April 2016

 




Rejoice in the Lord

Philippians 4:4 tells us to rejoice in the Lord always. Basking in the brilliance of Holy Week and Easter, we certainly have a lot to be thankful for and to rejoice in, as Luther noted – our “freedom from sin, death, God’s wrath, the devil, hell, and eternal damnation” (Luther’s Works 23:404). He elaborates further on this verse in a 1522 sermon:

 

     Saint Paul is here speaking about…. a completely heartfelt delight toward God…. There is no sin there, no fear of death or hell, but rather a glad and all-powerful confidence in God and His kindness. For that reason he calls it a joy in the Lord, not in silver or gold, not in eating or drinking, not in pleasure or singing, not in strength or health, not in knowledge or wisdom, not in power or honor, not in friendship or favor, not even in good works or holiness, for these are nothing but deceptive, false joy, which never stir the depths of the heart, about which people say, “He rejoices, but his heart is not in it” (LW 75:158).

 

      These astonishing, amazing things about what Christian joy excludes, build on the condemnation of false joy in Proverbs 14:13 – “Even in laughter the heart is sad, and the end of joy is grief.” Pray to God that we are spared that during this wonderful time of the year!

Pastor Marshall







 




President’s Report…by Earl Nelson

There was no President’s Report in The Messenger last month because I was in Rome for ten days last month with a group of high school Latin students on an extended field trip.  Seventeen of us, two teachers and fifteen students, respectfully attended church Sunday, February 14, at Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the three Vatican basilicas in Rome.  The liturgy and sermon were in Italian and there were Latin hymns sung by an all-male, clerical choir.  The service was well attended both by local Romans and by many tourists, like ourselves, from all over the world.  Some of these were wandering about the side aisles, taking pictures and whispering.  Those who administered the Eucharist (no wine) walked out into the congregation in the center aisle, where to my astonishment I saw a few tourists apparently trying to secure wafers as souvenirs.  They had to be energetically directed not to walk away with their prize but to eat it. 

     The first two months of the year have been a pleasant surprise for the Church Council.  January and February are usually a time of the year where our giving lags behind the monthly financial needs of the church, and we have to dip into surplus from the previous year, surplus which we didn’t have this year.  However, due to consistent pledged giving, five Sundays in January, and a large one-time gift, we find ourselves in the highly unusual position of replenishing the checking account, rather than looking for ways to make ends meet.  Let’s keep it up!  If this continues we will eventually be able to make transfers to the Rainy Day Fund, which is currently at $1.00. 

     If you notice that the heating in the front lobby lounge is both warmer and quieter, it is because of the continued efforts of the Facilities Committee.  Of concern now is the very large double-pane window in the front stairwell, where the collection of stained-glass pieces hangs.  The steel frame is rusting and there are cracks developing in some of the panes.  This promises to be an important project.  The Facilities Committee is also looking into the historical preservation status of both church buildings.

     Recalling attending church in Rome and just having attended church at First Lutheran, I am not at all convinced that to have been in the presence of many centuries of art and architecture, in one of the most historically important churches of the Western Church, made for a service that was more authentically historical.  Though I make no pretense of speaking Italian, I can sometimes understand it, and over the last three years I have heard and caught the gist of several sermons in Rome, including one by Pope Francis, as well as the one in Santa Maria Maggiore, last month.  The settings were compelling in some ways, but if the message from the pulpit is an intentional departure from tradition, there is no resonance with the setting.  Our church may not have Bernini sculpture, incredible vaulted ceilings, and so on, but I am very happy to be back to a setting and a service that together tell the same story, and to a congregation that shares in it appreciatively.





 






 

STEWARDSHIP

 

How Much?  To Whom?

 

 

A recent study of The Ten Commandments notes again that the first three commandments pertain to our relationship with God: that we should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

        The remaining commandments pertain to “others,” that is, that we should fear and love God so that we honor Him in our relationships with parents, spouse, and neighbors.

        Regarding Stewardship, we honor God by returning a tithe of the benefit of our labors. We do this through the Church, which is the Body of Christ.

        Is there such an index for neighbors in need? May I suggest a tithe of what we spend for groceries and eating out as an index of what we should contribute to the food bank?

        Extending this discussion, a tithe of what we spend for travel, recreation, and vacations might be a good index of what we contribute to agencies such as The Compass Center or World Vision, agencies that serve those who cannot afford such extras.

            We will have to give God an account of our stewardship. Will we be able to say that, in spite of our sin and shortcomings, The Ten Commandments guided us?

                                                                                                    Bob Baker, Church Council






 





 

Such a Difficult Life:

Luther on the Christian Life

 

“[The] struggle [in the fight of faith] is much worse than death, prison, or any disease or persecution because it involves faith…. The gross temptations of anger assault us, or, at best, the anger allows us to be burned up. But this we overcome more easily than we win the fight of faith… [That is because in the fight of faith we must] tear away an affection for this life.”

 

Lectures on 1 Timothy (1528), Luther’s Works 28:373–74.

 

“[The Christian] life is nothing other than mortification of the old Adam [and so] endurance will be part of this life.”

 

Sermon on Romans 15:4–13 (1522), Luther’s Works 75:75.

 

“Grit your teeth in the face of your thoughts, and for God’s sake be more obstinate, headstrong, and willful than the most stubborn peasant or shrew – indeed, be harder than an anvil or piece of iron. If you impose such demands on yourself and fight against yourself in this way, God will assuredly help you. But if you do not resist and oppose, the battle will soon be lost.”

 

Letter to Jonas von Stockhausen (November 27, 1532), Luther: Letters on Spiritual Counsel, ed, T. Tappert (Westminster, 1965) p. 90.

 

“[We] have no greater enemy than ourselves.”

 

An Exposition on the Lord’s Prayer (1519), Luther’s Works 42:48.

 

“The… godly… are estranged from trust in themselves.”

 

Lectures on Isaiah 1–39 (1532), Luther’s Works 16:216.

 

“This cursed life is nothing but a real vale of tears, in which the longer a man lives, the more sin, wickedness, torment, and sadness he sees and feels. Nor is there respite or cessation of all of this until we are buried (one flattens us with the shovel); then, of course, this sadness has to stop and let us sleep contently in Christ’s peace, until he comes again to wake us with joy. Amen.”

 

Letter to Hans Luther (February 15, 1530), Luther’s Works 49:270.

 

“[A] pastor must not only lead to pasture by teaching the sheep how to be true Christians; but, in addition to this, he must also repel the wolves, lest they attack the sheep and lead them astray with false doctrine and error. For the devil does not rest.”

 

Sermons on 1 Peter (1523), Luther’s Works 30:135.

 

“[Believers] always have trials enough; they must wage war constantly. Those who are without faith and the Spirit do not feel this; or they fall behind, run away, and follow evil lust.”

 

Sermons on 1 Peter (1523), Luther’s Works 30:70.

 

“[The Christian must] be on guard…. For those who gorge, guzzle, and are sated sows are good for nothing,…. for a lazy body that likes to sleep after it has gorged itself full and guzzled will not resist the devil, because this becomes difficult even for those who have faith and are spiritual…. The devil…. is not in your sight when you are armed; but he looks in front and behind, inside and outside, for a place at which to attack you. When he attacks you here now, he soon rushes there and attacks you at another place. He hastens from one side to the other and employs all kinds of cunning and trickery to make you fall. And even if you are well armed at one place, he pounces on you at another place. If he cannot knock you down there either, he attacks you somewhere else. Thus he never ceases but goes all around and gives no rest anywhere. But we are fools and pay no attention to it. We go our way and are not watchful. Thus it is easy for him to gain ground.”

 

Sermons on 1 Peter (1523), Luther’s Works 30:141.

 

“The world is one big whorehouse, completely submerged in greed. We, too, have to live in it, being tempted by these examples and allurements.”

 

Sermon on the Mount (1532), Luther’s Works 21:180.

 

“The life of a Christian is as hard as if he were walking on a narrow path, in fact, on nothing but razors.”

 

Sermon on the Mount (1532), Luther’s Works 21:245.

 

“[Everything] which is God’s Word and work must be troublesome, bitter, and difficult to the outward man, even if it is otherwise blessed.”

 

Sermon on John 2:1–11 (1525), Luther’s Works 76:239.

 

“[The] man who has Christ through true faith does not desire any of the world’s goods,… not even life itself, nor does he fear the evils, even death itself…. For he stands firm on the solid rock, neither following after a soft life nor fleeing a hard life; not because he is not tempted to flee in the face of overpowering fear or tempted to evil lust by the strong blandishments of sin,… but in the end he does not consent, although it is with tremendous labor and sorrow that he barely resists and triumphs...”

 

Lectures on Romans (1518), Luther’s Works 25:318.

 

“[What] is of God must be crucified in the world.”

 

Lectures on Romans (1518), Luther’s Works 25:177.

 

“The Church has been put into the world so that it must constantly run the devil’s gauntlet and without ceasing be sifted and winnowed.”

 

Sermon 1 Peter 5:5–11 (1539), Luther’s Works 78:127.

 

“Whoever wants to live a… godly life must [live] among none but dead drunk, lewd, unrighteous, false, and ungodly people. It is the world and remains the world, of which he must deprive himself and live contrary to it, rebuking its worldly desires. That means living soberly in a tavern, chastely in a brothel, godly in a theater, righteously in a den of murderers. Such a world makes life confined and unpleasant, so that we wish, cry out, and call for death and the Last Day, and await them with great longing…. Grace must lead in such a difficult life, since nature and reason are lost here.”

 

Sermon on Titus 2:11–15 (1522), Luther’s Works 75:198.

 

“[Christians must] be careful not to follow the ways of the world or our own reason and good opinions, but rather always to break our mind and will, and do and suffer otherwise than our reason and will assert, so that we are not conformed to the world but do the opposite. So we will daily,… cling to what the world and reason hate. For example, we daily prefer to be poor, sick, and despised fools and sinners, and finally regard death as better than life, foolishness as more precious than wisdom, shame as more noble than honor, poverty as more blessed than wealth, and sin as more glorious than piety. The world does not have that mind-set, but is minded differently in all things; it remains in that old mind-set unchanged and unrenewed, stubborn and decrepit.”

 

Sermon on Romans 12:1–6 (1525), Luther’s Works 76:188–89.

 

“Every Christian, when baptized and dedicated to Christ, may and must accept and expect encounters with terror and anxiety, which will make his heart afraid and dejected, whether these feelings arise from one or from many enemies and adversaries. For a Christian has an exceedingly large number of enemies if he wants to remain loyal to his Lord. The world and the devil daily lie in wait to deprive him of life and limb. Furthermore, his own flesh, reason, and conscience plague him constantly. As a result, his heart trembles with fear.”

 

Sermons on John 14–16 (1537), Luther’s Works 24:11.

 

“[Our] whole life is most wretched and a truly bitter apple…. [Even so] we want to live agreeably and in ease in this life, and we shudder at and avoid even a small cross. But there is need of the mortification of the flesh, and this obedience must be shown under the cross with a calm mind [being] grateful because we know that Christ died for our sins.”

 

Lectures on Genesis 31–37 (1543), Luther’s Works 6:235–36.

 

“[This] life is horribly wretched, difficult, and troubled.... [It] is not life. No, it is a mortification and vexation of life. [But for those] who believe,… this life is a wandering in which they are sustained by the hope of a future and better life.”

 

Lectures on Genesis 45–50 (1545), Luther’s Works 8:114–15.

 

“A true Christian… is a rare animal on earth.”

 

Trade and Usury (1524), Luther’s Works 45:256.

 

“A Christian is a rare bird.”

 

 

Admonition to Peace (1525), Luther’s Works 46:29.

 

RFM03122016

 






 




April Book

With the Mind:  Readings in Contemporary Theology

3-5 pm in the Church Lounge, Saturday, April 23rd


The book for April is Praised Be You: On Care for Our Common Home (2015), by Pope Francis. This book is about taking care of our environment. Its aim is to sound an alarm: “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth” (p. 19). The solution he envisions is this: “If we approach nature and the environment without… openness to awe and wonder, if we no longer speak the language of fraternity and beauty in our relationship with the world, our attitude will be that of masters, consumers, ruthless exploiters, unable to set limits on their immediate needs” (p. 13).

     A copy of this important book on ecology 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 our Christian obligation to take care of the earth.





ANNOUNCEMENTS:  

LIBRARY: We are missing Volume 53 from Luther’s Works in the Library.  Please return.  Thank you.

WEST SEATTLE FOOD BANK BENEFIT:  The 9th Annual   Instruments of Change Benefit Dinner is planned for Saturday evening, May 14th, this year.  There will be a Happy Hour with games, Liquor Tasting and great items in our Silent Auction, then enjoy a 3-Course dinner by Tuxedo and Tennis Shoes with a dessert dash.  This fundraising event is at the Seattle Design Center, 5701 6th Ave S.  Tickets: $100 or $1,000 for a table.  

WEST SEATTLE HELPLINE:  Get your tickets ASAP on the W.S. Helpline web page to the very popular and 11th Annual Taste of West Seattle on Thursday, May 26th.  This is a true taste of what West Seattle has to offer in food, wine and brews.

READ THE KORAN IN FOUR WEEKS:  Thursdays, 7-9 pm, April 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th. If you are interested in joining this class, talk to Pastor Marshall.

FOOD BANK DONATION suggestion for April is baby food and infant formula.  Formula is expensive for young families and much appreciated.  Cash donations are always welcome.  Designate your check to FLCWS with West Seattle Food Bank.

Compass Housing Alliance needs new or lightly used bath towels.  Donations can be left at the office.





 




 

Minnie Lien


The Bible & My Grandma

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Undercutting Biblical Scholarship

 

By Pastor Marshall

 

I was very close to my material grandmother, Minnie Lien (1893–1979). She lived in Montana for years where we visited her regularly. After Grandpa died in 1966, she moved into our neighborhood in Tacoma where I saw much more of her. The first three years of college, I lived with her in the summers. We picked wild blackberries and cooked them together, and laughed a lot – mostly at our expense. I remember trying to read my tribute to her at her funeral and breaking down in tears. Over the years she helped me learn Bible verses – “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” “Faith is a gift lest anyone should boast.” “Fight the good fight of faith.” “Jesus was obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” “Just as Jesus was raised from the dead, so shall we be raised.” “Keep the Sabbath day holy.” “Think more highly of others than yourself.” “Deny yourself and follow Jesus.” And many more.

      When I went to Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1971, to study for the ordained ministry, one of my first classes was on the historical critical interpretation of the Bible. It was taught by a young professor with a doctoral degree from Harvard. He was an expert on Luke and Acts and the miracles of Jesus. This critical approach to the Bible had been finely honed by the German Lutheran preacher and scholar, Rudolf Bultmann (1884–1976). He called this way of reading the Bible, Sachkritik, or “content criticism” [R. A. Harrisville, Pandora’s Box Opened (2014) p. 185]. By so doing he divided the content of the Bible between what is lasting (kerygma) and what needs updating (myth) – such as miracles, demons, the sacraments, the sacrifice of Christ and his resurrection and ascension. Without this differentiation, we would end up believing the wrong thing, living unrighteous lives, and missing out on salvation [Kerygma and Myth, ed. H. W. Bartsch (1961) pp. 1–44].

      So in class I asked the professor if my Grandma Minnie was headed for hell since she didn’t practice Sachkritik. He laughed and asked if she was baptized and believed in Jesus. I said yes. Then he said she was okay. So I asked back why I should take his class then since not knowing about Sachkritik wouldn’t affect my salvation, or, for that matter, any of the people I would eventually work with as a pastor. His straight-faced answer was: “Because it is required for graduation from Luther Seminary.” I thought that was a stupid answer. But the bell rang; class was dismissed; nobody said anything about the exchange; and that was the end of that.

      But ten years later the same professor was lecturing on Sachkritik at a pastors’ conference in Bend, Oregon, and I was there. I sat in the back and listened to his lecture on how we needed this critical approach to the Bible to be good preachers and pastors. At the end of the lecture, he asked for questions. Most of the pastors looked like they were ready to play golf, so no one asked anything. At that point I asked about my Grandma again – by this time she had died. And he gave the same answer – without apparently recognizing me from my seminary days. So I asked him why we should care about his lecture if it didn’t matter. This time he couldn’t say because it was required for graduation since we were all pastors and had already graduated. I thought he might say it would be a good refresher. But he instead said: “I don’t know.” At that point silence fell,

no one said a thing, everybody lightly, and unevenly, applauded, and we all left to enjoy the out of doors.
     Years later, a world famous practitioner of Sachkritik, Eta Linnemann (1926–2009) – see her classic text in that genre, The Parables of Jesus (1966) – repented of her wicked handling of the Holy Scriptures, and wrote about it in her books Historical Criticism of the Bible (1990), Is There a Synoptic Problem? (1992), and Biblical Criticism on Trial (2001). [Her last book, Bibel oder Bibelkritik? (2007), isn’t translated yet.] Upon reading them I was elated and gave thanks to God. But our seminaries didn’t, and to this day still teach Sachkritik. May we hope and pray that one day they follow Professor Linnemann’s example.

 

Eta Linnemann










 



God’s Commanding Word

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Coercive & Imperious

 

By Pastor Marshall

 

Because of the young rich man walking away – uncooperatively – after Jesus tells him what he has to do to be saved (Mark 10:22), we think that God’s Word is ineffectual. We think it only has power if we accept it. We think it otherwise just rolls off us like water off a duck’s back.

      But that leaves too much out. It leaves out the world coming into existence simply by God saying – let there be light and there was evening and morning, one day (Genesis 1:3–5). It leaves out the storm ceasing – at Christ’s command – without any atmospheric cooperation (Mark 4:39). It leaves out Paul being suddenly converted – at the flash of lightning – without any consultation (Acts 9:3–22). It leaves out God’s commanding word that returns not empty (Isaiah 55:11). This shocking word has been called “coercive” [Brevard S. Childs, Isaiah (2001) pp. 18, 21, 54, 58, 63, 68, 102, 263, 421, 422, 437], and “imperious” – being able to “suddenly and radically change my whole life on a prodigious scale” [Kierkegaard’s Writings (1851) 21:31].

      The American poet, Maxine Kumin (1925–2014) – winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1973 – longed for such a commanding word in her 1996 poem, “The Word” [Good Poems: American Places, ed. Garrison Keillor (Penguin, 2011) p. 206]. She sees it operational in the forest with the pups of a mother fox – “how they dive for a burrow on command, how they re-emerge at another word she uses, a word I am searching for.” Kumin ends her poem describing the traits of such a commanding word:

Its sound is o-shaped and unencumbered,

The see-through color of river,

Airy as the topmost evergreen fingers

And soft as pine duff underfoot…

      That’s no quite the fiery and smashing word in Jeremiah 23:29, but it is the insinuating, implanted one of James 1:21. Either way it’s still God’s commanding word. So let us learn again how to “tremble” before it (Isaiah 66:2)!





 




2 Corinthians 2.15

Monthly Home Bible Study, April 2016, Number 278

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 2 Corinthians 2.15 noting the words aroma and perishing. What is this aroma? On this read 2 Corinthians 2.15 noting the line the aroma of Christ to God. How does this aroma go to God or affect God?  On this read John 5.22–29 noting the words Father, Son, judges, judgment, good and evil. How then does the negative judgment against those perishing affect God? On this read Romans 2.5 noting the line storing up wrath for yourself. How does this storing up affect God? On this read 2 Thessalonians 1.9 noting the line eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord. So when this deadly aroma ascends to God it incites his wrath against those perishing. What comes of this? On this read Luke 16.26 noting the line a great chasm has been fixed, in order that… none may cross. How horrible is this permanent isolation from God? On this read Luke 16.27–28 noting the word torment. Read also Revelation 9.5 noting the word torture, and Matthew 25.30 noting the words outer darkness and weep. What’s the point of these verses? On this read 1 Corinthians 10.6 noting the whole line these things are warnings for us, not to desire evil as they did. Read as well Luke 13.5 noting the line unless you repent you will all likewise perish. What do you think of this? Does it matter?

 

Week II. Read again 2 Corinthians 2.15 noting again the words aroma and perishing. What does this smell like? On this read 2 Corinthians 2.16 noting the line a fragrance from death to death. The smell of death is universally foul to us. What is the point in this comparison? On this read Luke 12.20 noting the word fool. Does this word deal death to our self-esteem? Read also Mark 7.20–21 noting the words heart and defiles. Does this testimony to our rotten, defiled hearts also deal death to us? And read 2 Timothy 3.2–4 noting the words abusive, inhuman and conceit. Do these words also decimate the positive image we have of ourselves? Are these three readings just what we need to help us die with Christ according to 2 Corinthians 5.14–15?  If so, how so?

 

Week III. Reread 2 Corinthians 2.15 noting this time the words aroma and saved. What is this aroma like? On this read 2 Corinthians 2.16 noting the line a fragrance from life to life. What is this aroma of life? On this read Galatians 2.20 noting the line it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. Read also John 10.10 noting the line that we might have life, and have it abundantly. And read as well John 6.53 noting the correlation between the words life, flesh and blood. So does this aroma of life come from us? On this read 2 Corinthians 3.5 noting the line not… to claim anything as coming from us. What’s so fragrant about this life, then? On this read John 5.26 noting the phrase life in himself. What does this sort of independence do when it abides in us? On this read Galatians 1.10 noting the words rejecting pleasing men. Read as well John 5.44 noting the words rejecting worldly glory. And read John 12.42–43 noting the words rejecting the praise of men. If all of this were to be followed, what would we be like? On this read 1 Peter 2.11 noting the words war, exiles and aliens. How does that make you feel? What are you going to do about it?

 

Week IV. Read 2 Corinthians 2.15 one last time noting again the word saved. How shall we come to this salvation as just outlined? On this read John 6.44 noting the words come and draw. Would this drawing be a struggle for us? On this read Romans 11.24 noting the phrase contrary to nature. Would that make it easy or hard? On this read Matthew 7.14 noting the word hard. That being the case, is it likely we’ll be saved? On this read Luke 18.27 noting the word impossible. So is our goose cooked? On this read Matthew 11.28–29 noting the words rest, gentle, easy and light. Does that wipe out all difficulty? On this note still the trembling in Philippians 2.12–13, but also the line God is at work in you. So can you now explain how rest and trembling go together? Does 2 Corinthians 6.10 help?




 




Spring Sunday School Project

Lutheran World Relief

The Sunday school students chose to support Lutheran World Relief this Spring.  Their goal is to raise enough money to purchase items to help sustain families and communities.  They want to help those people living in poverty around the world.  They hope to raise enough money to purchase a metal rickshaw, fruit tree seedlings and quilts for children.  All of this can be purchased for $208.  If they raise an extra $165 they will then purchase farming tools and hens and chicks!  They are ambitious students.  We will plan another bake sale to help raise funds too.  So look for the student’s LWR poster and donation can!  Thank you for your support of the Sunday school students and their hope to help those living in profound poverty around the world.

All donations are welcome.... please write your checks to FLCWS designated LWR

 

Gina Allen, Church Council Education Chair

 




 



The Sacrament of Penance

On the third Saturday of each month, between 3 and 5 pm, the Sacrament of Penance is offered in the Chapel.  This brief liturgy enables people – one at a time – to confess their sin and receive the blessed assurance of forgiveness.

    This liturgy is ancient but largely neglected in recent years in America.  It is similar to the Roman Catholic confessional, but unlike it, in that this liturgy is done face to face with the pastor.  Copies of the liturgy are available in the church office.

    This individual form of confession is more forceful than the general form used during Advent and Lent in the Communion liturgy.  It allows for, but does not require, listing of specific sinful burdens.  It also provides for specific instructions from the pastor for each penitent.  These additional details make for its greater force in our lives. 

    Martin Luther's critique of confession never included the elimination of individual, private confession.  His critique instead only corrected the way it was being done.

    So we continue to honor his words in his Large Catechism:  “If you are a Christian, you should be glad to run more than a hundred miles for confession.” (BC, p. 460).  Plan to come – Saturday, April 16th, 3 to 5 pm in the Chapel.




 


Cynthia Natiello

 

The Endowment Fund

Putting the Church in Your Will

By Pastor Marshall

 

Our church endowment fund continues to grow.  We thank God for all who have made gifts to this fund and the support it provides our church. Especially we thank God for the major donors to our endowment fund – George (1925-2003) & Marion (1929-2005) Colvin, Lila Granaas (1913-2002), Orma Nesheim (1917-2010), and Alida Rottman (1922-2011). 

    Our newest major donation – $25,655 – is in memory of Cynthia Natiello (1958-2016).  Her funeral was here on February 27, 2016.  Her cremated remains are inurned in the columbarium – our Chapel of the Resurrection.  We thank God for this gift from Cynthia and Cary, and their family and friends.

    Take this occasion to consider including the church in your will.  If you would like to do this and have not done so already, think of giving 10% of the residual value of your estate to the church.  In this way you will be able to tithe the income the investments of your estate has earned over the years.  This is a fitting way to thank God for the blessings of prosperity we all enjoy.

    Our endowment fund was established in January 1996.  The gifts made to the fund are never spent.  Most of the interest earned is added each to year to help meet our budget.  In this way you can go on supporting our church long after you have departed to join the church triumphant.  Glory be to God!



George & Marion Colvin

Lila Granaas

Orma Nesheim

Alida Rottman




 


  PARISH PRAYERS 

Remember in prayer before God those whom He has made your

brothers and sisters through baptism.

June Wittman, Hannah Weyer, Mariann Petersen, Jeannine Lingle, Kaoru Schorn, Evelyn Coy, Mary Goplerud, Chuck Prescott, Peggy & Bill Wright, David, Eileen and Michael Nestoss, Melanie Johnson, Ion Ceaicovschi, Bob & Barbara Schorn, Luke Bowen, Tabitha Anderson, The PLU Faculty, Robert Crowmartie, Celia Balderston, Mike Harty, Asha Sagmoen, Dean Cheney, Kevin James, Ken Sharp, Bruce & Margaret Kirmmse, Margaret Douglass, Mike Granger, Denise Alvord, Jim Thoren, Dee Grenier, Betty Hieber, Justin Schumacker, Kineta Langford, Ellen Marie Schroeder, Shirley Eaton, Jan Markquart, Clark Johnson, Marie Collins, our presidential election year, and those effected by the Zika virus, the great migration from the Near East into Europe and other parts of the world.  Also pray for those affected by the violent attacks in Brussels, Belgium, and Lahore, Pakistan. 

     Pray for the shut-ins that the light of Christ may give them joy:  C. J. Christian, Louis Koser, Anelma Meeks, Dorothy Ryder, Lillian Schneider, Crystal Tudor, Nora Vanhala, Elmer & June Wittman, Peggy & Bill Wright.

     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 April.  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: Albrecht Dürer painter, 1528; Dietrich Bonhoeffer, teacher, 1945; Saint Mark, Evangelist; Catherine of Siena, teacher, 1380.



 A Treasury of Prayers

 

Dear Heavenly Father, just as you sought out the woman at the well when she wasn’t looking for you, deal with me according to that same free mercy which you showed to her. Through your word, speak to me; bring my sins to mind; and make me thirst for the salvation you are ready to give. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

         [For All the Saints (ALPB, 1994-1996) 4 vols., IV:452, altered]