The Lost Evangelical


When I was 16 years old, I joined a 6-month youth discipleship class which met every Saturday for the entire day to pray, study the Bible, memorize scripture and do various outreach projects. It was a long, tough class!

One of our “outreaches” was something I will never forget. We had to go to downtown Tacoma and join other churches in a anti-abortion protest. I hated every minute of this experience. It just didn’t feel right to me and the contrarian in me kept wondering, “how is this considered outreach?”.

While I always have and always will believe that abortion is not part of God’s plan for humanity, I’m also not proud of the fact that I once took part in protesting abortion, and the kind of witness I was for the women who walked in and out of that clinic.

In today’s culture, we see and hear the trending topic of “evangelicalism”...the “evangelical vote”...the “evangelical church” so often. Its come to the point where I’m certain too many Christians aren’t even sure what the word evangelical means anymore.  Frankly...the word has been hijacked for political purposes and the Church faces a tough decision. Do we keep going along, or take the word back and start over?

The word evangelical is over 2000 years old and it means “good news”. When the early Christians confessed in their Roman occupied lands that Jesus is Lord, they were proclaiming good news! When the church feeds and takes care of the poor, this is good news!  When churches rally together in their communities for the sake of unity, this is good news! 

In John 10, Jesus describes himself as the gate. The gate by which his sheep have complete access to the Father. I believe this illustration is a crucial reminder for us today. Access to God has always been through Jesus. He is the gate...yet somehow too many Christians have positioned themselves to be the gatekeepers. Jesus never once taught that we are to be guardians. He taught us to be bringers and inviters!

This weekend, I will bring a close to our Trending series as we explore this complicated and sometimes controversial term - evangelical. We’ll look further into Jesus’s illustration of being the “gate” and ask ourselves...”have I become a gatekeeper?”  “How can I take back this word evangelical so that my family, neighbor and community can once again see it as Good News?”  I hope you’ll join us this weekend!

Grace and Peace.

Pastor Rex

Sojourners In A Strange Land


I was raised in a small Northern California community outside of Sacramento.  My family had a farm and their main crop was eggs – so we raised chickens for our livelihood.  It was really a small family farm, not like some of the big commercial farms you see today.  My mom and dad and my brothers were pretty much the workers on the farm.  I can’t remember any time that we had a hired hand on the farm.  If we did go on a short vacation to our cabin in the mountains, one of my dad’s friends who had a turkey ranch would come take care of our chickens and livestock and then we’d do the same for him on his farm.

On our farm, we did not have a need for migrant workers, but several of the farms around us did.  Especially the farms that had harvest times – especially in the tomato fields and rice patties in our area.  So in my elementary school we often had children of migrant farm workers come to school for a few months out of the year.  I always felt sorry for them, because they weren’t with us long enough to get to know us.  Some of the kids in school were even kind of mean to them because they looked different, dressed different and usually they were even one or two grades behind, so some kids called them stupid.

When I told my mom about how mean the kids were to the “visiting” kids, she (as she often did) pulled out her Bible and read...“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him/her wrong.  You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt:  I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 19:33-34)  

Then she explained to me that these “visiting” kids’ parents worked on farms and they had to go where there was work so they could feed their family.  Because of moving around so much, it was hard for their kids to keep up with their studies like those of us who had parents who worked in one place.   So, she said, God wants you to help them and encourage your friends to help them feel welcomed in your school.

Now I live in a neighborhood full of people who might be considered “strangers sojourning” in our land.  People who are here on job assignments from countries and lands far off.  They are much better off than the migrant workers from my childhood, but many of them feel lonely and out of touch.  Our native languages are different, our cultures are different, some dress different than we do, but I always remember – “you shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself.”  Whether in the grocery store, the bank, or walking down the sidewalk let’s greet all with enthusiasm and respect, because we have all been or will be “sojourners in a strange land.” 


Pastor Linda

Jesus, Social Media and The New Marketplace


This weekend at Washington Cathedral, we begin a new teaching series called “Trending”, where over the next few weeks, we will discuss trending cultural topics, explore how they influence our faith and what the Bible teaches us about them.

I’m really excited to jump into the series this weekend with a message called "Digital Divide: When Our Faith Collides with Social Media"!

When preparing for this message, I couldn’t help but first wonder...would Jesus have used Facebook, or Twitter? Assuming these online platforms would have been available to him, I think the answer would be yes.

Why do I believe this?

Of Jesus’s 132 public appearances, 122 had a marketplace context. The four gospels record Jesus telling 52 parables, with 45 of them having a marketplace context.

Jesus valued spaces where people of all backgrounds gathered. For Jesus, that space was the marketplace. media is the modern-day marketplace. In fact, on Facebook alone, there are currently 1 billion active accounts being used every day.

Just as in the marketplace spaces in the days of Jesus, people from all backgrounds are on social media. Lives are shared. Important theological and social issues are discussed. Culture is shaped. News is broken.

But as we know...not everything about the internet or social media is beneficial. The number of friends, followers and likes you have don’t always equate to real life friends and relationships. It can be deceiving and sometimes be very hard to represent Jesus when those political and theological discussions are taking place. [preaching to myself here]

Thankfully, the Bible has plenty to teach us about authentic relationships, being a witness, guarding our hearts and wise living. All of these can guide us into using social media in healthy, Christ honoring ways.

I hope you’ll join us this weekend and hear more about the trending topic of social media use and how our faith can influence it in positive ways!

Speaking of social media...are you following Washington Cathedral on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?  We’d love to connect with you there!

Grace and Peace.


Risen Hope!


It been a few years, but we are going to have Pastor Dale White narrate the resurrection as we enjoy an Easter morning passion play at 11:00 am in the Randy and Rod ReCreation center.  This is a historic moment of faith you won’t want to miss.  We need you and your friends to help us pack out this splendid auditorium that was designed for theater and to accommodate a large number of people.  Join us as our church family gathers a new momentum for a new start in Easter 2017.

Happy Holy Week,

It almost sounds a bit funny to say “Happy”, but it is true.  One fruit of the Spirit is Joy, and are we ever experiencing joy! We are having fun this Easter watching God move mightily in our presence as we experience springtime in Washington Cathedral. (Or using other terminology, experiencing “revival” in our church.)   Last week Sally Jo Holmes and Marilyn Biggs had to be just overjoyed as they led our prayer wave for this Easter. Most of us signed up to pray 10 minutes a day for the last few weeks and then on the Friday night before Palm Sunday, we began our 24 hours of prayer for renewal in our church and community. I can’t express how it felt to have tears streaming down my cheeks at each of the Palm Sunday worship services, as hundreds of people came to the cross to dedicate or re-dedicate their lives to Christ.  I just wish I could have seen the face of our two prayer captains in those precious moments. I could, however, see the face of Pastor Becca after delivering a soul-filled message. This had to be have been the greatest response to a message she has ever seen in her ministry career.  After those Palm Sunday services, there was just a joy in our church as we met new friends - laughed and visited. Later, on Tuesday at our staff meeting, when Pastor Jackie shared with us the touching response of those who wanted to meet with a pastor a spontaneous cheer rose up.  And that was just the start of Holy Week.

Pastor Rex and his team have an awesome Good Friday service planned in the beautiful Spirit Falls Sanctuary in front of the waterfall and the three crosses.  The flow of the service, the moment of communion, the praise music and the message - I can’t wait to see what God has in mind for us on Good Friday.  Our youth pastor Josh and I were sharing about the cross as he prepared for the Wednesday night youth group and we both teared up discussing that holy moment.  Our prayer together after our meeting was such a joy-filled experience.

Saturday at 4 pm there will be a Easter egg hunt in the recreation center pool.  How cool is that! The kids never forget it and it is back by popular demand. After our big 11:00 Easter Service on Sunday, there will be a huge Easter egg hunt on the beautiful grassy hill with a view of the whole valley.  Mark Thompson, the famed ventriloquist, will be there. Spread the word and bring friends to either or both of these one-of-a-kind events.

And who doesn’t love Pastor Linda’s enthusiasm at the Sunrise Service in Spirit Falls at 7:00 AM?  What a way to start off the greatest Easter of our lives. The music will be beautiful, with our very own young soprano, Dani Burke, closing out the service. (I know sunrise is at 6:17 am, but in the Puget Sound area the sun is rising off and on until 7.) You’ll enjoy the birds, the wildlife, the light off the flowers and the waterfall. We have seen, ducks, geese, a bald Eagle, a red-tailed hawk and doves, who all join us for this tremendous moment.

Someone in the staff meeting was teasing Pastor David about his cooking and Pastor Josh took exception to it saying, “Hey I’ve been eating his cooking at church since I was a baby.”  Our beloved Single’s Pastor is working hard to prepare an Easter breakfast for the community. On the menu are delicious pancakes, bacon, eggs, sausage, potatoes and juice.  It will be served from 8:00 am to 1O:30am.  What a great event to bring your neighbors to.

The featured event of the entire Easter weekend is happening at 11:00am in the Randy & Rod ReCreation Center. We have canceled all the other regularly scheduled services in order to bring our entire church together for one amazing moment of renewal. You will experience the Easter story first hand -- from Jesus being removed from the cross, portrayed by our amazing actors in this kid-friendly presentation, to his resurrection from the Garden tomb, originally designed by a Hollywood director.  The actor playing Jesus is our own Raffael, whose Christ-like enthusiasm is spreading throughout our church. Pastor Rhonda and the choir will be at an all-time high as they sing Easter hymns. I will have a short, positive Easter message that I promise you will be the most inspirational I have ever delivered.   Our worship leader, Eliot Stone is bringing together a peak performance by our worship team.  He has even recruited his dad (a famed guitarist) to join him.  The praise itself will be so authentic it will express the cry of your heart.  They will all be joined at the end by children choirs, teen choir in a moment so wonderful that it will impact the rest of your life.

I have been going door-to-door inviting people to our church this Easter and icing my knees at night. I have had so many amazing Godly experiences.  But today I went to get my hair cut and they asked me if I had any plans for Easter. I basically told them just what I have told you.  My stylist, who is new to our country from Vietnam, told me his testimony with enthusiasm. Coming from a background of no faith, he prayed to Jesus that he could get his family and himself out of Vietnam and after being stabbed in the back he promised while in the hospital that he would find a church for his wife and children.  He said, “Pastor your inviting me to church is an answer to prayer of several years.”  Well the rest of the barber shop asked me what the meaning of Easter was and I got to do a practice run on my sermon only with questions and answers. It must have been okay because everyone there committed to come to church this Easter.

I’m thinking about just getting my hair cut all day rather than going door to door. It was a lot more fruitful and my knees don’t hurt as much.  But, unfortunately, I don’t have that much hair.

I dare you. Surprise us by your attendance this Easter. I have given my life to building this great caring network and your presence at that 11 am service means more to me than you will ever know.  I can only imagine what it will mean to your family and to God himself as we all join together in this moment of miracles.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

Trust: Discovering Healthy Faith and Relationships


I am very excited about the new series we begin this weekend.  I can’t think of another topic more important for our church family than developing Trust.  It is essential in building a healthy congregation and healthy families.  Real communication and collaboration is impossible without the two-way conversation that comes with Godly trust.

Last week, it was Fernando Fox’s birthday. He is one of many amazing kids growing up in our church.  He is “one-in-a-million,” so much so, that his Sunday school teachers turn into his biggest fans.  He has a great sense of humor and an amazing imagination. His parents, David and Rosanna Fox, are doing a wonderful job of raising this masterpiece of a boy.  I think you could credit his sensational big brother, Andres, with helping in this project also.  As I was praying for him and the other kids growing up in our church, I was moved to tears asking God to help us learn more about trusting in a Biblical way. 

As you know, we live in a society which tends toward being cynical and pessimistic – learning to be suspicious and to rush-to-judgement of situations and people. We learn this through a survival response to the deep hurts in our lives.  If someone goes through a divorce, they often become really good at breaking off relationships and refusing to allow them back in their life.

A more difficult way of living is the Christ-like way. That is holding no grudges, lovingly asserting our understanding of what is true, and simply loving the whole world like Christ would. Admittedly, this is the much harder way. It means leaves ourselves open to criticism, judge-mentalism, gossip and to enemies who have no interest in our welfare.

I choose to trust God.  I choose not to wallow in self-pity or exaggeration. I choose to communicate as best I can.  I also choose not to be a door mat, but to speak the truth in love and humility.

This week I am going to start our series, “Trust – Discovering Healthy Faith and Relationships” by showing us the New Testament concept of Trust as the fulfillment of the profound concept of Trust found in the Old Testament.  One of my Rabbi friends once had a long discussion with me about the differences and I learned so much.  I believe that we cannot understand the New Testament Christ-like Trust without understanding the rich meaning of our Old Testament heritage. If God can allow me to communicate how to trust the Father and the Son, then I believe each of us will be better for the time we have spent exploring this critical concept of Trust.  It is going to heal a lot of our wounds and make us a healthier church family.  Please join me as we kick off this new series.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

The One Who Does Impossible


A teenage girl lays on her bed praying...begging God to help her parents stop the fighting and yelling. Her days are filled with worry that they will divorce and her family will be torn apart. She prays- unsure her words are getting past the ceiling of her bedroom. Her prayers come from a real and deep place of desperation, but she’s never met the One who does impossible, so she has no idea what to expect. Who knows what will happen?

A successful man who is well respected within his church and known as a man of great faith prays for someone who is very sick. His prayer is confident and loud as he boldly states...”I CLAIM healing over you!” and then walks away without giving any more thought to his prayer. Will his extreme confidence move God to heal? Who knows what will happen?

A busy, single mother of 2 young children sits exhausted on her couch after finally getting the kids to bed and the house picked up. No energy to even see what’s new on Netflix. She sits in her exhausted state and begins to think about the bills that are piling up. Some surprise medical costs have her very worried about keeping up with the rent, so she begins to pray. She needs a financial miracle! As she prays, her voice trembles a bit with emotion. She’s scared about her future, but also knows that God has never before left her high and dry. She prays from a place of tension where there are the real questions of “what if?”, but also with confidence, because the One who does impossible has always been good. Who knows what will happen?

In Matthew 11, John the Baptist is in real trouble and he sends his followers to Jesus with this question: “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”. Jesus’s answer is powerful, fascinating and very important for all of us today who are in need of a miracle!

Would you join me with Sunday as we look honestly into the tension of both expecting our miracle and wondering what happens if it doesn’t come?  The One who does impossible is so good and our miracle might be right around the corner! I look forward to seeking, learning and growing with you on Sunday.

Grace and Peace.

Pastor Rex

Miracles, Waiting and Kadosh


A woman waits in a doctor’s office to hear what her test results are. The wait is difficult...

A little boy anxiously waits in his bed for Christmas morning to arrive. The wait seems endless...

A groom patiently stands at the alter waiting to see his beautiful bride walk down the aisle. The wait is sacred...

Waiting - even for the good, happy and beautiful things of life is difficult. Why? Because we simply don’t wait well!

Many of us who might be reading this are in need of some kind of miracle. Healing...a new job...restored acceptance letter to that dream university. Miracles place our faith in the reality where we’ve accepted that we’ve done all we can do and now it’s God’s time to powerfully, lovingly and mysteriously make a way for what now seems impossible.

While we wait and endure in the tension of our doubt and hope, we can wait for our miracle in one of two ways: passively, or expectantly.

We passively wait when we simply ask God to do something big for us and then go about life as normal. Work...homework...TV...Facebook...Etc...  It’s not that passively waiting is wrong. But isn't there more?  Shouldn’t we show God and ourselves a little more urgency? After all, we’re talking about miracles here, right?

In the Old Testament book of Leviticus, God tells the people of Israel to be “holy”. The prophet Isaiah once saw a choir of angels singing to each other, “holy, holy, holy”.

The word holy here in its original language (Hebrew) is Kadosh. Kadosh means “distinction”, or “set apart”. Kadosh has nothing to do with being better than (holier than thou), rather it has everything to do with putting ourselves in a place where we have a deep awareness of our self and need for God.

When we need and wait for our miracle, God asks us to be holy. To realize that we can’t fix this...we’re not in control of this. So we set our hearts apart from the busy, mundane distractions and we seek Kadosh.  Holiness.

I hope you’ll join me this Sunday morning as we explore this further and get honest about the struggle of waiting for our miracle; God’s desire for us to be holy and how we can have hearts that expectantly wait for our miracle.

Grace and Peace.


Happy New Year!


2017 – what a gift to enjoy a brand new year! I know that life is not lived on a calendar but this is a new start – a brand new year. Every day is a gift – every morning is a new beginning – life made new, through the power of God. “Even young people grow tired and but those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” I am planning on this being the greatest year of my life and for all those I love. (Which is a lot of people.) If this is the greatest year we have ever lived, then let’s grow closer to Jesus Christ. Let’s be intentional about letting His purposes have first place in our lives. Let’s love like Jesus would have us love. Let’s release past burdens, with barrier breaking hope and mountain moving faith.

On New Year’s day our young, enthusiastic youth pastor, Josh Zappone will be preaching a short message for the whole family.  The entire worship will only be 55 minutes and I promise you it will be fun. Not only will you be able to experience great friendship with the amazing people of Washington Cathedral, but you will witness a growing future leader in the cause of Jesus Christ, Josh Zappone.

A new year is a time to set new goals. A new year is a time to dream new dreams. A new year is a time to remember how much we love one another. A new year is a time to surrender to God’s exciting dreams for our lives. Let’s start 2017 out the right way by committing together to let every day be an adventure as we follow Jesus Christ. Let’s follow Him as His disciples in a world desperately in need of His love. If He is to give us another day, another month, a whole year - let’s live it to the fullest!

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

What You Talkin' About _____?


One of my favorite childhood shows was Different Strokes. In each episode there was sure to be the line from Arnold that helped make the show so famous. That’s right, I know you remember it.... “What you talkin’ about Willis?”

If I’m honest, sometimes I hear people say certain statements about God that cause me to say to myself...”What you talkin’ about Christian?” 

My favorite phrase is, “God only helps those who help themselves”.  Really?!?  Do we really believe this? Yet, I’m sure that if you’re reading this, you have heard someone say this at some point in your life.

The above statement is a myth. A lie. And it’s hurting people’s ability to believe in an all-powerful God.

Why? Because it’s simply not true. Look at John 5:1-6, for example. Is the lame man helpless? Yes. Does Jesus heal him despite his helplessness? Yes.

Join me this Sunday as I explore this fascinating story of Jesus’s encounter with a helpless man. Maybe you’ve heard me say this before, that when we read the stories in the gospels, we have to ask ourselves...”Who am I in this story?”.  Well, this is surely one of those stories.

You see...we all find ourselves stuck in life at some point, or another. Physically, spiritually, financially and relationally. ALL of us.  The question Jesus asks the lame man in John 5 is a very important question for us to answer as well.

Grace and Peace

Pastor Rex

Who is The President Elect in Your Life?


I woke up Wednesday, November 9, 2016, shocked to find out that Donald Trump had won the election to lead the United States of American for the next four years.  Actually, I wasn’t shocked at all. I had stayed up and watched the election the night before.  It was interesting for me to see this election.  I love to watch history.  That does not mean I don’t feel compassion for all the people whose hearts are broken and whose lives have been crushed through events in history.  I guess I love history because I love people and I love God.   In ways that surprise us - God works through the fallible people and events that make up our lives. I write this devotion not to take a political side, although I have strong political opinions.  I write this in hopes that an event that is greater than history will take place in your life.  That event is that Jesus Christ becomes the President Elect of our lives.  That is huge.  That is not just a onetime choice, but a lifetime way of living through hardships and times we don’t understand, through victories and defeats.

 Give unto Caesar the things that are Caesars and give unto God the things that are God’s.  Mark 12:17 

 This verse gives Christians a formula to focus on changing the world.  We are always going to be good citizens, unless an injustice takes place worthy of our taking a stand against.  There is no greater love than this, than when a man would lay down his life for a friend.  John 15:13   We cannot stand by without acting courageously if a holocaust were going to take place.  Yes, we can be change agents as we reach and touch one life at a time or -  build one church at a time to change this world with love.  We have a lot of work ahead for us.

 I pray for President Elect Donald Trump.  I pray for his family, his success and his authentic spiritual growth. I pray for those who have shared with me how shocked and disappointed they are at the election. I pray for candidate Clinton, her family and all Democrats.  There is a lot of fear and division in our nation right now.   That is why  I am most excited that Jesus Christ is the President Elect of my life.   

 Your friend for the rest of my life,

 Tim White