kathy Wright for their volunteer help and wonderful spirits. * I thank Susan and Marge who arranged the geraniums on the front lawn in the shape of a beautiful cross. (Look at the picture!) I thank Pastor Dave Kaplan for being our eloquent Assisting Minister. I thank Scott Rhodes who helped us set up tents and take down tents. *I thank Mary Grabill for her work on the bulletin. Last but not least, I thank our music director, Steve Pastena for all his talents and leadership as he led a great praise team — Grant Wills, Aura Harbaugh-Wiles and Bill Byer— who also helped with set up and taking down. If I missed anyone, please accept my apologies and my thanks. To God be the glory!

NO ONE LIKES WEARING MASKS, YET… Some question their effectiveness and the CDC is still recommending they we worn whenever you will be where others are present. As his church contemplated returning to worship in their building, one pastor in our DE-MD Synod decided to address the resistance and dislike of face masks with a biblical re-write of 1 Corinthians 12. (You may want to read it first to fully appreciate Pastor Brown’s cleverness.) He entitled it 1 Covidians 12:1-11

Now concerning the wearing of masks, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that in the time before Covid, we were enticed and led astray thinking that we were not responsible for one another’s health. Therefore, I want you to understand that no one speaking in the spirit of love ever says ‘masks be cursed!’; and no one can say ‘masks are a really good idea for everybody!’ except through a spirit of love.

Now there are varieties of masks, but the same spirit of wearing them; and there are varieties of mask wearers, but the same virus; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same precautions that must be shown to everyone.

To each is given a manifestation of a mask for the common good. To one a mask is given through our mask makers, and to another a purchased one online, or in a store according to the same spirit of protection. Some fashion one after watching a video on YouTube, to another… they already had some. The knowledge of needing to wear one according to the same spirit, to another faith that the same spirit will improve health and save lives.

Another receives the gifts of healing by this generous spirit, to another this seems no less than the working of a miracle, another prophecies that we’ll get through all of this sooner by observing these loving precautions, to another the discernment of figuring out how all can get one, to another the knowledge that a mask hides all kinds of mouths and tongues, to another the understanding that those mouths and tongues are still there, behind those masks.

All these are activated by one and the same spirit, and we hope to allot to each one individually just as they choose.

In other words, wear a mask!…

Because loving our neighbor as ourselves is the crux of it. When we wear a mask we are saying that we love and care for ourselves, and that we love and care for our neighbors. If our neighbor is sick (and perhaps doesn’t even know it yet) our masks help protect US. If WE are sick (and perhaps don’t even know it yet) our masks help protect OUR NEIGHBOR…

… it is a tangible and visible manifestation and practice of our LOVE.

Rev Greg Brown, Holy Comforter Episcopal Church

BIRTHDAY’S THIS MONTH

Patricia Pile                 06/03

Dave Kaplan                06/04

Dawn Freeman            06/05

Morgan Butsch            06/07

Joshua Webb               06/08

Nancy Newkirk           06/12

Karl Pile                      06/12

Greg Wilson                06/12

Dennis Miller               06/15

Sharon McMullen        06/17

Joanne Seilhamer         06/19

Max Schupp                06/22

Joe Webb                     06/26

Patricia Byers              06/29

Don Blickenstaff Jr.     06/30

BAPTISMAL ANNIVERSARIES

Don Evason                 06/01

Donna Hovermill         06/01

Jaclyn Muse                 06/01

Millie Strange              06/01

Tanner Meredith          06/07

Richard Manspeaker    06/09

Simon Lightfoot           06/21

Sue Nelson                  06/24

Clare Newcomer          06/26

WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES

Don & Darylene Blickenstaff               06/03

Grant & Valerie Wills                          06/08

Michael & Veronica Bergschneider     06/13

Ken & Dawn Tice                                06/20

Gentry & Jane Muse                            06/21

 

A PAUSE WITH GOD’S WORD

Read: Genesis 1: 1-2:4a (First reading designated for this Trinity Sunday)

1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
6And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. 8God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
9And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. 12The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. 13And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
14And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
20And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” 21So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. 22God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
24And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. 25God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.
26Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”
27So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
2:1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.
4aThese are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

Reflection
Whenever I read this story of Creation with my confirmation class, I will then have them read the rest of chapter 2, where a story of Creation starts all over again. I usually take this opportunity to explain that we believe the Bible is a gift of God written by human hands to convey truths that God wants us to know. The Bible is not a science or history book but it contains truths that God wants us to know. Once you understand that, then you can begin to look at these Creation stories with curiosity, trying to detect and appreciate what it is we are to notice about God, our world and God’s relationship with us and all of creation.

That’s the task I set for you between the morning and the evening, this first day of June. It shouldn’t be too hard to lay this first Creation story next to this beautiful day and observe what we notice about creation and our Lord For me it begins with observing that God is the creator and the source of all this is good. (“And it was good.”) There was great love and thought in the ordering of Creation. But I am going to stop there. Let your own mind and soul wander with the Lord though this poetic Creation story and as you look or may walk outside. What truths about God, Creation and ourselves rise to the surface of your consciousness this day of creation? Notice, enjoy and give thanks.

Prayer(ELW “Creation’s praise” p. 81)
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, who in your self-emptying love gathered up and reconciled all creation to the Father. Innumerable galaxies of the heavens worship you. Creatures that grace the earth rejoice in you. All those in the deepest seas bow to you in adoration. As with them we give you praise, grant that we may cherish the earth, our home, and live in harmony with this good creation, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Music:

“Let All Things Now Living” ELW # 881 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpMCE1G3N7Q
“Morning Has Broken” ELW # 556  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wzMqtbubzs“For the Beauty of the Earth” ELW #879
(Mormon Tabernacle Choir  vs. 1, 2, 4) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUU6jkHh1n8

A few “rockin'” selections
“All of Creation” (Mercy Me) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kotCEmdrb9o
“All Creation Sing”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kotCEmdrb9o
“Let Creation Sing” (Hillsong) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhLDMSA-aO0

  1. Error! Main Document Only.Adapted from Nadia Bolz-Weber, “The Great Unfinished Sermon” May 28 2015 posted on https://www.patheos.com/blogs/nadiabolzweber/2015/05/a-pentecost-sermon-on-the-great-unfinished-story/?fbclid=IwAR2yY63f08zFx8prclAL8WENE4AH-30CmIHKslm-IwqhD9DRsz7MOw-0hec