"Thank you” to…

Noretta Williams…for serving as the fellowship coordinator for 2015 and continuing in 2016!

All the members…who participated in the generosity extended to the staff with the special financial gift provided at Christmas!

Peggy Polinder…who on December 27th celebrated her 20th Anniversary as our church secretary!

Bellevue Nursery…for providing Christmas trees and poinsettias for our celebration of Christ’s birth!

Rebecca Sherwood/Altar Guild members & church members…who help decorate and “undecorated” the sanctuary for our celebrations during Advent and Christmas!

The Choir/Ensemble Members and Kyle Haugen…for the amazing Advent and Christmas music, songs, hymns and special anthems!


Thank You Stephanie!

Dear Pilgrim Lutheran Family Members,

In early November of 2015 Stephanie Hagen, Pilgrim Lutheran’s Pre-school Director for the past twelve years, informed me that she would be stepping down as director at the conclusion of the 2015/16 school year.

Stephanie’s main reason for stepping down is primarily based on the daily demand of commuting to and from Puyallup that takes three and sometimes four hours a day! “Whew!”

After some shared tears, I let Stephanie know I would be 100% supportive of her decision…and I still am!

Stephanie has been a great blessing, wonderful co-worker and a great friend to me personally and pastorally and I thank the Lord for “the partnership in the Gospel” I have been privileged to share with her over these past twelve years.

I have been inspired by Stephanie’s passion, organizational gifts, love for Jesus, teacher, assistants, students, parents, church members and church staff along with her dedication and determination to make that significant commute for the past twelve years.  “Well done, thou good and faithful Stephanie!”

A search for a replacement has already begun.  If you have a recommendation for the position, you may submit that name to me (Pastor Rehder), Stephanie Hagen (Present director), Nan Hill (Education chair) or Ruth Ann Shimo (Deaconess).

The three most significant qualifications for the position of Director of Pilgrim Lutheran Preschool include the following:

Have been a successful early childhood teacher in a Lutheran early childhood education program and hold a theology teacher’s colloquy from a Concordia University.

Have previous experiences as a director of a Lutheran early childhood program.

Have a bachelor’s degree in education or early childhood education and meets all legal requirements of the State of Washington to be an early childhood administrator. (per Staff Handbook)

I, and I am sure, “we” extend to Stephanie, God’s best to her and hers as she finishes her time with us over these next months.

Thank you Stephanie, for all your good and godly work among us!  And…we thank your husband Al, your children and grand-children for sharing you with all of us!

The Lord bless you and keep you!

In Christ, our all in all,

Pastor Jim


In Loving Memory

On the afternoon of December 14, 2015 John Robert Gorman received the crown of eternal life at Overlake Hospital surrounded by family and friends.  Those present in his hospital room included his beloved wife, June of 31 years, her sons, Michael and Jeffrey, also Carrie and Patrice, along with Dave and Pam Ashcom, Bo and Cindy Bernhard and Mark and Jyll Goetz.  Pastor Jim led the group in prayers, Psalms and Scripture at the time of John’s passing.  John died as a result of complications after his heart surgery of December 7th.

A celebration of John’s faith and life in Christ was held here at Pilgrim at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 10, 2016.


Thank You

A huge "thank you" to Pilgrim for welcoming me so warmly to your midst. I'm grateful to Deanna for her help, support, and prayers as I continue to transition into my role. Peggy is always patient as I learn the ropes (and forget things along the way), and Pastor Jim is wonderful to work with. I'm thankful for the friendliness, flexibility, and talent of the choir and the ensemble – I'm a lucky guy. Thank you all for your good wishes and compliments. I'm looking forward to worshiping through music with you in 2016!

Kyle Haugen


All who see me mock me;
They make mouths at me; the wag their heads
– Psalm 22:7

Lent is the season of penitential reflection and preparation in anticipation of the crucifixion and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus.  Psalm 22 expresses the profound loneliness of one separated from God, one for whom God is remote or absent and seemingly powerless.  Its lament was vividly fulfilled at the crucifixion of Christ at Calvary. 

This verse describes the suffering of one who is held in contempt for his belief in the Lord God by those who reject God and see Him as without power.  They mocked him with their mouths hanging open in disgust and mockery.  This is exactly what happened to Jesus, as recounted in the Gospels: “kneeling before Him, they mocked him, saying ‘Hail, King of the Jews!…and those who passed by derided him wagging their heads… so also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself’” (Matthew 27:29,39-40).  Jesus was the humiliated, suffering Christ “despised and rejected of men” (Is. 53:3).  Why would he permit this?  Why did he not defend himself before Pilate and his accusers, but remain silent?

Jesus endured this to save us from the condemnation we have earned by our sins.  His suffering and humiliation “describes His obedience at the time when God poured out His wrath upon the Son against the sins of the human race.” (Chemnitz)  Jesus willingly suffered in order that he might become the perfect sacrifice.  He did not defend himself at his trial because He was obedient and willing to be crucified-for us.  “The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all” and “He was wounded for our transgressions” (Is. 53:4).  His silence when He was accused and mocked led to His condemnation, but also to our forgiveness.  He endured humiliation, mocking and death that we might live with Him and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence and blessedness.  “He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24).  By His wounds we have been healed.

Thanks be to God.

Gary Beard

Repentance and Forgiveness

In our corporate Lutheran liturgical Divine Services, a prominent critical element is repentance, the confession of our sins, followed by the forgiveness of those sins.  It is an element missing in many modern churches that do not mention sin or see the need for the forgiveness of sins in corporate worship.  We, however, hold with Martin Luther that “When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said ‘Repent’ [Matt. 4:17] he called for the entire life of believers to be one of penitence.”  Each of us confesses that God “daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers.”  In the Divine Service, each of us holds with the Psalmist “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord, and you forgave the iniquity of my sin” [Ps. 32:5].

Due to our sinful nature, we all stand in need of forgiveness.  Luther warns us to “take care, therefore; take care, lest you presume to get rid of the smallest of your sins through your own merit before God, and lest you take the title away from Christ, the Lamb of God.  John [the Baptist] testifies and says ‘Mend your ways, or repent.”  But he does not mean for us to mend our ways and to take off our sins by ourselves.  He declares this powerfully by adding” ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’…he means that each one is to know himself and his need for correction; yet he is not to look for this in himself, but in Jesus Christ alone.” (Luther’s Works, vol. 75, p. 186)

We all are in need of forgiveness of our sins.  When we repent of them, God provides that forgiveness through the absolution.

National Youth Gathering in New Orleans

From the Director of Family Ministries, Deaconess Ruth Ann

Madeline and Elizabeth Larson, Audrey Lutz, and Deaconess Ruth Ann are going to the National Youth Gathering in New Orleans, July 15- 20th. We will be joining 3 youth and their leader from All Saints and 9 youth and 4 adults from Christ the King. The theme; In Christ Alone”

 Fundraising has been ongoing since 2013 but watch for more. Thank you to all who gave financial donations during the Advent soup suppers. We will be having Soup suppers during Lent, also. This begins February 10th.


Preschool Job Opening

The three most significant qualifications for the position of Director of Pilgrim Lutheran Preschool include the following:

Have been a successful early childhood teacher in a Lutheran early childhood education program and hold a theology teacher’s colloquy from a Concordia University.

Have previous experiences as a director of a Lutheran early childhood program.

Have a bachelor’s degree in education or early childhood education and meets all legal requirements of the State of Washington to be an early childhood administrator. (per Staff Handbook)

A search for a replacement has already begun.  If you have a recommendation for the position, you may submit that name to me (Pastor Rehder), Stephanie Hagen (Present director), Nan Hill (Education chair) or Ruth Ann Shimo (Deaconess).




Looking for something to do some Thursday morning?

Quilters meet on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month from 10AM until 11:30AM in the Chervenak Fellowship Hall.  We make quilts from donated material and sheets to distribute locally and overseas. 

We would love to have you join us as we assemble quilts and pin the hems.  The quilts are taken home to sew the hems and tie with yarn.  If any of these are things you would like to do, we welcome your help.

Natalie, Edna, Erma and Sarah would be glad to answer any questions you may have.


Help Wanted!

We are looking for two people to serve as Properties Chair and Evangelism Chair for 2016 and 2017.  If you would like to serve in one of these areas or know someone who would, please contact Shannon Larson (Head Elder) or Pastor Jim.

We are also looking for someone to coordinate and schedule our “greeters” ministry.  If you would like to help in this area of ministry please contact Dave Ashcom (Elder) or Pastor Jim.  Greeters “greet and welcome” members and especially visitors and guests prior to our corporate worship.

Also needed are:

  • More Acolytes (contact Shannon Larson)
  • More Ushers (contact Bo Bernhard [8:30]; Kevin Wright [11:00]
  • More Altar Guild helpers (contact Rebecca Sherwood)
  • More Greeters (presently contact Dave Ashcom)
  • More Fellowship Hosts (After worship refreshments, sign-up sheet on Kiosk in Fellowship hall – the Chervenak Celebration Center)



I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.

I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. 

Ps. 77: 11-12.


The eminent French historian Marc Bloch wrote that Christianity “is essentially a historical religion: a religion, that is, whose prime dogmas are based on events.  Read over your creed: ‘I believe in Jesus Christ…who was crucified under Pontius Pilate…who rose from the dead on the third day.’  Other religions systems have been able to found their beliefs and their rites on a mythology nearly outside human time.  For sacred books, the Christians have books of history, and their liturgies commemorate, together with episodes from the terrestrial life of a God, the annals of the church and the lives of the saints.  Christianity is historical in another and, perhaps, even deeper sense.  The destiny of humankind, placed between the Fall and the Judgment, appears to its eyes as a long adventure, of which each life, each individual pilgrimage, is in its turn a reflection.  It is in time and, therefore, in history that the great drama of Sin and Redemption, the central axis of all Christian thought, is unfolded.”

Recently, the Rev. Matthew Harrison, President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, wrote in an article in the Lutheran Witness:

“When you forget your past, you forget the Gospel.  You become locked into your own little part of time.  But when you study the past and know the past and know what happened in the past, you see God at work.  You see blessings.  You see the foibles and failings of sinful men and women everywhere, just like us.  And you see Christ.

“…the churches that forgot their fathers, forget the Gospel.  It’s very difficult for us Americans to understand.  We think that only those things that are now, today, are important.  We forget the fact that the church is a community that death does not remove one from.  A church that forgets the fathers, forgets its confession, forgets its reason for existence, forgets the Gospel.”

The church year has as its formative principle the life and teaching of the Son of Righteousness, unlike the civil year based upon the revolution of the earth about the sun.  It is the outgrowth of the experience and needs of Christian men and women throughout the centuries.  The Christian faith is strengthened and deepened by its appreciation of historic facts and personalities.  With its historic perspective the church year enables us to discover the very foundations of the church in the life and teachings of our Lord.  It commemorates the Apostles, the first Christian martyr and St. John the Baptist.  The cycle of the church year provides us with repeated presentations of the important doctrines and ethical teachings of our Christian faith.  The cycle of the church year anchors the church to the cross.

Gary Beard

Church Historian


Stewardship Campaign - Week 4

Introducing Plastic Donuts

plastic donuts.jpg

On Sunday we were introduced to the book Plastic Donuts, by Jeff Anderson.

By now you should have seen your copy of the book in your church mailbox and heard about it through the Stewardship letter that went out Labor Day, as well as the most recent church newsletter. 

This book is written by a layperson and looks at the biblical passages, and concepts, involved with giving.  You’ll find it is an easy read of just over 100 pages. 

If you haven’t received your copy of the book, please contact the church office.  The book has been provided for each family at Pilgrim and is meant to help increase our understanding of stewardship principles as we continue to build support for our mission and ministry in 2016.

Thanks for your support of the Stewardship Campaign

Lutheran Ministry Services, NW - October Sr Event

Focus On Our Seniors

Saturday, October 10th

Pilgrim Lutheran Church

10420 SE 11th St.

Bellevue, WA 98004


RSVP by October 5, 2015

OPENING 9:00 AM – Pastor Jim Rehder



“The 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s”






Bring Your Health Insurance and ID Cards for Immunizations


LMSN is a 501c3 non profit tax exempt organization

Your contributions are tax exempt

Stewardship Campaign - Week 3


A homework assignment!

Matthew 25: 14-30          The Parable of the Talents

One of the Stewardship Campaign goals is to make sure everyone is able and willing to participate in the mission and ministry of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in 2016.  This week there is no formal presentation, however, there is a passage for consideration as homework. 

Almost 100 years ago, there was a professor at Concordia Seminary named Paul E. Kretzmann.  Online you will find Kretzmann’s popular commentary at


You can find many other commentaries that cite this parable as supporting a prosperity gospel, and still other commentaries clearly struggling with the punishment of the ‘poor’ servant.  This can be a hard text.

Kretzmann’s comments cut through some of that confusion and are a reminder that Jesus is instructing us that God expects His believers to be involved and do His work.  Not all have the same gifts, but all are expected to participate.

Next week we’ll be introducing a book that explores the concept of ‘acceptable gifts’.  Each family will receive a copy of the book and it will be available in your box in the Chervenak Celebration Center.

Thanks for your support of the Stewardship Campaign


Stewardship Campaign – Week 2

Our giving supports our mission

It’s week two of our 2015 Stewardship Campaign. Last week we heard about some of the goals we hope to accomplish during the next 6 weeks. Today, we focus on some of the tremendous outreach missions that fulfill vital needs within our community and rely on our help.

We could list dozens of other groups and causes, but the point is that our giving supports our mission. Go online and visit the websites for our partners in ministry. Praise God for these organizations and for our ability to join them in serving our community.

We talk a lot about our finances, but next time you hear the word budget please remember it is our mission. Please continue to be in prayer for our mission and ministry at Pilgrim Lutheran Church.

Thank you for your support of the Stewardship Campaign.