Children, Youth and Family

A Note from Nicole

Dear Phinney Friends,
You may have already heard this rumor…and it’s true! Vacation Bible School is my very favorite week of the year, and camp is one of the best places on earth. I am thrilled I will get to share these transformative faith adventures with PRLC this summer. Please check for more details below and mark your calendars.

High School Book Study

Sundays @ 10:00am

All students in grades 9–12 are invited to gather in the youth room each Sunday morning. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be reading and discussing the book Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff by Christopher Moore. See Nicole for a copy of the book and reading schedule and be part of the wondering about the early years of Jesus’ life.

Small Actions, Big Change

Sunday, February 23 @ 1:30–5:30pm

A teach-in style event sponsored by Kids 4 Peace in honor of Black History Month “Small Actions Big Change” on February 23 at the Centilia Cultural Center. Youth grades 6-12 are encouraged to attend and should plan to meet at PRLC at 1:30 and return by 5:30pm. This event will take the place of regular 8th grade Confirmation. Please let Nicole know if you plan to go so she can complete registration and arrange transportation.

Coffee Corner

Wednesdays, February 5, 12, & 26; 3:30–5:00pm

Youth Coffee Wednesdays will be moving to Diva Espresso for the month of February. Students in grades 6–12 are invited to gather there every Wednesday afternoon except February 19.

Bread for the Journey will NOT meet Wednesday, February 19.

Camp Lutherhaven

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho · July 12–17 · Grades 3–12

All the best of a week at camp including worship, Bible study, singing, swimming, boating, crafts, sports, ropes course, climbing tower, zip line, campfires, friendship, and so much more. There are age specific programs available for students entering third grade through high school. Transportation to and from camp will be coordinated by PRLC and Nicole will stay on site all week. Visit to learn more, and please email for the registration link.
The deadline to register is February 29.

Family Camping Weekend at Lutherwood

July 24–26

Grab your tent and a sleeping bag and lets head to Bellingham. You can expect swimming, boating, hiking, singing, playing, and much more family focused fun by the lake and around the fire. Contact Kara Novak to save your spot!

Vacation Bible School

August 10–14 · 9:00am–noon

Participants will explore how Jesus’ power pulls us through on the Rocky Railway! Stay tuned for registration information. Adult and youth volunteers needed. If you might be passionate about serving as a station leader in music, crafts, story, snacks, or games, please connect with Nicole.

Children Youth and Family Ministries in December

A Note From Nicole

By Nicole Meyer

Dear Phinney Friends, 

The King who was coming is still coming!  This is full of mystery. Our Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd graders will be reminded of this each Sunday morning in Advent as they gather at 10am for Godly Play.  A mystery is hard to enter sometimes. That is why the time of Advent is so important. Sometimes we walk right through the mystery and do not even know it is there, distracted by baking, shopping, wrapping, giving, entertaining and so much more.  One of the most important moments at Godly Play each week is when we WONDER together. I’m WONDERING how you will notice the WONDER of our baby king in this season? A king that is on the way, yet most certainly already here. I pray that you will stop, watch, and pay attention as the light grows.  With you in all the expectation of Advent.

A Fall of Fun!

The youth of PRLC have had a fall full of fun including our first fellowship event in October with pumpkin carving followed by dinner roasted over the fire, a fabulous weekend youth retreat at Camp Casey on Whidbey Island, and a delicious feast for Friendsgiving.  Every gathering has included more than 20 youth and many rounds of their favorite game, sardines. Looking forward to much more hiding and seeking in 2020 and beyond!


Christmas Eve rehearsal for those participating in the 5pm worship service will take place on Sunday, December 22 at 3:00. Choristers, Cherubs, and Youth Choir members are all asked to attend the rehearsal.

Later, all are welcome to gather at the Norse Home to offer some festive carols to the community there from 5:30 to 6:30. Please bring a plate of cookies to share. Non-choir members of all ages are invited to be a part of the caroling!

Falalala Lock-In

December 20-21st @ 6pm – 9am

All youth in grades 6-12 are invited!  We’ll meet at PRLC at 6pm and then things will get WILD as we head to Woodland Park Zoo to see the lights, before returning to church for a full night of festive fun.  Late night pizza, ingredients for the great Christmas cookie bake-off, and a hot breakfast will be provided. Please dress warmly and bring a wrapped gift for a white elephant exchange, your sleeping bag, pillow and whatever else you need to be cozy overnight.  If you can contribute $20, that will help cover our costs.

Sunday School Schedule

Confirmation Mentor Sunday is December 15

Confirmation students in grades 6,7, & 8 and their mentors will gather in the Fellowship Hall for an experience sure to be full of ADVENT-ure and other age groups will meet as usual. 

December 8th and 22nd are regular class days. 

There will be NO Sunday School on December 29, but we’ll resume on January 5th.

Coffee Corner

We’ve decided to “stay in” for coffee Wednesdays this month and will be gathering in the youth room for hot cocoa, Christmas movies, and other seasonal surprises December 4, 11, and 18 from 3:30-5pm.

BFJ December Schedule

Our whole community is invited to join in midweek evening prayer on Wednesdays during Advent. We will gather for contemplation, song and prayer, using the Holden Evening Prayer liturgy, at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday December 4, 11, and 18.

For this reason, we’ve slightly revised our usual BFJ schedule for December. Here’s what will happen: 

*No Confirmation classes

5:15 Youth Choir

5:30 COMBINED Choristers and Cherubs rehearsal

6:00 Dinner for all (watch your bulletin for opportunities to sign up!)

6:20 Gospel Choir rehearsal

6:30 Advent Evening Prayer in the Sanctuary (30-45 minutes)

7:30 Chancel Choir 

There will be NO Bread for the Journey activities on December 25 or January 1. Our regular schedule resumes January 8.

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