October 19, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

October 19, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

October 19, 2020

TUESDAY IS AN IMPORTANT DAY FOR OUR SEMINARIAN MIA HOOVER. On Tuesday, 2 pm, Mia has a Zoom meeting with the DE-MD Synod Candidacy Committee. After you have completed your first academic year of seminary studies, you meet with the Candidacy Committee for an “Endorsement” decision. This committee is looking to gauge Mia’s academic, theological and personal growth as a candidate for Ministry of Word and Sacrament. Having been through it, I can tell you it is nerve-racking. So I ask that you pray for the Holy Spirit to lead and guide Mia and the Candidacy Committee. We’ll let you know the results as soon as Mia lets us know.


Thanks to your generous response we have a great supply of single-serving Campbell soups, applesauce and fruit! The folks at Potomac Towers will get NO tricks this October 30th, only a hardy lunch. some treats and our love. Thank you, again.


This is Mia, your seminarian for the next two semesters. I have been studying the History of the Church up to 1500. While reading about the very early church, I stumbled upon something called The Odes of Solomon, which piqued my interest. I discovered that this is the earliest known hymnbook, written around the second century. This information and these hymns are in a book, titled, The Odes Project: The Earliest Christian Hymnbook, translated by James H. Charlesworth and published by Cascade Books.

The Lord’s Dew


The Lord’s gentle shower overshadowed me with serenity,

And it caused a cloud of peace to remain over my head,


That it might guard me at all times.

And it became salvation for me.


Everyone was disturbed and afraid,

And there flowed from them smoke and judgment.


But I was tranquil in the Lord’s legion;

More than a shade was He to me, and more than foundation.


And I was carried like a babe by its mother;

And He gave me milk, the dew of the Lord.


And I grew strong in His favor.

And I rested in His perfection.


And I extended my hands in the ascent of my soul.

And I directed myself near the Most High.

And I was saved near Him.





This hymn reminds me of my Baptism and a nurturing, mothering God.


“The Lord’s gentle shower overshadowed me with serenity.” Many times, when it’s raining or there is a light mist coming down, I am reminded of my new life in Christ.


The fifth and sixth stanzas are full images of a mother’s love. “And I was carried like a babe by its mother; and He gave me milk, the dew of the Lord. And I grew strong in His favor. And I rested in His perfection. And I extended my hands in the ascent of my soul.” I can picture a child nursing at its mother’s breast, and then growing as a result of that nourishment, and reaching up to be carried by my loving parent, God. Nourishment, growth, rest and reaching.

Seminarian Mia Hoover











God Squad Explorer
in-training – Emma Huguenin







Read: Psalm 1

1Happy are those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
2but their delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law they meditate day and night.
3They are like trees
planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.
4The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6for the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.


This was the psalm for the first Sunday I preached at St. John Lutheran in Wilson, Texas. They had experienced a very dry summer and the cotton farmers were worried their crops. A cotton farm earns one check a year. Once the cotton is harvested and processed at the cooperative gin mill, the co-op then sells the cotton for all its members. Then, at an annual meeting, the checks are distributed to the participating farmers. One check a year! Out of that check comes the supplies for your next crop as well as your family’s budget for the year. In Wilson, Texas I learned farming required lots of work, lots of faith and lots of financial resourcefulness.

The day I had arrived earlier that week, it had poured. I had thought it bad luck to arrive with a U-Haul truck of furniture in the rain. Those farmers saw it with different eyes. The toddlers were out splashing in puddles and the adults felt like going out to join them. The storm didn’t last long but it was a spark of hope after a long dry month.

So when I read verse 3 of Psalm 1, I had a new perspective.

3They are like trees
planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.

For west Texan cotton farmers and for a middle eastern farmer, streams of water would indeed mean yields that could be sold and feed their families. It could mean the difference between poverty or “enough,” between struggling to get by to breathing in possibilities for the future. To be sure of a steady stream of water would be life giving, not only to the crops but to the farmers and their families and community

The psalm lays that experience of farmers and nature over our ways of life and living. What would provide us with a steady and steadying source of life? A tree itself doesn’t get to choose , “Oh I think I’ll be planted over by that stream that never runs dry.” We, however, as adults usually do get to choose in what environment we will sink our roots and be watered and nourished. The psalmist tells us to choose to live in the ways and will of the Lord, referred to as “the law,” because it will provide a life that is rich with meaning, hope and stability. Plant yourself in the word and will of God, be watered by God’s love and grace and you will find yourself able to persevere in difficult times (“their leaves do not wither”) and live fully in a peace and joy that passes all understanding in all circumstances (“yield their fruit in its season…[and] prosper”)

This pandemic can seem like the drought those Wilson cotton farmers were experiencing in 1998. We wonder when will it end, how will we make it, and what will it be like on the other side. But we trees planted by the stream of God’s eternal, ever-flowing love, care and peace. I think it important we remember to drink deeply of God’s presence, ways and grace. We do not need to wither when the Lord freely offers the water of life in scripture, communion, prayer and the love we receive, witness and share with others. Drink deeply and believe. God IS with us.

Pastor Linda M Alessandri

Prayer  (ELW Prayer for Psalm 1)
Eternal God, in your loving wisdom you set us beside the fountain of life, like a tree planted by running streams. Fill us with delight in your teaching, that we may bear fruit in every season of life; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.


“As the Deer Pants for the Water”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZv3jzOTE70

“Let Streams of Living Justice” ELW #710  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MezbG6HCj0s

“O Blessed Spring” ELW #447  (a long organ introduction and then the National Lutheran Choir)     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXZY9qKkozI  (someone wrote the lyrics in the comments section if you don’t have a hymnal)

“Rooted”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9vtRgjL2c0

“Mercies (New Every Morning)”

“Be Like A Tree” – A children’s song  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeUBnWrh280