After months of prayer, conversation, and faithful discernment, the church council voted on April 2 to end our partnership with Lutheran Youth of North Seattle (LYONS). Our covenant will end after all currently scheduled summer events have concluded. Similar decisions are in process within our three partner churches. To some of you, this will come as a shock; for all of us, there is grief with this decision. LYONS has faithfully served families in this congregation and around our region for more than 20 years. Its mission to strengthen faith and relationships has been fulfilled in thousands of ways, in hundreds of lives.
And yet, as people of the resurrection, we trust that death always brings new life. We have known for some time that the Spirit was stirring up something new here at PRLC with our Children, Youth, and Family Ministry. Ever since the resignation of our previous half-time staff person, our staff, church council, and families have been in conversation about this. It’s clear that caring for our youngest disciples is a top priority for PRLC. As it turned out, while we were discerning how we could better reach and serve our congregation’s children and youth, other LYONS congregations were in the midst of similar discussions. With dwindling participation in programs and events, it was clear that now is the time to make a major transition.
We are so excited to add a fulltime staff person who will be an integral part of our ministry team. This position will allow us to continue the vibrant ministry to teens that LYONS has provided, and also provide continuity in faith formation for younger children through Sunday school, Bread for the Journey, confirmation ministries, and our worship life together. As your pastors, we are confident that this is the right direction, and we are excited to begin a search process for this staff person. We hope to have someone in place by mid-summer, so that they can begin strongly with the new program year this fall.
We now have two tasks before us: first, we need to celebrate the gift of LYONS, and bring it to a dignified close, working closely with the LYONS board and partner congregations. Second, we need to finalize the position description and begin the search process. Your input is welcome, and your prayers are requested.
With gratitude and hope,
Pastor Van Kley & Pastor Hansen