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Grapevine Newsletter May 2023

Updated: May 31, 2023

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Pastor’s Ponderings –

How ready are you for what is next? For that matter, what are you sensing is our “next”? What are you beginning to perceive is forming inside the chrysalis of our becoming in this, our metamorphosis moment?!?

The worship series we are immersed in this Easter season is a striking fit as metaphor, to the circumstances of BSLC at this moment in time. What we are reawakening into is unclear, although signs of possibility exist.

The first scripture focus of the series reminds us that not having things “all figured out” or being able to see the future clearly is part of faith: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible. - from Hebrews 11: 1-3

Each week in this series, we receive new “Questions for Metamorphosis” that have meaning for the journey of discovery we are on. You are invited to not just see them as rhetorical but to actually engage with them – whether on the journaling sheets provided each week, your own notebook, scratch paper, or through contemplation or conversation with others. You are invited to enter into the metaphor of cocoon and metamorphosis as a way to open up space for creative insights to bubble up and perhaps reveal Spirit generated possibilities you can share with others of this faith community. Below are Questions for Metamorphosis from our first three weeks, shared here for you to ponder:

In the dark of the womb [the familiar, nostalgic memory] we wondered…

what could be better than this warm and safe place?

Once we were birthed into this life, at times we wondered… could there be more than meets the eye?

In the dark of the tomb-times of our existence we wonder... is there life beyond these constraints?

When we hear the story of Jesus we wonder... is new life possible for me [us]?

Safe in our cozy cocoons we wondered… does anything really need to change?

While the world rushed on around us, we wondered… what if I’m just not ready for whatever comes next?

When we fold our true selves down in order to fit inside the old container, we wonder… am I truly honoring myself by staying in this shape?

When our worldviews are painfully challenged by new information, we wonder… could this discomfort indicate an opportunity for growth?

On the long road of our faith journey, we wonder...what lies ahead along the path?

Through all our in-between stages of transformation, we wonder...where am I [are we] going, and where am I [are we] growing?

As we search for direction in life, we wonder... can I trust when everything is [or at least feels] so uncertain?

Moving into new paradigms and perspectives, we wonder...

...what will be revealed when I [we] open up to new possibilities?

Then, from a related reflection: “There are times in our lives when we must learn to see the world differently. Caterpillars have limited vision and are only able to sense changes in the intensity of light. When they become butterflies, they are gifted with a completely new eye structure that allows them to form images and take in a huge range of colors — even more than the human eye! Let we who have limited vision in this life be reassured by God’s presence, even when we cannot know what lies ahead. Let us open ourselves to the light of enduring hope.

“The story of faith is not one of arrival but of journey. The new butterfly’s struggle to push out of its confines produces a fissure that cannot be undone. There is no going back, the journey to a new existence has commenced.”

And in closing, a prayer from the journal: Holy One, we turn to you for guidance to sense the edges of our comfort zones and listen for your call to stretch beyond them. Help us to embrace difficult times and moments of uncertainty with peaceful hearts. Give us courage to shift in new directions and to break free from the patterns and habitual grooves that keep us from moving forward into new life. We find safety in you and hope for a brilliant, colorful future. Amen

Journeying with you along Christ’s way, Pastor Jean

Thank you to the 28 people who helped with the recent church cleanup.

It was an amazing morning complete with donuts, coffee, laughter and conversation. We scrubbed doors, floors, windows, pews, and cleaned up the grounds and playground.

Council Forums are scheduled on the Fifth Sunday of the month, which will be quarterly. The first one is scheduled for Apr 30 after church. We look forward to your questions about the life of Beautiful Savior. In addition, our Council meetings are open to all. This month our meeting is also Apr 30, but meetings are usually the 3rd Sunday of the month.

Are you a person with knowledge about buildings and roofs? The Property Committee could use your expertise and advice.

Thank you to all who love Beautiful Savior-

Helene Pihl

Get to Know Your Council

Chad Hertel - Treasurer

I was raised in Banks, Oregon, 30 miles west of Portland. I was born into a Catholic family, attended the same Catholic grade school that my dad had attended. We had a hobby farm on a couple acres, raising beef cattle so that my brother, sisters, and I could be involved in 4-H and FFA, and to attend the county and state fairs. After high school I chose to enlist in the Navy as a means to save up for college. I was assigned to two years of schooling and training before being assigned to a submarine stationed in Groton, Connecticut for 4 years. After four years on a submarine, I decided I wanted a job with a better view of the world. With my new fiancé, I moved to Arizona to attend Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with plans to become a pilot. While there I was married, divorced, and had a motorcycle accident which shattered my right leg, which required me to drop out of my flight training. After I was dropped from my flight program (you can’t fly an airplane with your leg & foot in a cast), I was required to make payments on the $100,000 I had borrowed. Thankfully I had family to fall back on, and I moved back to my family home, worked two jobs until I was hired on at the railroad and could afford to pay my bills with one job. I had intentions to get my life in order before getting involved in a serious relationship again, but then I met a girl who wanted more from a relationship than just hanging out when I had free time to spare, she wanted to be part of my life and vice-versa. I recognized that she was a very special lady, so I proposed that we get married. I had grand plans of asking her to marry me on the beach at sunset, but instead got her VW Golf stuck in the sand at the beach entrance. So I got out of the car, walked around to her side to open her door, pulled out the ring, and said, “Now that you’re stuck with me, do you wanna marry me?” She did.

I attended BSLC as a visitor for quite some time. I visited even after our first child was born and baptized at the church. I had heard people talk about the mission work they did of building houses in Tijuana and thought it would be neat to travel outside of the country and do something good for people who I might be able to contribute something good in their life. I went on the mission trip three months after my first child was born (having a break from the stresses of being a new parent didn’t hurt either), and found it to be the most rewarding thing I had ever done in my life. While in Tijuana I told Pastor Jaech I wanted to become a member of BSLC. He said, “Oh, I thought you already were!” Although I became a member of the church, I didn’t want to get into the politics of the church. I didn’t even want to attend the congregational meetings to vote. But my wife informed me it was important for me to contribute, be a part of, and be vested in the community I said I wanted to be a member of. I grudgingly acknowledged the reality of that statement. Previously I had been asked if I would consider serving on the church council as positions came open, but I had declined due to my work schedule. In 2021 I was asked, and my wife pointed out that the church council meetings happened on my days off, so I put my name in the hat to be a council member. As the hat was very small, I became a church council member. The position of church treasurer was open, as the previous treasurer had reached the max term limit. Although I had no prior treasurer experience, I was assured I would receive help, and stepped (was unanimously voted) into the position. Handling the financial records of a non-profit organization with over $100,000 of funds flowing through it was not part of my plan for where I’d be at this point in my life, but I am learning that if I allow room in my life for God’s plan, my life seems to go smoother. More and more I am learning (often I’ve had to learn the hard way) to ask each day, “God, what’s your plan for me today?”

Return to Offering a Common Cup? Several people in the congregation have expressed interest in having the common cup again available when we commune. To do this most safely within changed health safety concerns we need to purchase a silver and gold plated chalice (unfortunately, ceramic does not “wipe down” as effectively as the metal) and per early pandemic recommendations from the synod office, use higher alcohol wine in the shared cup. Use of not flavorful but high alcohol content liquor to wipe the rim is another strategy we might explore as a way to further lessen potential disease transmission.

If you would like to contribute toward the purchase of this type of chalice, work with Pastor Jean to develop a proposal for use of undesignated memorial funds in its purchase, or create updated protocols for use of a common cup at BSLC, please contact her by phone or at This is anticipated to be a short term, quick turnaround project.

Planning for Summer Worship: Sundays first

Last summer (2022) the intention was to worship inside the building and then outside under the tent, every other week. Varying circumstances led to our time outside happening less often than at an even split, but we did get to enjoy fairly regularly worship in/with creation. By August, however, it became clear that the pool of folk available to help set up and take down the space (altar area, keyboard and speakers, tech and tables, chairs, …) had significantly decreased as households spent more time traveling and engaged in other activities. That leads us to wonder what would be best for this coming summer.

Before so many people spoke of the desire to retain space to have the tent up and have worship, Pastor Jean had not planned for us to return to outdoor worship this year, except for the once a summer practice as pre-COVID, having perceived there was no longer the need for, nor wider congregation interest in having outdoor worship happen on a regular schedule. To test that theory, it is time to weigh in! What are your thoughts about whether or not we continued to offer outdoor worship in the summer, on a rotating basis with indoor worship? And what is your willingness to participate in making worship happen over the summer, whether indoors or outside? Also, we no longer have a keyboard housed on site. If we worship outside we need to identify another to borrow, or to identify funds (donations? memorial?) to purchase one for the congregation’s ongoing use.

Regardless of whether we use it for worship or not, having the tent up over the summer is still a positive offering of shade and fresh air to groups that meet over the summer and our neighbors. Who is available to make it happen sometime around Memorial Day? It takes a team of about six or seven folk to safely make it happen. PJ will ask some of the people more in the know about how it happens, after hearing back from you whether you can help!

Wednesdays – an alternative to Sundays or opportunity for new learning?

When Evan was part of the staff team for an interim time, he shaped an evening worship experience held under the tent or on the labyrinth, most often around a “camp fire” (until fire restrictions stopped our use of the propane fire pit). The group gathered for evening prayers, simple songs that didn’t require accompaniment, shortened scripture responded to by those gathered, and the sharing of Holy Communion. When Evan’s position came to an end, Pastor Jean and others carried on in his tradition, and the consensus was to reconvene in 2023.

Well, it’s 2023 and time to plan forward for June-August.

Does there remain interest in gathering on Wednesdays at 6:00 or 6:30 in similar fashion to last year’s intention to offer an alternative worship time to people who know they will be elsewhere on Sunday as well as provide an alternative for biblical engagement to those who continued to be present in worship (in person and online) most Sundays?

Or do we change up this coming summer’s plan by shifting the focus with a dip into the implications of changing culture on how we are church in a postmodern age? This could be PJ-led, or more intriguing perhaps, a book study by the dependably present few who would then help to bridge less frequent participants into a lively dialogue. (AND cover the 2-3 weeks over the summer when PJ will miss due to two vacation times to attend family events). Where is the Spirit stirring your interest and potential for commitment? Please, please do tell!

Asset Mapping – working with what we have (because what we have is more than enough!)

On April 23 approximately 30 people joined to name but a few of the assets we share among and between us as a congregation. There’s more creative planning possible even with what this subset of the congregation generated, and on June 11 you are welcome to come together after worship for some further development of ideas.

But to get things rolling, through some initial generation of ideas, the following was the clear favorite: a Crafting Potluck, where people can gather for fellowship, food, and creative fun. The next most popular idea was to organize a gathering focusing on climate activism, where fellowship also includes learning and equipping of leaders, with some humor thrown in, as well as a time for worship. Other ideas also had strong interest, from gathering for Bible study on someone’s patio or garden, to hosting an educational event to increase capacity for accepting differences, but with an emphasis on finding ways to incorporate humor. Who’s ready to get on board and help make one of these ideas happen?! Permission is granted to move an idea along to implementation!

Food Scrap Composting – Bring them in!!

Have you noticed recent stories in the newspaper and news programming about how composting food waste can make a significant difference toward alleviating climate change? And we’re part of those efforts! Beautiful Savior is serving as a food waste collection drop site for households of our congregation, building partners, and neighbors, to help keep food scraps out of the landfill. By contributing your food scraps to this program, you will be part of a larger movement to keep valuable nutrients out of the landfill and transform them into rich, healthy soil.

Thanks to community members signing up at the last shred day event, we handily moved past the minimum number to participate – 30 – to 45 households joining in this movement! And don’t worry – if you haven’t “signed up” it’s not a problem, anyone is welcome to contribute food waste to this project. We received our bin and many have already used it.

Please note that our “pick up day” is Friday. The bin is located on the south side of the building, on the end where the tent gets raised.

Remember: plastic is not a food category! Please remember to remove any plastic or compostable/biodegradable liners as you add your scraps. For the current study, it is also important that we not add in yard waste. Put food scraps only in the bin.


  • Sundays -- Worship 10:00 AM

    • Sunday School – 10:30 AM 2nd, 3rd, 4th, & 5th Sundays

    • Antiracism book study – 3:00 PM on Zoom (link from PJ–see below)

  • Wednesdays – Bible Study 10:30 AM (by Zoom – ask PJ for link & study guide )

Jr. Choir 4:30 PM; Bell Choir 5:30 PM; Confirmation & Adult Choir 6:30 PM

  • Thursdays – Gather Bible Study 10:00 AM; 10:00-2:00 LWR quilting


  • 3rd Sundays – Council Meeting 11:30 AM

  • 3rd Thursdays – Peace & Justice 6:00 PM (sometimes by Zoom, other times in person with people bringing their own supper – see e-blast immediately prior to date to see how the group is gathering)

Lutheran World Relief–Gifts of Hope!

You are invited to join in the local work of LWR each Thursday, 10 AM - 2:30 PM, here at Beautiful Savior. The work includes activities such as sewing, tying, cutting out, sorting, and sometimes packing up and shipping off completed quilts and kits for households having limited access to resources, around the world.

All are welcome. Come when you can, stay as long as you are able.

Many thanks for your support, Your LWR Team


  • Anti Racism Study & Conversation Group – Sundays, 3:00 PM via Zoom

Next book options are being considered now! Request a link from PJ to participate in the ongoing conversations, or to suggest your top recommendation.

Adding to BSLC’s Faith Formation Offerings

Several books have caught various people’s attention for study and community building:

  • Transforming: The Bible & the Lives of Transgender Christians, Austen Hartke (founder of Transmission Ministry Collective, an online community providing spiritual care, faith formation, and leadership development). This book recently was the foundation of a well attended and received study at Immanuel Lutheran). The recently released expanded edition of the book includes a study guide. (four to six sessions)

  • leading faithful INNOVATION: Following God into a Hopeful Future, by Dwight Zscheile, Micahel Binder, and Tessa Pinkstaff through Luther Seminary. (six–eight sessions)

  • Do I Stay Christian?: A Guide for the Doubters, the Disappointed, and the Disillusioned, by Brian D. McLaren. How long a discussion born of this book will likely depend upon how deep a conversation is desired. Might be a good basis for Pub Theology!

  • A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community, John Pavlovitz. (seven sessions)

  • Never on Sunday: A Look at the Women NOT in the Lectionary (Sisters in Scripture), by Kathleen MacInnis Kichline. (up to twelve sessions)

Timing? Establishing a new study community meeting on a Tuesday evening, or on a Saturday – late morning or in the afternoon, avoids conflict with other regularly held meetings. During the summer break from the program year, Wednesdays evenings are an option. Sunday or Monday evening works for groups with leaders other than Pastor Jean, and where her participation is not understood as important (understanding that PJ greatly values learning with others and has trouble resisting, but knows she isn’t meant to be in all such learning groups). Thursday evenings work for most people except those who participate in Peace and Justice meetings on third Thursdays.

As other program year activities wind down, it just could be the “perfect time” to get one study underway if the book is one that lends itself to conversation happening “around” people’s summer plans (e.g., one where linear reading is not as necessary). Which possibility grabs your attention? Are you stirred toward conversation facilitation? What day of the week, time, and location would serve best to encourage your commitment? Inquiring minds want to know…. (Your response to these questions may be sent through so that PJ may send it on to the person who has made a case for the book choice drawing you in.)

Participating to Make Worship Happen

Would you like to participate during the worship service and are not quite sure how to sign up? Follow this link or call the office at 360-254-9243 and we would be happy to help.

We need greeters, ushers, readers, communion assistants, worship assistants, cantors, altar/Holy Communion set-up and altar flowers. Need training? We’ll arrange it! Don’t know what might be involved? Don't hesitate to ask!

Blood Drive

Friday, June 2nd, 1-6:30pm

FAQs About Blood Drives at Beautiful Savior:

Q - How long have we been hosting Blood Drives?

A - Beautiful Savior has hosted 69 Red Cross Blood Drives since 2006! In that time over 1,700 units of blood have been collected. Each unit (approximately 1 pint) of whole blood can potentially help three patients in a trauma, surgery, or other dire situation!

Q - How do I know if I'm eligible to donate?

A - Generally speaking, if you are healthy and age 17 or older (16 with parental consent) you can donate, and there is no upper age limit! Whole blood donations can happen as often as every 8 weeks, with some differences for Power Red, Plasma and Platelet donations.

Q - How can I find out more about donating blood?

A - Download the App to your phone, or go to to learn more. With the app you'll be able to find blood drives, schedule or change your appointment, track your donations and so much more! There is a wealth of information there to answer all of your questions, including stories of how peoples' lives have been impacted. Just an hour of your time can make a life-giving difference to someone.

Call or text Sue Nolan (360) 903-1644 for more information or to make an appointment. Thank you!

We recognize that not all have loving mothers or are mothers, and some have lost their mothers. Still, we take the time to thank all those who have mothered us with love and support.

Thank you... For standing by me through thick and thin, For not giving up on me when I didn't win, For your patience when I kept pushing you away, For caring when I said I didn't need you anyway. I am grateful knowing... I can count on your strength, Ask for your support and know you'll go to any length. When I lose my way, You help me get back on track. When in pain, Your comfort soothes and brings me back. I am lucky because... When I was sad, you gave me faith and hope. When I was confused, you taught me how to cope. When I felt I couldn't go on, You carried me long miles. When I didn't believe, You restored my smiles. Thank you... For your guidance and the faith you've shown, For giving me a safe place where I have grown, For showing me how to strive. Because of your love, I will survive.

- Elizabeth A. Robinson

Service in Action

And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you

yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. Deuteronomy 10:19

LCSNW embodies this verse from Dueteronomy in how we care for “foreigners”. We provide affordable and empathetic guidance to those seeking refuge and pursuing legal immigration status. The definition of foreigner is a person not belonging to a particular place or group; a stranger or outsider. Haven’t we all felt like a foreigner at one point in time, or currently feel that way - as an outsider. We invite you to join us as we care for those who feel this way!

While LCSNW has a wide spectrum of services, one to highlight is our newly branded Safe Route Immigration program. Safe Route Immigration, a program of Lutheran Community Services Northwest, provides accessible legal services to refugees and immigrants in Portland, Beaverton, McMinnville, and Salem, Oregon, along with Vancouver, Tacoma, and Seattle, Washington. We’re committed to growing alongside our clients and have expanded our services over the past four decades to include immigrant rights advocacy, community education, and legal guidance for clients on their journey to becoming fully-integrated members of American society.

LCSNW Safe Route Immigration Program By the Numbers:

5,000 Clients served last year - 1,500 Legal intake consultations - 700 Citizenship applications submitted - 643 Green cards received - 420 Family Reunifications -

300 DACA (Dreamer) renewals completed - 300 Green card renewals completed -

74 Victim Protections awarded - 46 Asylum cases granted - 4 Lawyers - 2 New Paralegals

Notice to Drinking Water Customers

Washington State develops State Action Levels to protect the health of drinking water consumers from contaminants that are not regulated federally. The Polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, state action levels are public health goals for lifetime consumption of water, including by sensitive populations. If you have been drinking water over the state action level, it doesn’t mean you will get sick or have health problems from the exposure.

The City of Vancouver’s extensive water system has 40 wells located at nine wellfields across our community. Recent testing for PFAS, showed that three separate sample results exceed the State Action Level for PFAS contaminants regulated by the Washington State Board of Health. Those results occurred at three of the City’s nine wellfields, including water station 4, 14 and 15.

How do you know which water station you get water from? Vancouver has an open system in which water can be transferred from almost any water station to different areas of the City. It is not possible to determine that any one specific area is consistently fed from a particular water station.

What are the potential health impacts? Some people who drink water containing PFOA in excess of the state action level over many years may experience problems with their cholesterol, liver, thyroid or immune system; have high blood pressure during pregnancy; have babies with lower birth weights; and be at higher risk of getting certain types of cancers.

The Washington State Department of Health recommends the following:

  • You can learn about PFAS and the steps you can take to reduce your exposure to PFAS in drinking water, while we evaluate options.

  • If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or mixing infant formula with tap water, use an alternative source for drinking or mixing infant formula or install home water treatment that is certified to lower the levels of PFAS in your water.

  • Boiling your water will not reduce PFSA levels.

  • If you have specific health concerns, consult your healthcare provider.

For more information related to the City’s water system and PFAS, please visit or call Utility Customer Service representatives at 360-487-7999.

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