The Witness of Richard John Neuhaus
I am glad to have had the chance to meet Father Neuhaus
(1936–2009) in 1990. I told him I was Goldie Halvorson’s
(1910–2008) pastor in West Seattle and his eyes immediately
lighted up. “Oh, how is she doing?” he said. “Those were great
days we had together in New York City!” That was when Pastor
Halvorson left our church in 1959 to serve in Brooklyn, New
Neuhaus was a powerful witness to Christ in America. He was a
prolific and deft writer on all matters concerning American
culture and global matters. An expert pugilist, he never shied
away from personal
criticism and public scrutiny – especially in the pages of his
Things. Toward the end of his life he
blessed a fellow priest with the words: “May ages see
through you – Christ” [Randy Boyagoda,
Richard John Neuhaus: A Life in the Public Square
(NY: Random House, 2015) p. 397]. I like that. I
also like his famous self-description: “In descending
order of importance I am religiously
(“Neuhaus, the Liberal,”
August/September 2016, p. 6). That complex picture of a
contemporary American Christian man is well worth our
consideration. It strikes me as an astute elaboration of
Matthew 13:52 – treasure something old; treasure
Marshall’s New Book
Signing Party November 13, 2016
Pastor Marshall’s new book will be out in November. It’s
called Kierkegaard in
the Pulpit: Sermons Inspired by His Writings. It has 27
sermons and eleven essays – reaching to nearly 500 pages in
length. It is a follow-up to his acclaimed first book on
Kierkegaard for the Church: Essays & Sermons (2013) –
which had seven sermons and 17 essays. This new book also
includes an original piece of art,
The Hotel Kierkegaard
– drawn by the same Heather Hudson, who drew
for Kierkegaard in
This new book is published by Cave Moon Press in Yakima,
Washington. Its owner, Doug Johnson, has agreed that all
proceeds from sales will go to benefit the West Seattle
and the West Seattle
How very generous
The signing party for
the Pulpit will be on Sunday, November 13, at 12 pm
in the Parish Hall, in the basement of our church.
The book is
dedicated to First Lutheran Church of West Seattle
where all of the sermons were originally preached. Books
will be available at the signing party at a 35%
As summer winds down, and the Olympics end, and football is
again in the air (or maybe the MLB wildcard?), one might think
of some of Paul’s references to athletes, such as in 2 Timothy
Take your share of suffering, as a good soldier of
Christ Jesus. No
soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits,
since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him.
An athlete is not crowned unless he competes
according to the rules.
It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have
the first share of the crops.
There are three analogies for the spiritual life here, the
soldier, the athlete, and the farmer.
Not getting entangled in civilian pursuits means not
being side-tracked by worldly concerns.
Competing according to the rules means following the path
that Christ lays out, and not making up our own.
Hard work is a warning about sloth.
In any case, as far as sports are concerned, they only
serve as an analogy for higher things, and are not (one reminds
oneself!) the higher end in themselves.
This was an easy summer for Church Council with respect to the
Instead of the usual dip in giving during the summer months, we
saw a significant rise.
To be sure, the summer started out in June looking like
the usual pattern, but then July and the first half of August
roared in with some of the highest giving the church has seen in
There was a major gift, to be sure, but that remains
undesignated until Council meets in September, and is not part
of the giving I’m talking about, which was more broadly based.
This has meant that we were able to catch up with all
regular payments to savings accounts, such as Major Maintenance,
year to date, and anticipate entering September on
budget instead of behind as we usually do.
Overall, to this point in the year, we have seen
more regular monthly giving, which allows the Church to
function financially with less stress.
Council now anticipates being able to build up
the Rainy Day fund, which has been at zero since our
difficulties last year.
On behalf of the Council, I want to thank the
Pastor’s Sunday morning study of 2 Corinthians
draws to a close this month and we start on Luther’s
Commentary on Psalm 117 on September 11.
Psalm 117 is two verses, on which Luther writes
about 35 pages!
Here is an example of how Luther is able to see
the whole of Scripture in its parts, the big picture of
the Word in its details, which testifies to the
integrity and divine inspiration of the Word.
Please join Pastor for this study beginning in
keep in mind the ornaments you have taken from the St.
Nicholas Faire tree.
Larraine and her helpers need these items well in
advance of the Faire itself so they can organize and
prepare the bidding tables and items.
It is a huge task, and we are grateful for all
who help with it.
We Are Stewards
We love because He first loved us.
I John 4:19
Or as a corollary, we give because He first gave Himself
to save us from our sins and give us eternal life.
The immense welling up of gratitude that occurs
when we realize the deep significance of this!
We have hope, joy, meaning, purpose, direction –
the list is endless – but most important of all, we have
forgiveness of sins and the promise of salvation because
Jesus Christ gave His life for us.
How can we not rejoice that we are able to give
back, “return thanks,” for this immeasurable gift?
He saved us!
We can’t help showing our gratitude in our
service to His Church.
We are stewards of His legacy.
Let our thankfulness be evident in our gifts of
treasure, time, and talents that we give in grateful
acknowledgment of His sacrifice for us.
David King, Church Council
September 26, 1976, the Noack
organ located in the gallery of our
church was dedicated at the morning liturgy, followed
that afternoon with an inaugural organ recital.
This grand day in the life of our parish will be
celebrated again this fall with
two separate events.
The anniversary will be
observed on Sunday, September 25, 2016, incorporating
prayers, hymns, choral and organ music from the
dedicatory service into the morning liturgy that day.
On Sunday, November 6,
2016, an organ recital will be played at 3:00 pm by
parish organist Andrew King.
A graduate of Pacific Lutheran University, Mr.
King earned the master of music degree in organ
performance at the University of Washington. The program
will include compositions from the inaugural and 25th
anniversary recitals, as well as other music.
Be sure to mark your calendars and plan to attend both
with Pastor Marshall
9:00 to 10:00
am, Room D
September 11 - October 30
Wisdom in Brevity: Luther on Psalm 117
This eight week class will study
Luther’s 35 page commentary from 1530 in Coburg on the two verse
long Psalm 117.
The text is
from Luther’s Works
This class is the fourteenth in our series of studies on the
Reformation, leading up to the 500th anniversary in October
2017. This series began in April 2009.
FALL SESSION II,
November 6 - December 18
Fire: Luther on the Book of Job
In this eight week class we will study Luther’s scattered
comments on The Book of Job. Our theme verse will be Job 23:10.
This class is the fifteenth in our series of studies on the
January 1 - 29
Close to the
End – Luther’s Last Printed Sermon
In this short, four week class, we will study Luther’s January
17, 1546 sermon from Eisleben. Even though he preached five more
times before his death, the following month, this is the last
sermon for which we have a printed text.
This class is the sixteenth in our series of studies on the
SPRING SESSION I,
February 5 – March 26
Early Letters: A Study of 1 & 2 Thessalonians
eight week class we will study 1 & 2 Thessalonians.
These two letters of Saint Paul are considered to be two
of his earliest.
Each class session will be based on a worksheet of
questions handed out the week before.
SPRING SESSION II,
April 2- May 21
the Faith Straight: Luther on Moses & Jesus
eight week class will study Luther’s 1525 treatise, “How
Christians Should Regard Moses,”
35:161–174. This is one of his classic treatments on the
difference between the Law and the Gospel.
class is the seventeenth in our series of studies on the
Wednesday Bible Classes
with Pastor Marshall
Morning 10- 11:30 am
1) Mark 1.1-45
1) Jeremiah 1.1-2.37
2) Mark 2.1-28
10) Mark 10.1-52
2) Jeremiah 3.1-5.31
10) Jeremiah 30.1-32.44
3) Mark 3.1-35
11) Mark 11.1-33
3) Jeremiah 6.1-8.22
11) Jeremiah 33.1-36.32
4) Mark 4.1-41
12) Mark 12.1-44
4) Jeremiah 9.1-12.17
12) Jeremiah 37.1-41.18
5) Mark 5.1-43
13) Mark 13.1-37
5) Jeremiah 13.1-15.21
13) Jeremiah 42.1-46.28
6) Mark 6.1-56
14) Mark 14.1-72
6) Jeremiah 16.1-19.15
14) Jeremiah 47.1-49.39
7) Mark 7.1-37
15) Mark 15.1-47
7) Jeremiah 20.1-22.30
15) Jeremiah 50.1-51.64
8) Mark 8.1-38
16) Mark 16.1-20
8) Jeremiah 23.1-25.38
16) Jeremiah 52.1-34
Evening 7:30 - 9:00 pm
Fall: Ezra & Nehemiah
Spring: Galatians 1.1-10
1) Ezra 1.1-2.70
1) Galatians 1.1-10
9) Galatians 4.11-20
2) Ezra 3.1-13
10) Nehemiah 3.1-32
2) Galatians 1.11-24
10) Galatians 4.21-31
3) Ezra 4.1-24
11) Nehemiah 4.1-23
3) Galatians 2.1-10
11) Galatians 5.1-8
4) Ezra 5.1-17
12) Nehemiah 5.1-19
4) Galatians 2.11-21
12) Galatians 5.9-15
5) Ezra 6.1-22
13) Nehemiah 6.1-7.73
5) Galatians 3.1-9
13) Galatians 5.16-26
6) Ezra 7.1-28
14) Nehemiah 8.1-9.38
6) Galatians 3.10-18
14) Galatians 6.1-5
7) Ezra 8.1-36
15) Nehemiah 10.1-11.36
7) Galatians 3.19-29
15) Galatians 6.6-10
8) Ezra 9.1-10.44
16) Nehemiah 12.1-13.31
8) Galatians 4.1-10
16) Galatians 6.11-18
With the Mind
in Contemporary Theology with Pastor Marshall
in the Church Lounge, 3-5 pm, the fourth Saturday of each month.
American Nietzsche: A
History of an Icon and His Ideas (2012).
Not Just Good, But Beautiful:
The Complementary Relationship Between Man and Woman,
ed. S. Lopes, H. Alvaré (2015).
Jack Mulder Jr.,
What Does It Mean to Be
Wolterstorff, The God We
Worship: An Exploration of Liturgical Theology (2015).
Prue Shaw, Reading Dante:
From Here to Eternity (2015).
Yawning at Tigers: You
Can’t Tame God, So Stop Trying (2014).
The Allurement of
Gentleness: Defending the Faith in the Manner of Jesus
Daniel William Taylor,
Death Comes for the Deconstructionist: A Novel (2014).
Evolution: Still a Theory
in Crisis (2016).
3-5 pm in the Church Lounge, Saturday, September 26th.
The book for September is
Nietzsche: A History of an Icon and His Ideas
(2012), by Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen Metaxas. This book
is about the American ethos and what lies behind our
common life in this country. Her thesis is that it’s the
thought of the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche
(1844–1900) who famously argued that God is dead. She
defends this alarming claim by showing all of the many
American writers who promoted Nietzsche’s ideas in the
USA during that last 150 years – especially the great
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1884 ) (pp. 5–10, 295–305).
She also shows how the American church and its
supporters didn’t take this sitting down, claiming that
“the emancipated individual needs to master himself
[but] Nietzsche cannot tell us [how]” (p. 134).
A copy of this engaging book on our country’s ethos is
in the library. If you would like to purchase one for
yourself, contact Pastor Marshall. Feel free to attend
our meeting when we discuss the common background to our
will be preaching at the investiture liturgy for the Reverend
Wesley C. Telyea at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Issaquah.
The service will be at 3 pm on Sunday, September 25,
DEO GLORIA CANTORES
– Choir will start their practice sessions at 7:30 pm on
Thursday, September 22nd, in the gallery.
starts on Sunday, September 11th.
Adult Bible Class, rm. D and Sunday School, rm. 4, 9:00
(6th – 8th grades) meet in the library.
The Wednesday pastor’s
classes (10:00 am & 7:30 pm in rm. D) start on September 7th,
and confirmation (3:30 pm in rm. D) starts on September 14th.
FOOD BANK DONATION
suggestion for September is canned, boxed or instant soup.
Saint Nicholas Faire
Sunday, December 11, 2016 from 4:30 to 7:30 pm
We’re at it again.
Thank you to all who have already begun helping
prepare for this annual fund raising event.
So many of you have stepped up to the plate, or
in this case the “Christmas in July and August tree,”
and taken ornaments.
Many of you have already made your
purchases/donations and they have been catalogued and
are waiting to be made into baskets for purchasing at
At this writing, there are many items yet to be turned
would be outstanding if all “ornament” items can be
brought to the church by Sunday, September 18th.
If you need assistance of any kind getting this
done, please call Larraine King (206-937-6740) or email
If you would prefer, you
can donate money designated to the St. Nicholas Faire
and we will do the shopping.
Plus, in late November, we will be purchasing
items that need to be fresh, so they need to be bought
closer to the date of the Faire.
If you would like to help in this way, please let
me know and I can give you a list of items to choose
But most important, always remember that all our efforts
are to support, in a fun and enjoyable way, two very
important extended ministries – the West Seattle
and the West Seattle
We are looking forward to
having a super
evening of wine tasting, winning prizes at the
wine toss game, munchies, conversation and fellowship,
and “shopping” for Christmas gifts for friends and
Where else can you go so close to home for such a
And it all benefits two great organizations!
So plan to come and invite your neighbors and
family and friends to come with you.
Sign-up sheets for helpers
for the event will be posted in October and more details
about the event will appear in future
and bulletin announcements.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!!!
If you don’t come there will be no party, no fun, and no funds
raised for the Food Bank and Helpline.
Please note the change of date and time…..Our
beloved Seahawks schedule has worked havoc on choosing a date
and time for the St. Nicholas Faire.
We hope the change will solve the problem of encouraging
friends and family to attend the Faire.
If possible we will have TV transmission of the last
portion of the game for those who just can’t miss the end!
This past August,
12 three ring binders, four pks. wide ruled paper, 12
spiral bound notebooks, four boxes crayons, six glue sticks, 13
pks. tissues, 24 pencils, 64 pens, 2 scissors, one pencil box
and a composition notebook were donated to the West Seattle
Helpline Back-to-School supply collection.
Running for 25 weeks, from March 6 to August 21, 2016, we had
excerpts in the Sunday bulletin from Scott Hendrix new book,
Martin Luther: Visionary Reformer (Yale University
Press, 2015). These inserts were offered as a preparation for
the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in 2017. Extra
copies are available through the church
Monthly Home Bible Study,
September 2016, Number 283
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
(Acts 13.44). (This study uses the RSV translation.)
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). And don’t give up,
for as Luther said, we “have in Scripture enough to study for
all eternity” (LW
Read Romans 8.17 noting the
word suffer. What
does it mean to suffer? On this read Matthew 27.19 noting the
dream. What kind of
suffering is that? On this read 2 Corinthians 7.5 noting the
phrase fear within.
How does this anxiety cause suffering? On this read John 20.19
noting the words shut
and fear. So fear
constrains us to hide, and that confinement is suffering. On
this read also Matthew 27.26 noting the word
scourged. How does
scourging cause suffering? On this read Job 30.17 noting the
pain. So pain causes
suffering by depleting our strength and joy. And read Matthew
2.16-18 noting the words
consoled. How does
this weeping cause suffering? On this read Judges 11.37 noting
the line bewail my
virginity. So loss of love and life causes suffering. Are
all Christians, then, expected to endure such confinement,
physical pain, and loss of love and life? How so? On this read
John 15.18-19 noting the words
world. Note also the
evil in Matthew 5.11.
Does that settle it? Or do you side with the words
never in Psalm 30.6?
Explain the way you lean.
Week II. Read again Romans 8.17
noting the same word
suffer. What’s the good in it? On this read Romans 5.3-5
noting the words
disappoint. How do
these four come about? On the first, read Luke 16.25 noting the
comforted. Here we
see how the endurance of Lazarus is rewarded in the life to come
after he dies. On the second one, read Acts 5.41 noting the line
rejoicing that they were
counted worthy to suffer. Here we see how joy and worth are
established through suffering. On the third one, read Hebrews
11.19 noting the phrase
God was able to raise men even from the dead. Here we see
how knowing that death is not the end enables us to endure the
pain in the death of loved ones. And on the last one, read John
14.19 noting the line
because I live, you will live also. Here the hope of
everlasting life doesn’t disappoint because it is grounded in
the certainty of Christ’s resurrection. Where does that leave us
then? Is suffering good? On this read 1 Peter 4.13 noting the
sufferings. Does this
sharing launder our pain and sorrow – turning them into
something good? On this read Matthew 10.24 noting the line
a disciple is not above
his teacher. Does that settle it? How so?
Reread Romans 8.17 noting the word
provided. Why is this
condition given? On this read James 4.8 noting the two uses of
the phrase draw near.
How do we do this? On this read John 15.5 noting the words
nothing. How does
Christ then help us? On this read Matthew 11.28–30 noting the
line I will give you rest.
What does it mean to come to him to get this rest? On this read
2 Corinthians 5.14–15 noting the line
live no longer for
themselves. How can we take leave of ourselves? On this read
John 6:44 noting the word
draw. Does that put us in good shape? How so?
Read Romans 8.17 one last time noting the word
glorified. Is this
about fame and fortune here and now? On this read Colossians
3.1–4 noting the words
above, hid and
glory. Read also 2
Corinthians 4.16–18 noting the words
unseen. What is the
value in this otherworldly glory? On this read Romans 8.18
noting the words
and glory. Read also
the next verses 8.19–23 noting the words
redemption. Why is
being free of these maladies important? On this read 1 Peter 1.4
noting the words
unfading. And what’s the point in this purity and
brilliance? On this read 2 Corinthians 3.17 noting the word
freedom. Is that
intrinsically worthwhile without further ado? If so, how so? For
help, read about freedom in Romans 6.16–22.
Remember in prayer before God those whom He has made your
brothers and sisters through baptism.
Sam Lawson, Linda Olson, Mariann Petersen, Evelyn Coy, David,
Eileen and Michael Nestoss, Bob & Barbara Schorn, Ion
Ceaicovschi, Tabitha Anderson, The PLU Music Faculty, Mike
Harty, Mike Granger, Dee Grenier, Kristin Wall, Rick Sitts,
Linda Hagen, Heidi Anderson, Leonard Richter, Esther Ko, Jason &
Kathleen, Tim Chadwick, Heather de Jesus, Linda LeGrande,
Shirley Domery, Matt Anderson, Jordan Corbin, Sheila Feichtner,
Geo & Therese Guloy, Angel Lynn, Fernando Valmala, Linda
Anderson, Mark Schubert, Josh Carling, those infants and
families affected by the Zika virus, the great migration from
the Near East into Europe and other parts of the world.
Pray for the shut-ins that the light of Christ may give them
joy: Florence Jenkins, C. J. Christian, Louis Koser, Anelma
Meeks, Dorothy Ryder, Lillian Schneider, Crystal Tudor, Nora
Vanhala, Elmer & June Wittman, Bill Wright.
Pray for those who have suffered the death of a loved one this
Summer: Pray that God will bear their grief and lift their
hearts: Pray for Chuck & Doris Prescott and family on the death
of their grandson Dusty Foster.
Pray for our bishops Elizabeth Eaton and Brian Kirby Unti, 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
September. 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 Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist; and Saint Michael
and All Angels.
A Treasury of Prayers
heartily thank you, O Lord, Ruler of heaven and earth, that
you have caused me to enjoy your goodness with which you
have crowned the year even to this moment. Be merciful unto
all who are in need, the naked, and those that are
distressed; and, so keep my heart, that in these days when
wickedness stalks forth triumphant, and love so easily grows
cold, I may earnestly withhold myself from all the works of
darkness, and not deny my soul the offices of mercy; but, at
all times willingly aid and give, even as you have prospered
me abundantly. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
[For All the