Children, Youth, and Family Ministry News

Children, Youth, and Family Director Search Update

Our search for a full-time Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministry is underway! Currently the search committee is finalizing the job description, which we will begin advertising nationwide in early June. We still hope to have our new staff person in place well ahead of our program year kick-off in September (ideally by early August). We ask for your prayers as we begin this important work. The members of the committee are: Pastor Anne Van Kley, Vicar Elizabeth Peter, David Roby, Joe Huber, Karla Ogle, Amy Wathey, Erica Shutes-David, Joyce Aasland, and youth representatives Zach Branica and Lindsey Wilder.

Vacation Bible School news

For a variety of reasons (including snow make-up days and staff transitions), we are taking this year off of Vacation Bible School. Families who are looking for a VBS option for their children might consider contacting another church in your neighborhood. Contact Pastor Van Kley if you need help finding these opportunities.

PRLC Family Camping at Camp Lutherwood

The Phinney Family Camping Trip is coming up on July 26-28 at Camp Lutherwood on Lake Samish, and there are still spots available!  The cost is $50 per family.  All are welcome, but families with children under 12 are especially encouraged to attend.  For more information or to sign up, contact Kara Kalenius Novak at

Quilting of the Graduating Seniors

On Sunday, June 2, we will wrap our high school seniors in quilts and surround them with our prayers, marking this important milestone in their lives. Thank you to the PRLC Quilters for these handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts. The 2019 high school graduates are Felix Halvorson, Lachlan Imel, Jonah Maier, and Kai Vickers. Congratulations, graduates!


Come sing or play music!

Phinney Bread for the Journey concert May 15


A Concert to celebrate our musical community and benefit the ELCA program God’s Global Barnyard


All Phinney children and youth are invited to perform music: sing or play a solo, duet, group number, give a preview of your upcoming recital piece, have fun! Any style of music is welcome. We welcome your help to make the concert a success!


May 15th, our second-to-last BFJ, following the the Confirmation dinner.


The PRLC sanctuary


Phinney kids have played music in the past to benefit the family shelter of Mary’s Place. BFJ is winding down so this will be a fun chance to enjoy music together and support a program that seeks to aid people all over the world, supplying people with animals, bees, even water filters and solar lanterns, everything to make their lives better.


Contact our children’s choir director Evelyn Hartwell if you can sing or play something that night! Email Evelyn by Wednesday, May 8th.


All are welcome to enjoy the concert. Treats to follow!


Here’s more info on God’s Global Barnyard:

What is the difference between ELCA Good Gifts and similar organizations?

Many other organizations are doing wonderful work around the world, and some do work in similar ways. A main difference between the ELCA and other programs is that this church receives almost all of the money to fund its work directly through its congregations and members, and almost all of the money that we distribute goes to support the work being carried out by our congregations, global companion churches and ecumenical partners. This is unique because the church is our delivery system. It is successful because the church is present in far corners of the world and already connected and trusted in communities. And finally, it is sustainable. Our churches and partners are the ones who identify local needs and solutions; we just help make those dreams a reality.

What about animals? How can I talk about the importance of animals with others?

Your gifts to God’s Global Barnyard support the sustainable development ministries of ELCA World Hunger, which include training, education, resources (and much more) to help the community care for animals and create new market opportunities like starting a small business selling eggs, meat or dairy products. Your gifts support this comprehensive approach to animal husbandry.

Children, Youth, and Family Ministry News

Children, Youth, and Family Staff Update

This month, the personnel committee and pastors will finalize the position description for a fulltime Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministry. We hope to begin interviews soon. Our goal is to have the position filled well before the 2019-2020 program year begins in September. If you know of qualified candidates for this position, please share the information with them as it becomes available. Most importantly, please pray for the  person who will come to us, and for all those involved in the search and discernment process.

Please take our Vacation Bible School Survey!

A couple of things have thrown a wrench in our usual VBS plans. First, the dates that PRLC families normally prefer for VBS (the first full week after school ends) have been filled with snow make-up days. Since the next week includes a holiday, we are proposing July 8-12 as tentative dates. We will need to rely heavily on volunteers In order to have a successful VBS, especially because we are currently without a dedicated staff member. It may be that a year off of VBS is what is called for, but if we have enough interest, we will continue. Please follow this link to take the survey, so that we can determine the feasibility of VBS this year. Thank you!

Confirmation Banquet

Congratulations to our nine 8th grade students who affirmed their baptisms at the Easter Vigil: Aaron Cornell-Maier, Einar Ogle, Zoey Hogan, Eliana Megargee, Trygg Magelssen, Carys Davis, Lindsey Wilder, Luisa Miller, and Sonja Miller. We will honor them at a banquet during Bread for the Journey on Wednesday, May 15. Come celebrate, hear a bit about their faith journeys, and help us welcome them into full participation of our PRLC community!

Newly Painted Youth Room

If you haven’t wandered around the church lately take a peek inside the Youth room and the Tower room. At our March confirmation retreat we had over 20 youth painting the Youth Room and the Tower Room to renew the walls and make the space their own! We had a fun weekend learning about God, playing sardines, and bonding as a group. A huge thank you to Kari VanSanford for designing and helping to paint our Youth Room Mural. The mural is a beautiful depiction of our baptismal promises:

  • To live among God’s faithful people,
  • To hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper,
  • To proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed,
  • To serve all people, following the example of Jesus,
  • And to strive for justice and peace in all the earth

Bread for the Journey End-of-Year Picnic

Wednesday, May 22, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
West Woodland Park Playground
5500 Phinney Ave. North

Main dish will be provided. Please bring something to sit on and a salad or dessert to share!

Last Day of Sunday School is May 26

We will meet in the Tree of Life room at 10:00. Included in this time of celebration will be our annual Blessing of the Bicycles (and other summer recreation)! Ride your bike to church that morning, or bring other symbols of your favorite summer activities for a blessing.



We will still be hosting Coffee Wednesdays at Herkimer Coffee on Greenwood Ave after school on Wednesdays until 5:00pm. Join us after at Phinney Ridge Lutheran for dinner at 6:00pm and 8th-12th grade youth group from 6:30-7:20pm.

Please make sure all messages with questions, etc. are sent to!

Save the date: Sunday June 2 from 4:00-6:30pm will be our big End of the Year event at Ballard First Lutheran. More details coming soon!

LYONS Dinner Theater Postponed till June:Due to issues coordinating dinner theater and a minimal amount of time to put on a great performance, we have decided to postponed dinner theater until June. We will be incorporating a dinner theater event into the end of year celebration for LYONS in June. More details to follow and sorry for having to change the date.



Children, Youth, and Families

Save the Date!

This year’s snow threw our usual schedule off a bit, but we now have dates! Vacation Bible School will meet this year from July 8-12. Mark your calendars and get ready for fun!

Communion Instruction for Children

Communion instruction for children will take place on Saturday, April 13 from 1 to 3 pm, beginning in the Fellowship Hall. The class is geared toward children between the ages of 4 and 8, give or take a couple of years. Please contact Pastor Van Kley to confirm your place! The class is for children and their parents together, so please have at least one adult stay with your child/ren.

Key Dates for Spring


Important News About LYONS

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

LYONS Director Bryant Williams Bids Us Farewell

To the Congregations of Lutheran Youth of North Seattle:

Three years ago, I sat in my old office in Anacortes and had already begun thinking of the all the emotions of considering transitioning of ministries.  I was excited for new relationships, adventures, challenges, and moving my personal ministry into the city of Seattle. At the same time, I also found myself saddened with the thought of leaving the students, families, and congregation I had been serving for 3 years. I love that congregation and each person I had met. I feared losing relationships and missing out on the next adventures for the congregation.

Once again, I find myself at this impasse.  I have been called and have accepted the opportunity to become the Youth and Family Ministry Director at Advent Lutheran Church in Mill Creek, Washington.  This call gives me the opportunity to serve in my local community with the church only 5 miles away from my home.  I will be working with members of all ages as we find ways to reach out to the growing community around Mill Creek and Everett. I find myself just as I was before, excited for the journey ahead and the new relationships that will be made. I am nervous and excited for the challenges of planning community engagements for a new congregation and community.

And yet, through all this excitement I find myself sad again.  I am sad to be leaving this expansive community here at LYONS.  I will miss planning out all congregation middle school retreats, hanging out at Herkimer or Ballard First for Coffee Wednesdays, having great conversations over Bible Studies, and the joy that came from our monthly events.  I loved our adventures to Idaho, Bellingham, Ocean Shores, Texas, California, and even exploring the local areas of North Seattle.  I enjoyed laughing, crying, and listening to each of you.  I love celebrating your triumphs and comforting you when life turns sour.  It makes me sad to think of the wonderful sermons I will miss from all your pastors, and the vast knowledge they continue to be excited to share with you about our great faith.

Here is what I do know though: this is not goodbye, this is see you later.  While I may move away from being the director of LYONS I will still be active within our larger church on the synod and national levels.  I look forward to seeing each of your churches find new ways to flourish and continue to grow. I will still celebrate your triumphs and pray for you in times of need. I will wave and give hugs when we run into each other at synod gatherings, at camp, up at Holden Village, dance at the ELCA Youth Gathering, and beyond.  Know that I love every one of you, whether we have talked every day or if we have had just a brief handshake in the passing of peace.

My favorite verse is 1 John 4:16b and it states, “God is love, whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God lives within them.” I encourage each of you to continue to love one another. Continue to be the light, joy, and love that this world needs. Blessings to all of you and we will see you down the road.

God’s Love,
Bryant Williams


Important conversations about LYONS and youth ministry

Over the past several months, your staff, church council, LYONS board and partner churches have been discerning both the future of LYONS and our own youth ministry needs at PRLC. It’s time for you to join the conversation. Please join the pastors and LYONS board representatives in the Fireside Room for one of two conversations coming soon. At these meetings you will hear about the process we have gone through to this point, and be able to share your thoughts, questions, and ideas. Church council members will also be available to hear from you and make sure your voice is represented in upcoming decisions. Current youth and parents are especially encouraged to come. The two identical forums will be held at different times in hopes that one will work for your calendar:

Wednesday, March 20 @ 7:30 pm
Sunday, March 24 @ 12:30 pm

Cross-Generational Lenten Discipline

The children of PRLC will be practicing the Lenten disciplines of gratitude and giving, and we invite you to join them! Each week during Bread for the Journey (our Wednesday evening formation time) the children will be “counting their blessings.” For example, on week one we’ll count how many doors are in our church and our homes, and then we will make an offering for each door, thanking God for the gift of shelter. Maybe you can give one penny for each door in your home. Maybe you can give one dollar for each door! Look for an offering box each week in the narthex. The offering box looks like a barn, because all our offerings will be donated to the ELCA’s God’s Global Barnyard project, which provides livestock and other resources to families around the globe. Look for the “assignment” each week in your bulletin, and bring your loose change or other offering to worship each Sunday. Thanks!

Week One (March 10-16):

Count all the doors in your home; give thanks for the gift of shelter; pray for those without homes; make one offering per door.

Week Two (March 17-23:

Count all of your shoes; give thanks for the gift of clothing; pray for those without adequate clothing; make one offering per pair of shoes.

Week Three (March 24-30):

Count all of the water sources in your home; give thanks for the gift of clean water; pray for those in need of safe water; make one offering per water source (sink, tub, toilet, etc.).

Week Four (March 31-April 6):

Count the supportive people you have in your life; give thanks for friends and family; pray for those who are lonely; make one offering per supportive person in your life.

Week Five (April 7-13):

Count how many meals or snacks you eat this week; give thanks for food and those who make it; pray for the hungry; make one offering per meal or snack you eat in a week.

Week Six (Holy Week):

Count other blessings in your life that we haven’t covered, and bring your final thank offering to worship on Easter Sunday.