PRLC Food Bank 2017 Christmas Distribution

The Phinney Ridge Lutheran Food Bank is preparing for its annual Christmas distribution. We will supply area families with all the elements of a Christmas feast, including a turkey (or a chicken for smaller families), plus a small gift for each child in the family.

If you would like to register to receive a Christmas Box, follow these steps:

  • Call the food bank at 206-784-7964 at one of these times: November 27, 28, or 29; or the following week on December 4, 5, or 6, 2017; between 5:00-7:00 pm. You will be asked for your name, address, and the number of adults and children (and children’s genders and ages) in your household.
  • Come to Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church (7500 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103) on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 between 12:00-3:00 pm to pick up and take home the box which has been prepared for you.

If you miss your chance to pre-register for a Christmas Box, you may still be able to receive one. Come to Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church at 3:00 pm on Friday, December 22, 2017. At that point we will give away any unclaimed boxes from the day’s distribution. Historically, we have almost always been able to provide Christmas Boxes to everyone who wants one, so your chances are good.

Gifts needed by Tuesday Dec 12 for Aurora Commons Holiday bags

Did you notice that we’re not collecting gifts for our food bank neighbors this year? That’s because the food bank has enough left over from last year to cover this year. Instead we’re collecting for our neighbors at Aurora Commons!

What is Aurora Commons? It’s basically a “living room” on 89th & Aurora, an area long known for its issues of homelessness, addiction, and commercial sexual exploitation. Aurora Commons is a welcoming space for our unhoused neighbors to rest, prepare a meal, connect to resources and collectively create a healthy and vibrant community. They seek to be a space for authenticity and conversation, to bring the wider community to the table to learn from one another, to be transformed by one another, and to embrace one another. They dive into the messiness of what the day brings, make food, share the table, grieve with one another and celebrate together. The Commons’ desire is to be a space where hope overrides fear, where community interrupts isolation, and dignity is offered to all.

Won’t you please join us in supporting our neighbors at Aurora Commons? Thank you!

Nancy Monelli, Minister of Children and Families
Patrick Meagher, Minister of Outreach
Signe Roscoe, Member and Volunteer

Aurora Commons Gift Bag Items Needed

Deadline: December 12, 2017

  • $20 Fred Meyer gift cards
  • gloves
  • men’s belts
  • nail clippers
  • nail files
  • make up

Phinney children have created lovely ornaments that you may have with your donation to Aurora Commons.


Greetings from the Child Development Center

What a fun time of the year it is here as the children and parents get ready for the holidays.   Last month  the school came together with all the families and staff at the CDC to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving lunch together as a family.  It was great fun, and gave us an opportunity to break bread with the church staff and be led in prayer by Pastor Hansen.  We are also looking forward to our annual Christmas program on December 8, when Pastor Van Kley and I will lead the children in the Christmas story through song and hand motions, and then celebrate with a craft fair in the Fellowship Hall.  The children will all dress up in their Christmas best. It is one of the highlights of our school year.

We are so happy to have Pastor Van Kley, Pastor Hansen, and this congregation as such strong supporters of our children and the whole child development program.   From all of us at the Child Development Center we wish you the merriest of Christmases and a happy new year.

~ CDC Director Tim Sullivan


Pastor’s Page: Showing Up

Life in a prison cell reminds me a great deal of Advent – one waits, and hopes, and potters about, but in the end what we do is of little consequence, for the door is shut and can only be opened from the outside.

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Advent is a time for waiting. I have described the season of Advent this way for years. Yet, with all this talk of waiting, we may easily turn waiting into another “thing we have to do.” To be sure, Christian waiting is active. We are called to be alert, attentive and awake to the presence and activity of God. Such waiting gives way to life-giving change. The potential difficulty, as with any spiritual practice, stems from our need to control the practice and the outcome.

“The door can only be opened from the outside.” We would do well to listen to someone like Bonhoeffer, who prayed in his prison cell. We’re not in control of these things.

I once took a week-long course in which the teacher made sure we showed up for class on the last day by issuing a tickler. He said he would reveal the “secret to all prayer” on the last day of class. Though tempted to cut the week early, practically all the students came to hear the full and wise disclosure on all things related to prayer.  As promised, the teacher revealed the “secret” as we sat on the edge of our seats.  He told it to us in two simple words: “Show up.”

I need to remember to show up, especially when I approach life as a list of tasks to be accomplished, or when opportunities for worship or prayer become duties on a check list.  The invitation to “show up” is an important and gracious invitation to be present to another, to regard creation with a sense of wonder, to listen and not just hear God’s word, to be open to interruptions as potential surprise, and to receive each day as gift.

Advent is a good time to take the time to ponder the mystery of Christ. Can we slow down a bit and take the time? It is a great gift to just show up.

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Pastor Hansen


News from Lutheran Youth of North Seattle (LYONS)

You’re invited to the LYONS’ Stay at Home Tea!

Rather than inviting you to another fundraising event, we are inviting you to relax, put your feet up, and enjoy a cup of tea on us and consider supporting Lutheran Youth of North Seattle. We are in our 20th year of ministry serving all youth from our 5 member congregations in a Christ-centered community of worship, witness, service, education, and fun. Invitation letters with tea will be available after worship on November 5 through the end of the year. Funds received this year will go to support our trip to the ELCA National Youth Gathering in Houston, June 2018.



Sunday, December 3: The Great Christmas Cookie Bake Off (All LYONS)

Sunday December 10: Middle School Christmas Party

Sunday December 17-18: High School Christmas Lock-In


Great ways to connect, find event details, and learn more!

Facebook: Lutheran Youth of North Seattle
Instagram: roaring_lyons


Stewardship Update

I am pleased to report on a very encouraging fall stewardship campaign. Over the course of several weeks in October, you heard testimonies from fellow members, read reflections on generosity and on the spiritual discipline of giving. You were encouraged to look at God’s blessings in your life, and to consider prayerfully your commitment in support of PRLC’s mission and ministry in 2018.

The congregation’s great response and willingness to consider stepping up their giving will be so helpful to the council for planning the 2018 operating budget! (We have returned to a January-December pledge cycle, concurrent with our budget year.) Thank you to all who returned their General Fund Commitment cards. More forms are still available at Grace Station, or from the office.

We have received 115 cards back as of this writing, for a combined total commitment of $463,130 annually. That means an average of $4,027 per household. I was curious and compared to the last pledge drive (which culminated with New Consecration Sunday in May 2016). The average annual commitment then was $3,876. Thank you for your generosity!

Other encouraging numbers:

  • With the 8 households newly signed up for Simply Giving, our automatic giving program, we have now at least 101 giving units participating. These consistent electronic contributions make for predictable church income and reduce the impact of low attendance during vacation times.
  • Of those who submitted response cards, 25 indicated they want to increase their Simply Giving contributions in 2018, while only two will decrease their giving. We understand of course that circumstances can change; feel free to contact me any time if you need to modify your pledge.

Thank you for both your support of the PRLC operating fund, and many worthwhile ministries such as Outreach, Food Bank, Mary’s Place, Global Missions and local programs.


Kirsten Olshausen
Parish Administrator


Advent Worship

We are called to ponder mystery and await the coming Christ,
to embody God’s compassion for each fragile human life.
God is with us in our longing to bring healing to the earth,
while we watch for joy and wonder for the promised Savior’s birth.

“Unexpected and Mysterious”
Hymn 258, Evangelical Lutheran Worship

The Advent Wreath may be traced back to the ancient Roman rite of waiting in the midst of winter darkness for the return of the sun.  These ancient forebears took a wheel off their wagons and fastened torches to the wheel to see them through the darkest time of the year.  Evergreen branches adorned the wheel as a hint of springtime.  Over three hundred years ago, Christians in Germany turned this practice into the Advent wreath.  The greens, the circle, the lights are signs of hope and eternity as we wait for the coming light.

Each Sunday in Advent we begin in darkness.  The circle of light grows each week as another candle is lighted.  Our song and prayers are marked by a sense of anticipation, yearning, expectancy and joy.  The liturgical color is blue, because bright blue is the color of the sky when it turns from night to dawn.

In Advent, we begin a year long journey with the Gospel of Mark, who bids us to “stay awake” for the coming of the “Son of Man” and calls us to greet Jesus with the radical change preached by John in the wilderness.   The beautiful passages from Isaiah call us to new hope.  In addition to Sunday Eucharist in Advent, there will be evening prayer on Wednesdays.   On the Fourth Sunday in Advent we will have one service of lessons and carols at 10:00 a.m.


Schedule of Advent and Christmas Services of Holy Communion

Sundays in Advent

December 3, 10, and 17, 2017  (Advent 1, 2, and 3) — Two Sunday services of Holy Communion, 8:30 and 11:00 a.m.

December 24, 2017 (Advent 4) – Departing from our usual Sunday schedule, we will offer one service of Holy Communion at 10:00 a.m. in a service of Lessons and Carols.

Christmas Eve Worship

Join us on Christmas Eve for festive worship.

Sunday, December 24, 2017 (Christmas Eve)

5:00 p.m.  – Holy Communion Family Service
Leading the proclamation of the good news of Jesus’ birth are the Children’s Choir and the Youth Choir.

10:30 p.m. – Christmas Eve Music led by the Chancel Choir

11:00 p.m. – Christmas Eve Festival Holy Communion
The story of the Nativity surrounded by candlelight and carols, echoing the words of the prophet: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. On them light has shined.”

Christmas Day Worship

Monday, December 25, 2017
11:00 a.m. – Christmas Day Holy Communion – The Nativity of our Lord is celebrated around word and meal.

First Sunday of Christmas

Sunday, December 31, 2017  (Christmas 1)
Holy Communion at 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. Christmas continues still with the unfolding mystery of the “Word made flesh”, God revealed among us in human flesh.

Advent Memorial Worship

A time to remember our losses

Sunday, December 17, 2017

12:30         Soup lunch and conversation with Rosemary Raynaud, Licensed Counselor and Pastoral Therapist
2:00          Worship in the chapel

Christmas is a wonderful season in many ways, but it can also be a particularly painful time for those who are grieving. Perhaps you are mourning the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the absence of family, or another sadness in your life. All are welcome for an afternoon of personal reflection, learning, comfort, and worship. Together we will find light in the darkness. Contact Pastor Van Kley if you have questions.

Mid-week Worship During Advent

Using the beloved Holden Evening Prayer worship service, we will gather around light, song, prayer, and Word to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. Join us!

Wednesdays, Nov. 29, Dec. 6, Dec. 13, 2017
6:50 – 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary

As always, dinner will be served family-style at 6:15 in the Fellowship Hall. All are welcome!

Adult Forums in December

10:00 a.m. in the Tree of Life Room

December 3, 2017 —  Advent Event (No Adult Forum)
Please join the fun in the Tree of Life Room and Fellowship Hall at our Intergenerational Advent Event! See page 3 for details.

December 10, 2017 —  LYONS: Lutheran Youth of North Seattle
A conversation about the mission and vision of our ministry to youth.

December 17, 2017 —  A Seminarian’s Update
PRLC is blessed to have members in the candidacy process. These are folks who are preparing for ordination to Word and Sacrament or Diaconal ministry. One of them is lifelong member Abby Cress. She is now in her second year at United Lutheran Seminary, the Gettysburg campus. Come and hear about Abby’s journey – where she has been and where she is going. Come and hear about church and ministry from one of our future pastors in training.


Children and Family Ministries Report

The Monelli Memo

People get ready! Advent begins on Sunday, December 3. Are you already stressed, overbooked, or worried? If you have a job and children and extended family, this time of year can be difficult. But I hope you will take heart and follow the lead of the church (and our children) by taking time to take stock, rest and pray, and respond to all around you with joy. Sunday mornings can be islands of peace and renewal during this busy time of year in addition to helping us all keep everything in perspective – yes, it really is about Jesus. And even though schools and extracurricular programs all seem to cram every possible concert, tournament, and more into these few short weeks, is that really such a burden? Remember, your children are only young for a very short period of time, so find other activities to give up (like cleaning the parts of your home no guest will ever see or baking every cookie your grandmother made) and enjoying these events with your kids. So, as we are all called to get ready during this Advent season, let’s do so by grounding ourselves in the knowledge of God’s love and the willingness to share that love with one another.

For His Sake,


People Get Ready

The Advent Event

Sunday, December 3, 2017
10:00am in Fellowship Hall

We will begin this event with a brief presentation for everyone in the Tree of Life room. Then, 7th and 8th grade students will retire to the Teen Room for activities and projects with their mentors; 6th grade confirmation students will go to the kitchen for their Advent experience, and Fellowship Hall will provide everything needed for creating Advent Wreaths along with other crafts and activities for children and their parents and other adults. There will be something for everyone to begin this special season of preparation!


Sunday School

All are welcome to the annual no-rehearsal, joy-filled Nativity pageant on Sunday, December 17 at 10:40 (ish) am in Fellowship Hall. This festive retelling of the first Christmas is put on by the children in preschool through fifth grades and is offered for parents and all members of the PRLC community.


The Phinney Phlames

Sunday, December 10, 2017, 12:15 – 1:30 pm
All youngsters in the 4th and 5th grades are invited to this lively youth group experience. This month we will be doing all things gingerbread, with decorating completions, games, and much, much more. Lunch will be provided and participants should expect a sweet and messy experience. Please contact Nancy at for more information.


Calling all Families with Children

Ring in the New Year with food, games, and more on Sunday, December 31st from noon until 2pm (midnight in Jerusalem). The event will begin with lunch and feature family games and competitions along with the opportunity to start the new year with fellowship and fun. We will even “drop a ball” that we will make ourselves. Sign up sheets will be available soon. If you’d like more information or would like to help with this event, please contact Nancy at


Programs and Activities for the Adult Members of Children and Family Ministry

The Caregiver Circle meets on SUNDAY, December 17, 2017 in Pastor Hansen’s office. If you care for an elderly parent, a loved one with a chronic condition, or a distant relative with continuing needs, you are welcome and encouraged to take part in this support group. This is an opportunity to meet with others experiencing similar life challenges, to learn coping skills, discover local resources, and pray with and for one another. This month we will be discussing the special demands and joys of caregiving during the holidays. If you would like more information, please contact Nancy Monelli at