February 2013


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 Works 35:16) since that didn’t help him at all (Matthew 27:5, Luke 22:3)!


God’s Law: 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.


Shame: 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

Joy: 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!


Improvement: 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)!

                                                                          Pastor Marshall


                  PRESIDENT'S REPORT....by Matthew Kahn


I will take my final Messenger 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 Messenger 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 family.

    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!


Stewardship                                                     Budget                     Received

                  Month (December)                        $30,026                    $24,263

                  Year to date (Jan-Dec)                  $248,147                  $241, 932








     Sacrificing During Lent


The 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 sacrifices.

                                                                                                       Selected by Gina Allen, Church Council



February Book

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.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:  GOLDEN FELLOWSHIP 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. 

SUNDAY EDUCATION:  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.

HOLY 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.



Dr. Fosdick on Immortality


The Centennial 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 (p. 93).


    Fosdick 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).


    The worst 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).

Fosdick 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. 82)!



Extended Ministries

2 Charities for February


EXTENDED MINISTRIES 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

Like last 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. 

Also the Sunday School has chosen –

Gospel for Asia

to direct 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 electronic giving!


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 (p. 7).


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 repeating:


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 (p. 22).


A copy of this profoundly unsettling book is in the church library. Bon appétit!

by Pastor Marshall


Psalm 40.16

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 (Acts 13.44).


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).


Week I. 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 rejoice, pray, thanks, test and 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 anything and 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?


Week II. 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 said and 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 stiff-necked and 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.


Week III. 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 desperately corrupt. 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 when, war and captive. How stuck do you feel? How serious is this?


Week IV. Read Psalm 40.16 one last time noting again the word continually. Why 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 hope and 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?



The Presentation

of Our Lord

On Tuesday, February 5th we celebrate 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 ministry.  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 prophecy.

The Transfiguration

of Our Lord

The Last Sunday in Epiphany, Sunday, February 10th, is the Transfiguration of Our Lord when we behold the splendor of Christ surrounded by the Glory of God.  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 job.

Study Luke 9:28-36 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 to him!”



Remember in prayer before God those whom He has made your

brothers and 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. 

   Pray for the shut-ins that the light of Christ may give them joy:  Clara 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.

 A Treasury of Prayers


O Lord, 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 pray. Amen.


                                                    [For All the Saints (ALPB, 1994-1996) 4 vols., 3:1278, altered]