Pastor's Desk

Pastor Julie Blum has been the pastor of Maple Leaf Lutheran Church since July of 2002.  She is originally from Kennewick, WA with most of her extended family still living in Eastern Washington.  She did her under graduate work at Pacific Lutheran University and received her Master’s of Divinity at Luther Seminary, in St. Paul Minnesota.  Before moving to Seattle she served as Associate Pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Boise, Idaho.  Pastor Blum enjoys spending time with her daughter, gardening and traveling.  In 2013 she was privileged to receive a grant from the Lily Endowment Fund to take a three month sabbatical, traveling to Scotland, Ireland, Hawaii and the Oregon Coast.



New Baptismal Font PDF Print E-mail
Written by Julie Blum   

Here is a photo of our new baptismal font bowl that we had commissioned by a local glass artist.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 October 2012 )
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Natural Church Development: What IS “Passionate Spirituality?” PDF Print E-mail
Written by Julie Blum   

Natural Church Development has identified 8 quality characteristics of a healthy church. This spring we had 30 people from Maple Leaf Lutheran Church take a survey that determined how we ranked on each of these 8 qualities. The area we rate the lowest on is the area where we have the biggest opportunity to see growth if we work on it.
For Maple Leaf Lutheran Church, “Passionate Spirituality” was our minimum factor. That means that this is the area in which we have the largest growth possibilities!

So, what is Passionate spirituality?

Effective ministry flows out of a passionate spirituality. Spiritual intimacy leads to a strong conviction that God will act in powerful ways. A godly vision can only be

accomplished through an optimistic faith that views obstacles as opportunities and

turns defeats into victories. Here are some questions to help you think about “Passionate Spirituality:”

 

 

Experiencing God

1. How are church members integrating their faith into all areas of their life?

2. How and when do church members sense God’s presence and involvement in

the different areas of their life?

3. What recent examples have we heard of God’s transforming work in church

members’ lives?

4. What are we doing to teach people how to absorb the new insights and

experiences that come when God is working in their life?

 

 

Passion for Church

1. What are the marks of a person who is enthusiastic about our church?

2. What are we doing to teach God’s desires for our church’s future?

3. In the last year, what steps has the pastor taken to make his or her life more

transparent to the church?

4. How do we promote faith in our people so they believe firmly that God will work

even more powerfully in our church in the coming years?

 

 

Passion for Devotions

1. In what ways do people in our church spend personal time connecting to God

during the week?

2. In what ways do we see personal and corporate prayer empowering the

ministries of our church?

3. What opportunities do we provide for people to learn how to use the Bible as a

guidebook for life?

4. What indications do we have that people read the Bible on their own? How are

they integrating what they read into their everyday live?

 

 

Spiritual interconnectedness

1. What opportunities (in worship or in groups) are given for people to talk about

God’s work in their lives?

2. What are we doing to move religion from being a private matter to a commonly

accepted topic with other believers?

3. How is our experience of God reflected in our conversations with others?

4. How do we inform people of prayer needs? What priority do we believe our

members give to praying for each other?

 

 

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Sabbatical planning PDF Print E-mail
Written by Julie Blum   

As part of my letter of call and compensation package I am encouraged to go on a three month sabbatical after six years of service as your pastor.  As you know, we (Maple Leaf Lutheran Church and I) were awarded a sabbatical grant back in 2009.  Initially it was to be completed by the end of December 2011 but with my pregnancy and birth of my daughter I ask for and was granted an extension.  Now we are required to use the grant before the end of December 2013.  That means that I am current in the process of planning my time away which will take place for three months in 2013.... 

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Remembering your Baptism PDF Print E-mail
Written by Julie Blum   

           

When you or your child was baptized you may have received a candle.  During the baptism ceremony that candle was lit from the Paschal candle and these or similar words were said, “Walk in the faith of Christ crucified and risen. Shine with the light of Christ.”  Most likely you were encouraged to light that candle on your child’s baptismal anniversary and tell him or her about their baptism. June 19 was my daughter’s  first baptismal anniversary.  I was so excited to bring out her baptismal candle, light it for her and tell her about her baptism.  I had my camera ready to capture the moment forever.  She, however, was much less excited about the idea than I was.  She was terrified by the candle.  I’m not sure if it was the sound of the match as I was striking it or if it was being so close to a flame that scared her.... 

 

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Natural Church Development results PDF Print E-mail
Written by Julie Blum   

Hopefully you have heard by now the results of our Natural Church Development survey.  The survey (taken by a sample group of active MLLC members) measured eight characteristics that make up a healthy congregation.  Those characteristics are Empowering Leadership, Gift-based Ministry, Passionate Spirituality, Effective Structures, Inspiring Worship Services, Holistic Small Groups, Need-oriented Evangelism, and Loving Relationships.  The results of the survey told us that our biggest opportunity for church growth and health would come if we focus on the characteristic of.....

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