Message from Pastor Alessandri April 1, 2020

20April1 Message from Pastor Alessandri

April 1, 202

The Peace of the Lord be with you!   (No Foolin’)

I’m up early, anxiously awaiting my ZOOM meeting with the Washington County Conference pastors. Leading a meeting of peers PLUS new technology — now there’s a formula for a bit of nervousness. So, I pray and I remind myself, “It is not about me. It is about God’s church, God’s ministry and God’s people. Get over yourself.”  Repeat. On the other hand, I will be very glad to “be with” my colleagues and check in on how they and the churches they serve are doing. I also look forward to seeing if ZOOM might work for Council and, maybe, fellowship-type meetings.

WORSHIP UPDATE Mary, Steve and I will be consulting on how to bring you some kind of local worship this Palm Sunday. Our florist has told us we will not receive our palms. It seems florists and those who supply them are not considered “essential.” Keep our small businesses and their employees in prayer.

AT-HOME PRAYER VIGIL Pastor Kaplan offered this great suggestion.
During the Wednesday of Holy Week we have been holding a 12 hour Prayer Vigil in the church. Persons sign-up to come for one hour for prayer. Among the prayer options we provide, are a pile of prayer requests that we gathered from you in the weeks before. During one’s hour, you read one request at a time and offer a prayer to the Lord.
Pastor Kaplan suggested we ask you to begin to send in any special prayer requests that you might have — particular persons, situations or circumstances for which you would like us to pray. We can add these to our Sunday prayer list and put out a Prayer Vigil list of prayer requests for anyone to use at home on Wednesday, April 8th for his or her own vigil of prayer. Though we may be physically apart, we will be united in praying to the same Lord those in special need.

Please send your Holy Week Prayer Requests to either me, l.alessandri1035@gmail.com or the church office, churchoffice@havenlc.org. We will continue to collect them through April 6th.

Notes of Gratitude, God sightings and Shared Music

I have been blessed by seeing God in new and different ways and hearing His voice more clearly during these past 2 weeks. The pace of life has slowed down for all, and sunrise walks and evening meditations have now become more “routine”.  Also, I have 4 sisters who I was missing but now we use a Marco Polo app on our phones and record message to one another, and one sister is now “in charge” of a daily Bible reading for us.  We are redefining our daily lives and we are connecting more with each other and offering God’s light and encouragement to one another much more than we used to do.
I share this music video as one that Jim and I both love so much.  Rend Collective wrote this uplifting song after one of their band members suffered a big loss.  It is testimony of joy always winning out over sadness when God is in the middle of it.
                     Jamie Cannon.
Rend Collective – Joy Of The Lord (Live At The Orchard) – https://youtu.be/KVIhb-c_4Tw

Stephen,  thank you for sharing!!!          Clare Newcomer  https://www.facebook.com/15602120/posts/10105765390413347/?d=n
(Stephen Pastena playing a favorite Bach piece)

Carol Shull sent me the “Global Choir’s” rendition of  “A Mighty Fortress” https://youtu.be/z4EoLm3_luM   When I “googled” The Virtual Choir, it reported that it “is a global phenomenon, creating a user-generated choir that brings together singers from around the world and their love of music in a new way through the use of technology. Singers record and upload their videos from locations all over the world. Each one of the videos is then synchronized and combined into one single performance to create the Virtual Choir. Wait until you hear it — You will be amazed! And what a wonderful reminder of how we are all in this together, wherever we may be living.

God IS with you. God IS with us.
Pastor Linda Alessandri

A Pause With God

Read: Philippians 2: 5-11
Paul uses an early Christian hymn to help us comprehend Jesus’ obedient selflessness on the cross and how God has made Christ lord over all reality. The perspective of the cross becomes the way we rightly understand God, Christ, our own lives, and fellowship within the community of Christ.

5Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.

9Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
10so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

 

Reflection:  In the church year, during the season of Lent, we are on our way to Jerusalem with Jesus. Scripture says Jesus turns his face toward Jerusalem, moving toward those who would have him dead. Still, he walks there in obedience to the mission and ministry to which he has been called, even when it will likely lead to an early grave.

It is said that St. Paul used an early Christian hymn in this passage from his letter to the Philippians. It seems to capture that walk Jesus is making toward Jerusalem. You can almost hear the words of the hymn as we watch Jesus knowingly and humbly, with great strength and commitment, going to face the earthly powers of sin and death.  He trusts that this walk to Jerusalem and all that will befall him will not be in vain. He walks in obedience AND love to show us God’s great, saving love for us all.

Many of us are feeling humbled by circumstances we can’t control and struggle to accept the necessary restrictions on our usual lifestyle. Walk with Jesus. He knows what it is like to keep walking the road even when you are not sure of what is ahead and whether you want to go there. He put his trust in God and put one foot in front of the other. Let him teach you and I how to walk in humbleness and faith, remembering that, in the end, death and sin did NOT win.

Prayer: Lord, help us to lean on you as we put one foot before the other travelling through the unknowns and anxiety of our Covid-19 times. You know it is not easy for us. Give us strength as we place our trust in you, who is the resurrection and the life. Amen

Music:
See the wonderful suggested listed above.
Here is some children singing “He Is Lord” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTbhnTeF4yE