June 12, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

June 12, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)
June 12, 2020

Haven Lutheran Church, Hagerstown MD



WORSHP THIS WEEKEND AT HAVEN Watch online any time after 9:30 am on Sunday. The link and bulletin are sent out to those on our e-mail list but if you miss that, you can access the video at our website, www.havenlc.org.  Our outdoor and drive-up worship service will also be at 9:30 am on Sunday. Look at the end of today’s message to see the guidelines and parking lot map for the outdoor service. IF we will be cancelling due to weather, you can find out by calling Haven at 301-733-5056 on Sunday after 8:15 am. As soon as the message greeting begins, push the star button (*). That will take you to the voice mail message about cancelations. Right now the National Weather forecast says there is only a 30% chance of rain, most likely after 2 p.m. At home or on the lawn and parking lot, together we offer our praise and give thanks to our Lord.
(P.S. The restrooms will be available before, during and immediately after worship.)














Veronica & Mike Bergschneider

  From DE-MD Synod Bishop Gohl’s weekly The Church is not closed
The Church is not closed
and I see signs of it throughout our synod! Call Committees at places like Trinity (Boonsboro), Grace (Easton), Christ (Millersville), St. Mark’s (St. Paul Street) and Zion (Middletown) have been meeting and working diligently; St. Philip’s (Caroline Street) is partnering with the community to provide hand sanitizer in the neighborhood; and St. Benjamin (Westminster), Trinity (Smithsburg) and Christus Victor (Carney) have begun drive-in worship services! Thank you, one and all, for your ongoing witness!

Commemoration of the Martyrdom of the Emanuel 9 – UPDATED

On Wednesday, June 17 at 7:30pm, we will offer a special time of prayer with our African Methodist Episcopal Zion, African Methodist Episcopal, and Christian Methodist Episcopal siblings to observe the 5th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Emanuel 9 in Charleston. This Prayer Service of Lament, Repentance and Remembrance will be broadcast from the steps of John Wesley AME Zion Church, the AME Zion National Church, in Washington, DC.

A Personal Note
Some of you follow me on Facebook and know a bit of the celebrations and struggles of our family. I am grateful for the many expressions of support for my son David, who graduated from high school this week. David, who has some significant learning challenges, fought hard to get to that day and while we rejoice with him, we are mindful of all the high school and college graduates who have missed significant rites of passage and celebrations to mark their achievements. Our younger daughter, Joyanne, fell and fractured her forearm this last week; she has an Ortho follow-up appointment this next week – but it all looks good and she is improving. Finally, Arwyn (Bishop Gohl’s wife), Andrew (our younger son) and Joyanne went to Massachusetts on March 16 for, what we thought, would be a week or so with my in-laws. I am pleased to share our good news that our family will be returning home this Sunday after a Covid-driven three months away! We have missed birthdays, graduation and our wedding anniversary – there is a lot of celebrating to catch-up on. As a result, while I will keep appointments I already have for next week; Justina (Bishop’s secretary) will not be adding any new appointments, so that I have time to reconnect with my family. +bg


DO YOU KNOW how and why the little black boy, Franklin, came to join the Peanuts comic strip? I didn’t know until a few minutes ago. Shultz had to buck the system to do it.
On July 31, 1968, a young, black man was reading the newspaper when he saw something that he had never seen before. With tears in his eyes, he started running and screaming throughout the house, calling for his mom. He would show his mom, and, she would gasp, seeing something she thought she would never see in her lifetime. Throughout the nation, there were similar reactions.

What they saw was Franklin Armstrong’s first appearance on the iconic comic strip “Peanuts.” Franklin would be 50 years old this year. (2018)

Franklin was “born” after a school teacher, Harriet Glickman, had written a letter to creator Charles M. Schulz after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot to death outside his Memphis hotel room. Glickman, who had kids of her own and having worked with kids, was especially aware of the power of comics among the young. “And my feeling at the time was that I realized that black kids and white kids never saw themselves [depicted] together in the classroom,” she would say.

She would write, “Since the death of Martin Luther King, ‘I’ve been asking myself what I can do to help change those conditions in our society which led to the assassination and which contribute to the vast sea of misunderstanding, hate, fear and violence.’”

Glickman asked Schulz if he could consider adding a black character to his popular comic strip, which she hoped would bring the country together and show people of color that they are not excluded from American society. She had written to others as well, but the others feared it was too soon, that it may be costly to their careers, that the syndicate would drop them if they dared do something like that.

Charles Schulz did not have to respond to her letter, he could have just completely ignored it, and everyone would have forgotten about it. But, Schulz did take the time to respond, saying he was intrigued with the idea, but wasn’t sure whether it would be right, coming from him, he didn’t want to make matters worse, he felt that it may sound condescending to people of color.

Glickman did not give up, and continued communicating with Schulz, with Schulz surprisingly responding each time. She would even have black friends write to Schulz and explain to him what it would mean to them and gave him some suggestions on how to introduce such a character without offending anyone. This conversation would continue until one day, Schulz would tell Glickman to check her newspaper on July 31, 1968.

On that date, the cartoon, as created by Schulz, shows Charlie Brown meeting a new character, named Franklin. Other than his color, Franklin was just an ordinary kid who befriends and helps Charlie Brown. Franklin also mentions that his father was “over at Vietnam.” At the end of the series, which lasted three strips, Charlie invites Franklin to spend the night one day so they can continue their friendship. I just thought this was a good re-introduction of Franklin to the rest of the world – “I’m very glad to know you.”

There was no big announcement, there was no big deal, it was just a natural conversation between two kids, whose obvious differences did not matter to them. And, the fact that Franklin’s father was fighting for this country was also a very strong statement by Schulz.

Although Schulz never made a big deal over the inclusion of Franklin, there were many fans, especially in the South, who were very upset by it and that made national news. One Southern editor even said, “I don’t mind you having a black character, but please don’t show them in school together.”

It would eventually lead to a conversation between Schulz and the president of the comic’s distribution company, who was concerned about the introduction of Franklin and how it might affect Schulz’ popularity. Many newspapers during that time had threatened to cut the strip. Schulz’ response: “I remember telling Larry at the time about Franklin — he wanted me to change it, and we talked about it for a long while on the phone, and I finally sighed and said, “Well, Larry, let’s put it this way: Either you print it just the way I draw it or I quit. How’s that?”

Eventually, Franklin became a regular character in the comic strips, and, despite complaints, Franklin would be shown sitting in front of Peppermint Patty at school and playing center field on her baseball team…. [Schulz] courageously decided to make a statement because of one brave school teacher who decided to ask a simple question…Because of Glickman, because of Schulz, people around the world were introduced to a little boy named Franklin.

From The Jon S. Randal Peace Page (I checked several other sources to confirm the facts. LMA)


Read:  Matthew 9: 35-10:15
35 Then Jesus 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. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

10 Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. These 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; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. 11 Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. 12 As you enter the house, greet it. 13 If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. 15 Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

Reflections (Reflection and prayer prepared by Rev. Phil Formo for Trinity Seminary’s God Pause

During this week we have encountered God teaching Moses and his people, and have enjoyed the psalmist’s inspiring poetry of praise. We turn now to Jesus’ own teaching, preaching, and healing.

He began by calling twelve to work with him but quickly restricted their sales territory. At first we might wonder why, yet his reason soon becomes apparent. Jesus asks these beginners to limit themselves to those they know. Wait to encounter those you don’t understand—the foreigner, the Gentile, the Samaritan—until you have more experience under your belt. Start with your neighbor.

Jesus’ cautions continue. Unlike what many of us would prefer, he orders them to travel light. No credit card needed, not even an extra suit. All will be provided for you. Don’t let anything weigh you down.

Finally, don’t try to convince someone who is not ready for the message. When you run into those folks, turn around, shake the dust off your feet, and continue on to where you might be welcomed.


We thank you this day for those who have brought us your good news. We think of pastors, church workers, parents, godparents, and friends next door. Keep them coming, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Nancy Newkirk sent these Handbell selections she found beautiful

https://www.facebook.com/65100307/posts/1000135663602/?d=n  (“Grazioso” by Arnold Sherman)

“Nobody” (Casting Crown) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOooelyA9Ws

“Tell Somebody” (Danny Gokey) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt-z1SeFdsw

“Jesus” (Chris Tomlin) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEbQswNB6Wc


(IF there will be a weather-related cancellation, it will be announced by 8:15 am
on Haven’s answering system. Call 301-733-5056. As soon as the greeting starts, hit the star key (*) to get to the voice mail box that has cancellation announcements.)

Thank you for following the safety guidelines recommended by the state and our insurance for the love of our neighbor.

1) People who opt to be seated in cars must remain in their cars. When a gloved, vested usher comes with your bulletin, please put your window down one inch to receive it.  IF you are a parking space away from the car next to you, you may open your windows more during worship. Tune your FM radio to 106.5 to listen to worship
2) Those seated outside must remain six feet away from non-family members and wear face masks. Please be respectful of that six foot spacing when you approach anyone outside or in a car.
3) We will still not be serving communion this Sunday. Those are more complex details we still need to figure out.
4) The building will be open for restroom use only.
5) As with many things during this pandemic, we are often learning as we go along and need to be ready for unexpected “tweaks.” So we ask your continued patience and good humor.

Now that we have all the “rules” out of the way, I invite you to get excited and to attend if it feels safe for your situation. Whether at home or in the parking lot, we ARE worshipping TOGETHER, united a one through God — Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Thanks be to God.