Reformation as Renewal
Trading Self-Reliance for Trust in Christ
October 28th is Reformation Sunday – the day when we thank God
for Martin Luther’s reforming work in the church in Germany,
almost 500 years ago now.
this means that we reform the church from within – by renewing
our trust in God. The temptation is always to trust in ourselves
rather than in God (Luke 18:9). That’s because it’s too
difficult to believe that we can do nothing without Christ (John
what is it that Christ provides for us that we can’t do
without? It is the forgiveness of sins and the hope of
eternal life (John 20:23, 14:19). Without that double
gift, despair would engulf us and dangerously enfeeble
us. Guilt and fear would weigh
down on us heavily. Unaddressed, they would keep us from
taking advantage of our days and distort the way we look
at everything. Deep, abiding joy – such as the world
cannot give – would be gone. Power to endure traumas and
make the best of every situation would be missing. And
we would end up squandering both time and eternity.
So honor the Reformation by praying for the
renewal of your faith and that of everyone in the church
throughout the world (Luke 11:13). Pray that we may all
move ever closer to trusting fully in Christ and further
and further away from trusting in ourselves.
by Matthew Kahn
With the coming of the brisk autumn air and the changing of the
October leaves, we will gather to celebrate the glorious
Reformation. We will rejoice in the beginning of our part of
Christianity because on October 31, 1517 Martin Luther posted
his, “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of
are truly blessed by God to have Martin Luther.
Yet he wasn’t the only one who was, as it might have
seemed at the time, to be tilting at windmills.
There were other people who previously tried to reform
the church. People like John Wycliffe or the Czech, Jan Hus, who
was burned at the stake a century before Luther’s reformation.
made Luther’s ecclesiastical challenge different were the
leaders outside the clergy that were called to serve the cause.
People like John the Steadfast, John Fredrick I of
Saxony, Philip I Landgrave of Hesse, all noble protectors of
Luther. There was Christoph von Scheurl who did the printing and
distribution of the “95 Theses” in the German language to better
spread the ideas. Finally, Fredrick the Wise, Elector of Saxony,
who not only founded the
University Wittenberg but also used his influence to make
sure Luther did not end up like Jan Hus.
This Reformation anniversary we must remember to thank
God for their contributions!
preface to the Book of Concord is signed by dozens of Dukes,
Mayors, Barons, and whole city councils; all lay persons devoted
to the Reformation.
Since the beginning it has been critical that parishioners step
forward to help lead our great Church. It was important in the
1500s and it is the same today.
Before we know it we will be selecting new church council
members, a new president and officers.
In the coming months I pray that everyone listens to the
Spirit’s promptings to serve His Church in some capacity so that
we may continue to spread His Word.
Lutheran Church of West Seattle is on a better financial footing
than it was 12 months ago. There were times last year where we
were concerned about being $10,000 short of giving. This year,
while still short of our financial goals, the total underage is
more a manageable $4,600. The Total General Budget Income was
$154,011 as compared to a budget of $158,641 for the year.
Most of this year’s shortfall was from the month of
August, in which we generally see a decline of giving. Total
General Budget Income for August was $15,100.64 as compared to
$18,413, or a shortfall of $3,300 from budget projections.
An important number is the cash on hand at the end of the
month. In July it was $5,264 but in August is dwindled down to
$388.28. It was a good thing we had a small cushion in July to
cover our bills. The overall message is: while we are in a
better financial position now than we were 12 months ago we
cannot afford falling any more behind this autumn.
Finally, even with all my ramblings about lay leadership and
congregational finances we must always remember to look to what
Martin Luther wrote in the 95 Theses, number sixty-two, “The
true treasure of the Church is the Most Holy Gospel of the glory
and the grace of God.”
Year to date (Jan-Aug)
Giving With a Grateful Heart
In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an
offering of the fruit of the ground, and Able for his
part brought of the firstlings of his flock, their fat
And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but
for Cain and his offering he had no regard.
Giving is a
matter of the heart. How a gift is given is more important than
the gift itself. Luther reminds us that, "Abel's offering
(Genesis 4:4) was pleasing to God and acceptable because he
offered it in the fear of God and in faith and because he strove
to show his grateful heart by his gift." We need to strive to
show our thankfulness to God for His greatest gift to us, Jesus
Christ. We do this rightly by giving our time and money
cheerfully. Pray that God will give us that grateful heart and
as Luther continues, "For when the heart is offered, this is a
gift that is very gratifying indeed to God."
THE HELPLINE NEEDS OUR “HELP!”
In last month’s Messenger,
we indicated that the West Seattle Helpline was to be the
“project” for the Extended Ministries Committee for the month of
Because the need is so great to help families in our
neighborhood pay for utilities so that they can stay in their
homes, we have decided to continue to ask you to help the
number of families among us that need extra to pay their utility
bills, is unthinkably high.
We probably have little understanding of what some of our
neighbors go through each month just to make enough money to pay
for heat, electricity, and water.
As I think of these, it would be like anticipating a
chronic power and water outage.
What if the stove didn’t work and we couldn’t cook food?
Or what if the refrigerator had no power, the food would be
spoiled? With no
water, how could you take care of basic sanitation and hygiene?
And as cooler months approach, what if we had no heat
because there just wasn’t enough money to pay that bill?
These are the questions that many of our West Seattle
residents face monthly.
Couldn’t we all just give up one latte a week or limit ourselves
to just a couple each week and donate that money to support the
Helpline? Or maybe
dessert is our favorite indulgence.
Donate money saved from cutting back on those delectable
you feel you can donate, whether it is because you have adjusted
your spending or just off the top of your income, you can know
that by helping the Helpline, you have done a good work out of
the generosity of your heart.
Please pray that you will be able to give a little extra
during the month of October to this very deserving extended
King for the Extended Ministries Committee
will be commemorated this year Thursday, November
1st, with a Columbarium Liturgy
All Saints’ Day.
Plan to attend this solemn occasion at
11:45 am in the chapel.
Sunday, November 4th come celebrate All Saints’ Sunday
8:00 am Holy Eucharist
10:30 am Festival Eucharist
11:45 am Brunch & 20th Anniversary of Dean Hard, as
Plan to attend the All Saints’ Brunch & the 20th
Anniversary celebration of our Deacon, Dean Hard
immediately following the 10:30 am Festival Eucharist.
Sign up on the list posted in the lounge.
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.
The Cross in Daily Life
"The need to make expiation or
atonement for wrongdoing seems to be one of the most powerful
human impulses, operating both on the individual and the
collective level. If the problem of guilt and violence and the
need to deal with them are not definitive of human culture, then
they certainly are of civilization, i.e. the attempt of human
beings to live together in settled communities. Part of the
power of Christianity as a missionary religion is that its
central symbol, the cross, targets both guilt and violence, and
offers a remedy to both through the ‘bearing’ of guilt and the
refusal to meet violence with counter-violence. That it is a
symbol which is
central, and not a doctrine or a philosophy, is important, for
the cross focuses feelings of guilt, shame and repentance which
go far beyond words to the very roots of human culture and the
individual psyche. That it squarely faces the universal human
problem of guilt and violence is its claim to be redemptive.
Satisfaction theory in particular addressed the need for order
both in society and in the human soul; it addressed the sense of
justice and the need to express moral outrage; it gave voice to
the experience that suffering might sometimes be redemptive;
above all it was a means of dealing with guilt. All of these
things were brought together by the satisfaction theory,
adumbrated at each celebration of the Eucharist, painted in
representations of the passion, given voice in the hymns of
pietism. The power of this combination of factors was enormous.”
[Timothy Gorringe, God’s
Just Vengeance: Crime, Violence,
and the Rhetoric of
Salvation (Cambridge, 1996) pp. 11-12.]
the Mind: Readings in Contemporary Theology
pm in the Church Lounge, Saturday, October 27th
for October is Under the
Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith (2004) by Jon
Krakauer, controversial author and mountaineer. He is famous for
his exposés of Greg Mortenson (Three
Cups of Deceit, 2011) and the death of Pat Tillman in
Afghanistan by friendly-fire (Where
Men Win Glory, 2009). Krakauer has also been nominated to
receive the Pulitzer Prize. This book,
Under the Banner of
Heaven, covers the story of a double murder in 1984 by
members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It
not only exposes a radical offshoot of this church and the
practice of polygamy, but also the inherently violent nature of
religious faith. This sharp criticism deserve one’s careful
attention. At the end of this book is the official response to
Krakauer’s arguments by the LDS church.
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
nature of religious faith as presented by Krakauer.
Tuesday, October 23rd.
Be sure to sign up when you see the sheet posted
in the lounge.
will meet on Wednesday the 31st and Thursday the 1st of
Join this group for their last meeting in 2012, the next
meeting will be in January of 2013.
A four-week guided reading of the Koran begins October
4th at 7:00 pm.
Call 206-935-6530 to register or
FOOD BANK DONATION
suggestion for October is tuna and mayonnaise.
NEW MEMBER CLASSES
will be starting on Sunday, October 7th at 11:45 am in
rm D. If
you are interested in becoming a member please let
Pastor Marshall know.
who donated socks for Nickelsville.
We collected seven pair and they were delivered
for your donations to the school supplies in August.
bags were taken to the West Seattle Helpline at the end
Later we learned that what we donated all went to
Lafayette Elementary School on California Avenue!
stores are no longer donating 1% of sales to the West
Seattle Food Bank through the collection of grocery
They are still donating a percentage but in a different
to those who collected receipts for us but the stores
have changed the rules
so the receipts
are no longer used.
St. Nicholas Faire
Sunday, December 2
4pm to 7pm
Sign-up sheets will be
posted this month and preparations are underway.
Be thinking how you would like to help.
There are plenty of opportunities, but the most important
action is to MARK
YOUR CALENDAR – INVITE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY!!!!!!!
It will be a spectacular party with good food and
beverages, creative and practical gift baskets you could give as
presents, prizes to win at the wine toss game, and wine tasting
with Maryhill Winery.
A great way to start off the holiday season supporting
our local charities, and having an awesome experience, all at
the same time!!!
need donations of wine priced between $15 and $30, and
home baked Christmas cookies and Scandinavian sweets. We
had a great response to “Christmas in July and August,” and
most of the ornaments were 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
You can always still donate money that will help
cover the cost of completing the themed gift baskets
that will be sold and any other expenses that we incur.
money we raise with your help from the St. Nicholas
Faire, will be donated to the West Seattle Food Bank and
the West Seattle Helpline.
Help us make this event fun, memorable, and
WEST SEATTLE RECYCLING
buys your recyclables of aluminum cans and newspapers
and sends the church a 10% bonus check a couple of times
Pastor Marshall is willing to take donations if left in
Also #6 Styrofoam can now be recycled (the kind
that snaps when broken [this includes the peanuts]).
Please put cans and Styrofoam donations in bags
before leaving at the back of the parsonage carport –
newspapers must be tied.
A Forgotten But Powerful Voice:
Dr. Kent S. Knutson, 1924-1973
By Pastor Marshall
What I want
to share with you this month, from Dr. Knutson’s
The Shape of the
Question: The Mission of the Church in a Secular Age (1972),
has to do with pastors. Regarding them, he writes, that they
don’t have to be transformed into modern day organizers, but
should instead carry on the tasks assigned of old for them to do
from the Holy Scriptures:
In our tradition we have used the functional formula....
The minister is one who performs certain functions,
preaches, teaches, counsels, administers the sacrament.
He is called by the church, ordained by the laying on of
hands, given the authority which belongs to the gospel,
and assigned certain administrative responsibilities. He
is a priest, a shepherd, preacher, teacher, and
hopefully prophet…. I would admit that this approach has
a certain depersonalization. The Reformation tradition
has been chary to speak of the person of the minister,
preferring to think rather of the office of the ministry
which the person fills. The
reason for this is that
our tradition has
wanted to be
careful not to suggest that the grace of God which redeems man is of a hierarchical
order with a more powerful grace preserved for the
ordained ministry. The minister, too, is a sinner saved
by grace. But in actual thought and use, the person of
the minister is described in terms of a certain
The minister must be a person with
a living faith,
apt to teach and preach, educable in the understanding
of the faith, dedicated to his task, the master of
certain arts of ministering to people, disciplined in
life and called by God, that is, he must be a volunteer
with a sense of vocation
Monthly Home Bible Study, October 2012, Number 236
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 Proverbs 27.7 noting
the line he who is sated
loathes honey. What is the point of this statement? On this
read John 3.19 noting the line
men loved darkness rather
than light. These two verses mean, then, that we just don’t
know what’s good for us – for we end up giving away light and
honey, which are both intrinsically good! Why do we do this? On
this read Romans 7.19 noting the words
want. This means that
we are our own worst enemy – since we defy what we know is good
and should do. On this read 2 Timothy 4.4 noting the words
wander. How bad is
this defiance? On this read Romans 3.11 noting the words
seeks. Why aren’t we
better than this? On this read Ephesians 2.3 noting the line
we were by nature
children of wrath. How could we get off to a worse start
than that? On this read Psalm 51.3 noting the line
in sin did my mother
conceive me. Do these considerations help us understand how
we could hate tasty honey, and not love the light? How so, if
Read again Proverbs 27.7 noting this time the word
sated. How shall we
try to get on the right path, so that we can enjoy the true
light and honey? On this read Luke 12.19-21 noting the words
Revelation 3.17 noting the line
not knowing that you are
wretched. What do these two passages tells us about being
sated? On this read Hebrews 11.25 noting the words
pleasures. If they
are ephemeral, fleeting, and unsubstantial – why do we dwell on
them as if they could bring us abiding fulfillment? On this read
Proverbs 20.13 noting the words
poverty. Why do the
foolish disregard the future? On this read 1 Corinthians 15.32
noting the words drink
and die. Does this
sinking into the moment refresh us? On this read Luke 10.40
noting the word
distracted. Why do we think distraction is so good for us?
On this read Isaiah 30.10 noting the words
illusions. What more
can we say? If we want to be deluded – our only hope is be born
anew as in John 3:5 and 2 Corinthians 5.14-17. Do you agree? If
Reread Proverbs 27.7 noting the word
hungry. What sort of
hunger is this? On this read Psalm 42.1 noting the words
God. What makes us
want God? On this read Romans 3.11 noting the line
no one seeks for God.
In what way is this so? On this read Romans 7.18 noting the
flesh. So by nature
we do not want God – we don’t hunger and thirst after him. Is
that then the end of it? On this read Romans 11.24 noting the
phrase grafted, contrary
to nature. How then do we develop a taste or longing for God
contrary to our natures? On this read John 6.68 noting the words
eternal. What is this
eternal life that is so desirable that it gives rise to a
longing for God – who alone can deliver it? On this read
Revelation 21.2-4 noting the words
pain. Does that make
you hungry? If so, why?
Read Proverbs 27.7 one last time noting the line
everything bitter is
sweet. How can
that be? On this read Romans 5.3-5 noting the words
hope. Do these
byproducts make the bitterness of suffering sweet? If so, how
does that work? On this read Romans 8.18 noting the word
comparing, and the
same word in 2 Corinthians 4.17, as well as Hebrews 12.2 noting
the word despising.
Where does this refusal to compare, along with the despising,
come from? On this read 2 Corinthians 3.5 noting the line
our competence is from
God. How does that happen? On this read James 1.17 noting
the words above and
down. How is this
descent activated? On this read Luke 11.13 noting the words
ask. Are you
convinced? If not, read Matthew 17.20 noting the words
impossible. What now?
Are you being drawn in? If not, read Philippians 4.13 noting the
him. Does that do it?
If so, why?
Its time to complete and turn in your Stewardship Pledge Cards.
The pledge cards
plan for next year.
The pledge card drive makes the whole congregation an active
part of the budget making process.
Without your help the
not be able to prepare a realistic budget.
Please return all pledge cards by:
Sunday, October 28th.
Remember in prayer before God those whom He has made
brothers and sisters through baptism.
Nora Vanhala, Ed Olson, Janice Lundbeck, Louis Koser,
Carmen Malmanger, Jeannine Lingle, Luke Douglass, Connor
Bisticas, Richard Hard, Agnes Arkle, Clara Anderson, Bob
Baker, Peggy Wright, Bob & Barbara Schorn, Rosita & Jim
Moe, Jim Cunningham, Tabitha Anderson, Linda Anderson,
Susan Lyon, Lee Neuman, Amy Tabor, Louisa Eden, Annie
Crutchfield, Kelsey Ensey, Cameron Lim, Maureen Baris,
Bertil Hansson, Connie Pinter, Joyce Baker, Chris &
Margeen Bowyer, John Wallace, Pastor Albin Fogelquist,
Paul Sampson, Yuriko Nishimura, Pete Williams & Family.
Pray for the shut-ins that the light of Christ
may give them joy:
Clara 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 are relocating that God will
guide their way and give them safe passage:
Pray for Louis Koser in his move to Minnesota.
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
Pray for our sister congregation:
El Camino de Emaus 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
Saint Frances of Assisi, renewer of the Church, 1226;
Saint Luke, Evangelist; Saint Simon and Saint Jude,
O Lord, my God, fountain of all true and
holy love, give to me such a love, that
whatsoever in your service may happen
contrary to my flesh and blood, may I not
feel it; that humility may be my sanctuary,
and your service the joy of my soul,
death itself the entrance to eternal life,
where I may love with you and all of the
saints in heaven forever. In Jesus’
I pray. Amen.
All the Saints (ALPB, 1994-1996) 4