Position Available: Director of Children Youth and Family Ministries (CYF)

Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church (PRLC) is seeking a dynamic leader for our growing children, youth, and family ministry here in Seattle. This person will oversee a comprehensive faith formation ministry that includes children from pre-K through high school and their families. We desire an applicant who is creative, curious, fun-loving, Christ-centered, and great with children and youth.

While we have a vision of what this full-time position will entail, we seek an applicant with knowledge of current best practices and the experience and energy to help grow this ministry. This is a new position for our congregation. Previously we had a part-time position that focused on children (grades K-5) and a collaborative youth ministry with several other congregations.

We desire a candidate who can help us evaluate and expand this position description over time.


  • Attend worship services, the Sunday morning educational hour (“Sunday school”), and Wednesday evening family ministry activities (“Bread for the Journey”)
  • Determine curriculum for Sunday school, Bread for the Journey, and confirmation in collaboration with pastors and staff
  • Teach high school Sunday school and middle school confirmation, including the tenets of Lutheran theology (ELCA)
  • Develop and lead youth ministry events, including regular youth group, periodic confirmation retreats (with the pastors), fellowship events, service opportunities, lock-ins, summer trips, Bible study, etc.
  • Recruit, train, and support adult volunteers, particularly teachers for Bread for the Journey, Sunday school, youth group, vacation bible school, etc.
  • Coordinate preparation of class and event logistics, including setting up, communicating with other staff about facility needs, securing supplies, etc.
  • Oversee boundary policies and ensure all those who work with children and youth are appropriately trained and background checked
  • Support parents with resources, information, classes, and events that help them fulfill the promises they made at their children’s baptisms
  • Determine CYF spending priorities and maintain appropriate financial records, in partnership with the Parish Administrator and Congregation Council
  • Manage communication with youth, families, and the congregation


  • Theology. Place an emphasis on God’s radical and expansive love for all creation, helping children, youth, and families discover the love God has for each of them and God’s desire for them to share that love in the world
  • Child-centered. Help make PRLC a community where children and youth are welcomed, honored, and included as valued members of the body of Christ; help our young people find ways to engage with worship and other ministries at PRLC and ensure their voice is heard and considered in congregational decisions
  • Community engagement. Facilitate connections with youth and organizations outside our congregation, including our neighborhood, our synod, and the ELCA churchwide organization
  • Team mindset. This position reports directly to the Associate Pastor and will work closely with all ministry staff in forming comprehensive congregational ministry priorities and schedules


  • 2+ years of youth ministry experience
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Pass required background checks
  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • Active membership in a Christian faith community
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite and social media platforms

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Familiarity with Lutheran theology and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Certification or formal education in children, youth, and family ministry/faith formation


  • Salary DOE
  • Competitive benefits package
  • Schedule flexibility outside of required activities
  • Funds and time for continuing education provided annually
  • Paid membership to the ELCA Youth Ministry Network

PRLC is a Reconciling in Christ congregation, which means we are open and affirming of the LGBTQ+ community. PRLC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, citizenship status, gender expression, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

If interested, please send cover letter, resume, and list of references to Erica Shutes-David, search committee chair, at prlcsearchcommittee@gmail.com.

Hosanna Choir in Concert

Friday, June 21, 2019
7:30 pm at Phinney Ridge Lutheran

Everyone is invited to a concert of sacred music June 21, 7:30 pm at PRLC.  The Hosanna Choir from St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Bloomington, Minnesota will be visiting Phinney as part of their Northwest tour.  They will be joined in concert by our own Chancel Choir. Come welcome other Lutherans to Seattle and hear inspiring music!  The concert is free and open to the public.


Pastor’s Page

We Can Change and Grow Boldly

I recently attended the wedding of a dear friend, and in her bridal bouquet was this incredible assortment of wildflowers and ferns. It was colorful and organic and kind-of messy. The thing that caught my eye, though, was a long twisty green stem that spiraled out from the rest of the bouquet. When you looked at it closely, you could see that it was actually a root that the florist had turned upside down so that it was exposed and utilized in a way that roots normally are not!

I’ve been thinking about that little root as I reflect on where we are as a congregation today. We are in the midst of what feels like constant transition. Our staff continues to evolve. Our youth ministry focus is changing. We’re rethinking how we use our Phinney Houses for mission. I could go on.

I thank God that this congregation continues to hang on and do the hard work of ministry – not becoming complacent, but always engaging in thoughtful conversations and imaginative discernment. But I also recognize that change is hard, and if I’m being honest, I do sense a collective anxiety and weariness about all of this constant change.

Change is scary, not to mention often frustrating and exhausting. When something changes, it means letting go of the way it was, and there’s legitimate grief and fear in that. But it’s also how we know we are alive. No plant can remain the same if it wants to grow, and the same is true for the Church.

So I want to remind us of that root. Our root is Jesus, alive and exposed and right smack in the center of our messy ministry. Jesus always calls his disciples to leave some things behind; to take risks; to make hard choices. But he also begins by saying, “fear not,” and he promises to be with us.

Money, buildings, staff structures – thinking about these things naturally causes anxiety. But we must remember that these are not our roots. These are just the tools that we get to use for God’s mission. With Jesus at our center, we can withstand change and growth just fine. In fact, we can change and grow boldly, rooted in the grace and love of God. What a perfect time – in this long, green, liturgical season of growth – to rest in that promise.

Pastor Anne


From the Child Development Center

~ CDC Director Tim Sullivan

Today I would like to talk to you about art with young children.  Sometimes when I walk into a classroom, art time can feel like a messy chaotic experience without value, but it is so much more than a mess, and more than just crayons, paint, and clay.  The purpose of art is to provide a way for a child to be spontaneous, playful, and expressive.  It takes a lot of time to get to a place where they are creating expressive art and where their art starts showing the child as an individual and less like everyone else.  The way we do that in the CDC is by allowing children to explore the best art media.  A child will take a long time in the exploring stage. Only after they are given time to just explore the materials can they move into the causing level.  Only when they can start intentionally causing artistic effects can they move into creating true expressive art.  That means we need to provide the children with opportunities to explore the needed materials and allow them to that freely with out direction from the teachers on what to create.  We believe in focusing on the process of artistic development, not the product.  Allowing children to freely express themselves helps the child develop mentally, socially, and emotionally.  Art can boost the young child’’s ability to analyze and problem-solve, develop fine motor skills and math concepts, and perhaps most importantly of all, boost self-confidence.


Save the Date to March in Seattle’s Pride Parade

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Each year at the Seattle Pride Parade, you can see God’s inclusive love on display in big ways! The “Loving Lutherans of the Northwest Washington Synod” is one of the largest entries in the parade each year, and PRLC is honored to participate. Please consider joining the parade this year! It’s a beautiful way to gather with other local Lutherans and together proclaim the love of God in Christ through word and deed. Pastor Van Kley will be leading the group again this year. Please contact her or keep your eye on upcoming Count Me In forms to sign up.


April Financials

General Fund for April 2019

As you can see, our expenses exceeded our income by $39,036.  This time of year our expenses generally exceed our income, but the difference could be a little less.

Your continued support of the mission and ministry of Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church is very much appreciated.  If you have any questions about the church’s finances, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

John Breen, Interim Parish Administrator
administrator@prlc.org / 206-783-2350


Outreach News

~ Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher

Perspective Lessons Through the Outreach Fund

Perspective can make all the difference. Of the many ways I’m thankful for the work I do as Minister of Outreach, I’m most grateful for the perspective it sheds on the rest of my life. I think of long-time friend of the church Jason. We’ve helped him numerous times over the years when expenses of keeping up a modest low-income housing apartment and an old car outstripped his small monthly disability check. We’ve also served as a bank of sorts for him to occasionally order something online, always paying the church up front with cash. We don’t often think how hard it can be for someone without access to a bank account to participate in an increasingly online economy.

Recently Jason brought in a significant (for him) donation to the Outreach Fund. Confused, I asked what brought this on. He explained that after four years of steady monthly payments, he finally paid off a $4,000 bill for an accident he caused with his old car. Awash in gratitude to God for his blessings, he committed to donating to a few local churches who had been a support to him. He said he’d be in the next two months as well with the same donation.

What a gift. His donation will be married with yours to continue to be a safety net for those at financial risk in our community. For me, the real gift is knowing Jason and being encouraged by his faithful use of his limited funds to create love and security for his neighbors. Thank you for joining him by supporting the Outreach Fund so faithfully.

The Art Walk and Car Show Bring Joy to our Neighborhood

Our participation in this year’s Phinneywood Art Walk was a great success. We welcomed hundreds of visitors with gorgeous weather, and enjoyed the festive atmosphere this event always produces. Thanks to the artists and volunteers who made this happen! We’ll enjoy another and much larger event on Saturday, June 29th, during the Greenwood Car Show. This event—part car show, part street fair—brings thousands of visitors right to our front door. We offer coffee, cookies, and popcorn all day long with donated proceeds supporting our food bank. We always need volunteers to help out! Please let me know if you are interested, or mark your Count Me In form in June.

An Update from our Missionary Friends

Pastors Zach Courter and Rachel Eskesen serve as ELCA missionaries in Hungary where they pastor a thriving church in Budapest along with hosting and coordinating a YAGM cohort each year. We’ve received a colorful newsletter update [pdf] from this special couple, and you can pick up printed copies at Grace Station in June.

PRLC has agreed to support Zach and Rachel through the ELCA’s “Covenant Sponsorship” program. We’ve pledged to contribute $4000 in 2019 to sustain their work, and all of this comes from individual contributions. If you’d like to contribute, please send a check in to the office or the offering with “Zach and Rachel” in the memo line. Thank you for joining us in this important partnership!

Refugee Team Update

Five more people were trained to be Circle of Welcome Volunteers on May 11, bringing our total trained team to 28! We are now very close to telling our partner Lutheran Community Services Northwest (LCSNW) that PRLC is ready to welcome a refugee family.

We will be furnishing an apartment for the family. Small items have already been generously donated. These things include cleaning supplies, personal care items, towels, and kitchen items including dishes. As we get closer to welcoming a family our focus is on larger items including:

  • Kitchen table and chairs for each person
  • Sofa
  • Upholstered chairs
  • Coffee table
  • Dressers
  • Regular size and twin size headboards (mattresses, mattress pads and sheets must be new)
  • Night tables

We’ve been encouraged to only accept new or like new items so unfortunately we can’t accept older furniture. We won’t need these items until we actually have a family assigned to us. We are getting the word out now so that if you have any of these items and are ready to give them up you can keep them for this ministry. If you are able to assist with the move of donated items your help will be much appreciated. Please let Peggy  or Alice  know if you have any of these items to donate. Look for more frequent updates in the weeks ahead!

Circle of Welcome Leadership Team:

Alice Rowe, Peggy Martin Kreger, Linda Thorson, Luci Baker Johnson, and Patrick Meagher

Special Phinney Houses Forum

Led by Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher & Pastor Hansen
Sunday, June 9   11:00 (right after 10:00am service is over), in the Tree of Life Room

If you missed the Congregational Meeting please join us to learn about some recent church news! Topics will include what’s new with the Phinney Houses — a 35 year partnership with Community Psychiatric Clinic, housing folks under their behavioral health care in two homes we own on 76th Street.