From the Desk of Pastor Lassman
I Am Your Pastor
My Fellow Redeemed in Christ,
If you are a member of Messiah Lutheran Church I am your pastor. The word “Pastor” comes from the Greek New Testament and means “Shepherd”. Jesus is the “Good Shepherd” of all Christians, myself included. But pastors are Jesus’ “helpers”, His “under shepherds”. As a pastor I am not an “employee” of the congregation. I have been placed here at Messiah by God Himself (Acts 20: 28; Eph. 4:11; 1 Thess. 5:12, 13). He did this through the “Call” that you extended to me in October of 1987 and with my “Installation” in January of 1988 I became pastor of Messiah. This means that God has given me to you to serve you in His Name and to care for you in your relationship with God in Jesus Christ. As your pastor it is my joy to bring you God’s salvation in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I do this by using the Means of Grace that God Himself has given: His Word and the two Sacraments of Baptism and the Altar. True, I must also preach and teach God’s Law to you in order to expose your sin and guilt. But I do this only for the sake of the Gospel. I preach God’s law so that by understanding just how sinful you are and how much you deserve God’s condemnation you might also know how much God loves you by giving His own Son into death for your sins. As your pastor it is my duty and joy to serve you in the Name of our Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And I carry out my duties fully aware that on the Judgment Day I will give an account of my faith to God and to you His people for whom Christ died (Heb. 13:17; James 3:1).
God has designed people to live in communities and to have relationships with other people. The most intimate of these communities and relationships is the family as headed by a husband and a wife. There are other communities and close relations outside the family but the relationship between a pastor and God’s people is one of the closest. You are important to me. Indeed, I love you. I serve the God who gave His own Son for you. How then can I not love you and serve you. Jesus’ death for you makes you precious. And that is how I must serve you: as those for whom Christ shed His precious blood. So, it is my joy to visit you when you are sick in the hospital. It is my joy to give you hope and comfort at a funeral. It is my joy to join you together as husband and wife in marriage. It is my joy to baptize your children and teach them. It is my joy to give you my counsel when needed and asked. It is my joy when we as pastor and people come together on Sunday morning to gather around God’s Word and Sacraments to receive what He has done for us in Jesus Christ and to sing His thanks and praise. It is my joy to teach you God’s Word, both Law and Gospel.
Because God has given me to care for you as your spiritual shepherd, your pastor, I periodically think of you and pray for you, whatever your need might be: a healing, a reconciliation in a relationship; I am concerned for you when you experience problems and difficulties in this life; I am concerned for you if I seldom see you in the Divine Service on Sunday morning…and I pray. For God has given me to be your pastor for the ultimate goal that on the judgment day you might be able to stand before Jesus Christ with a clear conscience, trusting in what He has done for you in His life, death, and resurrection. It is my prayer and hope and that each one of you under my care might be certain of God’s love and know his peace through the forgiveness of your sins and be certain of the resurrection from the dead to eternal life. This is my call from God to you. This is my commitment to you as I too live under God’s grace and forgiveness and rely on His Spirit and power to do what I myself cannot do.
As I carry out my ministry I am aware of my own shortcoming and sins for which I ask not only God’s forgiveness but yours. Over the years I have been blessed by your love and support, your forgiveness and your encouragement which has all contributed to my ministry being a joy and not a burden (Heb. 13:17). And it is my prayer and hope that, God willing, I will have the privilege of serving you in the Name of Christ for many years to come.
PS. Please see below Martin Luther’s “Sacristy Prayer” which I pray before both services on Sunday.
Martin Luther’s “Sacristy Prayer” (located in Messiah’s Sacristy)
Donated August 8, 1975 by the mother of Dick Hillmann from the study of his father and her husband, Rev. A. L. Hillmann, the first pastor of Messiah.
O Lord God, Thou hast made me a pastor and teacher in the Church. Thou seest how unfit I am to administer rightly this great and responsible office; and had I been without Thy aid and counsel I would surely have ruined it all long ago. Therefore do I invoke Thee. Now gladly do I desire to yield and consecrate my heart and mouth to this ministry! I desire to teach the congregation. I, too desire ever to learn and to keep Thy Word my constant companion and to meditate thereupon earnestly. Use me as Thy instrument in Thy service. Only do not Thou forsake me, for if I am left to myself, I will certainly bring it all to destruction. Amen.
In Christ, Pastor Lassman
The Community of the Church
I am someone who has always had a tendency to be “into” technology. Growing up I liked to be aware of what technology was out there, and what technology was on the horizon. Often, as much as I could afford, I liked to be able to obtain some of that technology and master it as well as I could. Well, I think age is catching up with me (yes already). When I was out Christmas shopping, in one store I saw a pair of glasses with earphones called a personal media viewer. I thought this was pretty incredible. I suppose I was not really shocked that this sort of thing existed, but I was surprised it was already available on such a mass market level. Ironically, just the day before I had been telling Jessica how I could see the possibility that in the future people will become more and more secluded from one another. I could see each person soon being enclosed in their own electronic world. Of course to some extent we as people will not bear being completely physically alone, but I could definitely see this isolation becoming more and more common. In fact, there is a great deal of isolation that has seeped into our culture already.
Isn’t it peculiar that we are more connected than any society before us, but we as a whole have become much more private and individualized than any other society before us. Of course there is benefit to this connectedness. We can keep in touch with our family and friends from much farther away than ever before. There is even some value in the privacy we have, however there is also a loss in community that results.
This is a pro and a con for the church. The church is by nature communal. We as the assembly of believers gathered around the proclamation of God’s Word and the administration of His sacraments are by definition a community. That is what we do, we assemble, and in our assembly we worship God by hearing of the forgiveness of our sins in Jesus Christ. This is a wonderful bond that we share together. It is a bond that we do not share even with our closest friend outside of the Church. Of course we can be close with our friends outside of the Church, but there is a different level of fellowship. However, the community of our fellowship is exactly where we can reach out to those outside of the church as isolation in our society increases. We can provide a place of community for them, a place where they can have physical contact, not even merely with human beings, but with our God in the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What greater gift is there than this tangible contact with our God through the forgiveness of our sins at His table?
There is a downside for the Church, however, to this isolation in our society. We as the Church must beware not to allow this isolation to permeate our culture too. We must remain a communal Church, a Church thriving on our fellowship that we have together in our Lord at His Feast. The loss of this element would be detrimental to the individuals within the congregation, and therefore to the congregation as a whole. A congregation of the saints is not a group of mutually exclusive lives that merely come together to sit next to each other for an hour each week, it is a place where everyone should feel comfortable as a family (or in some cases more comfortable than an earthly family).
Of course, in the end we always will fail to be the perfect community. We fail because we are a gathering of sinners. We, at some point, will mess things up, but when we do we can always trust in the mercy of our God. We can always trust in His promises of forgiveness. And we can also trust that no matter the situation the gates of Hell will never triumph against His Church.
To God alone be the Glory, Vicar Zickler
CURRENT AND UPCOMING BIBLE STUDIES
FELLOWSHIP HALL BIBLE CLASS
INSTRUCTOR: Pastor Lassman
WHEN: Sunday Mornings 9:20 a.m.
WHERE: Fellowship Hall
HIGH SCHOOL BIBLE CLASS SUNDAY MORNINGS
WHAT: “Growing in Christ”
WHEN: Sunday Mornings 9:20 a.m.
WHERE: Youth Room-Room 202
INSTRUCTOR: John Daigneault, Dave Manahan
MONDAY EVENING MARY/MARTHA BIBLE STUDY
WHAT: “Let Us Pray”
WHEN: First Monday of the Month
INSTRUCTOR: Kathy Lassman
TUESDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY
WHAT: “1 Corinthians”
WHEN: Tuesday Mornings, 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Fellowship Hall
INSTRUCTOR: Pastor Lassman
THURSDAY EVENING BIBLE STUDY YOUNG ADULTS
WHAT: “Old Testament Overview”
WHEN: Thursdays, 7 p.m. Two Thursdays a month 7 pm
WHERE: Youth Room-Room 202 Lounge
LEADER: Jim Grant Justin Bourn
ADULT INFORMATION CLASS
WHAT: A 15-week course on basic Christian teachings
WHEN: Thursday Evenings, 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Fellowship Hall
INSTRUCTOR: Pastor Lassman
Men’s Night Out Monday, January 5th, 6:00 p.m. at the Ram Café and Sports Bar at the Northgate Mall. Please RSVP to Brian Danforth.
The staff and faculty of Seattle Lutheran High School invite you to join them for an Open House on Thursday, January 15th from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
February Messenger deadline is January 18th..
Ladies’ Night Out - Have you tried Korean BBQ? Here’s your chance. Join us at Merinae Restaurant, 12020 Aurora Ave N on January 19th at 6:15 p.m. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
The flower chart for 2009 is posted on the upstairs bulletin board. Sign up today!
Please help Columbia Lutheran Home by supporting their Auction and Wine Tasting Fundraiser. This popular event will be held on Saturday, February 7th from 5:30 to 7:30 at the Best Western Executive Inn. You can help in the following ways: attend the auction, donate an auction item, volunteer to help at the auction. Please contact Beth Hartman, 206.633.6177 if you are able to help with this fun event
January 25, 2009
Rev. Thomas P. Zimmerman will be our guest preacher during both Mission Sunday services and will lead the Adult Education class on January 25, 2009.
Rev. Zimmerman serves at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana as Director of Alumni and Church Relations/Admissions Counselor. Rev. Zimmerman has served the church as a pastor, teacher, and D.C.E. since 1973. He was ordained at Immanuel Lutheran Church - Downers Grove, Illinois on July 22, 1984.
Evangelism: Messiah’s Mission Outreach 2009
At our Congregational meeting in November, Messiah’s members voted to fund the following people and organizations out of our weekly offerings as our mission outreach for 2009:
*Russian Seminary $ 3,000
*Lutheran Ministries Seattle (LMS) $ 1,500
*African Outreach in Seattle $ 7,000
*David Solum - Seminary Student $ 3,000
*Synod-NW District LCMS $14,500
*Dominican Republic Mission/Rev. Krey $ 2,000
*Issues, Etc. $ 1,000
*India Mission $ 1,000
These eight ministries cover a wide spectrum of missions. They reach out to individuals in various parts of the world. Overseas we help support the Russian Seminary, India Mission, and the Dominican Republic Mission of Rev. Krey. We support LCMS missions and ministries on the Synod and District levels as well as Issues, Etc. Locally, we help support Lutheran Ministries Seattle, African Outreach in Seattle, and one of Messiah’s own members, David Solum, currently in his third year of study at Fort Wayne Seminary.
There are posters set up in the Narthex giving general information about each mission.
Want more information?
A yellow hand-out near the posters gives contact information for all of our missions.
We encourage your support of Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) and its efforts of ”Bringing Christ to the Nations”. Information on supporting LHM is located on the Evangelism board in the main floor hallway. Please keep these missions in your prayers so that their message of salvation in Jesus Christ is shared with the people they encounter.
Social Ministry News
In 2009 we will continue to collect hygiene items for Compass Cascade, a women’s temporary housing facility and Immanuel Lutheran Church, which has hygiene facilities for homeless people to use and then return to the outside. Sometimes we also give some monthly items to a local women’s shelter.
Besides the usual items we collect and donate, we will add women’s feminine hygiene products for both organizations, to our list. Please pick up a list of our monthly items, which is in an attached envelope on the lounge basket. Also, please continue to put marked receipts into an attached bag. We submit the receipts to Thrivent Financial, which sends us money, enabling us to help more people in need.
In January please place hand/body lotions in our lounge basket. These are very, very helpful items in our cold, dry temperatures. Thank you.
Thank you to all who participated in the Lake City Christmas Program this year. I helped bag some of the gifts this year, including the ones from Messiah, and we filled all of Maple Leaf’s pews with bags of toys, clothing and so many other items. Parents will be coming to pick them up next week and will wrap their children’s presents so the gifts will be under their trees Christmas morning. The program helped sponsor 650 families this year, many with two or more children. With your generosity, we helped to put smiles on many children’s faces!
Sunday School News
We planned an early children’s Christmas service to avoid Christmas vacations. Guess what - God planned snow. Well, for those of you who did not make “In A Manger” on December 14th, there were amazing angels, wise readers and singers by the score. You know the story, and it is our great pleasure to share it with you every year about this time. You may have missed this year’s experience but you can still get a copy of the Vicar’s homily, and you should, it was great.
There are no words that can adequately express our thanks to the parents, grandparents and teachers who struggled with all of the many things competing for the children’s time who somehow made this service a priority and got their children to practice and church. We and the Lord are grateful for you, and before we forget, thanks to all of you who helped set up and take down the things we needed for the service.
Our readers were John Daigneault, Ken Deaver, and Michael Cohrs. Jill Cohrs and Andrea Edmon were our music leaders and Barbara Sackett was our accompanist. The upper grade students joined by the Early Childhood department were singers extraordinaire. We might differ on which song we liked best, but it would be hard to deny that they liked “Go Tell it on the Mountain” because we could hear that refrain in the next county.
In January the baby Jesus grows into manhood, we learn about the boy Jesus in the temple, His baptism and temptation and the call He extends to Phillip, Nathaniel, and Matthew.
Bring your children to Sunday School; it is an exciting time in the life of our Lord and Savior.
Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) News
The mission of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League is to assist each woman of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod in affirming her relationship with the Triune God so that she is enabled to use her gifts in ministry to the people of the world.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at noon. Bring a casserole to share and your MITE money.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 9:30 am to 2:30 pm. Bring a sack lunch.
Monthly Women’s Bible Study is back in January - January 5th at 7 pm in the choir room. The topic for this month’s study is “Let us pray”. All women are welcome.
Thanks to everyone who helped at the Advent dinner. Thanks to your help and to the generous contributions of the congregation we made almost $300 for mites and the LWML National Convention.
Thanks to everyone who has been bringing in mite boxes on MITE BOX Sundays. So far you have donated $350 towards the LWML mission projects throughout the world. Go to the LWML website to see where your mites are going. www.lwml.org
News from Concordia
from Dave Meyer, principal.....
Have you noticed the tree in the front window? I had the pleasure of sharing this Christmas experience with the Cardinal team. I think I saw smiles throughout and the lights were the easiest I have ever put up because of the helpful hands. I do appreciate the time spent with these great young adults. I remember my family gathering around the tree and placing the lights and ornaments in a bunching pattern. The big part of our Christmas routine was pulling the tree out of a box. Growing up in New Guinea and Hawaii limited our choices of trees and my parents felt that a box tree would be more economical and give us a familiar look year after year. One of my favorite memories is shaping the tree, pulling the limbs back and forth to “fluff” the smashed limbs. I think this is a great picture for us to look at our lives in Christ. As the Cardinal team helped place the tree in the window and began to shape the limbs, I was reminded of their theme “Mature in Christ”. Maturing is a process for many trees and most take time, Christmas trees mature and then are cut to share joy and build memories in homes. This season reminds us that Christ was born to share His joy and build memories in lives.
Support Concordia and clean out your closets at the same time! Concordia is having a garage sale next Spring and you can drop off your items at church on January 18th. Please put them on the stage in boxes or bags marked “Rummage Sale”. Concordia will pick them up on Tuesday, January 20th. You can also take things to the school Monday thru Friday during school hours.
Calendar for January:
Jan 9th - Home Basketball Game vs Concordia Tacoma B team 3:30pm
Jan 12th - Home Basketball Game vs Parkland 3:30pm
Jan 13th - Kindergarten Open House for Association Preschools
Jan 15th - Home Basketball Game vs Hope B team 3:30pm
Jan 20th - Home Basketball Game vs Christian Faith 3:30pm
Jan 22nd - Home basketball game vs Shorewood 3:30pm
Jan 26th - Home basketball game vs Holy Trinity 3:30pm
Jan 27th - Community Open House 6:30pm