October 2011

One Little Word

Luther’s Ein Feste Burg ist Unser Gott


Martin Luther wrote over 35 hymns and his most famous one is, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” [Ein Feste Burg ist Unser Gott] (1528). We’ll sing it once again on Reformation Sunday this year, October 30. 

The center of the hymn is at the end of the third verse where it says we won’t tremble when the raging devil, who is this world’s tyrant, sends hordes of demons to devour us because of the “little word,” Christ Jesus, the mighty Lord, defends us [Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) hymn 229]. This makes God our mighty fortress. This comes from Psalm 46.1 where it says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” On this verse Luther writes, that “a false faith will not stand the test of adversity, but both… idol and superstition, become engulfed and vanish  [and only] despair remains. Therefore [only Christ deserves this name, because only he] can rescue from death” (Luther’s Works 19:57).
Now that’s worth singing about! So thank God for the Reformation in Germany in the 16th century, and Martin Luther who led it, for it is this rescue from death that they defended. Amen!

                                                                                                                               Pastor Marshall



PRESIDENT'S REPORT.... by Matthew Kahn


At the end of every October we celebrate the beginning of the Reformation. That distinct schism occurred in the Church when Luther posted his 95 Theses. It has been years since I have read the simple document.  I read it again in preparation for this fall and I found one thesis that struck me once again. To me it pierces to the heart of what the protestations over indulgences were:

37. Every true Christian, whether living or dead, has part in all the blessings of Christ and the Church; and this is granted him by God, even without letters of pardon.

    Creation, life, the Law, the Gospel, forgiveness… ALL of our blessings are gifts from God, regardless of what a politicized church says.  The color of the festival is red, the same as the day of Pentecost, the celebration of the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was there with the disciples, there with Martin Luther and is with us today as we continue to spread the Word of God. May god bless our endeavors.

    During the first part of this summer we began the slow process of getting our financial house in order. At one point we were over $7,000 behind budget, however because of generous contributions from our membership we began to catch up. By the middle of summer we had shrunk the budget deficiency to only $4,000. Unfortunately by the end of summer we started to lose ground again. 

    At the end of August we had a Total General Budget Income of $15,557.60 versus a budget of $18,422. This is a shortfall of about $3,000 for the month of August alone.

Year to date we have had $150,525.40 in Total General Budget Income as compared to a budget of $158,721. We have fallen back to having a $6,200 giving shortfall. So far we have been able to counter this by keeping our spending under budget as well.  As the seasons change however, with greater heating expenses, our bills will now be on the increase again. Let us pray that we will be able to close this budgetary gap and through the Holy Spirit, continue to do His work in West Seattle.

    This October as we celebrate the movement that unshackled us from a politicized church and refocused us upon the Word of God and on His plan, take time to read the 95 Theses again. It only takes a couple of minutes. You can pick up a copy at the church office. Then say a prayer of thanksgiving for Martin Luther and the Holy Spirit, because today, forgiveness is free, but only for those who ask for it.

    May God Bless the Reformation.


Stewardship                                         Budget                       Received

       Month (August)                            $18,422                       $16,221

       Year to date (Jan-Aug)                 $158, 721                    $152,542



Dedicating Your Life to God

Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold,

Take my intellect, and use, ev’ry pow’r as thou’d shalt choose.

(Take My Life, That I May Be, Verse 4)

    In her short life in England, Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879),a frail and delicate woman, wrote the texts to many hymns, one of them being “Take My Life, That I May Be” in 1874. The words were based on a tune in an American hymnal published by Lowell Mason in 1841.

   It’s a beautiful hymn, a hymn with a simple message in its six verses but it’s the fourth verse to consider now.  Sometimes our giving needs a boost, as the situation is at the current time.  Evaluate and pray for God’s guidance.  You will be glad you did! 

                  –Louis Koser,

                   Church Council

                                         Frances Ridley Havergal



Sunday, December 4 from 4pm to 7pm

Sign-up sheets will be posted this month and preparations are underway.  Be thinking how you would like to help.  And more importantly MARK YOUR CALENDAR –


http://stnicholas.kids.us/stnic/imagegallery/g-siegl-lg.jpg We especially need donations of wine priced between $20 and $30, and home baked Christmas cookies and Scandinavian sweets. We had a great response to “Christmas in July” and all but one ornament was taken from the tree.  If you haven’t already brought your “ornament” item to the church, I will be giving you a reminder call.  We need all items no later than October 9th.  You can also still donate money that will help cover the cost of completing the themed gift baskets that will be sold.  Remember that the money we raise with your help from the St. Nicholas Faire, will all be donated to the West Seattle Food Bank and the West Seattle Helpline.  Help us make this event fun, memorable, and successful!

-Larraine King, Church Council



October Book

With the Mind:  Readings in Contemporary Theology

3-5 pm in the Church Lounge, Saturday, October 22nd

The book for October is 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction (2010) by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein. This book is a fanciful, cynical exploration of a number of possible rational justifications for the existence of God, in a Jewish context. While it’s playful, it’s also serious enough to concisely state all 36 of the arguments at the end of the book that are explored chapter by chapter throughout the body of the book.

     Regarding the common belief of Christians that God exists because the Bible says he does, Goldstein writes: “Only the most arrogant provincialism could allow someone to believe that the holy documents that happen to be held sacred by the clan he was born into are true, whereas all the documents held sacred by the clan he wasn’t born into are false” (p.483).

     A copy of this panoramic study of faith and reason 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 place of reasonability in establishing a saving faith in Christ.


ANNOUNCEMENTS: GOLDEN FELLOWSHIP:  Luncheon on Tuesday, October 25th.  Be sure to sign up when you see the sheet posted in the lounge. 

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. 

KORAN CLASS:  A four-week guided reading of the Koran begins October 6th at 7:00 pm.  Interested?  Call 206-935-6530 to register or email deogloria@foxinternet.com.  

NEW MEMBER CLASSES will be starting on Sunday, October 2nd at 11:45 am in rm D.  If you are interested in becoming a member please let Pastor Marshall or the office know.

SCRAPPER’S will meet on Wednesday the 26th and Thursday the 27th of October.  Join this group for their last meeting in 2011, the next meeting will be in January of 2012.

FOOD BANK DONATION suggestion for October is tuna and mayonnaise.   

St. Luke, Evangelist


The King James Version of the Bible:

Its 400th Anniversary, 1611-2011

By Pastor Marshall


I have been commemorating the King James Version of the Bible during its anniversary year in this column. One of the reasons for this is the vast influence of the KJV on everyday English. David Crystal has written a whole book on this entitled Begat: The King James Bible & the English Language (Oxford, 2010). There he writes:

If someone is looking to the Bible for a catchy title for a book, film, or pop song, or wanting to grab the reader’s attention in a headline for a newspaper or website, it is the King James Bible they’re most likely to pick up. And it is remarkable just how often biblical phrases come to be used in this way. It’s not so much the number of phrases that is impressive, but the range of non-biblical settings into which they’ve been introduced, with the writers displaying considerable linguistic ingenuity. We find biblical expressions appearing in such disparate worlds as nuclear physics, court cases, TV sitcoms, recipe books, punk rock lyrics, and video games…. [Take for instance] “how the mighty have fallen” (2 Samuel 1:19), which seems to be the expression of choice whenever someone wants to describe the decline and fall of a famous person or institution. Government ministers attract the headline, especially in the wake of a political scandal. Countries do, especially if their power is perceived to have diminished: the phrase was used in one report to describe the present state of the Russian army; in another, to the way a fall in global oil prices was causing unaccustomed privation in some countries of the Middle East. The collapse of major financial institutions in the 2008-9 recession led to it being used so much that it became a temporary cliché [pp.9-10, 75-76].

What this study shows is both how much we owe the KJV and also how little we’ll understand of our own daily speech without a full knowledge of KJV.




A Forgotten But Powerful Voice:

Dr. Kent S. Knutson, 1924-1973

By Pastor Marshall


Dr. Knutson was the presiding bishop of the ALC from 1971-1973. In his most famous book, The Shape of the Question: The Mission of the Church in a Secular Age (1972), which I am exploring in this column, he writes these arresting words on asking and answering questions about God. I think they deserve our serious attention:

[The] truly secular man is characterized by a rigorous honesty and energy…. At the root of his attitude is the basic cry, “Wherein lies meaning?”…. This really is a Lutheran question occurring at key points in Luther’s catechism. What does this mean for us, not just what does it say, but what does it mean?.... How shall it be applied? [But this] is a very difficult question to answer for at least two reasons. First, because secular man has fallen into a trap in the way that he understands the question. It is possible to ask a question in such a way that no answer is expected…. [So] asking a question does not in and of itself always permit an answer. It depends on the kind of question, the purpose of the question, the context out of which the question comes. Sometimes a question only deserves another question. Secular man, I believe, has asked this question out of a particular cultural commitment that is a trap for him and no kind of answer in and of itself will satisfy him. The second difficulty is that those whom claim to believe in God have not paid enough attention to this question to know how to handle an answer. We have not had the theological perception or the interest or intellectual equipment to be able to deal with that question. So we have created a confrontation which is a deadlock (pp. 16-18).




Enjoy the convenience of electronic giving!



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.   



(Teri Korsmo, Financial Secretary, 206-932-7914, TLHK@comcast.net)



Remember in prayer before God those whom He has made your

brothers and sisters through baptism.

Richard Hard, Clara Anderson, Janice Lundbeck, Alan Morrison, Mary Goplerud, Pete Morrison, Evelyn Coy, Agnes Arkle, Teri Korsmo, Bob Baker, Peggy Wright, Bob & Barbara Schorn, Margaret Hard, Robin Kauffman, Rae Terpenning, Dora Tudor, Mark Mosley & Family, Theresa Malmanger, Paul Jensen, Jennie Jaramillo, Chardell Paine, Craig Purfeerst, Joyce Baker, Rolf Sponheim, Cameron Lim, Pastor Jamie Fecher, Don Evenson, Dorothy Randall-Wood, Pastor John Beck, Barbara Hancock, Patrick Coy, Todd Goldader, Rita Spotanski, Grant Costa, Donna Berkeley, George Moldovan, Jennifer Alfano, Mary Uhler.

     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 the newly confirmed members that God may inspire their discipleship:  Pray for Taylor Smith on her confirmation on Pentecost, June 12th.

      Pray for our new member that she may all the more rejoice in Christ and serve him with diligence:  Pray for Dorothy Ryder on becoming a member on Holy Trinity, June 19th.

     Pray for the newly married that they will fulfill their holy vows and grow in holy love until their life's end:  Pray for Aaron Donogh and Ana Korsmo on their September 3rd wedding.

     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 Fall.  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 Emaus in the Skagit Valley that God may bless and strengthen their ministriy.  Also, pray for our parish and it's ministry.

     Pray that God will bless you through the lives of the saints:  Saint Frances of Assisi, renewer of the Church, 1226; Saint Luke, Evangelist; Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles.

Text Box: A Treasury of Prayers

Almighty God, who has sent the Spirit of truth to guide us in all truth – so rule my life by your power, that I may be truthful in word and deed, and thought. Cast out from me, O merciful Lord, whatever makes me love to tell lies, and bring me to the perfect freedom of your truth. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

[For All the Saints (ALPB, 1994-1996) 4 vols., 4:832, altered]

Ein Feste Burg:

Music for




October 30th, 2011

3:00 pm


     On the last Sunday of October Music Northwest will present Pro Musica directed by Karen Thomas.  

     Included in the presentation is:

Now thank we all our God.........Pachelbel

Jauchzet dem Herren........................Schutz

Cloudburst...........................Eric Whitacre

Quarry Weave.....................Meredith Monk

Join us for this beautiful concert at 3:00 pm.  Discounted tickets ($12) for congregation members may be preordered by phone by calling 206-937-2899.  Regular tickets ($18) can be purchased at the door.