Messiah Blog & News

News at Messiah

How many times? Forgive again… and again… and again?

Real love creates a climate where forgiveness and understanding are readily given and received. In all his parables on forgiveness and reconciliation, Jesus calls anyone who would be his disciples to be committed to the work of reconciliation, to be always ready and willing to make the first move toward forgiveness, to be actively engaged in the wo...

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Don't Talk - Follow!

Last week we read about Peter's confession of faith that Jesus was the Messiah, and Jesus saying "You are Peter, and on this rock I shall build my church . . ." The sermon was about the "Keys of the Kingdom" and my understanding of the difference between "Remembrance" and "Recollection." I did not, however, make any mention of the last, what some p...

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Flesh and blood have not revealed this to you.

Our Gospel reading for this Sunday, August 27, 2023, is Matthew 16:13-20. In it Jesus asks his disciples who people think he is - for which there are lots of answers. And then Jesus asks them who they think he is, and Peter says, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God!" Right you are, Peter. And you didn't come up with that one a...

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Not just another Mother's Day!

"Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon…" Silence, refusal to act, exile, condemnation - all the responses you'd expect, right? What are we dealing with here in Matthew 15 this Sunday? She wants a better life for her 11 year old than the violence of gang warfare. So mother and son abandon their life in Columbia an...

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The Sheer Audacity!

This Sunday, August 13, 2023, our Gospel Lesson is Matthew 14:22-33. It may be a familiar story to you - Jesus walking on the water.  The story is this. Jesus has just fed the 5,000 - last week's Gospel Lesson. He has told his disciples to take their boat back across the lake while he dismisses the crowd - and then Jesus goes back up into the ...

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Love those blackberries, but . . .

The Kingdom of Heaven is like invasive blackberry bushes in your backyard. They are really tenacious and aggravating, but you like blackberry pie and enjoy watching the little bunnies run in and out of them for protection. The Kingdom of Heaven is alike a computer virus . . . The Kingdom of Heaven is like the city fixing sewer lines in your ne...

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Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus

Last Sunday, June 18, we looked together at Jesus' assessment that the people around him were "harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." I suggested that this was "political commentary" in the spirit of the prophet Ezekiel who lambasted the political and religious leaders of his day for failing to care for those most in ...

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Like Sheep without a Shepherd

I'm sure there must have been a time in pre-human history or whatever when sheep did just fine without shepherds. I mean, they must have been wild at some point, wandering around feeding themselves, living in little flocks or 'family' groups or whatever. I have no idea, I'm just pretty sure they didn't evolve as a domestic food source. But ent...

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"Hello, my name is El Shaddai!"

This coming Sunday, June 4, is the Sunday of the Holy Trinity. Join us for worship as your favorite 'church self' and we'll talk about the masks we wear and the various ways (count 'em - three) that God shows up for us. Fun, fun, fun. This Sunday is also graduate Sunday so at Hazel Dell we'll have some of this year's graduates joinin...

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Does not compute!

The human brain is an amazing machine. Our eyes receive images, our ears sounds, our skin touch. Then, all of this input runs along highways called nerves. It flies from synapse to synapse and is compared to other information in vast, organic data banks. All of this happens with the goal of answering just one question....

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The Advocate

This Sunday's gospel is part of the "farewell discourse," where Jesus is saying goodbye to his disciples and assuring them that he'll continue to be with them. Poet Nayyirah Waheed, in her collection salt has a wonderful short poem on difficult goodbyes that might speak to the situation and mood in our gospel reading for the 6th Sunday of Easter. i...

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Okay, Cleopas and his friend weren't ambushed. But, deep in grief over the death of Jesus (and possible theft of his body) as these two men walk home from Jerusalem to Emmaus they totally don't recognize the stranger that joins them. And, Jesus isn't volunteering any clarity about who he is. I guess he knows they'll figure it out whe...

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Let's hear it for FAITHFUL Thomas!

On the second Sunday of Easter we always turn to the one who is often called "Doubting Thomas." He is the one who misses out on the first meeting with Jesus behind the locked doors that keep them safe from the world. The others are thrilled with having seen the risen Lord and Thomas expresses his need to see for himself. He wants his own experience...

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From "Hosanna" to "Crucify him"

Palm/Passion Sunday First it is a parade, then it is a perp walk. One minute the crowd shouts, "Hosanna!"  Not too much later, the tide is turned and people are shouting, "Crucify him!" Today, we encounter the paradox that defines our faith: Jesus Christ is glorified king and humiliated servant. We too are full of paradox: like Peter, we ferve...

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What the body knows . . .

Fredrick Nietzsche once said, "There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy." The mind may be able to understand complex philosophical concepts, but it can never experience the joys and sorrows of life as the body can. The body knows what it is like to feel pain and pleasure, love and hate, happiness and sadness. The mind ...

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Come and See

Fourth Sunday in Lent The gospel for this Sunday is the story of the man born blind healed by Christ. "I was blind, now I see," declares the man. But what an uproar this causes. There follows a long inquisition about his identity, who was involved, the testimony of the townspeople, the blind man's parents, and the reaction of the Pharisees. Jesus i...

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Know it by Heart!!

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." I know John 3:16 by heart - and for some reason in the old King James translation. I've never had a KJV Bible. I also know most of the 23rd Psalm, the Lord's Prayer, the 10 Commandments and the Apostle'...

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Mind If I Smoke?

Once when I was a kid, maybe 10 years old or so, my friend Tim and I found a pack of cigarettes in the street. We hid them away, and then one day snuck into the bushes to try smoking one of the them - living on the wild side! Apparently we thought we were doing something wrong. Temptation, of course, isn't really about such things as smoking, drink...

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Transfiguration Sunday: We can't stay on the mountain

How often do you reflect back on a "mountain-top" experience in your life? What continuing role does it play other than a positive memory? The Season of Epiphany began and concludes with an extraordinary event, a clear revelation of who Jesus is and what he means to God and to God's Kingdom. At his baptism and now on the Mt. of Transfiguration a di...

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The Vital Role of "Nothing" - Ash Wednesday

"Ashes present a great diminishment away from the living tree with its huge crown and its abundant shade. The recognition of this diminishment is a proper experience for men who are over thirty. If the man doesn't experience that diminishment sharply, he will retain his inflation, and continue to identify himself with all in him that can fly: his s...

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Salty encounters!

"You are the salt of the earth ..." says Jesus in this Sunday's Gospel Lesson. Salt makes a bad main dish in my opinion! Rather, salt is a seasoning or flavor enhancer, right? Even more, let's recognize that salt's usually invisible in a good dinner and if you actually taste the salt itself somebody is likely to scrunch up their...

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Blessed are the . . .

There is method to Matthew's madness in telling the story of Jesus! In Matthew 3 we read about the baptism of Jesus. Through his baptism Jesus is identified as the one who will be the Savior of the world. In Matthew 4 Jesus is tempted by Satan to abandon his call and sell out to dependence on his own power and privilege. "Denied!" Je...

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Why Fishermen?

One of the key passages we visit during the Epiphany Season each year is the calling of the first disciples. Jesus has left home and announced himself with a startling message: "The kingdom of heaven has come near!" And what does this mean for the average person? Repent! Get your act together! Now! So, Jesus is on a mission and he is putting togeth...

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Come and See!

Our Gospel Lesson for this Sunday, January 15, 2023, is John 1:29-42.  This is John's version of the baptism of Jesus and it is quite different than the one I preached on last Sunday, Matthew 3:13-17. What is the same, though, is that the story focuses on proclamation of who Jesus is as opposed to Jesus' personal experience of being claimed by...

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Why be Baptized?

This coming Sunday, January 8, is the "Baptism of our Lord" Sunday. My question, "Why be baptized?" certainly is a personal, contemporary question. People - like you and me - get baptized for many different reasons. For some it is a family, cultural thing. For others is a "rite of joining" a church thing. In theory it's suppose to be a commitm...

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A Good Start To A New Year!

For the earliest Christians, Sunday, the day of the resurrection, was both the first day of the week and the eighth day, a day somehow outside of normal time. The practice of celebrating a church festival for a full eight days goes back to the 6th century. In the past, this eighth day of Christmas commemorated also Jesus' circumcision, his entry in...

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It's Complicated!

It's complicated, as politics often are. Israel fell into civil war after the death of King Solomon, dividing the country into two nations. A couple hundred years later the 'Northern Kingdom' was being attacked by the Assyrians, so they made a defense pact with Syria. Together Syria and the Northern Kingdom wanted to set up a pu...

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Straw Steak

Welcome to Advent, a season of four Sundays before Christmas. Historically Advent has been considered a time of quiet, prayerful preparation for the coming of our Lord. In reality our 'Black Friday,' 'Giving Tuesday,' 'Grateful Thursday' and on and on doesn't allow this to happen unless we work at it - but we try. This year Pr. Tom and I have ...

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Advent 2022-Waking up to Hope

Awake! Awake, and Greet the New Morn is a beautiful Advent hymn by Marty Haugen, and captures much of the prophet Isaiah's witness to the coming hope and anticipation of the Messiah. Advent is a season of looking forward and looking back. Looking forward to Christmas obviously and the celebration of the Incarnate one born in Bethlehem. In retrospec...

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Pie in Holy Hands

Sorry. Cheap ploy. I'm just trying to get you to read this post!! However, please do join us for a time of giving thanks and enjoying a piece of pie Wednesday evening, November 23, beginning at 6 PM. All are welcome!Mostly, though, I would like to thank you for your participation and gracious spirit through our now completed "In Holy...

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Can Wealth be held in Holy Hands?

If you have been following along the storyline from Messiah Lutheran this autumn you have been hearing a couple of reoccurring themes.First, in September Pastor Dave had the challenge of preaching on parables in Luke about rich guys.What is the challenge about rich people?Jesus seemed to frown upon wealth and we are among the richest people on eart...

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Who are the saints and what do they have to say to us?

Who are the saints and what do they have to say to us?  Rather than being perfect Christians, the saints are people who have been made whole by the grace of God, through baptism into Christ. The communion of saints is a diverse array of witnesses who remind us of God's continuing faithfulness - past, present and future. This Sunday we commemor...

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Of Wine and Wheat

Holy Communion - The Eucharist (Thanksgiving!) - is a sacrament of the Christian faith. We receive it with joy and awe. Yet, it is a mistake to separate the sacrament from the choices of everyday life. This Sunday we will read Isaiah 25:6-8 and 1 Cor 11:17-34. These texts speak to blessing and responsibility. Give them a looksie before worship...

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The Walking Word

This iconoclastic painting of Martin Luther was done by Lucas Cranach the Elder in 1548 - 30 some years into the Lutheran Reformation. It is unlike any pre-Reformation Christian art you will find. The painting (Cranach was sort of Luther's publicist, a story for another time!) shows Luther with his hand firmly on the Bible, pointing to th...

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Hearing The Great Commission refreshed and "refleshed"!

Pastor Dave recalled for us this week the potential or power that the congregation assumes with the gifts of the Holy Spirit in fulfillment of our Kingdom ministry. Together the church baptizes and communes, and teaches and preaches, and serves and preserves for the sake of all the nations. This is not a matter of one or two pastors or a couple of ...

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Somebody just doesn't like rich guys!

I try not to take this personally, but either Luke (the Gospel writer) or Jesus himself seems to have an issue with rich guys. My wife isn't sure I qualify but, you know, I have a job and a pension. What does it take?! Anyway, last Sunday the Gospel Lesson began, "There was a rich man who ..." and I had to talk about "dishonest wealth." Gotta say, ...

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"Make friends with dishonest wealth!" - Really?

The Gospel Lesson this Sunday (September 18, 2022) is Luke 16:1-13. It's a story sometimes called The Parable of the Dishonest Manager. In it Jesus says that the "children of this age" are smarter than Christians. He also tells us to "make friends for ourselves by means of dishonest wealth." What the heck does that mean??! (In all honesty prea...

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Dear People of Messiah Lutheran Church: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Dear People of Messiah Lutheran Church,Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Kathy and I were overwhelmed by the week of amazing send-off events at Messiah North, Brewed Theology, and culminating program and reception at the Hazel Dell campus. We were awestruck by the kind words, thoughtful cards, wonderful displays, generous gifts, tears of laughter an...

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Only Gratitude - The last pastors' page from Peter and Kathy

I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. - Philippians 1:3-5 Lately, Kathy and I have noticed that we cannot look at any of your faces without conjuring a memory that is important to us. As the days draw closer...

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Messiah’s pastoral transition process begins - a report from the CLT about its first meeting with the Bishop’s office

The Church Leadership Team met with Pastor Rebecca Shjerven from the SWWA Synod on January 9 to discuss the transition process for Messiah's next pastors. We wanted to share this information with you. As Pastor Shjerven explained, the process consists of four phases, some of which will overlap. A Fulfilling FarewellThe first phase is "A Fulfilling ...

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'Thankful to have all of you alongside me for this journey' - Early impressions from Intern Pr. Katie

Whew! What a whirlwind these first few months have been! I have been so graciously welcomed by many of you during this time of transition and I am so thankful for the support you have offered me. There was no hesitation to throw me into just about everything that is going on in the life of Messiah and its members. The biggest adjustment for me, asi...

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Courage to Love. Courage to Live. Courage to Give.

Courage to Love. "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" – Jesus, Mt.22:37b-39Stewardship is the way in which we use all of the resources that God has entrusted ...

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Giving thanks after a tough year

It's been another brutal year at so many levels. The poison of polarization, distrust, and personal attack pervades our politics. COVID-19 continues to loom large over every day of our lives. Fires, flooding, hurricanes, blistering heat, and social unrest punctuate the year. How I wish we could turn the clock back ten or twenty years...

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Thank you, Messiah!

Thank you, Messiah! I cannot believe that my time at Messiah is almost to a close. My last day will be Sunday, August 8th, so I wanted to reach out and say from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being you, Messiah. Thank you for inviting me into your lives. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to learn, be challenged, laugh, cry, breathe, and...

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Hotter than Here

The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. - Mt.13:41-42I've had a lot of conversations about death, dying, and the afterlife lately. Chalk it up to the extraordinary number of...

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Messiah North will Reopen on May 16

Hazel Dell Campus Service time will move to 9:00a  by Julie Backous, Messiah North Site Coordinator   Hello Messiah North family ... and all of Messiah congregation! I have waited so long for this day! Who knew that it would be a year before we would be able to meet again! But finally, here we are. MESSIAH NORTH WILL BEGIN WORSH...

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Meet Katie Hendrikson, Messiah's Pastoral Intern for 2021-22 from Luther Seminary

Katie's will be a culminating internship, which means she will be a candidate for a Call to serve a congregation immediately after her internship year.    Greetings from the Midwest! I am so excited to embark on a new adventure to the Pacific Northwest and spend the year with your congregation!I am a born and...

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Thanks to Compassionate Callers

by Julie Bracken, Compassion Caller Coordinator.  For the last year, over 40 members of Messiah have been involved in the Compassionate Caller ministry. These caring individuals have each called ten households regularly to keep the connections to Messiah strong. The callers asked for prayer requests and made sure that the households' physical ...

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Easter thoughts from Pr. Peter

04.04.21  6:30a Outdoor In-Person Sunrise Service behind Eisenhower Elementary School - no reservation needed read more » 10:00a In-Person Worship Service in the Hazel Dell campus sanctuary: online reservation form »10:00a Livestream Worship Service » Holy Week and Easter are better experienced than explained. Kathy and I always...

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Good Friday Observance at Messiah. Why is it 'good'?

On Good Friday, we stand in awe of the depth of God's love for each one of us. As you contemplate Christ's sacrifice today, the pastoral team invites you to observe Good Friday worship at Messiah. There are three opportunities. In-person worship at 10:00a at the Hazel Dell campus sanctuary. Seating is by reservation only.Click here to get the ...

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Ash Wednesday services this Feb. 17 at 10a and 6p. What's it all about?

Direct link to the 10a livestream service »   Direct link to the 6p livestream service »  What is Ash Wednesday?This holiday (holy day) has been observed by Christians for over one thousand years. Ash Wednesday marks the first day of the season of Lent (40 days before Easter). Why ashes? Why a cross?For centuries, ashes have symboliz...

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Messiah Preschool is Reopening with In-Person Classes January 19

Thank you so much for completing the Parent Feedback Forms and for sharing your thoughts regarding a return to in-person preschool. The majority of you expressed an interest in returning to the classroom in January. Both the Preschool Advisory Board and the church's leadership have reviewed the parent feedback as well as the preschool's reopening p...

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A post-election blog from Bishop Rick Jaech - "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God" - Mt.5:9

Bp. Jaech leads the Southwestern Washington Synod of the ELCA of which Messiah is a member congregation. |  I am writing this letter on November 5, two days after the elections. Some election results are known and some are still pending. My purpose in writing is not to mourn or celebrate any of the results. Rather, I would like to th...

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What God is doing with Jubilee

Greetings in the name of the liberating one, the one who has touched our lives, saved us and died on the cross, Jesus Christ of Nazareth +   It is, as always, my honor to update you on the happenings of Jubilee Collective, the community that you have fostered, loved, invested in, and prayed over.   Jubilee Collective is a n...

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The Challenge of Opposites

by Janet Borst, Chairwoman of Messiah's Seeds of Faith Team   It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." - Deut. 31:8.  As Christians and Lutherans, we are familiar with holding two opposing ideas at the same time. We believe in one God, yet three Persons...

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The changing looks of Messiah

And when he [Jesus] got into the boat, his disciples followed him. – Mt.8:23   A year ago, Messiah's leaders and members committed themselves to get in the boat with Jesus, not knowing where the Holy Spirit would take us. After a long discernment process and lots of prayers, we were willing to allow God to use us and our resources to reac...

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Seeing through the Smoke

"And the one who was seated on the throne said, 'See, I am making all things new.'" - Rev.21:5   As I look out my window, I can barely see my neighbor's house today. I see the thick cloud of smoke and smell the ash. My greatest concern is for those who are being impacted by the wildfires. I pray for those who have lost loved ones and...

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Your Seeds of Faith benevolence dollars are producing good during the pandemic

by Janet Borst, Chairperson of Messiah's Seeds of Faith Team | It is no surprise that the pandemic has affected many aspects of our lives. Church is no exception, and the Seeds of Faith, Messiah's local benevolence distribution team, is no exception. But exciting things have happened, nevertheless. The stay at home orders came in the midd...

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Greg was recently invited by the Church Leadership Team and pastors to serve in a consultative role with the team and congregation. That's how I've been feeling for 5 months. On January 22 my wife and I left China for a 2-week vacation. We haven't been back since. A storm the size and shape of the coronavirus tore...

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Return to In-Person Worship Survey

You are invited to complete a one-minute online survey that will assist the pastoral and Church Leadership Teams in planning for in-person worship once health professionals determine that it is safe to reopen using guidelines from state and local officials. There are only six easy to respond to prompts. One survey per household, please. t...

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Reflections on Seeds by Janet Borst

Janet leads the team responsible for distributing the congregation's benevolence money in the form of grants. They see their work as "planting seeds." Here, Janet puts an interesting spin on this springtime process. - Pr. Peter It's spring, and like all would-be gardeners, I've purchased my seed packets with thoughts of a bountiful harvest. I have,...

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Responding to the COVID-19 Economy: Thoughts on stewardship and generosity by Doug Ruecker

A number of things have revealed themselves during the COVID-19 crisis.One is a seemingly friendlier disposition of people. Have you noticed, while walking the neighborhood or the infrequent visit to the grocery store, how people are so much more courteous and friendly? A smile, a warm hello, while keeping a comfortable distance, goes a long ways i...

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The Cancel Culture of Coronavirus and Our Care for Each Other

... let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:24-25 Cancellations are happening everywhere—March Madness, the NBA, public schools, airline flights. Last night Governor Inslee&n...

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Care for Each Other as the Coronavirus Spreads - A Message from Prs. Peter and Kathy

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads, it is certainly prudent to take reasonable precautions as we gather for worship, classes, small groups, and events. The healing ministry that Jesus modeled for us includes basic care for one another as well as care for ourselves. In that spirit, here are the things we are doing at Messiah.Continuing to Worship...

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One Month of Me

Greetings y'all. I was talking with Doug Ruecker at a recent meeting, and it occurred to me that most of you may wonder what the average month of a Mission Developer Pastor looks like. I mean, it all seems very mysterious, right? Pr. Lenny is running around and creating a new church out of nothing?!? What does that even mean? So, here is a list of ...

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What is Ash Wednesday? Services at 10a & 6:00p on Feb. 26.

by Pr. Lenny Duncan, Mission Developer Pastor  |   What is Ash Wednesday? |  This holiday (holy day) has been observed by Christians for over one thousand years. Ash Wednesday marks the first day of the season of Lent (40 days before Easter). Why ashes? Why a cross?For centuries, ashes have symbolized mourning and repentanc...

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Stewardship – What does it mean?

A message from Financial Secretary Doug Ruecker and Pr. Peter |  It is that time of the year again when at church, we hear the word stewardship. My guess is when most people hear stewardship, they hear, "They want more of my money." Or they hear – time to make a pledge to the church. What are your thoughts and beliefs about stewardship? A quic...

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Year-end Giving at Messiah

Messiah is a community that worships and welcomes passionately, teaches and engages faithfully, serves generously, and comforts compassionately. "We are what he has made us," a growing, giving, and grateful people created in Jesus Christ for good works (Eph. 2:10). Your financial support of Messiah's ministries is an important way that you share in...

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Giving to Messiah

by Doug Ruecker, Financial Secretary |  As the Financial Secretary at Messiah congregation, I am responsible for monitoring, tracking, and recording the financial gifts that the congregation receives and the tuition and fees the Preschool collects. I would like to take a few moments of your time to share some observations about our giving patt...

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You Are God’s Mosaic

by Jessica Potts, Dir. of Youth and Young Adult Ministries |  The One Mile Mission Statement is "That every child age 0 – 18 living or attending school within one mile of Messiah Lutheran Church campuses would have everything that they need to learn and thrive." To thrive means to grow, develop, or be successful. It means to prosper and flouri...

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Seeds of Faith - Money that Matters

​by Janet Borst - How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? – 1 John 3:17 |  This is a complicated world. It's often difficult to know who really needs help and who might be "milking the system." While there are those among us who can freely give without r...

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Reflections on Seeds of Faith

Janet Borst reflects on the arc of her life and the seeds that took root. | He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. – 2 Cor. 9:10 I often wonder how and why I have been granted the gift of faith. My mother believed in God, but not religio...

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First Impressions

by Intern Pr. Taran | Here it is! |  "How long have you been at Messiah Lutheran Church? What drew you to Messiah?" Those have been my two greeting questions as I meet and greet so many of you for the first time. As you can imagine, the answers to both of those questions are incredibly diverse. The length of time folks have been at M...

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Summer Survey Results

by Julie Bracken, Minister of Welcome and Hospitality  |   Thank you to the 81 responders to our recent survey. The results are in, and the experiment was a summer hit! What did we like the best? "Coffee and Italian sodas at the bistro tables and children in the sanctuary." The average response to the question of the service provided...

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Falling for Fall

a blog by Liz Bailey, Co-Lead Dir. of Children's and Family Ministries |  As I sit down to write this, I have many feelings in my heart. Most of these feelings are familiar and positive because this season is so comforting and nostalgic. But there are also feelings of anxiety and anticipation of change and the unknown. This is part o...

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For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I recently read about a training session where the facilitator asked participants to identify the item they had with them at that moment that was most precious to them and asked them to place it on the table in front of them. Many people chose a wedding or engagement ring, other jewelry, or a picture of a loved one. The facilitator then explained t...

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"Re-counting" VBS

Storyteller, humorist, and Messiah member Kathy Hoffman "re-counts" her 2019 VBS experience in journal form.    Glory to God Who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by God's power at work within us. Day 1 – Go beyond with Faith – Daniel in the Lion's DenThe Tall Assistant looks at her clipboard. It was the ...

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Changing the Light

A farewell post from pastoral intern Joel Hinck |  When Liz Bailey (Messiah's fantastic Co-Director of Children's and Family Ministries) ends a Godly Play session, she puts out a candle that has been burning the whole time and says something quite striking. Instead of telling the children that she is "putting out" the candle, she tells them th...

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Mission Team from Messiah leaves this week for Puerto Rico

This Saturday a group of members and friends of Messiah will leave on a Mission Trip to Puerto Rico. They will be working with Lutheran Disaster Response to do much needed hurricane relief work. You are invited to keep you to keep these people in your prayers over the next couple of weeks. Kylie BrownAnna CountrymanChase Mattson Eisenhaue...

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Capital Campaign Update: “See What ‘Yes’ Can Do”

Lower Level Dining Hall Renovation is Underway | Mortgage Paid Down Substantially | Work on the Lower Level Dining Hall has begun. This week painting of the walls and ceiling will be complete. The new floor has been ordered and will be installed as soon as the walls and ceiling are completed. Research on new tables and chairs is underway ...

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Wallowa Backpacking Trip - Reflections and Invitation

July 26-31, 2019 | by Ron Klump, Wallowa trip veteran, botanist, CLT member |  "Be still and know that I am God!" Psalm 46.10a  This year's Wallowa backpacking trip will take the group to Echo Lake. This beautiful alpine lake is located at an elevation of 7,240 in the Eagle Cap Wilderness of the Wallowa Mountains in the northeast cor...

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A Lenten Pilgrimage

by Joel Hinck, Pastoral Intern  |   I've been reading John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress during Lent this year. Written in 1678, the book is an allegorical description of the Christian life. The main character, named (appropriately enough) Christian, encounters a series of dangers, monsters, and peculiar characters, all of whi...

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Let Us Not Be Too Rushed to See

by Liz Bailey | "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created." – Rev. 4:11 "Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." - Lao Tzu. This Lao Tzu saying has been taped to my fridge for a year now, right by my calendar. It ...

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Tax Season and Tithing

a guest blog by Justin Farrell | As tax season is upon us, I reflect back to the earlier years of our marriage when Carrie and I tried different ways to prioritize and increase our giving. One thing we enjoyed in the past was tithing our tax return. We made it a priority to be intentional about tithing that amount as a gift beyond what our nor...

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Ash Wednesday, Lent, and Chocolate

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, March 6 | Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed.– 1 Peter 1:13 NRSV Sandra Jacobson was Messiah's church secretary when Kathy and I first arrived at Messiah. She was one of God's gifts to this congr...

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Instructions for Living a Life

Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. -- Mary Oliver | What astonishes you? What makes you surprised, impressed, amazed? I can honestly say for me I continue to be astonished by how God is at work in Messiah's One Mile Mission (that every child 0-18 living within 1 mile of Messiah's campuses would have everything they need to learn and ...

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Year-End Giving | Creative Ideas

Thank you for your year-end giving! Messiah Lutheran Church documents year-end gifts in accordance with IRS regulations. This means that any contributions you'd like to deduct for tax purposes in 2018 must be received by the Church office before the office closes at 3:00p on Monday, December 31, or online by midnight. Offerings sent via m...

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Gullibility and Open Hearts

In her Erma 'Bombeckesque' kind of way, Messiah's Director of Children's and Family Ministries, Megan Dilitto gets to the heart of the matter about children, Christmas, and what it means to live with a heart wide open. I have a friend with two kiddos in elementary school who we like to have over for Movie Night Fridays, where we throw a movie into ...

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Comfort and Hope | Tuesday, Dec. 18 with music by Celtic Muse | 7p

by Jim Dawson | I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the earth rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. - John 16:20  For some, Christmas is a time of good cheer and generous giving. Yes, a time of glad tidings and wishful thinking. Yet for others Christmas is a time of loneliness and bewilderment. Not al...

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The Cantata: Find Your Place to Be

A story written by Kathy Hoffman and presented at the Women's Advent Luncheon at Messiah Lutheran Church on November 18, 2018. |  They had consumed copious amounts of coffee. Their vocal chords were steamy .The Singers were ready. They had each surreptitiously slipped by the cookie table for a quick pick-me-up.  And now, they were pr...

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"See What 'Yes' Can Do" Comprehensive Campaign Update

Monday, November 19 | THANK YOU to all who have made their pledges for our "See What 'Yes' Can Do" comprehensive campaign. We are excited to report that 69 households have pledged a total of $528,075. This is almost 70% of our Cornerstone Goal, and over half-way toward our 3-year challenge goal. We also anticipate many more pledges to be made in th...

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Asking: Our Invitation to Give

"See What 'Yes' Can Do" Devotion for Nov. 10-11 | by the Rev. Steve Olson, Capital Campaign Consultant for Messiah |  Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. - Matthew 7:7   What would you rather receive in the mail – a court subpoena or an invitation to a joyful celebrati...

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Learning to Share

"See What 'Yes' Can Do" Devotion for Nov. 3-4 | by the Rev. Steve Olson, Capital Campaign Consultant for Messiah | Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us. - Hebrews 12:1 Among our ...

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Scripture and Money

"See What 'Yes' Can Do" Devotion for Oct. 27-28 | by the Rev. Steve Olson, Capital Campaign Consultant for Messiah | Honor the LORD with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce ...  Proverbs 3:9-10 As we celebrate the Reformation, we remember the important work of Martin Luther in making sure all people had access to ...

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Faith: Our Desire to Give

"See What 'Yes' Can Do" Devotion for Oct. 20-21 | by the Rev. Steve Olson, Capital Campaign Consultant for Messiah | For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 2 Cor. 8:9 REFLECT: Someone once defined stewardship as "Everyth...

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Needs: Our Reason to Give

"See What 'Yes' Can Do" Devotion for Oct. 13-14 | by the Rev. Steve Olson, Capital Campaign Consultant for Messiah |  I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that th...

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Mission & Ministry: Our Opportunity to Give

"See What 'Yes' Can Do" Devotion for Oct. 6-7 | by the Rev. Steve Olson, Capital Campaign Consultant for Messiah |  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. - Mt. 28:20 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to dr...

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Creation: Our Need to Give

"See What 'Yes' Can Do" Devotion for Sept 28-29 | by the Rev. Steve Olson, Capital Campaign Consultant for Messiah |  So God created humankind in his image. - Genesis 1:27 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. - John 3:16 The story of creation p...

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If We Are the Body

Janet Borst reflects on being the arms, hands, and words of Christ and the role of a mission developer | I thought I might enjoy some music today as I lay down for a short nap. So, I fired up my Kindle and found a Christian music channel. The first song on the playlist was "If We Are the Body" by Casting Crowns. I was frankly a little put...

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God in the Clouds

a "Travel and Arrival" blog by Joel Hinck, Pastoral Intern  |   For days we never saw the sky. As we drove west the smoke from blazing forest fires covered the landscape in a dull grey, stinging in our nostrils and hiding all but the vaguest shapes of the mountains around us. The mountains were lurking giants, hiding just out of...

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