June 10, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

June 10, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)


June 10, 2020

Haven Lutheran Church, Hagerstown MD

 

START HERE Somehow I mixed up the YouTube links and didn’t give you the right link for “Psalm 100” by the Avon Grove HS Chorale virtual choir. Ethereal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxMdwK7VtC8

DEADLINE FOR GRADUATION MEMORY BOOK We have received 12 cards for our high school graduate Anna Bergschneider. We hope to deliver them this weekend when we caravan passed her home on Sunday. Her Mom, Veronica, asked for any messages for the memory book she is compiling be sent to her before June 14th. Send a brief message of encouragement and congratulations for Anna to Veronica at angel4anna2002@yahoo.com. Please put “Surprise for Anna” in the subject line since Veronica may not recognize your e-mail address and open it. Thank you.

GRATITUDE AND GODSIGHTINGS
From Charlotte Loveless



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Washington County Interfaith Coalition

Prayers for a Difficult Time

June 10, 2020

Shaker Hymn

 

Verse:
‘Tis the gift to be simple,

‘Tis the gift to be free

’tis the gift to come down

Where we ought to be —
And when we find ourselves

In the place just right

‘twill be in the valley
Of love and delight

 

 

Chorus: When true simplicity is gained

To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed

To turn. Turn will be our delight
‘till by turning and turning
We come ’round right

 

 

Wayne B. Arnason

Unitarian Prayer

Take courage friends.

The way is often hard, the path is never clear

And the stakes are very high. Take courage.

For deep down there is another truth:

You are not alone.

 

The world is still not right.  We come to it each morning and remember the new day will still bear restrictions.  The Shakers found movement a way to deal with fear and despair and alienation.  Sometimes we feel separated.  In months past, that has been our life.

Source of Life’s Strength, may there be moments of dance and courage and holy connection.  May we be true to the simplicity that we are not alone, that we are companions on life’s journey.

When we are tired, grant us respite.

When we are frustrated grant us calm.

When we are impatient grant us grace.

Let strength and faith fill our lives.

Amen.

Reverend Valerie Wills, Co-coordinator

Washington County Interfaith Coalition

 

Kindness comes in many forms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then there are terrible puns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forgive me. I just can’t resist a good pun (or is that a bad pun?)

God’s peace IS with you,
Pastor Linda M Alessandri

A PAUSE IN GOD’S WORD
Read:  Matthew 9:35 – 10:8a  (Gospel for this Sunday, Second Sunday after Pentecost)
35Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
10:1Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. 2These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.   5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons.

Reflections (From The Rev. Ken Kesselus as posted on episcopal church. org for June 14, 2020)

Jesus’ primary followers were an unusual group, somewhat like the “dirty dozen” soldiers in a 1967 movie of the same name. Based on a true story and framed against the World War II D-day invasion, it portrays a special military operation designed to kill high-ranking Nazi officers. The American high command ordered an unorthodox officer to select a twelve-man squad for a mission with a very high probability of failure and the likely death of most of the combatants. Surprisingly, the officer did not go after the best soldiers in his outfit but instead visited military prisons. Among those he chose were thieves, murderers, and scoundrels. The commander took them apart and molded them into an effective team. Later, the wisdom of his selecting this “dirty dozen” became clear as their criminal skills proved perfect for the demands of the risky mission. In the end, this highly unlikely, rag-tag band of brothers got the job done, and the audience cheered the demise of a dreaded enemy.

Of course, it would not be appropriate to affirm the behavior of criminals, but the story presents an interesting plot about a dozen men whom the world did not regard with honor. They seemed ill-suited for such a critically important task. However, as the story goes, in the right situation, with a unique sort of guidance, they became heroes in the midst of an assignment that demanded an unconventional solution.

Another unconventional leader, in a more extraordinary era, called together his own unremarkable dozen to take on the most momentous mission of all time. This story, told in today’s Gospel reading, is not about a “dirty” dozen, but about an equally unique and unorthodox one.

When Jesus picked out his twelve, he obviously did not demand a substantial set of qualifications. He didn’t seem to care whether they had unusual spiritual insight or proven ability. He didn’t seek the best and brightest but the ordinary. He selected a group of mostly lackluster and untested commoners, some of whom seemed failures by modern worldly standards. One was young and inexperienced. Some were unexceptional fishermen. Many grew up in the rocky upland region of Galilee. One was a fanatical Jewish Nationalist. Several argued among themselves about who was the greatest disciple. Matthew was a despised tax collector. Peter denied even knowing Jesus when the chips were down. And then there was Judas – the betrayer.

It is hard to avoid concluding that Jesus wanted, for his dozen, people who were not special. He picked twelve ordinary people with no particular qualifications for transforming the world. Still, he trusted them to spread the kingdom of God. He sent them out to do the very work he had been doing and for them to continue after he was gone.

Perhaps Jesus knew better than to invite experienced leaders or exceptional examples. He needed down-to-earth, vulnerable, and ordinary people – a kind of dozen who were representative of the general population and understood their pain and fears. Furthermore, who else would have had the courage or naivete – or the foolishness – to join such a band of brothers on such a dangerous mission?

The important lesson for today is that we Christians of the 21st century are the current “dozen” for Jesus. In most small and average-sized congregations, carrying out this work begins with groups of lay members who may not believe they have superlative qualifications, like Jesus’ first dozen. But like the apostles, they can rise to the occasion to meet the needs of people, whatever they may be. Our ordinariness is not a hindrance unless we choose to make it so.

Who among Jesus’ dozen was really suited to carry out God’s work – and who among us is qualified to proclaim the Gospel to an unbelieving world and share God’s love in action among those around us? Who, in any generation, is qualified to heal a broken world in Jesus’ name? And yet, like the fictitious dirty dozen and Jesus’ original dozen, we can find the courage and the wherewithal to accept the command to follow Jesus into ministry for this generation. ..

The officer in the World War II drama and Jesus in the first century saw in their dozens a potential those folks could not see in themselves. The church recognizes this in baptism. By the nature of our baptisms, we have been authorized to be disciples in the same way as those first dozen.

God’s perspective is that what needs doing in the world requires ordinary people, like most of us. God’s work requires the very experiences we have had at work, or at school, or at play or raising a family, or doing whatever is normal for us – all of which we can use to help others. God needs today’s “dozen” to utilize a great variety of gifts and skills and experiences to carry out a task no less daunting than that portrayed in the movie – the continuing business of proclaiming the good news to those who do not know God and for carrying out the imperatives of the Gospel – loving our neighbors as ourselves, bringing about justice and peace, providing for those in need.

Jesus delighted in taking ordinary, everyday people – those who did not seem to possess great qualifications or credentials – and calling them to become his disciples. He does the same for us. And the Holy Spirit makes available to us all we need to be successful as we remain faithful to Jesus and his mission. He sends us out into the world proclaiming a word of salvation to a dying world, helping heal a broken people – being Jesus’ dirty dozen for this generation.

Prayer ELW p. 75 “The mission of the church”
Draw your church together, O God, into one great company of disciples, together following our teacher Jesus Christ into every walk of life, together serving in Christ’s mission to the world, and together witnessing to your love wherever you will send us; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Music:
“The Spirit Sends Us Forth to Serve” ELW#551 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFHKabtZr40
“Go, My Children, with My Blessing” ELW #543 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7_ycEwAab4

“A Great Work” (Brian Courtney Wilson)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZRMqToyPss

“Confidence” (Sanctus Real) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEGGVmSSr-I

“I Will Follow” (Chris Tomlin) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ohvhmGSfxI