The Rite of Welcome

On Sunday, January 28th, the day of the PRLC Annual Meeting, we celebrate the Rite of Welcome at both services.  In this rite, our candidates in the WAY process are welcomed into the congregation, receiving the gift of a Bible, prayers of blessing, and the sign of the Cross.    This rite marks the beginning of a journey that leads to baptism or affirmation of baptism.  In addition to the adults asking this journey, our 8th grade confirmation students will be included as they prepare for their Affirmation of Baptism on Pentecost.

Children and Family Ministries Report

The Monelli Memo

Did you know that the Feast of the Epiphany and the season that follows it is about much more than the visit of the wise men? This special day and the weeks that follow are full of wonderful stories about Jesus and many opportunities for families to learn and grow together. Like every other season of the church year, this time invites us to remember the past and celebrate the present in many exciting ways. During this season, we remember the past by reading about how Jesus revealed himself to the world. (The word Epiphany means a revealing or manifesting.) And we celebrate the present by recognizing our call to share (reveal) the good news of God in Christ with others. On this page you will find suggestions of Bible stories to share as a family during these weeks that precede Lent and some suggestions for how families – even families with young children – can share Jesus with others right here in our own community.

For His Sake,

Some Bible Stories to Share with Your Family

The Visit of the Wise Men (Matthew 2:1-15)
Jesus’ Baptism (Matthew 3: 1-17; Mark 1:1-11)
Jesus’ First Miracle at Cana (John 2:1-11)
The Calling of the Disciples (Mark 1:14-20)
The Stories of Any of Jesus’ Miracles
The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 8:2-10; Luke 9:28-36)

If you need suggestions for  versions of these stories for different ages and stages of children please contact Nancy at

Family Activities That Share the Love of Christ

If your family is “artsy-craftsy” –

Make some greeting cards for our homebound members (no special occasion required, just some colorful greetings to those who are alone). You can drop them off in Nancy’s office and she’ll see that they are delivered.

If members of your family are “musical” –

Contact the activity director at a local retirement or nursing home to schedule a time that your family can share their musical gifts with them.

If members of your family are “foodies” –

Make a batch of cookies or muffins or biscuits, etc. and drop them off at Edible Hope or Aurora Commons. (You can even just bring them to Nancy on Sunday or Wednesday and she will deliver them for you).

Contact the folks at Edible Hope ( if you would like to help with their program. Contact Jo-Ann Cress ( to find out how your family can help the PRLC food bank.

The Phinney Phlames

The Youth Group for 4th & 5th graders
The Phinney Phlames will meet on Sunday, January  14 with Joyce Aasland and Nancy Monelli in Room 301-302 from 12:15–1:30
This month we will be celebrating the season of Epiphany with fun and games and more. As always, lunch will be provided.

Sunday School and Bread for the Journey in January

Sunday School: Classes for children and young people (age 3 through high school) meet every  Sunday during January except for Jan. 28. On that date all the classes will   meet together with Nancy for a special program while the adults attend the annual meeting.

Bread for the Journey: All classes and choirs will meet on Wednesday evenings during January beginning on Jan. 10.

5:30 pm: Angel Choir, Choristers, 7th Grade Confirmation, 8th Grade Confirmation, K-2nd Grade Class
6:15 pm: Dinner
6:45 pm: Cherub Choir, Youth Choir, 3rd-5th Grade Class, 6th Grade Confirmation
7:40 pm: Gospel Choir, Chancel Choir

For the Adult Members of Children and Family Ministry

The Caregiver Circle meets on SUNDAY, January 21, 2018 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 explore a meditative prayer discipline to help deal with the stress of caregiving.


Refugees: an Epiphany BfJ Book Study

Wednesdays Jan. 10– Feb. 7, 2018

The worst refugee crisis since WWII is upon us: With 34,000 people fleeing their homes a day and a total of 65 million displaced persons in the world, 20 million of which are refugees, there is a major crisis going on awaiting our awakening. Join Vicar Gompf as she leads you through conversation and a reading of “Seeking Refuge” by Stephan Bauman. Vicar Gompf also recommends the book “Refugee” by Alan Gratz for teenagers, and for families with younger children, “My Name Is Not Refugee” by Kate Milner.  Please purchase your adult BFJ book prior to attendance. A few copies are available for sale at Grace Station ($15), and you will also find them in stock across the street at Phinney Books.


Circles in January

This month’s theme: Refugees

What does the Bible say about the treatment of refugees? Who were refugees in the Bible and why? How does our response to refugees help or hinder? Vicar Pam  Gompf will lead the women’s circles in January on a journey of the refugees of the Bible and how biblical response to refugees over the millennia has changed … or not.

Bethany Circle will meet January 8 at 9:30 at the home of JoAnn Thuring.

Salem Circle will meet January 24 at 10:00 at Randi Valdok’s home.


PRLC Annual Congregational Meeting on January 28, 2018

The congregation’s Annual Meeting will take place between services on January 28, 2018.  This is the occasion, every winter, when we review the previous year and celebrate ministry highlights.  In addition, we approve a budget for 2018.  At both services, we will give gratitude for the ministries of PRLC and pray for God’s lead in the future.  The annual meeting takes place in the sanctuary and it begins between services, at 10:00 a.m.

The Quilt That Is the Catechumenate

The WAY at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church is a process of adult faith formation formally known as the catechumenate.  It is an opportunity to explore, nurture, and renew your faith; affirm your commitment to Jesus Christ; and establish or re-establish your walk as a disciple of Christ. Longtime PRLC member Karen Peterson describes her experience in The WAY, below.

There is one ritual that has always been precious to me since I affirmed my baptism through the catechumenate. In our congregation, we have a “water procession” during the Easter Vigil just before the Rites of Baptism and Affirmation of Baptism begin. All members of the congregation, young and old, are encouraged to bring a vessel that is meaningful to them from home. That vessel is filled with water and they bring it forward to pour it into the larger tub that serves as our baptismal font. I love the imagery of the whole community adding to the baptismal waters, connecting all the saints in one community. It is especially meaningful when there’s an infant baptism, since I’ve been a neonatal intensive care nurse for many years and I see these babies washed in the waters that so many others have provided.

I came into the catechumenate following the difficult breakup of my marriage to a pastor. I didn’t have to go through this process to “join” the church, but was encouraged to and I experienced it as a welcoming and nourishing experience. I felt accepted for who I was as a Child of God, and felt that by affirming my baptism alongside others meant “new life” just as much for me as for those who were baptized at that Vigil. When the pastor prompted all of us during the Vigil and I said along with them “in faith I turn to Christ”, I knew that although my faith journey might have been very different from others, this baptism somehow “wove” us all together.

Since that Vigil 13 years ago, I have served as a sponsor to several other women. Each has been very different, and I have watched each share the difficult parts of their own faith journey with me and with the others in our small group. Besides the water procession, it has been the Rite of Welcome – with the Sponsor “crossing” the different parts of the Candidate’s body – which has been so impactful for me. It’s a reminder that we are to use all of ourselves to do God’s work in the world. To have been crossed by another and to cross others and then to see others in the congregation – including my adult son – experience this rite and this process has been life-giving.

I think the catechumenate has the power to restore a person as an individual in a community; to help them heal and see themselves as a servant of Christ in the world. I love the sharing that happens in the small group, the Bible studies and questioning. But I am surprised and in awe of how the catechumenate forms a faith community from many different sorts of people. Maybe it is fitting that at this point in my life I’ve begun making quilts at the church … alongside the woman who sponsored me, now 13 years ago.

The WAY meets almost every Sunday evening from 5-7 pm in PRLC’s Fellowship Hall. The evening begins with a shared meal, and free childcare is provided. All are welcome to come take part in this time of community and faith formation. Contact Pastor Hansen ( with questions, or call the church office.


Mary’s Place Rotating Shelter Comes to a Happy End

We have spent many weeks over the past 6 years providing loving overnight shelter to homeless women and children through participation in Mary’s Place’s rotating church shelter. Sadly for us, but happily for the clients, Mary’s Place has decided not to continue the shelter program in 2018. As the organization has grown, they can now provide regular shelter beds to all the families they serve. It’s much easier for the clients to operate from one location while they work for permanent housing, instead of picking up and moving each week. When it started, the rotating shelter was a better and cheaper way to keep families safe when the alternative was paying for hotel rooms. We’re sad to see them go, but happy it’s to a better situation.

On behalf of the all the PRLC coordinators who made this program run, I thank each and every one of you who gave of your time and resources toward this wonderful ministry. We look forward to continued partnerships with Mary’s Place down the road.

~ Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher


In the Family

Cheri Rinn; died January 9, 2018

Recently Born
Carson Michael Kruse, born January 2, 2018 to parents Shawn and Nichole Kruse