Those are a few of the people who served the hundreds lining up along 39th SW this morning, giving the gifts Eastridge Church offers before Thanksgiving every year – turkeys and bags of groceries for holiday meals. This year, between their West Seattle and Issaquah campuses, Eastridge planned to give out 1,500 turkeys – that’s quite the logistical undertaking.
But it goes faster if you keep smiling.
It’s the 12th year Eastridge has given the pre-Thanksgiving gifts – no questions asked, no proof of need required.
For the first time since the latest round of controversy started roiling Mars Hill Church, its West Seattle site‘s future is in question. Today Mars Hill leadership announced online that it’s disbanding and that individual remaining churches will be able to either go independent, or will be sold:
…the board of Mars Hill has concluded that rather than remaining a centralized multi-site church with video-led teaching distributed to multiple locations, the best future for each of our existing local churches is for them to become autonomous self-governed entities. This means that each of our locations has an opportunity to become a new church, rooted in the best of what Mars Hill has been in the past, and independently led and run by its own local elder teams. …
The West Seattle Mars Hill building at 35th/Ida in Gatewood was previously Doxa Church, whose members joined forces with Mars Hill in 2006. That’s when Mars Hill bought the church for $180,000, according to county records, which show its appraised value at almost $3 million. Today’s announcement says, “All of Mars Hill’s existing church properties will either be sold, or the loans on the individual properties will be assumed by the independent churches, subject to approval by the lender …”
The online message about Mars Hill’s future is signed by Pastor Dave Bruskas, who has spoken for the church since its founder and Senior Pastor Mark Driscoll resigned earlier this month. He writes that Mars Hill is on a fast timeline for the reorganization plan – to be complete by the first of the year.
ADDED 8:50 PM: One more note on the Mars Hill purchase of the West Seattle church in 2006: As noted in the comment discussion below, we have found one more document, indicating that the purchase price was the “underlying debt” that remained on the property, while the equity beyond that was “a gift” from the seller. Even back in 2006, the county valued the property at almost $1.8 million.
Back in 2009, we reported on Lettuce Pray – local faith communities collecting food donations, particularly fresh-grown produce, for local food banks. It’s been going strong ever since, and just wrapped up another season. Jane Taylor shares this update:
I wanted to pass along the success of this summer’s Lettuce Pray collection. Kristen Parsons and I were unable to carry on these weekly collections of food from the churches, so Becky Boberg from WestSide Universalist Unitarian Church took it over for us.
As you can see, she collected about 1500 pounds of food, of which 1150 were fresh produce, grown by West Seattleites and taken to church on Sunday, where Becky picked it all up and deposited it directly into cold storage at the West Seattle and White Center Food Banks.Besides OLG and WWUU, participating churches included Alki UCC, St. John the Baptist Episcopal, Tibbetts United Methodist, Holy Rosary, and St. Bernadette’s.
In its six years, Lettuce Pray has collected over 5,000 pounds of fresh produce and an equal amount of canned goods and non perishables. Our thanks to the generous souls (and gardeners) of West Seattle – and to Becky Boberg! We’ll be back next summer!
Jane also forwarded the photos – noting that’s Becky’s hand, holding those beautiful tomatoes!
(WSB photos by Katie Meyer)
Sunshine again graced the annual Blessing of the Animals event presented by St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Admiral, drawing pets and their humans to the West Seattle High School parking lot next door this afternoon.
While St. John’s isn’t the only local church offering animal blessings, it’s the only one where you’ll find a member of the Order of Saint Francis participating in this tradition inspired by the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals:
That’s Brother Paul from the OSF, explained here. St. John’s priest in charge Rev. JD Godwin offered blessings as well – below, he blesses Waffles:
Even if you’re not religious, if you have a companion animal in your life, you might appreciate this offered prayer: “Bless those who curl themselves around our hearts, who twine themselves through our days, who companion us in our labor and who call us to come and play.”
We did spot one brave, well-behaved cat, named Purrcilla:
Rev. Godwin and Brother Paul blessed St. Francis medals and offered one for each pet blessed.
Most waited patiently for their turn.
(WSB photo: Rev. JD Godwin blessing Pace the dog at St. John’s 2013 Blessing of the Animals)
St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, is the inspiration for Blessing of the Animals events each fall, and this year we have heard from three West Seattle churches welcoming you and your pet(s) for the occasion, at events being held independent of the churches’ regular services:
PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH: Happening this Sunday morning:
Pastor Erik Kindem and Peace congregation offer an opportunity to bless your special companion/pet on Sunday, October 5 @ Peace Lutheran Church, 39th Ave SW and SW Thistle. The blessing will take place on the Westside Patio (8316 39th Ave SW) at the conclusion of worship (11:45am). Community invited!
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH: Happening this Sunday afternoon:
Sunday at 1 pm: Plan now to bring your pet or pets for St. John the Baptist’s annual community-wide St. Francis’ Day Blessing of the Animals, Sunday, October 5, at 1:00 p.m. on the West Seattle High School parking lot. Parishioner Paul Dahlke is coordinating the event again this year.
WSHS is at 3000 California SW, just north of St. John’s.
FAUNTLEROY UCC CHURCH: Happening Sunday, October 12th, 2 pm – details on this flyer. The church is at 9140 California SW.
Two-part announcement from Tibbetts United Methodist Church (longtime WSB sponsor):
Tibbetts is well known for its Autumn and Spring rummage sales, but instead this year we are welcoming a second pre-school cooperative, Arbor Heights Co-op Preschool, as a new group who will use the church facility.
For all those in the West Seattle community who look forward to the twice-yearly sale, we announce that the rummage sale will not be held this Fall (2014) and next Spring (2015). While the co-op is not intending to make Tibbetts its permanent home, unfortunately, the space to be occupied in the church building is the same space ordinarily used for the staging and display of all the articles that wind up in our popular rummage sales. It is our sincere intention to reprise our rummage sale in the near future, bigger and better than ever before! For information regarding the Arbor Heights Co-op Preschool, contact Judy Hall, SSCC Parent Educator, Registration Co-Chair, 206-938-2278. Thank you to the West Seattle Community for your continued support!
AH Co-op previously was based at Hillcrest Presbyterian Church, currently being renovated as the permanent home of Westside School (WSB sponsor). Tibbetts also is home of the Admiral Co-op Preschool, which, like Arbor Heights, is part of the South Seattle College Parent Cooperative Preschool group.
A joyful moment for Rev. Peg Boyle Morgan and her Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Gatewood before this morning’s service: Four years after they moved into the former Gatewood Baptist Church at California/Othello, they have installed a commemorative plaque in the church entryway – right next to the one the Baptists placed there 64 years ago:
WSUU had intended all along for the original plaque to stay; it was even mentioned in this WSB feature published shortly after they got the keys to the building in April 2010. Adding their own is also a nod to the WSUU past, present, and future, as the church celebrates its golden anniversary – 50 years – this year.
ADDED: Video of the dedication, above.
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
For the second time in five years, a centennial celebration for Holy Rosary. In 2009, the church marked its 100th anniversary; today, the school. Students were part of today’s Centennial Mass, with a special guest, Seattle’s Archbishop J. Peter Sartain:
Honoring the past and looking to the future, the Mass was followed by a reception and events involving time capsules old and new:
That one was from a quarter-century ago, 1989; here’s some of what was inside:
Archbishop Sartain and Holy Rosary’s pastor Father John Madigan also presided as a new time capsule was placed:
This one is meant to be opened a half-century from now:
What’s in it? That’s supposed to be a surprise for the people who open it in 2064. Earlier centennial events included a group photo last November, featuring more than 400 students (see it in WSB coverage).
Existential philosophy and Christian faith might not sound likely to intersect – but when it comes to Denmark’s renowned 19th-century thinker Søren Kierkegaard, they do. Few know this better than First Lutheran Church of West Seattle pastor Rev. Ron Marshall, who has just published “Kierkegaard for The Church,” and gave us a show-and-tell the other day:
The book would be helpful both “for the educated layperson and pastors,” Rev. Marshall says. This Monday, 9 am-1 pm, he’s hosting an “open conference” about it at his church north of The Junction, open to the public, focused on the book and some of what you can hear him discuss in our video – which concludes with a shorter clip below, elaborating on who the book is for and on the Monday forum (at which you can buy a signed copy of “Kierkegaard for the Church”:
Behind the pastor and author in our clips is the Kierkegaard statue you can see at First Lutheran, by Northwest artist Dr. Rita Marie Kepner, dedicated when the church celebrated the bicentennial of the philosopher/theologian last year (WSB coverage here). As Rev. Marshall mentioned, First Lutheran commemorates him in November every year. Drop in Monday for minutes or hours and check out the statue, the discussion, the book.
Video: West Seattle’s Tibbetts UMC donates big to ‘United in Blue’ pre-Super Bowl food-drive challengeFebruary 2, 2014 at 3:24 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle religion | 3 Comments
So many pre-game Seattle-vs.-Denver sideline challenges this week, hard to keep track of them all – but this one has a specific West Seattle component: Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor) joined in the “United in Blue” food-drive challenge between the UMC’s in Seattle and the UMC’s in Denver. In something like this, EVERYBODY wins, since it means more help for those in need. Betsy Wharton shares the video put together today for Tibbetts after its part of the drive (featured on the WSB Super Bowl page) brought in 770 nonperishable food items for local food banks! Money too, but that’s still being counted. Fun video – thanks for sharing; go, Hawks! (And go help your local food banks if you haven’t done so lately – online, you can donate to the West Seattle Food Bank here, the White Center Food Bank here.)
Just outside Eastridge Church at 39th/Oregon, it was the busiest morning of the year – volunteers and church staffers offering turkeys, groceries, coats, gloves, and Bibles to hundreds of people. The line stretched down 39th to Fauntleroy and eastward down the sidewalk in front of Trader Joe’s by the time the distribution began at 9 am. Eastridge does the same thing at the same time outside its Issaquah campus, and this year announced it planned to distribute 1,500 turkey/groceries/etc. bags between the two sites.
SIDE NOTE: At least two places in West Seattle are serving a free community Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday – The Hall at Fauntleroy (noon-3 pm) and the West Seattle Eagles‘ aerie (2-5 pm); more information in the Thanksgiving section atop the WSB West Seattle Holiday Events and Info Guide.
Eastridge Church has just announced the date for its annual turkey-and-groceries giveaway. This year, between its West Seattle and Issaquah campuses, it’s increasing the number of turkeys to 1,500. Lori from Eastridge says they’re offering “a helping hand and a little hope this Thanksgiving” with the giveaway starting at 9 am Saturday, November 23rd, “no questions asked, nothing to fill out.” Eastridge is at 39th/Oregon.
It’s an October tradition for St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in south Admiral – the annual Blessing of the Animals in the West Seattle High School parking lot next door. Most of this year’s blessing-seekers brought their dogs; we did spot one cat, Yahzi Farouche:
This was the first Blessing of the Animals since Rev. J.D. Godwin took over as spiritual leader almost half a year ago. Below, Rev. Godwin blessed Pace the dog:
He was joined by Paul Dahlke from the Order of St. Francis. There was a special gift for the people who brought their pets today – this medal:
Thanks to Vince for sharing the announcement:
Holy Rosary Catholic Church in West Seattle has scheduled five hours of prayer this Saturday, September 7, in response to the call by Pope Francis for a day of prayer and fasting for peace for Syria.
All are invited to join in the Holy Rosary prayer service from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The church is at 4210 SW Genesee.
The service will coincide with a prayer vigil being led by the pope at St. Peter’s Square from 7 p.m. to midnight Vatican time. Francis has invited Catholics, other Christians, those of other faiths and non-believers to join together on Saturday to invoke the gift of peace for Syria and other areas of the world where there is conflict.
Both houses of Congress are expected to vote next week on whether to support U.S. strikes in Syria; a Senate committee passed a related resolution today.
Local coalition goes face-to-face with councilmembers on ‘Nickelsville’ and other homelessness issuesJune 18, 2013 at 11:45 am | In 'Nickelsville' encampment, West Seattle news, West Seattle religion | 25 Comments
(Photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
The two City Council members who did not sign last week’s letter calling for the Nickelsville encampment’s closure by September 1st were among three councilmembers who came to West Seattle last night for a forum on homelessness.
Their divergent positions on the matter were evident when all three – Nick Licata and Mike O’Brien, who weren’t part of the letter, and Tom Rasmussen, who was – responded to an audience question asking about “the plan” for the shutdown. We have that part of the discussion on video:
Ahead, the rest of what was discussed – what’s the city doing regarding homelessness in general, and what community members can do to help:
Saint John the Baptist Episcopal Church in West Seattle announces the appointment of the Reverend Jerry D. (JD) Godwin as spiritual leader of the parish. Rev. Godwin will serve as Priest-in-Charge beginning April 30, 2013 and deliver his first sermon in that capacity on Sunday, May 5, 2013 during services at 8 and 10:15 am. The appointment was made by the Right Reverend Gregory Rickel, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia (Province VIII), following selection by the vestry of Saint John the Baptist.
Rev. Godwin has been Rector of the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration in Dallas, Texas since 2000, where he led a parish of nearly 2,000 members. As Priest-in-Charge, he will provide spiritual leadership for the congregation and prepare the parish for the process of calling a permanent Rector in three to five years. “What an exciting time we have ahead of us as we join hands in ministry – to discover, more and more, how God is calling us, in the power of the Spirit, to carry on the mission of his Son in our world,” says Rev. Godwin.
The community is invited to meet Rev. Godwin at two special welcoming events:
· Sunday May 5, 2013 – Eucharist at 8 and 10:15 am with luncheon reception following 10:15 service
· Sunday May 19, 2013 – Bishop’s visitation at 8 and 10:15 am with luncheon reception following the 10:15 service.
The church is on the northeast corner of California/Hanford in South Admiral.
(Photo by Nick Adams for WSB)
This Easter Sunday began clear and cool, with early services including the traditional joint sunrise service on the sands of Alki Beach, organized by West Seattle’s three UCC churches – Admiral, Alki, and Fauntleroy.
With two weeks until Easter (March 31) and one until Passover (starts March 25), we’re working on our annual spring-holiday guide right now, so this is your invitation/reminder to send information about your event, service, etc., if you haven’t already – from egg hunts to seders and beyond. Getting the basics (what, when, where, who, weblink) via e-mail is our preference – email@example.com – just put the information in plain text in the body of your e-mail (no need for attachments, flyers, posters, etc.) and send it … thank you! Soon as it’s ready, you’ll see it in the line of tabs under the sunset photo atop our site; each of those tabs takes you to an inside section.
Less than two months after longtime Fauntleroy Church minister Rev. David Kratz‘s retirement, an interim minister is on the way. Judy Pickens shares the announcement:
Fauntleroy Church UCC has appointed the Rev. Eric Dale as interim minister, starting on Palm Sunday (March 24).
Ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 1981, he has served interim pastorates with the United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church, and most recently, an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America congregation in Elko, Nevada. He has also served as a campus minister. He received his M.Div. from the Pacific School of Religion in 1980.
Rev. Dale will serve the Fauntleroy congregation for 12-18 months, providing full pastoral care as well as guidance through the process of calling a “settled” minister to replace the Rev. David Kratz, who retired at the end of January.
Rev. Kratz had served at Fauntleroy Church for more than a quarter-century, as reported here during his final week on the job. The church itself is more than a century old, having celebrated its centennial in 2008.
(First 3 photos by Ben Ackers)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The farewell party’s over. The final sermon has been said.
By week’s end, Rev. David Kratz will leave a job he’s had for 27 years – as pastor of Fauntleroy Church.
“We’ve had a great run,” he reflected during a recent sit-down conversation in his office at the church. While he mentions his age – 67 – without being prompted, he adds, “I’m not being forced out by the congregation, I’m not sick, just … it’s time.”
January 15, 1986, was his first day, and January 31, 2013 – tomorrow – is scheduled to be his last.
He’s been in Fauntleroy for two-thirds of his 40 years as a minister – a time of changes big and small.
A unique way to help tell the Christmas story to children – twin a Living Nativity with a petting zoo! That’s what happened at ARK Park in Arbor Heights this afternoon – with animals including a donkey and llamas.
This was a presentation of Arbor Heights Community Church – one of the churches listed in our lineup of West Seattle Christmas Eve/Day church services. See the list here – and please let us know if you have an addition or change!
That sleigh and its contents represented the true light of last night’s 8th annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and School – the spirit of giving, in this case food donations for those in need. (Heidi Ehrenberg designed the sleigh.) Oh, of course there’s a tree too:
OLG is graced with the highest-elevation tree in the city, right across the street from Seattle’s highest point, at Myrtle Reservoir, 512 feet above sea level. Its lighting was celebrated as always with what might be West Seattle’s most festive outdoor public caroling session – highlighted as usual by “Jingle Bells” featuring hundreds of jingling sets of car keys:
Another tradition – local broadcaster/journalist Brian Callanan emceed, festively as ever, from beneath the tree, along with OLG’s pastor, Father Jack Walmesley:
While some in the crowd were decked in antlers or Santa hats (including Santa himself – clip in the works), OLG School’s principal Kristin Dixon chose the angelic look:
After the caroling, it was time to stream inside the OLG Parish Life Center for cookies and cocoa:
The center was dedicated last May. Chair of last night’s event was Tovee Delaliana, as noted on the program, which also listed the OLG Christmas Eve/Day Mass times – we’ll be adding those to the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, and invite all local faith communities with celebrations this season to send word of the dates and times too! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
They waited, under the gray Saturday morning sky, down the sidewalk past what last Thanksgiving season was a construction site and this year is a shiny new grocery store. Waiting for them at the head of the line, a free turkey:
And a bag of groceries:
This is the tenth year that Eastridge Church has offered the turkey giveaway, no questions asked. The event in West Seattle is duplicated at their Issaquah campus. And it’s always a bustle of activity:
(Lisa Dela Cruz guides 6-year-old daughter Stephanie in where to place a bag)
Those who come are helped by volunteers of all ages.
(10-year-old volunteer Ryan Shelver)
Even 500 turkeys only go so far. And then, they were gone, as announced by the sign Paul Emmett held:
…gone until next year. Others are helping the hungry in our community too, of course, also with volunteer time and money/food donations; today the White Center Food Bank has a turkey dropoff in Fauntleroy, 11 am.
In case you or someone you know is in need this Thanksgiving … we wanted to mention once more that the annual Eastridge Church 500-turkey giveaway is tomorrow morning, starting at 9 am, at the church (39th and Oregon, across from West Seattle Bowl). They don’t require any proof of need or ID – just show up and they’ll give you a turkey and bag of groceries, as long as the supply lasts.
Thanks to Wendy Hughes-Jelen for the photo from Adams Hall at West Seattle’s Tibbetts United Methodist Church (WSB sponsor), where she is there as part of an apple-pie-making marathon: “184 apple pies for Thanksgiving dinner at Union Gospel Mission, and about 400 more for supporters of the premier handbell ringing group Bells of the Sound, whose holiday Christmas concerts start in December.”
One week from today, on Sunday, November 11th, the rabbi who leads the West Seattle Torah Learning Center is planning a busy day – installing a mezuzah at the home/apartment of any Jewish West Seattleite who doesn’t have one but would like one. Here’s the TLC’s announcement:
No Jewish home should have an empty doorpost. Rabbi Yehuda Greer [photo at left], the newest rabbi to serve as spiritual leader of West Seattle’s Torah Learning Center, is available on Sunday, November 11, to make a “house call” and provide Jewish West Seattleites with an authentic, “kosher” mezuzah scroll (which contains essential texts from the Bible handwritten in tiny Hebrew calligraphy). He’ll also provide guidance in reciting the appropriate blessings and assistance in putting the mezuzah up at the entrance to the home or apartment. This Mezuzah Day is a great opportunity to meet Rabbi Greer and others in West Seattle’s Jewish Community and to get a free mezuzah!
This event is sponsored by the The West Seattle Torah Learning Center (TLC) which draws participants from a wide variety of Jewish backgrounds and affiliations to its Shabbat and holiday celebrations, classes and social events. TLC is a project of The Seattle Kollel. For more information about the West Seattle TLC or to reserve a time slot on Mezuzah Day, contact Rabbi Yehuda Greer at email@example.com or 732.534.2284 as soon as possible.
(Photos by Nick Adams for WSB)
It’s an autumn tradition – Blessing of the Animals events/services around the feast day of the patron saint of animals, Saint Francis of Assisi. For the past several years, the lone outdoor public event in West Seattle has been offered by St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, in the adjacent West Seattle High School parking lot, WSB contributing photojournalist Nick Adams was there as St. John’s Rev. Greg Peters carried on the tradition:
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