March 2022


The New Covenant


As we enter the season of Lent, we gradually approach the horror of Holy Week and the crucifixion of Jesus. Numerous scholars have aptly called the four Gospels "Passion narratives with extended introductions." This is to say that everything we read is but a prelude to the main theme of each Gospel and the entire New Testament—the cross of Christ. Paul put it precisely in 1 Timothy 1.15. "This saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost."

     There are a multitude of captivating episodes involving Jesus in all four Gospels. He is hailed as a miracle-worker, a wise teller of sometimes puzzling parables, an interpreter of "the law and the prophets," a man of great compassion, and an enigmatic King of the Jews, even though his own reject his reign. Regardless of what-ever else is written or proclaimed in the four Gospels about Jesus, the story reaches its climax at his death on Good Friday.

     The first three Gospels each drop three clues predicting the death of Jesus. These clues interrupt the storyline, and really only make sense post-Easter. (See the road to Emmaus story in Luke 24.13-35)  As we follow Luke’s Gospel these Sundays in Lent, we will hear the third of these clues on March 13th. "Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem." (Lk 13.32-33)

     If there is any "good news" to be proclaimed during Lent, it is that Jesus did finish his work at the cross. We remember this "finished work" during every celebration of Holy Communion. "This cup is the new covenant in my blood." The older language said "new testament in my blood," making clear that the heirs of Christ's "last will and testament" are all those who believe this story and receive its grace in the bread and wine. In so doing, they have tasted their inheritance—the forgiveness of sins through the death of Jesus.

 The Reverend Philip Nesvig

President’s Report…by Janine Douglass


Ash Wednesday is on March 2nd this year and marks a day of repentance, when we confess our sins and profess our devotion to God. This day is the start of the Lenten period leading up to Easter, when we celebrate Christ’s resurrection. During the season of Lent, let us remain steadfast in prayer through daily devotions and reading the Bible. A wonderful place to find meaningful prayers is in our Lutheran Book of Worship under the section titled, “Petitions, Intercessions, and Thanksgivings.”  This is also the time of year you can expect the Brief Order for Confession and Forgiveness at the start of each Sunday worship service.

      The work of the Council continues to focus on the next steps for First Lutheran Church as we prepare for the Call Process of a new Pastor. We have added Pastor Doug Lindsay into the rotation for pulpit supply and expect to see more of him in the coming weeks. Pastor Horacio Castillo will also be part of our pulpit supply on a few Sundays in March and April. More information appears elsewhere in this issue on the backgrounds and interests of those providing pulpit supply through April.

      The Church Council, acting as the Transition Team, has started the process of completing the Ministry Site Profile (MSP) requested by the ELCA as part of the call process. The intent of the MSP is to provide information on the makeup of the congregation and to establish the needs of the congregation. The Executive Committee has had two interviews of potential candidates for the Interim Pastor.  We are hopeful that we will have an Interim Pastor in place some time after Easter.

      The Nominating Committee for 2022 consists of Dean Hard, Lynn Hopson, Valerie Schorn, Ben Dobbeck and Carol Nelson. They will meet to determine a list of names from voting church members who may be elected to the Call Committee. Once the slate of candidates for the Call Committee is formalized, we will convene for a special congregational meeting some time in late March or early April for a ballot vote. The Call Committee will consist of four congregation members, two council members and myself, the Council President, for a total of seven members. This is in keeping with our Constitution.

      As work gets accomplished at various rates, the council would like to make sure information gets out to congregation members in a timely manner. Information updates will come in many forms: Messenger articles, bulletin inserts, mailers sent to your home, and documents posted on the church bulletin board outside of the lobby. Additionally, there will be announcements made during the church services and posts will be made on the website ( We will do our best to communicate our progress quickly and concisely.

     Thank you for your continued prayers for our church leadership during this season of Lent.




Faithful Giving



Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Matthew 4:1-3. NIV


This section of the Bible occurs following Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist. He goes out into the wilderness where he is tempted three times. First, the devil challenges Jesus to change the stones to bread. Next, he challenges Jesus to throw himself off of a cliff to test if God will save Jesus. And finally, the devil promises that all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor will be given to Jesus if he worships the devil. But Jesus stays resolute, rebuking Satan three times.

     During this season of Lent – the forty days signifying Jesus's Temptation in the wilderness – we are to pray, confess our sins and fast. We fast as Jesus did in the wilderness. For Christians that can mean giving up a special food or a treat, or purchasing “extras”. When we save money from giving up the item, we are encouraged to give the money to a charity. When we save time from giving up an activity, we are encouraged to donate your time through volunteerism, helping out a person or a group in need. We are encouraged to carve out a bit of extra time during our daily schedule to read the Bible, pray and be still, listening for God’s faithful response.

     Stewardship means bringing the full tithe to the church, the first fruits of all your labors. During this season of Lent, with supplication and prayer, continue fulfilling your pledge to the church. When you go to the grocery store, consider picking up extra items to donate to the West Seattle Food Bank donation box, located in room C. You can add non-food items to the donation box, labeled for “Mary’s Place” or “Compass Center” or donations of gift cards or new/gently used clothing.

     Faithful stewardship can be a response to the many gifts we receive as followers of Christ, gratefully acknowledging the promise of the gift of eternal salvation that we receive through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

     Thank you for your faithful stewardship to the church.


Janine Douglass, Church Council





So begins the 4th verse of the anthem, “As the Dark Awaits the Dawn” that the choir sang the 1st Sunday in Advent last year.  The text is by Susan Palo Cherwien, set to music by Carl Schalk. [I’m sad to add that both of these very gifted individuals died in Christ in 2021.  Their many contributions to worship will be greatly missed.]  As we enter the call process, the words seemed fitting.


Shine Your future on this place,

Enlighten every guest,

That through us stream Your holiness,

Bright and blest, bright and blest,

Come dawn, O Sun of grace.


This is a time of changes and that can mean big decisions as we look toward the future of our church.  As we focus on and remember that as a church we are the body of Christ, our prayers will provide us with direction and guidance as we move forward. 


From a procedural standpoint, the Church Council is acting as the Transition Committee.  We have begun to complete the Ministry Site Profile (MSP) which will be submitted to the Synod.  We have also, with the help of Phil Nesvig, secured pastors to serve as our presiding minister at our 10:30 am Sunday Eucharist liturgy through the end of April.  Specific information about each of the three people serving is posted on the bulletin board and appears in another part of this month’s Messenger.  By the first of May, we hope to have an interim pastor in place as well.


The Nominating Committee will be meeting soon to prepare a slate of members eligible to serve on the  Call Committee.  Being on the Call Committee is extremely important work.  Calling a new pastor is a many faceted process, that requires understanding the needs of the congregation, the direction and goals that the church would like to move toward, the “technical process” of actually calling a pastor, ie housing, salary, various additional benefits, Synod required paperwork, not to mention identifying potential candidates.  And most important, remembering that a “Call” is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit, and that we are but the instruments to accomplish God’s purposes.


We will do everything we can to keep you informed on this important work for the church.  Let us all together remember First Lutheran Church of West Seattle, its 100+year history of faithful members, and pray that the light of Christ will illumine and direct this process.


                                  -Larraine King for the Executive Committee





Sunday                                       February 20                            Doug Lindsay

Sunday                                       February 27                            Phil Nesvig

Ash Wednesday                         March 2                                  Phil Nesvig

Sunday                                       March 6                                  Doug Lindsay

Sunday                                       March 13                                Phil Nesvig

Sunday                                       March 20                                Horacio Castillo

Sunday                                       March 27                                Phil Nesvig

Sunday                                       April 3                                    Doug Lindsay

Palm Sunday                              April 10                                  Horacio Castillo

Maundy Thursday                     April 14                                   Horacio Castillo

Good Friday                             April 15                                   Horacio Castillo

Easter Sunday                           April 17                                   Phil Nesvig

Sunday                                      April 24                                   Doug Lindsay

The Reverend Horacio Castillo

3/20, 4/10, 4/14, & 4/15


The Reverend Horacio Castillo Echeverria comes from Guatemala, where he grew up on a coffee farm.  After moving to Guatemala City, his father joined the Catholic Church, then attended an Evangelical seminary, and eventually became a (MS) Lutheran Pastor.  When Horacio was 10 years old, his father founded an independent church, and at age 16 Horacio was ordained by his father to help him in his work as a pastor.

     Attending Luther Seminary on scholarship, Horacio earned a M.A. in Theology.  After serving a church in the St. Paul, MN area, he returned to Guatemala City.  During this time Amanda Olson, a classmate from seminary, did ELCA mission work in Guatemala, where they were reunited, and eventually married.  Returning to St. Paul 10 years later, they served two churches in the St. Paul Synod of the ELCA. Horacio is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Ministry through Luther House of Study in Sioux Falls, IA.

     In 2019, Amanda received a call to Creator Lutheran Church in Bonney Lake, WA.  Along with their two children (a son age 10 and a daughter age 13), they moved to Buckley, WA.  Horacio has been doing supply preaching at Waterville United Lutheran Church (LCMC) as well as serving as a bilingual case manager for Plateau Outreach Ministries in Enumclaw, WA.  A strong proponent of Law and Gospel, he also incorporates everyday life experiences into his sermons in ways that support the Lutheran teaching.


2/20, 3/6, 4/3, & 4/24


The Reverend Douglas Lindsay first began attending FLCWS in the 1970’s while he was a bus driver for Metro.  He had been raised a Lutheran and was looking for a church to attend.  He was a bit of a hippy so he thought he’d see how this congregation would receive him before he got too serious about us.  Fortunately we did a pretty good job!  He became a member, taught some Bible Study classes and served on the council.  He was on the council at the time FLCWS called Pr. Marshall and was in favor of calling him as an Associate Pastor.  They became good friends and supporters of each other.

     With encouragement from the pastors and members he went to seminary in the 1980’s, and after serving as interim campus minister at the UofW, he was called to Luther Memorial Church in Tacoma, where he served for five years.  Following this Doug served 23 years at Denny Park Lutheran, where he was actively involved in many outreach activities.  He now serves at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church as a teaching pastor and pulpit supply pastor.

     He is married to Paula, who was baptized at FLCWS; they have two adult daughters and one grandchild, and are close friends of the Harty/Marshall family.  Doug and Paula live in West Seattle. 


The Reverend PHIL NESVIG

2/27, 3/2, 3/13, 3/27, 4/17


Many already know Pr. Phil as a member of our church, and a singer in our choir, but he has had a varied career as a pastor.  He graduated from PLU with a degree in music and religion. [He and Andy were both undergraduates at the same time, and both took organ lessons from David Dahl.]  Then in the 1970’s he attended Luther Seminary, where he and Pr. Marshall were roommates for a year. 

     His first call was to Christ the King Lutheran Church in Milton-Freewater, OR, where he served 12 years.  This was followed by two years at Holy Trinity Lutheran in Port Angeles, WA, and five years at the International Lutheran Church in Stavanger, Norway.  After an interim in Boise, ID, King of Glory Lutheran, he served First Lutheran, Tacoma for eight years, retiring in 2013.  Since then he has both become a member of FLCWS, and served as an interim and/or pulpit supply pastor in Gig Harbor, Yakima, Walla Walla, and various other churches in Western Washington. 

     He is married to Natalie, a retired R. N.  They have two daughters, both professional musicians ‒ one is a flutist who lives in Grand Rapids, MI, and the other is a violinist, who lives in Seattle.  They have three grandchildren.


Compass Housing Alliance

People Serving Neighbors in Need


Homelessness is obviously a visible problem. It has been for decades. With all that time and the money spent talking about and “addressing” the problem, why does it seem that there are more people experiencing homelessness now instead of fewer?

A Mystery? A book has been written about this and about Compass Housing Alliance. However, the book, Homelessness Is a Housing Problem, by Gregg Colburn and Clayton Aldern (forthcoming, March, 2022), does not mention Compass Housing Alliance (CHA). How can the book be about CHA and yet not mention CHA?

Waterfront Backstory. Let me tell you. First, some of CHA’s backstory. In 1920, the Lutheran Sailors and Loggers Mission was founded near the Seattle waterfront by Rev. Otto and Mrs. Alva Karlstrom. Many seamen didn’t speak English. The Mission’s purpose was, and still is through CHA, to provide a welcoming space for people in need.

Walk Today’s Streets. For a while in the late 1980’s, on most Fridays I volunteered at the Lutheran Compass Center (LCC) (as it was then called). Sometimes I helped serve food in the dining hall. Usually I “walked the streets” with the chaplain, Rev. Nyer Urness. We visited with unhoused people in the vicinity of Pioneer Square and Pike Place Market. We listened to whatever was on their minds and when appropriate, we told them about what was available at the Lutheran Compass Center.

What Was Available? In those days LCC had one location: a six-story building at 77 South Washington Street, next to the Viaduct (Viaduct is gone but CHA is still there). One floor provided night shelter and beds for women; another floor for men; the kitchen and dining hall were on a different floor; downstairs were the hygiene centers, separate for men and women, providing showers and laundry services. The main floor provided a variety of services: chapel; places for staff to meet with clients; a mail center for unhoused people (4,700 people used this in 2019); banking services for those not accepted by a commercial bank (600 people in 2019). Today there is also a Day Center with case managers available, computers for use, and at certain times a nurse is available.

A Clue for Our Mystery. The one building that was LCC has now become 21 programs! Compass Housing Alliance now has three programs that provide 222 beds of 24/7 enhanced emergency shelter. CHA has 14 buildings around King County providing 678 units of affordable housing for women, women with children, men, families, and veterans

etc. “Affordable housing” means that the rent for these units is not set by the commercial market! This feature is what connects with the Homelessness book. I also want to note here that these buildings are staffed with people who support the residents in accessing needed social services as well as gaining skills to advance themselves.

The “Mystery” Book. In the research for their book, Colburn and Aldern set out to identify and document the root cause(s) of homelessness. Ask people what causes homelessness and you get a list headed by factors such as alcoholism, drug abuse, mental illness, availability of welfare benefits, January temperatures, job loss, divorce etc.

Silence of Data. Colburn and Aldern compiled data on cities and some counties in the USA. Considering each possible factor, was homelessness high where a particular factor was high? No significant correlation was found for any factor. However, they did find that it is true these precipitating factors do increase the risk of homelessness, as we might expect, but none of them were shown to correlate directly to high rates of homelessness.

Persistence. So, Colburn and Aldern pressed further (and there is much more in their book than in this article!). In short, in a tight housing market where rent is pushed high, and buildable land is scarce and expensive, homelessness is pushed high. (Their data shows a significant correlation: R² = 0.55) The homeless, of course, are people below the poverty line who obviously cannot afford the rent demanded by the commercial market.

The Solution Key. Private contractors cannot afford to build housing and rent it out at rates affordable for people below the poverty line. Non-profit charities are needed to build (that is costly) and maintain such affordable housing for this vulnerable population. By the way, the Puget Sound region needs 37,000 more units of such housing.

Mystery Solved. It turns out that the Colburn and Aldern book advocates for what CHA is in fact already doing, although CHA itself is not mentioned in the book.

Thank you! With an annual budget of over $18 million, CHA, on behalf of the vulnerable people they serve, needs and welcomes your contributions. Thank you.

                                          Bob Baker, on behalf of the Committee for Extended Ministry

            They highlight in The Messenger particular charities for your designated giving.



FOOD BANK DONATION suggestions for March are canned meats, chilies and stews.  Your donations will be taken to the West Seattle Food Bank when left in the box provided in room C. 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS Tickets are on sale now for the annual Instruments of Change 2022 dinner & auction, happening on Saturday, May 14th!  This year’s will be a hybrid event, with options to attend in person or virtually from your own home.  This is a popular event with an evening of fun, community, and raising money to help our community.  Tickets can be bought at

PARISH PRAYERS:  please contact the church office with your requested prayers by phone (206) 935-6530, email or come by during office hours 9am to 3 pm Tuesday – Thursday or 9 am to noon Fridays, and talk with someone from the office.

Home Communion is available to those in the congregation or friends of the congregation who are not yet comfortable attending our Sunday liturgy at 10:30 am.  Call the office to make arrangements. 

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.

The Lenten season: A time for spiritual preparation through repentance and growth in faith as we remember the suffering and passion of Christ. 

Looking for Information Regarding the Call?

Updated information will be posted as it comes into the Parish Office.  Please check the bulletin board in the Parish House hallway regularly.  Also, articles are in this month and will continue to be included in future issues of The Messenger and the weekly bulletins. 




The Annunciation

of Our Lord


Friday, 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.




Robert Schorn, Jane Harty and family, Kim Lim, Melanie Johnson, Holly Petersen, Leah and Melissa Baker, Felicia Wells, Eileen & Dave Nestoss, Kyra Stromberg, The Rev. Howard Fosser, The Rev. Alan Gardner, Yuriko Nishimura, Hank Schmitt, Mary Ford, Andrea and Hayden Cantu, Dana Gallaher, Jeanne Pantone, Kevan & Jackie Johnson, Eric Peterson, Gary Grape, Nita Goedert, Mariss Ulmanis, Shirley & Glenn Graham, Karen Granger, Mike Nacewicz, Mike Matsunaga, Bill & Margaret Whithumn, the Robert Shull family, Mary  Cardona, Angel Lynne, Randy Price, Paul Sponheim, Nick Karlson, 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 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, Martin Nygaard, Lou Landino.

     Pray for our bishops Elizabeth Eaton and Shelley Bryan Wee, our pulpit supply ministers The Reverend Philip Nesvig, The Reverend Douglas Lindsay and The Reverend 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, and pray to strengthen the Stewardship of our congregation.

     Pray for the hungry, ignored, abused, and homeless this Lent.  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.

     Pray that God will bless you through the lives of the saints:  Thomas Aquinas, teacher, 1274;  Joseph, guardian of our Lord.

     Pray for this poor, fallen human race that God would have mercy on us all.

     Pray for this planet, our home that it and the creatures on it would be saved.


A Treasury of Prayers

Almighty Father, whose blessed Son before his passion prayed for his disciples that they might be one, as you and he are one:  Grant that your Church, being bound together in love and obedience to you, may be united in one body by the one Spirit, that the world may believe in him whom you have sent, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

                                                              [All the Saints I:509-510, altered]