Learning From Our History

Looking into our history, the Archive Divers find stories of the people called Methodist in the early Bothell years. This post is written by Celeste Deveney.

The church’s Archive Divers were formed in 2015 to dive into and preserve the church records. One of the first tasks the group took on was to transcribe the old Membership & Baptism records from 1892 to the 1930’s, due to their fragility. The records proved to have many familiar names, the kind you see on street signs in downtown Bothell.

At a Divers’ meeting earlier this year, it was mentioned that our church in its early years had no ethnic members.  Mary Anne Rehbock said she had typed in a Kiyoko Kanaya as a member when transcribing the records.  Luckily, for us, she mentioned the Kanaya name to her husband, Dick, who grew up in Bothell.  He recalled a couple of Japanese boys in his 1940-41 and 1941-42 second and third grade Bothell Elementary School classes.  He remembered one of the boy’s names – Kimio Kanaya.  Could Kimio be related to the Kiyoko who had become a church member ten years previous?

7th Grade Class

A quick search of the 1940 US Census records in the King County Library database “Heritage Quest” turned up the eight-member Kanaya family living in “Hollywood” on Morris Road in rural King County.  A girl, Kiyoko, is listed as twenty years old, and a boy, Kimio, is listed as seven years old.  In the Bothell church records, Kiyoko is one of four children under “probationary status” (confirmation) in 1931, and the only one of the four who became a member. 

Church record of going through confirmation
Church record of going through confirmation
Record of Kiyoko joining the church
Record of Kiyoko joining the church

Although never becoming a member, Kiyoko’s older brother, Hideo, is mentioned in the Bothell Citizen paper with YMCA and church events, and later in life listed himself as a “Methodist.”

In doing an online search for the Kanaya name, we found on McMenamins website that they have a painting and biography of the Kanaya family in the hotel. It’s noted there that the family ran a fruit stand in Bothell through the 1930s.

Anderson Schoolhouse painting by Damian Zari
Anderson Schoolhouse painting by Damian Zari

Sadly, the Kanaya family was interned on May 27, 1942, and sent to Tule Lake. In the Tule Lake concentration camp, Kiyoko worked in the kitchen as a waitress. Her mother, Misoko, died in the camp in 1944. Tule Lake has the distinction of being the only camp with tanks pointed directly into the camp. It was the site of at least one “rebellion” and became the site housing the most “recalcitrant” inmates.

If you would like to see photos of what life at an internment camp looked like, click HERE. Of the twelve local families interned, only two families that we know returned to our area.  The Kanayas did not.

The Bothell Methodist Church pastor at the time was noted for his pacifist stance.  Two weeks before Pearl Harbor, he invited a well-known Quaker, Floyd Schmoe to preach.  During the war years Floyd Schmoe visited the Idaho, Wyoming and California internment camps (including Tule Lake).  Years later his daughter, Esther, married Gordon Hirabayashi.  Gordon was a UW student who resisted the Federal evacuation order and had his case before the Supreme Court.  He lost, and was sent to a camp.

The Archive Divers do not have a complete story yet.  They’re still working out details because the Kanayas’ story raises important questions.  What was the Methodist Church’s position at that time on internment camps?  Was anyone doing anything to help support the families that were interned? Most importantly, does this experience inform our views toward citizenship and immigrants today and if so, how?

The Archive Divers will continue to look for answers.

Why Holy Week?

Director of Music, Jeremy Matheis shares thoughts about Holy Week.

Palm Sunday was yesterday, a day that hosannas and palm branches announced the triumphal arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem, the long-awaited king and messiah for the people. Next Sunday is Easter, the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. However, in between is Holy Week. Called this because we, those people following the Way of Jesus, take this time to commemorate, remember and reflect on the final week of Jesus’ life prior to his crucifixion. Christian life revolves around, and is based upon, the events of this week.

My Post (50)Palm Sunday allows us to experience the sheer joy and excitement that surrounds the life of Jesus. It is only because of this exuberance that we will then fully know the depth of sadness and grief that is to follow. To skip from Palm Sunday directly to Easter overlooks the opportunity to experience walking with Jesus during that final week of his life.

Jesus, knowing he was about to be put to death, washed his disciples’ feet and said

“So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14-15).

And then, he left his disciples with his most important commandment at the last supper,

 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).

Maundy Thursday is our experience of agony and suffering, and of receiving great love. His last words to his disciples were to love one another. When he washed the feet of his disciples, we begin to understand the humility of being served and the humility of serving another as we do the same during the worship service.

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This year we will experience worship at round tables, sitting across from people and looking into their eyes, making bread together, it’s a different kind of worship. Transformation happens in relationship, this is exciting!

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The Good Friday worship service is a more traditional service, the choir will sing and there will be time for reflection. Whether Jesus’ death is interpreted as atonement, cancelling our debt or as a life sacrificed for us as he fought empire to show us a better way, there is no doubt that his death was the ultimate sacrifice. He knew the empire would kill him and he did it anyway.

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As Christians then, we need to discern how our lives mirror what we’ve been taught. This holy week guides our growth towards greater compassion for Jesus and for one another. The good news becomes a lived experience when it is borne from our empathetic understanding of not only our pain, sorrow and grief, but also that of Jesus.

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Missing holy week is easy for us current-day Christians, because we know the light is coming. What must it have been like for the followers of Jesus who didn’t know what was coming?

Easter is the guarantee of something that we are pretty unsure of, if we’re honest! Resurrection shows that the lord of heaven and earth has the final say over life and death and the answer is life.

Holy week is one week we need to fully experience. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter are transformative when we journey through them together. We emerge from the week energized to interact with the world in a new way, sharing the hope and good news. We are renewed with the living God who is more present with us.

For the schedule of Holy Week experiences, click here. https://www.bothellumc.org/lent/


Why Interfaith?

Debbie Carley leads a small group ministry that is learning about other religions.  Recently, she shared with Pastor Kristin why this is important to her.

While Debbie’s children were going through the confirmation classes at Bothell United Methodist Church, she was happy that a part of the curriculum was that they visited other religious services. Later, when she served at the UMCOR Depot in Salt Lake City, she immersed herself in learning about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This inspired her to bring other people together as a small group to learn about other faiths.


The group is interested in understanding how their neighbors view various social issues through the lens of their faith. Debbie knows that everyone has a belief about social issues, and she wanted to understand how religions form these beliefs, and why. What she is learning is that each religion points to an understanding that there is something larger than us, a concern for something greater.

In meeting with people in our community, the group has met with people who have deep faith. They have found people with a real commitment to their religion and to living out their lives according to their beliefs. Debbie has a lot of respect for how each person has been able to express their beliefs and share aspects of their religion that are different or new to the small group. It has been easy to do this with an open and receptive mind because they are simply trying to listen, and to learn. The group was encouraged to attend the Kenmore Bothell Interfaith Group’s Interfaith Dialogue event, held on March 26, 2019, in order to hear perspectives discussed together.

Pastor Anja from Northlake Lutheran and Imam Abdirahman from the Islamic Center of Bothell at the KBIG Interfaith Dialogue event
Imam Abdirahman and President Ken Williams from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Bothell Stake

Debbie’s experience has shown her how people find comfort and meaning in religion, especially for people who are searching for something or want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. She has also noticed that each religion, including our own, has things that are difficult to believe, but that doesn’t bother her. She said that she doesn’t have to share their beliefs to understand where they are coming from. She hasn’t heard anyone say that they have all the answers, or that their religion is the correct one. If anyone had all the answers, she doubts that we’d keep gathering, and that is an important part of any religion.

All of this can help her look at Christianity, and how she lives out her life as a United Methodist, in considering how other religions emphasize certain aspects, such as family, health and serving others. It has helped her get a broader view of Christianity and of humanity.

Pastor Darren Twa from Life Fellowship and Mary Ellen Togtman-Wood from Bahai’s of Snohomish County

Attending the Kenmore Bothell Interfaith Group’s Interfaith Dialogue event was enlightening. She was impressed by how the panelists modeled how we can be in discussion with people who are different from ourselves. As free as we are to practice our religion, she is hopeful that all others can be as free to practice theirs. The event showed us how we can be open minded and learn to listen to one another. This is how we build peace in our world.


To learn more about the Kenmore Bothell Interfaith Group, please like them on Facebook, or check out their website.