June 5, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

June 5, 2020

 

 

GREAT NEWS – DRIVE-UP WORSHIP AT HAVEN AGAIN THIS SUNDAY!

What does that mean? It means that this Sunday, June 7 at 9:30 am you can park your car in the parking lot in front of the education wing and use your radio to listen to a worship service which will be outside on the hill. OR, if you’d prefer, you can bring your lawn chair to sit outside, as long as you are socially distanced from non-family members and wearing a face mask.

YES, we will be singing.
YES, you WILL have access to the restrooms in our building.
YES, we will still be taping and posting a worship service for those for whom it is not safe to venture out.

As stated last week, there are some protocols we need to follow to remain compliant to state regulations and our insurance company. NOTE there are a few changes. We need your cooperation and compliance to these guidelines so this can be a safe and pleasant experience for everyone. (Please — Let’s not put our ushers or pastor in the role of needing to “police” worshipers.)

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. You will be told the FM station to which you will tune your radio.
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) 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 worshiping TOGETHER, united a one through God — Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Thanks be to God.

PRAYER
Good afternoon A little over 50 years ago I was just a little boy and attending VBS at Haven and one of the songs we learned during VBS was “And They’ll Know We Are Christian’s By Our Love.” Oh how this song is needed today especially the verse that has” and I pray that all Unity will someday be restored ”
God’s peace to us all, DANNY Kiblinger

A BIT OF HUMOR in a trying week?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A PAUSE IN GOD’S WORD
Read: Matthew 28: 16-20
16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Reflection
This reflection on the gospel reading for Trinity Sunday is prepared by Rev. Dr. Caroline Lewis (“A Trinitarian Difference, posted June 4, 2017 on www.working preacher.org.) Though written three years ago, I think it speaks so poignantly and importantly to us in this unfathomable year and circumstances we are living. It speaks to how we handle life with COVID-19. It speaks to our nation in which there is a disproportionate number of African Americans affected by COVID, in our prisons and randomly stopped by law enforcement. It speaks to those who would raise their voices to peacefully protest and we would only wish it would speak to those who choose to loot and incite violence which serves to draw attention away from the original reason for the peaceful protests. It speaks to our leaders and all of us about finding ways to dialog (speaking and listening) with passion and honesty, without malice, name calling or demonizing those who think or look differently. Though we may feel “sick and tired” and sad and weary, “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” let us remember Christ’s words, “I am with you always.”   God IS with us, Pastor Linda M Alessandri

Jesus does not define or describe the Trinity. Rather, Jesus articulates “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” for the sake of spreading the good news of God’s presence and imagining God’s kingdom here and now… As such, “I am with you always” is a summary of the Trinity itself.

I think this might matter for how we preach a confession of the church that could easily be dismissed by most, not because they don’t care, but because we can’t seem to make it relevant. We might respond by insisting that not everything about faith can be relevant. That there are some things we just have to accept on faith. But that does not always work in a world that daily challenges our understanding of it; that daily makes less and less sense; that daily demands response in ways that make a difference.

The Trinity asserts God with us. The Trinity affirms God’s presence. The Trinity avows that no matter what and in whatever circumstances God will be there.

This promise means a certain kind of behavior from us. What will we do, what will we say if we truly believe “I am with you always”? Making disciples and baptizing are not just apostolic acts or evangelical events. They are ways by which the Kingdom of Heaven happens, because happenstance is not how the Kingdom works. If we claim “I am with you always” as true, that should make a significant difference as to how we are in the world.

How will we be with each other if we believe God is here? How will we act toward each other if we believe God is with us? How will we speak about each other if we believe God is among us? …How will we care for God’s creation if we believe God is beside us in the garden? How will we tend to this earth that has been entrusted to us if we believe we can feel God’s tears as God watches our apathy for the earth?

We are living in a time when decisions and actions and speech demonstrate indifference to God’s presence, even a disbelief that God is in the midst of all that we do. Much more is at stake with the assertion of “I am with you always” than “What Would Jesus Do?” What we do is no mere imitation of Jesus’ actions, but comes with the recognition that Jesus’ actions were dependent upon God’s presence and brought about God’s presence.

We might ask, therefore, what would our ministry look like, our lives look like, our way of being look like, our congregations look like if what we did and said began with, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” A Trinitarian invocation might make us pause and question if what we are about to do is truly in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The experience might be completely different if there is an expectation that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit are actually in the room. Or, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” might give us the strength, the power to risk, to take a chance on an action, knowing that God promises to be there.

If we were to grant that, “I am with you always” is a summary of the Trinity itself, then maybe the Trinity would not be an irrelevant belief of the church but the belief about God without which the church could not be the church.

Prayer: ELW p. 76
O God, where hearts are fearful and constricted, grant courage and hope. Where anxiety is infectious and widening, grant peace and reassurance. Where impossibilities close every door and window, grant imagination and resistance. Where distrust twists our thinking, grant healing and illumination. Where spirits are daunted and weakened, grant soaring wings and strengthened dreams. All these things we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

Music
“I Am with You Always” (J. Rutter and Cambridge Singers) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5wpcBkKM1U

“Be Still and Know That I Am God” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHT6AvhzPE4

“This I Believe” (Creed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRzI_FbWTkg&t=275s

“Nobody Loves Me Like You” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KicvBB2L68