National Science Teachers Association met in Seattle!

And Bethany attended, since she’s the Director of the Urban X Lab! We drove “over” to the “wet side” to see her December 13-14, 2019 and stayed near the Washington Convention Center so we could get together with Beth and some of her friends from Urban School…GO BLUE! We also visited the Woodlands Zoo in Seattle, and the Starbucks Roastery near our Hotel! What a FUN weekend!

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Christmas, 2019!

T’was a quiet Christmas as the kids spent it with the other side of their family. Were busy, as usual, with several worship services! We hope everyone had a wonderful and Merry Christmas, and may 2020 be your best year yet!

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Thanksgiving 2019 in San Francisco!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with Bethany and Kristjiana November 26-30, 2019. Lots of delicious food (too much, but very fancy) and fun things to do in and around the city. We visited Muir Woods for a nice, relaxing walk through the trees. I found the Tiled Steps which was near the extremely comfortable home we Airbnb-ed for the week, and enjoyed the San Francisco Orchestra’s accompaniment of the original Ghostbusters film! Dan and Emily were there, too, and our family got to meet Kristjiana’s family, her parents and brother and sister-in-law. Such a nice visit! Travel there and back was also mostly uneventful, you never know what the weather has in store for you this time of year! Twas a nice drive.

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Dave attended the ELCA World Hunger Leadership Gathering in Minneapolis!

Dave and the vicar at Central Lutheran Church, Ethan Bergman attended the ELCAWH Leadership Gathering in Minneapolis July 18-21. This event is held every 18 months. We celebrated the successful completion of the church’s Always Being Made New campaign, and learned much about food insecurity and programming to address this serious problem. Ethan Bergman, vicar at Central, and I attended this event, and enjoyed a Twins baseball game one evening!

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Bishop’s Convocation 2019

This year’s Bishop’s Convocation, Northwest Intermountain Synod, was held October 28-30, 2019 at Camp Lutherhaven south of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Dr. Mark Skinner, professor of New Testament, led sessions on the book of Acts called, REMEMBERING THE PAST TO FIND OUR WAY INTO FUTURE
(WITH HELP FROM THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES). Over 90 rostered leaders from the synod attended. Here are photos from the event:

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First Call Theological Education Retreat, November 18-21, 2019

This was my third of the three-year FCTE retreats required, again held in Seabeck, WA. It was a cloudy week, as usual. Got to meet some new Region 1 bishops and first call pastors and deacons.

Deacon Sue Rothmeyer, newly elected Secretary of the ELCA, and Dr. Kathryn Johnson, recently retired from the ecumenism office of the ELCA, were presenters.

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Two New Babies in our extended Family!

Carolyn’s niece, Heather (and Nick) Crist, along with their son, Grayson, welcomed a baby into their family on Monday, September 16, 2019. Gunner Maddox Crist weighed 8 # and 13oz, and was 21 inches tall. Welcome, Gunner Maddox, and congratulations Heather and Nick!

Gunner Maddox Crist

Dave’s nephew, Tyler (and Ashley) Grossenbacher, along with their son Tysen, welcomed a baby into their family also on Monday, September 16, 2019. Teagan Kay Grossenbacher weighed 6# 11 coz. and was 20 inches tall. Welcome, Teagan Kay, and congratulations Tyler and Ashley!

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God’s work Our hands Sunday! 9/8/19

The second Sunday in September is always God’s work Our hands” Sunday! It’s a special day in the life of the church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It’s a day for members of ELCA congregations to celebrate their mission to the world, recognize what they have done over the past year in witness to others. We gather for food and fellowship, and do service projects together. This year, all three ELCA congregations in Yakima, Central, Christ, and Tree of Life/Arbol da Vida, came together in Central Lutheran’s Fellowship Hall. After enjoying a barbecue and meeting new friends/rekindling old acquaintances, we heard about the ELCA World Hunger program from Vicar Ethan Bergman and Deacon Dave Hellerich. We ended the day by working on several projects together: Lutheran World Relief Personal Care Kits (70), Camp Hope Health Kits (25), Days for Girls Hygiene Kits (40), and Quilts for the Youth Homeless Shelter and Triumph’s Parent-Child Assistance Program (many). We had 73 participants for this, the first-ever gathering of all 3 area congregations for this purpose. A good time was had by all. Thanks be to God!

Kathy Sebree, Christ Lutheran, and Mary Johnson, Central Lutheran…Event Coordinators!
It’s BARBECUE time!
Day’s for Girls Hygiene Kits
T-shirts for everyone
Vicar Ethan’s presentation
Time to learn about ELCA World Hunger
Our musicians: Pastor John Schraan and Barb Beeler
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Diakonia of the Americas and Caribbean (DOTAC) Conference in Vancouver, BC.

Carolyn and I attended the DOTAC conference at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver August 14-20, 2019. Carolyn took part in the 2002 DOTAC conference in Winnipeg as a deaconess. This year’s program, “Respecting Covenant: Risking the Journey Toward Reconciliation” was filled with excellent speakers, wonderful field trips, and decent weather. The ELCA Deacons for Ecumenical Engagement Affinity Group was officially welcomed into DOTAC, and by association, Diakonia World Federation at this conference. We visited Stanley Park, the Museum of Anthropology, the Historic Joy Kogawa House, and enjoyed seeing deacons and deaconesses we know. Vancouver is a busy, beautiful city. So many amazing buildings! UBC campus is also a beautiful campus. Much construction going on there as well. Next stop, Darwin, Australia for the DWF Conference in July, 2021!

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Dave was a voting member to the ELCA’s Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee!

Carolyn and Dave enjoyed about a week in Milwaukee, Wisconsin attending the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America August 5-10, 2019. Much was discussed, sometimes amended, mostly passed, with a few things deferred. The theme was: We Are Church. We are an inclusive, forward moving, outward reaching church sharing God’s Love throughout the world! So proud to be a part of this church!

Here’s a list of some things this assembly accomplished:

  • Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton was reelected for a second six-year term on the first ballot.
  • A declaration of apology to our siblings of African descent, which was received by the African Descent Lutheran Association with thanks and a call for accountability and living into the words shared.
  • Approved resolution declaring the ELCA is a “sanctuary church body,” encouraging participation in the ELCA AMMPARO initiative for migrant children, discernment of care for our immigrant neighbors in our context, and the promise of forthcoming resources for this work.
  • Approved support for the World Council of Church’s Thursdays in Black, awareness movement for a world without rape and violence.
  • Voted to commemorate June 17 as a day of repentance, in honor and remembrance of the martyrdom of the Emanuel 9.
  • Approved a declaration for inter-religious commitment, reaffirming ecumenical and interfaith partnerships.
  • Approved the recommendations from a strategic taskforce which has been studying how to work toward authentic diversity in our church.
  • Approved memorials: affirming but not “endorsing” the Poor People’s Campaign, care for immigrants and refugees, and other statements.
  • Adopted a new social statement, “Faith, Sexism, and Justice: a Lutheran Call to Action,” and its implementing resolutions.
  • Deacon Sue Rothmeyer was elected Churchwide Secretary, a full-time position which acts as executive administrator and leader on all constitutional matters and interpretation.
  • Constitutional change for Deacons (rostered ministers of word and service) to be ordained, from the previous practice of consecration.
  • Celebrated the milestones of 50 years of women’s ordination, 40 years since the first woman of color was ordained, and 10 years since full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ clergy. 
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