March 16, 2021 Message from Pastor Alessandri

March 16, 2021 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

March 16, 2021

“Prayer of St. Francis
(Virtual Choir) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8GWp2NcjV4

“Hymn of St. Patrick”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBnCjDcDMKo

“Song of St. Patrick” (Marty Haugen) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpWiCJqx7jM

“An Irish Blessing” (traditional) several choirs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvN10detZtg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXduNT6QWBk

“May the Road Rise – A New Dawn” (a collaboration of Irish artists)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOazQ9xTOqs

TIME FOR A CHANGE  I will be going back to Tuesday as my day off starting next week. I had changed to Saturdays as we navigated the pandemic and different patterns for our worship, communications and other needed activities. It seems a good time to move back to Tuesdays. Now I need to remember that when folks are scheduling meetings.
Haven has always been very considerate about honoring my days off so I can have the time to renew and get some of those necessary chores done. I thank you.

NEWEST EDITION OF THE DEVOTIONAL THE WORD IN SEASON (April – June) is now available in the church lobby OR on the parsonage back porch.

PRAYERS  for Nancy Newkirk going to Baltimore on today to have a possible infection in her knee checked out…. Dave Resh who had his procedure at Mercy Hospital rescheduled for this Wednesday…. and others awaiting test results. Lord, hear our prayer.

Washington County Interfaith Coalition

Interfaith Prayers for Our Times

March 16, 20 21

James Dillet Freeman  (Christian)

The light of God surrounds me;

The love of God enfolds me;

The power of God protects me

The presence of God watches over me.

Wherever I am, God is.

Hinduism (The Vedas)

We sing thy praises.

We will now and evermore sing the praises

Even as they were sung of old.

For thy laws are immutable,

O God: they are firm like the

Mountains.

Bearer of Hope, You may be beyond our limited capacities to comprehend, yet we know you are present here in our hearts…in our lives, in our deepest knowing.  When You are most difficult to touch…even so You are present.

May we settle our fears and angers, turning instead to the sense of You that we know in our hearts.

Help us breathe deeply of hope and walk with courage.

Surround us, enfold us, await us—as we journey toward Your Light.  Be present with us we pray. Amen

Reverend Valerie Wills, Coordinator
Washington County Interfaith Coalition

Haven will sponsor a team again this year. Interested in joining us? Contact Pastor Alessandri  l.alessandri1035@gmail.com or call 301-733-5056

 

 

BECAUSE WE NEED TO LAUGH

 

 

 

 

 

 

A PAUSE IN GOD’S WORD

Read Jeremiah 31: 31-34
31The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 33But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

“Reflection:

Each Sunday during Lent, after we face our regrets and need for forgiveness and offer them to God with our confession. After we received the grace of God’s forgiveness, we sing three times:

Take, oh, take me as I am; summon out what I shall be;
set your seal upon my heart and live in me.”

I hear this song echoed in God’s “new covenant” — I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Live in me, the song says. Summon out what you created me to be — a child made in your image to bless the world. Help me put aside the things that get in the way of my loving you, Lord and my neighbor, the very kinds of things that I just confessed. Instead, let me grow as your beloved child, so others will see a resemblance to you.

Wondered about that “set your seal upon my heart”? In movies or television programs you may have seen a kings or titled persons use an engraved ring, metal stamp or cylinder to imprint their identifying initials or symbol in a small pool of hot wax that seals an envelope, letter or scroll. When you received that correspondence or witnessed a document with such a seal, you knew it had the full authorization of the seal’s owner, who would stand by his/her word. This is tradition that was found in the ancient Middle Eastern world, too.

Set your seal on my heart? Make me yours. Not in the sense of involuntary captivity, obsessive possessiveness or enslavement. But a unity in live-giving, mutual love. Let your love dwell so deeply, fully, completely in my heart and life, Lord, that my life is joined to yours and I could no sooner turn away from such love and devotion than stop my heart from beating. Let me not be ashamed, frightened or complacent to be yours, Lord. That covenant seal of your love and acceptance — “You are a baptized child of God, forever loved and forgiven — is a wonder, honor and gift so that we can bear and reflect you in the world.

Take, oh, take me as I am; summon out what I shall be;
set your seal upon my heart and live in me.”

Prayer: You speak, Lord, of this “new covenant” that you have written in our very bones, flesh and breath. Lord be in me when I process how to act, speak, and live, so others may know you. Lord be a part of the church, guiding us as we speak, act and serve, so others will see you.  You are our God and we are your people. Let it be so. Amen. So be it. Let it be so.

Music:  (Music listed above under St. Patrick’s Day will also speak to this devotion)

“Take, O, Take Me as I Am” ELW #814

“As a Seal Upon my Heart” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRwiyaKN1Mk

“Set Me As a Seal Upon Your Heart” (René Clausen) Acapella choir https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mVWmIj_O3E

Set me as a seal upon your heart
As a seal upon your arm
For love is strong as death
Set me as a seal upon you heart
As a seal upon your arm
For love is strong as death

Many waters cannot quench love
Neither can the floods drown it
Neither can the floods drown it
(Neither can the floods drown it
Neither can they drown it)
Set me as a seal upon your heart
As a seal upon your arm
For love is strong as death

“Who You Are to Me” (Chris Tomlin) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wms76AfllVE

Oh, yeah

Some people think You’re distant, just some words on a page
That You’re nothing more than fables handed down along the way
But I’ve seen You part the waters when no one else could pull me from the deep
That’s who You are to me

Some people think You just live in cathedrals made of stone
But I know You live inside my heart, I know that it’s Your home
And I’ve seen You in a sunset and in the eyes of a stranger on the street
That’s who You are to me

You’re amazing, faithful, love’s open door
When I’m empty You fill me with hunger for more
Of Your mercy, Your goodness
Lord, You’re the air that I breathe
That’s who You are to me
Who You are to me

Sometimes I have my doubts, I’m sure that everybody does
And I wonder when I stumble, am I still worthy of Your love?
But I know that I get stronger when I’m talking to You down on my knees
You’re everything I need

You’re amazing, faithful, love’s open door
When I’m empty You fill me with hunger for more
Of Your mercy, Your goodness
Lord, You’re the air that I breathe
That’s who You are to me
Who You are to me

You’re forever Holy
You’re the Lamb who is worthy
My forgiveness (My forgiveness), my healer (My healer)
The Messiah, my Redeemer

You’re amazing, faithful, love’s open door
When I’m empty You fill me with hunger for more
Of Your mercy, Your goodness
Lord, You’re the air that I breathe
(Lord, You’re the air I breathe)
That’s who You are

You are greater, higher over it all
In Your presence, Jesus, I stand in awe
Of Your mercy, Your goodness
Lord, You’re the air that I breathe
That’s who You are to me

That’s who You are
That’s who You are
That’s who You are
That’s who You are to me
That’s who You are
That’s who You are
That’s who You are
That’s who You are to me

Songwriters: Charles Kelley / Chris Tomlin / David Wesley Haywood / Hillary Scott
Who You Are To Me lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.