May 15, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

May 15, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

May 15, 2020

Christ is Risen! Alleluia
(He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!

WORSHIP AT HAVEN Today we will be taping Sunday’s worship service for the Sixth Sunday of Easter. The recording and the bulletin will be posted on Saturday. May we be blessed as we praise and pray to the Lord who says, “I will not leave you orphaned.” (John 14: 18)

I mentioned yesterday that there are many things to consider as we move toward in-person worship again at Haven. If you read any of the suggested guidelines for re-opening attached to yesterday’s message, you probably found yourself saying several times, like I did, “I never thought of that.” I hadn’t thought about needing to measure our pews and estimate how many we could seat six feet apart. I hadn’t thought about how we will not be able to sing initially when we worship inside the sanctuary. (“Singing together, even from a distance, is one of the riskiest behaviors due to the spread of aerosol and droplets that can carry the virus a significant distance and remain suspended in the air. A cloth mask is unlikely to protect you or your neighbor.” ) How will we “pass the peace” when we can’t get near one another for now? Worship, at first, will not be anything like what we had and what we crave. Yet we remain united and one body of Christ together though we might be sitting feet apart and some may still need to stay safely at home.
So here is what I have been wondering. What might the Lord be ready to teach us about worship and community as we fumble through these uneasy steps towards worship-as-usual? Beyond our grumblings and longing, will we quiet ourselves so we can notice and listen to what God will offer and how God will differently bless?  For without a doubt, gathered in God’s name, God will be present and God will bless us!

Morgan Haupt 5/15             

Bill Plavcan  5/16

Emily Butsch 5/17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GRATITUDE AND GODSIGHTS
Haven’s Garden is tilled and planting will commence this weekend! Now to get a fence up to discourage the deer, rabbits and other assorted critters from eating the crops.                        Pastor LMA

 [I] am so grateful to have a small plot of dirt for tomatoes and zucchini!  Thank you Haven family!  Kris F.

I appreciated these words from the ELCA resource, “Considerations for Returning to In-person Worship“:  “In all situations, you will want to err on the side of love for your neighbor and know that change will be inevitable. Patience, grace, and flexibility will be necessary as you strive to make the most appropriate decisions for the people of God in your place at this time.”

  • “Err on the side of love for your neighbor.” We need to stay mindful of the real dangers of this virus and not apologize for being cautious for the protection of the welfare of people.  It is NOT a lack of faith or courage that will cause us to be cautious. It is love.
  • “Know that change [in plans] is inevitable.” We will do our best to read the guidelines and recommendations provided and plan accordingly. However, we have learned well from these last eight weeks that information and best practices can change in a day. We need to stay aware and be ready to adapt as need for the love of you and our neighbors. That is where the patience will be of great importance.
  • “Patience, grace and flexibility will be necessary.” Amen. Amen. Patience, grace and flexibility are surely lessons COVID-19 has been teaching us. It isn’t easy, is it?

Love, patience, grace and flexibility. I am grateful to say that the community at Haven possesses these qualities. We will need to continue to exercise these gift in these coming weeks and months. Relying on the power of a Risen Lord, we will rise to the challenges. Keep your eyes out for the Lord’s blessings and lessons and we will prevail in love, patience, grace and flexibility.

God IS with us,

Pastor Linda M Alessandri

A PAUSE IN GOD’S WORD

Read: John 14: 15-21
[Jesus said to the disciples:] 15“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. 17This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
18“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

Reflection: (Reflection and Prayer prepared by Heidi Hyland Mann, Luther Seminary’s God Pause)
Sometimes one word makes all the difference. In promising the disciples the presence of the Holy Spirit, Jesus doesn’t say he will send “the” Advocate or “an” Advocate, but “another” Advocate. For there to be “another” of something, we must already be familiar with a first of that thing. Jesus has been, for the disciples, their first “Advocate.” They already “know him because he abides with [them]” (v. 17).

When my infant was to start full-time daycare, I didn’t have the difficult transition some parents do because his “new” caregiver wasn’t new at all: she was Grandma! The sense that he would be in the hands of another family member he already knew eased the hand-off for Mama and baby alike.

We were fortunate to have this caregiving arrangement available. But the caregiving arrangement Jesus provided is available to all: Even when Jesus is no longer physically with us, another who loves us just as he does—another whose truth we’ve seen in him—another whom we already know—is here. We are in good hands.

Prayer:
Jesus, thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to be our Advocate, Comforter, and Guide. Amen.

(“Enlightenment of the Holy Spirit” ELW p. 86) God Almighty, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Grant us, we pray, to be grounded and settled in your truth by the coming of the Holy Spirit into our hearts. That which we know not, reveal; that which is wanting in us, fill up; that which we know, confirm; and keep us blameless in your service; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Music:

“Hymn of the Holy Spirit” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgguVaGqHE8
“This Is the Air I Breath” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEDcKZB7r2A
“Holy Spirit” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtJjdmFaNeQ

“Holy Spirit,  Living Breath of God” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nbMfLQd2P4