For All the Saints
God’s Ecclesiastical Ecology
November 4th is All Saints’ Sunday – the day when we thank God
for all Christian believers and disciples, living on earth and
gone to be with the Lord in heaven. This is that “great cloud of
witness” (Hebrews 12:1) in which the church rejoices.
Martin Luther (1483-1546) notes, however, that this cloud is a
mixed blessing – in that it provides comfort by its “large
number of examples,” but that it also afflicts us by its
dwindling size – to test our faith and wound our pride (Luther’s
16:153)! So Luther concludes – in keeping with Psalm 30:5 – that
“in the morning the godly will have comfort, though in the
evening they must be
afflicted and must
endure for the testing of their faith…. [For] where
formerly there was a prince, there will now be a
What does that mean for us? First, that the church will
not always be big. Instead, its size will ebb and flow.
So when it shrinks, we shouldn’t panic – and that’s
because this downsizing is all part of God’s
ecclesiastical ecology, if you will!
And the second point is that big churches are bad for us.
They fuel our pride which pulls us away from God – who
wants us to bow down before him in humility, instead of
crowing over our many and great achievements. So God
whittles down his churches to test his children in order
to make their faith grow.
During our All Saints’ festival this year
acknowledge, then, God’s mixed blessing and learn from
Last year in the November
Messenger I shared President Washington’s Thanksgiving
proclamation. President Madison also had one proclamation during
his tenure but it wasn’t until the Civil War that the last
Thursday of November was set aside to be the Thanksgiving
holiday, by Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation of
October 3, 1863.
year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the
blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these
bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to
forget the source from which they come, others have been added,
which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to
penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually
insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In
the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity,
which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to
provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all
nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected
and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the
theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been
greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the
Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the
fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not
arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had
enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well
of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even
more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily
increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the
camp, the siege and the battlefield; and the country, rejoicing
in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is
permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of
human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out
these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High
God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath
nevertheless remembered mercy.
seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly,
reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and
voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my
fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also
those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign
lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November
next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent
Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that
while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such
singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble
penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience,
commend to his tender care all those who have become widows,
orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in
which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the
interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the
nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the
Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony,
tranquility and Union.
With “one heart and voice by the whole American people”
let us be thankful of our blessings from God almighty this
November! For even though our present time may seem dark and
lonely we should remember that there have been darker and more
dreadful periods in our nation’s history,
and He has guided us through them!
Last month I published a letter concerning the finances
of the church. I
wish to deeply thank all those who, in the weeks following, gave
more to the church so that we might continue our mission to
spread His word.
Let us pray for His continued blessings upon the Parish as we
close out the year.
We are still short of our yearly goals but I am confident that
with God’s help we will continue to thrive here in West Seattle.
happy and blessed Thanksgiving!
Going Forth in Faith and Stewardship
In the Book of Genesis, we are introduced to and learn of
Abraham. As we
learn, Abraham had unwavering faith in God.
As God made requests of Abraham, he fulfilled them
without question or doubt.
In Abraham’s faith was also stewardship.
And blessed be most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies
into thy hand. And
he gave him tithes of all.
(Genesis 14:20 KJV)
When Abraham needed a sacrifice; God provided a ram in the
miracles of provision continue through our offerings, planned
giving and spontaneous gifts of gratitude.
And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs
according to the promise.
(Galatians 3:29 KJV)
As Abraham, Father of the Faithful went forth, let us go forth,
unwavering in faith and stewardship, for God provides.
Melanie Arkle-Johnson, Church Council
the Mind: Readings in Contemporary Theology
pm in the Church Lounge, Saturday, November 27th
The book for November is
Saving God: Religion
After Idolatry (2009) by Mark Johnston, Professor of
Philosophy at Princeton University. This difficult book strikes
some very good themes – like the attack on self-worship (p. 24)
and sin as described by Luther as being curved in on ourselves
(p. 88). But his strict identification of God with nature – to
the exclusion of any supernatural element – is over-drawn (pp.
39, 127). Even so, his critique (p. 157) of God’s preoccupation
of us, is a helpful tonic. It is humbling – which is always
good. But his diminishing of the crucifixion as our only way of
being saved from God’s wrath (p. 167) isn’t as helpful.
A copy 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
various ways in which we misrepresent the God of the Bible.
MARSHALL’s article, “Luther’s Alleged Anti-Semitism,” was
published in the Reformation 2012 issue of
Logia: A Journal of
Lutheran Theology. Copies are available through the church
office. For a radio interview with Pastor Marshall on this
article, go to
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
will not meet again in 2012, the next meeting being in January
of 2013. Good
condition used or new sheets are always needed as well as fabric
There are still a few spaces left for Christmas.
FOOD BANK COLLECTION
suggested donation for November is holiday foods: canned yams,
turkey, gravy, cranberries, stuffing and pumpkin.
are asking for donations through
November and December to help defray costs in putting on the St.
HOLY EUCHARIST – THANKSGIVING
Thanksgiving will be observed
with Holy Eucharist on November 21st at 7 pm, in the chapel.
Next luncheon Thursday, December 6th.
A Forgotten But Powerful Voice:
Dr. Kent S. Knutson, 1924-1973
By Pastor Marshall
In this my penultimate column on Dr. Knutson’s
The Shape of the
Question: The Mission of the Church in a Secular Age (1972),
I want to share a passage on Martin Luther’s bravery and its
impact on us:
Luther’s so-called individualism, unhappily
misunderstood often by both the Lutheran community and
the society in which it lives,
[has had a
There is… no
disputing that Luther’s lone stand against his
professors, then his superiors, and finally against both
pope and emperor until such time as he, Luther, should
be personally convinced, on the basis of Scripture and
reason that he was wrong, gave invincible theological
sanction to the notion of the sovereign conscience. This
touched off the rampant sectarianism which resulted in
many denominations, each mutually excluding the others.
This strong addiction to the ability of every man to be
right became the undergirding slogan for political and
social movements which still reverberate among us. For
Luther, the situation was saved by sola scriptura
and by the concept of the church as the community of
God. For him, strangely and perhaps to some,
paradoxically, these went together, a single authority
[Bible], a single conscience [each individual] and a
single people of God [the church]. But for the man
without this faith commitment, the freedom of conscience
to deny all has been both the source of heroic efforts
of man to save himself and the source of demonic efforts
to destroy all but himself. So we have in Reformation
methodology some problems which still haunt us and which
I believe have much to say about the way Christian
communities operate (pp. 113-14).
bronze Kierkegaard statue is now finished. It was
installed in the lounge the week of October 15th. Thanks
to Ken Hovde, Jane Collins, and Dale Korsmo for
completing the installation and lighting. Next year, on
November 17, 2013, we will dedicate the statue at the
annual Kierkegaard commemoration. The sculptor, Rita
Marie Kepner, who began this project back in 2008, will
be here for the dedication, so you will have a chance to
meet her. She is now working on her memoirs – to tell us
what it has been like to work on this statue. You may
still make donations to
help defray the cost of this project. To do so, make out
your check to the church, designate your tax deductible
gift to the Kierkegaard Statue project, and then mail it
to the church, or put it in the offering plate. A list
of all the donors will be included on the statue
brochure. The Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong
Kierkegaard Library at St. Olaf College in Northfield,
Minnesota, has been designated the default co-owners of
the statue (where it will be displayed if some time in
the future our church decides it no longer wants it on
display here). The Kierkegaard Library has also been a
generous donor to this project.
photo credit Sonja Clemente
Monthly Home Bible Study, November 2012, Number 237
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 Jude 1.9 noting the word
devil. Who is the
devil? On this read Isaiah 14.12 noting the word
fallen. Read also Job
2.7 noting the word
afflicted – and the implied word
adversary. Then read
1 Peter 5.8, noting the words
devour, and Matthew
4.1 noting the words
devil and tempted.
What is this temptation based on? On this read Genesis 3.1-4
noting the words subtle,
die. Here we see the
command and threat that are underneath temptation. Why did God
set it up this way? On this read Genesis 22.1, 2 Corinthians
2.9, and James 1.12 noting the same word
tested in all three.
Why is it important to be tested? On this read 1 Peter 1.6-8
noting the word
genuineness. See that same word in 1 Corinthians 11.19. Why
is a test needed to discover who is genuine? On this read 2
Corinthians 11.12-15 noting the words
Satan. Note also 2
Corinthians 4.4 which calls Satan
the god of this world.
Tests, then, clear the fog. On there being fog, read 1
Corinthians 13.12 noting the foggy word
dimly. Does God then
use the devil – and maybe even bring him into existence! – for a
good purpose? What could that
possibility be? On this read Ephesians
5.11 noting the word
expose. How does the devil do that if he’s also part of the
Read again Jude 1.9 noting this time the word
contending. Why does
Michael contend with the devil? On this read Matthew 4.1-11
noting the devil’s three temptations of Jesus and their
attending three mistakes: neglecting God’s word, reckless
endangerment, and divided loyalty. Why are these his three
temptations and mistakes? On this read Romans 14.23 noting the
words faith and
sin. From this we
learn that the devil’s three temptations are the biggest threats
to faith – and that’s why he used them. What happens if we lose
our faith – as did Alexander and Hymenaeus in 1 Timothy 1:20? On
this read Hebrews 11.6 noting the words
please. What if we
don’t please God? On this read Mark 16.16 noting the words
condemned. What is
this condemnation like? On this read Luke 16.23, 28 noting the
description place of
torment. Is that enough to know, to see the point in
contending with the devil? If so, how so?
Reread Jude 1.9 noting the line
did not presume to
pronounce a reviling judgment upon him. What would this have
been like? On this read Luke 9.54 noting the line
bid fire come down from
heaven and consume them. Why not do this and get rid of the
devil, once and for all? On this read 1 John 3.8 noting the
words destroy and
works. What is the
target, then? – the devil or his works? If it isn’t him, then
why isn’t it? On this read Revelation 12.11-17 noting the words
testimony. Is that
why Michael is not supposed to kill the devil? Do we need him to
test us? On this read John 8.44 noting the words
lies. Is our test
whether or not we will abdicate the devil’s family and enter
into the household of God? On this read Romans 8.14-17 noting
the words led,
glorified. What does
this hinge on? On this note the word
walk in Romans 6.4
and Galatians 5.25-26. Does that give you confidence or not?
Read Jude 1.9 one last time noting the line
but… the Lord rebuke you.
So even though Michael isn’t supposed to destroy the devil, God
is supposed to rebuke him. Why is that? On this read Romans
12.19 and Hebrews 10.30 noting the same two words
mine. Why is this
vengeance withheld for God alone? On this read Galatians 4.4
noting the line when the
time had fully come. Are we prohibited from doing this
because we can’t tell when the right time to lower the boom on
the devil is? On this read 2 Corinthians 4.7 noting the
vessels. What does that say about us? On this read James
4.14 noting the words
mist, little and
vanishes. If we are
so insubstantial, does that also limit what we are able to
ascertain? On this read Psalm 131.1 noting the closing clause
for me. Does that
speak to our nature or just to some bad situation? What if it’s
about our nature?
Thank You… to the members and friends
of First Lutheran Church of West Seattle.
I wish to
extend, on behalf of my family our heartfelt thanks to each of
you for your prayers, calls, letters and cards of support and
sympathy on the death of our mother, grandmother and great
grandmother, Margaret Hard.
She was a true gift to her family.
May God bless her memory.
commemorated this year Thursday, November 1st, with a
Columbarium Liturgy on
All Saints’ Day.
Plan to attend this solemn occasion at 11:45 am in the
On Sunday, November 4th come celebrate All Saints’ Sunday at:
8:00 am Holy Eucharist
10:30 am Festival Eucharist
11:45 am Brunch & 20th Anniversary of Dean Hard, as Deacon
attend the All Saints’ Brunch & the 20th Anniversary celebration
of our Deacon, Dean Hard, immediately following the 10:30 am
Sign up on the list posted in the lounge.
The brunch will be prepared by the November Service Team.
If you are not on duty this month but would like to help,
contact Matthew Kahn at 253-946-1848.
Celebrating a 20th Anniversary
Dean Walter Hard, Parish Deacon
By Pastor Marshall
On All Saints’
Sunday, we will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the
consecration of Dean Walter Hard as our first Parish Deacon on
March 1, 1992. In
this full time position Dean has responsibilities as
choirmaster, worship assistant and lector, sacristan, property
manager and parish archivist.
Our celebration will include
prayers of thanksgiving at the Eucharist, and a brunch reception
in the Parish Hall after the 10:30 am Liturgy.
Dean will receive a declaration marking the day with
words of appreciation from the parish Cantor, Andrew King and
Dean first worshipped here on
Reformation Sunday, October 31, 1955.
He was 15 years old.
On January 20, 1957 he was baptized by the Rev. Norris R.
Halvorson and then confirmed on May 25, 1958.
He came to church to sing in the
choir under the direction of Mr. Paul Fosso.
Dean sang in the choir from 1955 to 1974.
On March 17, 1974 he became the church Choirmaster.
In 1968 Pastor M. Donald Hinderlie
appointed Dean as the acolyte instructor which he has done ever
since. His classes
on acolyte training are superb and highly cherished in our
Presidents of our congregation have been his former acolytes.
Since 1959 Dean has also produced
wonderful plays beginning with the Passion of Christ.
Over the years he has produced and directed Noah’s Flood,
Abraham & Isaac, Everyman, Inherit the Wind, Becket, Luther,
Here I Stand, The Miracle Worker, and Amahl and the Night
Visitors which has become his signature work.
In 1978 he was asked to stage and direct the US premiere
of Richard Proulx’s opera, The Pilgrim, here in Seattle, by the
We thank God for Dean’s service in
our congregation and pray for many more years of ministry
A Message from Dean
This coming year (2013) I hope to take a five week continuing
Sometime following Easter I would like to attend the Conference
for Choirmasters and Organists at St Thomas Church New York, one
of the finest church music programs in America.
There will be rehearsals, services, concerts, and
discussions on music’s place in worship as well as looking at
and singing through a collection of great choral music.
This conference is a three day event.
I am also looking into the
possibility of attending The English Organ and Choral Studies
Program. The dates
and details are yet to be announced.
The course would include lectures, presentations and
concerts held at locations all across England in cathedrals,
parish churches, abbeys and college chapels.
The last time I attended this program was 2002.
It was a wonderful opportunity to meet with, talk to, and
study under some of England’s outstanding and gifted organists,
choirmasters, composers, historians and scholars while at the
same time being surrounded by great music, breathtaking
architecture and history.
ST. NICHOLAS FAIRE
2nd from 4pm to 7pm
Once again, 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 Helpline.
Since St. Nicholas was known for his acts of charity, it
is fitting that we sponsor this fundraiser in honor of his
As was done
in previous years, admission to the St. Nicholas Faire will be
$5 per person + a non-perishable food item, or $15 per family
with a non-perishable food item for every member of your party.
If you do not bring a “canned” food donation, the cost
will be $10 per person or $25 per family.
All proceeds will be donated directly to the Food Bank
At the Faire we
will be serving beverages and yummy treats, thanks to
Dana and Matthew Kahn.
There will be pastries and holiday sweets to
For a small donation, which also goes directly to the
Food Bank and Helpline, we will have a wine toss game
and wine tasting with bottles of wine available to
purchase, a portion of the proceeds from which will be
donated as well, all compliments of Maryhill Winery.
And there will be a silent auction where you can
bid on and purchase gift baskets that make great
presents for yourself, your family and your friends.
Always bear in mind that every $$$ spent goes
directly to the Food Bank and Helpline.
the success of the Faire to be assured, we need
assistance from all of you.
You can volunteer to help on the day of the
Faire, donate apple cider and/or bottles of wine, bake
yummy homemade pastries, cookies, cakes, and candy to be
sold at the Faire, donate money to help defray the cost
of sponsoring this event.
Sign-up sheets are posted on the bulletin board
outside of the Library.
Call Larraine King (206-937-6740) if you have
most important part of this fundraiser is
Without your help, there is no event.
Without you coming and bringing friends and
family, there may be an event, but no party.
And without your financial support both before
and at the Faire, no money can be given to the West
Seattle Food Bank and West Seattle Helpline.
We are blessed that we have homes, money to pay
our bills and buy necessities, etc.
Pray the Offertory Prayer from LBW often…….
“Merciful Father, we offer with joy and thanksgiving,
what you have first given us – our selves, our time, and
our possessions, signs of your gracious love.
Receive them for the sake of him who offered
himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Plan to come and partake of the joy of helping
others who are not as fortunate as we are.
We will be so blessed as we generously bless
have a super time too!
See you on Sunday, December 2nd!!!
─Larraine King for the Extended Ministries
The 25th Anniversary of
Twenty-five years ago in May 1987, Pastor Marshall
delivered the annual lecture for the Church Council of
Greater Seattle at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, with
Why Christians Ought to Work Together, But Only Seldom
Three scholars responded to the lecture at the banquet,
and the following year it was published in
The Ecumenist: A Journal for Promoting Christian Unity
(vol. 26, March-April, 1988), under the new title,
Exploring Christian Unity,
with a critique by its editor, Gregory Baum (b. 1923).
He earned his doctorate from the University of
Fribourg, Germany, and has received seven honorary
doctorates. In May 1988 excerpts from Pastor Marshall’s
lecture were reprinted in
Thursday-People News: An Ecumenical Monthly
– out of Stevens Point, Wisconsin. In October 2012 the
Church Council of Greater Seattle has taken it up again,
but this time as a study document for its current
ecumenical officers. Copies of this lecture, with Dr.
Baum’s critique, are available in the church office.
Remember in prayer before
God those whom He has made your
brothers and sisters
Teri Korsmo, Evelyn Coy, Nora Vanhala, Ed Olson, Carmen
Malmanger, Luke Douglass, Connor Bisticas, Richard Hard, Agnes
Arkle, Clara Anderson, Bob Baker, Peggy Wright, Bob & Barbara
Schorn, Rosita & Jim Moe, Jim Cunningham, Susan Lyon, Lee Neuman,
Amy Tabor, Louisa Eden, Annie Crutchfield, Kelsey Ensey, Cameron
Lim, Maureen Baris, Connie Pinter, Chris & Margeen Bowyer, John
Wallace, Paul Sampson, Yuriko Nishimura, Pete Williams & Family,
the Balbin Family, The Reverend Paul Braafladt, Charles McVee,
Al and Robin Berg.
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 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 Joyce Baker 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, the Apostle.
A Treasury of Prayers
O Lord, my God, forgive me my selfishness and foolish pride, and
grant me grace, forsaking my old ways, to follow you in
lowliness of mind, esteeming others as better than myself, and
looking not on my own things but on the things of others, and
seeking to love and serve all who are in need. In Jesus’ name I
All the Saints
(ALPB, 1994-1996) 4 vols., IV:1232, altered]