June 17, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

June 17, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

June 17, 2020

Haven Lutheran Church, Hagerstown MD



In case you are wondering why we are being
asked to wear masks, Susan Strobl shared this:


























Yesterday was such a beautiful day. Between tasks, I watered plants and found excuses to walk outside.  I had a first —- I sat in a near empty restaurant, ate slices of pizza and read Christian Century magazine. On my way home, I got what I needed to bake Father’s Day cookies. I used my hand sanitizer ALOT and wore my mask whenever I stepped out of my car. I am grateful for it all.
God’s peace IS with you,

Pastor Linda M Alessandri

P.S. Just got back from the doctor’s. I’m off my wound VAC! Yahoo!

Washington County Interfaith Coalition

Interfaith Prayers for a Difficult Time


Bambuti Pygmy Prayer


Great Father,

Let matters go well with me

For I am going

Into the forest.



Prayer is for the soul,

What food is for the body.

The blessing of one prayer

lasts until the next,

just as the strength gained from the one meal

lasts till the one after.


May we call on courage to face the forest of our days.  May we find the food of love to help us continue valuing our lives….and all lives.  Grant us the ability to be fed by new possibility.

Source of all living, help us step forward with care and devotion in our hearts.  Amen.
Reverend Valerie Wills, Co-coordinator

Washington County Interfaith Coalition






Good Morning.
I am looking for someone that crochets. I have a pink baby blanket started and I am no longer able to crochet. I would like for someone to have it and be able to finish it. I am giving it away. Thank you for your help.   Pat Pile


Read: Romans 6: 1b-11  (reading assigned to the Third Sunday after Pentecost)
1bShould we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
5For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. 7For whoever has died is freed from sin. 8But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

These words and ideas of St. Paul are expressed in our Lutheran liturgy at different occasions. We hear his words echoed in the introduction read before a baptism:
In baptism our gracious heavenly Father frees us from sin and death by joining us to the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are born children of a fallen humanity; by water and the Holy Spirit we are reborn children of God and made members of the church, the body of Christ. Living with Christ and in the communion of saints, we grow in faith, love, and obedience to the will of God.
We hear them again when confirmands or new members affirm their faith:
Merciful God, we thank you that you have made us your own by water and the Word in baptism. You have called us to yourself, enlightened us with the gifts of your Spirit, and nourished us in the community of faith. Uphold us and all your servants in the gifts and promises of baptism, and unite the hearts of all whom you have brought to new birth. We ask this in the name of Christ. Amen.

We hear Paul’s words again at the beginning of a funeral. As a pall (large white clothe meant to symbolize a white baptismal garment) is placed on the casket before entering the church, the presiding minister says:
When we were baptized in Christ Jesus,
we were baptized into his death.
We were buried therefore with him
by baptism into death,
so that as Christ was raised from the dead
by the glory of the Father,
we too might live a new life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his,
we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

We probably find the significance of dying and rising with Christ most reassuring at a funeral. It is comforting to know that the eternal life promised at baptism will come to its greatest fruition as the one who died entered the longer side of that eternal life with God. But why mention this burial in Christ’s death and rising from the dead at baptism, when a young person affirms their faith or new members join a church community? Some might say that is a bit morose or gloomy.

For Paul, baptism is not only about the promise of eternity with God after death. In Paul’s view,  “baptism is also a journey or a process and its effects are not only for a moment but for an entire life. Believers are to understand that the baptism Paul is talking about in Romans 6 does not just wash away the stains of sin, but rather, it is a participation in the death of Jesus Christ and an anticipation of his resurrection.” (Prof. Israel Kamudzandu as posted on workingpreacher.org)

In other words, baptism isn’t just a matter of “being dunked and done.” Christ did not live, die and rise just so we could go through a ritual. Through baptism, we are grafted into the Body of Christ. Like a successful skin graft becomes one with its host, we are made one with Christ (and therefore, with one another.) Or you may prefer Jesus own description of us being the branches and our Lord the vine. Either image means we are born anew in Christ to be like Christ in our living. Our baptism is to make a difference in us and in how we live our lives. We live our resurrected life not just after death but NOW.

Those who love and follow Jesus spend their lifetimes “Living with Christ and in the communion of saints, [so that] we grow in faith, love, and obedience to the will of God.”  We practice letting our sin, our prejudices, unhealthy desires, greed, power-hunger, our selfishness be sacrificed/crucified with Christ so we are freed to live for Christ, our neighbor and the good of all creation. As a disciple of Jesus we try to live into that resurrected life, dedicating our life to God, dying to those things that get in the way and rising again, so that through the love and grace of God we “walk in newness of life.” We are only baptized once, but assured of God’s eternal love, we are continually learning, growing, stumbling, and rising to become more of who (and whose) we are — beloved children of God for all eternity.

:  Help us remember our baptism each day when we wash our face or hands. Help us remember that in you we are a new creation, able to live a life free of doubt about our worth, free of despair about our purpose, free to be generous, free to look beyond the obstacles to the possibilities. Wash me clean each day and let me rise in newness of life, confident of your love and faithfulness in all circumstances. Amen

“Borning Cry” ELW #732 (Choir Anthem) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6x9QhN5QnbI
“We Know That Christ Is Raised” ELW#449  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2jpZfAKSOU
“We Are Baptized in Christ Jesus” ELW#451 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKQJJ6xz1K0&list=RDDKQJJ6xz1K0&start_radio=1

“Same Power” (Jeremy Camp) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InsifiZxVXU
“To Live Is Christ” (Sidewalk Prophets) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXL0dTzK5mc