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Eighty Six Years

This year is the 86th anniversary of the establishment of Seattle Apostolic Lutheran Church.  I found it interesting to look back through the history of the Church on our website.  I am thankful for all of the faithful servants that have spent the time and effort to record this history.  On April 27th, 1935 a temporary board was selected.  The first permanent Board was elected on December 1st, 1935.  It is a blessing to all of us when gifts and talents are used to honor and glorify God.  It is encouraging to read about and remember those believers that laid the foundation of this congregation.  In the following article our late Pastor Alvin Holmgren gave thank to the one that supplies “every good gift and every perfect gift”.  Let us pray for one another that we would remember how important our fellowship is, and use the gifts that the Lord has blessed us with to the furtherance of the Gospel. 

The bulletin from which this article is taken records the schedule of the 50th Anniversary Services with Pastor George Wilson.  They were held for 5 days on September 13-15, and on the evenings of the 18th and 19th.  In the middle of the schedule, Pastor Holmgren wrote this: “ I would like to extend a special invitation to all of you who receive this bulletin to attend our meetings.  Many of you received your early christian training among us.  Perhaps you were baptized, confirmed, or married here or it is the church of your parents.  Also, many of you visit and worship with us from time to time.  It would make me very happy to see you.”

I appreciate the heart of a servant displayed by Pastor Holmgren. May the Lord place that in all of His children. There is nothing greater on this earth than the human soul. The Church is called to share the Gospel message, the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote: “ So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) May we always be thankful for those that have been faithful in days past by exercising the multitude of gifts, serving us by being faithful to preserve this fellowship of believers that today continues to point us to Christ Jesus, by whom we find manna for our souls. He is sufficient. -Pastor Stan

“This year we are celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of our church.  To all of us, this represents a special milestone.  As we pause to reflect upon this half century of congregational history, we are moved to return thanks to the Lord for the countless blessings that He has given us.

At this festival it seems especially appropriate to “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of the Lord, whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Heb. 13:7&8).  The leaders who have gone before us laid a good foundation for faith and salvation.  They laid the one of which St. Paul wrote: “For other foundation can no man lay than is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 3:11)

The church has a foundation so firm that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:18) for the Lord said: Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Mark 13:31). Our forefathers, as ambassadors for Christ, taught one basic Biblical truth unto salvations: :For he has made him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (II Cor. 5:21). Through the ministry of Jesus, we have been reconciled to God by the blood of His cross and have been “built upon the foundations of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone.” (Eph. 2: 20)

As pastor of this church for more than twenty years, I have become more and more a aware of the debt of gratitude I owe to the Lord and to those who have labored before me. It has been a blessing to enter in upon the labors of those who laid foundations strong. And to you today, who are fellow laborers with me, worker together with God (II Cor. 6: 1) let us remember the words of the Lord: “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together . And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour; other men laboured and ye are entered into their labours.” (John 4:35-38)

By what means can we apply ourselves to the task before us? Prophet Zechariah provides the answer: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, sayeth the Lord of hosts.” (Zech. 4:6). In the power of the Holy Spirit, which Jesus called the promise of the Father, we are to pursue our holy calling—that of bringing the message of salvation to the lost through the preaching of repentance and the forgiveness of sins. (Luke 24:47) In the Christian church; we have no authority but sacred Scriptures, and they are not subject to private interpretations. (II Peter1:19-20)

Jesus said to His disciples: “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” (John 15:3). He entrusted that same word of truth and cleansing to His disciples when He said: “as my Father hath sent me, even so I send you. Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.” (John 20:21-23). The key, then, to this ministry which has been given to the church is again verified by the words of Jesus: “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matt. 16:19)

As believers, let us individually take to heart the words of Jesus: “IF YE CONTINUE IN MY WORD, THEN ARE YE MY DISCIPLES INDEED; AND YE SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE.” (John 8:31-32). In that freedom we have received in Christ, may our confidence equal that of St. Paul who said: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth;” (Rom. 1:16)”

–(From archives of the late Pastor A.C. Holmgren, September 1985)

Submitted by Pastor Stan

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