December 2022



The print dictionary (remember those?) in our house gives the following definitions:


     ad-vent. n. The coming or arrival, especially of something awaited or momentous. 

     ad-ven-ture. n.  An undertaking of a hazardous nature; a risky enterprise.


     These definitions make no mention of Jesus Christ or the period of time the Church Year calls “Advent.” Nevertheless, I find myself attracted to these generic definitions.  There is no mention of repentance, waiting, spiritual awakening or the threefold coming of  Christ (birth, faith, return).  There is, however, mention of danger and risk!  Don’t assume a soothing  season with smooth hymns and soft lighting. 

     Advent traditionally is four Sundays long beginning at the Sunday closest to St. Andrew’s Day (Nov. 30th).  A recent phenomenon as I listen and look around numerous Lutheran churches is the expansion (not without some historical merit from the first few centuries of the church) of Advent into mid-November.  It seems many churches want something more “to do” this time of year.  I like the secular mention of a risky adventure.  There’s enough “to do” every day of our lives as Christians.  We are indeed living adventuresome lives. 

     Simeon spoke wisely in Luke 1.34.  “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”  Advent sounds rather ominous if it means Christ is putting us under his magnifying glass. (Think of this reverse flow of meaning the next time you read or hear Mary’s Magnificat.) 

     Being called to faith is indeed a lifelong adventure.  It is momentous and dangerous.  Dare I say “enjoy the ride?!”


The Reverend Philip Nesvig,

(Advent pulpit supply pastor) 


PRESIDENT'S Janine Douglass


Statement of Mission First Lutheran Church of West Seattle

(Part III of V)

“In our congregation we: Honor the authority of the Holy Office of parish pastor… Honor the rigorous study of the details and complexities of the Holy Scripture… Honor entering into discussions over the great societal issues of our day… Honor the beauty and majesty of our church building as God’s holy house… Believe that church membership is not easy... Believe that the best way to raise our young in the church is through sustained home instruction… Acknowledge our membership in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.”

     This passage from our Statement of Mission refers to our congregational life, reflecting on our commitment to honoring the work of the pastor, the rigorous studies of scripture and tending to God’s holy house, so that we may be ever ready to witness anywhere to God’s truth, justice and righteousness.

     The Call Committee met on November 14th, with special guest in attendance, Pr. Andy Yee, assistant to the Bishop of the ELCA-NW. He reviewed the profiles of two candidates for our permanent pastor position, one of whom we have already met. We are in communications with the second candidate and plan to meet via Zoom, as the candidate is currently living out of state.

     The council meeting in December will include work towards establishing our budget for 2023. Thank you to those who have turned in your pledge cards, as this helps to project our income for the upcoming year. If you haven’t already done so, there is time to turn in your pledge card before December 10th. You can also pledge online at: As the year comes to a close, it is especially important to check that you are current on your pledged giving and, when possible, exceed your pledge.

     We are pleased to announce the hiring of our new parish office manager, Casey Blake. Casey has extensive work history in bookkeeping and administration, and her first job in high school was as an evening receptionist at Holy Rosary's rectory. Please give a warm welcome to Casey if you happen to meet her at the office between the hours of 9am to 1pm Tuesdays-Fridays.

     Blessings to you and yours during this season of Advent, a time of hope and anticipation felt in awaiting the coming of the Messiah.



Our Willingness to Give


As we take another look at stewardship during this time of pledge gathering and church budget planning, let’s start with the simple: Giving is good and we should strive to do it. Sharing what we have with others is good and we should do that, too. The giving of our time for the church and those in need is also good and we should do that as well.

     Seeking God’s will for ways to be good stewards of what God has given us is always a good starting point. Praying for guidance and inspiration is always necessary. So, a beginning point in looking for ways to best be good stewards is to listen in prayer and be open to God’s guidance. As the church seeks a new pastor, taking a more deliberate approach to giving may be in order. If, for example, you had a desire to increase your financial giving, or start regular giving at all, there’s no better time than now!

     So, we are called to provide for the church through the generous giving of our selves, our time, our wealth and our possessions. And, of course, when compared to what Christ did for us on the cross, we can never be satisfied with what we have done. Who could? We should be forever grateful, forever thankful, and forever indebted to Christ. Amazing love! He took the wrath of God, which was supposed to land squarely on us, and took it on himself so we could become the righteousness of God in him. And he did this willingly.

     So should our giving be. Will our giving be a sacrifice? Maybe, if that’s how God is speaking to you. Will the stewardship of my time and my possessions inconvenience me? It might. But whether sacrifice or inconvenience, neither or both, the willingness to be used in this way is the important part.

                                                                              ─Ben Dobbeck, Church Council



1.     Stewardship is an educational process by which we learn to know what God has to say about our handling of money.

2.     Stewardship is a responsible act on the part of adult Christian people.  See II Corinthians 8:1-5.

3.     We express our giving as a percent of our income and as a dollar amount to aid in church budget planning.

4.     The tithe (10%) is God’s standard.  This is the measure of our commitment as Christians to His cause.  See Exodus 12:3, Leviticus 23, 25, & 27, Genesis 14:20, & 28, Deuteronomy 14:22, 25:12-14, 16:10, Malachi 3:7 & Matthew 23:23.

5.     Knowing that it is difficult to suddenly tithe, give at a percent that represents sacrifice and each year raise the percentage until you are at 10%.  See Mark 12:30.

6.     Our giving should come from our “first fruits.”  Putting His share first eliminates the temptation to use God’s portion for ourselves, forces us to be wiser in handling of our money, & requires us to trust God to care for us as He has promised to do.  See Exodus 23:14-17, II Chronicles 31:5.

7.     We give because we need to give to keep us from trusting in money, becoming materialistic, to help us be generous, to be grateful.  Sacrificial giving is an act of love.

8.     As more members tithe regularly, both amount and time of giving, the church council will be able to eliminate special fund drives and additional offerings.  See I Corinthians 16:2.


Recently, pledge cards were mailed to everyone who had previously pledged or given regularly to the church.  We will begin the budgeting process after Thanksgiving, and knowing how much money will be donated tells us how much money we will have to budget for.  So……..It is very important that we all return our pledge cards, continue to meet what we pledged to give, in 2022 & give the newly pledged amount in year 2023.

     We are in a new and difficult position not having a regularly called pastor.  And even though our expenses are reduced because of this, if our financial documents do not reflect what we intend to give to support a new pastor, it gives the distinct impression that we as a church cannot afford to financially support a new pastor.  The bottom line is we need to pledge and give as if we already have a called pastor whom we are paying regularly, so that we demonstrate to the Synod and any potential candidate that we are able to fund their call.

     So as you prayerfully consider your pledge to FLCWS for 2023 take into account these considerations.  First there are the principles of stewardship – why we give – and then there is the need to show our willingness and worthiness to be able to financially support a new pastor as well as meet our ongoing expenses.

‒The Church Council



Call Committee Report

Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Call Committee has been meeting almost weekly now. Out initial candidate met with the Church Council on November 1st. It was a great meeting with warm responses from both sides. Unfortunately, our initial candidate has chosen to pause his process with our congregation. He has a great new opportunity closer to his family that he wishes to explore.

     Later we met with the Bishop’s assistant the Rev. Andy Yee to discuss our call process. He provided us with an additional candidate that the Call Committee has decided to pursue. An initial interview has been set up for after Thanksgiving.

     This is going to be a long and toilsome journey, but we should be lifted by the words of Luke 18:1 “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”

Yours in Christ,

Matthew Kahn


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 appreciate this yearly event raising much needed funds to support our local West Seattle Food Bank.


Book Report

 As of 11/7/2022 Pastor Marshall’s remaining books from his personal library have been shipped.  The book donation was sent to Mekane Yesus Seminary in Addis Ababa and it contained 4,511 books.  The three pallets went to a Theological Book Network in Indiana where it was to be added to a container of supplies for the seminary.  Jane Harty estimated that Ron had collected over 12,000 books total.

     We would like to thank the people who donated to this project through Ron’s memorial fund or otherwise.  We would like to thank those who helped move the books out of the church pastor’s office, list and categorize the books, and look into who could use the books and would have a need for them.  Also our thanks to those who packed, labeled and finally moved the boxes to the pallets for shipping, properly wrapping the pallets for final pickup. 

     Helpers were Bob, Connie and Leah Baker, Sonja, Jose and Cristian Clemente, Jane Harty, Teri and Dale Korsmo, Steve McCord, Lee Thoren and Nick. 



Introducing the newest member of our church staff…..On November 16, 2022 Casey Blake joined our staff as our new Office Manager.  Casey has a diverse background including as an Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper for a number of construction firms, a membership/customer service coordinator for the Central Co-Op (Madison Market), and Administrative Assistant in the Dean’s office for the Matteo Ricci College of Seattle University.  Her first job out of high school was as an evening receptionist at Holy Rosary’s Parish Center.  She has also done volunteer work in community based organizations and tutoring programs.  She has a BA (Cum Laude) from Seattle University, and has done coursework in Technical Writing and Communications from UofW.  She is versed in MS Office Suite: Word, Excel, Outlook, Access, Publisher, PowerPoint, SharePoint; and QuickBooks.  She will be working Tuesday through Friday from 9:00am to 1:00pm.  Stop by, introduce yourself, and welcome her to our church office.

COMPASS HOUSING ALLIANCE:  Until Sunday, December 11th, we will be collecting Christmas gift items for the Compass Center for men & women.  Some suggested items to collect are: fast food, coffee shop, Target, and grocery store gift cards in $5 to $25 increments; new underwear and winter wear in neutral colors and new toiletries in small sizes. Also, cash donations are welcome.  Please leave your donations at the office.

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 room C.

2023 FLOWER CHART:  The new chart for 2023 will be up the last week in December.  Check it out early for the best choice of dates. 

OFFERING ENVELOPES:  The 2023 envelopes will be ready to be picked up on Sunday, December 18th.   If you have any questions or comments, please contact our Recording Secretary, Teri Korsmo at

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. 






Christmas Eve, December 24 –

No Service

Christmas Day,

Sunday, December 25th – 


10:30 am Festival Liturgy


     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.



Scott Schorn, Nancy Lawson, Mariann Petersen, Janice Lundbeck, Robert Schorn, Kim Lim, Melanie Johnson, Holly Petersen, Leah and Melissa Baker, Felicia Wells, Eileen and Dave Nestoss, Kyra Stromberg, Peter Morrison, The Rev. Douglas & Paula Lindsay, The Rev. Howard Fosser, The Rev. Kari Reiten, Yuriko Nishimura, Karen Granger, Angel Lynne, Nick Karlson, Paul Sponheim, the Ceaicovschi Family in Moldova, Richard Patishnock, David Ruberg, Judy Berkenpas, Nicole Coile, J J Chang.

     Pray for our newly confirmed members that God may inspire their discipleship:  Pray for Brandon Greenwood and Konstantin Ritter who were confirmed on Sunday, November 13th.

     Pray for our professional health care providers:  Gina Allen, Janine Douglass, David Juhl, Dana Kahn, Dean Riskedahl and all those suffering from the coronavirus pandemic.

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

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

     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


Lord our God, help us to prepare for the coming of Christ your Son.  May he find us waiting, eager in joyful prayer.  We ask 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 III:8]