Repenting in Four Steps
The True Way of Lent
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 13, and ends on Easter.
These forty days are devoted to enhanced fasting and repentance.
But what is it to repent? Martin Luther argued that it has to be
something more than the “remorse of Judas” (Luther’s
35:16) since that didn’t help him at all (Matthew 27:5, Luke
So first repentance has to do with measuring yourself against
God’s law to see where you have failed. You shouldn’t make up
your own failures in order to soften them for yourself. Nor
should they be imposed on you by others to manipulate you.
Instead your failures must be declared to you by God through his
own holy word.
Next you have to feel the failures shown to you by God’s holy
word. It isn’t enough to coolly acknowledge them. They has to
make you ashamed of yourself for dishonoring God’s glory.
Without that shame you’re only faking it.
Matthew 27:5, Luke 22:3
Third you need to compare your shame to God’s mercy that
you might hear the Gospel declaration that though your
heart condemns you, God’s mercy is greater than your
heart (1 John 3:20)! That means that everything that is
confessed for Jesus’ sake will be forgiven!! The joy
that comes from this is at the heart of repentance. So
if repenting only makes you sad, you’ve missed the boat!
Finally we must be open to a new way of living. If we
think repenting is only saying we’re sorry, we haven’t
repented. That’s because we not only repent to be
forgiven, but also to be changed and improved upon
(Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18, 13:9)!
I will take my final
article to thank everyone for the opportunity to serve
as President. These past four years serving on the
council, the last two as its president, have been a rich
and rewarding experience. I have been truly blessed to
have a chance, albeit a small part, to serve Christ and
draw closer to Him in the process. Every meeting I
continued to learn about the Word and about His Church.
I thank the council for putting up with my habit of
delving into lesser known festivals and observations for
my monthly council devotions. That process kept leaning
interesting for me.
I want to officially welcome Mya Riskadhl and
Matthew and Alison Richardson who became members in our
parish in December. I am thankful that our message of
God’s love expounded through traditional Lutheran
observances is reaching the greater community. I pray
that we can continue to spread this message to Seattle
and beyond. I also want to thank everyone who attended
our Annual Congregational Meeting. It is vital for any
organization to have participates who care so deeply
about its cause.
December’s income although good was still below
our budgeted expectations. We had budgeted $30,026 in
Total General Budget Receipts but we only received
$24,062.97 in Total General Budget Income.
This last year we did fiscally better than 2011.
In 2011 the Total General Budget Income for the year was
$228,877.57 which was down from 2010’s number of
$244,769.40. This year’s number saw an increase over
2011 to $238,100.22 but still lower than two years ago.
We had budgeted $248,147 in Total General Budget
Receipts for the year. This is a shortfall of about
$10,000. With less than expected monies coming in we
were unable to fully fund our Major Maintenance Reserve
account this year. However by keeping expenses down were
able to pay all of our other obligations. I pray that
2013 finds us in a healthier financial situation.
FLCWS is blessed with great staff and with
members who sacrifice their time and energy to help the
parish operate. I wish to thank our church council
members who served with me in the past four years. I
want to thank Sonja for putting up with my late
articles and for making sure our office runs so
smoothly. I want to thank Dean for his leadership and
care of the property. I want to thank Teri Korsmo and
Janice Lundbeck for keeping our financial house in
order. Thank you to Jane Collins and Ken Hovde for their
generous giving of time and service to our parish
maintenance. I also wish to thank Pastor Marshall for
his support and guidance throughout the years.
I especially want to thank the King family. First
Lutheran Church of Seattle would not be as successful as
it is without their constant support and service. David
stepped forward to serve as my Vice-President this past
year and is involved with me in the finances of the
church and of the endowment fund. For these efforts he
should be lauded. Finally Larraine who not only spear
heads the highly successful St. Nicholas Faire but also
served as Secretary the entire time I was on council, at
the same time as filling in when needed, as well as being our
Sub-deacon, directing the bell choir, and is Parish Librarian! She constantly acted as a guide for me
though the meetings and gave the council an important
consistency that only a steady hand can bring. Her
selfless giving of herself and of her time continues as
she has agreed to be the next President of the
congregation. Say a prayer of thanksgiving for the King
February brings the start of Lent.
It is time for fasting and self-reflection. It is
also a sort of New Years for FLCWS. While the beginning
of the Church calendar is marked by Advent, and the
secular calendar starts on January 1st, February is
really the start of the congregation’s New Year. At last
month’s Congregational meeting new officers and church
council members were selected and now they take their
places to help lead the Parish. New committees are
formed and new goals are put forward all with the
singular focus to serve Christ and spread His Word. I
pray that their endeavors are blessed!
Year to date (Jan-Dec)
Sacrificing During Lent
season of Lent provides a wonderful opportunity for us to grow
closer to Christ and His Church by taking advantage of the
abundant spiritual exercises offered during this time. As you
practice the Lenten sacrifices you make to improve your
relationship with God, consider almsgiving as part of your plan.
One of the beautiful and often unmentioned fruits of tithing and
almsgiving comes from its sacrificial nature. God is pleased
when we are able to overcome the materialism so prevalent in our
society and show our love for Him in such a tangible way as
tithing. He accepts our sacrifices and uses them to accomplish
good things, some of which we may never know about.
This Lent, in addition to other steps you take to deepen
your spiritual walk, increase your charitable giving as an
offering to our Lord. Your gifts can be offered for such
purposes as our Lord's general intentions, the specific needs of
our church, or to ease the suffering of people around the world.
Uniting your sacrifice to Christ's perfect sacrifice on the
cross, ask our Lord for his help and guidance in making your
Selected by Gina Allen, Church Council
With the Mind:
Readings in Contemporary Theology
3-5 pm in the Church Lounge,
Saturday, February 26th.
The book for February is
What This Cruel War Was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil
War (2007), by Chandra Manning. She explores the affect of
religious belief on the soldiers of that war. “By the Civil
War’s midpoint,” she writes, “the ferocity of its wrath had
stripped away any romantic visions, forcing soldiers to explain
not only why it began, but also why it became the horrible
convulsion that it did. The explanations that seemed to
fit increasingly had to do with God. Specifically, from the
middle of 1863, many troops in both armies saw the war as God’s
punishment for ‘our sins,’ though Northerners and Southerners
differed in who they meant by ‘our’ and what they meant by
‘sins’” (p. 113).
A copy of Dr. Manning’s
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 how belief in God influences the
soldiers who fought in our most deadly war of all time.
is planning a
luncheon for Tuesday,
February 26th. Sign
up on the sheet that is posted in the lounge.
FOOD BANK COLLECTION
suggestions for February are canned fruits & vegetables.
NEW MEMBER ORIENTATION
will start on Sunday, February 3rd immediately following the
10:30 am liturgy, in room D.
If you know someone who is interested in the class,
suggest they talk with Pastor Marshall.
Once Is Enough: Against
Rebaptism. In this eight week class we will study
Luther’s 1528 treatise against rebaptism. This treatise is an
important part of Luther’s understanding of the cherished
Christian sacrament of Holy Baptism. This class is another in
our series on studies in the Reformation leading up to the 500th
anniversary of the Reformation of the Church in Germany in 2017.
– 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.
Dr. Fosdick on Immortality
of His Classic Defense
By Pastor Marshall
ONE HUNDRED YEARS
ago, Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878-1969) published his classic
defense of immortality under the title,
The Assurance of
Immortality (1913) (New York: MacMillan, 1917). Last month I
began my three month study of his defense.
In the middle part of his book on the reality of life
after death, he tries to show that immortality cannot be ruled
out as a real possibility. He tries to show how all the
arguments against it have not shown that it is impossible. And
so he concludes:
The assurance of its truth must rest on considerations
that overpass the boundaries of scientific investigation, but
when the stream of human life turns the great bend in its banks
which we call death, and passes out of sight, there is no fact
known to man which [negates] our right to seek those further
reasons which may assure us that the stream flows on
doesn’t think the alternative to heaven is very pleasant: “It is
not easy to think of my loves vanquished,” he writes, “my ideals
unattained, my memory quite extinct, and I as though I had never
been at all” (p. 52). And so he is encouraged that “coupled”
with the fact that we cannot prove it, we also have seen that it
is “absolutely impossible to disprove it” (p. 54). For those who
think heaven would be boring, he pits 1 Corinthians 2:9 about
its unfathomable wonders (p. 59).
problem with immortality, however, is that we know the
dead stay dead. But this is based on what we can see, and we’ve
learned from other cases – like the bent fork in the water glass
(p. 61) – that our sight cannot be completely trusted and so
this argument doesn’t win the day. His advice is that we must
“go behind the way things look” (p. 61)! We must “walk by
insight” rather than by sight alone (p. 62).
ends this middle section of his book with a refutation of the
thorny identification of the mind with the brain. For if they
are tightly joined together, then there is no “disembodied” soul
and immortality becomes nonsense (p. 86). But Fosdick doesn’t
accept this identification because the brain does not create the
mind but only is temporarily used by it instead (p. 81). The
case of the “bird in the egg” makes it clear that “the present
contingency of a living being upon a physical structure does not
by itself argue that such a relationship must exist forever” (p.
for the month of February will be emphasizing 2 charities.
Since Ash Wednesday is February 13th, let’s begin to
donate extra non-perishable food to the –
West Seattle Food Bank
year, remember to bring a food item to donate every time you
attend church. Last
year we collected over 750 items during the Lent/Easter season.
Let’s purpose to meet and hopefully exceed this goal.
Sunday School has chosen –
Gospel for Asia
its donations to this year. So
let’s pray to help support this valuable work with them, and
consider making a monetary gift to GfA.
The students want to be able to give at least a dozen
pairs of chickens to help others in Asia.
Be part of a wonderful offering to others!
Remember to think of Extended Ministries as a way of extending
our ministry to others.
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.
(Teri Korsmo, Financial
Secretary, 206-932-7914, TLHK@comcast.net)
Part of Our Defilement
Extending Mark 7:18 – 23
Throwing away things doesn’t
always get rid of them. They can come back to bite us, by
lingering around – some for thousands of years! – polluting and
stinking things up all around us. That’s what we call our garbage!
Jesus taught in Mark 7:20 that it is what comes out of us that
defiles us – and by that he mostly meant our nasty thoughts and
words. But he also includes the more general category of
“wickedness.” And that might well include our garbage too!
In his book,
Garbology: Our Dirty Love
Affair with Trash (2012), Pulitzer Prize-winning Edward
Humes notes that
garbage costs are staggering:
New York City alone spent $2.2 billion on sanitation in 2011.
More than $300 million of that was just for transporting its
citizens’ trash by train and truck – 12,000 tons a day – to
out-of-state landfills, some as far as three hundred miles away.
How much is 12,000 tons a day? That’s like throwing away
sixty-two Boeing 747 jumbo jets daily
But that doesn’t have to happen!
It is possible for us to purchase more wisely and recycle more
diligently. In the last chapter of his book, Hume tells the
story of Bea Johnson of Marin County, California, who reduced
her annual garbage output, from the American average of about 7
pounds per person per day, to “one mason jar full of trash” for
the entire year for her family of four (p. 13)! This is the
challenge in Hume’s book – to be like the Johnson family! Hume’s
reason for this goes beyond Biblical tenets – but it still bears
Archaeologists long ago figured
out that the real nature of human life isn’t that we are what we
eat. They know we are best understood by what we throw away
A copy of this profoundly
unsettling book is in the church library.
by Pastor Marshall
Monthly Home Bible Study, February 2013, Number 240
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
We need to support each other in this difficult project. In 1851
Kierkegaard wrote that the Bible is "an extremely dangerous
book.... [because] it is an imperious book... – it takes the
whole man and may suddenly and radically change... life on a
prodigious scale" (For
Self-Examination). And in 1967 Thomas Merton wrote that "we
all instinctively know that it is dangerous to become involved
in the Bible" (Opening
the Bible). Indeed this word "kills" us (Hosea 6.5) because
we are "a rebellious people" (Isaiah 30.9)! As Lutherans,
however, we are still to "abide in the womb of the Word" (Luther's
Works 17.93) by constantly "ruminating on the Word" (LW
30.219) so that we may "become like the Word" (LW
29.155) by thinking "in the way Scripture does" (LW
25.261). Before you study, then, pray: "Blessed Lord, who caused
all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so
to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that
we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of
everlasting life, which you have given us in Our Savior Jesus
Christ. Amen" (quoted in R. F. Marshall,
Making A New World: How
Lutherans Read the Bible, 2003, p. 12).
Read Psalm 40.16 noting
the word great. What
is so great about God? On this read Psalm 40.17 noting the line
I am poor and needy.
Does that mean God is great because he does everything for us?
On this read Galatians 6.2 noting the line
bear one another’s
burdens. Why doesn’t God do that for us if he is so great
and we are so poor? On this read Psalm 40.16 noting the phrase
who love thy salvation.
Does that mean that God is only great regarding our salvation –
which only he can bring about? On this read Philippians 2.12
noting the line work out
your own salvation with fear and trembling. What else does
God expect from us? On this read Matthew 6.16-18 noting the
words when and
fast. Read also 1 Thessalonians 5.16-22 noting the words
abstain, and 2
Thessalonians 3.10 noting the word
work. And read John
14.1 noting the word
believe. Do these verses have anything to do with the
expression God’s fellow
workers in 1 Corinthians 3.9? If so, do the words
from in 2 Corinthians
3.5 undercut this? If so, how would you combine the two –
against this apparent undercutting? A clue might be in 2
Corinthians 6.1 on how to
accept God’s grace properly. What do you think?
Read again Psalm 40.16
noting again the word
great. How does his greatness shine forth then? On this read
Genesis 1.3 noting the words
let. Is this verbal
creation astounding? On this read Job 38.4 noting the line
where were you when I
laid the foundation of the earth? Are we then co-creators of
the universe with God? On this read Isaiah 55.8 noting the
conflict between God’s
ways and ours. What else shows forth God’s greatness? On
this read John 16.8 noting the word
convince. Why is it
so hard to convince people about these things? On this read Acts
7.51 noting the words
uncircumcised. What does this do to us? On this read John
3.19 noting the phrased
loved darkness rather than light. How does God show his
greatness in this darkness? On this read Colossians 1.13 noting
the word transferred.
How does this happen? On this read 2 Corinthians 5.17 noting the
word controls and the
two uses of died.
Reread Psalm 40.16 noting
the word continually.
Why is this necessary? On this read John 8.34 noting the word
slave. If we are
slaves to sin, what are we like? On this read Romans 7.24 noting
the words wretched
and deliver. If we
are wretched like this, what must our attitude be? On this read
Luke 9.23 noting the word
daily. Why do we have to work at this self-denial on a daily
basis? On this read Jeremiah 17.9 noting the phrase
Read also Hebrews 3.13 noting the word
hardened. Where does
this leave us? On this read 2 Timothy 3.2-4 noting the four
occurrences of the word
lovers and also the word
swollen. Do things
ever get better? On this read Romans 7.21-23 noting the first
occurrence of the word
law, and also the words
captive. How stuck do
you feel? How serious is this?
Read Psalm 40.16 one last
time noting again the word
should we always be praising God? On this read John 8.12 noting
the words light and
world. Read as well
John 1.5 noting the line
has not overcome it. Can sufficient thanks ever be rendered
for this graciousness? On this read Colossians 3.15 noting the
sentence And be thankful.
How solid is that? On this read Colossians 2.7 noting the phrase
abounding in thanksgiving.
Read also 2 Corinthians 9.12 noting the line
overflows in many
thanksgivings to God. What does this light that we thank God
for, give us? On this read Romans 5.5 noting the words
disappoint. How does
this light free us from disappointment? On this read Romans 8.18
noting the line not worth
comparing. Would you agree? If so, why? For a clue, read
Revelation 21.4 noting the line
neither shall there be
mourning nor crying nor pain any more. How much of a
difference does that make right now in our lives?
of Our Lord
The Presentation of our Lord
at 11:45 am in the chapel with Holy Eucharist.
This feast day revolves around a prophecy in Luke
2:34-35 that relates a stirring story about Christ’s
It says he will be spoken against, and that he will
cause the rise and fall of many.
Honor God this day for the wisdom of this
of Our Lord
The Last Sunday in Epiphany, Sunday, February
is the Transfiguration of
Our Lord when
we behold the splendor of Christ surrounded by the
On this day we will dedicate the new High Altar Full
Frontal and vestments, in Goldie Halvorson's memory.
Following the liturgy there will be a lunch reception in
the parish hall. Also we will honor the two women from
the St. Marks Cathedral Altar Sewing group who spent the
last three years making this new Festival High Altar set
for us. It is a lovely set and they have worked very
hard to finish it for us, and have done an excellent
to learn more about the time when Moses and Elijah
appeared to Jesus, and the mysterious cloud from which
God’s voice tells us, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen
prayer before God those whom He has made your
sisters through baptism.
Cynthia Natiello, Olive Morrison, Jim Coile, Carmen
Malmanger, Connor Bisticas, Agnes Arkle, Clara Anderson,
Peggy Wright, Bob & Barbara Schorn, Rosita & Jim Moe,
Jim Cunningham, Amy and Tyler Tabor, Kelsey Ensey,
Cameron Lim, Maureen Baris, Chris & Margeen Bowyer, Paul
Sampson, Pete Williams & Family, Al and Robin Berg,
Karen Granger, Ron Combs, Ion Ceaicovschi, Dorothy
Pinney, Olivia De Croce, Gretchen Millie, Luke Bowen,
June Whitson, Trevor Drake, Carol Long, Don Kahn, Jim
and Ruth Shaovaloff, Grant Donnellan & Family.
for the shut-ins that the light of Christ may give them
Anderson, Pat Hansen, Donna Apman, Agnes Arkle, C. J.
Christian, Vera Gunnarson, Anelma Meeks, Olive Morrison,
Dorothy Ryder, Lillian Schneider, Crystal Tudor, Vivian
Wheeler, Peggy Wright.
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 New Year.
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 Peter; Saint Paul; and Martin Luther
King, Jr., martyr, 1968.
Treasury of Prayers
God Almighty, kindle in me the fire of
your benign fervor, burn out all my
internal vileness, together with all
fleshly lusts and desires. And in order
that I may serve you with true
earnestness and zeal, in fervency of
faith and spirit, illumine me with the
light of your truth. In Jesus’ name I
All the Saints
(ALPB, 1994-1996) 4 vols.,