June 19, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

June 19, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

Drive – Up Instructions (pdf)

June 19, 2020 

Haven Lutheran Church, Hagerstown MD


TWO OPTIONS FOR WORSHIP THIS SUNDAY, JUNE 21, You can find Worship On-line at www.havenlc.org or Haven’s Facebook page at 9:30 am or any time after that. OR you can come to our 9:30 am Drive-up & Outdoor Worship at Haven, weather permitting.
Look at the end of today’s message to see the guidelines and parking lot map for the outdoor service. The restrooms will be available before, during and immediately after worship.
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.

P.S. We’ll hope it’s a bit warmer this Sunday.
Can you guess who is this hardy worshipper?”\

















PRAYER LIST UPDATES NEEDED Usually when a person is placed on our prayer list they will remain there for three week and then be removed. With a simple phone call or a note on the weekly attendance sheet, a person could easily be put back on the list.

Since we have not been together for worship in our building, we have not been as able to keep track of prayer request.. So we ask for your help. PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL the church office THIS WEEK if you wish to remove or keep someone on the prayer list. And remember, if we remove someone for whom you would like to keep on the prayer list, just contact us. We thank you for your help.















BOB DEAN IS a Godsighting, don’t you think? After leaving Homewood Health Care Center for a doctor’s appointment, Bob has to be in a different room for a 14 day quarantine. As much as that may be an inconvenience, I am so glad Homewood is taking great precautions to protect their residents.  It is likely Bob will be at in his alternate room through July 2nd or 3rd and then return to his regular room. Bob gave Ed Distad permission to share his temporary phone number – 301-582-6567. Yes, he likes phone calls!

PAT PILE was happy that her unfinished crochet project was able to find a home with Cindy Rhodes. Isn’t it great when things come together so well?


Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. – Paul, Romans 5:1-15 (NRSV)

Beloved, all:
Hope does not disappoint us. What an audacious claim in a time when so many feel hopeless in the face of ongoing pandemic concerns and as racism seems rampant and unchecked, hope does not disappoint us. The Apostle Paul isn’t offering a Sunday School panacea with his words, he’s teaching a mature understanding of the Christian faith. We don’t boast because of our sufferings, we boast of Jesus with us in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Jesus is in the midst of this church’s worship, learning, fellowship and serving; Jesus goes with us in our prayers and our public witness; dear church, God’s justice comes as we respond in faith together, to the irrepressible hope we have in Jesus Christ.

Plan the Work, Work the Plan
I am very proud of the ways our congregations and ministries are doing the planning work for returning to in-person gatherings. I am also deeply moved by the candor and wisdom those congregations who have opened for in-person gatherings are showing in recognizing the mistakes and weaknesses of those plans – and then addressing them. The collaboration between lay and ordained leaders has been strong and I continue to be grateful for that kind of partnership across our territory. For the love of God and neighbor, be deliberate and vigilant in making a plan that helps us return with joy and thanksgiving. Just because you can doesn’t mean you ought. At this point, about 20-25% of our congregations are returning to in-person worship, with others whose plans start in July, August and September. Plan the work and work the plan.

Together for Vacation Bible School!
We will be offering a free, three day Synod VBS under the theme Where’s Jesus? that will be available August 3, 5, and 7! That information is now live and can be found at https://demdsynod.org/vbs/ . Through our ongoing partnership with Mar-Lu-Ridge, our camp counselors will also be a part of this program. We hope that this will help churches who are scrambling to figure out how to do VBS during COVID-19. Why is registration required? We will be providing resources, by delivery, to all the families who register – so there needs to be lead time to secure enough materials and make sure they get to everyone! A VBS Offering will be received to benefit our synod’s COVID-19 relief fund.

Imago Dei, Embracing the Image of God – A Racial Equity Series
Our mission partners in the Metropolitan Washington, DC Synod are sponsoring a series of conversations on June 18, July 2, July 16 and July 30 at 7pm, via Facebook Live and YouTube. These conversations will allow us to listen and learn from siblings who are of African and Hispanic descent, addressing our racism by listening to those most impacted by this sin. The introductory session tomorrow will feature all of the panelists we will hear from in the next 6 weeks, including Stephen Ray (Chicago Theological Seminary), Ulysses Burley II (UBtheCURE), Rozella White (Author of Love Big), and Leila Ortiz (Bishop of the Metro DC Synod). To register go to https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Tnj1i5pLQwmEONoicpQetA  .

The Church is not closed
The Church is not closed and I see signs of it throughout our synod! Hagerstown Churches are working together for a mass community prayer vigil to give witness to equality; St. John (Sweet Air) had a public prayer vigil on its busy front lawn to mark the Emanuel Nine Commemoration; Pr. Emily Scott, our Mission Developer with the Dreams+Visions Community is curating an Authors in Conversation Series on Tuesday evenings at 7:30pm on Instagram Live @Broken_Bread! Thank you, one and all, for your ongoing witness!

A Personal Note
Many thanks for your kindnesses and prayers as my family returned from quarantine in Massachusetts, they arrived home safely on Sunday evening. Our eleven year-old daughter, Joyanne, will be having surgery on Friday to reset her radius bone and to place pins. Your prayers are coveted and appreciated. +bg

With my love and prayers,











Read: Matthew 10: 4-39
“A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; 25 it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household! 26 “So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 27 What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32 “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; 33 but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven. 34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.

Reflection:(Today’s reflection is from the article, “The Disciple is not above the Teacher” as written by Janet H. Hunt posted on www.Dancing with The Word. It was written in 2014 but it could have been written in June of 2020.)

Jesus says today that the disciple is not above the teacher… that it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher.  Indeed, as we seek to learn from him, following him, we can expect the same fate to be ours. You need not go seeking our ‘deaths,’ for they will surely come: both large and small, as we emulate his example.  We only need to look to Jesus to know what to expect. We can look to Jesus, too, to see how it is to be done.

There is a great deal that is frightening in the words before us now. None of it sounds pleasant.  Much of it promises to be painful. In spite of Jesus’ urging not to be afraid, I confess that often I am.  If I’m honest, I have to say I wish it didn’t have to be the way it is described today.  And yet I know there is no choice.  Not in the world we are called to live and die in where so many powerful forces work against good and healing and hope. These are hard words before us now.  And yet, this much I do know. There are powerful words of promise interlaced with the rest.  For we are reminded that God loves common sparrows, so mustn’t he love us all the more?  And that we are so loved that even the hairs of our heads are all counted. And yet, for me, the most powerful words of grace and comfort come at the start where we hear that we do have a teacher, a master, whose fate not only serves as warning for all of us who follow him — but, inherent in the image itself — the certain promise is that as our teacher and master, Jesus also goes before us to show us the way.  In ways so much more profound than even those I look to in this life to teach me, we follow One who already did this.  As we are told today, it is only in this way, that we who somehow lose our lives “for Jesus’ sake will find it.”

Prayer: I wonder about those “little deaths” that come to us when we choose to live our faith in you, Lord. Death to pride, selfish desires, prejudices, complacency and other things that get in the way of your life coming to us and through us to others. What might this collision of COVID and the continuation of racism be asking of us? What is it within us that must die so that all may be freed for new life in you? Help me be open, dig deep and not walk away from whatever teachings you are asking us to hear again. Help us disciples to be more like our teacher, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

“Let Us Ever Walk With Jesus” ELW #802
(Lutheran Quartet)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQqPLU9YIF4
“Lift High the Cross”
(organ and brass) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQdj4HXR6ro

“Ubuntu” (“I am because we are”)