December 2021


This art print which appears on this month’s edition of The Messenger depicts Saint Nicholas floating in the air above his namesake church in Juneau, Alaska.  The artist is Rie Munoz (1921-2015) who was born in Los Angeles of Dutch heritage.  Her artistic style might be called playful and colorful.  This Saint Nicholas print (c. 1984) hangs in the church office alongside a very similar print named “Easter Services” (c. 1991) by Rie Munoz.  (Coincidentally, both of these prints hang in our home’s dining room.)  To the casual observer, the prints appear to be the same.  Except “Easter Services” has Jesus Christ suspended above the church.  Jesus and Saint Nicholas appear as mirror images of themselves.

     What might be said about these two prints?  Taking into account the many legends and expansions upon the story of the 4th century Nicholas, who lived in modern day Turkey, we learn that he was noted for his generosity.  This has morphed into the practice of children making their Christmas present requests from Santa Claus.  A negative aspect of this is the jingle, “You better watch out, you better not pout, Santa Claus is coming to town…he knows when you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness sake.” 

     Although parents of young children might find this song useful to help control the pre-Christmas fervor of their young ones, the message is completely offensive to Christians.   After all, the generosity we know in Christ is “grace in spite of being either bad or good.”   Our Saint Nicholas Faire & Auction has concluded, and we rejoice over the amount to be distributed to our neighbors, be they “bad or good,” in West Seattle. 

     As we continue to grieve the death of our pastor, Ron     Marshall, public eulogies have  been offered for his generosity which was experienced formally and informally in our church and community.  He would not abide with public recognition for what he did.  Ron would not have claimed to be either Saint Nicholas or Jesus Christ!  His saint-hood would always be modified by his sin-hood.  His generosity was motivated by John 3.30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

     Advent is here, and Christmas is soon to follow.  Keep in mind that this season is indeed about generosity “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone  who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (John 3.16)  Now that’s generosity!


The Reverend Philip Nesvig



PRESIDENT'S Janine Douglass


Dear Friends of First Lutheran Church of West Seattle,


As most of you know, Pastor Marshall died in Christ on Tuesday, November 9th, 2021, surrounded by family. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Jane, Susanna, Ruth, Christopher, Felix and Anders. It is such a profound loss for so many; his family, his church congregation and the greater community. As Christian believers we can rest assured that he is standing in the presence of our Savior, having gone on to inherit the promised redemption.  At the same time we must figure a way to pick up the pieces when faced with such a loss. Please join me in praying for the needs of those closest to him and for the needs of our church. His obituary can be found on the website at Forest Lawn:

     I’d like to extend a warm welcome to The Reverend Philip Nesvig, who has agreed to offer Pulpit Supply (basically act as a substitute pastor for worship services as needed) to First Lutheran Church of West Seattle through the end of 2021. We are blessed to have him step in on such short notice to lead our worship services and are thankful for his willingness to serve. Plans are underway to begin the process of finding an interim pastor and, eventually, to extend a call for a permanent pastor.

     Cary Natiello has served as council President beyond his initial term to navigate our church back to in-person worship, following closure due to the Covid-19 epidemic. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked alongside him this past year, and wish him and his wife, Nelly, safe journeys on their move to Mexico.

     During this season of Advent, may we keep in our hearts the spirit of hope, love, joy and peace as we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Lamb of God.






Christmas Eve, December 24 –

No Service

Christmas Day, December 25 – 

10:30 am Festival Liturgy


We rejoice that we are able to gather to celebrate Christmas together again this year.  Mindful of the ongoing concerns relating to the pandemic as well as its impact on participation in worship, we determined in October, together with Pastor Marshall, that we should celebrate The Nativity of Our Lord this year with a single worship service on Christmas Day, December 25, at 10:30 am.  There will be no Christmas Eve service of lessons and carols this year, but we look forward to the return of this beloved Christmas tradition in our parish in 2022. 

     The Christmas Day festival liturgy will include traditional carols, anthems sung by the Deo Gloria Cantores, sermon by The Reverend Philip Nesvig, and Holy Eucharist.  Please join us on Christmas Day at 10:30 am for this joyous celebration of the birth of our Lord.



The Memorial Fund


Dear church family,


After many years of stability, we have come to a crossroad.  We have lost the called shepherd of our flock and we will have some challenges in the coming months.  These we must face as Christians over the centuries have had to face; with prayer, patience, thoughtfulness and grace. 

     One thing that needs to be dealt with is the fact that Pastor Marshall had an extensive personal library that needs to be cleared out of the church office.

     Pastor Marshall’s family asked that the Memorial Fund donations to him be written up as follows in the funeral bulletin and in periodical notifications:

     Memorials in Ron’s honor may be sent to either the Endowment Fund at First Lutheran Church of West Seattle or a Memorial Fund in his honor created for the purpose of funding the dispersal of his extensive and diverse library of philosophy of religion texts to low-income seminary students and scholars in India, Africa, and China as a missionary project. Gifts should be sent to First Lutheran of West Seattle, 4105 California Ave SW, Seattle WA 98116.

     The donations have been coming in but there has been some confusion as to whether or not people are aware of the need to disperse Pastor Marshall’s extensive libraries as indicated above.  Also, the family has noted that any monies remaining after the books are properly dispersed will be moved to the Endowment Fund.  Please keep these considerations in mind if thinking about giving a gift to the Memorial account for Pastor Marshall, and be sure to designate; Book Mailing or Endowment Fund. 

     A Memorial Service is being planned for early spring.




Our Gratitude to God


You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

(2 Corinthians 9:11)


It feels like all of us have had to be in a survival mode for a long time. This pandemic continues to bring changes and challenges on a nearly daily basis with; health, politics, work, raising kids, caring for aging loved ones.  We scrape by, manage, and struggle to keep up. Who has time or the resources to be generous?


Generosity is not a luxury or an add-on to the Christian life. It is a central command. God’s word instructs us all to be generous towards others. You don't have to be rich to be generous. Remember the “the widow’s mite”.


Generosity stems from faith in God who provides us abundantly with everything we need.  God who created the heavens and the earth, provided manna in the wilderness, gives us our daily bread.  The promise in 2 Corinthians 9 is simply this: God is more generous than you are.  You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion.  Generosity is not an afterthought in Christian living; it is the outcome of the manifestation of the spirit led life.


Say a prayer of gratitude to God for all that you have and prayerfully consider how God is calling you to do his work here on earth.

                                                                              ─Mariann Petersen, Church Council


Giving Envelopes for 2022

Our envelope program is being updated for 2022 in order to reduce waste and to better fit our members’ individual giving patterns. 

·     For those members that give weekly or several times a month, the usual box of envelopes fits your needs well. 

·     The members that give monthly will receive a package of 20 envelopes to use throughout the year.  More are available if you want or need more. Just let me know.

·     For the members that give electronically and have requested to not receive a box of envelopes, I will include a few envelopes with your December statement for any special gifts you might wish to make during 2022.


The 2022 envelopes will be ready to be picked up on Sunday, December 19th.  If you are not attending in-person services, I can mail your new envelopes to you or include them with the weekly communion delivery/pick-up.  If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at

Teri Korsmo
Financial Secretary



COMPASS HOUSING ALLIANCE:  Until the middle of December, we will be collecting Christmas gift items for the Compass Center for both men and women.  Some suggested items needed are: Amazon, Target, Fred Meyer and Walmart gift cards in $25 increments; men’s slippers size 9 & above, women’s PJ sets size L-3X, 39 hot/cold thermoses, at least 12 oz., 25 sets of dishware.  Donations can be left at the office.

HOME COMMUNION:  Holy Communion is available for home use for those who are not able to come to church.  If interested, please call 206-935-6530 or email the office at

FOOD BANK COLLECTION suggested donation for December is holiday foods.  We are collecting food for the West Seattle Food Bank.  Your items can be left in the food box located in the lounge.

2021 FLOWER CHART:  A few more people signing up for Christmas flowers would be helpful.  The new chart for 2022 will be up the last week in December.  Check it out early for the best choice of dates. 

JOHNSON CN:  Our thanks to Ben Johnson and Johnson CN for the financial and technical support donated to the church office this year.  It is very much appreciated. 


Our Thanks!!!

To Scott and Valerie Schorn

 and team for all the work they did

to organize and put on the

Saint Nicholas Faire. 

We much appreciate this yearly event raising \

much needed funds to support our local

West Seattle Food Bank and Helpline.


Foss Home and Village……

“transforming lives with dignity and grace.”


This is the mission for Foss, an elder care organization that was built on the compassionate spirit of its founder, Dr. L. C. Foss.  He saw the need for a place where people could grow into their older years with security, care, and activities available to them.  In 1929, Sunset House was founded in the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle.  It was because of the support of the Lutheran Welfare Society during the Great Depression that Sunset House became a reality.  An important piece of our church history is that First Lutheran Church was one of the founding members of the work of the Lutheran Welfare Society.  Since that early start in a residential house on Ashworth Avenue NW, Foss has evolved to provide memory care, long term nursing care, assisted living, and post acute/rehabilitation care. 

     When Foss began as Sunset House it had 17 guests.  Today it can accommodate almost 250 residents in the various areas.  Because of its roots in Dr. Foss, it has always had a relationship with the Lutheran Church, plus it also has a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit classification.  Being not-for-profit makes a difference in the type of care that is offered.  Their mission is directed toward the needs of the residents, or you could say the “greater good of their community.”  Plus all funds are reinvested in the residents, their care, and the programs that are offered.  As I am sure you can imagine, a small organization like Foss in the midst of the many large and powerful for profit assisted living/continuing care businesses, is the “little guy” left at a disadvantage in this heavily marketed field. 

     Foss has always valued its residents as people deserving of quality care, individual treatment, interesting activities, and a home like environment that is warm and approachable.  With assistance from individuals, churches, and businesses in the community, it will continue to be able to do just that.  Every dollar that is donated goes to projects that directly benefit the residents.  Some examples on projects that directly benefited all the residents were touch screen TVs, low beds to help residents avoid falls, recliner chairs for comfort, and a refurbished van for safe outings.  Larger ongoing “extras” are the pet therapy program, the gift shop, the beauty salon, an on-site dental clinic, and a pharmacy, music memory, eldergrow which provides in house growing of flowers and vegetables, and regular art sessions where residents create amazing art.  There are many more special things about Foss.  Perhaps the most important feature is how much the employees care about the residents.  For more detailed information check out their website at  Great pictures and inspiring stories and videos to share.

     From the humble beginnings in 1929, to the present with all its complications and difficulties, Foss has always been a place where caring and supporting are the most important part of their mission.  It is worth being part of their important work of “transforming lives with dignity and grace.”  We are glad to feature Foss as one of the extended ministries that First Lutheran Church of West Seattle supports.

-Larraine King



Kim Lim, Melanie Johnson, Holly Petersen, Leah and Melissa Baker, Felicia Wells, Marlis Ormiston, Connor Bisticas, Eileen & Dave Nestoss, Kyra Stromberg, Tabitha Anderson, The Rev. Randy Olson, The Rev. Albin Fogelquist, The Rev. Howard Fosser, The Rev. Alan Gardner, The Rev. Allen Bidne, Leslie Hicks, Kari Meier, Yuriko Nishimura, Susan Curry, Anthony Brisbane, Alan Morgan family, Lucy Shearer, Ramona King, Karen Berg, Donna & Grover Mullen and family, Kurt Weigel, Carol Estes, Paul Jensen, Tak On Wong & Chee Li Ma, Hank Schmitt, Mary Ford, Andrea and Hayden Cantu, Dana Gallaher, Jeanne Pantone, Kevan & Jackie Johnson, Eric Peterson, Gary Grape, Larry & Diane Johnson, Wendy & Michael Luttinen, the Olegario Family, Nita Goedert, Mariss Ulmanis, Shirley & Glenn Graham, Karen Granger, Mike Nacewicz, Mike Matsunaga, Bill & Margaret Whithumn, The Robert Shull family, Mary Cardona, Mark Nesheim, Angel Lynne, and Grace-Calvary Episcopal Church (Clarkesville, GA).

     Pray for our professional Health Care Providers:  Gina Allen, Janine Douglass, David Juhl,     Dana Kahn, Dean Riskedahl, Jane Collins and all those suffering from the coronavirus pandemic.

     Pray for our country, for unbelievers, the addicted, the sexually abused and harassed, the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed.

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

     Pray for those who suffered the death of a loved one this Autumn:  Pray that God will bear their grief and lift their hearts:  Pray for Jane Harty and family on the death of her husband, The Reverend Ronald F. Marshall on November 9th; pray for the congregation on the loss of their devoted pastor.  A Memorial service is being planned for early Spring here at First Lutheran Church of West Seattle. 

     Pray for the new born that they grow in the strength of the Lord:  Vera Marshall Freeze, daughter of Ruth Harty Marshall and Christopher Freeze, born November 22nd.

     Pray for our bishops Elizabeth Eaton and Shelley Bryan Wee, our presiding minister Philip Nesvig, 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 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 this Advent & Christmas.  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 sister congregation:  El Camino de Emmaus in the Skagit Valley that God may bless and strengthen their ministry.  Also, pray for our parish and its ministry.

A Treasury of Prayers


Grant unto us, Almighty God, that we amid the storms and trouble of this our life, may rest in Thee, knowing that all things are in Thee, under Thy care, governed by Thy will, guarded by Thy love; so that with a quiet heart we may see the storms of life, the cloud and the thick darkness; ever rejoicing to know that the darkness and the light are both alike to Thee.  In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

[For All the Saints I:1124-25, altered]