May 2018


Spiritual Endurance


May 20 is the Feast of Pentecost – celebrating the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church. We rejoice in this because of the spiritual strength (Romans 8:26) that comes to us through the Spirit – the third person of the Holy Trinity.

     But how does that happen? Like a bolt out of the blue? No. Luther argued that God only imparts the Spirit “through the Word” (Luther’s Works 33:155). So by reading the Bible seriously and regularly we get the Spirit of God and are strengthened. The Word is the only means by which we receive the Spirit.  

     This matters because, as Luther also knew, the devil is attacking us and we need help. The devil “drags us down with him from the kingdom of God… into the fire of hell” (LW 24:361). So watch out! Cling to the Scriptures (Luke 8:21, 11:28) and endure (Mark 13:13) by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Marshall



This picture was taken June 28, 1936 to celebrate the April dedication of the building.


100 Years Ago


Our Parish Centennial


By Pastor Marshall


Our church was founded on September 25, 1918. In July of that year, our church building, on the corner of Dakota St. and 44 Ave (our present day parking lot), was finished. The land had been purchased in 1916 for $700.00. The church was 28 by 38 feet in size and cost $2,000.00 to build. James Dahl, a charter member, was the primary builder. Prior to its completion, the early organizers had been meeting for worship since July 1915 at Carpenter Hall, a union meeting spot, at 3245 California Ave. SW.

        In August 1926, the church was lifted up and a basement built under it. In July 1927 the entire church was painted for less than $60.00. On March 21, 1936, new pews were dedicated. Then, on April 13, 1936, the church was finally dedicated after nearly 18 years of use. This delay was due to our church not becoming financially independent until October 1937.

We last worshipped in this little white church on March 26, 1950. It wasn’t torn down, however, until August 1952. That was because, according to Goldie Halvorson (1910–2008), the old growth, straight cut, lumber used to build our church in 1918 was very valuable even as used construction materials. So for months after it was closed, members of the church took turns pulling the nails from the lumber so that the wood could be resold.

Nothing remains from the old church except four small artifacts: a cameo from the painting over the Altar, an offering plate, a stand-alone closet, and a small credence table, both from its sacristy. [R. F. Marshall, Deo Gloria: A History of First Lutheran Church of West Seattle from 1918 to 1988 (1989) pp. 72–73, 5]....


We thank God for all those who built the church building and maintained it over its thirty some years of use, as our consecrated place to worship in the name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.



President’s Report… by Bob Baker


Refugees, Stewardship and Charity Fund


You shall not oppress a stranger; you know the heart of a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt (Exodus 23:9).


“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:33-34).

      “‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we.... ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels... you gave me no food ... no drink ... you did not welcome me’.... Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we ... not minister to thee?’ Then he will answer to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:34-46 passim).

      “[P]ractice hospitality…. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited” (Romans 12:13-16 passim).

     “Beloved, it is a loyal thing you do when you render any service to the brethren, especially to strangers…” (3 John 5).

   My mother’s family were refugees, living first in Germany, then in Prussia, then refugees in Hamburg, Germany, then in North Dakota. German was spoken at home. Connie and I have been to the Immigrant Museum in Hamburg, where they were processed to leave for America. The immigrant encampment was across the river from Hamburg because the citizens of Hamburg did not want them to have access to the city.
      My father’s mother’s family were refugees from Ireland. They came to America through Ellis Island where many refugees arrived by ship. My great-grandparents eventually settled in North Dakota. We have been to the Tenement Museum in New York City, a place of survival in austerity. Here many refugees were first introduced to life in America.

      Yet before coming to America, again and again, our ancestors were refugees fleeing hardships and persecution, strangers sojourning in one place after another.

      Spiritually speaking, we can trace this back to when the Lord brought us up out of the land of Egypt. In fact we are still sojourners in this world until the Lord brings us home where we truly belong; for although we are in this world, we do not belong to this world, and should not cling to this world as if we belonged here (John 15:19; 17:14-16).

     Because of their work on behalf of refugees fleeing persecution, we at FLCWS have at times featured the work of World Vision whose Refugee Fund specifically targets the plight of refugees. This work of World Vision on behalf of refugees is entirely operational in other countries, such as Iraq, Syria, Hungry, etc. They do not work with refugees already in America.

      Our 100th Anniversary Charity Fund features several charities, including the International Rescue Committee, founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein. The IRC offers both emergency aid as well as long-term assistance to refugees and those displaced by war, persecution, or natural disaster. The IRC is currently working in over 40 countries and 28 U.S. cities where it resettles refugees and helps them become self-sufficient.

      Seattle is one of those U.S. cities, specifically the Tukwila area. What impressed me most when I visited the IRC in Tukwila is the extent to which they not only help refugees to find employment, but do ongoing follow up to help refugees in this strange culture learn things like the unwritten rules of the work place! So to simply say that the IRC helps refugees become self-sufficient leaves a vast amount of work unsaid. Yet there is all the other work regarding housing, health needs, learning another language etc. Clearly the IRC is a charity worthy of support!

      Please keep the Mission and Ministry as well as the Stewardship and Charity Fund of our congregation in your prayers. 


Stewardship 2017


                                 Month (March)         Year to date (Jan-March)

Budget                            $19,447                          $66,041

Received                         $18,948                          $72,541



100th Anniversary Dinner Celebration




WHO?               You!

                                 Your Family!

                                                      Your Friends!


WHAT??           Celebration Dinner


WHEN???        Sunday, September 23, 2018


WHERE????    Salty’s Restaurant on Alki Beach


WHY?????       To Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of

                          First Lutheran Church of West Seattle


These are the highlights concerning our upcoming

100th Anniversary Celebration dinner. 


In early June, you will receive a formal invitation to this event.  Included  will be information about the menu choices ($75/person); a child’s plate option ($30/child); requests for the number, names, and phone numbers of those attending; if any of the attendees have any dietary requirements (allergies, gluten free, vegetarian, etc.).  These will be on a card that you are to return to the church no later than Sunday, September 9, 2018, along with payment for the event.


Please put the date on your calendar.



Our Two Centennials: Lillian Turns 100!

By Pastor Marshall


Not only is our parish turning 100 in September of this year, but so is Lillian Schnieder on June 19. She was born in Sims, North Dakota. A few years after graduating from high school, she married Leo (1914–2000) on November 16, 1943, and then moved out to Seattle.

     They joined our church on December 21, 1947. They raised three children – Cheryl Ann, Douglas Lee, and Jan Elaine – all confirmed here, in 1958, 1962 and 1969. Lillian now lives in a memory care unit in Mountlake Terrace, north of Seattle.

     Her family is hoping they will be able to bring Lillian to our anniversary celebration in September. We thank God for Lillian, her baptism 100 years ago on July 21, 1918, her faith in Christ Our Lord, and these nearly 61 years of active membership in our congregation!

Lillian & Leo in 1993


May Book

With the Mind:  Readings in Contemporary Theology

3-5 pm in the Church Lounge, Saturday, May 26th

The book for May is Two Worlds: Notes on the Death of Modernity in America and Russia (1992), by Thomas C. Oden (1931–2016) long time professor at The Theological School at Drew University, in Madison, New Jersey. This is the third book of his that we have read this year. In it he explores the bad effects of the modern world (1789–1989) on us all (and in the church), and how the church is once again growing given the demise of modernity. Oden ends his book praying: “So praise be to Thee, Thou giver of air, earth, fire, and water, without whom are no creatures, no finite values whatever. Forgive our sins and save us from our follies” (p. 147).

     A copy of this wonderful book is in the library. If you would like to purchase one for yourself, contact Pastor Marshall. Feel free to attend our meeting when we discuss how God has prevailed during the rise and fall of the modern world.


CONFIRMATION:  On Sunday, May 20th, The Day of Pentecost, we will have the Affirmation of Baptism: Confirmation for Luke Douglass and Silvie Storbakken at the 10:30 am Festival Eucharist. 

WEST SEATTLE HELPLINE’S “Taste of West Seattle”, Thursday, May 24th at the Hall at Fauntleroy,

9131 California Ave. SW, from 6-8:30 pm.  Tickets can be purchased online. 

SUMMER HYMN SCHOOL is scheduled for Wednesday, June 27th, through Friday, June 29th.  Mark your calendars and watch for updates. 

Compass Housing Alliance needs bath towels.  We are still collecting them this month.  Donations can be left at the office.

WEST SEATTLE FOOD BANK suggested donation for May is bar soap and toiletries. 






His Romans Commentary

 of 1918


“Under grace, and aware of the

message of Christ,

I am exposed to the full

and unavoidable earnestness

 of His demand, claim, and promise;

I am subjected to a vast

 and vehement pressure.

To be a Christian is

to be under this pressure.”



[Karl Barth, The Epistle to the Romans

(1918), 6th edition (1928)

trans. Edwyn C. Hoskyns

 (New York: Oxford, 1968) p. 229].



Psalm 90.12

Monthly Home Bible Study, May 2018, Number 303

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). And don’t give up, for as Luther said, we “have in Scripture enough to study for all eternity” (LW 75:422)!


Week I. Read Psalm 90.12 noting the word teach. Why do we need God to teach us about wisdom? On this read Proverbs 9.10 noting that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Why is this? On that read Isaiah 5.20 noting the line call evil good and good evil. Why do we get the most basic things mixed up? On this read Psalm 58.3 noting the lines go astray from the womb and err from their birth. Why are we so deeply corrupted? On this read Romans 5.18 noting the play between the two short words one and all. Who was this one man? On this read Genesis 3.6 noting also the play between the words delight and wise. Why was Adam and Eve’s analysis so bad? How could their eyes and moral judgment mislead them so? On this read 1 John 2.16 noting the words pride and lust. Where do they take root? On this read John 12.25 noting the phrase loves his life. Why are we prone to this wretched self-love? On this read Genesis 1.28 noting the words subdue and dominion. Is our corruption rooted in our brilliance and might, to be able to subdue and dominate like no other living creature on the face of

the earth? Has our chief blessing then become a curse? How can this be? Read the story of Samson in Judges 13.24 and 14.3, 15, 19 and 15.14 and 16.4, 16, 19, 30. Wow! Did his blessing curse him? Why?


Week II. Read again Psalm 90.12 noting the same word teach. Why can God do a better job teaching us what is right than we can ourselves? On this read Romans 16.27 noting the line to the only wise God. Why is only God wise? On this read Hosea 11.9 noting that God is not man. Why is that an advantage? On this read Isaiah 55.9 noting the double use of the word higher. Does this make God wiser? On this read Job 42.3 noting the line too wonderful for me. Like what? Well, read Job 38.17 about where darkness comes from. According to the study, Darkness at Night: A Riddle of the Universe (Harvard University Press, 1987), scientists still haven’t figured this out – which has nevertheless remained a breeze for God for eons. So how does that make you feel? Check out Psalm 22.6.


Week III. Reread Psalm 90.12 noting this time the line number our days. What is this about? On this read Job 14.5 noting the words determined and appointed. What difference does it make that our days are set? On this read Hebrews 9.27 noting again the word appointed but also with the word judgment. What does that combination do to us? Does it ramp up the intensity of our lives? On this read Philippians 2.12 noting the words fear and trembling. So how intense is life to be? On this read 1 Corinthians 9.24–27 noting the words compete, prize and box. Read also 2 Timothy 2.3 noting the phrase good soldier of Christ Jesus. So are we to think of our lives as those of warriors on the battlefield and athletes in training? On this read 1 Timothy 6.12 noting the line fight the good fight of faith. Where does that take us? On this read Ephesians 6.10–11 noting the words strong, put, whole and armor. This doesn’t look much like the Christians I hear and see walking around these days. How about you? What do you see and hear?


Week IV. Read Psalm 90.12 one last time noting the word wisdom. What then is the wisdom that God teaches us? On this read Micah 6.8 noting the words justice, kindness and humility. What’s justice about? On this read Matthew 7.12 noting the importance of treating others the same way that you want to be treated. This is the famous Golden Rule. Then how about kindness? On this read Luke 10.29–37 noting the words compassion and care. So we are not to pass by the needy as the two others did. And how about humility? On this read Philippians 2.3 noting the line count others better than you. But what if they aren’t? What if you are kinder, smarter, wealthier and healthier? On that temptation, read Luke 9.23 noting the two words deny and daily. Read also Philippians 3.8–9 noting the words loss and refuse. Where does that leave you? On this read 2 Corinthians 12.11 noting the word nothing. How do you like that? Explain your answer.


West Seattle’s

First Homeless Shelter

“Mary’s Place”




How Can We Help?


Clothing (used adults & kids)

Personal hygiene items

Baby food

Dropping items off at church

And giving to the 100th Anniversary Charity Fund…




Remember in prayer before God those whom He has made your

brothers and sisters through baptism.

Bob & Barbara Schorn, Matt Anderson, Eileen Nestoss, Kyra Stromberg, Aasha Sagmoen & Ajani Hammond, Melanie Johnson, Marlis Ormiston, Emma Sagmoen, Tabitha Anderson, Celia Balderston, The PLU Lecturers, The Rev. Paul Smith, The Rev. Doug Lindsay, The Rev. Alan Gardner, Ion & Galina Ceaicovschi, Nathan & Les Arkle, Chris & Margeen Boyer, Elizabeth Banek, Sheila Feichtner, Diane Hall, Bob Coburn, John Quinn, Lawrence Johnson, Deanne Heflin, Julie & Diane Sauter, Joann & Mary Jane Lakie, Cheryl Atwood, Martin Nygaard, Jay Ford, Judy Earle, Susan Armbrewster, Paul & Marylou Jensen, Larry Lawrence, Pauline Saeler, Brian Smith, Marlene Akesson and the country of Syria.

     Pray for the shut-ins that the light of Christ may give them joy: Bob & Mona Ayer, Bob & Barbara Schorn, Joan Olson, Chuck & Doris Prescott, C. J. Christian, Louis Koser, Anelma Meeks, Dorothy Ryder, Lillian Schneider, Crystal Tudor, Nora Vanhala, Mildred Nikula, Mary Goplerud.

     Pray for Audrey Kasperson, whose remains will be inurned in the Chapel of the Resurrection on Saturday, April 28th, 2018.  May God Bless her memory among us.

     Pray 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.

     Pray 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.

     Pray for the hungry, ignored, abused, and homeless this May.  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. 

     Pray for our sister congregation:  El Camino de Emmaus in the Skagit Valley that God may bless and strengthen their ministry. Also, pray for our parish and it's ministry.

     Pray that God will bless you through the lives of the saints: St. Philip and St. James, Apostles; Monica, mother of Augustine, 387; and John Eliot, missionary to the American Indians, 1690.


A Treasury of Prayers


O God of Pentecost, pour your Spirit like a fruitful rain upon my dry and famished heart. Refresh your heritage and comfort the miserable. Burn out all internal vileness, together with all fleshly lusts. Give me patience for the time of my sojourn, and perseverance until the end. Come and be my light in darkness. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

                                                                       [For All the Saints III: 1277, altered]