January 2013


Happy Epiphany


Going All the Way to Bethlehem


Christmas ends on Epiphany – January 6, 2013. It’s the time when we remember the wise men from the East, guided by a star, coming to worship Christ and offering him gold, frankincense and myrrh.  

     What is God’s message in this for us? The fact that the strange star could only guide the wise men as far as Jerusalem – but not all the way to Jesus in Bethlehem Matthew 2:5) – shows us, argues Luther, that “it is impossible for one to approach [Christ] by one’s reason, apart from the Word” (Luther’s House Postils, 1:198).  

     So question your misgivings any time you think Christian teachings are off base in some way. Do not follow your line of thought to the end – and then adopt it. That will only get you to Jerusalem – but never to Christ in Bethlehem. You’ll be satisfied that you have made up your own mind – but none of that will bolster your faith in the one true God. It instead will only make you more self-reliant. But then you will lose out (Matthew 16:25).

     This is a difficult teaching – especially for the educated and prosperous. But remember that God has chosen not to teach the wise and understanding (Matthew 11:25). They are the wise men, following their star, at Epiphany. Their breakthrough only came when they heeded the word from Micah instead of the star. May we do the same this Epiphany!

                                                        Pastor Marshall


PRESIDENT'S REPORT....by Matthew Kahn


Merry Christmas!

I hope all of you enjoyed the celebrations of Christ’s birth and the turn of the New Year.  As we embrace the lengthening days and the New Year I wanted to urge everyone to attend the annual congregational meeting on Sunday January 27, 2013, following the 10:30 am service.  This is everyone’s opportunity to help guide our valued parish.  It is important that you attend this year because of the elections of new church officers.  Starting at this meeting we implement changes in the election of new officers. These changes were ratified last year by the congregation.  The biggest change is the switch to two year terms for President and Vice President. I look forward to seeing you at the meeting.

    Through the generosity of the congregation we were able to begin to make up some of our year to date shortfall in giving in the month of November. We saw $22,801.78 in Total General Budget Income as compared to $18,859 that was budgeted. However, I want to temper this figure because our tenant Tilden School pre-paid for December so the income number for November is inflated by $2,300. Giving is still up and I encourage everyone to continue to give though the New Year. Even though we had exceeded our goal for November we were still unable to transfer monies to our major maintenance account for the month. We have not transferred money into the Major Maintenance Reserve account since August. Year to date we are still $4,100 short of our goals.  We had budgeted YTD $218,121 for Total General Budget Receipts but we have only received $214,036.25 to keep our Parish operating. The first of the year is generally a leaner time for giving I pray that this year with a new president we are able to break this trend.

    One of the largest events that we hold at the church is the St. Nicholas Faire. Through this event we have been able to raise thousands of dollars and hundreds of pounds of food to aid the West Seattle Food Bank and the Helpline.  This year’s gala was the largest one yet with record attendance! I want to thank everyone who donated items and their time to this worthwhile project. Especially I wanted to thank Larraine King and the entire King family who spearheaded the event. It is a project 7 months in the making and it could not have happened without their dedication and leadership.  We look forward to surpassing this year’s totals next Advent!

    Have a great and blessed New Year.


Many Thanks

Thank you to those who were able to help with our Compass Center collections in December.  18 pairs of socks, 2 crew sweatshirts, one hooded sweatshirt and sweatpants, 1 hooded jacket and $150 worth of fast food gift cards were donated.  All of these donations were taken to Compass Housing Alliance in downtown Seattle.



“Songs of Thankfulness and Praise”

(Hymn 90)


“Jesus, Lord, to thee we raise…….Anthems be to thee addressed,

God in flesh made manifest.”


We have just enjoyed the beauty and grandeur of Christmas, filled with joy and the sparkle of the holiday…..Now the key is not to forget why we celebrate Christ’s birth and the wonder that brings.  For me spending time with the hymns in our Lutheran Book of Worship is a good way to keep my focus, because they remind and reiterate what the season is all about….Emmanuel, God with us!  I can’t imagine living without our Lord in my life, without access to His Word, without opportunity and freedom to worship and sing His praise.  What a blessing! 

     But what is my response to this amazing gift?  It has to be gratitude and praise.  I need to give back, return thanks, for His awesome gift to me.  And I can do this by my gifts and participation in worship; helping those who don’t have enough─to provide food, shelter, and clothing; and sharing the Gospel message with others. Again Hymn 90 says it best:

                           “Grant us grace to see thee, Lord, Present in thy holy Word;

                              Grace to imitate thee now, and be pure, as pure art thou;

                                That we might become like thee, at thy great Epiphany,

                                  And may praise thee, ever blest, God in flesh made manifest.” 


                                                                                                  Larraine King, Church Council


Stewardship                                               Budget                     Received

                  Month (November)                       $18,859                    $23,052

                  Year to date (Jan-Nov)                 $218,121                  $217, 669


January Book

With the Mind:  Readings in Contemporary Theology

3-5 pm in the Church Lounge, Saturday, January 28th.


The book for January is Who Is Jesus? Disputed Questions and Answers (2011), by Dr. Carl E. Braaten. This book is a handy primer on the major disputed question regarding Jesus today. Today people both inside and outside of the church are saying that “the real Jesus has been lost and needs to be found” by means of independent, historical research, apart from the commitments of faith (p. 3). But Braaten believes in “the Christology of the ancient church, defined by the councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon,” and that Jesus is “now alive and embodied in the church through the means of grace” (p. 2). Nevertheless he also knows that he must assess and counter all the many views that oppose his beliefs. His treatment of these views makes up the eight chapters of this wonderful book.

     A copy of Dr. Braaten’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 the various disputes regarding the Savior of us all, Jesus Christ our Lord.



OFFERING ENVELOPES for 2013 are now available on the office window counter. 

2013 FLOWER CHART is available for sign up.  Sign up early for the best selection!

GOLDEN FELLOWSHIP will not have a luncheon in January.

SCRAPPERS will meet on Wednesday and Thursday, January 23rd & 24th this month. 

FOOD BANK COLLECTION suggested donation for January is pasta, noodles and sauces.

PASTOR MARSHALL’s next Koran Class starts on Thursday, January 10th.  Call the office if you plan to attend.  He has been teaching this 4 week class 4 times a year since 2003.

ANNUAL REPORT for 2012:  Staff, officer and committee reports are now due.  If you have not already submitted your report please get it in to the office as soon as possible.  If you need inspiration, dust off your report from last year, or pick up a copy from the office.

ANNUAL MEETING:  The 2013 Annual Meeting is planned for Sunday, January 27th.  Following the liturgy on that day, voters registration will be set up at the back of the parish hall.  Please bring your favorite dish, salad or dessert to share.  Beverages will be provided. 

SUNDAY ADULT EDUCATION:  Exotic Religious Freedom – Defending Liturgical Animal Sacrifices.  In this short, four week class, we will study a peculiar 1993 US Supreme Court decision on the freedom of religion, known as the Santeria case (Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye , Inc., et al v. City of Hialeah).

OUR THANKS to Larraine King and family for all the work they did to organize and put on the St. Nicholas Faire.  Once again it was an impressive event bringing in close to six thousand dollars for the West Seattle Food Bank and Helpline.


A St. Nicholas Faire




The lights are still aglow, and the garland is still framing the windows and doors of the parish hall, but the joy, and generous and buoyant spirit that filled the room on Sunday, December 2nd, that truly made the St. Nicholas Faire magical, are a distant but vivid memory.  And because of everyone who came and participated by helping, enjoying themselves, and buying selected items, the fourth St. Nicholas Faire was a smashing success!!!  We have netted almost $6,000 to donate to the West Seattle Food Bank and the West Seattle Helpline.  WOW.  That is the best yet!  Plus we collected three shopping carts of food to donate as well. 


     We sure have some great bakers in our midst, as those of you who purchased baked goods know!  Thank you to Maxine Foss, Teri Korsmo, Janine Douglass, Kari Ceaicovschi, Valerie Schorn, Sonja Clemente, Bridget Sagmoen, Gina Allen, Mona Ayer, and Dean Riskedahl.  And what a varied array of goodies you provided!


     Then there were the simply scrumptious appetizers that Matthew and Dana Kahn prepared and served.  What a sumptuous feast!  Add to that, the spiced cider and mulled wine, and everyone was definitely in party mode.  An extra special thank you is given to everyone who helped in the kitchen and at the event, and at the close to put the room back in order – Valerie and Scott Schorn, Lynn Hopson, Dale and Teri Korsmo, Kathrine Young, Jane Harty, Liz Olsen, Bridget Sagmoen, Sonja Clemente, Matthew and Dana Kahn, Gina Allen, Matt and Ali Richardson, Kari Ceaicovschi, Janine Douglass, Pastor Marshall, Janice Lundbeck, Andrew King, Steven Liang, David King, and Richard Marshall.  You all were amazing and extremely efficient.  A special thank you to our “Scrappers” for both creating and donating the lovely quilts. And a final thank you also to everyone who donated items for the baskets, wine for the wine toss, and cider and wine for the beverages.


     Lastly, and most importantly, THANK YOU to everyone who came, invited friends and relatives, and purchased items.  You each helped make the event a success and aided in easing the plight of members of our community who are in need of food and shelter.  Raising money for the Food Bank and Helpline is the reason for the event.  But isn’t it super that we can have such a grand time doing something so wonderful to help others???

                                                                                                                              ─Larraine King



Matthew 9.17

Monthly Home Bible Study, January 2013, Number 239

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 Matthew 9.17 noting the concept of old wineskins. What do these skins stand for? On this read Colossians 3.5-10 noting the words earthly, old and nature. Read also Hebrews 8.6 noting the words ministry, covenant and promises. So the old way of relating to God has come to an end. On this read Romans 10.4 noting the words end and law. Read also 2 Corinthians 5.14-17 noting the words died, live, new, creation, old and passed. Why does this old way have to end? On this read Hebrews 2.15 noting the words fear, death and bondage. What’s wrong with this bondage and fear? On this read 2 Timothy 1.6-10 noting the words rekindle, timidity, power, testifying, calling and life. Read also Matthew 9.37 noting the line the laborers are few. So because there is important testifying that needs to be done, and few there are to do it, we cannot afford to be held back by fear and bondage. Does that persuade you to toss out your old wineskins? Explain your answer.


Week II. Read again Matthew 9.17 noting this time the category new

wine. What is this new wine? On this read John 2.10 noting the words good and wine. Read also Matthew 26.27-28 noting the words cup, drink, my and blood. If Jesus is this new wine, what does he represent? On this read 2 Corinthians 3.6 noting the words new, covenant, code, kills, Spirit and life. What is this life that Jesus brings? On this read John 10.10 noting the word abundant. What makes it so? On this read Hebrews 12.12-15 noting the words strengthen, straight, healed, peace, holiness and bitterness. Read also John 14.2-3 noting the words house, prepare, take and also. What is this house referred to? On this read 1 Corinthians 15.18 noting the words this, life and pitied. Why should we long for this abundant life that is freed from bitterness now, and later glorified in heaven for all of eternity after we die and are raised again? Is it because then we will be able to live for the first time uninhibited by sin? On this read Colossians 1.22! What do you think?


Week III. Reread Matthew 9.17 noting the word burst. Why does the new wine burst the old wineskins? On this read Romans 8.3 noting the words weakened, could and not; Galatians 4.30 noting the words cast, out, not and inherit; Hebrews 8.13 noting the word obsolete; and 2 Corinthians 3.10 noting the word surpasses; and 1 Peter 1.18 noting the word futile; and Acts 13.46 noting the word unworthy. Does this bursting, then, mean that the old covenant is thrown out altogether? On this read Romans 9.4-5 noting the double occurrence of the word belong. Read also Matthew 5.17 noting the words law, not and abolish. So the only point is that if we try to save ourselves for eternity by keeping the law, then the wineskins burst. On this read Galatians 2.16 noting the line by works of the law shall no one be justified. Do you agree? Why or why not?


Week IV. Read Matthew 9.17 one last time noting the word spilled. What does this mean? On this read 1 Timothy 1.19 noting the words shipwreck and faith; and Hebrews 2.1-3 noting the words drift, away and salvation; and 2 Corinthians 6.1 noting the words grace and vain; and Hebrews 10.26 noting the words no and sacrifice; and 2 Timothy 4.3-4 noting the words turn and wander. What then becomes of the new wine that has been spilled? On this read 1 John 5.10-12 noting the line has not life. Read also 2 Corinthians 2.16 noting the two lines the aroma of Christ to God, and a fragrance from death to death; and John 3.36 noting the line the wrath of God rests upon him. How can the good news in Christ Jesus degenerate into death and wrath simply because of our unbelief and disregard? On this read Luke 6.38 noting the play between the words give and get. How does this verse make you feel?



The Epiphany

of Our Lord

On Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Feast of the Epiphany of our Lord will be celebrated at 8:00 in the chapel and 10:30 am in the nave with Holy Eucharist. 

     Only Matthew's Gospel remembers this event.  Celebrate the magi's coming to worship and bring gifts to the Christ child. 



The Baptism

of Our Lord

 First Sunday After the Epiphany

The Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord will be celebrated

Sunday, January 13, 2013.

In Matthew 3:15 Jesus tells John to baptize him in order "to fulfill all righteousness."  Luther teaches: 

Baptism was instituted by God primarily for Christ's sake and then afterwards also for the sake of all men.  For first he must sanctify baptism through his own body and thereby take away the sin, in order that afterwards those who believe him may have the forgiveness of sins (Luther's Works 51:318).



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). He was a very popular east coast, liberal Protestant preacher, and he felt obliged to defend the belief that we live on after we die. His critics, who rejected immortality, believed Christians had not “passed far beyond peevish children who refuse to come in at nightfall after they have played outdoors all day” (p. 4). In the months leading up to Easter, I will discuss portions of Fosdick’s defense in this column.

      Fosdick disagrees that it’s enough to believe that God is eternal and that our lives live on in him after we die. And that’s because humans require “self-conscious separateness” that is lost in such divine absorption (p. 16). He also disagrees with Luther that if there is no life after death, then we wouldn’t be moral either (p. 23). That’s because “sanctions” would still be around even without belief in immortality. But he does agree that without immortality we would be less motivated because of the bleakness of the world:  

The denial of immortality introduces us into a world where men are flesh with a transient spiritual aspect; where there are no permanent elements save the physical forces which build solar systems and destroy them; where earth throws away with utter carelessness its most precious treasures, never resolves to harmony the dissonance of its inequalities and has no way of preserving its moral gains; where no eternal value in personality [motivates] sacrifice for spiritual quality in the individual or furnishes basis for passionate and hopeful service to the race. If life eternal is not true, that is our world (p. 48).



Remember in prayer before God those whom He has made your

brothers and sisters through baptism.

Cynthia Natiello, Evelyn Coy, Luke Douglass, Carmen Malmanger, Connor Bisticas, Agnes Arkle, Clara Anderson, Peggy Wright, Bob & Barbara Schorn, Rosita & Jim Moe, Jim Cunningham, Susan Lyon, Lee Neuman, Amy Tabor, Kelsey Ensey, Cameron Lim, Maureen Baris, Connie Pinter, Chris & Margeen Bowyer, Paul Sampson, Pete Williams & Family, Charles McVee, Al and Robin Berg, Karen Granger, Ron Combs, Ion Ceaicovschi, Dorothy Pinney, Olivia DeCroce, Chad Kluth, Gretchen Millie, Kirsten & Rex Christensen, Luke Bowen, Paul Jensen, June Whitson.

    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, my God, you are the true fount of wisdom and the noble origin of all things. Be pleased to shed on the darkness of mind, in which I was born, the twofold beam of your light and warmth to dispel my ignorance and sin. Instruct my speech and touch my lips with graciousness. Make me keen to understand, quick to learn, and able to remember. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


                                                                                                                          [For All the Saints (ALPB, 1994-1996) 4 vols., I:52, altered]