Kierkegaard’s Fight for True
At the end of
Søren Kierkegaard’s great book on Christian love, entitled
Works of Love (1847), he writes.
Christianity is not infrequently
presented in a certain sentimental, almost soft, form of love.
It is all love and love; spare yourself and your flesh and
blood; have good days or happy days without self-concern,
because God is Love and Love – nothing at all about rigorousness
must be heard; it must all be the free language and nature of
love. Understood in this way, however, God’s love easily becomes
a fabulous and childish conception, the figure of Christ too
mild and sickly-sweet for it to be true that he was and is an
offense to the Jews, foolishness to the Greeks
[1 Corinthians 1:17] – that
is, as if Christianity were in its dotage (Kierkegaard’s
words as an entrance into Kierkegaard’s book on love. Use these
words also as a challenge to keep Christian love Biblical – and,
as a result, unpopular as well. Amen.
For over two hundred years the
United States has been officially celebrating Thanksgiving in
Thanksgiving I wanted to juxtapose the current holiday filled
with family, football, feasts, parade balloons, and of course,
the start of the holiday shopping season with the first official
Thanksgiving as provided by George Washington's 1789
Thanksgiving Day Proclamation.
WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the
providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for
His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour;
and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint
committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the
United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be
observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and
signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an
opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for
their safety and happiness:"
THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH
of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to
the service of that great and glorious Being who is the
beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that
will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our
sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of
the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation;
for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable
interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of
the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and
plenty which we have since enjoyed;-- for the peaceable and
rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish
Constitutions of government for our saety and happiness, and
particularly the national one now lately instituted;-- for the
civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the
means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;--
and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He
has been pleased to confer upon us.
also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers
and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and
beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;--
to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to
perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually;
to render our National Government a blessing to all the people
by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and
constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and
obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations
(especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless
them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the
knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the
increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant
unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he
alone knows to be best.
under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of
October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and
(signed) G. Washington
was set up as a day of “PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER.” How
different is the county today? This Thanksgiving let us remind
ourselves of what the original intention of Thanksgiving was and
to give thanks to God for His blessings for they are numerous!
One of our blessings is the continued giving of our Parish.
September saw Total General Budget Income at $17,598.41
this was well more than
dollars short of our budget of $19,043.00. However this
shortfall was not as painful as it could have been because we
kept our expenses low in the month.
We originally expected to spent $19,873.10 in the month
of September but we actually only spent $18,846.37, for a
difference of about one thousand dollars.
Please note that even with the reduction of expenses we
spent much more money than we took in; $17,598.41 Total General
Budget Income vs. $18,846.37 Total Expenses or a deficit of
Year to date we have had a Total General Budget Income of
$168,123.81 as compared to a budget of $177,764.00.
This currently makes us
about $7,500 short of our budget goals for the year thus far.
We need to try and fill some of this gap over the last two
months of the year so we can pay our bills and not start the New
Year in a disastrous hole.
On that special Thursday in November I hope you share with your
loved ones the words of our 1st President in order to
remind us of the purpose and intent of Thanksgiving.
So “with grateful hearts” let us all have a thankful and
Year to date (Jan-Sept)
The Mühlenberg Anniversary (1711-2011)
By Pastor Marshall
William J. Mann (1819-1892) argues in his book on Henry M.
Mühlenberg (1711-1787), that Mühlenberg is "the father of the
Lutheran Church in America" [Life and Times of Henry Melchior
Mühlenberg (1887) p. 529]. So we rightly mark the 300th
anniversary of his birth this year. Mann further notes that "no
one could justly claim [him] as an advocate of new and
extravagant measures in matters of doctrine and practice" (531).
As such, Mühlenberg is our "Luther in America" (528). We see
this in his using of Luke 16:9 as the verse for a test sermon
for would-be pastors (209). We also see this in the nickname
given him, Gachswungarorachs, an Indian word meaning, "a
whose words... go through the hard, obstinate minds of men like
a saw through knotty trunks of trees" (198). And finally we see
it in how he selected hymns for his 1786 hymnal: "I omitted
[hymns] which speak of Jesus in a playful manner, etc. in
diminutive terms, because such language, though intended as
child-like and familiar, appears to me childish and not
according to Scripture language. Hymns... of the oldest...
times... are not omitted, [even] though, while they are
orthodox, their style and rhythm may appear somewhat harsh"
(501). And so we thank God for his servant, Mühlenberg, and
affirm the verse etched on his gravestone: "By faith he being
dead yet speaketh" (Hebrews 11:4) (534)!
Tithing Means First Fruits
are wonderful but so full of questions.
“Why is the sky blue?”
“How does the sun shine every day?”
Even adults have their questions.
A close friend of mine asked me about the practice of
tithing in the church.
“How do you tithe?”
“How much should I give?”
These questions made me reflect on my own views on
tithing so I could respond.
I explained we are advised in the Bible to give of the
first fruits which means first before anything else.
If we wait until our bills are paid expecting to tithe
with the “leftovers”, we find that there are no leftovers and
God is left out. I
do not believe this is what he intended.
If we have him as first on our list, he will not leave us
but will provide for the rest of our needs.
All we have to do is trust in his promises.
Honor the Lord with your
substance and with the first fruits of all your produce; that
your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be
bursting with wine.
-Janice Lundbeck, Church Council
ST. NICHOLAS FAIRE
Sunday, December 4 from 4pm to 7pm
December 4, 2011, First Lutheran Church of West Seattle will
celebrate St. Nicholas Day by hosting a “Faire” fundraiser to
benefit our local West Seattle service organizations, the Food
Bank and the Helpline.
Since St. Nicholas was known for his acts of charity, it
is fitting that we sponsor this fundraiser on his saint’s day.
We will be serving
beverages and goodies, and we will again have a selection of
holiday and Scandinavian sweets which you can purchase. For a
small donation, we will have a wine toss, where you can win a
bottle(s) of wine if your aim is on target, PLUS wine tasting
sponsored by Maryhill Winery (and a portion of the cost of the
bottles of wine you purchase from Maryhill will be donated to
West Seattle Helpline and Food Bank).
will also be a silent auction where you can
bid on and purchase gift baskets that are designed to make great
gifts for your friends and family.
Again, all of the proceeds will be given directly to the
Food Bank and Helpline.
As we did in previous years, admission to the St. Nicholas Faire
will be $5 per person or $15 per family if you donate a non
perishable food item for every member of your party.
If you do not bring a “canned” food donation, it will
cost $10 per person or $25 per family.
All monies collected will be donated directly to the Food
Bank and Helpline.
this to be a success we need assistance from all of you by
volunteering to help at the Faire, to bake homemade taste treats
to sell at the Faire.
We will also need donations of apple cider and bottles of
wine valued at $10, $20, and above, as prizes for the wine toss.
The sign up sheets are posted on the bulletin board
outside The Library.
Call Larraine King (206-937-6740) if you have any
So we hope that you will find a way to help us make the
Third Annual St. Nicholas
Faire as successful and as enjoyable as the first two were.
Plan to come and bring family and friends, have a great
time, and at the same time support our deserving extended
like a winning combination to me!
-Larraine King, Church Council
the new bishop of the Diocese of Cascadia, in the Anglican
Church in Washington and Rector of St. Brendan’s Anglican
Church, Bellingham, WA.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
a joyful celebration and worship of our Lord Jesus Christ that
we were blessed with at your home, First Lutheran Church of West
Seattle, on Friday, September 30, 2011.
Pastor Marshall and Deacon Hard were outstanding in their
hospitality and contributions to our service, Organist Andy
bless us with his excellent music, and your volunteers,
especially the Altar Guild, were great to work with.
And who knew that the second person to bless a new
Anglican Bishop would be a Lutheran thurifer… Pastor Marshall?
you for all your love, prayers and service in inviting us to
your church. We
shared an historic moment as 25 bishops, all heroes of the
Faith, came from across North America to consecrate this humble
servant as a sign of God’s love and call to mission for us all
in this Pacific Northwest.
And it was my special joy, through this time together, to
gain new friends in Christ: the people and pastors of First
Lutheran Church of West Seattle.
I pray that God will bless your ministry and that,
through our common mission, more people will come to know the
love of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Kevin Bond Allen
former student at Pacific Lutheran University)
the Mind: Readings in Contemporary Theology
pm in the Church Lounge, Saturday, November 27th
The book for
November is The Heresy of
Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture’s Fascination with Diversity
Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity (2010)
by Andreas J. Köstenberger & Michael J. Kruger. This book argues
against the celebration in the church today that “all is fluid,
doctrine is dead, and diversity reigns” (p. 15). It bemoans the
fact that “what used to be regarded as heresy is the new
orthodoxy of the day, and the only heresy that remains is
orthodoxy itself” (p. 16). It does so by defending the doctrinal
agreement of the early church, the consistency of the Bible, and
that the early church didn’t switch the first Bible – now lost
forever – with a rigid, false one.
However, the authors concede that “we must proceed prayerfully,
recognizing that it is the god of this world who has blinded the
minds of unbelievers [2 Corinthians 4:4]. With God’s help, we
should wage spiritual warfare circumspectly and seek to demolish
demonic strongholds in the minds of people [2 Corinthians
10:3-6]. This will involve the use of rational arguments and
appeals to historical and other evidence, but it will recognize
that in the end, arguments by themselves are inadequate” (p.
of this important 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 reliability of
the Bible in the early church.
COLLECTION suggested donation for November is holiday foods:
canned yams, turkey, gravy, cranberries, stuffing and pumpkin.
This year, as
in the past, we will be collecting Christmas gift items for the
Compass Center for both men and women.
So you can better plan your shopping, we are listing the
items to be collected now:
gift cards in $5 increments to fast food restaurants,
coffee shops and grocery stores, new sweatshirts (L, XL, XXL
sizes), and hats and gloves (in dark neutral colors) for men or
women are asked for this year.
Please leave your donations at the office.
Items will be delivered to the Compass Center December
There are still a few spaces left for Christmas.
HOLY EUCHARIST – THANKSGIVING
Thanksgiving will be observed
with Holy Eucharist on November 23rd at 7 pm, in the chapel.
luncheon in November.
are asking for donations through
November and December to help defray costs in putting on the St.
will not meet again in 2010, the next meeting being in January
of 2012. Good
condition used or new sheets are always needed as well as fabric
The King James Version of the
Its 400th Anniversary, 1611-2011
By Pastor Marshall
I have been
observing this year the anniversary of the King James Version of
the Bible in this column. At the end of Leland Ryken’s book,
The Legacy of the King
James Bible (2011), he laments four great losses due to the
KJV having fallen out of favor. I think it’s worth pondering his
First, we have lost a common
English Bible in both the church and culture at large. It is an
incalculable loss…. Second, the authority of the Bible went into
eclipse when we lost a common Bible. Probably this was
inevitable…. It is a fact that the English Bible is no longer
accepted as an authoritative book in the public spheres,…. [in]
religion, education, law, politics, and the arts. Even when
modern literary authors refer to the Bible, they usually do so
in a manner that challenges the intended meanings of the
biblical authors. Third, biblical illiteracy has accompanied the
decline of the King James Bible. This is widely acknowledged….
After the King James Bible gave way to a proliferation of modern
translations, even Christian students became inept at seeing
biblical references in literature…. Claims by modern translators
and Bible scholars that the Christian public is fortunate to
have been delivered from the archaism and occasional
inaccuracies of the KJV turn out to be hollow…. The very
proliferation of translations has discouraged the Christian
public from seeking to know what the Bible actually
says. The ideal, of course, would have been for a single
successor to the KJV to be its replacement, but it did not
happen. The sentiment is widely held that because today we find
the King James Bible
archaic and difficult, it must have been equally archaic and
difficult for readers in previous eras. It is a great fallacy.
Readers of the KJV through the centuries did not struggle with
as modern readers who never relinquished the KJV manage just
fine with it… Finally, we have lost the affective and literary
power of the King James Bible… [The new] dynamic equivalent and
colloquial translations do not come close to the King James
standard, and modern readers of those translations have no
reason to gloat; they have exchanged a birthright of excellence
[Genesis 25:29-34] for something manifestly inferior
A Forgotten But Powerful Voice:
Dr. Kent S. Knutson, 1924-1973
By Pastor Marshall
was the presiding bishop of the ALC from
1971-1973. I have been exploring in this column his most famous
book, The Shape of the
Question: The Mission of the Church in a Secular Age (1972).
Here is what he says about Jesus, which makes him, in my mind, a
faithful and confrontational Savior worth following:
Life among men is pictured in the New Testament as…
full of conflict [1 Timothy 6:12]. The rebellious forces of evil
in the world were taken on by our Lord and defeated [1 John
3:8]. Life is an experience in which good and evil are in
constant confrontation and we cannot expect anything less than
that [1 Peter 4:12, 5:8-9]. It is not God’s intention that life
should be so serene, so without challenge or conflict [Luke
12:19-20] that man never achieves his full potential
[Philippians 3:12-14]. Jesus is not pictured as a placid,
sentimental, and retiring person [Matthew 22:46; John 21:12;
Hebrews 10:31] who sometimes gives himself over to other powers
and by virtue of that weakness becomes a savior. He is rather
pictured as a warrior, as the fighter, as the one who overcomes
– the one who accomplishes through weakness yet one who
accomplishes by strength [John 10:18, 19:30]. The work of Christ
is that of a leader of a great army [Matthew 13:41-42, 16:27,
24:30-31, 25:31, 26:53]. The death of Jesus is not humiliation
but victory [Philippians 2:8-11] and it is victory which
promises freedom [Galatians 5:1]
Enjoy the convenience of
Thank you to those members that have
signed up for giving electronically.
If you have thought about it but
are still uncertain, I can answer any questions.
Just call or email me.
The process is completely safe – it
is the same as having your mortgage payment or insurance payment
automatically deducted from your checking account.
I handle all the paperwork locally
so your authorization form never leaves my possession.
If at any time you want to change
or cancel the automatic transactions, let me know and I will
immediately process the change.
Giving can also be done through our web page now!
Look for the blue button at the
bottom of the first page that says “Donate”.
(Teri Korsmo, Financial
Secretary, 206-932-7914, TLHK@comcast.net)
Remember in prayer before
God those whom He has made your
brothers and sisters
Vera Gunnarson, Dorothy Ryder, Richard Hard, Agnes Arkle, Alan Morrison,
Clara Anderson, Pete Morrison, Mary Goplerud, Teri Korsmo, Bob
Baker, Peggy Wright, Bob & Barbara Schorn, Margaret Hard, Robin
Kauffman, Rae Terpenning, Mark Mosley & Family, Theresa
Malmanger, Paul Jensen, Jennie Jaramillo,
Chardell Paine, Craig Purfeerst, Rolf Sponheim, Don Evenson,
Dorothy Randall-Wood, Barbara Hancock, Patrick Coy, Donna
Berkeley, Kurt & Jennifer Alfano, Mary Uhler, Robin Lantzy.
Pray for 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 those who have suffered
the death of a loved one: Pray that God will bear their grief
and lift their hearts: Pray for the family and friends of Nelda
Sturm on her death.
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
November. 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: Saint Andrew,
A Treasury of Prayers
teach me to accept your will as the foundation of my happiness,
and all other things as only secondary. Convince me that it
wouldn’t profit me to gain the whole world and lose my soul.
Impress me with the truth that nothing can bring me happiness if
I am not already of a joyful heart. And help me to discover that
the pleasures at your right hand are pleasures for evermore. In
Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
[For All the Saints (ALPB, 1994-1996) 4 vols.,
II: 958, altered]
Parish Festival Celebration
November 6th, we will gather together to give thanks for our
community of faithful, baptized servants of God.
8:00 am Holy Eucharist – chapel
am Festival Eucharist – nave
with Festival Procession.
All Saints’ Luncheon
On this rich
day of the church year we gather to remember our calling as
God's saints, rededicating our lives to God's service and
rejoicing in the ministry of Christ.
This day we also join the Church Catholic in affirming
our belief in "the communion of saints" remembering all those
faithful who have died in Christ.
Be sure to sign up for the
luncheon on the sheet that is posted in the lounge or call the
office at 935-6530 and we’ll add you to the list.
The cost is $14 adults and $7 children.
CHRIST THE KING
The season of Pentecost and
the Church Year will end with the celebration of the kingship of
Christ at the Sunday morning liturgies,
On this day we strengthen the
belief that Christ is above all and that every authority is
under Him (Eph. 1.21).
We rejoice that the one who is, who
was and is to come (Rev. 1:8) is the King and Lord of all!
The season of Advent, the first
season of the Church Year, is a time when the church focuses its
attention on the Lord’s coming, and our need to repent.
Join us on Sunday,
8:00 am Holy Eucharist in the
9:00 am Adult Education in rm. D
in the parish hall.
10:30 am Holy Eucharist in the nave