The Spirit of Christ
Sin, Righteousness & Judgment
Sunday, May 27th, we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit and
the birth of the church. In John 16:8-11, Jesus tells us what
his Spirit comes to do. It’s worth memorizing:
When the Spirit comes, he will convince the world concerning sin
and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin,  because they
do not believe in me; concerning righteousness,  because I go
to the Father, and you will see me no more; concerning judgment,
 because the ruler of this world is judged.
So what we are to learn by the power of the Spirit and then
teach to the world is:
 that all must believe in Jesus to be saved (John
3:16),  that Jesus is more than a man but also one
with God (John 10:30), and  that this world is all
absorbed in evil and will pay for it if there’s no
repentance (John 8:44). None of these points can be
learned and taught without the Spirit dwelling in us.
And that’s because, on our own, we love the darkness
rather than the light (John 3:19). But with Christ’s
Spirit in us, we’ll have power to become children of God
(John 1:12). Alleluia!
by Matthew Kahn
One of my
favorite pieces of art of all time is the Isenheim Altarpiece.
Painted in the early years of the 1500s it is considered to be
the greatest German work of the northern renaissance. The
visceral images overwhelm the viewer.
The most famous panel is the image of a mangled Christ
upon a hastily constructed cross. His body bruised and broken,
the over lengthened arms outstretched to grotesque hands frozen
in agony from the piercing nails.
It is a painting that is a far cry from the stoic Savior
that we see most often. The choice of a sedate Jesus is
understandable as people want to forget what Christ had to go
through for our sake. We need to forget what hours of torture
can do to the human body.
artist Matthias Grunewald painted the panels for the altarpiece
for the Monastery of St. Anthony that specialized in healing. It
was in this setting of a hospital that Grunewald wanted to show
that Christ suffered too.
Yet with this empathetic version of Christ in human form
we must not forget what He said to the lamenting women just
prior to His death in Luke 23:28, “But Jesus turning unto them
said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for
yourselves, and for your children”.
Especially here in
Easter, to me the images invokes thoughts, that yes the body can
be broken. It can be pierced as it once was. The body can die
but the Spirit is eternal. God raised Christ from the dead
and has promised us eternal life without further bodily pain or
suffering. Even though Christ suffered mightily, even though we
suffer our sins today there is His promise of joy and salvation.
We are able to spread this message of hope and redemption
with His blessing of great parishioners and staff.
I pray that He will continue to bless us. So far this
year we have been able to continue to keep costs below
estimates. We budgeted $17,962 for Total General
Operating Expenses so far this year and have only spent
$16,433 as of the beginning of April. We budgeted
$61,631 in Total Expenses but only spent $58,731 so far
this year. This is great work by our wonderful staff in
keeping expenses low however we budgeted $60,126 for
Total General Budget Receipts but only received $55,935.
This Four Thousand dollar short fall in giving has not
had a major impact thus far. That may change. An
inauspicious omen is the checking account balance. At
the end of February it was $1,985
─ by the end of March is had dwindled down to a
Even though Christ was pierced, and suffered, may we
hold on to the lines of the acclamations and knowledge
that; Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will
OF OUR LORD
This great feast of the Easter Season, the Ascension of Our
Lord, follows Easter by 40 days.
On Thursday, May
the Holy Eucharist will be celebrated at 11:45 am in the chapel.
Study Luke 24:50:
he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he
blessed them. While
he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up
The Holy Visitation
Holy Eucharist will be celebrated on the Feast of the Holy
Visitation, Thursday, May
in the Chapel at 11:45 am.
On this day we thank God for the blessed words between
Saint Mary and Saint Elizabeth.
We also thank him for the honor paid Saint Mary by the
still unborn Saint John the Baptist, when he moved in the womb
of his mother, Saint Elizabeth.
On this day the collect is:
Almighty God, in choosing the virgin Mary to be the
mother of your Son, you made known your gracious regard
for the poor and lowly and the despised.
Grant us grace to receive your Word in humility, and so
to be made one with your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who
lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,
now and forever.
In preparation for this festival, pray this prayer and study
Luke 1:39-47 and Isaiah 11:1-5
at the 10:30 am Holy Eucharist, we will celebrate Pentecost.
This day celebrates the "outpouring of the Spirit" and
the birth of the Church, according to the chronology and
theology of the book of Acts of the Apostles.
Mind: Readings in Contemporary Theology
3-5 pm in the Church Lounge, Saturday,
The book for May is
Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain
Science & the Biology of Belief (2002) by Newberg & D’Aquili & Rause.
The thesis argued for in this book – as expressed in the title – “does
not mean that it is neurologically ‘abnormal’ to be indifferent to
religion, or that the claims of any specific religion are necessarily
true. It only means that humans have a genetically inherited talent for
entering unitary states, and that many of us interpret these states as
the presence of a higher spiritual power” (p. 140). These unitary states
occur when the brain is inclined “to adjust its cognitive and emotional
perceptions of the self … as a closing of the distance between the self
and God” (p. 81). Therefore the authors conclude that “natural selection
[favors] a brain equipped with the neurological machinery that makes
religious behavior more likely,” and that “the strong survival
advantages of religious belief make it very likely that evolution would
enhance the neurological wiring that makes transcendence possible” (p.
A copy of this
important book on the biological basis for belief in God 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 whether
or not our biological functions help or hinder one’s belief in God.
suggested donation for May is
hygiene products like bar soap, tooth brushes and paste.
luncheon is scheduled for Tuesday, May 22nd at noon, in the
parish hall. Sign up on the list that’s posted in the lounge.
On Friday, May 11th Miyabi Elsa Schorn will be baptized
at a 7 pm liturgy in the Nave.
On Sunday, May 20th at the 10:30 am liturgy
Hannah and Seth
Weyer will be baptized.
WEST SEATTLE HELPLINE’S “Taste
of West Seattle”,
Thursday, May 17th at the Hall at Fauntleroy, 9131 California
Ave. SW, from 6-8:30 pm.
Tickets $40/Advance - $45/Door can be purchased from the
June 3rd we will have the Affirmation of Baptism for Soren
Sagmoen and Kyra Stromberg.
A reception will follow the liturgy in the parish hall.
– 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
12:16-21, Jesus tells the parable of the rich fool.
God blesses the man with a plentiful harvest and instead
of putting the bounty to use in his community, the man builds
bigger barns. His
plans to live a life of ease off his windfall don’t go well for
In verse 20
God curtails the man’s plans:
This night your soul is required of you; and the things
that you have prepared, whose will they be?
So is he who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich
parable and other teachings, Jesus warns us about the proper use
of our wealth. We
are not to regard our wealth as strictly ours, but use it in a
way to benefit others.
Give money to the church to help it continue in its
proclamation of the Gospel.
Give to charitable organizations locally and abroad that
are doing good things to help those in need.
Give to educational organizations so they can fulfill
their mission. Let
us all prayerfully work towards being good stewards of the
things we have been given with an attitude that is rich towards
God, and hopefully avoid ever bigger barns and foolish ends.
Peter Douglass, Church Council
Year to date (Jan-Mar)
A Forgotten But Powerful Voice:
Dr. Kent S. Knutson,
By Pastor Marshall
passage that I want us to reflect on together from Dr. Knutson’s
The Shape of the
Question: The Mission of the Church in a Secular Age (1972)
has to do with the nature of the church:
This phrase, soma tou Christou, the body of Christ, admits of
many interpretations, but it surely means without question that
the church belongs to Jesus Christ. We have here the great
integrating idea in the diversity
[that makes up the many and various members within the church].
The body of Christ
expresses both the intimacy of the union of the church with
Christ and the distinction of the church
Christ. Christ is its life. He works in the church. In him, the
church coheres and has her being. The church is subject to him
in every way, participates in him, loves him, obeys him, and
thus finds and exercises the freedom he bestows. This also means
an intimate unity of the members that binds them together, gives
them an integrity and essential role in being themselves as well
as being his. Life in the church is the same as life taken up in
Christ which involves personal encounter and participation in
the hope of the fulfillment that is to come (p. 99).
The key ideas here have to do with the church being subject to
Christ, obeying him and being distinct from him. This means in
large part that the church is forever trying to measure up to
its Lord. It means that the church always falls behind Christ
and is less than him. It means that the church must always be
striving to be more than a human association of like-minded
individuals but instead gather together as disciples of Jesus.
May we ever push forward to attain this goal – and nothing more
or nothing less.
Extended Ministries Committee Announcement…..At
this writing, during the months of March and April, we have
collected almost 700 items for the Food Bank!
Remember to keep it up.
Hunger in West Seattle is ongoing, so our support needs to be
regular and consistent.
Also a huge THANK YOU!!! to everyone who donated to the Lutheran
World Relief Health Kits project.
Almost $200 was donated as well as bath towels and soap,
combs, toothbrushes, and nail clippers.
GOSPEL FOR ASIA….Who
Are They??? What Do They Do??? How Can We Help???
Annually we as a congregation pledge $200 toward the support of
the Maxam family, Ron and Chris and their 2 daughters, Lauren
and Claire. Ron
Maxim provides computer support for the Gospel for Asia
ministry. A number
of years ago, they felt the call of the Lord to volunteer their
lives to this ministry.
In order to do this, they needed to secure sponsors to
help with their living expenses of $3,500 a month, and move to
Texas. You may
remember that they visited First Lutheran Church in January of
2008 and presented information both about what they would be
doing and the bigger picture of what Gospel for Asia does.
Asia was founded by K.P. Yohannan, who is a native of India.
When he was 16 years old he felt called to serve the Lord
in North India.
While he came to the US in 1974 for theological studies and
served a church here for 4 years, he had a heart for the
thousands in Asia who have not had the opportunity to know the
Lord Jesus Christ and His love for them.
Gospel for Asia was the result.
to a ministry that supports national workers and congregations
in South Asia, the Gospel for Asia Bridge of Hope program cares
for tens of thousands of children, helping them break out of
generations of poverty and hopelessness.
Revolution in World Missions, was a bestseller, and has
changed the course of mission history.
To read more about the work of Gospel for Asia check out
their web site,
There you will find many details about their work, bios
of some of the missionaries, and news releases about persecution
of their workers and our fellow Christians who live on the other
side of the world.
For the months of May
and June, the extended ministries committee will be focusing on
the important work that Gospel for Asia provides to South Asia.
Please pray about making a monetary contribution to this
Depending on how much money is donated, we will choose an item
or items needed (a catalogue is provided by Gospel for Asia with
items and costs listed), and make a special donation to this
thank you to
those who have helped brighten things up around the building.
Chuck and Doris for adding the primroses to the courtyard
gardens and Elmer Wittman for putting up the new picture hangers
in the Nursery.
Monthly Home Bible Study, May 2012, Number 231
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 Colossians 2.19
noting the two words Head
and body. Which is
which? On this read Ephesians 1.20-23 noting the words
body. Why is this
image of the human body used to describe the relationship
between Christ and his church? On this read 1 Corinthians
12.12-31 noting the words
all. Why are we told
that it is God who arranged, composed, appointed and chose who
will receive which gifts in church? It is to resolve any discord
that these unequal assignments might bring. And how does this
discord come about? Well, out of jealousy, when one person wants
what another has. Is there any other reasons given for putting
an end to this trouble besides knowing that God established the
differences? Yes, it’s the claim that all members belong to the
church regardless of their gifts, that everyone is
indispensable, and that all gifts are needed, even when some of
those gifts appear to be less valuable than others. There are
then four good reasons for putting an end to strife in the
church. Have they done the trick? On this read 1 Corinthians
1.11 noting the word
Read again Colossians
2.19 noting the line not
holding fast. Why is it that there is quarreling and discord
in the church, as 1 Corinthians 1.11 says? Colossians 2.19
implies that it’s because Christians aren’t holding fast to
Christ. But why is that? On this read 1 Corinthians 11.29 noting
the words without,
judgment. Read also 1
Corinthians 12.3 noting the line
cursed. And in
addition read 1 Corinthians 13.1-4 noting the three lines
I am a noisy gong,
I am nothing, and
I gain nothing. Along
with these verses, read 1 Corinthians 1.18 noting the line
those who are perishing;
and 2.13 noting the line
those who possess the Spirit; and 3.19 noting the line
the wisdom of this world
is folly with God; and 4.7 noting the line
why do you boast as if it
were not a gift; and 5.1-6 noting the words
boasting; and 6.5
noting the word shame;
and 7.28 noting the phrase
worldly troubles; and
8.7 noting the line
hitherto accustomed to idols; and 10.21 noting the category
the table of demons.
Do all of these verses show how we can lose our hold of Christ?
What other verses might makes significant additions to these? On
this read 1 Thessalonians 5.14-22 noting the words
Reread Colossians 2.19
noting this time the word
growth. Why is growth important? On this read 1 Peter 2.2-3
noting the words babes,
tasted. Does this
mean that our faith doesn’t come fully developed? If so, how
does it develop? On this read Matthew 13.1-23 noting the words
choke. How do these
hardships help our faith grow? On this read Romans 5.3-5 noting
the words endurance
and character. Why is
this needed? On this read Colossians 2.24 noting the words
church. How does this
verse spell out this growth?
Read Colossians 2.19 one
last time noting the line
growth that is from God.
When is this growth from God? On this read Isaiah 30.9-11
noting the words
leave. What does this
tell us about blind pathways? On this read Matthew 7.13-14
noting the contrast between
few. Does this mean
that large numerical growth doesn’t automatically add up to
growth from God? On this read Luke 12.32 noting the words
pleasure. Read also
Matthew 18.20 noting the words
gathered. Why does
God like smaller numbers? On this read 2 Corinthians 13.5 noting
the words examine and
test. Is this a
one-on-one process? Does in fly in the face of crowds? Does this
explain the difficult line,
few are chosen, in
Matthew 22.14? If so, how so?
Remember in prayer before God those whom He has made your
brothers and sisters through baptism.
Mona Ayer, Gregg Lyon, Cynthia Natiello, Connor Bisticas, Dorothy Ryder,
Richard Hard, Agnes Arkle, Clara Anderson, Teri Korsmo, Bob Baker, Peggy
Wright, Bob & Barbara Schorn, Margaret Hard, Rolf Sponheim, David & Kay
Thoreson, Rosita & Jim Moe, Frank Rowlands, Joyce Baker, Chris & Margeen
Bowyer, Jim Cunningham, Tabitha
Anderson, Linda Anderson, Dick Leidholm, Rick Collins, Ranaan Taylor, Valerie Blakeslee, Hal
Shakerley, Lori McConnell, Gwen Lyon, Susan Lyon, Lee Neuman, Peggy Vrem,
Steven Coy, Jill Jeffry, Evon Rainey, Amy Tabor.
the shut-ins that the light of Christ may give them joy:
Clara Anderson, Agnes Arkle, C. J. Christian, Vera Gunnarson, Pat
Hansen, Margaret Hard, Lillian Schneider, Crystal Tudor, Vivian Wheeler.
Pray for our new member from April that he may all the more rejoice in
Christ and serve him with diligence:
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
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
the hungry, ignored, abused, and homeless this May.
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.
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.
that God will bless you through the lives of the saints: St. Philip and
St. James, Apostles; Monica, mother of Augustine, 387; and John Eliot,
missionary to the American Indians, 1690.
A Treasury of Prayers
O Lord God,
who on the Day of Holy Pentecost, richly visited the hearts of
your faithful people, pour that same Spirit on my dry and
famished heart. Refresh your heritage within me. Enkindle me
with the fire of your benign fervor and burn out all internal
vileness. And, O gentle wind, cool my heart when in fiery trials
and protect me in the day of trouble. In Jesus’ name I pray.
[For All the Saints (ALPB,