January 2023




“Redivivus” is a word I first heard in seminary. It means “come back to life.” As we work through the church year, we might have thought we were done with John the Baptist after Advent. We also might have thought the same about Isaiah. As we progress through the Gospel of Matthew, we discover that we’re not done with either one of them. John the Baptizer lives up to his name in Mt. 3.13-17. Jesus has lined up to be baptized by John who is incredulous and deferential. “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” The answer is “yes.”  Even Jesus needed to be baptized to “fulfill all righteousness.” One way to read that response is to say that the incarnation is not complete until Jesus enters fully into the condition of humanity, namely, a sinner joining us in death and promising a resurrection.

     Isaiah also is “redivivus” in Mt. 4.12-23. As with the people of God in Isaiah 7 who were led by the ungodly and incompetent King Ahaz, the recruits for the “kingdom of heaven” in the New Testament have their own darkness and suffering. Jesus proclaimed, “Let anyone with ears, listen.” (Mt 11.15) Everyone—then and now—lives under the conditions of darkness and the shadow of death. The Gospel word is that such lives were illuminated (then and now) by a great light, namely Jesus himself. If there were any further doubts about the importance of his incarnation, Jesus concluded his reapplication of Isaiah by saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

     January is a good time for all of us to affirm “redivivus.” Light is coming as the year progresses, but that is natural light and not the light of Christ. Luther reminded both his fellow scholars and his parishioners that the whole life of a Christian is one of “repentance.” (95 Theses, #1.) As Jesus was bold to proclaim, when faith appears through the Holy Spirit’s guidance, good works flow forth. In brief, this is “redivivus.”

The Reverend Philip Nesvig 


                       PRESIDENT'S REPORT....by Janine Douglass


Statement of Mission First Lutheran Church of West Seattle

(Part IV of V)

“In our community we:

Serve by funding and participating in programs for the poor, powerless and voiceless, and by defending them against injustice and abuse.”

         This passage from our Statement of Mission refers to how we are to care for our neighbor.  We do this through service projects within our church, such as the December collections for Mary’s Place and Compass Housing Alliance, and through community activities, such as the Saint Nicholas Faire to support the West Seattle Food Bank.  Many thanks to Scott and Valerie Schorn, for their time and dedication to organize the Saint Nicholas Faire.  Thanks are due to Ben Dobbeck and the Extended Ministry Committee for making monthly deliveries to the West Seattle Food Bank, Mary’s Place and Compass Housing Alliance. As a congregation, we are encouraged to do these good works, supporting those who need help, as a way of thanking God for our many blessings. Thank you to everyone who contributed non-perishable food, clothing and gift cards to the donation box located in room C over the course of this past year.

         The Call Committee met with a second permanent Pastor candidate on November 28th, via Zoom, for a formal interview.  On December 5th, the candidate met with the council for another, less formal, meeting via Zoom.  As of this writing we are contacting the references for the second candidate.  A future committee meeting will decide whether to advance this candidate or not.

         The church council meeting in January will include finalizing the budget for 2023.  Thank you to those who turned in your pledge cards by the December deadline, which helps the church council to plan the income for the upcoming year.  We plan on bringing the final budget to the congregation at our Annual Meeting on January 29, 2023.  Please attend this in-person meeting immediately following the 10:30am liturgy.

         Blessings to you and yours during the twelve days of Christmas, December 25th to January 5th, as we celebrate the promise of salvation revealed in Christ’s birth.




Serving the Lord


A tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain or fruit, is the Lord’s, and is holy.

Leviticus 27:30

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.                                           Matthew 5:17

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.                         Matthew 23:23

     We are not only to be care takers; we are to be like the disciples who distributed the loaves and fishes. We are to pass on and out what we have been given. Each of us knows our gifts. We have been called to serve the Lord. We know there are many ways of being a good steward in our church; by giving of our time in so many ways; using our talents to help in our ministry; and to give our gifts to help others in need; to spread the word of Jesus in our worship and to the unchurched; and, to use our money wisely for the necessities of our staff and maintaining our beautiful place of worship dedicated to the Glory of God.  If a church chooses to support a charitable organization, they are just doing what the Bible recommends. 

He has filled the hungry with good things; and the rich has sent empty away.

                                                                                                                             Luke 1:53

It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor, but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.

Proverbs 14:21

     Last month we supported the West Seattle Food Bank once again with the Saint Nicholas Faire online auction. We are thankful to have the support given to the efforts of the people in the congregation who put their time and talents into this successful program.  Since 1981 the West Seattle Food Bank has been in operation. On June 1, 2007 both the West Seattle Helpline and West Seattle Food Bank moved into new offices custom built for their operations on the corner of 35th and Morgan Street. On March 1, 2020 they merged into the stronger organization of the West Seattle Food Bank.

Cristian Clemente, Church Council



FOOD BANK COLLECTION suggested donation for January is pasta, noodles and sauces, but any non-perishable foods or grocery store gift cards are acceptable.  These much needed donated items of food are delivered weekly to the West Seattle Food Bank. 

ANNUAL REPORT for 2022:  Staff, officer and committee reports are due.  If you have not already sent your report in to the office please do so as soon as possible.  The Annual Meeting is Sunday, January 29th, at 12:00 pm. 

2023 FLOWER CHART is up and available for your sign up, on the board in the Parish House hallway. If you have favorite dates that you like to give Altar Flowers, now’s the time to sign up.

OFFERING ENVELOPES for 2023 can be found on the office window counter.  Please pick yours up when at church on Sunday mornings.

OUR THANKS for the Christmas donations this year.  We were able to deliver, one $20 Starbucks card to Compass Housing Alliance, and $150 to the West Seattle Food Bank. 



2023 Saint Nicholas Faire

& Auction Report


Total donation of $11,500 to the

West Seattle Food Bank!

Thanks again to all who worked

hard to help this happen.


And a special thank you

to Scott and Valerie Schorn!


The Epiphany

of Our Lord

Friday, January 6, 2023

     Only Matthew's Gospel includes this event.  Remember the coming of the magi to worship and bring gifts to the Christ child, recorded in Matthew 2:1-12.   

The Baptism of Our Lord

 First Sunday After the Epiphany

The Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord

will be celebrated on


Sunday, January 8, 2023.


Join us this day for Holy Eucharist

at 10:30 am.

Recognition of Altar Guild

Investiture of Caroline & Konstantin Ritter


     In Matthew 3:15 Jesus tells John to baptize him in order "to fulfill all righteousness."  Luther teaches: 

Baptism was instituted by God primarily for Christ's sake and then afterwards also for the sake of all men.  For first he must sanctify baptism through his own body and thereby take away the sin, in order that afterwards those who believe him may have the forgiveness of sins (Luther's Works 51:318).




Remember in prayer before God those whom He has made your

brothers and sisters through baptism.

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

     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, Crystal Tudor, Nora Vanhala, Lou Landino.

     Pray for our bishops Elizabeth Eaton & Shelley Bryan Wee, our presiding minister  Horacio Castillo, 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 New Year.  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 that God will bless you through the lives of the saints: Saint Peter, Saint Paul, and Martin Luther King, Jr., martyr, 1968.


A Treasury of Prayers


All-powerful and unseen God, the coming of your light into our world has made the darkness vanish.  Teach us to proclaim the birth of your Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.


[For All the Saints, III: 154, altered]