September 8 Update from Pastor Heidi

Dear Friends in Christ –

People from the church – and the larger neighborhood - keep asking me, “How can we help with the new 24/7 “Compass at First Presbyterian” Shelter?”  At this point, as the Shelter ramps up with new guests arriving every day, they have several immediate needs that we can all help with, including:

     --Twin bed sheets, both flat and fitted, any color

     --Blankets and quilts

     --Bath Towels

     --Socks

So spread the word!  Any of the Compass at First Presbyterian staff can provide a donor receipt to donors. Just stop by the entrance to the Shelter on Spring Street (below the Chapel entrance, down the ramp). Thank you!

~~~~~~~

This week’s sermon text, Matthew 18:15-20, includes instructions for dealing with church conflict.  Jesus is aware of a few things from the get-go: that life together wouldn’t be easy; and that while reconciliation is to be pursued, apparently it isn’t always possible. The passage actually culminates in one of my favorite verses of all time, when Jesus says, 20For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”  It’s a promise, you can count on it, and I think it’s important not to forget the context in which these words are spoken…

See you Sunday!

Grace and peace,

Pastor Heidi

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September 1 Update from Pastor Heidi

Dear Friends in Christ –

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Rick and I returned this week from two weeks of vacation touring the South Sound on the “Willie C.” (our 44 year old 25’ troller camper boat) and boy did we have fun!  We were probably never more than 50 miles away from our home as the crow flies, but out on the water we were in another world, and I felt as removed from my regular routine – and upon return, as rested and renewed – as I have ever been. 

I jumped back into pastor mode on Wednesday at the Grand Opening of the “Compass at First Presbyterian” 24/7 shelter.  And what a way to re-enter! I was blown away by how the remodeled basement looks.  (For those of you who were not able to attend, I think we might be able to do a quick tour with Program Manager Rev. Mark Smutny this Sunday).  In addition, the folks from the City said they have never had a more well attended and celebratory shelter opening ever.  Our First Hill neighbors are welcoming this shelter with open hearts and arms. So many people expressed their extreme gratefulness to First Presbyterian for opening our doors in this way.  My response is, To God be the glory!, My prayer is, Thy Kingdom come!

~~~~~~~

So, I really missed preaching together, and can’t wait to dive into this week’s text: Matthew 16:21-28.

In last week’s passage Jesus asked, “Who do you say that I am?”, and Simon Peter nailed it: “You are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God.” Bingo! Even Jesus seemed impressed!

But in this week’s text, Peter goes from solid Rock to stumbling block (yikes: Jesus even calls Peter Satan!). And Jesus begins defining his own terms. How Jesus will be Messiah begins to come into focus, and it’s not what Peter or other people think. What’s more, Jesus’ Messianic job description has got some pretty profound implications for how his followers are to live, as well. And hang on – because I wouldn’t exactly call it the promise of smooth sailing! 

See you Sunday!

Grace and peace,

Pastor Heidi

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Compass at First Presbyterian Grand Opening

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Please join City of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Compass Housing Alliance, and First Presbyterian Church on August 30th as we open the doors to a new approach for helping people living outdoors to come inside. The grand opening of Compass at First Presbyterian celebrates an innovative program model in support of Seattle’s most vulnerable community members.

Compass at First Presbyterian is an enhanced 24/7 homeless shelter with 100 beds, funded by the City of Seattle in partnership of Compass Housing Alliance and Seattle First Presbyterian Church. The program combines safe shelter, wrap-around services, and intensive case management to bring stability, growth, and community to King County. Learn more here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Seattle First Presbyterian Church
1013 8th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104

Opening Begins: 11:00 a.m.
Opening Concludes: 12:30 p.m.

Coffee and light refreshments will be provided.

Aug. 10 Update from Pastor Heidi

Hello Brothers and Sisters –

In our text for Sunday – Matthew 14:22-33 – Jesus needs a break, so he sends the disciples along by themselves to cross Lake Galilee, which sometimes acts more like a sea when a storm kicks up, which is precisely what happens. No problem – there are seasoned fishermen on board.

In the early dawn Jesus comes to them, walking on the water.  And it’s kind of funny, because THAT’S when the disciples have a heart attack! Not in the 10’ seas.  No, Jesus scares the living daylights out of them.  They think: “It’s a ghost!”  Yeh, the guy who just fed 5000+ people.

Only Matthew’s version includes Peter’s request to join Jesus on water.  Apparently with the storm still raging.

I was in a boat on some very rough water recently.  I have one question.  Is Peter nuts?  WHY GET OUT OF THE BOAT?????  That’s the LAST thing I would want to do.

I have been thinking a lot about this.

To my mind, there’s one good thing about getting out of the boat.  It has to do with sinking. 

And there’s one good thing about sinking.

Let’s talk about it on Sunday…

Grace and peace!

Pastor Heidi 

PS Don’t forget - it’s time to register for this Seattle Presbytery sponsored event! 

Saturday, September 23, 9-4, at First Presbyterian Church Seattle
Cost $10

Racism dehumanizes us all — Dismantling racism heals us all.

Recognizing that racism goes beyond personal prejudice, Crossroads offers a distinctive power analysis of how racism functions in institutions, and offers tools to create antiracist transformation.

REGISTER NOW:
--at http://seattlepresbytery.org/events/2017/923-crossroads-anti-racism-training, and let Heidi or Kathy know you are planning to attend.
OR
--sign the sign up list on Sunday morning, and we will register you.

Aug. 2 Update from Pastor Heidi

Ahoy Sisters and Brothers –

Rick and I have just returned from a week of vacation – a maiden voyage on our 25’ Swedish made 36 horse-power troller boat, putt-putting out of Hood Canal and all the way up to Bellingham at 6 knots.  Except for the pea-soup fog out of Port Ludlow (we don’t have radar), the little “small craft advisory” we ran into outside of La Conner (let’s see, were those winds 10 mph or 25 mph?!?!), heading south out of Bellingham Bay into 16mph winds, and eventually rounding Foulweather Bluff as it more than lived up to its name (were those waves 4’ or 6’?), everything went just fine!  The Volvo MD-17 diesel engine that Rick rebuilt last winter ran flawlessly.  I love that we burned only a little over a ½  gallon of fuel an hour.  Yeehaw! 

I suspect a sermon illustration or two will come of it.  But as I keep telling people, “Nobody died, and we are still married!” And we had a blast.  But it’s good to be back on terra firma, for a while anyway!

~                ~                ~                ~                ~

So, we’ve got a super familiar text for this Sunday – Matthew 14:13-21 (the feeding of the 5,000). My advice? Try to forget everything you’ve heard and think you know, and read it with new eyes!  We’ll also be celebrating the Lord’s Supper this Sunday, too.

~                ~                ~                ~                ~

I also want to get the info below in front of you…  I’m hoping as many of us as possible from First Pres. can go together.  The church can help cover the cost, just let me or Kathy Smith know.  So please make every effort to save the date on your calendar!

Many blessings, friends – hope to see you Sunday!

Pastor Heidi


SAVE THE DATE:

Seattle Presbytery/  Saturday, September 23, 9-4   /  at First Presbyterian Church Seattle

Racism dehumanizes us all —
Dismantling racism heals us all.

Recognizing that racism goes beyond personal prejudice, Crossroads offers a distinctive power analysis of how racism functions in institutions, and offers tools to create antiracist transformation.

Led by nationally recognized leaders with experience training church leaders, this event is open to all our churches.

MORE INFO:  http://seattlepresbytery.org/events/2017/923-crossroads-anti-racism-training

You can:
-- register yourself at the link above, and let us know you are planning to attend.
OR
--let us know you want to attend (sign list on Sunday morning), and we will register you.

July 20 Update from Pastor Heidi

Dear Friends –

First, a little housecleaning is in order…literally.  :) 

With Compass Housing Alliance working diligently downstairs in order to move the Shelter in later this summer (yay!), we need to get the upstairs kitchen cleaned up and a little more functional for Sunday mornings.  We’ve planned a WORK DAY at FPCS on Thursday July 27th from 9:30 am – 4 pm. We hope to clean and organize the upstairs kitchen as well as pack dishes. (I’ve never seen so many dishes!)  If you have questions or want to help you can contact Kathy Smith (kathryngear@gmail.com) or Gail Irving (gailirving@comcast.net).

Second, I’m loving the sermon text for this week, Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43. Our latest ticking-time-bomb (aka parable) includes more seeds this week, but then (tick-tick-tick) some weeds get thrown in, too! 

I remember a Bible teacher once saying that this parable is perfectly suited for the world we live in; more precisely, that if ever there were a Bible passage designed to help people make it Monday through Saturday – this is it!  (A pretty bold claim in a culture that thinks the Bible and churchy stuff is pretty obsolete!)

So, wanna know why? 

Let’s talk about it together on Sunday!

Be the church!

Pastor Heidi

July 6 Update from Pastor Heidi

Dear Friends –

I don’t know - maybe it’s because we’ve had a steady stream of houseguests for the last two and half weeks out on the Canal – but, while it’s been great fun, a part of this Sunday’s sermon text from Matthew 11:25-30 seems to be resonating with me a bit more than usual…

28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Ah yes, great fun, but a little weariness has set in…and the need for some rest, too!

Eugene Peterson’s translation in the Message helps us see it’s not just the general busy-ness and heavy loads of life that Jesus is addressing, but more the burden of a legalistic, Jesus-less life of faith or religion that he has in view:

28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Check out the whole passage we’ll be looking at this Sunday:  Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30.  Try to avoid what other people have written or said, and just wallow or marinate in the text, reading through it over and over again, paying attention to what you see, what speaks to you…

Learning the “unforced rhythms of grace”,

Pastor Heidi

July 1 Update from Pastor Heidi

Dear Friends –

We’ve got a houseful of people out here already for the 4th, so I’ll keep this short…

·       sermon text for tomorrow is only three verses, but some good stuff!  Check it out – Matthew 10:40-42 – and bring your questions & insights to share.

·       stick around for lunch after worship this Sunday…and a teeny bit longer if you can for a little bit more cleaning out in the basement.  It should go quickly.  (FYI, remodeling of the space for the Compass Shelter has begun!)

·       Got questions about the “Listening Team” process and what we’re trying to accomplish (that I wrote about last week)?  We’re still figuring it out!  Kathy Smith and I can help fill you in a bit.  And pretty soon Jessica Sofie and Glenn Bell will be up to speed too. No secrets! Just ask! 

Be the church!

Pastor Heidi

June 23 Update from Pastor Heidi

Dear Sisters and Brothers –

Hoo boy – we’ve been enjoying some beautiful, sunny days out where we live on Hood Canal – with the added bonus of hostingsome out of town visitors – my nephew and his wife from Washington, DC; and, my niece and her fiancé (an Irishman) direct from 5 years teaching English in So. Korea.  It’s meant lots of catching up, and rich conversation. Man, do I feel blessed!

So, a few quick, bulleted points for the eNews  this week…

·      We have identified the members our FPCS Listening Team that will help us begin the process of discerning our way forward and prayerfully discovering what God has in mind for the future of FPCS. We’ve got: Jessica Sofie, FPCS; Glenn Bell, FPCS; JP Kang, AC/Session; Charlie Scoma, Seattle Police Dept., Chaplain; Dani Forbess, Pastor Northminster Pres., Presbytery Catalyzing Missional Community Committeemember; Kathryn Smith, AC/Session member (and experience with new church development); and, Heidi Husted Armstrong, Transitional Pastor.  We are starting to nail down our meeting dates, and scheduling the folks we will be listing to (a diverse lot!) – so it’s a bit of a logistical challenge.  We appreciate your prayers in the weeks and months ahead!

·      Don’t forget THIS SUNDAY we’ll be cleaning out some of the basement after lunch in anticipation of the Compass shelter beginning to move in. If you are able to stay afterwards we sure would appreciate your help!

·      I feel like the sermon text this week - Matthew 10:24-39 – should come with a warning:  “Caution: do not read in isolation; read only in community.” We will DEFINITELY need each other’s help to find our way through this challenging call to discipleship! Check it out in advance – but remember, no commentaries J

Looking forward to seeing you Sunday.

Be the church!

Pastor Heidi

June 16 Update from Pastor Heidi

Dear Friends in Christ –

The Lectionary Gospel readings land us back in Matthew for the rest of the year, and our text for this Sunday is Matthew 9:35-10:8. If you get a chance to read it before Sunday, read it slowly, and just pay attention.  What pops out for you? What do you find confusing?  How does the text connect - or not - with our lives today? 

One of the things that grabs me in this text is in verse 36: “when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them….”  Jesus cared about people.  Com + passion = to suffer with.  Jesus felt their pain.  His gut ached for them.  His heart went out to them. 

There have been times when followers of Jesus have excelled at embracing the compassionate way of Jesus. 

Some years ago I came across the words of one historian recalling “the dark times in ancient Roman history when city-wide epidemics wiped out whole sections of the population.  The empire did its best to quarantine those sections of the cities, though the remaining people were abandoned to a slow and painful death.  The only people willing to risk their lives to care for these suffering souls were Christians. Many of them flocked to the areas most infected and literally gave their lives to care for the dead and dying.  This heroic example was one reason the empire took a second look at Christianity.” Wow. Jesus-like compassion is evangelistic! 

So what does this mean for us today?

The historian I quoted above kind of gets in our faces when goes on to suggest that it means that “Christians at their best must concern themselves less with the church’s institutional survival, or even their own survival, and more with the welfare of those who are suffering.”

If that sounds a teensy bit overwhelming, maybe we could just start by letting our hearts go out to one person today. 

And day by day let’s keep figuring out how to…

Be the church!

Pastor Heidi

June 9 Update from Pastor Heidi

Dear Friends in Christ –

Once a year the Lectionary designates the Sunday after Pentecost as “Trinity Sunday” (this this coming Sunday). Trinity refers to the Triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – although the words Trinity or Triune never appear in the Bible.

Have you ever tried to explain the Trinity to someone?  Um, good luck!  Finding the words to explain the mystery of the Divine Three-in-One sometimes feels like trying to carry a huge pile of uncontained sand in your arms.  We tend to rely to our old standby Trinity metaphors, saying the Trinity is like water (it comes in three forms: solid ice, liquid water, gaseous steam - but it’s all water). Or, the Trinity is like an egg (it has three parts: shell, yoke, white - but it’s all egg).  But those explanations always feel a little silly if you ask me.  Worst of all, it makes us think of the Trinity as three objects. It took me a long time to grasp that the Trinity is not a math problem or a science experiment, but a relationship of persons. The Triune God is a community in which we too are invited to participate. Not only is the Trinity “incomparably hospitable to each other” (Daniel Migliore), but to us as well! 

Our text for this Sunday – Matthew 28:16-20 – the final text is that gospel is usually dubbed “The Great Commission.” If you get a chance to read it before Sunday try to forget everything you’ve ever learned about it before, and read it with fresh eyes.  Just pay attention.  Notice what jumps out at you…  What seems weird or odd or confusing about it?  How does the text connect (or not) with our lives today? 

And…any idea why the Lectionary folks appointed this text for Trinity Sunday?

See you Sunday!

Pastor Heidi

June 1 Update from Pastor Heidi

Hello Brothers and Sisters –

This Sunday is Pentecost!  In celebration of the Holy Spirit coming and appearing as tongues of fire, and alighting on the early believers like they were life-sized candles (Acts 2:3) – wear some bright colors – red, orange, yellow—this Sunday! 

Tom Long, who has taught preaching for years, and is a darn good preacher himself, has noted that preaching the Pentecost event in Acts 2 can be more than a little intimidating: “What sermon can possibly come up to the drama of this passage?”  At Pentecost a steady stream of audio-visual assaults our senses.  Tom Long points out we’ve got everything from --

“a freight-train sized sound of wind from heaven, to
tongues of fire dancing on the heads of the disciples, plus
United Nations-styled multiple language proclamation, and
cries of amazement mingled with yelps of mockery among the hearers…” 

All topped off with a killer sermon from Peter, and people jumping at the chance to follow Jesus… resulting in 3000 converts that day!

Um, so maybe you’ve noticed:  It’s not always like this in the church!  About the loudest sound  we hear is some earsplitting feedback from the sound-system!  And, well, we’ve usually got maybe ONE candle lit!

Maybe that’s why we tend to think, How about we just leave Pentecost to the Pentecostals?

Well…or, how about we become Pentecostal Presbyterians?!

I love Pentecost because it reminds me that the church is not pastor- or personality-dependent; the church is not 3-year-plan or written-mission-vision-values dependent; the church is not big numbers-, or program-, or gothic building-driven; but, the church is Spirit-dependent!  Pentecost means the church is Spirit-created, Spirit-led and Spirit-sustained.

So c’mon Presbyterians – a little less handwringing! 

Let’s get our Pentecost on, and keep it on!

Sermon texts for this Sunday: a quick read of Acts 2:1-13, and then John’s Pentecost at John 20:19-31 (you might recall we just read this text at Easter, too!)

See you Sunday!

Pastor Heidi

May 25 Update from Pastor Heidi

Dear Sisters and Brothers  –

I’ve been reflecting on the “Compass at First Presbyterian” neighborhood outreach meeting that happened last Monday night. It was a great turnout – some 75 folks from the neighborhood and city, with lots of enthusiasm and support voiced for the 24/7 enhanced services shelter that will begin later this summer. (Read the article from The Capital Hill Times here). 

My overwhelming thought has been, Well, that was fun!  There were ten folks from First Presbyterian that we slapped name tags on, and then they did a great job welcoming people – sharing their smiles, shaking hands, and being their awesome friendly selves!  It was a great way to meet some of the neighbors, and for them to meet some of us.  Go church!

There was one gentleman who sat near the back, who spoke briefly to the whole group – really he gave his testimony about how Compass sort of saved his life some years ago by giving him shelter and support. Compass literally gave him a safe place to face his challenges including a bipolar diagnosis.  He is now clean and sober, gainfully employed and reconciled with his family.  As he shared, it felt like church!  I thanked the man afterwards for sharing, and as we chatted he kinda joked with me, "You know Pastor, I'm a lapsed Presbyterian!" And I said, “Well, come home!”  He gave me his business card.  I don't know if we'll see him in worship, but we might! 

I sure got the sense there IS a neighborhood out there waiting to be known...and loved...  It just felt like Jesus is with us, the Spirit is guiding us, showing us the way.  We are not alone!

So, here’s the sermon text for Sunday: John 17:1-11. Remember no commentaries.  Just engage the text – read it slowly, several times, over and over again, and pay attention: What jumps out at you?  What do you love about this text?  What seems weird or odd or confusing about it?  How does the text connect (or not) with your life or the world today?

See you Sunday!

Grace and peace,

Pastor Heidi

It takes a community - Capitol Hill Times article

First Hill residents give blessings to 24/7 homeless shelter at First Presbyterian

By Brandon Macz
5/23/2017 12:27 PM

While organizers of a 24/7 homeless shelter at Seattle First Presbyterian Church had braced themselves for pushback, First Hill residents provided mostly words of support Monday night, as well as questions about how it will work.

“I’d like to say that poor people are not bad people,” said Alice Wesley, a resident of the Skyline at First Hill. “I know that because I used to be poor. I wasn’t bad then, and I’m not bad now.”

Wesley was one of several residents who came with signs of support, identifying themselves as part of the First Hill Y.I.M.B.Y (Yes In My Back Yard) Group. They also provided 22 letters of support for the 100-bed shelter, which is slated to open in the lower half of the church in August.

First Hill Plaza resident Helen Goehring said she thinks the low-barrier shelter, operated by Compass Housing Alliance, will make the neighborhood safer. She said she’s frightened for the people she sees sleeping on benches or talking to themselves on the street, adding it’s also scary for her.

Not scared away by the homeless population in First Hill are developers, said Suzanne Hittman, another Skyline at First Hill resident. She added they’re also not constructing affordable housing in their new, big buildings.

First Hill has Therapeutic Health Services, a major hospital that also provides mental health and substance abuse assistance, plus a program that helps people recently released from prison, Hittman said.

“The First Hill neighborhood is a welcoming neighborhood,” she said, “and we would like to bring this message to Laurelhurst, Magnolia, West Seattle…” and so on.

Seattle First Presbyterian began talks with Compass Housing about using its large space in the lower half of the church back in January, said Pastor Heidi Husted Armstrong.

“For us, as people of faith, it seemed like God was smack dab in the middle of this thing,” she said during the community discussion on May 22. “There are a lot of things that we can’t do here, but that we can do, and we are honored and humbled to be a part of this partnership.”

Read the complete article online.

May 19 Update from Pastor Heidi

Hello Sisters and Brothers  –

I want to remind you that this coming Monday, May 22, at 6:30pm, Compass Housing Alliance will be having a Community Meeting at First Pres. in the Chapel.  We have been reaching out to our neighbors and interested others - inviting them to come and learn more about the “Compass at First Presbyterian” Transitional Shelter that will begin later this summer.

Francesca Martin, Chief Program Officer at Compass, and our major contact person, reports they’ve already been having some great smaller meetings in the community with interested parties, including individuals, the First Hill Improvement Association, and others.

I want to encourage you to come on Monday evening if you can – because as we start to think about what FPCS ministry redevelopment might look like, this will provide us a little glimpse of who is in the neighborhood…and give the neighborhood a little glimpse of who is in the church. 

In fact, can you let me know if you’re planning on being there?  AND would you be willing to help welcome people?  We’ll probably slap a name tag on you – but if you can smile and say hi, you can do this!  Just shoot me a quick email at Heidi@seafirstpres.org and let me know if you are in!

 

Two more things…

You may have noticed – ha! – but the sun is shining! So be sure and get outside in the next several days and go for a walk and soak up some Vitamin D! 

And, I’ll give you the sermon text for Sunday if you promise NOT to read the commentaries!  DON’T STUDY the “experts.” Just engage the text – read it slowly, several times, over and over again.  Just pay attention: What jumps out at you?  What do you love about this text?  What seems weird or odd or confusing about it?  How does the text connect (or not) with your life or the world today?

OK – remember – no commentaries, right?! 

John 14:15-21.

See you Sunday!

Pastor Heidi

 

Good Friday

 “It was nine o’clock in the morning when they nailed Him to the cross.  Even the bandits who had been crucified with Him insulted Him.   -Mark 15:25

     And at noon, the whole country was covered with darkness which lasted for three hours.   -Matthew 27:45

     At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud shout, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, My God, why did you abandon Me?” 
-Matthew 27:46

City invests in responsive solution for local homelessness crisis

Homelessness Response Blog, article by Julie Moore

The City of Seattle has awarded $1.3 million in funding to Compass Housing Alliance to create an enhanced 24/7 homeless shelter opening in summer 2017. The funding acknowledges Compass Housing Alliance’s proven and innovative, person-centric approach to providing shelter and support to Seattle’s homeless population. Compass Housing Alliance will combine safe shelter, complete wrap-around services and intensive case management to bring 100 new, much-needed shelter beds to King County. This model aligns directly with the City’s Pathways Home plan announced last fall.

“The City is very excited for this shelter to open,” said Catherine L. Lester, Director of the City’s Human Services Department. “This shelter is an example of our commitment to making investments that are person-centered. As we continue to implement the principles in Pathways Home, we will continue to invest in services, like this shelter model, that are meeting people where they are and providing individualized services and supports.”

The new Enhanced Shelter is a direct response to the real needs of people who need both immediate and longer-term support to successfully transition out of homelessness. It also provides space for people to bring their possessions, and to come inside with their pets or companions. These accommodations can reduce the barriers persons living outside are facing that typically prevent them from staying in shelters.

Compass Housing Alliance has partnered with Seattle First Presbyterian Church at 1013 Eighth Ave., to house and operate this new shelter initiative. Leaders of Seattle Presbyterian Church are excited to provide the space necessary for this shelter’s unique purpose.

“The 24/7 enhanced shelter model offers individuals the opportunity to stay in one place while searching for a permanent solution, rather than returning to the streets each day and hoping for a bed somewhere that night,” said Janet Pope, executive director of Compass Housing Alliance.

According to Pope, offering a safe place alongside nutritious meals, allows the time for a full assessment of each individual’s needs, to build trust and work toward addressing the barriers to stable housing.

“Compass Housing Alliance has nearly 100 years of experience serving a vulnerable population and have advocated for this system-changing, 24/7 model within the four shelters that we operate. With this enhanced shelter support, individuals can readily secure the appropriate resources to navigate the system toward a successful housing placement,” Pope explained. “The new shelter follows the successful model that Compass Housing Alliance has implemented across our other shelter and housing programs. We can have greater impact in developing a 24/7 facility of this capacity.”

“We follow a faith tradition that champions the concerns of the last and the least in society,” said Reverend Heidi Husted Armstrong, who is currently pastor of Seattle First Presbyterian Church. “We are so thankful to partner with Compass Housing Alliance and in helping people, our lives will also be changed.”

The site also will have an on-site manager to interact with the community, and address issues and the environment around the church grounds.

There will be a community meeting to discuss the shelter on May 22 at 6:30 p.m. at Seattle’s First Presbyterian Church.

Read online.

Maundy Thursday Worship Service @ FPCS

Dear Friends –

As the 40 day Lenten journey to Jerusalem draws to a close, this Thursday night we will recall the disciples gathering in an upper room for the Last Supper…and within hours Jesus being nailed to a cross.

Old Testament scholar Derek Kidner, in his commentary on Genesis, makes the connection between these events and the Garden of Eden, when Eve was tempted and disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit:

“She took…and ate:  so simple the act, so hard its undoing.

God will taste poverty and death before ‘take and eat’ become verbs of salvation.”

Amazingly, God tastes poverty and death in Jesus Christ, not to beat us up, not to make us feel bad, not to read us the riot act, but to help us realize how dear we are to God.

Jesus says “take and eat” and offers us the bread and cup – to give us a tangible expression of God’s love, and who doesn’t need that?

I hope you can join us as we celebrate Christ’s body and blood at Maundy Thursday Worship Service, 6:30 pm—7:15 pm.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Heidi

 

April 4 Update from Pastor Heidi

Dear Sisters & Brothers -

Holy week begins this SUNDAY with Palm Sunday… 

We’ll be reading the account from Matthew’s gospel, which tells us that as Jesus entered Jerusalem “the crowd spread their clothes on the road.” (21:8)   Seems kind of strange to us, but probably this was the way common folk were rolling out the red carpet for King Jesus.  Their cloak or coat was likely one of the most expensive things they owned; this part of their wardrobe had a dual function as both clothing and blanket.

Look closely and you’ll see how the artists below included the carpet of clothing in their artwork: 

So here’s an idea for worship THIS SUNDAY:

Let’s participate with the Palm Sunday crowd!  If you are able, please consider bringing an extra coat or sweater from your closet – or maybe a clean sleeping bag or blanket – to present in worship as an offering.  Afterward we will then share these items with those in need in our community. 

Then on THURSDAY we’ll gather in the Chapel at 6:30 pm for a Maundy Thursday worship service…
I want to encourage you to get to Easter not just directly from Palm Sunday, but by way of the cross. It will make your experience of faith and life MORE REAL, and deeper. 

During this service we will celebrate the Lord's Supper, and participate in a brief Service of Darkness with short dramatic Scripture readings. 

(You are invited to participate in a Good FRIDAY Ecumenical Service at 12 noon, at Plymouth Congregational Church, 1217 6th Avenue, Seattle.  More info at http://plymouthchurchseattle.org/ )

And then we’ll be ready to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord on Easter Sunday!

Think about inviting family members or a friend…  (Just a note: The meal time after worship on Easter will be simplified to accommodate the schedules of those planning to gather for meals with their families and friends.)

My prayer is that the life, death, and resurrection – the whole journey – of Jesus – will continue to shape us, both as individuals, and as a community of faith. 

See you Sunday!

Pastor Heidi

Mar. 31 Update from Pastor Heidi

Dear Brothers & Sisters

The season of Lent – the 40 days of reflection and repentance leading up to Easter – is almost over.  This Sunday is the last Sunday of Lent – although technically Lent doesn’t include the Sundays.  Sundays are still days for celebrating the resurrection.  The resurrection doesn’t go on hold during Lent. You don’t pretend it hasn’t happened.  You can’t do Lent, you can’t do Christian faith, without the resurrection!

This coming Sunday the Lectionary text is particularly adamant about getting the resurrection in our crosshairs – as Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead (John 10:1-45).

There are a couple interesting things in the text that jump out at me that I hope we can explore on Sunday…

·      Why didn’t Jesus rush to Lazarus’ side when he heard that his friend was sick?  Why do you think Jesus deliberately waited 2 more days to come to Bethany?

·      Verse 33 describes Jesus as being “greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved,” and again at verse 38 Jesus was “greatly disturbed.” During this Lazarus event Jesus was clearly troubled; maybe even indignant, angry.  Why? Why do you think Jesus so upset?

Then after this Sunday, the following Sunday, April 9th, is the beginning of Holy Week. 

Here’s what will be happening during Holy Week – we hope you will join us…

Holy Week at FPCS

Palm/Passion Sunday
Next Sunday, April 9th, 10:30am
As Jesus entered Jerusalem “the crowd spread their clothes on the road.” Matthew 21:8

PLEASE NOTE:  If you are able, please consider bringing an extra coat or sweater from your closet – or clean sleeping bag or blanket – to present in worship, and share with those in need in our community.

Maundy Thursday
Thursday, April 13th, 6:30pm
A brief worship service, including the Lord's Supper, and Scripture readings with Service of Darkness.

Easter
Sunday, April 16th, 10:30am
Celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord!

Be the church!

Pastor Heidi