2017 Food Bank Thanksgiving Distribution

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the Phinney Ridge Food Bank is preparing for holiday distribution activities.  We hope that you will help us serve the needy families that will visit our Food Bank this Thanksgiving.  Here is the Thanksgiving Distribution Schedule:

Oct 29 to Nov 19, 2017
Click here for a pdf of the shopping list.  Please purchase the items on the list and bring them in by Sunday, November 19, 2017.

MTW Oct 30-Nov 1 and MTW Nov 6-8, 2017, 5:00-7:00 pm
Volunteer to man our phone lines as we take reservations for the November 21 distribution.

Nov 5-21, 2017
Bake cookies and bring them to the church kitchen.  Cookies and coffee will be served to the clients who are waiting for their boxes on the day of the distribution.

Mon Nov 20, 2017
7-9 pm:  Prepare the Fellowship Hall for distribution.  Includes bringing out cases of canned goods and other non-perishable items.  There will be lots of projects that families can do together.

Tues Nov 21, 2017
am- Pack boxes for distribution to needy families.
11-12 ish:  Lunch
12-4 pm:  Distribution
3:30-5 pm: Cleanup

Consider donating a large turkey to the food bank.  With low-cost turkey offers beginning to be advertised, we will gladly make room in our freezer to accommodate a big bird. Twenty-plus-pound birds are in great demand for large families.

Take part in any or all events.  Please sign up on this Sunday’s Count Me In form.  If you have questions, please contact  member Jo-Ann Cress or Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher.


Thanksgiving Distribution Shopping List

As a continuing ministry to our neighbors, the Phinney Ridge Lutheran Food Bank will distribute Thanksgiving meal boxes on Tuesday, November 21, 2017. Each box contains the ingredients for a Thanksgiving dinner. Below is a list of items that will be included in each box. (A link to a pdf of the same list is also found below.) If you can help us fill those boxes, please bring your food contribution to PRLC as soon as possible, but no later than Sunday, November 19, 2017. 

_____    Cranberry sauce

_____    Canned evaporated milk

_____    Stuffing mix

_____    Canned pumpkin

_____    Canned corn

_____    Canned green beans

_____    Boxed dry pie crust mix (non-refrigerated)

_____    Jell-O

_____    Canned mandarin oranges

_____    Apple juice

_____    Granulated sugar

Thanksgiving Distribution Shopping List [pdf]

Thank you for making this a memorable holiday for those in need.


On Generosity

Friends in Christ,

There is a legend about the ancient Gauls.  Though conquered by the Roman Empire, these  warriors resisted with every ounce of their being and staged several uprisings. Over time, many Gauls were converted to Christianity. According to the legend, when a warrior was converted and then baptized in a stream or river, he would hold one arm high in the air as he was dunked under the water. Why would they do such a thing? To justify their warrior behavior. At the next battle the Gaul could, in good conscience, grab a sword or club and raise it high saying, “This arm is not baptized!”

In a wonderful book called Giving to God, Mark Allan Powell mentions this urban legend and wonders what the image might look like today – keeping one part of your body dry and free from the influence of baptism. He pictures a modern person perhaps going under water with one arm outstretched clinging to a wallet. I’m reminded of Luther’s comment that sometimes the pocket book is the last thing to be converted.

Like every aspect of our faith journey – prayer, participating in worship, acts of mercy and more – giving generously is a necessary spiritual discipline. Like all disciplines, giving is a practice that nurtures our relationship with God and walking in a baptismal way of life. A discipline around faithful giving prevents us from loving money too much and helps us use money in ways that honor God and promote the values of Jesus.

Generosity Sunday is October 22, celebrated at both services. You will be given opportunity to ponder generosity and discern your commitment to the ministry of PRLC for 2018. As you think and pray, please consider tithing or working toward a tithe in your commitments for next year. Below, you will find a useful chart that outlines percentage giving.

I have found tithing – giving 10% of one’s income – to be a life-giving spiritual practice. Tithing has its roots in the practice of our Hebrew ancestors and has continued to be a faith practice among Christians. I am buoyed by the fact that PRLC tithes to our Synod. I have also been inspired by many a tither whose practices of generosity impart God’s love in powerful ways.

Tithing, or increasing our giving with the goal of working toward a tithe, is a practice I commend. It’s the kind of thing we do as those called to “walk wet.”

Pastor Hansen

Give Generously

Giving as an Act of Worship

At the end of parish announcements each Sunday, you’ll usually hear me or Pastor Hansen say something like, “Now let us offer, with joy and thanksgiving, what God has first given us.” What does that mean, anyway? Well, for starters, it’s counter-cultural, isn’t it? I confess that when I pay my bills, I don’t always do it with joy. We wince at the thought of our medical expenses; we cringe when the grocery tab exceeds our budget; and I haven’t heard of anyone being thankful about the rising cost of car tabs!

When we put our offering in the plate on Sundays (or see it come out of our accounts via the automatic Simply Giving program), we’re not paying a bill. Instead, think of your giving as an act of worship.

A key tenet of our faith is the incarnation – the embodying of God in the person of Jesus Christ. We have a God who loves us so much that God didn’t remain distant, but came in flesh and bone to be with us in all things. And so, much of what we do in worship symbolizes this tangible relationship with have with God through Christ. We make the sign of the cross on our bodies. We splash in water. We taste bread and wine. We share the peace with hugs and handshakes. And we give our actual money. We give it because we believe in the work of mission in this place, sure. But we also give it as a physical reminder that our whole lives belong to God.

We make an offering with joy and thanksgiving not because we are “paying for a service,” but as an act of worship. An act that physically reminds us to turn away from our self-focused desires and anxieties, and toward our generous and loving God.

God bless you,
Pastor Van Kley

Make an Offering

Proportional Giving Guide: Monthly Giving as Percentage of Income

Income 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7% 8% 9% 10%
20,000 16.67 33.33 50.00 66.67 83.33 100.00 116.67 133.33 150.00 166.67
30,000 25.00 50.00 75.00 100.00 125.00 150.00 175.00 200.00 225.00 250.00
40,000 33.33 66.67 100.00 133.33 166.67 200.00 233.33 266.67 300.00 333.33
50,000 41.67 83.33 125.00 166.67 208.33 250.00 291.67 333.33 375.00 416.67
60,000 50.00 100.00 150.00 200.00 250.00 300.00 350.00 400.00 450.00 500.00
70,000 58.33 116.67 175.00 233.33 291.67 350.00 408.33 466.67 525.00 583.33
80,000 66.67 133.33 200.00 266.67 333.33 400.00 466.67 533.33 600.00 666.67
90,000 75.00 150.00 225.00 300.00 375.00 450.00 525.00 600.00 675.00 750.00
100,000 83.33 166.67 250.00 333.33 416.67 500.00 583.33 666.67 750.00 833.33

Why Simply Giving

Simply Giving is a “first fruits” method of giving. Many of us are using electronic fund transfers (EFTs) to pay bills each month. Move your church giving to be the first thing to pay each month.

Accurate records are maintained indefinitely.  An electronic contribution is safer than writing a check, and it can’t be lost, stolen or destroyed in the mail.

Flexibility.  Withdrawals can be made weekly, monthly, or twice a month.  You can give to the general fund and various ministries of the church, and a simple phone call or e-mail to the church office can stop your giving or adjust the amount, should the need arise.

Simplicity and peace of mind. When travel or obligations keep you from regular worship, there’s no need to mail a check or dash to church with your offering envelope. EFTs give you peace of mind that your stewardship commitment is taken care of and that PRLC receives predictable revenues. No “summer slump” for the church, no “playing catch-up” for you.

Most importantly, our ministries are strengthened.  Consistent giving allows PRLC to effectively fulfill our mission and vision in our church, in our community and around the world.

So for these reasons and more, I say thanks to the over 90 households currently contributing to PRLC this way. If you are interested in trying Simply Giving, please contact me at administrator@prlc.org, pick up a flyer from Grace Station, or sign up at Simply Giving.

Kirsten Olshausen

Simply Giving

Adult Forums Fall 2017

September 17 and 24 – Christians and the Environment

Why should Christians care about the environment?  Join PRLC member Ryan Ferrer for a two-part interactive exploration of challenges and problems facing God’s creation, with emphasis on climate change from the perspective of a Christian.  Ryan teaches Biology at Seattle Pacific University.  He has researched climate change issues and has a passion for stewardship of the environment.


October 1 and 8 – Christians and Evolution

Why should Christians study evolution?  How does studying evolution help us understand how God creates and how we are part of God’s creation?  Join PRLC member Cara Scheffler for a two-week series to discuss the evolutionary process and evidence for ancient earth, particularly fossil records pertaining specifically to humans, and the evolutionary process.   Cara teaches in the Biology department at Seattle Pacific University.


October 15 – Luther 500 Tour

Several parishioners participated in the “Luther 500” Tour last June in Wittenberg, Germany to mark the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Join them for a discussion of their trip – what they saw, enjoyed, and learned and how the experience enriched their journey of faith.


October 22 – Lutherans and the Ecumenical Movement – 500 Years in the Making

Martin Luther never intended to start a new church.  However, controversy in the church and a deep political divide led to the establishment of several Protestant churches in the 16th and 17th centuries.  Christians from various traditions sometimes stare at each other across a great divide. In this forum, we uncover rich sources within the Lutheran tradition for ecumenical conversations.  Come away with a deeper understanding of the core principles of Lutheran theology, and resources that you can use to live in harmony with other people and traditions.  This discussion will be led by PRLC member Mike Halvorson who teaches history at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma.


October 29 – Luther the Spiritual Virtuoso

PRLC member Steve Pfaff defines a spiritual virtuoso as someone who works toward personal holiness with the same perseverance and intensity as a virtuoso striving for excellence in the arts or in athletics. On this Reformation Sunday, join Steve as he discusses Martin Luther as a spiritual virtuoso whose personal quest for God became a movement for social change.  Steve teaches Sociology at the University of Washington and has co-authored a book with Marion Goldman on The Spiritual Virtuoso, set to be released in December.


November 5 – Surrounded by a Cloud of Witnesses 

Since the first century, Christians have kept a calendar to honor the faith and life of persons who have exemplified what it means to be “salt of the earth” and “light for the world.”  Why do we single out certain women and men among the vast communion of saints into which we are all baptized?  How did this calendar come into being and why keep it still?  How might remembering and honoring people like Julian of Norwich, Francis and Clare of Assisi, St. Luke, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Jesus, Mother Theresa, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King and a host of other Christian witnesses edify our lives of faith?  Join Pastor Hansen on this All Saints Sunday for a spirited conversation.


November 12 – Muslims and Christians Together

Neighbors in Faith, a ministry supported by both the ELCA Northwest Washington Synod and the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, fosters mutual relationships with Muslims and other faith communities with the goal of promoting a more peaceful world.  Pastor Terry Kyllo, director of this ministry, will discuss this interfaith work.  He believes that interfaith dialogue is essential in learning to live with each other and our cultural differences.  For more information see www.neighborsinfaith.org


November  19 and 26 – That They Be One

Jesus prayed that his followers be one just as he and the Father are one.  How are Christians doing at being in communion with one another?  With whom is the ELCA in a full communion relationship and what does it mean for us to be in these relationships?  What exactly is the “Declaration on the Way” with our Roman Catholic sisters and brothers?  Join Pastor Hansen for a lively discussion on the ecumenical movement, especially the relationship between Lutherans and other Christians.


December 3 – Advent Event for everyone  (All Ages)


Pastor’s Page: In Giving, We Receive

Last Sunday, we sang the Prayer of St. Francis at one service and prayed along with the Chancel Choir’s beautiful rendition at the next service.  Just then it occurred to me that this much-cherished prayer is a kind of stewardship prayer.

As far as Francis of Assisi is concerned, the stewardship of creation is already a given.  Francis regarded the sun as our brother, the moon as our sister and the earth as our mother.  What I heard this time in the prayer attributed to Francis was a call to be stewards of the Gospel:

 Make us instruments of your peace. 

Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith;
where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Stewards are caretakers of what belongs to someone else.  Our high baptismal calling is to care for God’s creation and to steward the mysteries of Christ through forgiveness, generosity, compassion, and consolation.  God, through Christ, is the author of self-giving love.  It is our duty and delight to share these gifts with our neighbors.

Generosity Sunday is October 22nd.   Giving thanks to God for all of God’s good gifts and the work of the Spirit in and through PRLC, we consider our financial pledges for 2018.  As we pray about our gifts for upcoming year, it behooves us to remember that Christians are called to use money in the same way we steward all of God’s good gifts.

As we consider pledges and tithes for next year, think about the ways in which you and the PRLC community to which you belong may use money further the sacred work of love.  Most of all, how might we increasingly make our regular offerings a spiritual practice where the practice of giving is in itself a blessing to behold?

For it is in “Giving that we receive …”


Pastor Hansen