November 16, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

November 16, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri (pdf)

November 16, 2020

Please keep in prayer:
June Hess, who tested positive for COVID, was hospitalize and is now home. Dick Hess, who initially tested negative, was retested on Saturday and got a positive result. Now they will quarantine together.
John Britton, Jr., who had a quadruple bypass surgery on Thursday at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Towson. It looks like he may be released to recover here in Hagerstown early this week.
Nancy Newkirk continues physical therapy at home after her knee replacement surgery on October 26. She may soon be released to do get physical therapy at a rehab center and will need rides. I will keep you posted.

We will have our first in-person and on-line congregational meeting this Sunday. We thank those who have returned the postcard letting us know if you will attend in-person, via ZOOM or not at all. We are nearing a quorum from the cards we have received so far. If you haven’t sent your postcard in, please do.

I will be sending out a ZOOM invitation for “test run” Zoom meetings this Wednesday at 1 pm and 7 pm. IF you would like to check that you are set for Sunday’s meeting, join the Zoom meetings at one of those times. There are a few persons who indicated that ZOOM is new to them and we WILL be contacting you to get you set up for the trial run on Wednesday and the meeting on Sunday.

Please review Haven’s 2021 Financial Plan for Ministry and the accompanying article that were in the November newsletter. You can also view these items in the newsletter posted at our website   https://havenlc.org  Passing the budget is the only item on the agenda.

GRATITUDE AND GODSIGHTINGS

The first two photos are Quill thoroughly enjoying attending the Zoom class and learning about Noah and the smelly “arky arky” (great song by the way) and he was excited to bring his favorite stuffed animal and see what others brought. The last photo is Quill in his very own “Daniel’s Lion Den” which he could not come out until answering all the questions about the story.  But when we were finished, he said “can I stay in here a little longer”?  And despite Jim’s very scary roar to scare him out, he felt quite safe (I guess that was the whole point of the lesson) God makes us so safe, when the door opens we can calmly say, “just a little while longer, these Lions are my friends and I like it in here.”                           Jamie Cannon

The weather was amazing in the Outer Banks last week. I had taken hat, gloves, scarf and layers for cold and didn’t use any of them. Our rental had spacious outdoor decks, enclosed and opened, where you could find sun or shade all day long. We read, played Yahtzee, Scrabble and Cribbage, did crossword and jigsaw puzzles and relaxed. We walked in several nature reserves and saw several flocks of wild swans wintering at Pea Island. I thank you for all your prayers for my refreshment and safe travels.
Here are two picture from one of our decks. We have a visitor several days — A heron who liked the top of gazebos and sitting in the branches of a nearby tree. My friend Ann named him Henry. We also had one of those magnificent sunsets when you can do nothing more than be in awe and give God a high five for beauty.   Pastor Linda Alessandri

A PAUSE IN GOD’S WORD

Read Psalm 95: 1-7a
1Come, let us sing  to the Lord;
let us shout for joy to the rock of our salvation.
2Let us come before God’s presence with thanksgiving
and raise a loud shout to the Lord with psalms.
3For you, Lord,  are a great God,
and a great ruler above all gods.
4In your hand are the caverns of the earth;
the heights of the hills are  also yours. 
5The sea is yours,  for you made it,
and your hands have molded  the dry land.
6Come, let us worship  and bow down,
let us kneel before the Lord our maker.
7aFor the Lord is our God,
and we are the people of God’s pasture and the sheep  of God’s hand. 

Reflection

This psalm was chosen for “Christ the King” Sunday – the final Sunday in the church calendar year. It’s a stretch for many to move into this image of our Lord as king, Historically, kings and queens, can be benevolent or self-serving as they exercise great power over the lives of the people in their realm. We have a good display both kinds of earthly kings in Scripture. Our Hebrew brothers and sisters experienced oppression under a good number the conquering “super powers” of their days. Maybe that is why they chose to speak of their God as a different kind of king. Yahweh was the only God, Creator and owner of all creation, yet a Savior and Shepherd who cares and loves deeply for all. To bow down before God was not an act of fear but a response of respect, love and awe.

There is a story told of a king who decided he had much more than he needed. His subject could benefit from these abundant riches. He had most of the gold, silver and other treasures brought into his throne room. The king then invited his subjects to come to the palace. He announced, “I want to share my wealth with you. You may take any item you wish and use it to enrich your own lives.”

As you can imagine, there was first disbelief, a suspicion that there must be a “catch.” With the king’s reassurance, people began to claim their gift. The king watched, joyful that so many people and families would great opportunities and stability in their lives. T

There was one woman who caught his eye. She was elderly and did not move. Was she unable to move? The king worried she would not have the same chance to choose a precious item. He sent a member of his court to check on her. He spoke with the women who asked if she could speak to the king. The request was relayed and the room quieted.

“Your Highness, “ the woman said, “did you really mean that we could have anything in this room?” “Yes, anything,” the king answered, “What is it that you want?” the king asked.
With bright eyes and a most earnest voice, the woman said, “I want you, my dearest king.”

I think of that story every Christ the King Sunday. I pray, “I want you, Lord, to sit on the throne of my heart and reign.” I then pray I’ve made room in my heart and life for God to reign.

Prayer
1Come, let us sing  to the Lord;
let us shout for joy to the rock of our salvation.
2Let us come before God’s presence with thanksgiving
and raise a loud shout to the Lord with psalms.
We aren’t doing much shouting or singing when we come to worship right now, Lord. We want to but we are taking care of one another by wearing masks, speaking softly and mouthing our songs of praise. Hear the singing and shouts of joy and thanksgiving that are both our anchors and our lifesavers. For when we turn to you and when we notice your creation and grace around us, we take in your Spirit of courage and strength to make our way and hold our own in hope even during a pandemic. Come reign in our hearts, our lives, our church and our times. In you, we can trust. In you, we can entrust ourselves. Amen

Music
“Psalm 95 – Come Worship Lord” (John Micahel Talbot) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_h8hvqpfV0

“Hymn to Christ the King” (Sarah Hart) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dKX1AKohEA

“Jesus is King and I Will Extol Him” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6WnLnaQUes

“King of My Heart” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jkMnq2Hfzo&list=RD-jkMnq2Hfzo&start_radio=1