Messiah Blog & News

News at Messiah

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 ...

Continue reading
  551 Hits

Semi-Annual Meeting of the Congregation, Sunday, February 6, at Noon - Register to receive the Zoom link to attend and Bulletin of Reports

To register, and you must, please click here » Thank you for making plans to attend this twice-a-year Meeting of the Congregation. Once registered, Office Administrator Sally Dost will email you the Zoom link for this online event. A few days before the meeting, you will also receive an emailed .pdf attachment of the spellbinding Bulletin Reports a...

Continue reading
  459 Hits

'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...

Continue reading
  362 Hits

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 ...

Continue reading
  368 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  329 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  498 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  455 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  823 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  1159 Hits

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 ...

Continue reading
  247 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  494 Hits

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 ...

Continue reading
  379 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  452 Hits

Pr. Lenny's Semi-Annual Meeting Report

Listen to Pr. Lenny's report from the Semi-Annual Meeting of the Congregation on Sunday. He updates us on all things Jubilee and shares exciting data and insights on this emerging ministry. Follow along on the transcript below: Pr. Lenny's Report transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your video to text with Sonix. Pr. Lenny's Report was ...

Continue reading
  393 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  284 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  653 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  719 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  439 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  562 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  500 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  482 Hits


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...

Continue reading
  661 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  752 Hits

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,...

Continue reading
  618 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  598 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  526 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  561 Hits

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 ...

Continue reading
  764 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  940 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  659 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  476 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  739 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  495 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  584 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  620 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  619 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  497 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  630 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  506 Hits

"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 ...

Continue reading
  546 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  612 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  895 Hits

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 ...

Continue reading
  700 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  708 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  568 Hits

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 ...

Continue reading
  660 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  502 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  719 Hits

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 ...

Continue reading
  641 Hits

One Mile Mission Midyear Report

The One Mile Mission team has been busy over the last few months, thanks to the generosity of Messiah members. Below is a list of ways that Messiah has support our schools, children and families. Thank you for making this outreach of the congregation possible by providing both human resource and financial support. If you would like to learn more ab...

Continue reading
  527 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  587 Hits

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 ...

Continue reading
  633 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  726 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  630 Hits

"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...

Continue reading
  623 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  563 Hits

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 ...

Continue reading
  476 Hits

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 ...

Continue reading
  544 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  505 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  636 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  635 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  627 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  629 Hits

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...

Continue reading
  831 Hits

Anticipating the Start of a New School Year

The scent of a fresh box of crayons, newly-sharpened pencils, the "whoosh" of school bus doors opening, children laughing and greeting one another after the summer break, school bells ringing, playground whistles blowing, lunchbox notes from home, meeting new classmates ... For a number of us, these signs and sounds represent one thing, the start o...

Continue reading
  715 Hits

God has prepared you for the journey—He will be with you to the end

Reflections by middle school students Hailey Gerdts and Shaylin Murphy from this summer's MS Mission Trip Lapwai, Idaho. The Land of Butterflies, a small town but large in history. While the capitol of the Nez Perce Indian Reservation is called Lapwai, the residents call themselves Nimiipuu, meaning "the people." This small town was the destin...

Continue reading
  952 Hits

Pastors Peter and Kathy return from Sabbatical

Dear Members and Friends of Messiah, We are so grateful for your gift of a 12-week sabbatical. We were blessed in more ways than we can count. Here's a quick recap. Visits with Mission DevelopersWe visited mission developers in Seattle, Portland, and Bend, each of whom are leading different kinds of ministries with different approaches to growing G...

Continue reading
  1267 Hits

Anna Countryman Recaps her time at the Augsburg Youth Theology Institute

by Anna Countryman This summer I had the opportunity to attend the Augsburg Youth Theology Institute in Minneapolis. This was a week long camp where we took classes, explored the city and grew closer to God. Throughout the week I was able to learn new things, make new friends, and best of all strengthen my relationship with God. Throughout the...

Continue reading
  764 Hits

National Youth Gathering Recap

 "It was amazing!" I think I heard that line at least 3 times on Sunday morning from youth that were asked by church members how their trip was to Houston for the ELCA National Youth Gathering. This year the Gathering brought together 31,242 high school youth and adult chaperones. It was pretty awesome to be gathered in the NRG Stadium (site o...

Continue reading
  733 Hits

Holy Helping Hands

Hands. Hands? Yes, hands. What about hands? First of all, most of us have them and they are pretty useful. Think about it. We use them to open doors, to feed ourselves, to drive the car, to turn the pages in a book, to flip the channel with the remote. We use them to cook, type, paint, build, write, and to drive. We use them to motion, to wave, to ...

Continue reading
  819 Hits

Vacation Bible School - by Megan Dilitto

What do you get when you mix 136 kids, 52 adult volunteers, 68 bananas, 200 pool noodles, several miles of tulle, several THOUSAND miles of butcher paper, 20 first aid kits, a precarious tower of Costco pizzas, and the sweat and lifeblood of the Director of Children and Family Ministries? You get VBS, my friends; a glorious combination of paint, wa...

Continue reading
  969 Hits

Betsi Eki Reflects on Guatemala Trip

When I was asked to write this article for the church newsletter, along with my son Kellen, I was honored. Honored, then very quickly... panicked. Panicked because I wanted the two of us to do our very BEST job at attempting to represent our group and what we experienced on this once-in-a-lifetime trip! Also panicked, as this trip was a tapestry of...

Continue reading
  849 Hits

Kellen Eki Reflects on Guatemala Trip

When Joy asked my mom and me if we wanted to write an article for the church newsletter, my mom said yes without checking with me first. Of course, I was at school at the time and couldn't answer for myself! But, I'm really happy to do it. I'm very happy to just share with everyone about this amazing experience. It really meant a lot to me tha...

Continue reading
  942 Hits

Neural Paths And The Church

​I'm writing this blog post from the public library in Olympia, WA. I came here to help my daughter get settled temporarily as she begins a 6-week practicum. I'm not even sure I know what a practicum is, but it's necessary for her master's degree. In any case, the two-hour drive to Olympia and its reversal back to Vancouver are a blur for me. I've ...

Continue reading
  885 Hits

Seeds of Faith

by Janet Borst   I first came to Messiah as a visitor from another ELCA church in the county. And although I liked the other church just fine, I found myself wanting to transfer my membership. It wasn't the music – although the music was impressive. And it wasn't the people who are lovely and whom over time I have come to know and respect and ...

Continue reading
  825 Hits

Sowing Seeds of Faith

by Angie George-Pendleton  "Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully." – 2 Corinthians 9:6  Each spring, my children Molly, Jack, and Everett eagerly help with our garden. They love to plant the seeds, push the dirt around, and overwater. I know through the many years we have...

Continue reading
  778 Hits

A Whole New World

So [the women who were told of Jesus resurrection] went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone for they were afraid. Mark 16:8, NRSV   "See, I am making all things new." Rev. 21:5, NRSV   We are so used to the joy of Easter that the fearful reaction of the women who first...

Continue reading
  1245 Hits

40 days of Lent - Reflecting on 40 years at Messiah and Its Future: Capital Campaigns - The Mission Developer - The Wilderness - The Command of Jesus

by Doug Ruecker, current CLT member, and 40-year member of Messiah |  In 1978 Lisa and I moved to Vancouver to begin my career. A new job, a new city, a new home, and the search for a new church. Both being raised in the Lutheran church, we narrowed the parameters and finally decided on Messiah. It was only natural that church would be pa...

Continue reading
  1241 Hits

Frequently Asked Questions about a Capital Campaign at Messiah

Q & A provided by the Church Leadership Team.  Q: When would the Capital Campaign take place?   A: The Campaign would be conducted in the Fall of 2018; beginning in September with detailed information about the maintenance and building improvements needed at Messiah and the expansion of the congregation's ministries that wou...

Continue reading
  1084 Hits

Of Pastoral Interns and Mission Developers

Although I've only worked at Messiah for about 16 months, I've actually met at least five of your pastoral interns at various times. As a group they're impressive, and I feel excited imagining the future of the Church in their hands. At the recent congregational meeting Intern Ryan said something to this effect: "Y'all talk about past interns like ...

Continue reading
  876 Hits

Reflections on the past year. Hope for the future.

What follows is the text of the address Pr. Kathy made to the Congregation at its Semi-Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 28. 2018. |  I want to thank the Church Leadership Team members for all their hard work over the past year. I want you to know they gave a lot of time to the discernment process, devoting themselves to prayer and deep l...

Continue reading
  1252 Hits

The report of Congregation President Kris Ann Bial regarding the CLT's year-long Discernment Process and its Outcomes

What follows is the text of the address Kris Ann Bial made to the Congregation at its Semi-Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 28. 2018. |   I've had the opportunity for the last year and a half to lead a group of really amazing faith-filled people. In the six months since I stood here the last time, we've attended to the bus...

Continue reading
  1341 Hits

Introducing Julie Bracken, new Minister of Welcome volunteer

Julie Bracken has joined Messiah's staff as a volunteer, serving as part-time Minister of Welcome. Her role will be to connect and follow up with guests, make connections between newcomers and regulars, and to train everyone in the fine art of hospitality. You will see Julie circulating in the lobby of the Hazel Dell campus before and after service...

Continue reading
  1189 Hits

Growing through Darkness

by Alison Treichel, Administrative Assistant.  The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness—on them light has shined. – Isa.9.2.  I'm a self-proclaimed worrier, and I have had many bouts of anxiety in my life time. Though, none as bad as during my senior year of undergraduate colleg...

Continue reading
  957 Hits

IRA Charitable Rollover – A Wonderful End of Year Gifting Opportunity

by Beth Adams, Messiah member and Charitable Gift Planner for the ELCA Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana The Rollover helps you make direct gifts to your congregation and other ministries of the ELCA, and save on taxes. Made permanent December 18, 2015, the IRA Charitable Rollover allows individuals who are 70 ½ or older to direct gif...

Continue reading
  954 Hits

What Nimble Ministry Looks Like

Fr. Dale Johnson, the Syriac Orthodox Priest who preached and shared his ministry with Messiah in May, has assembled an emergency assessment team to help evaluate post-earthquake conditions in Iraq. A 7.3 magnitude quake struck the border between Iraq and Iran on Sunday, November 12, killing more than 500 and injuring nearly 8,000 at last report. I...

Continue reading
  937 Hits


​Messiah member, Barbara Gibson, connects Living in Gratitude, the Thanksgiving holiday, and something like Messiah's One Mile Mission. Read on.   During this Thanksgiving Season we tend to think about all that we're thankful for, but maybe, just maybe, there's room to think about what it is to be thankful. A long time ago, in a...

Continue reading
  919 Hits

Baptisms, Confirmation, and Money

We have had some great weeks at Messiah. Three households presented their newest little ones to be baptized, a Messiah preschool student introduced his new baby brother during Preschool Chapel and received a baby blanket on his behalf, we commemorated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with the fanfare of orchestral accompaniment, and ye...

Continue reading
  1023 Hits

Living in Gratitude: Seeking to Commitment

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. ...

Continue reading
  1115 Hits

Living in Gratitude: Scarcity to Abundance

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Rom. 8:38-39As those named and claimed in the abundant promises of baptism, we have God's ...

Continue reading
  1360 Hits

Who is Listening?

a reflection by Norma Moore, Stephen Ministry Leader  We all have stories we need to share. We may not have been through a flood or fire or hurricane recently, but we all have life stories to tell and someone needs to listen to us tell them. We all have faced change and challenge, loss and grief, joy and sorrow. We all have stories. We all nee...

Continue reading
  1836 Hits

Experiences and the body of Christ

Summer intern Hannah Norem leaves us with her reflections about her summer experience with Messiah.  "So, what exactly are you going to do on this internship?" seemed to be the most important question on my friends' and family's minds before I drove halfway across the country to Vancouver. To be honest, I cannot tell them all of the ...

Continue reading
  867 Hits

Lord, Give Me Strength

Joy's final blog. "Lord give me strength!" This is what my mother would say in an exasperated tone when I was trying her patience, which I did frequently. Now, however, this has been my saying, my prayer, and my request, as I get ready to say farewell to all of you here at Messiah. As we look for houses and for a new community to call home up ...

Continue reading
  1055 Hits

Deep Roots. New Life.

Project Manager for Messiah's North County Ministry, Greg Rhodes reflects on letting go of what no longer makes sense, and discovering deeper life in God.  At age 30 I accepted a promotion to run a new manufacturing plant. It was a bet-the-company move, tripling the size of the business with a new product line if it worked (and bankruptin...

Continue reading
  1019 Hits

Where are we going?

North County Campus Project Manager, Greg Rhodes, wonders if the Messiah community is as confident in God as it is in its own competencies. Read on.   When our kids were young, occasionally my wife Heidi and I would declare, "Let's go." The kids would always ask, "Where are we going?" Imagining we were clever and fun, parents every child would...

Continue reading
  1192 Hits

What grows in my garden … a happy heart

Joy Studer, Director of Children's and Family Ministries, reflects on her recent trip to Guatemala with Lutheran Partners in Global Ministry   I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens; your faithfulness extends to the clouds. -&nbs...

Continue reading
  970 Hits

The Timing is Up to God

Nathan and I love gardening. Of course, like many gardeners, we love the end results of our hard work. We like the beauty of flowers in our front yard and the satisfaction of eating vegetables we grew ourselves. But we also love the glamor-less, labor-intensive parts: the pruning and weeding, the digging and watering. It's a lovely and gratify...

Continue reading
  1090 Hits

Why Did I Wait so Long? – by Richard Vaughn

Stephen Minister Richard Vaughn reflects on his Stephen Ministry experience.  To me being a Stephen Minister means being open to the needs of someone else. The training you receive is incredible, though each care receiver has very different needs and it is a learning and growing experience to connect with them. Being a Stephen minister has cha...

Continue reading
  1155 Hits

Wondering about the Future of Gardening

He [Jesus] said therefore, "What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches." – Lk.13.18 Now there was a garden in the place where he [Jesus] was crucified, and in the garden there was...

Continue reading
  1216 Hits

God Equips the Called

a reflection by Stephen Ministry Co-Leader, Detra Swenson.  I did not choose to be a Stephen minister. God called me. I reminded him that Stephen ministry is a listening ministry and I am not a good listener. He reminded me that he does not call the qualified; he qualifies the called. And so he did—50 hours of training plus continuing educatio...

Continue reading
  2121 Hits