Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church is a member parish of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, a 2.5 million-member church body committed to the historic Christian faith. A family of faith, nurturing families in faith.
It was the most important
week in history. Jesus was rejected, condemned, nailed to a tree and died. He
rose from the dead and appeared to a number of men and women. They heard Him
speak, they touched His body, they saw the wounds left by the crucifixion. They
believed God raised Him from the dead.
One of them wrote: “These things
are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and
that by believing, you may have life in His name” (John 20:31).
Every year, believers in
Jesus come together, open the Scriptures and hear the account of the eye
witnesses to all the events of that astounding week. We read what they wrote,
that we might also believe in Him. We read it aloud and preach and sing it in
We pray that you also will come to believe in Jesus and what He did for you,
and that you will share our joy. Because He died and rose for you.
What happened to Jesus wasn’t
just another event in the long series of travesties that befall good people
trying to make this sad world a better place. This was different. Jesus went to
His cross crying out to us: “I do this because I love you. I do this to forgive
you. I do this to wipe out your sin. I do this to destroy your death.”
Love like that blows us away.
It can only come from the Son of God. It’s a love mightier than all the mess
we’ve made of our lives, and stronger even than death itself.
Join us this week as we gather
one more time to hear and ponder, to proclaim and sing and celebrate the most
remarkable week in human history.
It really is a matter of death and life. His. For you.
Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, President The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
Savior, when in dust to Thee
Low we bow the adoring knee;
When, repentant, to the skies
Scarce we lift our weeping eyes;
O, by all thy pains and woe
Suffered once for us below,
Bending from Thy throne on high,
Hear our penitential cry!
This Lenten season, we invite you to join us on Wednesday evenings as Pastor Pace leads us through the theme, “The 7 Last Words of Jesus.” Each week we will take up one of the last words Jesus spoke from the cross to help prepare our hearts for the upcoming Easter celebration.
Worship is at 6:30 pm each Wednesday, following a Soup Supper meal at 5:30 pm.
The Seven Last Words of Jesus…
“Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” – Luke 23:34
“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” – Luke 23:43
“Woman, behold your son, son, behold your mother.” – John 19:26 – 27
“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” – Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34
“I thirst” – John 19:28
“It is finished.” – John 19:30
“Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit – Luke 23:46
For years, Beautiful Savior has partnered with Camp Lutherhaven in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for our Summer Day Camp program. For a week each summer, we are blessed to have camp counselors come and lead us in programming that includes the fun of camp and the joy of growing closer to God. As wonderful as it is to bring camp to our church, we hope you also get to experience the joy of visiting camp itself.
Lutherhaven offers a wide variety of summer programming, for kids of all ages. This summer, the theme of each program will be “Adventure Awaits!” Students will explore the incredible adventure God calls us to live through Paul’s charge to “be imitators of God as beloved children and live and love as Christ has loved us” (Ephesians 5:1-2).
If you register your child for camp before March 15th, they will receive a $20 credit to use at Lutherhaven’s trading post (the place to get Lutherhaven swag and treats at camp!). Also, Beautiful Savior offers Camp-erships, financial assistance, to help make camp more affordable. If you are interested in our campership program, talk to Jackie Druckhammer (email@example.com).
Include Lutherhaven in your family’s summer schedule! As you do, your camper will discover their true worth and potential; gain confidence through positive friendships, new life skills and growing passions; and most of all, deepen their faith in God—centered in the love of Jesus! ~ Bob Baker, Lutherhaven’s Executive Director
For several years now, our church has enjoyed gathering together for a picnic and kite fly to celebrate Ascension Day.
Last year, the event got a major upgrade.
A Paper-Crafted Replica of Wartburg Castle
One of our members, John Robison, has blessed us with his creative talents in many ways over the years. For our celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, back in October of 2017, he crafted a replica of the Wartburg Castle – the site where Martin Luther translated the Greek New Testament into German while he was hiding to protect his life.
A portion of the crèche display
This past Christmas, John and his wife Jan loaned us their beautiful display of handmadecrèches. The children from our Early Learning Center took turns visiting the sanctuary to see the collection of Nativity scenes from around the world. For those who worshiped with us throughout the season of Christmas, an extra artistic opportunity was provided to contemplate our Savior’s birth.
While each of these works of arts blessed our congregation, I think it’s safe to say that John’s Ascension Day project was the favorite of our kids. In preparation for the May picnic, John crafted over a dozen balsa wood planes to help the kids look to the sky as we gathered to remember Jesus’ Ascension (not to mention, he spent several weeks after the picnic offer a repair service for the kids who continued to enjoy their planes a little too enthusiastically).
For the past several weeks, John has been hosting a balsa wood airplane-making night here at Beautiful Savior. On Tuesdays at 5:30 pm, all are welcome to come and learn more about the art of crafting these incredible – and fun! – works of art. If you have questions or would like more information, you can reach John at (509) 534-2205 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Sunday’s sermon we looked at the road to Emmaus, and why Jesus “plays dumb” with the two disciples along the way. I suggested then that Jesus’ intent was (and is) to draw His disciples deeper. He could have given them pat answers and been on His way—surely the newly-resurrected Lord has a full to-do list! And yet He takes the time to trek 7 miles with these wayfarers, unfolding to them the mysteries of God’s kingdom.
Jesus plays dumb to make His disciples smart.
This particular tactic isn’t necessarily part of His M.O. today, but make no mistake—the Lord still endeavors to have you grow deeper in faith, and not be content to stay a superficial believer. As St. Paul puts it, the Lord won’t rest “until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4.13).
I challenged God’s people here at Beautiful Savior to strive to grow deeper this year. Let me suggest several concrete ways in which, through the power of the Holy Spirit, you might deepen your devotion to Christ.
1. Attend worship more regularly.
Perhaps this is a no-brainer, but still it must be said. The Divine Service—worship—is where we receive God’s gifts in Word and Sacrament. It’s where you are fortified in faith among the fellowship of the Baptized. It’s where you are equipped to go out into your vocation renewed and ready to carry out your daily labor in His name. If you have gotten into a habit of sporadic attendance—change it! Put worship on your calendar. Let your morning coffee be a reminder that you could be joining the people of God. Come!
2. Participate in Bible study.
For many folks the next step to growing deeper is participating in Bible study, whether it be our Sunday morning study or another. Now is a great time to join in. This past weekend we began our study How Not to Be a Heretic, about what modern Christians can learn from ancient heresies, but it will only really ramp up this coming Sunday. We’ve also got Roots of Faith starting up again on September 30th. In any event, there is no time like the present. Start attending Bible study. Be spurred on by your fellow believers to dig more deeply into the Scriptures. Which brings me to…
3. Practice Daily Prayer.
By Daily Prayer I mean what some Christians call “quite time” or “devotions.” It’s your time to meditate on passages from God’s Word and offer prayers and supplications for yourselves and others in need. Making this a regular habit can be more difficult for many people even than getting daily exercise. I get it. That’s why in our worship folder we have daily readings (drawn from the Daily Lectionary in Lutheran Service Book) from the Bible, as well as a psalm. Start with just a brief amount of time—10-15 minutes to get started. If you want more practical tips, download my e-book.
4. Join the choir for a season.
Yes, you! Look, it’s possible that your voice is worse than nails on a chalkboard, but I would venture to guess that with a little bit of practice and a good teacher (which is what we have with our multi-talented Music Director, Floyd Czoski) you could start making a joyful noise unto the Lord. Choir enables you to grow deeper by learning wonderful texts joined to music that will fill your soul and lift your spirit. Give it a try for just a season—if you don’t care for it, no big deal. But you may found that music gives you more delight than you knew.
5. Take the chalice.
Don’t literally steal it. I mean that when we receive Holy Communion opt for the chalice (aka “common cup”) instead of the individual glass. How does this help you to grow deeper? The chalice is a beautiful expression of what St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians regarding the bread of the Lord’s Supper:
The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. (1 Corinthians 10:16–17 ESV)
When we receive the common cup, it’s an expression of the communion that we have not only with God but also with one another. To paraphrase: “because there is one cup, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the common cup.”
6. Read a spiritual biography.
One of the most enriching and too-oft neglected exercises for faith can be to read about the life of a great Christian saint. Learning the stories of an Athanasius or a Tyndale or a Corrie ten Boom can bolster your confidence in the Lord of life. Our church library has plenty of options. To start, I might recommend Here I Stand, Roland Bainton’s classic biography about Martin Luther, or Suprised by Joy, C.S. Lewis’s personal memoir. Peruse our library, and grab me and ask for more recommendations based on your interests. Happy to oblige!
7. Increase your charitable giving.
“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6.21). We know this verse all too well…but do we take it to heart? The simplest way to practice this more fervently is to increase our charitable giving. Review what you give to the church or to other charities and non-profits. Has the amount changed in accordance with your income? Consider adding a new organization to support—the ones that we at church partner with, such as Concordia Seminary, Cup of Cool Water, and Mission Community Outreach, are a great place to start. The less our hearts are wrapped up in earthly treasure, the deeper we grow in faith. It’s that simple.
8. Invite a neighbor over for dinner.
Eating food helps you grow deeper? It does if you do so with a mission-mindset, with an attitude of expectation that the Holy Spirit can work in such neighborly relationships. As Greg Finke is fond of saying, “God can do more with two people who are talking to each other than two who aren’t.” That doesn’t mean you blitz them with an evangelistic pitch the moment they take off your shoes. It means you intentionally seek to foster relationships with the people that God has placed in your way. Ask questions. Listen. See if there isn’t a place where the balm of the gospel might be applied to wounded hearts. But especially at first, just be friendly.
9. Make some “blessing bags” for the homeless.
It’s a challenge for us all: what do you do with the panhandler on the corner? Our Christian intuition does not want to just ignore the person, but we also know that just giving a few dollars may actually do more harm than good. Enter the ingenious idea of the Blessing Bag. Make a few of these (even involve the kids) and keep them on hand in your car for when you come across someone on a street corner. Joined with a word of blessing or prayer, this is a much more effective expression of mercy than merely giving $5.
10. Take Jesus to work.
In his book Every Good Endeavor, Tim Keller notes that “perhaps not since the Protestant Reformation has there been so much attention paid to the relationship of Christian faith to work as there is today.” This stems from a deep desire to integrate our faith with our vocation(s). Inasmuch as much of our life is occupied with vocational pursuits—not only our career but also our vocations in the family and the civic realm—we need this integration in order to grow more deeply in faith. Don’t check your Christianity at the timecard; take Jesus to work.
These are but a few ideas for how you can grow deeper in faith over the next year. We are all on the journey of faith; no one of us has yet arrived. As Jesus said: “Let’s go!” (Mark 1.38).
The following is adapted from Pastor’s September 2018 Leaflet article.
“America’s problem,” writes Ross Douthat in his book Bad Religion, “isn’t too much religion, or too little of it. It’s bad religion: the slow-motion collapse of traditional Christianity and the rise of a variety of destructive pseudo-Christianities in its place.” Douthat, a columnist for The New York Times, goes further still. “For all its piety and fervor,” he writes, “today’s United States needs to be recognized for what it really is: not a Christian country, but a nation of heretics.”
Those are fighting words, to be sure. But would we dispute them? Are we even equipped to do so? Just as you can’t treat a disease that you don’t know exists, so also you can’t avoid or disavow a heresy if you don’t know what it is. Instead it goes undetected, doing its destructive work while remaining undiagnosed.
Our Sunday Bible study for this fall will seek to remedy this. Entitled “How Not to Be a Heretic,” in this study we’ll be looking at the historic threats to orthodox Christian faith. Technically speaking, heresies are teachings that run contrary to biblical, creedal faith. Indeed, as we will see, much of what we think of as orthodoxy had to be defined and articulated as a result of threats to the integrity of the Christian message.
“That sounds kind of dry,” you might be thinking. “What does ecclesiastical inside baseball from 1500 years ago have to do with us today?” Much in every way. But let me just give you two reasons for now.
First, studying the heresies of old gives us a greater appreciation for the truths of our faith, and for the people who contended for them—often at cost of their lives. We’ll hear stories of intrepid apologists and faithful evangelists who will help us to see not only the truth but also the beauty of what we believe—what G.K. Chesterton called “the romance of orthodoxy.”
Secondly, as Douthat’s comments suggest, these ancient heresies have a stubborn habit of hanging around. Even though the Church formally repudiated them all at various councils, they keep popping up like recalcitrant weeds. There are whole sects (such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses) that still subscribe to heretical beliefs, and for any Christian heresies lurk as a silent killer if not identified and consciously avoided.
So join us on Sunday mornings at 9:15 starting September 9th, and learn how not to be a heretic.
Advent is coming! And along with Advent comes our tradition at BSLC of collecting Christmas gifts for the less fortunate. For many years now, we have partnered with “Sally’s House”: a ministry of the Salvation Army. For nearly 20 years, Sally’s House has been the only emergency safe house in the Spokane area for children who are removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, abandonment or criminal activity. These children, ages 2-12, are brought to Sally’s House either by the police or Child Protective Services when no other immediate foster care is available. They come scared, traumatized, and with only the clothes on their backs. The team of child-life specialists work to give each child a sense of security and hope as longer-term solutions are developed. They may stay at Sally’s for a few days, or up to 90 days. They often are transported to their own school to maintain a sense of normalcy. Many will hear Bible stories for the first time in the daily optional Bible lessons. They receive clothing, toys, nutritious meals, tutoring, life skills, and lots of play time while at Sally’s.
Sally’s House has already alerted us to their most pressing needs this year: Legos, legos, and more legos! Also clothing for the older children (especially sizes 10 to adult); shoes for older children (adult sizes 2 to 10); and pajamas (especially sizes 8 through adult).
The Caring Tree has sprouted in the corner of our fellowship room.
Gift suggestion tags will be available on the tree for “wish list” items. You are not limited to those ideas alone. If you wish, you may bring any gift suitable for a child.
Please: no candy, gum, or toys of violence.
Place any gifts under the tree beforedelivery date,December 23.
DO NOT WRAP the gifts. Gift bags are welcomed.
If you would like to help with gift delivery on December 23, or have other questions, call Connie Fisher at (509) 998-8079 or Maggie Fisher at (425) 999-6846.
Come, Thou long-expected Jesus, Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us;
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, Hope of all the earth Thou art,
Dear desire of ev’ry nation,
Joy of ev’ry longing heart.
LSB 338, Stanza 1
With the Advent season fast approaching, we are once again looking forward to a wonderful season of preparing our hearts for Christ’s birth. In addition to our regular Sunday worship schedule, Wednesday mid-week services will begin December 5, with a soup supper and family activities at 5:30 pm and worship, using Holden Evening Prayer, at 6:30 pm. Looking ahead to Christmas Eve, we will have two evening services, at 5 and 7 pm, both with Holy Communion and a candlelight singing of Silent Night. A full schedule of this season’s Worship and Faith & Fellowship activities can be found below.
Blessings to you throughout this season!
Sunday Dec 2
8:00 am – Divine Service +
9:15 am – Christian Education
10:30 am – Divine Service +
11:45 am – Advent Soup Prep & Christmas Decorating & Cookie Party