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
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!
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
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.
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
great and blessed New Year.
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
Alliance in downtown Seattle.
“Songs of Thankfulness and Praise”
“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
“Grant us grace to see thee, Lord, Present in thy
Grace to imitate thee now, and be pure, as pure art
That we might become like thee, at thy great Epiphany,
And may praise thee, ever blest, God in flesh made
Year to date (Jan-Nov)
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
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!
will not have a luncheon in January.
will meet on Wednesday and Thursday, January 23rd & 24th this
FOOD BANK COLLECTION
suggested donation for January is pasta, noodles and sauces.
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
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 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
will be provided.
SUNDAY ADULT EDUCATION:
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.
Once again it was an impressive event bringing
in close to six thousand dollars for the West Seattle Food Bank
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
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???
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
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 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,
nature. Read also
Hebrews 8.6 noting the words
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
passed. Why does this
old way have to end? On this read Hebrews 2.15 noting the words
bondage. What’s wrong
with this bondage and fear? On this read 2 Timothy 1.6-10 noting
the words rekindle,
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.
Read again Matthew 9.17 noting this time the category
What is this new wine? On this read John 2.10 noting the words
wine. Read also
Matthew 26.27-28 noting the words
blood. If Jesus is
this new wine, what does he represent? On this read 2
Corinthians 3.6 noting the words
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
bitterness. Read also
John 14.2-3 noting the words
also. What is this
house referred to? On this read 1 Corinthians 15.18 noting the
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?
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,
not; Galatians 4.30
noting the words cast,
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
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?
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
faith; and Hebrews
2.1-3 noting the words
drift, away and
salvation; and 2
Corinthians 6.1 noting the words
vain; and Hebrews
10.26 noting the words no
and sacrifice; and 2
Timothy 4.3-4 noting the words
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?
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.
of Our Lord
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."
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
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). 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:
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
Remember in prayer before
God those whom He has made your
brothers and sisters
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.
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,
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
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,
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.
All the Saints
(ALPB, 1994-1996) 4 vols.,