Our Easter Victory
Easter is on April 20th this year. It is our greatest
church festival, for on that day we celebrate our
victory over death.
But why is death such a problem? Isn’t it just a
natural part of life – with benefits, for it actually
puts an end to sin (Romans 6:7) – for as Luther notes,
“no one beholds an adulterer or a miser running about
after he has died” (Luther’s
28:136)? So why call it the last enemy (1 Corinthians
Well, it has to do with punishment – for
the “sting of death is sin” (1 Corinthians
15:56). Sin stings because, in the first place,
it’s what caused death, being our punishment for
sinning (Romans 6:23), and, in the second place,
it is what makes death frightening
because it is at death that we are punished,
for judgment follows on the heels of death
But Christ was punished for our sins (1
Peter 2:24) and so he destroyed death (Hebrews
2:14) – breaking the stinging link between death
and punishment. Therefore when Jesus was raised
from the dead, “as the first fruits” of
salvation (1 Corinthians 15:20), a resurrection
to be shared with all who believe in him (2
Corinthians 4:14), he proved that death had been
defeated, for it couldn’t keep him, or us, in
the grave. Alleluia!
This is what we’re mindful of at Easter.
This is what makes Easter great. Alleluia!
What a Relief to Read
Kierkegaard’s Love for
By Pastor Marshall
Kierkegaard loved Luther’s long 1522 sermon on Matthew
2:1-12 about the magi adoring the Christ child (Luther’s
Works 76:71-180). He believed it was “worth reading
again and again, especially the first part” (Kierkegaard’s
Close to the end of this first part of the
sermon, we read: “[Reason] and nature… go no farther
than they can feel. If they no longer feel, they at once
dare to deny God…. [Therefore the] light of nature and
the light of grace cannot be friends. Nature wants to
perceive and be certain before it believes. Grace
believes before it perceives. For this reason, nature
does not go further than her own light. Grace joyfully
steps out into the darkness, follows the mere word of
Scripture, no matter how it
appears; whether nature
holds it true or false, grace clings to the Word….
So it is always
with the Christian.
After affliction has been endured, God becomes so
sincerely dear to him and is so near and clearly seen
that he not only forgets his anxiety and affliction but
also obtains a desire and a love for greater affliction,
and further becomes so strong that he no longer so
easily takes offense at the insignificant, unattractive
life of Christ. For now he experiences and realizes that
this must happen to anyone who wants to find Christ: it
must appear as if he would find nothing but disgrace” (LW
These words must have been foundational for
Kierkegaard who believed deeply in the offense of Christ
Writing 20:123-44) – as well as in the venture of
faith, which he thought was like leaping out over
seventy thousand fathoms of water (Kierkegaard’s
Writings 23:214; 12.1:204).
May we learn from Luther, as Kierkegaard did, how
salutary faith is precisely because of its intellectual
Following up on last month’s stewardship article
regarding the church lead staff, it is interesting to
think about how and why we pay certain members of our
community a living wage, others a part-time wage, and
others an honorarium. There are also many members who
volunteer time and talents to First Lutheran who are not
paid and would not want to be.
Starting with the volunteers, too numerous to
mention, they include the service team members, the
Choir, the Scrappers, the Sunday school teachers, the
acolytes, and those who contribute manual labor to
maintenance of the church and property. We can never
thank them enough for their service to the community of
First Lutheran. Their livelihoods are made outside of
the church, and this volunteer work is time over and
above their usual workdays.
Those who receive an honorarium include our
financial secretary and treasurer, and our bell choir
director. The small token they receive recognizes the
weekly skilled work that is required to carry out these
important tasks. Our acolytes also receive honoraria for
weddings and funerals.
Our cantor is employed part-time in this parish.
This leadership position requires many hours of
specialized work per week. A prerequisite for the high
level of work we receive is graduate study. This
position requires vision and a very strong commitment to
the mission of First Lutheran, to do whatever it takes
to prepare for weekly worship. Because this job requires
so much time, it provides part of the livelihood for the
person who has it.
finally the full-time lead positions include our deacon,
church secretary, and pastor. These positions provide
the livelihoods for these three individuals, and require
full-time specialized work. In the case of the pastor,
graduate study and ongoing scholarship is required.
Again, these positions require vision and a very strong
commitment to the mission of First Lutheran. The hours
provided per week to prepare for worship and to carry
out the programs of the church are uncountable.
Some might say why can’t all service to the
church be volunteered? Couldn’t those who work part-time
or full-time have other jobs and just come in on Sunday
morning to serve the church? We at First Lutheran have
said ‘no’ to that, but at the same time, are we willing
to adequately financially support those staff who put in
countless hours week in and week out to do this highly
specialized work? St. Paul writes “Who serves as a
soldier at his own expense?” And “The Lord commanded
that those who proclaim the gospel should get their
living by the gospel” (I Cor. 9:7, 14).
It would be a conflict of interest for me
to advocate for a higher salary for our pastor
for obvious reasons. But allow me to advocate
for our other staff that are both full and
So let us have two plans for this year
when it comes to our stewardship. First let us
strive to meet our budget. And then, as our
Challenge Plan, let us move beyond it by 20%. In
that way we can increase the work we do as a
congregation here and throughout the world, and
also increase the compensation we provide for
So if you pledged $2,000 dollars to the
church this year, try upping it by 20%. If you
do, rather than giving around $38 per week, you
will be giving around $46 per week instead. If
that seems impossible, remember Luke 18:27:
“Whatever is impossible with men is possible
My song is love unknown, my Savior’s love to me,
Love to the loveless shown, that they might
how Hymn #94 begins, a text by Samuel Crossman
Continued reading of these words reveals a
poignant and difficult summary of our Lord’s final days.
We praise Him, yet we cry “Crucify!”
Jesus healed many, yet they demanded that a
murderer be saved.
Let us strive to be faithful to the last verse of
this hymn by staying and singing about this story of
love and sacrifice that was our Lord’s life, given to
redeem us from sin, death, and the devil.
Financially, we were a little short of budget
projections in February, but March has started strong.
It is the regular planned and executed giving
that makes paying our bills possible.
Please remember to fulfill your pledge.
The council is counting on that.
Various projects for the church facility are
The windows in the parsonage are being replaced as
weather and scheduling permits thanks to the work headed
up by Alex Ceaicovschi.
A new safe and parament cabinet are being planned
for the sacristy.
Tilden School has repainted the parish hall.
These are all great upgrades to our building.
The food drive for “Fasting during Lent” is
slowly collecting non-perishable items for the Food
the first 3 Sundays in March we have only collected 114
There have been about 300 people attend services at the
church during that time, so it looks as if less than
half of those attending are remembering to bring a
donation for the West Seattle Food Bank.
We can do better than this.
Reading the parable of the Good Samaritan this
week really hit home that Jesus commands us to go and be
like the Samaritan.
Bank serves over 800 families a week!
And now they are starting to put together
boxes of food for neighborhood children who won’t
have enough food over the weekend to keep them from
Let’s choose to share with those who are
It doesn’t have to be a lot – just one can of food
for each time you come to church.
One of the parts of worship is giving thanks
to God for all His benefits to us.
The offertory prayer that we pray together
every Sunday focuses our priorities.
Try making it your daily prayer, or make it
your mission statement, or your daily goal.
But most important of all, remember those who
aren’t as fortunate as we are and share your wealth
They are our neighbors, and it is horrific to think
of people in our neighborhoods going hungry,
especially school children.
Remember HUNGER TAKES NO VACATIONS!!!! So
give often – make it a regular part of your
Donate to help our neighbors in need.
My Mother, Eva
By Pastor Marshall
At His Investiture, August 19, 1979
First Lutheran Church
of West Seattle
mother, Eva, died in Christ, on March 6th, of lung
cancer, at the Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community,
with some dozen family and friends standing around her.
A few days before, my sisters, Doreen and Denise, had
sung hymns at her bedside for an hour – much to her
delight. She was 93 years old when she died. Her pastor
had just said the last prayers for her. She was calm and
sleeping and then just quit breathing – falling asleep
in the Lord (John 11:11-13).
A couple days before she died, I had one of the
last conversations with her. She was so tired and weak
that it was hard to hear her. I leaned over her as she
was lying in bed, and put my ear close to her mouth and
could barely make out her saying, “What’s happening to
me?” I told her we thought she was dying. She said back,
My Mom was a practicing registered nurse for
fifty years and a US Army veteran of WWII, serving in a
general hospital in Llandudno, Wales, in the orthopedic
ward, from January 1944 until the end of the war – and
she could be very clinical. So I told her that her pulse
and temp were quite elevated, only one lung was barely
working, she hadn’t eaten much for three weeks, she
could hardly open her eyes, and she couldn’t get out of
bed any more. She said back, “That isn’t good.” I then
hastened to add that her fingers and toes were still
nice and pink. She responded, “That’s good.” Then she
asked how we were, and I told her we were fine and were
there to make sure she was comfortable. She then asked
me what she could do to help. (My Mom was a workaholic
to the end!) I told her, “Mom, you’ve been baptized. You
believe in Christ. You’ve done your good works. It’s now
time to rest in the arms of the Lord, and go home.” She
had been a little agitated up to that point. She then
seemed to relax – but said nothing back in response.
blessed me with a good Mom. I will never be able to
thank him enough for her. On mother’s day, 2010, I wrote
in my card to her: “You were the one who helped me
become a Christian by teaching me in word and deed to
say my prayers daily, read the Bible reverently, go to
church weekly, and sing hymns fervently.” I then added
that she also helped me become a decent citizen by
teaching me in word and deed “to work hard and be
responsible, enjoy family and friends, help out our
neighbors, and laugh and have fun.” I ended it by
saying: “Over the years I have also learned about
philosophy and theology, history and psychology,
politics and economics, art and music. But none of this
would have been of any help if I hadn’t first learned
what you taught me.”
Mom’s remains will lie in repose in our Chapel on
Friday, April 11th, with prayers at 10 am and
7 pm, and then will be
entombed in the Columbarium at our Chapel of the
Resurrection, on April 12th, at around 3 pm,
after her 11 am funeral at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in
Tacoma – her home church for the last fifty some years.
You are all welcome to come.
pace – May she rest in peace. (Mom loved Latin –
studying it in high school and nursing school in order
to master technical medical terms.)
Holy Week &
Plan to join us for our Holy Week and Easter Festival
Liturgies, the listing of times and places are on the
back of this page.
Also, note that we
will be having our Easter Brunch, Easter morning, 9 to
10 am, sponsored by the April service team.
$5 general and $12 for
Remember the food
a can or bring a bag.
Holy Eucharist – Chapel
Eucharist – Procession with Palms
Holy Week: Jesus’ Cleansing of
Eucharist – Chapel
The Great Litany - Chapel
Holy Week: Anointing Jesus for Burial
Eucharist – Chapel
The Great Litany – Chapel
in Holy Week: The Betrayal of Jesus by Judas
Matins - Chapel
Eucharist – Chapel
The Great Litany – Chapel
Thursday: The Last Supper
Eucharist – Chapel
Stripping of the Altar
Friday: The Crucifixion of Our Lord
Eucharist – Chapel
Office of Tenebrae
A Liturgy of Lessons, Hymns and Prayers
Saturday: The Burial of Our Lord
Liturgy of the Burial – Chapel
Liturgy of Light,
and Holy Eucharist
Resurrection of Our Lord – Easter
9:00 to 10:00 am
Easter Brunch in the parish hall.
Monthly Home Bible
Study, April 2014, Number 254
The Reverend Ronald F.
Along with our other regular study of Scripture, let us
join as a congregation in this home study. We will
then talk informally about the assigned verses together
as we have opportunity. In this way we can "gather
around the Word" even though physically we will not be
getting together (Acts 13.44). (This study uses the RSV
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
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"
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 Psalm 118.18 noting the word
death is this that we escape? On this read Hebrews 9.27
noting the phrase
die once. So if we don’t escape our physical death
on earth, what is the other death about that God does
rescue us from? On this read Revelation 20.6 noting the
second death. If this is the death that believers in
God escape, what is it like? On this read Matthew 25.41
noting the category
If this death is hell, what is it like? On this read
Luke 16.23 and 28 noting the line
place of torment.
What sort of torment is this? On this read 2
Thessalonians 1.9 noting the line
the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.
What is that like? On this read James 1.17 noting the
gift. What is
it like to be without this goodness? On this read Mark
7.21 noting the word
makes such defilement so repulsive? On this read
Philippians 4.7-11 noting the words
Because we long for such tranquility, and defilement
keeps it from us, we are repulsed. Do you agree? If not,
Read again Psalm 118.18 noting again the same word,
this second death is so repulsive because of the
defilement it’s based upon, why does it threaten us? On
this read Hebrews 12.11 noting the words
can the one lead to the other? Note the word
that same verse. How does what’s painful train us for a
peaceful life? On this read 2 Corinthians 5.14-15 noting
the words love,
Why do we have to die to ourselves if we are going to
help others out? On this read 2 Timothy 3.2-5 noting the
bad is this? On this read Ephesians 2.2 noting the line
we were by nature
children of wrath. What does this wrath include? On
this read Galatians 5.19-21 noting the words
How are we going to be at peace if we are like that –
with all the strife, enmity and carousing? Only if we
deny ourselves. Right? Do you agree? Why or why not?
Reread Psalm 118.18 noting the line
sorely. What is this like? On this read Luke 22.31
noting the word
sift. What is that like? On this read 1 Corinthians
11:19 noting the words
also Hebrews 4.12 noting the line
piercing to the
division of soul and spirit. Why do we need to be
sorted out in this rough way? On this read John 3.19
noting the words
evil. Why do we employ these methods? On this read 1
Timothy 4.1-2 noting the words
liars. How is
this to be overcome? On this read again Hebrews 4.12
noting this time the words
does the word break through our deceit? On this read
Jeremiah 23.29 noting the words
does it feel like when the word hammers us? On this read
Luke 11.28 noting the words
short, punchy words – and many others like them – leave
us no wiggle-room. They shove us toward righteousness.
Is there any other way to get there? Explain.
Read Psalm 118.18 one last time noting again the same
line chastened me
sorely. Why is the word
On this read Hosea 6.1 noting the words
does God have to hurt us, tear us, if he’s going to heal
us? On this read Romans 7.13 noting the line
measure. Because of this severe degradation, all
that will work on us is to be chastised sorely. What’s
an example of this? On this read Acts 9.1-19 noting the
rough was Jesus with Paul? On this read John 6.44 noting
the word draws.
How rough is that? What if it is through a small knot
hole, rather than through a wide open gate? On this read
Matthew 7.14 noting the words
few. Why are
there so few being dragged through the knot hole? On
this read 1 Corinthians 4:10-13 noting the words
Are there any other tough requirements? Try out the word
hate in Luke
RANDOM ACTS OF NEIGHBORLINESS
MADE REAL AND PRACTICAL
Did you know that the West Seattle Helpline was started
in 1989 by an individual who owned the Thriftway on
He pledged $1,000 to help those in need in West Seattle.
His work was supported by various businesses,
churches, and interested individuals.
Staffed almost exclusively by volunteers, the
Helpline has now grown to helping 3,500 clients a year.
They say for every person they can help, they are
unable to help two others.
In the fiscal year 2012-2013, over $42,000 was
given to help with rent and utilities, as well as
serving 1,300 clients at the Clothesline, redistributing
over $100,000 worth of clothing.
Add to that the $10,000 that was allotted for bus
tickets given to clients and you can easily see that
their presence has been needed.
The assistance that is provided is for those
employed that have had short term financial
difficulties, and been unable to pay rent or utility
These are one-time emergency gifts for the working poor
in our community.
Volunteers at the Helpline are residents in West
Seattle who have taken seriously that as a community we
should help our neighbors in need.
This philosophy is part of the Helpline’s mission
improve our community through acts of “neighbors helping
In addition to helping those in need, that attitude
strengthens a community, by showing that we all can
depend on each other if needs arise.
On April 21st in recognition of their 25th
anniversary, the Helpline will sponsor a special
“Founder’s Day” dinner to honor the founding members of
the West Seattle Helpline.
(Pastor Marshall is one of those founding members
so he will be among those honored.) In addition they are
asking for donations to help start an Endowment Fund to
provide financial stability for the work of the
They hope to raise $25,000.
We can help them do that by making an additional
contribution to the Helpline.
Make your checks out to First Lutheran Church of
West Seattle, and note that it is for the 25th
anniversary Helpline fund.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could raise at least
$1,000 as a contribution toward this valuable and
necessary work that their organization provides our
Let’s be part of “neighbors helping neighbors.”
─The Extended Ministry Committee
With the Mind:
Readings in Contemporary Theology
in the Church Lounge, Saturday, April 26th
The book for April is
Word Made Global:
Stories of African Christianity in New York City
(2011), by Mark R. Gornik, director of City Seminary of
New York. This book begins by saying: “If you want to
know something about Christianity, you must know
A copy of this intriguing 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 transformation and how it
fits with the power of God’s Word to save.
Africa” (p. 3).
And all you have to do to do that is
visit New York City where many Africans have
migrated to – or, for that matter, Washington,
DC, Houston, Dallas, Detroit or Los Angeles. But
this book focuses on New York City. And what it
learns about Christianity is that “it is the
experience of God, the transforming power of the
Spirit, that most profoundly shapes [these]
communities…. As it did for the early
Christians, the experience of salvation stands
at the forefront of African Christian belief and
practice. They believe God has freed them from
the spiritual forces, continues to protect and
deliver, and leads them to live in Christ-filled
ways in every sphere of life. Through the Spirit
they experience signs and wonders, and have
authority over all forces that block their way”
will meet the last week in April, Tuesday & Wednesday,
the 23rd & 24th.
If you are interested in helping stop by and see
all they do.
READ THE KORAN IN FOUR
Thursdays, 7-9 pm, April 3rd, 10th and 24th, and
May 1st. If you are interested in joining this class,
talk to Pastor Marshall.
FOOD BANK DONATION
suggestion for April is non-perishable baby food and
Formula is a very expensive and much needed item
at the Food Bank.
needs bath towels. Every
year they go through hundreds of towels at their
facilities, especially in the Pioneer Square Hygiene
Center, where 150 people get a free shower every day.
Donations can be left at the office.
WEST SEATTLE FOOD BANK
Instruments of Change
is planned for Friday evening, May 2nd, this year.
There will be a
Game Room with a Spin the Wheel, Wine Toss, Photo Booth,
Silent Auction, and dinner
with a dessert dash. This
fundraising event is at the Hall of Fauntleroy, 9131
Calif. Ave. SW.
get your tickets in advance on the Helpline web page to
the very fun
West Seattle Helpline 9th Annual
Taste of West
Seattle on May 15th.
prayer before God those whom He has made your
sisters through baptism.
Mariann Petersen, 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, 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, Delores Grenier, Isabella Wain,
Brian Mangan, Ginny Montgomery.
Pray 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.
Pray for those who have suffered the death of a
Pray that God will bear their grief and lift their
Pray for Pastor Marshall and family on the death of his
mother, Eva Marshall.
Pray for our bishops Mark Hanson and Chris
Boerger, 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 April.
Pray for the mercy of God for these people, and
for all in Christ's church to see and help those who are
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
Pray that God will bless you through the lives of
the saints: Albrecht Dürer, painter, 1528; Dietrich
Bonhoeffer, teacher, 1945; Saint Mark, Evangelist;
Catherine of Siena, teacher, 1380.
Treasury of Prayers
My God and
Father, I ask only that I may have the strength
to endure what I must. But then, may I ask as
well, to put my trust in you that you will
mercifully grant me life beyond death? In Jesus’
name I pray. Amen.
All the Saints (ALPB, 1994-1996) 4 vols.,