Celebrating Pentecost Fire
the Good Fight of Faith
We will celebrate
Pentecost on May 19th. This is the third major festival of the
church year – and it mostly goes unnoticed in America. That’s
because it is about fighting the good fight of faith (1 Timothy
6:12) – and we don’t care much for that. God gives us the spirit
of Christ at Pentecost so we can wage this good warfare (1
Timothy 1:18). And when we do, we have to attack ourselves
(Romans 7:24), so that we can give up our own ways and wishes,
deny ourselves (Luke 9:23), and become like Christ (2
So at Christmas we have Santa Claus
and Frosty the Snow Man. And at Easter we have chocolate Easter
Bunnies, bonnets, and candy eggs. But at Pentecost there’s
nothing. What should it be? Fire, we’re told, lighted up the
heads of those at the first Pentecost (Acts 2:3)! Hard to come
up with a domesticated, marketable form of fire!
But that’s what it would have to be! For it is that fire
from God’s word that purges us as we fight the good
fight of faith. It is that fire of the Spirit of God
that pulls us
away from ourselves and into a life with God through
understood this well. “Christ promises to give us a
spirit,” he writes, “who will not only strengthen our
hearts and increase our courage, but will also make our
faith sure, remove all doubt, and enable us to judge all
other spirits” (Luther’s
24:294) – including our sinful selves! Amen.
by Larraine King
As you, Lord, have lived for others,
So may we for others live.
Freely have your gifts been granted;
Freely may your servants give.
So begins verse 2 of Hymn 364, one of the treasures of
prayer and praise in the
Lutheran Book of
God grants us gifts and we in turn share them
That is what we do as members of the body of
work together to support the work of the Church.
And one way we can do this is to serve on the
We can be Council members, or an officer, or even
a non-council member of one of the committees that are
established under our church constitution.
We have all indirectly supported the work of each
of the council committees by giving our tithes, donating
to the Food Bank and Helpline, helping with the Sunday
School, worshiping, and assisting with projects around
However, being a member of the council means we share a
concerned interest in the governing of our church, being
aware of potential issues – positive and negative – and
being willing to serve in a more specific manner.
Take a look at the church constitution to see
what the responsibilities
of the council, officers, and committees entail.
The description of duties may surprise and
Be willing to serve!
For the first quarter of 2013, we have 15 members
who have exceeded their pledged amount by $3,136; 15
members who have met their pledge; and 11 members who
gave $3,406 short of the amount that they pledged.
Comparing the figures with last year, we have
given $3,828 more in the first 3 months of this year
than in 2012.
That being said, it is a concern that a larger
number of members (and a larger dollar amount) are
behind in their giving.
March was a
difficult month. Only
because the 5th Sunday was Easter were we able to meet
our budget and pay our hard working staff.
It is a tough
economy, and extra dollars are in short supply for
Please pray for our stewardship and giving to the
Bring those tithes to the storehouse that the windows of
heaven may be opened to receive a blessing (Malachi
In May and June the Sunday School will be making
a special request of us to contribute our spare change,
or bills, to their
Gospel for Asia
They will have a special offering receptacle in the
try to drop any loose change or bills into it when you
pass the display.
They hope to receive enough to purchase at least
a dozen chickens for families in Asia.
The Bake Sale supporting the West Seattle
Helpline brought in $525 which will be given to help
defray the cost of water bills for their clients in our
job, and I’m sure the goodies were yummy.
Thanks to everyone who baked and bought!
My final, plea…..remember that
hunger is a very
present problem in our community.
When you grocery shop, buy a can of soup or beans
or pasta or vegetables for our neighbors in need to
donate to the Food Bank.
Hunger doesn’t go away just because we forget.
Year to date (Jan-March)
Tithing Our Income
children, we were encouraged to bring others to church.
Many people would not come because of either: 1) They
were afraid they would have to stop doing the things they were
used to doing and change their lifestyle (which they do not want
to change); or 2) The church was always asking for money.
The first reason is true; however, that does not mean it
is bad. In a lot of
cases, life is different and better.
The way the world is today, I often wonder about those
who do not have the Bible and their faith to depend on in these
As to the church always asking for money, it probably seems that
way to outsiders.
What exactly do we do with the money and what does it mean to
give to the church?
Our funds are used to maintain our facilities (utilities,
maintenance, repairs, landscaping), church functions (supplies
for worship and daily activities), outreach to others (extended
ministries) and salaries for those responsible for taking care
of these items. The
outreach not only applies to missionaries overseas that are
names on paper; but it also includes local entities such as the
West Seattle Helpline and the West Seattle Food Bank bringing
the needs closer to home.
Sometimes we need to be reminded that we need to help our
neighbors across the street as well as around the world.
All of our funds are directed toward this goal.
The presence of the church in the community is a reminder to all
that God is among us and he will prevail.
It gives everyone a place to go when they feel all is
lost and they have nowhere else to turn.
Sometimes, our efforts do not show immediate results (in
this instant world) but that does not mean we give up.
The need will always be there and we need to be ready for
the challenge. We
are given the directive to tithe our income toward the work of
the church and it is up to us to do this freely and willingly.
Then the work of the church will proceed locally and
globally and God’s purpose will be served.
Janice Lundbeck, Church Council
the Mind: Readings in Contemporary Theology
3-5 pm in the Church Lounge,
Saturday, May 25th
for May is Who’s In
Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain (2011), by
Michael S. Gazzaniga – based on his Gifford Lectures delivered
in 2009. This astute scientist explains – in as plain a way as
possible – what modern science has discovered about the way our
brains influence our thinking – but in such a way as not to
compromise individual responsibility. This is important for the
Christian proclamation regarding sin, guilt, repentance, faith,
punishment and salvation. “Brains,” Gazzaniga writes, “are
automatic machines following decision pathways,” but not to the
exclusion of individual responsibility. For responsibility is “a
dimension of life that comes from social exchange, and social
exchange requires more than one brain. When more than one brain
interacts, new and unpredictable things begin to emerge,
establishing a new set of rules” – based on responsibility and
freedom. But they are “not found in the brain,” Gazzaniga
writes. “Responsibility and freedom are found… in the space
between brains” (pp. 136-37).
A copy of Gazzaniga’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
our freedom and responsibility, sin and salvation, can be
maintained in a scientific age.
There will be no luncheon in May.
FOOD BANK suggested
donation for May is bar soap.
will meet on Wednesday and Thursday, May 22nd & 23rd this month.
SUMMER HYMN SCHOOL
is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday through Friday, June 19th
-21st. Mark your
calendars and watch for updates.
Alliance needs bath
towels. Every year
they go through hundreds of towels at their facilities,
especially in the Pioneer Square Hygiene Center, where 150
people get a free shower every day.
Donations can be left at the office.
WEST SEATTLE HELPLINE’S “Taste
of West Seattle”,
Thursday, May 16th at the Hall at Fauntleroy, 9131 California
Ave. SW, from 6-8:30 pm.
Tickets can be purchased online, if you order early there is a
for summer. With
vacations and busy schedules it’s easy to forget the Altar
Flowers. If you
wanted to sign up and haven’t had the chance, now would be a
good time to see what is available.
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
Our Extended Ministries have been working with Gospel for Asia (GFA)
for a number of years now as a result of a relationship that
developed with the Ron Maxim family, who felt called to serve
this ministry full time.
GFA was founded by K.P. Yohannan, who grew up in India, and was
inspired as a young man to devote his life to sharing the Gospel
with the unreached in South Asia.
GFA is a missions organization dedicated to reaching the
many people in what is known as the 10/40 Window of south Asia.
The use of national missionaries in this area enables
easier and better relationships to develop, because they speak
the same language and are part of the local culture.
They are working in over 10 Asian countries and
definitely need financial support to help with the enormous task
of ministering to over 3 billion people.
To read more about their work check out their website at
We have a number of Yohannan’s books in our Library, the newest
of which is “No Longer a Slumdog” which deals with their efforts
to rescue children from the slavery of begging and being used by
adults for despicable trade.
At its printing in 2011, over 60,000 children in Asia had
been rescued and enrolled in a GFA Bridge of Hope center.
But in India alone, there are still over 50 million
children, as young as 4, who labor all day for a mere 10-15
cents a day.
So we can help in a small way by contributing to GFA.
The Sunday School has taken this project on for their
offering and wants us to help by dropping our loose change, and
bills, into the decorated canister in the lounge.
They hope to raise enough money to buy at least a dozen
chickens for some GFA families.
Jesus commands us to help the least among us.
We will not make it “all right” for every child in Asia,
but we will be able to help a few.
And everything starts with a beginning.
To not help, means we can’t even start.
But beginning to help is the key.
In “Love In a Fearful Land”
Henri Nouwen says, “…(t)here always remains a sense of
hardly touching the roots of the problems, of never having the
time (or money) to do the job well.”
But if we do nothing, that is exactly what gets done.
let’s begin and change the zero to something.
─Larraine King for Extended Ministries
Sunday school students have chosen to support Gospel for Asia
with their weekly offering.
Their offering will be used to purchase chicks for
families in need in south Asia.
They have learned that for the people of Asia, a pair of
chickens can create a steady income.
Chicken eggs provide food for the family and the extras
can be sold at the market.
Chickens also make more chickens, which provides for a
family for years.
At only $11 a pair, chickens are an easy way to impact a
family in an amazing way.
So the Sunday school students have started their
campaign to raise money to buy chickens!
They would greatly appreciate your support.
Look for the bulletin board display and donation
can in the church lobby.
Please contribute money into the can or donate in
the offering plate.
Checks can be made out to First Lutheran Church,
just indicate “Gospel for Asia” on the memo line.
The kids are very ambitious!
If they exceed their goal of 20 pairs of
chickens, they might even be able to purchase a goat, a
pig, or even a camel!
The students are learning that providing a gift
of animals, they are offering a very tangible expression
of Christ’s love.
The students would greatly appreciate your
Hearing Martin Luther’s Sermons
By Pastor Marshall
our Midweek Eucharist and Vespers on Wednesdays, during
the season of Easter, I include selections each week
from Luther’s Easter sermons. In these sermons there is
much to enrich our celebration of Easter, so that the
great fifty days of the season become a time of faith
If you are unable to attend on Wednesdays, but
would still like to read over these selections, a
collection of them is available on the window ledge by
the church office.
We have LOTS of new books to choose from in the Library.
There are 2 new titles from Frank Peretti – “Monster” and
“The Visitation” both spellbinding and unexpected stories.
A new title by Phillip Gulley, “Front Porch Tales,” an
anthology of essays about his life experiences.
Books by Joyce Meyer, Elisabeth Elliot, Alice Walker, and
Amy Tan. An
anthology of memoirs from 20th century women, “Cups of Comfort”
stories, books on “Personal Safety Nets” and “Happy to 102,” and
a number of books on the middle east.
And this is the just the beginning!
We also have a docudrama about the birth of the King
James Bible. Plus
over 20 new books and videos, including National Geographic
titles, “The Jewel Fish of Karnak” by Graeme Base, “Violet Comes
to Stay” by Jan Karon, a delightful book about a charming cat,
“Dinosaur Discovery” among others
The DVDs include “The Apple Dumpling Gang” and “The Apple
Dumpling Gang Rides Again,” hilarious comedies set in an old
west town, “Johnny Tremain,” a story based on the Freedom
Fighters of Boston during the American Revolution, and “The
So please come in and browse.
THE DAY OF PENTECOST
On Sunday, May 19th 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.
THE HOLY TRINITY
On Sunday, May 26th we will honor the
doctrine of the Holy Trinity.
On this day we will confess that our God is named
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
This is Christ's command in Matthew 28:19 when he says to
us: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
Spirit." It is this
name that our faith requires us to adore – for God is in this
THE HOLY VISITATION
Holy Eucharist will be celebrated on the Feast of the
Holy Visitation, Friday, May 31st, in the chapel at 11:45 am.
On this holy day we give thanks to
God for the blessed words between Saint Mary and Saint
Elizabeth. We also
give thanks for the honor paid Saint Mary by the still unborn
Saint John the Baptist, when he moved in the womb of his mother,
To prepare for this festival, study Luke 1:39-47 and
2 Peter 1.1
Monthly Home Bible Study, May
2013, Number 243
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 2 Peter 1.1 noting
the words equal and
ours. What is this conformity about? On this read 2
Corinthians 3.17 noting the word
freedom. What does
this freedom entail? On this read Galatians 5.1 noting the words
slavery. This verse
says that this freedom doesn’t imply freedom to invent a new
Christian way! Read also Ephesians 4.14 noting the words
deceit. This verse
also advises constancy over innovation. On this same theme read
1 Corinthians 15.58 noting the word
immovable. Read as
well Jude 1.3 noting the words
saints. So if this
freedom doesn’t displace conformity to the received revelation,
what does it do? On this read Luke 9.23 noting the words
follow. Our freedom,
then, is precisely exercised in freely denying ourselves that we
may follow Christ Jesus our Lord freely. On this freedom in
obedience, read Romans 6.20-22 noting how
Does that match what you know about your faith? If so, how so?
Read again 2 Peter 1.1
noting this time the line
our God and Savior Jesus Christ. What does this say about
Jesus? On this read Colossians 2.9 noting the line
the whole fullness of
deity. On this same point, read also John 5.18 noting the
word equal. What does
it mean to say such things about Jesus? On this read John 10:33
noting the words making
yourself God. Is this what Jesus thought of himself? On this
read John 14.9 noting the equation of the words
Father. In this same
regard read John 8.23 noting the words
world; and John 5.26
noting the line life in
himself. Why would Jesus, then, also be called the
savior in 2 Peter
1.1? Wouldn’t being God cover it all? What does being the
savior add to his
divinity? On this read 1 Timothy 6.16 noting the line that God
dwells in unapproachable
light. If that’s all that we were to know about God, it
wouldn’t help us much. But if God is also our savior, then he
doesn’t remain distant, but also moves towards us in mercy. On
this read John 10.10-18 noting the words
from. Do these verses
help to explain how Jesus is
the lamb of God who takes
away in the sin of the world, according to John 1.29? If so,
how so? If not, why not?
Reread 2 Peter 1.1 noting
this time the word
righteousness. Why does our righteousness come from Christ
Jesus? On this read Romans 7.18 noting the line
nothing good dwells
within me. Why is that? On this read Isaiah 5.20 noting the
willful switching around of
evil. Why do we do
that? On this read John 3.19 noting the line
loved darkness rather
than light. And why are we that way? On this read John 8.44
noting the words your,
nature. What, then,
is this righteousness that comes from Christ? It’s at least
fourfold. On the first part read 1 John 4.10 noting the words
sin. On the second
part read John 6.44 noting the words
draws. And on the
third part read John 15.12 noting the words
I. On the last part
read John 12.25 noting the words
eternal. Is this
righteous way compelling? Why or why not?
Read 2 Peter 1.1 one last
time noting again the word
righteousness. So is
Christ’s way compelling? On this read John 6.60-61 noting the
words hard and
offense. Where does
this leave us? On this read John 15.16 noting the war between
the two sets of words
choose and chose,
and you and
I. Is this clash all
that there is, then? Not quite. On this read John 6.68 noting
the words you and
eternal. Read also
John 8.12 noting the contrast between
darkness. And read as
well John 19.30 noting the word
read about the vine
and its branches in
John 15.1-5. Now do these four readings pull us past the
offensiveness of Christ’s righteousness? If so, how so? If not,
Remember in prayer before God those whom He has made your
brothers and sisters through baptism.
Evelyn Coy, Sam Lawson, Cynthia Natiello, Jim Coile, Agnes Arkle,
Clara Anderson, Peggy & Bill Wright & Wendy, Bob & Barbara
Schorn, Rosita & Jim Moe, Amy and Tyler Tabor, Cameron Lim, Ion
Ceaicovschi, Olivia DeCroce, Luke Bowen, Don Kahn, Jim and Ruth
Shaovaloff, Grant Donnellan & Family, Dano, Karen & W. Erick,
Mary Lou Jensen, Annette Grubisich, Chris & Margeen Bowyer,
Christina Johnston, Karen Granger, Anna and John Bertelsen, Amy
West, Duncan Sturrock, Jennifer Alfano, Jennifer Alfano, Gary
Berkenpas, Barbara Clarke, Tabitha Anderson.
Pray for the shut-ins that the light of Christ may give them
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 the new born that they grow in the strength of the
Lord: Archer Travis
Donogh, born April 1, 2013, 9.12 oz, grandson of Teri and Dale
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 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.
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:
St. Philip and St. James, Apostles; Monica, mother of Augustine,
387; and John Eliot, missionary to the American Indians, 1690.
A Treasury of Prayers
Lord God, my Light, come and illumine my darkness. Come, my Life
and revive me from death. Come, Flame of Divine truth and love,
and burn up the thorns of my sins, kindling my heart with the
flame of your righteousness and love. In Jesus’ name I pray.
[For All the Saints (ALPB,