John & Jesus
Together – and
in that Order
by Jeanne Hedington)
dominates December worldwide. Even though there’s no
consensus on who he is, the church confesses that he is
the incarnate Son of God, the Word made flesh, the one
who came to sacrifice himself on the cross so that
whoever believes in him may be saved on Judgment Day
from their sins.
But the lion’s
share of days in December goes instead to his cousin,
John the Baptist. Jesus said that he was very great –
even though he couldn’t help us with our worst problem
(Matthew 11.11, 2.11).
But he could
scare us straight by condemning us and warning us of our
impending doom if we don’t repent in the name of Christ
and trust in him.
Confessions call John that “fiery angel – the preacher
of true repentance” [The
Book of Concord (1580), p. 308]. Let him dominate
your lives in December by repenting and fasting until
the 12 Days of Christmas kick in on December 24th. Amen.
Advent has always been important to my family.
The breezy short days make way to the warm glow of the fire in a
cozy house; lighting the four candles on successive weeks and
recalling THE story, the story of God’s love for His children.
We have been recalling this story for thousands of years,
about a small family from some backwater burg in the far flung
reaches of the empire going to pay their taxes. We who have been
blessed to believe know that the story, His story, is so much
more than a simple journey.
We set aside this portion of the year to prepare for the
humble coming of Christ. This act gives us structure so we may
find it easier to welcome the message of Christmas.
Unfortunately, this structure has been lost to much of
the Western Church. People are too busy, or don’t know how to
observe Advent. I am confident that Pastor Marshall will give us
a few pointers in the weeks to come.
Make sure that everyone spreads the word about the
wonderful St. Nicholas Faire to be held in the Parrish Hall on
December 4th 2011. It is a great event that makes a fun evening
but it also helps great West Seattle charities, the West Seattle
Food Bank and the Helpline. Please tell all your friends and
family about this event. We want to make sure we can surpass
last year’s generous totals! Get piece of mind knowing you are
helping those who are less fortunate while saving time shopping
for unique and interesting Christmas gifts. It is a “win-win”
With all the financial discord in the general economy and
in the Lutheran Church, Pastor Marshall reminded me to be
thankful that we are better off than some churches. While this
is true (many churches are facing a 25% year on year decrease in
giving), I am always a bit nervous whenever we do not meet our
giving goals for the month. October saw Total General Budget
Receipts of $19,709.70 as compared to a budget of $21,600.00.
This is an additional $3,000 shortfall that compounds the
ongoing budget deficit. So far this year we have had $187,829.58
in Total General Budget Income as compared to a budget of
$199,364 making us about
$12,000 short on the year. December is generally one of our
biggest giving months and I pray that we are able to make up
some of that budget deficit so that we can continue to spread
His word here in West Seattle.
I hope that with all the hustle and bustle at the end of
the year, that we do not lose sight of the structure of Advent,
a dedicated time to prepare for the coming of Christ.
I hope you light the candles at home and recall with your
loved ones the meaning and stories of Advent. Let us continue to
observe and teach these rituals that help bind us together as
Christians, so that we may be faithfully recalling His story
until He comes again.
Year to date (Jan-Oct)
Cards for 2012
The Council would like to thank each of you
who returned your pledge card and making a commitment to the
work of First Lutheran Church of West Seattle.
For the 2012 year, 42 pledge cards were returned so far
and 38 pledges have been made.
The pledges give the Budget Committee a figure of
$144,168 to work with for 2012.
And if you haven’t turned your pledge card in, it isn’t
too late. Put it in
next Sunday’s offering plate so that your pledge will be a part
of our budget making process.
Since 1993, close to 20 years now, we have been very
successful with our pledge card drive.
This process enables our Budget Committee to work out a
realistic budget for the coming year.
And for our members it is a conscious commitment of your
financial resources to the church.
Thanks again, and keep the pledge cards coming.
- Church Council
ST. NICHOLAS FAIRE
Sunday, December 4 from 4pm to 7pm
a less than a week we will be gathering in the “transformed”
Parish Hall to celebrate St. Nicholas Day by hosting an event to
commemorate the spirit of St. Nicholas.
His many acts of charity are legendary.
All proceeds from this Faire will be donated to the West
Seattle Food Bank and the West Seattle Helpline.
order for it to be a success, we need to have every member
participate and commit to helping in some manner.
The sign-up sheets are in the hall by the Library and
they are in need of your name, etc!
We have tried to make contributing approachable and
within reach. There are a variety of ways each of us can help,
from money donations (make checks payable to First Lutheran
Church of West Seattle, and note it be given to the St. Nicholas
Faire), homemade baked goods, apple cider, and help during the
Faire. Please come and
bring your family, friends and neighbors.
The St. Nicholas Faire has a dual purpose – it benefits 2
very deserving extended ministries, and it allows us to have a
“party” time together with family and friends – while supporting
our neighbors in need in our community.
Seems like a “win-win” situation.
So please plan to come and join in the celebration.
It’s going to be a great time.
Don’t miss it!
-Larraine King, Church Council
With the Mind:
in Contemporary Theology
pm in the Church Lounge, Friday, December 30th
The book for December is
Eli: A Novel (2000)
by Bill Myers. It is a fantasy about Christ becoming incarnate
in a different parallel universe but not 2000 years ago as the
Bible teaches. This time he – Eli Shepherd by name – becomes
incarnate in our time period, as a modern man. This novel is an
important study about how Christ conflicts with whatever world
he enters into, and how people of any strip respond to him most
often with unbelief and anger.
But Myers also makes some changes. In his retelling of
the disciples’ promise that they wouldn’t abandon Jesus at the
end (Matthew 26:33-35) he has this difference: “Jake [Peter,
responded], ‘I can speak for all of us,… that… we’ll be right by
your side. We’ll help you through it’…. Sadly Eli [Jesus] shook
his head. ‘No, Jake. Each of you will abandon me. To save your
own skins, you’ll run away. But that’s okay. I’ll still have my
Father’” (p. 334)!
A copy of this interesting novel 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 retelling of the life of Jesus in a very different setting.
Holiday Luncheon is
planned for Tuesday, December 6th.
Sign up on the sheet that is posted in the lounge.
MEMBERS will be received on Sunday, December 11th.
There will be a cookie reception in room C & D following
the liturgy. The
December Service Team will be host.
COMPASS HOUSING ALLIANCE CHRISTMAS
gift cards in $5 increments for fast food restaurants,
coffee shops and grocery stores, and new sweatshirts and socks
for men and women.
Please leave your donations at the office.
Items will be delivered to the Compass Center
BANK COLLECTION suggested donation for December is holiday
YOUTH CAROLING PARTY:
Monday, December 26th, meet at Christo’s on Alki at
5:00 pm for a no host meal.
Then go caroling, to shut-ins in the congregation.
Anyone is welcome to come along.
Please sign up on the list that is posted in the lounge.
2012 FLOWER CHART:
The new chart will be up toward the end of the month.
Sign up early for the best choice of dates.
PASTOR MARSHALL’s next Koran Class starts on Thursday,
January 5th. Call
the office if you plan to attend.
EUCHARIST – Communion:
Those who are baptized in the name of God the Father, Son
and Holy Spirit and believe are welcome to receive the Sacrament
of the Lord's Supper. If you are not able to walk up to
communion but would like to receive, contact the Parish Deacon
before the liturgy.
for the Bartell
Drugs Scrip program
and designate First Lutheran Church of West Seattle.
4% of your purchases will be automatically
donated to the church.
The King James Version of the
Its 400th Anniversary, 1611-2011
By Pastor Marshall
have been observing this year the anniversary of the King James
Version of the Bible. In my last column on this anniversary, I
want to draw your attention to Robert Alter’s fine study,
Pen of Iron: American
Prose and the King James Bible (Princeton University Press,
2010). His thesis is that of all the English speaking countries
in the world, “it was in America that the potential of the [KJV]
to determine the foundation language and symbolic imagery of a
whole culture was most fully realized” (p. 1). That sweeping
claim almost takes your breath away! Alter defends his thesis by
exploring the writings of Abraham Lincoln, Herman Melville,
William Faulkner, Saul Bellow, and Ernest
Hemingway. Alter notes the influence of the KJV’s style –
its “use of cadence, repetition, antithesis, and… the cinching
effectiveness of a periodic sentence” (p. 11). But in end he
concludes that the Bible’s point of view has also been
Clearly, not all, or even most, American writers were drawn to
biblical diction, syntax, and cadences, but there is a
distinguishable biblical line in American writing that has not
yet entirely broken off. What [has been] called the concise
solid stamp of the language of the Bible continues to appeal to
some American writers, and inseparable from the stylistic traits
is a whole world of values with which both writers and readers
have to contend – a demanding, often stern morality; a ringing
promise of redeemed history in which it seems increasingly hard
to give credence; a contrasting
vision of the horrors to which life in history is
exposed; a penetrating sense of the unfathomability of human
nature; the belief in a benevolent, providential deity and a
vehement challenge to that very belief (p. 181).
A Forgotten But Powerful Voice:
Dr. Kent S. Knutson, 1924-1973
By Pastor Marshall
Dr. Knutson was the presiding bishop of the ALC from 1971-1973.
This fall I have been offering up passages from his most famous
book, The Shape of the
Question: The Mission of the Church in a Secular Age (1972)
for our contemplation. Here is what he says about the power of
Bible is the Word of God not because men have been able to
describe it by profound words and thereby made it powerful. It
is the Word of God because that Word exerts a power which it
possesses by its own nature…. The Bible is the Word of God and
exerts its own power in strange and wonderful ways, in ways we
do not expect, and at times when we do not want it. Yet God
controls that Word and it is his Word because he has made it his
Word. If you want to find out what the Bible is like, you have
to study it. You cannot find out about the Bible by just talking
about how it ought to be…. Sometimes when we do that we are
surprised…. We may discover that it is not the way we used to
think it was…. [Also] God sometimes withholds things from me [in
the Bible], he sometimes fans my curiosity and he sometimes
makes me angry because he forces me to trust him and he will not
submit himself to my demands as to how he ought to speak to me….
And because of this I know the Bible is inspired – God-breathed.
It means the Bible has power to speak what God wishes to have
spoken,… no matter what form the Bible is in…. The perfection of
the Bible is not related to its inspiration. The Bible is what
it is because of its power
Enjoy the convenience of
Thank you to those members that have
signed up for giving electronically.
If you have thought about it but
are still uncertain, I can answer any questions.
Just call or email me.
The process is completely safe – it
is the same as having your mortgage payment or insurance payment
automatically deducted from your checking account.
I handle all the paperwork locally
so your authorization form never leaves my possession.
If at any time you want to change
or cancel the automatic transactions, let me know and I will
immediately process the change.
Giving can also be done through our web page now!
Look for the blue button at the
bottom of the first page that says “Donate”.
(Teri Korsmo, Financial
Secretary, 206-932-7914, TLHK@comcast.net)
Remember in prayer before
God those whom He has made your
brothers and sisters
Vera Gunnarson, Dorothy Ryder, Richard Hard, Agnes Arkle, Alan
Morrison, Clara Anderson, Pete Morrison, Mary Goplerud, Teri
Korsmo, Bob Baker, Peggy Wright, Bob & Barbara Schorn, Margaret
Hard, Theresa Malmanger, Jennie Jaramillo, Chardell Paine, Craig
Purfeerst, Rolf Sponheim, Don Evenson, Dorothy Randall-Wood,
Kurt & Jennifer Alfano, Mary Uhler, Robin Lantzy, Mona Elliot,
Bob Smith, Jacob & Samuel Strehl, David & Kay Thoreson, Jeanne
Pray for the shut-ins that the light of Christ may give them
Anderson, Agnes Arkle, C. J. Christian, Vera Gunnarson, Pat
Hansen, Margaret Hard, Lillian Schneider, Crystal Tudor, Vivian
Pray for those who have suffered the death of a loved
one: Pray that God
will bear their grief and lift their hearts:
Pray for the families and friends of Emma Lofgren, and
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
November. 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: Saint Andrew,
A Treasury of
Father be with me at all times to comfort, strengthen, and
preserve me, so that I may remain steadfast until my life’s end.
Bless your holy church in all the world; save, deliver, and
preserve it from all evil. Take away from it all unfaithful
pastors and false teachers, who, like devouring wolves and
roaring lions, lamentably scatter and ravage your slender flock;
send forth and give faithful pastors and honest laborers into
your harvest. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
All the Saints (ALPB,
1994-1996) 4 vols.,
The Nativity of
Celebrate with us the great
Christmas feast of our Lord's Nativity.
May these days fill your hearts with thanksgiving and
praise. This year
we will have the following schedule:
On Saturday evening, the 24th
of December we will offer the
Liturgy of Lessons, Carols, and Holy Eucharist.
This traditional candlelight liturgy will feature the
singing of carols; a procession; and anthems sung by the Deo
morning, December 25th we
will offer a single Festival Liturgy and Holy Eucharist
in the nave, at 10:30 am.
Saint Stephen Deacon & Martyr
morning, December 26th –
Eucharist in the chapel, 11:45 am
evening 5:00 pm, Caroling to shut-ins.
Saint John, Apostle & Evangelist
morning, December 27th
Holy Eucharist in the chapel, 11:45 am
The Holy Innocents, Martyrs
morning, December 28th,
Matins in the chapel, 9:30 am
Holy Eucharist in the chapel,
Vespers & Reserved Sacrament 7:00 pm.