March 2013


Being Raised From the Dead


Getting the Point of 1 Corinthians 15:50


March 31 is the day that we celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ – Easter Day. It is a day of great jubilation, for on this day our suffering, crucified Lord is exalted beyond the darkness of the grave, and we also are given the hope of everlasting life with him in heaven. Alleluia!

    But none of this happens easily or naturally. It is not automatic that all who live and die go on to heaven when they die. That is because 1 Corinthians 15:50 says that the perishable cannot inherit the imperishable. If it could, we would then all pass on easily and automatically to the imperishability of heaven upon perishing or dying here on earth.

    What does this mean for us? According to John 5:28-29 we’re told not “to marvel at this; for”

the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear Christ’s voice and come forth, those who have done good [sheep], to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil [goats], to the resurrection of judgment. (Mt 25:32).

    So the next life comes about by the voice of Christ calling us from our graves – and not automatically on the heels of every person’s death. Once that happens there is a judgment or sorting out of the saved from the damned –


each going to their respective places. The differentiating factor is belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior (John 3:16; Romans 10:10-13). So pray that God will send you the Holy Spirit to bless you with faith in Jesus Christ – that heaven may belong to you as well when you die. Amen. 


   Pastor Marshall


President’s Report… by Larraine King


Strengthen for service, Lord, the hands that holy things have taken;

And let the ears that heard your Word, to falsehood never waken.


Those words from Hymn #218 sum up our role as members of the body of Christ.  We have responsibilities as members of Christ’s church.  I like to look at the two parts of the word; what is my response to my Lord’s abilities?  What is our commitment to love and serve in response to what our Lord has done for us?  You may think that you haven’t much to offer, that you haven’t the time or the resources,  that you are not qualified….the reasons we can’t help, seem to be endless and to never go away.  But as St. Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”   Let us pray daily to be strengthened for service.  Ask God how you can help, then follow through and do it.  We will all be blessed as each of us commits to follow our Lord’s example.  He commanded us to show our love for Him through obedience to Him.  In future issues of The Messenger we will be exploring ways we can be of service to our church – the responsibilities of church membership.  Stay tuned.


     I want to thank all of the outgoing council members for their years of service:  Matthew Kahn, Mariann Petersen, Kylene Ross,  Aspasia Vassilatos, and Gina Allen.  And welcome to the council Earl Nelson (who is moving from council member to vice president),  Gina Allen (who is moving from council member to taking on the job of secretary), Kari Ceaicovschi, Evelyn Coy, Maxine Foss, and Ali Richardson.  Thank you for your willingness to serve. 


     We are happy to report that we made budget for the month of January.  Typically in the first few months of the new year, giving is down and we often fall behind our budget projections.  Great way to begin, but in order for us to finish strong, we need to keep our giving consistent. 


     And remember to bring  your donations for the West Seattle Food Bank each time you come to worship during Lent.  It can be a way to show the fruit of our fasting, as well as remember that there are many in our community that do not have enough food to eat.  We are so blessed with many “riches.”  What a joy to share with others!



Stewardship                                                 Budget                     Received

            Month (January)                               $18,398                    $18,932

            Year to date (Jan-Dec)                     $18,398                    $18,932





Being Attentive Stewards


As we are getting further into the New Year, I’d like to request that we all keep the church’s financial health in mind.  Consciously making the decision to tithe (to give a portion of what you receive on a regular basis) helps to make our giving more consistent.  I would encourage everyone to work toward tithing to the church.


     Tithing is frequently mentioned in scriptures (Genesis 28:20-22, Leviticus 27:30, Deuteronomy 14:22, Malachi 3:8-10) and serves many purposes.  Here are just a few reasons to give and work towards a full tithe:


1)      Spiritual discipline – giving away a portion of our resources reminds us that God is our provider; all we have is a blessing from Him and we need to put our trust in Him.

2)      Financial discipline – making a commitment to give away part of what you receive may cause you to more closely monitor how you spend your money and improve your stewardship in all things.

3)      Maintenance and care for our facilities – we have a beautiful facility, and beside general expenses for day-to-day operation, there are many maintenance costs (some that may be hidden from view) but are necessary to keep the facility in a state of proper repair.  

4)      Source of livelihood for our staff – we have a tremendously talented and hardworking staff who deserve more than we are able to compensate them.  At a minimum, we need to meet our commitments for their compensation.  

5)      Providing support for those in need – through our Extended Ministries programs, we support efforts to aid those in need in our community and abroad.  

6)      Thanksgiving – we have much to be thankful for at FLCWS.  The quality of the worship service, the preaching, the music, the teaching, and the fellowship all work together to keep our hearts in the right place – giving thanks for the promise of mercy that we have inherited through our faith in Jesus Christ. 


Please prayerfully consider all these things when planning your giving now and throughout the year. 


“O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good and his mercy endures forever.”

Psalm 106:1


Peter Douglass, Church Council


March Book

With the Mind:  Readings in Contemporary Theology

3-5 pm in the Church Lounge, Saturday, March 23rd.


The book for March is Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (2004), by Michael Lewis. This is the story of how a losing National League Baseball team – the Oakland Athletics – became a winning team without spending more money. Lewis compares them to the David and Goliath story (1 Samuel 17:1-54) (p. 298). And there are other Biblical themes explored in this book as well: the problem of judging people fairly (p. 72), how appearances deceive (pp. 117, 281), the value in oddballs (pp. 100, 122), the inadequacy of feelings (pp. 62, 263), the value and limits of reason (pp. 68-69, 78, 83, 87, 98, 112, 243, 274-278, 289), how God influences luck (pp. 123, 231), how money is overvalued (pp. 270, 279) and how the majority can be wrong (pp. 95, 96, 280).

     A copy of Lewis’ 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 the David and Goliath story plays itself out in the strangest of all places – in Major League Baseball!



ANNOUNCEMENTS: GOLDEN FELLOWSHIP:  There will be no luncheon in March.

SCRAPPERS will not meet in March.  Instead they will meet the first and last weeks in April.  Interested?  If you are interested it’s easy; all you need to do is bring a sack lunch and a friend. 

FOOD BANK DONATION suggestions for March are canned meats, chilies and stews. 

2013 FLOWER CHART could use a few more families to sign up for Easter Flowers.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS West Seattle Food Bank Instruments of Change benefit & social hour: live music, guest speaker, dinner, and a dessert auction at the Hall of Fauntleroy. Friday, May 3, 2013, 6-9 pm.  Also West Seattle Helpline 8th Annual Taste of West Seattle on May 16th, tickets will be available in the office.

WEB PAGE ADDRESS:    Log on to see what is new.

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.

WEST SEATTLE RECYCLING buys your recyclables of aluminum cans and newspapers and sends the church a 10% bonus check a couple of times a year.  Pastor Marshall is willing to take donations if left in his carport.  Also #6 Styrofoam can now be recycled (the kind that snaps when broken).  Please put cans and Styrofoam donations in bags before leaving at the back of the parsonage carport – newspapers must be tied.


Extended Ministries


Growing up my family brought can goods to church service every Sunday. After the formal offering of monetary gifts and tithes, the priest would ask all the children in the congregation to come forward with their offerings of non-perishable food to be given to the local food bank. At first I looked at it as an excuse to get rid of the canned peas

with pearl onions and SPAM my dad always insisted on buying; however, as I got older this tradition became a constant reminder about our call to feed the hungry and care for the sick. For many years, I thought that every church had a similar tradition. It wasn’t until I left home that I realized my home congregation was special in that regard.

     Here at FLCWS we are blessed to be part of a congregation that is devoted to our Father’s call to feed His sheep. For many years FLCWS has partnered with the West Seattle Food Bank to bring food to our neighbors in need. Unfortunately, food doesn’t just appear when we ask for it. That puts the privilege of caring for each other squarely on our shoulders.

    During this Lenten season, while we are busy sacrificing in secret all the foods we love, let us also take some time to cultivate a habit of grace and generosity. In an effort to guide the congregation in this endeavor, the Extended Ministries Committee is asking each person to bring a non-perishable item to each service he or she attends. While it may not seem like much, last year our congregation collected 750 non-perishable items. Let us strive to exceed this amount for 2013.

     It has been said that the body does what the heart desires. As we strive to grow closer to our Lord through our Lenten sacrifices, let us also strive to cultivate hearts of flesh that actively and practically seek to help our neighbors.

Ali Richardson, Extended Ministries


Holy Week &

Easter Schedule


Plan to join us for our Holy Week and Easter Festival liturgies, listed below.  Also, note that we will be having our Easter Brunch again this year, on Easter morning, 9 to 10 am, sponsored by the March service team. 


$5 general and $12 for families.

Remember the food bank!  Bring a can or bring a bag.

March 24   Sunday of the Passion

                           8:00 am    Holy Eucharist - Chapel

                           9:00 am    Church School Passion Faire

                         10:30 am    Holy Eucharist – Procession with Palms

                           8:00 pm    Compline

March 25   Monday in Holy Week: Jesus’ Cleansing

                             of the Temple

                         11:45 am    Holy Eucharist - Chapel

                           7:00 pm    Vespers

                                            The Great Litany - Chapel

March 26   Tuesday in Holy Week: Anointing Jesus for Burial

                         11:45 am    Holy Eucharist - Chapel

                           7:00 pm    Vespers

                                            The Great Litany - Chapel

March 27   Wednesday in Holy Week: The Betrayal of Jesus by Judas

                           9:30 am    Matins - Chapel

                         11:45 am    Holy Eucharist - Chapel

                           7:00 pm    Vespers

                                            The Great Litany - Chapel

March 28   Maundy Thursday: The Last Supper

                         11:45 am    Holy Eucharist - Chapel

                           7:00 pm    Solemn Eucharist

                                            Stripping of the Altar

March 29   Good Friday: The Crucifixion of Our Lord

                         11:45 am    Holy Eucharist - Chapel

                                               (Reserved Sacrament)

                           7:00 pm    Office of Tenebrae

                                            A Liturgy of Lessons, Hymns and Prayers

                                               (Reserved Sacrament)

March 30   Holy Saturday: The Burial of Our Lord

                         11:45 am    Liturgy of the Burial - Chapel

                    Easter Vigil

                           7:00 pm    Liturgy of Light, Readings, Baptism

                                            and Holy Eucharist

March 31   The Resurrection of Our Lord – Easter

                      9:00 to 10:00 am Easter Brunch in the parish hall.

                    10:30 am     Festival Eucharist

                      8:00 pm     Compline



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). This month I end my three month study of his defense.

      In the last section of his book on the reality of life after death, Dr. Fosdick moves beyond the mere possibility of eternal life to a surer footing – a “confident faith” in immortality itself (p. 141). He does this even while knowing that some are already driven by their strong desire for life eternal, to “leap out in confident affirmation” that the sheer possibility of immortality makes it true – once we’ve seen that the arguments against it are inconclusive (p. 94).

      He builds up this confidence on the basis of three factors – which form a reductio ad absurdum est argument for immortality (p. 105). Regarding the first two, he writes:


Whether one starts … from the scientific affirmation that the universe is reasonable or from the religious faith that the universe is friendly, he comes inevitably to the conviction that death does not end all (p. 126).


    If one questions the second point because of the tragedies tormenting us in this world, Fosdick advises patience until some future “arbitrament” when this sorry appearance will be “explicable” (p. 123). And regarding the first point about the reasonableness of the natural order, the scientific findings regarding the “conservation of energy,” nicely reach out to a “personal permanence

essential to the reasonableness of human life.” For indeed, “nothing ever is finished anywhere.” Therefore it would be an “unforgiveable cheat,” leveled against us by the universe, to open “to us the endless possibility of knowing, only to refuse us its fruition” (pp. 107, 114, 112-113, 109).

     Finally – and this is his third point – the greatest people of every generation, “the most elevated and far-seeing spirits of the race,” have believed in immortality. While their authoritative witness is not based on any “dictatorial dogmatism,” we still “stand upon the slope and cry to [them] upon the summit, that with their wider vision they [might show] us the real truth of life” (pp. 132, 128, 130).

     With this confidence in place we don’t have to wait until the end to enjoy the wonders of heaven. That’s because the “truth of immortality makes [for] great living [right now].” For the “man who lives as though he were immortal lives in a universe where the highest spiritual values are permanent; … and where, in all public-minded devotion to moral causes on earth, we are not digging artificial lakes to be filled by our own buckets, in hopeless contest with an alien universe, but rather building channels down which the eternal spiritual purpose of the living God shall flow to its far-off divine event” (pp. 138)!


Romans 16.18

Monthly Home Bible Study, March 2013, Number 241

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 Romans 16.18 noting the words fair and flattering. If these words mean sweet and well-chosen, why would such words be used in the first place? On this read Romans 16.18 again noting the word deceive. What motivates this deception? On this read Romans 7.11 noting the words sin and killed. Why all of this drama? On this read 1 Peter 5.8 noting the words adversary, prowls, roaring and devour. Why is the devil so hell-bent on attacking us? On this read John 8.36, Galatians 5.1 and 2 Corinthians 3.17 noting the word freedom. Why does the devil hate this freedom? On this read Hebrews 2.15 noting the phrase lifelong bondage. How does this oppression serve his interests? On this read John 8.44 noting the words lies and liar. What truth is it that the devil wants to keep from us? On this read Luke 4.8 noting the line him only shall you serve. Where is the benefit in this? On this read Romans 6.22 noting how being slaves of God leads to eternal life. Now is that a fair trade-off? If so, how so? Wouldn’t you rather be free now, as Romans 6.20 puts it? Explain yourself!

Week II. Read again Romans 16.18 noting this time the word deceive. Why can’t we see through these deceptive ploys? On this read John 3.19 noting the line men loved darkness. Why don’t we naturally go for the light? Read again John 3.19 noting the line because their deeds were evil. How is that a reason for loving the darkness? On this read Ephesians 5.11-13 noting the words works, darkness, expose, shame and secret. What do these verses tell us about ourselves? On this read John 8.44 noting the words father, devil and desires. Does that verse explain our waywardness – loving darkness and all the rest? But what about God? Doesn’t Matthew 6.9 say that he’s our father – and not the devil? On this read 2 Corinthians 4.4 noting the words god, world, blinded and unbelievers. Does this mean there’s a tug-of-war going on between two fathers? On this read Romans 7.21-23 noting the words evil, close, war and captive. Where does that leave us? On this read Ephesians 6.11 noting the words on, whole, able and wiles. Is that enough? How so?

Week III. Reread Romans 16.18 noting the word simple-minded. What’s wrong with simple-mindedness? On this read Ephesians 4.11-14 noting the words equip, building, mature, children, tossed cunning and deceitful. What makes children so vulnerable? On this read 1 John 4.1 noting the words believe, every, test and false. Is being too ready to believe – being gullible – a severe problem? On this read 1 Corinthians 13.7 noting the line love… believes all things. How then can we reign in love? On this read John 15.12 noting the line as I have loved you, with John 2.24-25 noting the words but, trust, all and in. How jaded is that? Was Jesus gullible? Hardly! What should we then do? On this read Colossians 1.28 noting the words proclaim, warning, teaching, present and mature. Read also Hebrews 5.14 on maturity and solid food. What would this solid food be? On this read Matthew 13.21 noting the risks involved in tribulation and persecution. Contrast this with the joy over sufferings expressed in Romans 5.3-5. Is that the formula we’re seeking for spiritual maturity – having the ability to weather existential storms? If so, how does that help?

Week IV. Read Romans 16.18 one last time noting the word hearts. What does the heart stand for? On this read Luke 8.15 noting the words honest and fruit. If this has to do with faithful productivity, how are such hearts acquired? On this read Ezekiel 11.19-20 noting the words give, put, take, walk, keep and obey. Why must God do this for us? On this read John 15.5 noting the words vine, branches, apart and nothing. Read also Jeremiah 18.2-6 noting the words reworked, seemed, hand and clay. Why is our role in this process reduced to the point of nothing? Isn’t that odd given the fact that we are the ones involved? On this read Ephesians 2.3 noting the word wrath, and 2 Peter 2.14 noting the word accursed. Does that explain our elimination? If so, why?



The Sacrament of Penance

On the third Saturday of each month, between 3 and 5 pm, the Sacrament of Penance is offered in the Chapel.  This brief liturgy enables people – one at a time – to confess their sin and receive the blessed assurance of forgiveness.

    This liturgy is ancient but largely neglected in recent years in America.  It is similar to the Roman Catholic confessional, but unlike it, in that this liturgy is done face to face with the pastor.  Copies of the liturgy are available in the church office.

    This individual form of confession is more forceful than the general form used during Advent and Lent in the Communion liturgy.  It allows for, but does not require, listing of specific sinful burdens.  It also provides for specific instructions from the pastor for each penitent.  These additional details make for its greater force in our lives. 

    Martin Luther's critique of confession never included the elimination of individual, private confession.  His critique instead only corrected the way it was being done.

    So we continue to honor his words in his Large Catechism:  “If you are a Christian, you should be glad to run more than a hundred miles for confession.” (BC, p. 460).  Plan to come – Saturday, March 16th, 3 to 5 pm in the Chapel.  Blessings await you.   





Remember in prayer before God those whom He has made your

brothers and sisters through baptism.


Tim Allen, Sam Lawson, Cynthia Natiello, Jim Coile, 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, Ron Combs, Ion Ceaicovschi, Dorothy Pinney, Olivia DeCroce, Gretchen Millie, Luke Bowen, June Whitson, Trevor Drake, Carol Long, Don Kahn, Jim and Ruth Shaovaloff, Grant Donnellan & Family, Sharon Cooper, Dano, Karen & W. Erick, Mary Lou Jensen, Annette Grubisich, Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, MN. 

     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 March.  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:  Thomas Aquinas, teacher, 1274; Joseph, guardian of our Lord.

A Treasury of Prayers


Forgive me, Lord, for my faith is blighted with doubts, withered with worry, and tainted with sophistication. Make me childlike without being childish – giving me a simple faith that is willing to trust in you even though I cannot see what is coming ahead. May I lay aside all egotism and conceit so that I can see vanity for what it is – an empty show. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

                                                                                                                                                                  [For All the Saints 1:1060, altered]