Fasting & Self-Denial
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 5. These forty days are set
aside for intensified repenting and fasting – to prepare us for
genuine jubilation at Eastertide.
Now regarding fasting, Jesus wanted us to do it (Matthew 9:15)
and the Lutheran Confessions second it (the
Book of Concord,
pp. 69, 221). But how does it help our souls – to deprive
ourselves of our favorite foods?
Self-denial (Luke 9:23)! Fasting helps us by furthering
self-denial. That’s why fasting matters so much – it’s a
tangible, concrete, obvious way to deny ourselves, which isn’t
easy to do and so we need all the concrete help we can get.
Enter fasting . . .
And what’s our goal in denying ourselves? Luther puts it this
“Acknowledging that God is right and confessing that his
judgment is true when he says that we are all sinners and all
51:318). Letting those two points settle in promotes
self-denial. And fasting helps you let them settle in. So take
up your Lenten fast and expect great things to happen.
What a Relief to Read
Kierkegaard’s Love for
By Pastor Marshall
Kierkegaard loved Luther’s sermon on 1 Peter 2:11-20
which crafts “a true expression of his concept of
conformity and heterogeneity between what is Christian
and what is secular” (Kierkegaard’s
Luther elaborates upon this tough relationship in his
citizens no longer of Babylon but of heaven, let us know
that during… our sojourn here among strangers, it is
ours to live righteously, honorably and chastely,… and
benefit even the wicked and ungrateful, meanwhile
constantly striving after our inheritance and keeping in
mind the kingdom whither we are bound…. [But how] is it
possible to reconcile these seeming inconsistencies? By…
accepting the fact that the Christian’s attitude toward
this earthly life is the attitude of the guest… who
respects his host’s wishes,… and the customs of the inn,
but at the same time [refraining] from [being satisfied]
with this life as if he intended to remain here
and hoped for
nothing better. Thus will the
Christian pass through every temporal event in
the right way – having every possession as
though not having it, using and yet not cleaving
to it (1 Cor 7:29-31); not so occupied with the
temporal as to lose the eternal…. [So]
Christians use the world, constantly casting
their thoughts beyond this life, notwithstanding
they have house and home, wife and children.
These are for the present life only, yet the
Christian owes them due consideration…. Such is
their duty so long as they are here –
transients, like the stranger at the inn with
other guests, who conducts himself with respect
to the needs… of his fellows, doing as they do,
and in case of danger and necessity uniting with
them in the effort to help and protect” (Sermons
of Martin Luther, 7:280-83). No wonder then
that at the end of his life, Kierkegaard
espoused dying to “every merely human hope [and]
we learn from Luther, as Kierkegaard did, how
best to deal with this basic inconsistency in
by Larraine King
In the cross of
Christ I glory,
Tow’ring o’er the wrecks of time.
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.
So begins hymn #104.
The season of Lent begins March 5th, Ash Wednesday.
It is a holy time, filled with meditating on the Cross of
Christ, and the gift of His sacrifice for us.
There is so much for us to be thankful for in His
sacrifice to win our freedom from sin, the grave, and the devil.
But it is also a difficult time as we try to give up
foods and activities that we love a little too much; as a we
strive to fast in honor of Jesus.
Read, meditate, and pray on the hymns in LBW in the
“Lent” section (#91-127).
Augustine says that he who sings hymns, prays twice, so
our hymnal is also a wonderful prayer book!
At the February church council meeting it was announced that the
Small Groups that are forming for fellowship and Bible study
will begin meeting at the end of February.
There will only be two groups, one in West Seattle, north
of the church and one on the eastside.
All are welcome to join.
Contact Valerie and Scott Schorn and/or Janine and Peter
Douglass for more specific details.
Do you ever want to learn more about the history of the Lutheran
Church, or dig deeper into the Holy Scriptures?
We have outstanding adult education opportunities at
First Lutheran to do just that.
At 10 am and 7:30 pm on Wednesdays, Bible study is
offered on different books of the Bible.
On Sunday morning at 9:30am there is an adult education
class that covers Lutheran heritage and history, Bible study,
contemporary issues of interest to Lutherans, and more.
Also, once a month, a book group meets to discuss a book
– “With the Mind” – that is both challenging and educational.
Sign up! Commit to learning more about church membership,
Lutheranism, and Christianity.
In April, the West Seattle Helpline will be celebrating their
They are planning to hold a “Founder’s Day” dinner for 25
founding members of the Helpline on April 21st at Salty’s
hope is to raise $25,000 as seed money for an endowment fund to
provide financial support for the Helpline’s work.
Pr. Marshall is one of the founders of the Helpline, so
we will hear more about this event and the fundraising in the
Financially, the church made its budget prediction for January.
It takes around $20,000 to operate our facility, pay bills, and
meet payroll every month.
Fortunately we have not had any major facility expenses
to deal with. Part
of that comes from maintaining the buildings and grounds.
Currently the windows in the parsonage are being replaced
with double paned insulated windows, which will help with heat
loss, plus make it more comfortable.
Thanks to Alex Ceaicovschi for doing the labor. A huge
THANK YOU!!! to
everyone who regularly and generously contributes.
It makes a difference and it takes everyone doing their
Remember the West Seattle Food Bank every time you come to
church in March and April.
Their need is great and we are blessed to be able to help
them. Remember –
HUNGER TAKES NO VACATIONS!!!!
When the woes of life o’ertake me, Hopes deceive, and fears
Never shall the cross forsake me; Lo, it glows with peace
(Hymn #104 v2)
We have decided to do a new church directory!
Friday, March 21st – 12 noon to 8 pm.
Saturday, March 22nd – 10 am to 6 pm.
will be here on the above dates and times
to take photographs of us for
our new directory.
Updated directories are majorly importance to the life of a
congregation due to the many changes that occur in all of our
consider signing up to be
photographed on one of these days.
You can start as early as Sunday March 2nd to sign up for
a time slot. IF you
are out of town at the time of our scheduled photo session
please contact the office.
Other arrangements can be made through Lifetouch’s
Let us come together this March to celebrate our
congregation with a new directory.
And, this directory is for all of our members, whether
voting or associate (regular visitor).
We want you all to be
Each sitting (individual or
family) will receive an 8 x 10 photograph free, will be
included in the directory, and will receive a free copy of the
There is no obligation to buy
Lifetouch has a good
reputation for not being pushy.
someone at church observed that we parishioners are
“exceptionally well served” by our Parish Staff.
It was an understatement.
There are many who have helped build FLCWS over time, of
whom I, as a newcomer, am only dimly aware.
There are also important people beside and behind Pastor
Marshall, Dean Hard and Andy King, but let us single out these
In the first place, it takes an exceptional love for us and
devotion to Christ for Pastor Marshall to remind us continually
what wretched sinners we all are.
There is no more thankless task in this world, none more
likely to be met with continual rejection by newcomers who
wander in to the 10:30 service, by his fellow pastors in the
ELCA, and even by the Church generally.
But Christ’s love cannot save us from our sin unless we
acknowledge it. We
cannot be drawn into Him except by desiring to leave ourselves
behind and be remade.
It is a paradox that the motivation to “preach us to
bits” is actually love: paradox to us, contradiction to the
world. It cannot
ever be easy to preach the “naked word,” that grates on
listeners’ ears and teaches us to fear as we ought, so that we
may also hope as we ought.
So let us support Pastor Marshall however we can
(Quotations from The
Fatal Vice, Standards for Judging Lutheran Pastors, 2006.)
Let us also support our Deacon, Dean Hard and Cantor/Organist,
Andy King, whose devotion to the historical norms of worship
helps us to acknowledge the real presence, and connects us with
the historical church and the “hosts of heaven.”
In the ordered movement and visual elements of the
liturgy as in the coordination and the excellence of the sacred
music of our services we are constantly reminded that others
have gone before us in the same walk of faith, regardless of the
worldly historical time that has passed.
Yes, I have studied Western cultural history a little,
and I know that in our church service there is variety of
historical influence on this music and liturgy that also strike
me as manifestations of the sacred.
This is mere paradox.
Christ’s Church is in time, but also outside of time, and
we also step outside of time, a little, when we worship in the
historical norms of the Church.
Dean’s and Andy’s care and expertise help me to feel free
to acknowledge the real presence, and with it the presence of
the hosts of heaven, who communed much as we do.
I have never experienced anything like it in any other
church, and I suspect it is rare indeed.
So let us support these three of our Parish Staff however we
can, and let us acknowledge their work and our indebtedness.
Our 100th Anniversary
By Pastor Marshall
What was it
like when our church was founded back in 1918? What was going on
in the Lutheran church in America at that time?
On June 8, 1917, a new church was formed in Minneapolis–St.
Paul, Minnesota, from the merger of three separate organizations
– the Norwegian Synod, Hauge’s Synod, and the United Synod. It
was called the Norwegian
Lutheran Church of America (NLCA). Strains of pietism, a
state church system and doctrinal orthodoxy were combined in
this merger. Our congregation was one of the first new parishes
in the Pacific NW to join this new organization the following
And we shared in its peculiar challenges: “The world into which
the NLCA was born was one of violent dislocation and convulsive
changes. While Norwegian-American churchmen were struggling to
make theological explication of Christian doctrine preliminary
to presiding over the birth of a new church, the great world
powers were engaged in the carnage and bloodletting of the first
World War. Hitherto Norwegian-American Lutherans had lived a
relatively isolated existence on the North American continent.
Like other immigrant churches, they preached
gospel and administered the sacraments within the
walls of a cultural ghetto. An alien tongue and
inherited customs were not easily disclaimed and thus
quickly became natural obstacles in the new land. The
isolation of Norwegian-American Lutheranism, however,
ended in 1917. Officially and formally the church was
not to recognize it for several years, but nevertheless,
the walls of the compound had been broken by the
shattering experiences of WWI. From that time forth the
church could not insulate itself from the ‘acids and
assets’ of American modernity. It was forced willy-nilly
to ‘discover’ America and the other churches – Lutheran
and non-Lutheran – which shared the opportunities and
responsibilities of the Christian witness” [E. Clifford
Nelson, The Lutheran Church Among
Norwegian-Americans: A History of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church, 2 vols. (Augsburg, 1960)
With the Mind:
Readings in Contemporary Theology
3-5 pm in the Church Lounge,
Saturday, March 22nd.
book for March is Why We
Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized
Religion (2009), by Kevin
DeYoung & Ted Kluck.
This book – written by a pastor and one of his
parishioners – is a critique of the modern trend in the
church for Christians to practice their faith without
going to church (pp. 160-182). At the end of the book we
have this summary of their case: “Daily discipleship is
not a new revolution each morning;… it’s a long
obedience in the same direction…. [Now it’s] possible
the church needs to change. Certainly in some areas it
does. But it’s also possible we’ve changed – and not for
the better. It’s possible our boredom and restlessness
has less to do with the church and its doctrines and
more to do with a growing coldness toward the love of
God displayed in the sacrifice of His Son for our sins”
A copy of this important book is in the church library. If
you would like to purchase one for yourself, contact
Pastor Marshall. Feel free to attend our meeting when we
discuss this matter of fitting church-going in with
holding to the faith.
to the following for helping
decorate the church for Christmas:
Matthew & Ali Richardson, Steve and Kathrine (Young)
McCord, Valerie & Scott schorn, Bob & Connie Baker, Phil &
Natalie Nesvig, Gina Allen, Cristian Clemente, Jane Harty, Barb
Schorn, Earl Nelson & Andy Nelson, Sonja Clemente, Larraine &
Andy King and Pastor Marshall.
FOOD BANK DONATION
suggestions for March are canned meats, chilies and stews.
2014 FLOWER CHART
could use a few more families to sign up for Easter Flowers.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Instruments of Change benefit & social hour: live music,
guest speaker, dinner, and a dessert auction at the Hall of
Fauntleroy. Friday, May 2, 2014, 6-9 pm.
Also West Seattle
Helpline 9th Annual Taste of West Seattle on May 15th.
Tickets can be purchased in advance on the Helpline web
WEST SEATTLE RECYCLING
buys your recyclables and sends the church a 10% bonus
check a couple of times a year.
Pastor Marshall is willing to take donations
(newspaper and aluminum cans) if left in his carport.
#6 Styrofoam can also be recycled (the kind that
snaps when broken).
Please bag securely before leaving at the back of
the parsonage carport.
Another thing that should be properly disposed of
They are no longer allowed in the garbage.
Pastor Marshall is willing to properly dispose of
them if they are left in
marked bags on
the office window counter.
Thanks to those who participate in these
Foss Home &
transforming lives with dignity
Foss Home & Village, a nursing care facility founded by L.C.
Foss, a Lutheran pastor, has been providing quality elder care
for their residents for 85 years.
Their programs include assisted living, short-term
rehabilitation, long-term care, and memory care.
They also have a state of the art rehabilitation center,
a geriatric dental clinic, a beauty salon, an on-site pharmacy,
access to social
workers, podiatrists, optometrists,
pet therapy, their “Seniors Doing Art” program, plus
students from area colleges and universities fulfilling their
clinical rotations in nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, nutrition,
Probably most important is the staff’s treatment of their
residents as special people who deserve an “Extra Touch” of
personalized quality, comfort, and innovation in aging services,
regardless of individual financial circumstances or limited
Both my parents and Andy’s parents were patients/residents at
Foss and received excellent care.
One of the ways Foss is able to provide this personalized
and comprehensive care is through additional donations and
support from members of the community who have seen the impact
of quality elder care and are willing and able to help.
On Saturday, April 12, 2014, at 9:30 am, Foss Home and
Village will host a brunch to share their mission.
A delicious brunch meal will be served, and a dynamic
speaker will share his experiences about disabilities with the
will be door prizes and recognition of special donors, plus a
video story about lives changed as a result of the care provided
at Foss. At
the end of the presentations, those attending will be asked to
consider making a financial gift to support their mission and
the “Extra Touch” program.
This year’s speaker is Vail Horton.
Vail is the founder and CEO of Keen Mobility, a company
that provides medical products focused on safety, mobility, and
comfort. Plus he is
the founder and chairman of The Incight Foundation which helps
provide education, employment, networking, independence, health,
and wealth opportunities for people with disabilities. He is
married and has four children.
What you wouldn’t assume from reading these credentials
is that Vail was born without legs, plus improper bone growth
caused severe disabilities in the structure of his arms.
But he says that we all have disabilities that prevent us
from doing things.
He has welcomed the challenges, and his enthusiasm is both
infectious and inspirational.
Check out a video preview of Vail at the Foss website.
and click on the tab News & Events>Events.
It is about 5 minutes long and truly amazing.
Better yet, consider coming to the Foss Brunch and meet Vail
Horton in person, and hear him speak about his life and
Contact Larraine King (206-937-6740) and check out the bulletin
board in the hall of the parish house for more information.
I guarantee that you will be inspired and have a new
outlook on your own life by attending.
─Larraine King, Board of Directors member, Foss Home &
FASTING AND THE FOOD BANK
Ash Wednesday is March 5th.
The Extended Ministry Committee is encouraging the
membership to use the money that we save fasting from buying our
favorite foods, and donate that money or buy non-perishable food
items for the West Seattle Food Bank.
The last two years we asked that each time you came for a church
service you bring a food item and leave it in the Food Bank
collection box in the lounge.
This is a great way to get in the habit of remembering
the Food Bank when you are grocery shopping.
Buy an extra can of food instead of that chocolate bar.
Then donate the can of food when you come to church.
We have averaged between 750 and 800 food items during
the season of Lent.
The West Seattle Food Bank serves hundreds of people each
month, and they need donations from members of the community.
January, the Food Bank gave away an increase of over 20,000
pounds of food. So instead of the usual 100,000 pounds of food,
they distributed over 120,000 pounds of food in January!
Those figures seem staggering in an area where many
clearly have riches that could be shared.
We each can help by remembering those among us who are
hungry, regularly – buying food, donating money, praying for
those in need in our community.
We are very fortunate to not be hungry.
But others aren’t so fortunate.
We can help.
We can do our part, remembering that hunger takes no vacations.
Bring a Food Bank donation every time you attend church
this Lent and we will make a difference!
─The Extended Ministry Committee
1 Thessalonians 4.6
Monthly Home Bible Study, March
2014, Number 253
The Reverend Ronald F. Marshall
Along with our other regular study of Scripture, let us join as
a congregation in this home study. We will
study alone then talk
informally about the assigned verses together as we have
opportunity. In this way we can "gather
together around the
Word" even though physically we will not be getting together
(Acts 13.44). (This study uses the RSV translation.)
We need to support each other in this difficult project. In 1851
Kierkegaard wrote that the Bible is "an extremely dangerous
book.... [because] it is an imperious book... – it takes the
whole man and may suddenly and radically change... life on a
prodigious scale" (For
Self-Examination). And in 1967 Thomas Merton wrote that "we
all instinctively know that it is dangerous to become involved
in the Bible" (Opening
the Bible). Indeed this word "kills" us (Hosea 6.5) because
we are "a rebellious people" (Isaiah 30.9)! As Lutherans,
however, we are still to "abide in the womb of the Word" (Luther's
Works 17.93) by constantly "ruminating on the Word" (LW
30.219) so that we may "become like the Word" (LW
29.155) by thinking "in the way Scripture does" (LW
25.261). Before you study, then, pray: "Blessed Lord, who caused
all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so
to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that
we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of
everlasting life, which you have given us in Our Savior Jesus
Christ. Amen" (quoted in R. F. Marshall,
Making A New World: How
Lutherans Read the Bible, 2003, p. 12).
Read 1 Thessalonians 4.6
noting the line the Lord
is an avenger in all things. What does this mean? On this
read 1 Corinthians 6.9-10 noting the line
will not inherit the
kingdom of God. What if that happens? Where do we go
instead? On this read Luke 16.22-28 noting the double use of the
phrase place of torment.
What will be so tormenting about this hellish place? On this
read Mark 9.48 noting the words
fire. How bad is
that? On this read Revelation 9.1-6 noting the words
death. Is anyone able
to tough that out? On this read Matthew 25.30 noting the words
gnash. What makes
this place so terrifying? On this read Revelation 20.9-10 noting
the words devil,
fire. How do you
suppose the devil will act in hell? On this read Revelation
12.12 noting the words
great, wrath and
woe. Is Jesus behind
this? On this read John 5.25-29 noting the words
execute, and the
phrase resurrection of
Read again 1 Thessalonians 4.6 noting again the line
the Lord is an avenger in
all things. Why is God this way? On this read Matthew 3.12
noting the words chaff
and burn. What makes
a person chaff? On this read Hebrews 3.17 noting the word
provoked. What caused
this provocation? On this read Number 14.20-35 noting the words
faithlessness. Why do
these infractions provoke God to anger? On this read Psalm
99.4-9 noting the correlation between the words
holy. Does that mean
that God won’t graciously overlook our misdeeds? On this read
Exodus 34.7 noting the line
by no means clear the
guilty. But doesn’t God’s love make him blind to our faults?
On this read Psalm 64.5 noting the last line
who can see us. Read
also Job 28.24 noting the line
he… sees everything,
and Psalm 139.7 noting the rhetorical question
whither shall I flee from
thy presence? What difference does it make that God misses
nothing of what we think, say or do?
Reread 1 Thessalonians 4.6 noting again the line
the Lord is an avenger in
all things. How shall we live with this threat? On this read
1 Thessalonians 4.6 noting the other line
that no man transgress.
But are there any other options? On this read Job 9.20 noting
the line I am innocent…
How would this help? On this read Psalm 15.1-2 noting the
correlation between the words
blamelessly. But what
if we aren’t innocent and blameless? Are there any other
options? On this read John 3.19 noting the words
darkness. How would
this hiding help? On this read Proverbs 22.3 noting the words
hides. What’s wrong
with this general rule? On this read Isaiah 55.9 noting the word
higher. Because of
this, normal ways of protecting ourselves fails when it comes to
God. So are they any other options? On this read Genesis 4.13
noting the words greater
and bear. Will this
complaint and near defiance do any good?
Read 1 Thessalonians 4.6 one last time noting again the same
line the Lord is an
avenger in all things. What if none of our options work?
What then? On this read 1 Samuel 2.25 noting Eli’s question
about finding help or
intercession. For an answer to this question read 1 Timothy
2.5-6 noting the word
mediator, and 1 John 2.1 noting the word
advocate. How does
this help us against the vengeance of God? On this read Romans
5.9 noting the words
God. How does his
blood do this? On this read 1 Peter 2.24 noting the line
he himself bore our sins
in his body on the tree. This means Jesus was punished in
our place for our sins when he suffered and died on the cross.
But how does this help? On this read Hebrews 9.24 noting the
line Christ has entered…
into heaven… to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.
So Christ uses his sacrifice to bring about the forgiveness from
God for our sins. How great is that?
of Our Lord
The Last Sunday in Epiphany, Sunday,
is the Transfiguration of
On this day we behold the splendor of Christ surrounded
by the glory of God.
to learn more about the time when Moses and Elijah appeared to
Jesus, and the mysterious cloud from which God’s voice tells us,
“This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”
of Our Lord
Feast of the
Annunciation of Our Lord
will be celebrated in the chapel
with Holy Eucharist.
we will honor the angel Gabriel's announcement to Saint Mary
that she will
be the Mother of Our Lord.
Prepare for this feast of the Church with the following
Pour your grace into our hearts, O Lord, that we, who have known
the incarnation of your son, Jesus Christ, announced by an
angel, may by his cross and Passion be brought to the glory of
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now
Remember in prayer before
God those whom He has made your
brothers and sisters
Nora Vanhala, Natalie Nesvig, Mary Goplerud, Holly Petersen,
Michael Nestoss, Donna Apman, Cynthia Natiello, Leah Baker,
Agnes Arkle, Clara Anderson, Peggy & Bill Wright & Wendy, Bob &
Barbara Schorn, Cameron Lim, Ion Ceaicovschi, Luke Bowen,
Tabitha Anderson, Max Richardson, The Jones Family, Kyle Bogie,
Anna & John Bertelsen, Kurt & Jenny Alfano, Robin Kaufman, Eva
Marshall, Rosita & Jim Moe, Dean Herrick, Asha Sagmoen, Dano,
Karen & W. Erick, The McGinnis Family, Dave & Sheri Wheeler,
Sandy & Ron Weiss, Mark Sponheim, Sandee, Christine & Kristophor
Marshall, Nora & Sloane Mitchell, Delores Grenier, Isabella Wain,
Kim Paulson, Brian Mangan.
for the shut-ins that the light of Christ may give them joy:
Clara Anderson, Agnes Arkle, Donna Apman, Pat Hansen, C.
J. Christian, Vera Gunnarson, Louis Koser, Anelma Meeks, Olive
Morrison, Dorothy Ryder, Lillian Schneider, Crystal Tudor,
Vivian Wheeler, Peggy Wright.
for those who have suffered the death of a loved one:
Pray that God will bear their grief and lift their
hearts: Pray for
family and friends of Gerry Moulton on her death.
Also pray for Aspasia Vassilatos on the death of her
mother Dennisia Vassilatos.
for our bishops Elizabeth Eaton and Brian Kirby Unti, our pastor
Ronald Marshall, our deacon Dean Hard and our cantor Andrew
King, that they may be strengthened in faith, love and the holy
office to which they have been called.
that God would give us hearts which find joy in service and in
celebration of Stewardship. Pray that God would work within you
to become a good steward of your time, your talents and
finances. Pray to strengthen the Stewardship of our congregation
in these same ways.
for the hungry, ignored, abused, and homeless this March.
Pray for the mercy of God for these people, and for all
in Christ's church to see and help those who are in distress.
for our sister congregation
El Camino de Emmaus,
in the Skagit Valley, that God may bless and strengthen their
pray for our parish and it's ministry.
Pray that God will
bless you through the lives of the saints:
Thomas Aquinas, teacher, 1274; Joseph, guardian of our
A Treasury of Prayers
I love you,
O my God; and I desire to love you more and more. Grant to me
that I may love you as much as… I ought. Watch over my lips, my
steps, my deeds…. O most loving Father of Jesus Christ, from
whom flows all love, let my heart, frozen in sin, cold to you
and cold to others, be warmed by your divine fire. In Jesus’
name I pray. Amen.
All the Saints