The staff of Mountain View Lutheran Church is committed to bringing excellence in all that they do to help support and further the vision, mission, and ministry of the congregation.


SENIOR PASTOR John L. Vaswig •

► I have enjoyed and been privileged to serve as an ordained pastor for almost thirty-three years, nearly twenty of which I have spent at Mountain View Lutheran Church. After graduating from Pacific Lutheran University and attending Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union, I spent twelve years in Spokane at several congregations before moving to Edgewood. All along the way, I have received immense support from my spouse Monique and (now grown) children Joshua, Zachary, and Nicole, all of whom are members at MVLC. Five years ago, our son Zach married Bryn Ellison, who was baptized at MVLC as an adult. Zach and Bryn gifted us with Vivian Mae, our first grandchild, some eighteen months ago. Vivian was also baptized at MVLC.

I continue to enjoy the challenges associated with pastoral ministry and Christian leadership in the 21st Century. Imagining next steps along the way of a faithful carrying out of ministry of Word and Sacrament remains a source of inspiration, and, yes, intermittent moments of frustration. I am deeply thankful for this community of faith, which has embraced a teaching, serving, caring, life together ministry.


► Pastor Briana begins her ministry at Mountain View Lutheran Church on Sunday 6/17.

Her biography is coming soon.


MUSIC DIRECTOR Carmen Van Soest •

► Carmen Van Soest is a born and raised Pacific North-Westerner and has been a member of Mountain View Lutheran since 1999. She attended Puyallup High School and currently lives in Tacoma. Carmen received a B.A. in music from Whitworth University in Spokane where she studied piano, cello, and voice, and she received a post-baccalaureate degree in music education (K-12: band, choir, orchestra, and general music) from the University of Washington in Seattle. She is currently the music specialist at Chambers Primary (K-4) in University Place. Carmen and her husband, Bassione, have two daughters, Vivienne, age 7, and Violet, age 1. Bassione and Carmen were married by Pastor John at Mountain View, and both of their daughters were baptized at Mountain View. Carmen comes to her position as music director with five years of experience as the music director of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Tacoma.

FAITH COMMUNITY NURSES Terry Freed and Wendy Neptun •



► Phil recently celebrated five years of service with the community of Mountain View Lutheran Church and completed the Certified Church Administrator process in July of 2017. Part of the three year long process included two weeks on-site at a seminary, several additional workshops and classes related to Personnel/Human Resources Management, Facilities Management, Stewardship, Technology, and Financial Management. Additionally, the process entailed completing a 2+ yearlong project related to the field of Church Administration. Phil used the Former Things New Things Building Project (two capital campaigns and the physical planning and construction of the new Administrative/Fellowship Building and Gathering Space), along with three other capital campaigns, to study and explain how capital campaigns in a congregation setting are much different than capital campaigns in other non-profit entities.

After graduating from Pacific Lutheran University; completing a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Business Administration, Phil worked in finance and banking. Phil also created and operated a landscape maintenance service for 11 years before selling the business prior to graduation. Prior to Mountain View, Phil worked as a congregational consultant and with more than 300 congregations throughout Western Washington for 10 years, recruiting and training more than 2,000 volunteers at the merger of Lutheran Brotherhood/Aid Association for Lutherans.

Others on staff tease Phil about being a “slumlord”, which is actually quite the opposite. Phil enjoys renovating and restoring old houses and providing great places to live near the Pacific Lutheran University campus. Phil’s other hobbies include travel, karaoke, playing the piano, and catching up of reruns of the Golden Girls.

Phil continues to enjoy the challenges of caring for God’s house and resources at Mountain View Lutheran Church, serving with others, and planning ahead to support the next ministry opportunity that God places before us!

PARISH WORKER Marlene Wright •

► Marlene and her husband Keith have been members at Mountain View for 9 years. Marlene was born and raised in the Federal Way, WA.  She attended Washington State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She worked at Weyerhaeuser in Federal Way for 12 years before choosing to stay home with her three kids (Connor, Jarod and Sarah). In 2016 Marlene took the role of Office Ministry Coordinator for Creator Lutheran Church in Bonney Lake. While she loved her position at Creator, when the opportunity to work for her own congregation presented itself, she couldn’t pass it up.

Marlene feels privileged to serve this community of Christ and looks forward to getting to know all those who worship here.


► Troy has been a member of Mountain View Lutheran Church, along with his wife Carianne, for more than 20 years. They were married at MVLC and their daughter Kyra was baptized at MVLC as well as participating in the junior high school youth group.

Troy graduated from University of Washington Tacoma with a BA in Liberal Studies and previously worked in the book industry for sixteen years. He has served on staff in various roles—Small Group Ministry Coordinator, Administrative Assistant, and now Communications Director—as well as taught high school Sunday school for a number of years.

Troy is an avid reader, writes poetry, and enjoys sidewalk chalk art, gardening, and day hiking. His favorite novel is Moby-Dick, his favorite animal is the North Pacific giant octopus, and his favorite prophet is Elijah.

CUSTODIAN Yelena Zhurko