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 ...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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"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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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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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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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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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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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 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...

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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...

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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...

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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 ...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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​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...

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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...

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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 ...

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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...

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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...

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An Introduction to Messiah's three-month Discernment Process

A Message from the members of the Church Leadership Team (CLT)  |   (Updated (02.10.2017) with meeting dates for all members of the congregation. See below.) Dear Fellow Messiah Members,  You may already be aware that the Church Leadership Team (CLT) is entering a discernment process about whether to move toward a dedicated Mess...

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God is the Cure Giver

by Stephen Minister Marilyn Mattson   God works though us, like conduit, as we walk beside, listen to, have empathy, and pray confidentially on a one-to-one basis with one who needs hope and/or healing . The growth and help is left to God.He is the cure giver. The gift we receive as Stephen Ministers is to grow in our own faith, be better...

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Sydney Tag, Messiah Confirmation Student, Reflects on where she's seen God’s Stewardship – Every Day, Every Way.

When I was in sixth grade, our confirmation group went to Lapwai Idaho. We spent a week serving this wonderful community, and had an amazing time doing it. At the beginning of the week, we spent time getting to know the kids. These kids didn't have all the needs we have. Some of them didn't have shoes, and almost all of them were covered in dirt. O...

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The Gift of Stephen Ministry - by Dianne Dawson

In this season of gifts and giving I am grateful for the gift of Stephen Ministry. Stephen Ministry is a gift to the congregation, to those who are sad, who may be grieving a loss or facing a difficult time in their lives. A Stephen minister walks beside the care receiver through a time of sadness and helps them by listening. What a gift it is to h...

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Stewardship as Defiance by Mary Beenken, Pastoral Intern

And every day in the temple and at home they did not cease to teach and proclaim Jesus as the Messiah. - Acts 5:42   Despite the overtones of danger in the story preceeding this year's stewardship theme verse, Acts 5:42 conjures for me the image of a celebration—of people rejoicing as their numbers grow, full to bursting with joy and eage...

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Neighborly Steward–Every Day, Every Way - a reflection by Doug Ruecker

This past summer a former neighbor of ours passed away. When I reflect on my memories of Pat, my first thoughts are of his genuine generosity and kindness. I often bragged that I had the best neighbor a homeowner could ever have. Pat was the ultimate Mr. Fix-it. He had so many tools in his shop that I didn't know the name for half of them or how th...

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The Light of Christ

by Stephen Minister Jim Swenson     ​Sometimes an experience of truth gets put into words that affirm my experience. The light of Christ lives within each of us.Stephen ministry is the communication with Christ that happens between the care giver and the care receiver. A question came to mind:Is the light of Christ brought to the dar...

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Stewards: Every day. Every way. - See the Videos

View all the stewardship testimonials shown during worship here, and be inspired in your stewardship over everything that God has given to you manage: your money, your time, your skills. Many thanks to Mary Beenken and Nathan Johnson, Jon and Kris Ann Bial, Victor and Brooke Enriquez, Tom and Cathy Haywood, and Rod and Beth Ludvigsen. Thank you for prayerfully considering and making your pledge of financial support for the mission and ministries of Messiah in 2017. If you need new or additional materials to make your pledge, please contact Doug Ruecker, Financial Secretary. Mary Beenken & Nathan Johnson Jon & Kris Ann Bial Victor & Brooke EnriquezTom & Cathy Haywood Rod & Beth Ludvigsen    

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Stewards: Every day. Every way. - a reflection by Shari King

Shari King, mom, wife, self-employed worker, and Church Leadership Team member, shares a story about how a sermon heard years ago has influenced her stewardship practices and planning. When my husband, Dennis, and I were newly married, we sometimes visited a little church in our small town. I remember one sermon in particular when the pas...

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More Reflections on the Guatemala Mission Trip

by Columbia River HS student, Sean Marble    While in Guatemala, our eyes were opened to the living conditions and lives of a large portion of the population on this earth. In our developed nation, we do not have very much exposure to the way the poorer parts of our world live. According to the UN in 2010, 1.2 billion people live in ...

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Radical Pope. Radical God. Radical Church.

by summer intern Austin Krohnke | As my summer at Messiah Lutheran Church comes to a close, I reflect upon the first days of a similar journey from a year ago in which I also learned so much about ministry. Sitting down to eat dinner at my new home for the next three months, I was ecstatic. Here I was in Costa Rica, knowing not a soul in the countr...

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Reflections on the Guatemala Mission Trip

by Tori Beavin. Tori is a sophomore at Whitworth University in Spokane.  Being in Guatemala for a little more than a week, 15 others and I were able to briefly immerse ourselves in the culture and get a glimpse of what life is like for people living in a few different areas of Guatemala. I feel so blessed to have been a part of this missi...

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Our Infuriating God

by summer intern Miriam Hanson -  "Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised." – Hebrews 10:35-36 In the weeks leading up to my time at Messiah, and even in the first few days here, I anticipated that this ...

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Are We All Like That? Really?

by guest contributor Mark Hundley, Messiah member and North Campus attender. For most of my life, being a churchgoing Christian was held in high regard. Today, not so much. What’s happened? For the most part, the mainstream media shapes today’s public opinion, and there’s not much doubt that it has not been kind to churchgoing Christians over the past several years. The Bad News Bad news, tragedy, scandal, and other negative and inflammatory things are what sells today. That’s what we’re fed by the mainstream media because that’s what sells. Truth be told, there’s been no shortage of that type of story as available fodder for the media. We can read about church scandals, ultra conservative exclusionary practices, homophobia, and no room allowed for wondering or questioning about the churches dogma. It’s likely that many of these stories are true. Taken together, it paints a pretty bad picture of churchgoing Christians....

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North County Campus News: The Incarnation, a North County Meeting, and More

Merry Tenth Day of Christmas! I hope that you all have had a restful and fulfilling celebration of the 12 Days of Christmas, and a wonderful start to the New Year!As we continue our journey through Christmas, one of the big ideas that we think about is the Incarnation. It’s part of the readings of the season, including today’s gospel passage, “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, NRSV).The incarnation is this notion that the eternal and infinite God came down to this earth in the finite and first-century Jesus of Nazareth. That’s an important thing to remember, and it also has implications for who we are as the church.God comes to us as one of us. God breaks into the world through the birth, life, death, and...

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North County Campus News: Christmas, Communion and Prayer

written and compiled by Timothy Siburg, Messiah North County Mission DeveloperOne of the things you may not know about North County is that communion is done a bit differently here. Communion is served each week, like it is done at every weekend service at Messiah’s Hazel Dell campus. What makes it unique at North County is that the whole worshipping congregation takes the meal together in one line spread across the room. It’s like a whole bunch of people all around one table at the same time. Everyone gathers in the line and receives the sacrament, and then stays until everyone else has received it and then are blessed and dismissed back to our seats in peace.That’s usually how it works, anyway. This past Sunday we did something a little differently, but something I have come to learn is not outside the norm for North County.Instead of our normal post-communion prayer,...

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North County Campus News: Go Tell It on the Mountain

written and compiled by Timothy Siburg, Messiah North County Mission Developer.  Go Tell it on the Mountain   Confession time. I grew up in the church choir loft. That probably explains a bit about me. Because of that, and because I grew up with a mom who served as a music minister, I also grew up without much of a choice about learning to sing and playing music on piano (and other instruments).My first solo was on “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” sung on Christmas morning as the anthem on Christmas Day at my home church. You might have figured this out by now, I love jazz and spirituals because of the rhythm, the fun, the emotion, and the energy.There’s another thing about this song in particular though that sits with me this year. As I am working as a mission developer, part of my role is to help people hear...

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North County News: Telling the Story of Messiah's North County Campus

written and compiled by Timothy Siburg, Messiah North County Mission Developer.  Who is Timothy and what is he doing? Good question. Lately I have been hearing from some of you that you would like to know more about me, as well as some of the work I am doing. If we haven’t met yet, I am Timothy Siburg, and I’m serving as the half-time mission developer for Messiah Lutheran Church North County this year while my wife Allison serves as the congregation’s pastoral intern. I grew up in Poulsbo and graduated from PLU in Tacoma in 2009 with majors in economics and religion. I decided I liked learning so much that I added two masters degrees in Management and Congregational Mission and Leadership, and have been working since grad school in congregations and nonprofits doing work related to leadership development, mission cultivation, worship and music, social media, and stewardship. Every Member...

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The ELCA and the Tragedy in Charleston

by The Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the ELCA  June 18, 2015  It has been a long season of disquiet in our country. From Ferguson to Baltimore, simmering racial tensions have boiled over into violence. But this ... the fatal shooting of nine African Americans in a church is a stark, raw manifestation of the sin that is racism. The church was desecrated. The people of that congregation were desecrated. The aspiration voiced in the Pledge of Allegiance that we are “one nation under God” was desecrated. Mother Emanuel AME’s pastor, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, was a graduate of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, as was the Rev. Daniel Simmons, associate pastor at Mother Emanuel. The suspected shooter is a member of an ELCA congregation. All of a sudden and for all of us, this is an intensely personal tragedy. One of our own is alleged to have shot and...

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Real Struggle Marks Us For Life

by guest blogger and Messiah member, Dr. Julie Bracken  I am the only child of northern European parents. My dad was an engineer at Boeing in Seattle; my mom was a stay-at-home mother. My dad was raised Methodist, but didn't attend. My mom was a strong, quiet Lutheran woman who took me to church every Sunday. Our life when I was young was comfortable, both financially and personally.In 1970, when I was fourteen years old, my mother died suddenly of a brain aneurysm; the cause of her death I only found out years later. My father was destroyed by the loss. He couldn't talk to me about what had happened, or what would happen in the future. He arranged to have women from mom's church come in the next day, even before the funeral, and remove all of my mom's clothes and many of her personal belongings. It was as if...

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