March 2023


“Oh Lord, throughout these forty days

You prayed and kept the fast

Inspire repentance for our sin,

And free us from our past” LBW Hymn #99

We are now in the season of Lent, a time of the 40 days that precede Easter. During this time Christians are encouraged to pray, read scripture and exercise self-discipline through fasting.

A new council year began in February. We re-balanced our committee numbers, and we plan to update our parish ministry voting roster process in time for any special meetings to call a permanent pastor. We will be reviewing other church policies that are in need of updates, as well. As a reminder, non-council members are welcome and invited to participate at the committee level, as stipulated in our church constitution.

Plans are in the works to hold a work party to paint the interior of the parsonage. If you are able and willing to lend a hand, please add your name to the signup list posted in the hall outside of room C.

 Starting in January of this year, a monthly coffee social hour has kicked off. All are invited for this time of fellowship following the 10:30am Liturgy and located in room C. This will happen on the first Sunday of the month. Council committees who wish to use this time to meet in person are free to do so. Thank you to Bob and Connie Baker for taking the initiative and creativity to put this together.

Congregation, thank you for your ongoing commitment to First Lutheran Church of West Seattle, and for your continued prayers as we navigate the call process for a permanent pastor.

-Janine Douglass



When we gathered together on Ash Wednesday, we were exhorted by these words: “As disciples of the Lord Jesus we are called to struggle against everything that leads us away from love of God and neighbor.  Repentance, fasting, prayer, and works of love – the discipline of Lent – help us to wage our spiritual warfare.”

During the season of Lent, we are called to deepen our commitment to prayer.  The life of prayer is intimately linked with the scriptures.  The book of Psalms is often called the church’s prayer book, and it is through the scriptures that the lives and prayers of believers are shaped.

Our congregation makes available three different guides to a regular reading of the Bible.  The first guide is a quarterly publication called Christ in Our Home.  Each day has a page listing the lessons for the day from the Revised Common Lectionary, together with a short meditation on a verse selected from those lessons.  The meditations are written by about six different authors per issue, both pastors and lay people.  Since our congregation follows the lectionary in Lutheran Book of Worship on Sunday mornings, the lessons in this guide are often different from those used at worship.

The second guide is included in Lutheran Book of Worship on pages 179 through 192.  This is a two year cycle of three readings per day, including a substantial amount of the Bible over two years.  The reading calendar begins with the first Sunday in Advent, but can be started at any point.  In using this resource, Year One lessons are for years with an odd numbered January, and Year Two lessons are for those with an even numbered January.  Hence this year follows the readings for Year One. 

The third guide is another quarterly publication called The Saint James Daily Devotional Guide for the Christian Year.  Organized around the church year, this is the most comprehensive of the three guides, reading the entire New Testament at least every year, the entire Old Testament every two years, and the Psalms every two months.  Each day includes a chapter from the Old Testament, at least one reading from the Gospels, usually a reading from the New Testament letters, and multiple Psalms for morning and evening.  The guide also includes daily and seasonal prayers, together with extended notes on books of the Bible, selected scripture passages, and special days and seasons of the church year, with substantial extra material for Holy Week.

As you join in “the discipline of Lent” this year, consider using one of these resources to help deepen your spiritual life.

                                                                  Andrew J. King, Cantor




God’s Free Gift Of Grace!!!

In Romans 5 verses 15-17 St. Paul uses the word “gift” five times and implies it in every sentence.  This free gift of grace, which is the answer to Adam’s disobedience, is given to each of us, no strings attached, to be received with gratitude and faithfulness.  It is implied in both offertory prayers that appear in our Holy Communion liturgies – “…we offer…what you have first given us…signs of your gracious love…” and “...through your goodness you have blessed us with these gifts.”  There is a lot to ponder in these two prayers.

My question is, how do we respond to God’s free gift of grace in Christ Jesus?  What do we do?  How do we show our gratitude for this free gift?  Our sins have been forgiven by Christ’s death on the cross.  That is beyond huge.  There are no words in our languages to fully express how big this gift is.  But do we really think about it that way?  Do we honor this gift of God’s son by showing evidence of our depth of understanding what this means? 

The Bible offers a number of ways to show acceptance and appreciation for all that has been done for us.  Tithing is one such way.  Sacrificial giving on our part.  The first fruits, not the last fruits; the best fruits, not the fruits past their prime.  God wants our very best, always.  This means that giving may hurt, be difficult.  I think of that as a physical and fiscal fast.  Our expression of gratitude to God means that we are willing to give up earthly pleasures and wants, and devote that money to supporting the work of the church, the body of Christ.  In giving up things we love, we are helping ourselves be more obedient to the First Commandment to have no other gods than the Lord God Almighty and not worshipping the idols of money and possessions. 

There are other ways than tithing to show our gratitude, but the giving of money is usually more difficult than giving of our time and talents, and we usually need to work harder when it comes to giving our money away.  Both are important and should be integral to our individual stewardship. We should continually strive to do better about being faithful, constant, and consistent in improving our response to God’s gracious gift.

The words of Hymn 98 well describe what our response should be.  Verse 4 ends “Here, Lord, I give myself away:  it’s all that I can do.” Couple that with the last verse of Hymn 482, “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all!” and the picture is clear how deep our response should be, to this free gift of grace.

-Larraine King, Church Council




“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”

Thank you for your questions and participation at the annual meeting. It is vital that we as a congregation work though this difficult process together; open and caring.

Shortly after the meeting I was in contact with candidate #1 and he informed me that he did officially accept the call from a different Lutheran church. He said he enjoyed working with our congregation and prays for our success.

Since we have no candidates currently, the Council President and I met with the Assistant to the Bishop to chart our way forward.  There will be a call committee meeting to discuss the outcome of the meeting with the synod.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding as we journey to find our new Pastor.

-Matthew Kahn, Call Committee Chair



Remember in prayer before God those whom He has made your

brothers and sisters through baptism.

     Nancy Lawson, Janice Lundbeck, Robert Schorn, Kim Lim, Holly Petersen, Leah and Melissa Baker, Felicia Wells, Eileen & Dave Nestoss, Kyra Stromberg, Peter Morrison, Paula and The Rev. Douglas Lindsay, Karen Granger, Nick Karlson, Angel Lynne, Richard Patishnock, Paul Sponheim, , J.J. Chang, Kathy Krebbs,, Martin and Lauri Nygaard and the family of the Rev. Howard Fosser, who died in Christ.

     Pray for the shut-ins that the light of Christ may give them joy:  C.J. Christian, Joan Olson, Bob & Mona Ayer, Gregg & Jeannine Lingle, Robert Schorn, Nora Vanhala, Lou Landino, and Melanie Johnson,.

     Pray for our bishops Elizabeth Eaton & Shelley Bryan Wee, our presiding ministers, Philip Lee and Barry Fritts, our choirmaster Dean Hard and our cantor Andrew King, that they may be strengthened in faith, love and the holy office to which they have been called.  Pray for our church council and our call committee, that God will guide and strengthen them in these days.

     Pray that God would give us hearts which find joy in service and in celebration of stewardship.  Pray that God would work within you to become a good steward of your time, your talents and finances.  Pray to strengthen the stewardship of our congregation in these same ways. 

     Pray for the hungry, ignored, abused, and homeless.  Pray for the mercy of God for these people, and for all in Christ's church to see and help those who are in distress. 

     Pray for our country, for those devastated by war an d natural disasters, for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, and the unemployed.

     Pray that God will bless you through the lives of the saints:  St. Joseph, Guardian of Jesus.

                                   Text Box: A Treasury of Prayers
Father, through our observance of Lent, help us to understand the meaning of your Son’s death and resurrection, and teach us to reflect it in our lives.  Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and  reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.
[For All the Saints, I:787]


FOOD BANK COLLECTION suggested donation for March is canned meats, chilies and stews.  Any non-perishable foods or grocery store gift cards are welcomed.  These much needed donated items of food are delivered weekly to the West Seattle Food Bank. 

HOLY EUCHARIST – Communion:  Those who are baptized in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and believe are welcome to receive the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. If you are not able to walk up to communion but would like to receive, talk to one of the ushers before the liturgy.

MARTIN & LAURI NYGAARD wish to let you know that, February 12th was their last Sunday at FLCWS. Due to Martin's Parkinson’s and accompanying illness, he has moved to The Terrace at Beverly Lake in Everett.  Thank you all for welcoming them so kindly the past several months. They will keep you in their hearts and prayers.


SATURDAY, MARCH 18 & SUNDAY, MARCH 19:  a painting work party is planned to begin the process of refreshing and remodeling the parsonage.  We would love to have anyone who is able and has done some interior painting work, to come and help us begin the job of repainting the inside of the parsonage. 

We need to wash the walls, and/or prime them before the new paint is applied.  We expect that 2 coats of paint will be needed on all walls and ceilings in the house.  We hope to gather around 10 am and work as long as we can, and then again after church on Sunday.  We will have beverages and snacks, and pizza depending on how long we work.

Please sign up on the sign-up sheet posted on the hall bulletin board. 

Many hands make light work so the more people the faster the work will get finished! 

Contact Steve Liang for more information 206-245-3124.


Worshipping Community. FLCWS is a worshipping community of people who gather with each other and build their life together around Word and Sacrament.

Word & Sacrament. Of course, for us Word and Sacrament is foundational, with the cornerstone of Christ Jesus, attested to by the Bible and preached to us in the setting of the historic liturgy which provides the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood.

κοινωνια. The use of the liturgy, however, assumes a worshipping community of people. The Greek New Testament uses the term koinonia to describe the desired close relationships of the fellowship of people who gathered together in the name of Jesus.

At the time, the term koinonia was a favorite expression for the marital relationship, one of fami-liarity, of caring and of trust. The kind of caring relationships envisioned for the followers of Jesus.

Coffee Fellowship. Yes, the coffee fellowship setting after the Service on the first Sunday of the month is envisioned as an opportunity to become more familiar with more of the people with whom we worship and for whom we pray.

So, join us for coffee (or tea) and perhaps visit with someone to whom you are not related or with whom you don’t usually visit. Getting better acquainted may engender more caring and enable more content to devotional prayers.

                                     -Tyler Schorn, Chair; Janine Douglass; Mariann Petersen; Bob Baker

                                                                                                           Committee for Parish Ministry


Calling a New Pastor, Etc.

SURPRISE! Just because one voted at a meeting of the congregation in the past does not automatically qualify one for the privilege to vote in the future!

“Why not?!”  Glad you asked...

FLCWS CONSTITUTION. The Constitution of FLCWS, passed on January 30, 1994, ratified on March 6, 1994, and amended most recently on July 29, 2012, in C8.02 stipulates criteria for BAPTIZED members and for VOTING members.

VOTING. Beside meeting the requirement as a BAPTIZED member, a VOTING member has “two additional requirements.” “First they have received the Rite of Affirmation of Baptism...” “And second they have during each of the preceding four calendar quarters communed regularly and made regular contributions of record to this congregation’s general fund as specified in bylaw 8.05.04.”

COMMUNION & OFFERING. Bylaw 8.05.04 adds: “a. Communed regularly . . . at least three times during a calendar quarter” [for each of the preceding four calendar quarters]. And “b. Regular contributions of record to the general fund . . . shall be a minimum of $50.00 during a calendar quarter [for each of the preceding four calendar quarters], unless [that] exceeds ten percent of a person’s income during that quarter.”

PARISH MINISTRY. Bylaw 8.05.01 stipulates that it is the responsibility of The Committee for Parish Ministry to conduct “regular review of the congregational memberships lists.” These lists are submitted to the Congregation Council for its action.

WORD & SACRAMENT DISCIPLESHIP. Lest this process sound like cold, legalistic action, the Constitution does provide the Parish Minisstry Committee discretionary power regarding certain “extenuating circumstances” (B8.05.03), and reminds the reader that “the intent here is to strengthen one’s discipleship and to [promote] full active membership in the congregation” (B8.05.02), which centers its life around Word and Sacrament.

                              -Tyler Schorn, Chair; Janine Douglass; Mariann Petersen; Bob Baker

                                                                                           Committee for Parish Ministry




One of the extended ministries we support as a congregation is Mary’s Place. Their mission statement states: “Mary’s Place ensures that no child sleeps outside by centering equity and opportunity for women and families.” The following Values are on their website.

Love - Love is at the heart of all we do. We are committed to creating a space where all are welcomed, respected, accepted, and loved for who they are.

Collaboration - We collaborate with others to ensure quality services, leverage and expand services across the region, and amplify the voices of women and families experiencing homelessness.

Equity - We are committed to creating an inclusive environment and assuring equitable treatment, access, and opportunity for all regardless of age, ability, race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, indigenous heritage, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or life experience.

Stewardship - We carefully steward all that is entrusted to our care: material and financial resources, human resources, and the lives and stories of our guests.

Accountability - Our board, staff, guests, & volunteers are accountable to what we say we will do.

Responsiveness - We recognize and respond to urgent needs in our community by being creative, adaptable, and persistent.

Material donations for Mary’s Place continue to be collected in Room C.

                                                                                    -Ben Dobbeck, Extended Ministries


The Annunciation

of Our Lord

Saturday, March 25th, is the Feast of the  Annunciation of Our Lord.  On this feast day the angel Gabriel's announcement to Saint Mary that she will be the Mother of Our Lord is honored.  Prepare for this feast day with the following prayer: 

Pour your grace into our hearts, O Lord, that we, who have known the incarnation of your Son, Jesus Christ, announced by an angel, may by his cross and Passion be brought to the glory of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.