Central Lutheran Church and Kid's Central Preschool

     Central Lutheran Office
     925 North Forest St
     Bellingham, WA 98225
     Phone: 360-734-7180
     Fax: 360-734-0788

     Office Hours
     Monday - Friday
     Also By Appointment

     Timothy A. Whiteman
     Emergency Telephone
     Pastor Tim's Cell:

     Staff Contacts
     Marissa Meyrick

     Diane Ecker

     Organist/Choir Director:
     Carol Reppun

     Connie Fry

     Newsletter Editor
     Kathy Reigstad

     Kid's Central Preschool:
     Erin Rush

     Kirby Unti: 1-844-597-04520

     Nursery: 360-734-7180

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Description: Description: ELCA1cemblemlg
December 2015 Newsletter

Central Lutheran Church


925 North Forest St., Bellingham, WA 98225

Phone: (360) 734-7180;  fax: (360) 734-0788

centrallutheran.net; email: office@centrallutheran.net


Worship schedule: Call to Worship 9:00 a.m.,

Worship 9:15, Sunday School 10:30


Celebrating together in grace, we nourish faith, proclaim hope, and share love!

Dear Members and Friends:


Greetings in the name of Jesus!


The void in the center of Black Friday. Black Friday: the make-it or break-it day for retailers. It is the busiest shopping day of the year for many stores. Competition for shoppers is high, so the best sales of the year are offered. It used to be that on Thanksgiving Day everything was closed (or closed early), and everything seemed still and quiet, like the calm before the storm of the Christmas shopping season began. The change started slowly a few years ago. Some stores started offering “extreme loss leader items” with very limited stock-on-hand teasers. The regular store hours were then abandoned for earlier opening times. Shoppers were encouraged to come for special “early bird only” sales.


Once started, the changes to Black Friday displayed the creativity of the marketers, and earlier and substantial Christmas shopping has multiplied exponentially. What once marked the beginning of the holiday season has been lost. This year I received my first specific Christmas catalog on August 4, saw my first Christmas display on August 11, and watched my first Christmas television commercial on August 13. Christmas decorations, which in the past seemed to magically appear on Black Friday, are mostly complete everywhere long before then. 


The reason I mention all this is because I feel that for many people something is missing in the holiday season. All the push for gifting and for charitable works is not filling the void. It is interesting for me to see that even though billboards post romantic and sentimental reasons for the holiday season, like goodwill and family (and diamond jewelry or a good cup of coffee), the void remains. Not everyone has or can have those things. While there may be a little flashback on the political theme of retail clerks being forced to work on Thanksgiving, there remains the void of why Thanksgiving should be simply a “family day.”


 What’s missing in the holiday season is a sense of the holy. The void in Thanks-giving Day is the holy idea of being thankful for the gift of being stewards of this land and of the freedoms provided by our political system. The void in all the “stuff” of Christmas is the knowledge that once the seasonal push ends, all the needs and causes remain; only the signs and symptoms have been temporarily bandaged. The holy idea of worshipping Christ and the gift of God’s presence in our lives are hidden beneath the never-ending effort of bandaging. The void is the missing Holy Spirit’s action in our doing of faith, because grateful hearts take action.


Herein lies the solution: faith built in hope and active in love, but from more than just your or my will or desire. It is God’s gift of faith calling forth hope for filling the void of superficial action. This is both the product and the result of the incarnation. This is God become human in the infant Jesus. More than simply idealistic love, this is love that’s active in revealing the nature of God and declaring God’s will for all humanity. It is in our connection to the presence of Jesus that we are connected to God. Christmas is the celebration of that presence come to us, to claim us, to guide us toward true and pure humanity. Worship is the means of that connection and the process of filling the void. All the stuff of this world receives its value because of that connection.


So let us worship, offering our praise and thanksgiving to the God who loves us so much as to take our likeness and share with us humanity. Let us seek to fill the void of finiteness and meaninglessness with the knowledge of all the circum-stances of the miracle of this birth. Let us value the next step, and share this news, this good news, of Jesus’ birth with all the world. This Christmas, as always before and never before, may we join our lives, our families, our friends with this faith, hope, and love, because Jesus is born.


Let’s take advantage of Sunday worship, the special Advent worship and activities, purposely building up in knowledge and practice our praise of God. That funny void feeling, like something missing from Christmases past, or even hopes of what Christmas should feel like, will be addressed. This is the gift of Christmas filled in praise, prayers, hymns, and fellowship; this is worship.


In Jesus’ name,

Pastor Tim


Women’s Candlelight Communion

Join us at 7 pm Tuesday evening, December 15, as we worship together in song and story. The service will be followed by refreshments in the narthex. (Bring a plate of cookies to share, if you’d like.)


News from Camp Lutherwood

Summer 2016 is already underway at Lutherwood! Registration will be live in December, and you can look for programming schedules at that time. Counselor applications will also be available starting in early December. Visit camplutherwood.org for more information.

Thank-You Notes


Dear Central Lutheran …


* Thanks so much for hosting the great anniversary worship and dinner [in September]. The stories were great, the music was inspiring, and the community support was incredible.

      All of your work did not go unnoticed.

      And we went home with a cookbook!

      —Kirby and Kim Unti


* I would just like to say thank you for your participation in Project Homeless Connect. Your quilt program is really a blessing to all who attend, and I was one. I am so thankful to everyone to be able to have received not one but two quilts. They will be very helpful to me during the cold weather.

      God bless ALL.

      —Lisa (a PHC participant)


* The generous support of Central Lutheran Church helped make Project Homeless Connect 2015 possible. That day of service and hospitality helped engage the hearts and minds of many community members toward the goal of ending homelessness. Our commitment to that goal will help define this place and our sense of who we are to one another. …

      Every year, PHC events bring together a wide range of community interests to offer hospitality and services to people experiencing a housing crisis; neighbors unable to access a secure place to live and a more certain future. Your involvement in this work made a difference in 2015. Thank you very much.

      —Bruce Johnson (on behalf of the B/WPHC Steering Group)


* Thank you letting us use Central’s conga drums. They added a lot to our services. Thanks for giving us rhythm!

      —Christ the Servant worship team


* Thank you for your generous gift to Lutheran World Relief’s Quilt and Kit Shipping Fund! Your donation ensures that LWR Quilts and Kits get into the hands of the people who need them. [Thanks, too, for the kits you sent.] … LWR worked with a partner in Jordan to distribute Personal Care Kits and School Kits to Syrian refugees. These gifts help families stay healthy, while allowing the children in these displaced families to continue their education. To learn more about where you send Quilts and Kits with your gifts, please check out the LWR Quilt and Kit distribution map (quiltmap.lwr.org).

      —Daniel V. Speckhard, LWR

A President’s Perspective, by Diane Ecker


About 2,400 years ago the Israelites experienced what's been called "the dark period" or “the silent years” in their history.  In the 400 years between the writings of Nehemiah (the most recent book of the Old Testament, though Malachi is the last book as the texts came to be arranged) and the birth of Christ, there were no prophets or inspired writers revealing the direct word of God.  That’s not to say God wasn’t still at work, because Israel experienced significant historical and cultural changes that would shape the world of the New Testament.

                        The Israelite remnant that emerged from the Babylonian exile came back a changed people.  They stopped worshipping the worthless gods of neighboring countries and sought out and worshipped Yahweh.  Since many captives were scattered in far-off places, traveling to the Holy Land to worship in Jerusalem was a challenge.  Local synagogues thus became the places where Jews could study the sacred Scriptures and hear again of the promised Messiah.  With their independence as a country ended, and under a succession of empires, their vision of this leader came to be someone who would re-gather and exalt the chosen people.

        These “silent years” also produced several sects and institutions that had become well established by the birth of Christ.  The scribes, for example, were the experts in interpreting and teaching the Law and the Old Testament scriptures so that each Jew would be personally responsible for the keeping of the whole law.  Pharisees, on the other hand, couldn’t accept the written Word of God as it was and were always adding their ideas and ordinances; pretty soon religion and salvation became so complicated that it was nearly impossible for people to keep the law.  A third group, the Sadducees, couldn’t accept the written Word of God either, but instead of adding to it, they were known to cut out things.  If they couldn't believe that something had happened (or could happen), the scriptural account of that event was ignored.

        During that same time period, the Sanhedrin was established as the judicial and administrative council of the Jewish people.  Those on the Sanhedrin included the high priest, chief priests, scribes, and elders.

        Through all of these changes God was preparing the world for his coming kingdom by working out his own divine plan of salvation and redemption.  So … where was this Messiah the Jewish people had been promised?  Would he lead an army into Jerusalem and send the Roman soldiers scurrying across the countryside?  No. He would be found lying in a meager feed-trough wrapped in swaddling cloths.  Most of the world missed it when he arrived.  They weren’t ready for him.  They didn’t have room.  Sadly, this continued through our Savior’s earthly life: when the Pharisees and Sadducees realized just how much of a threat he was to their way of leading and living, they put a stop to him. Or so they thought.

        God is still active today, working out the many facets of his divine plan.  The question is: How will he reveal it to us?  Will we recognize the signs when elements of the plan happen, or will we add so many requirements to qualify the plan and justify whether or not we should follow it that it’ll be impossible to believe?  Worse yet, will we doubt God's plan when he reveals it because it doesn’t make sense to us or makes us uncomfortable?

        While we work on those questions, let’s look at one other: What do we do in the meantime?  Let’s experience again and anew the hope, promise, and renewal that come with the arrival of the Babe in Bethlehem.  Let's make sure nothing is added to or taken away from this beautiful story of love.  Let’s be so bold as to see past our disagreements, look at the simple miracle of God’s love freely given to us, and reach out to show care and concern for those in need.  We need Jesus.  The world needs Jesus.  How will the world see him?  Let it begin with us!  Come, Lord Jesus!


Advent and Christmas



Christmas Decorating: Saturday, November 28, 2 pm; potluck dinner afterward

Kids Christmas Program: Sunday, December 13 (time TBD)

Candlelight Communion: Tuesday, December 15, 7 pm

Christmas Caroling to Shut-Ins: Sunday, December 20, 3 pm

Christmas Eve: Thursday, December 24

·         5pm Central Lutheran Church service

·         7pm St. Brendan's Anglican Church service

·         11pm Central Lutheran Church Twilight service

Christmas Day (Dec. 25):  10am worship (note: not our usual Sunday-morning time)



Angel Tree


We will be supporting two families, eight people total, with our Angel Tree gifts this year. Watch for the Angel Tree in the narthex, and choose a tag that interests you—whether for an adult’s gift or a child’s. That gift will brighten someone’s Christmas. For more information, see the flyer in the narthex. Thanks for participating!




December Anniversaries and Birthdays



WHITEMAN, Pastor Tim & Cynde



KELLN, Kristin






REIGSTAD, Marjorie






FREY, Adam





Central Lutheran Church Council Meeting Minutes

November 11, 2015


The meeting was called to order at 7:00pm by Diane Ecker, president.


Attendees:  Diane Ecker, Darryl Akre, Ken Kelln, Pastor Tim, Carol Reppun, Gary Moon, Peggy Carr, Bob Kenney


Devotions - Bob Kenney - Book of Ruth.  God works all things together for good and is always working in the midst of things.


August and October meeting minutes—APPROVED.


Treasurer's Report - Gary Moon – Motion:  Sternberg Hall proceeds will go toward paying interest on mortgage.  APPROVED.  We are 2 months behind in paying some of our bills.  We currently owe approximately $13,000.


Proposed 2016 Budget - Gary Moon.


Pastor's Report - Thanks to Gary for his treasurer work.  November 25th Thanksgiving Eve service at Spiritual Center on Yew Street Road. This is an interfaith service. 7:30 pm. Membership class for Bill starting soon.  LED lights at back of church. Fence. Camera driver. Need to work on gutters and tree trimming.


Christmas decorating - November 28th - Saturday after Thanksgiving 2 pm.  Potluck dinner afterward. 


Interfaith Christmas giving – Peggy Carr - We'll give gifts to 8 people.


Preschool - Interviewing. Erin has a substitute.


Calendar –

·         NA is requesting using Fellowship Hall Nov. 21st for a Thanksgiving dinner. Motion - Deny NA using Fellowship Hall for a New Year's Eve party. 

·         December 9 - next Church Council meeting.

·         St. Brendan's is invited to Candlelight Communion December 15th.

·         Planning meeting - January 10th at 3:00pm at Peggy’s.

·         Annual meeting - January 24th - 10:45am.

·         1000 Quilts starting up January 7th if a leader can be found.


Penultimate Word - Be thankful.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:25pm.


Respectfully submitted,


Carol Reppun, substitute secretary


December 2015












8:00am-Men's Bible Study


7:00pm-Boy Scouts

Poinsettia delivery day




6:30pm- Srv Music



6:45am-Sunrise Bible Study




7:00pm-Gamblers Anon





9:15am- Worship

10:30am- Sunday School



9:30am- Preschool

1:00pm- Den Meeting


8:00am-Men's Bible Study


7:00pm-Boy Scouts





6:30pm- Srv Music

7:00pm- Council Meeting



6:45am-Sunrise Bible Study

9:00am-Mission Sewing




7:00pm-Gamblers Anon







10:30am –Sunday School


Sunday School Christmas Program


9:30am- Preschool


8:00am-Men's Bible Study


7:00pm-Boy Scouts

7:00pm- Women’s Candlelight Communion



6:30pm- Srv Music



6:45am-Sunrise Bible Study


6:30pm- Pack Meeting



7:00pm-Gamblers Anon



1:00pm-Loud Red Bees rehearsal

2:00pm-Loud Red Bees Concert




10:30am –Sunday School

3:00pm- Caroling


Interfaith Coalition

Drop off 



8:00am-Men's Bible Study

7:00pm-Boy Scouts


Interfaith Coalition

Pick Up





Interfaith Coalition

Pick Up




Christmas Eve


5:00pm- CLC Service

7:00pm- St. B Service

11:00pm- CLC Twilight Service


Office Closed



Christmas Day


10:00am- CLC Morning Service



Office Closed





9:15am- Worship

10:30am-Sunday School




8:00am-Men's Bible Study

7:00pm-Boy Scouts











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