With First Lutheran Church of West Seattle pastor Rev. Ron Marshall in that photo is a newly dedicated statue he commissioned, as a tribute to Danish theologian/philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, whose bicentennial is being commemorated today at the church. It began with a lecture this morning and concludes with a mid-afternoon reception, including folk dancing and this array of treats marked with tiny Denmark flags:
Commemorative glass mugs are available:
And distinguished visitors are on hand, including musicians, a poet, and the Kierkegaard statue’s artist, Dr. Rita Marie Kepner of Marrowstone Island (south of Port Townsend):
A pamphlet about the statue includes her memoirs about the process of creating it. She explains that Rev. Marshall contacted her more than five years ago “about finding a student to create a small ceramic portrait” of Kierkegaard … but she herself became intrigued, learning about Kierkegaard’s connection with the Lutheran Church. As she wrote, like many people, he is remembered more “as the father of existentialism.” Talking with the pastor, she eventually realized “the project was important enough that we should do it in bronze, not ceramic.” The brochure, which includes many more musings on her artistic process, notes that she is not only an internationally acclaimed artist but also an appointed federal disaster-response reservist and licensed boat captain. First Lutheran, by the way, is at 4105 California SW, north of The Junction.