Public meeting Wednesday

A group of neighbors, who have not released their names, living close to the former Calvary Lutheran Church, are announcing their disappointment with Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church’s recent decision to place a shelter for 20 homeless men at the building located at 7002 23rd Ave. N.W.

The group says the space has lacked an active congregation since members of the Calvary Lutheran Church joined Our Redeemer's in the spring of 2008. Neighbors have been engaged in discussions with Our Redeemer's representatives about three months regarding operating requirements for the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. SHARE (Seattle Housing and Resource Effort) homeless shelter.

While sentiments about the shelter run the gamut from negative to supportive, some neighbors were able to reach a consensus that the shelter would be acceptable to most people, provided the following three conditions were met:

1. Our Redeemer's must be accountable for what goes on at the vacant building

2. Our Redeemer's must provide direct oversight of the shelter, and

3. Our Redeemer's must conduct sex offender background checks on potential shelter residents

Photo credit: 
MIchael Harthorne

Some neighbors announced their opposition to a 20-person homeless shelter that is scheduled to move into the vacant Cavalry Lutheran Church building May 30.

Holy Rosary Church, one of the longest continuously established Catholic parishes in the Puget Sound region, will be honoring more than two dozen priests and nuns who were formerly assigned to the parish at a celebration Sunday, June 7.

It's the first major event of the parish’s centennial celebration, will be held at a Mass at the church at 11:15 a.m., and will be followed by a homecoming luncheon to be held at the parish to honor the returning clergy and religious.


Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish will host an open house for the West Seattle community on Sunday, May 17 from 9:30 a.m to 1 p.m. The completion of this new building marks an important milestone in Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish’s history and is the first project funded by the Parish Capital Campaign, completed in 2007, said church members in a press release issued May 8.

“We are excited about this remarkable new gathering space, and office space, for our community,” said Pastor Fr. Jack Walmesley. “Our open house is an opportunity for members of the West Seattle community to visit our first new facility in decades. This center is the first step in our building plans for the parish, and makes a powerful statement about our bright future.”

The Pastoral Center houses 6,800 square feet of handicap accessible meeting rooms, offices, and storage. The first floor has three meetings rooms and offices for full and part-time staff.

On the lower level, there is a larger meeting room for religious education classes, and other prayer and spirituality groups. Visitors at the open house can take a self-guided tour, and light refreshments will be served.


Dear Editor,

We (the immediate neighbors of the abandoned Cavalry Lutheran Church) were informed on Saturday that Pastor Steve Grumm of Our Redeemer's Lutheran Church has decided to allow the homeless shelter without any of the neighborhood requests considered.

He will be opening the issue up to a vote by members of his congregation (the majority of which do not live near the site) on Thursday May 7. Parishioners at Our Redeemer's were informed of this reversal of position yesterday (and those I spoke with were shocked). As this vote is on a Thursday evening, it is almost guaranteed that anyone who shows up to vote will be supporters of Pastor Grumm.

This change of position by Pastor Grumm occurred after more than one month of “good faith” negotiations, which we (the neighbors) believed would allow an arrangement that would satisfy all parties.

This also occurred immediately after several of the neighbors of this vacant church volunteered their time this past Saturday and helped clean up the grounds of this building.


Our Redeemer's Lutheran Church in Ballard will hold a congregation-only vote May 7 to decide whether or not they will allow a SHARE shelter at the vacant Calvary Lutheran Church building.

When Our Redeemer's plan to move SHARE's 20-man Calvary Lutheran Shelter from its home in West Seattle to Ballard was announced, many neighbors expressed concern.

In response to neighborhood concerns, Our Redeemer asked SHARE to conduct warrant and sex offender checks on shelter residents. SHARE refused.

Despite the refusal, both SHARE and Our Redeemer expressed interest in continuing talks about a possible Ballard shelter.

Our Redeemer spokesperson Rebecca Butler said Our Redeemer will release a statement on the shelter after the May 7 vote is held.

The shelter would house up to 20 homeless men between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. and would be located in Ballard for up to one year.

Photo credit: 
File Photo

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church will hold a vote May 7 on whether or not to allow a SHARE shelter to move in to the vacant Calvary Lutheran Church at 7002 23rd Ave. N.W.

Our Redeemer's Lutheran Church is hosting a benefit dinner in conjunction with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community on Saturday, May 16 at 7 p.m.  The menu is traditional Pakistani food prepared by members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
All proceeds will go to benefit the Children of Peace Foundation, which serves children and families of all faiths traumatized by the violence in the Holy Land.  There will be a presentation by Khaled Jaraysa, the founder of the Children of Peace Foundation describing the ongoing work of the organization.
Ticket prices are $25.00 for an individual or $45.00 a couple.  Please reserve tickets by e-mailing to; or by calling Mark Buening at 789-2307.

Our Redeemer's Lutheran Church is located at 2400 N.W. 85th St.


Dear Editor,

We, the men of Calvary Lutheran, wish to set the straight about our community. The Seattle PI wrote about our shelter losing a future site and said it was because SHARE was stubborn and wouldn't check for sex offenders in shelters.

Sorry, but that's not what happened.

We were there. Our shelter was invited to the Ballard Calvary Lutheran church based on our existing track record and rules. Some neighbors became hysterical and threatened the church if they let us come. This hysteria was based on fear. The fear was based on ignorance and – as we call it – homelessphobia.

So the church asked us to change our screening process and begin checking for sex offenders in our screening. Why?

Our shelters have operated for 18 years in Seattle. We have 14 of them now. The two oldest have daycares and music schools. How many times have we had a problem with a sex offender at a SHARE shelter?


That's a fact.


On April 19, at 7 p.m. the Trinity United Methodist Church will host a "homeless forum" at 6512 23rd Ave. N.W.

Questions that will be explored include:

- Why is homelessness growing in Ballard?  

- Who are the homeless? Are they all moochers, drunks and jerks?

- What can be done politically to end homelessness?

- How can our neighborhood care but not enable?

- How can church and neighborhood work together?

The forum will feature Tim Harris, Editor and Publisher of Real Change speaking about the structural, political reasons for homelessness.

Rev. Craig Rennebohm, Mental Health Chaplain and author of "Souls in the Hands of a Tender God," will speak about the personal, behavioral reasons for homelessness.

According to the church, this is the first of several neighborhood forums aimed at creating strategies geared toward solutions for the growing issue in the community.

Donations needed

The West Seattle Clothesline is re-opening at Hillcrest Presbyterian Church, Friday, April 17, and the organization is asking for donations to restock its supply of new of "gently used" washed clothing.

The clothing bank serves all individuals and families regardless of where they live, according to the West Seattle Helpline Web site.

Clothing is  available for all ages, from infants to adults. There is never a charge for the clothing and each individual can receive up to four complete outfits. There is a dress for success area, a large beautiful woman section and a great choices for men and children.

Donations can be dropped off at the West Seattle Helpline during business hours at 6516 35th Ave. S.W. #204 on the following days and hours:

Mornings from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Afternoons from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. From noon to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays.

The community service project is sponsored by he West Seattle Helpline, Hillcrest Presbyterian Church and Holy Rosary Church.


Dear Editor,

He’s at it again-- Pastor Randy Leskovar and his obsession with homosexuality (March 18 Letters to the Editor). His letter is full of personal opinions he calls “facts”, and with facts he labels “lies.” Not surprisingly he cherry-picks the Bible, attempting to add credibility to his ill-informed points.

Respected theologian and Roman Catholic priest Daniel Helminiak, respected theologian and Episcopal Bishop (ret.) John Shelby Spong, and scores of other learned men and women from across theological traditions have often pointed out “the Bible has been used to justify slavery, inquisitions, apartheid and the subjugation of women” and I might add many more sins against humanity and the natural environment.

One may use the Bible to validate just about any argument one wishes to make. Now a minority of misguided pastors and others of like mind seek to continue to marginalize gay and lesbian men and women in the name of Jesus. Their weapons include selective interpretations of the Bible, their clerical titles, and of course FEAR.

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