Thanks from Budapest

On October 5,  2018, PRLC member Zachary Courter was ordained to Ministry of Word and Sacrament at City Park Lutheran Church in Budapest, Hungary, where he is working in the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission with his wife,  the Rev. Rachel Eskesen.

Dear Phinney Ridge Phamily!

Thank you so much for your prayers and support throughout the many years as I’ve continued down this road following God’s call. I very much appreciated the stole and the Trinity icon, as well as all of the cards and notes of support! I look forward to our paths crossing again soon. Thank you again for everything!

My ordination was an incredible celebration of what it means to be church in the world, and what it means to be church–together. It was a joy to receive Bishop Unti’s (ELCA Northwest Washington) and Bishop Fabiny’s (Lutheran Church in Hungary’s Presiding Bishop) blessing on my ministry of preaching/teaching and administering the church’s sacraments. But it was not just the bishop’s blessings, but those in my church family from near and far who were there in person and in spirit.

The service took place on Friday October 5th, at 5pm. The ordination service was bilingual in English and Hungarian, including Bishop Unti’s sermon being translated and preached by Pastor Aradi György of the Budapest-Fasori Evangelical Lutheran Church community. We sang, we cried, we laughed, we shared fellowship, we ate bread and drank wine–followed by cake and goulash. In short, we unabashedly worshiped God.

Thank you so much for your interest and encouragement in my development as a leader in the church. By God’s grace and your support, I have found myself affirmed in a call to God’s people and the church on earth.

If you’d like to be in touch about how to connect with, or enhance your ongoing relationship, with the YAGM Central Europe Program or City Park Lutheran, please email me at with questions.

In Christ,

Pastor Zachary Courter


Hello from the Child Development Center

As the weather changes and the days get shorter, the children get chances to experience all the exciting things about fall.  This month I would expect you to see our children out and about, looking at the changing leaves, studying the fall bugs, and filling the kitchen with delicious smells when they do cooking projects from all the fun things we find around fall harvest.  Last week our children in the two-year-old class made pumpkin bread, and we celebrated the fall with a Halloween carnival in fellowship hall.  It was a great time for all as we had all our children dressed up and playing lots of spooky Halloween games.  As we move towards Thanksgiving it gives us a chance to look at all the great things we are thankful for.  On that list for the CDC is this shared community, space, and vision at the Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, allowing us to do God’s work with the smallest members of our community through our important ministry.

~ CDC Director Tim Sullivan


Food Bank Thanksgiving 2018 Distribution Volunteers and Donations

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and the Phinney Ridge Lutheran 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 28 to Nov 18:

The holiday shopping list is found below and at this link.  Please purchase the items on the list and bring them in by Nov. 18.

Food Bank Holiday Shopping List [pdf]

MTW Oct 29-31 and MTW Nov 5-7, 5:00-7:00 pm:

Volunteer to man our phone lines as we take reservations for the November 20 distribution.

Nov 4-20:

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 19, 7-9 pm:

Prepare 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 20:

9-11 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.   If you have questions, please contact  member Jo-Ann Cress or Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher.


PRLC Food Bank 2018 Thanksgiving Distribution

The Phinney Ridge Lutheran Food Bank is preparing for its annual Thanksgiving distribution. We will supply area families with all the elements of a Thanksgiving feast, including a turkey (or a chicken for smaller families).

If you would like to help make this distribution possible, click on this link for a shopping list of needed items. A list of volunteer activities will soon be posted.

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

  1. Call the food bank at 206-784-7964 at one of these times: October 29, 30, or 31; or the following week on November 5, 6, or 7, 2018; between 5:00-7:00 pm. You will be asked for your name, address, and the number of adults and children in your household.
  2. Come to Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church (7500 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103) on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 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 Thanksgiving Box, you may still be able to receive one. Come to Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church at 3:00 pm on Tuesday, November 20, 2018. At that point we will give away any unclaimed boxes from the day’s distribution. Historically, we have almost always been able to provide Thanksgiving Boxes to everyone who wants one, so your chances are good.

Blessings on you and on the people you love.

HS Sunday School class to assemble wound care kits for Aurora Commons

Our high school youth will be assembling wound care kits for our neighbors at the Aurora Commons. We’d like you’re your help donating the items that go in the kits!

You’ve heard of Aurora Commons right? It’s a home-away-from-home on 90th & Aurora practicing radical hospitality and love to unhoused folk. Phinney already has a meal team that delivers a delicious home-made dinner the second Wed night every month for their Women’s Night event.  Anyway, please consider purchasing one or two of these items and putting them in the donation box in the narthex by Sunday Oct 28th. Thanks!!

These items may be purchased wherever you like–we’ve just provided the links so you can see the item details. We’d like to make a 100 kits if possible.

In gratitude,

the High School Sunday School class

Outreach News

Halloween Neighborhood Trick or Treat Event

On Saturday, October 27th, from 12-3pm, the streets of Greenwood will teem with small superheroes, zombies, animals, and Harry Potters. PRLC loves to participate in this neighborhood program with open doors, warm volunteers, and a mountain of candy to share with the kids. Would you like to help out? Please contact Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher in the office if you can volunteer that day, and/or bring a bag of candy to church anytime before the 27th.

Fundraiser Season

If you’re looking to support agencies doing great work, please consider attending one of these events run by partner organizations of PRLC:

Agros International
Oct 12

Tierras de Vida Dinner and Gala with guest Rick Steves
(Run by church member Chris Megargee!)

Lutheran Community Services NW
Oct 21

North Puget Sound Fundraising Luncheon

Compass Housing Alliance
Oct 25

Building Futures Annual Luncheon

Aurora Commons
Oct 27

Aurora Means Dawn 6th Annual Evening Fundraiser

Open Door Ministries
Nov 3

Seasons of Hope 18th Annual Gala

Faith Action Network
Nov 18

2018 Annual Dinner


Circle of Welcome Ministry

Making Neighbors out of Strangers

~ Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher

When the spirit moves, you should move with the spirit! A year and a half ago, as our Mary’s Place shelter was winding down, John Forseth of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service came to discuss issues facing refugees. One moment I recall from the moving presentation was John tearing up unexpectedly discussing the impact of the new administration’s policies on children of refugee families.

“We need to be involved in this ministry!” was the response I heard directly from more than a few of you. I don’t ignore those moments! I also don’t ignore when our sign-up list for further involvement gathers 30-40 names. When Vicar Pam came to us a year ago, she listened to God and decided to make the development of a refugee leadership team her internship project. What a gift to us! The leadership team consists of church members Peggy Martin, Luci Baker-Johnson, Darrell Kirk, Linda Thorson, Alice Rowe, and myself.

Pam also invited Sam Altis from Lutheran Community Services Northwest for another adult forum to share about the Circle of Welcome program. LIRS contracts with LCSNW to settle refugees, and LCSNW developed the Circle of Welcome program to equip churches to participate in the process. In a nutshell, churches agree to be “hands on” with a refugee family, and with the support and guidance of LCSNW walk with them through every aspect of transition from arrival to self-sufficiency.

As a leadership team, we took time to explore this option and consider if it was right for PRLC. We came to a consensus that Circle of Welcome represented further confirmation of God’s gentle nudging in this direction. After saying yes, we scheduled a Circle of Welcome training for our volunteers. I felt further confirmation when 16 PRLC people devoted most of a Saturday in September to attend this training, and with 6 others trained at different locations we have a great group of people ready to get started!

In my time here, I’ve seen a beautiful progression of front lines ministry unfold. First, we hosted Tent City 3 twice, then 6 years of participation in the Mary’s Place shelter program, and now we are ready to be a Circle of Welcome to a family new to our country. All these programs are significant for the tangible love we give out, but also for the ways they form us as individuals and as a community of Christ in the world. Strangers become neighbors, and our hearts fill with the love that flows back and forth. It’s not too late to be involved! Please contact Coordinator Peggy Martin  to get in the loop.


Lutheran World Relief School Kits

From now until September 9, PRLC is collecting cash, checks (make out to Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church with the memo line “LWR school kits”) and school supplies for LWR’s School Kits campaign. These kits are sent to children in disaster and poverty-stricken countries who aren’t able to attend school unless they can provide their own basic school supplies. We need the following school supplies:

  • 70-sheet notebooks, approx. 8×10.5”
  • 30-cm rulers
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Blunt/safety scissors
  • Unsharpened #2 pencils with erasers
  • Black or blue ballpoint pens
  • Boxes of crayons (16 or 24)
  • 2.5” erasers

The donated school supplies should not have any military, patriotic or religious symbols. Please put all offerings in the containers in the narthex (notebooks can be stacked on the table). Help us reach our goal of assembling 100 kits! Questions? Contact Amanda Darling at 206.697.7447 or


Aurora Commons Meal Team Invites You

Aurora Commons is a “living room” community at 89th & Aurora founded by Awake Church, where they focus on the values of offering a hospitable space: a place where strangers become friends, where societal norms are challenged and vulnerability is welcomed; offering accompaniment, connection, and opportunities to call out folks’ beauty, their gifts; and gently asking them to dream.

The need at Aurora Commons has grown incredibly over this season! Please volunteer to join us for the Second Wednesday Women’s Night Meal Team by contacting member Signe Roscoe ( or Tiffany Megargee ( If you enjoy cooking, baking, buying food or delivering — we’d love to have your help. Learn more about them at

The details: Every second Wednesday of the month (food to church by 5:30pm) we will provide a delicious buffet style meal for 50 in the Aurora Commons “living room” at 8914 Aurora Ave N. We plan via an online sign-up sent via email. Here are the remaining 2018 dates:  Sept 12, Oct 10, Nov 14 & Dec 12.