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The 2019 Retreat and Meeting of the Lutheran Staff Association of the NW met at Camp Lutherhaven from March 10-13, 2019. Fourteen non-ordained church workers from a variety of faith communities met to hear about “Boundaries,” and how we can avoid and deal with uncomfortable situations in our work in the church. New officers were elected, and the organization is changing its name to Lay Staff Association to be more ecumenical. We enjoyed the snow, the view of the lake, the deer in our midst, and our meals and worship together.
The first gathering of ELCA Deacons from Region One met March 7-9, 2019 at Dumas Bay Retreat Centre in Federal Way, WA. It was a time to meet and get to know each other. Rostered leaders, or soon-to-be rostered leaders, from three of the six regional synods shared faith stories, and discussed hopes and dreams for deacons in the church and in the world.
Ate at some wonderful places: Outlander, Hinodeya Ramen Bar in Japan Town, Zazies, and The Cliff House. So good!!! Made a quick trip to San Francisco on February 19th to visit Bethany and celebrate her birthday with her and Kristjiana! Carolyn and I did some amazing sightseeing…went to Twin Peaks for a view of San Francisco you couldn’t believe!!! Enjoyed the Palace of Fine Arts, and spending quality time with our hosts. Also celebrated Carolyn’s birthday on February 21st, then returned home Friday the 22nd. It was a pleasant drive to and from, no weather issues, great vistas…Mt. Shasta and all! Haven’t spent Bethany’s birthday with her in AGES. So much fun!
Winter was quite mild, with a couple of light snows in December and January. February was a different story. Three snow days in February for Yakima Schools, and lots of snow shoveling for Dave…often many times a day just to keep up with it. Another unusual winter for Yakima. It’s been beautiful to look at from inside, but the hills in town make driving difficult in the snow.
We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
We spent a few days in Minnesota with Dan and Emily after Christmas. Bethany and Kristjiana joined us. We had a good time eating at home, eating out (Buca and Luce,) seeing “A Christmas Carol” at the Guthrie Theatre, visiting the American Swedish Institute, worshiping at Mt.Olive Lutheran Church, and more…so good to be together again.
Sadly, my younger sister, Mary, died November 25th, 2018. She’d been at home on hospice for several weeks after having been in the hospital since early September. She had Crohn’s Disease. Fortunately, I made it back to Omaha to see her in late October. It was a difficult visit. Rest in peace, Mary.
Here is her obituary from the Omaha World Herald 12/1/18:
Mary Masonbrink passed away on November 25th, 2018. She was survived by her husband, Pat; son, Tyler, his wife Ashley; grandson, Tysen; as well as her 4-legged grandson, Louie; brothers, Doug and Dave, along with their families; and best friend, Sue. Private Service only as she wished.
We enjoyed three days at Sleeping Lady Resort near Leavenworth, WA October 29-31, 2018. Cynthia Lindner, author of “Varieties of Gifts: Multiplicity and the Well-lived Pastoral Life” was the speaker. It was good to get together with other deacons and pastors from across the synod, in an absolutely beautiful location! There’s even a Chiluhly glass Icicle Sculpture! And five deacons were present, so we had our first “official” meeting as the “EWAID Synod Ministers of Word and Service.” Pictured: front row, Deacon Margaret Ley, Deacon Dave Hellerich…back row, Deacon Heidi Cryer, Deacon Karla Neumann Smiley, and Deacon Diane McGeoch.
Everyone should vote this way! We get our ballots in the mail. We get an informational booklet with all the information you would ever need to make your own choice on who to vote for and what to vote for or against! Fill out the ballot, sign the envelope, and stick it in the mail, postage paid…or do like we do, take it to the ballot box on the street by the Yakima County Court House and stick it in! Couldn’t be easier! Washington is an amazing state…they do sooooo many things RIGHT!
We attended the 3rd Annual Idaho Discipleship Conference in Boise October 19 & 20. It was held in the beautiful First Methodist Church, aka “Cathedral of the Rockies, Downtown.” Keynote and preacher was Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber. She was a speaker at the ELCA Youth Gathering this past summer in Houston, TX. A couple of youth from Central Lutheran in Yakima attended this conference to hear her again. She has a brazen eloquence, her messages are always encouraging and speak to ALL people! There were other speakers, too, and workshops and service project time. Boise is a beautiful city, the weather was perfect, and we were able to dine with our friends, Julia and Tom Bennett, while there!