Dear friends in Christ,
Over the course of the past three years it has been my honor and privilege to serve the congregation of Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church as its Administrator. Even as it was a big challenge to learn all that was involved with the job, it has been hugely rewarding. I felt that my previous work in church offices had prepared me well for the responsibility of the financial management and the oversight of building use and maintenance. I have enjoyed collaborating with the talented and dedicated staff of PRLC, and I have been blessed by the relationships formed with many members through sharing worship, work parties and celebrations, collaborating on the church council or benefitting from your gift of time as office volunteers.
Alas, I need to break the news to those who haven’t heard it yet “through the grapevine”: I will be leaving my position shortly, because my husband accepted an engineering job in the Denver area. This is a great opportunity for Bernard to apply his extensive experience in cellular telephone systems, and I believe the pain of moving our household will be all worth it. For a bonus, it turns out that our son-in-law started work in Denver at just about the same time, which means I get to be closer to my daughter’s family (previously in the S.F. Bay Area) and our adorable grandson! I had always wanted to be an involved grandma, and here is my chance!
As you can imagine, I view my departure with one laughing and one crying eye. I will miss the friendships formed at Phinney, and yes, the rewarding feeling of supporting a faith community that so clearly is committed to making the world a better place. Your passion to support each other, to help those less fortunate, and to thoughtfully discern God’s plan for Phinney, have deeply impressed me. I pray that the Spirit will continue to lead this congregation and staff, and I would appreciate your prayers for me and my family as we start a new chapter in our journey.
My last regular day in the office will be March 15. I plan to assist as much as possible in the transition while the search is under way for a new Administrator. Thank you for the opportunity to work for and with you in God’s Vineyard!
–Kirsten Olshausen, Parish Administrator
On Sunday, March 17 we will have farewell and Godspeed for Kirsten. Please be present to pray God’s blessings on her new journey and to give thanks to God for her ministry among us. Join us for a special reception in her honor between services.
“Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters …”
– Isaiah 55:1 (reading for 3 Lent and the Easter Vigil)
During Lent, adults prepare for their baptism at Easter. Some will be preparing to renew their baptismal vows as they seek a closer relationship with PRLC. They do not walk this path alone. We walk with them. This is most obvious on the Sundays in Lent when we surround these persons with our prayers and support. On the first Sunday in Lent, March 10, Xia Bouzek and Rachel Arteaga will declare their intention to be baptized. On subsequent Sundays they will be prayed over along with their companions in the WAY and the 8th grade confirmation students. In addition to these prayers they will be handed the Apostle’s Creed and gifts for worship and prayer.
All who walk this Lenten journey are seeking to turn to Christ in some new way. We are invited on Ash Wednesday to practice the ancient disciplines of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. Never an end in themselves, they and other practices may serve to help us fully embrace Jesus’ gift of free love. In Lent we ask ourselves how we resist Jesus’ offer of newness and grace and seek to discern what we need to risk or renounce in order to accept Jesus’ priceless gift.
On Sundays in Lent we begin as we usually do, at the font. In Lent that includes music that echoes the offer from Isaiah 55. Then we prepare for worship together with confession and forgiveness. The Rites for WAY and confirmation folks occur after the sermon and are pivotal to these Sundays. Look for a simpler liturgy these weeks, making room for the Assembly to pray: “Return to the Lord your God, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”
The Lenten journey begins on Ash Wednesday, a solemn call to fast as we begin our journey to the baptismal waters at Easter. The liturgy includes confession of sin and the imposition of ashes. With the cross of ashes on our brow, we long for the spiritual renewal that flows from the Easter feast to come. This year Ash Wednesday falls on March 6. We will have three worship opportunities: the 11:15 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. liturgies are held in the sanctuary. At 6:30 p.m. we offer a shorter service in the Tree of Life room, intended for families with children. All three services include imposition of ashes and communion.
More Worship Opportunities in Lent
As we simplify other aspects of our life and seek spiritual depth, we can center around a practice of prayer, either alone or together. In addition to the services offered on Ash Wednesday, we will also be having midweek services every Wednesday during Lent: March 13, 20, 27, and April 3 and 10. Join Vicar Elizabeth at 11:15 in the Chapel for prayer, reflection, and self-examination as we journey together these forty days. Services will be followed by a simple fellowship meal of soup in the narthex together. Please come join us, and enjoy a holy Lent.
I Renounce Them!
Join us for a series of special Adult Forums during Lent as we seek to discern together what we need to renounce as we join those preparing for baptism at the Easter Vigil. All forums take place at 10:00 on Sunday mornings in the Tree of Life Room.
Lent 1, March 10, 2019 – What are we renouncing?
Join the discussion with Pastor Hansen as we explore the wondrous gift of Baptism and probe the questions: “Do you renounce the forces of evil, the systems that defy God, the ways of sin that draw you from God?”
Lent 2, March 17, 2019 – Renouncing Racism
Vicar Elizabeth Peter will lead this discussion and provide testimony. There will also be an exploration of resources from the PRLC Race and Equity Team.
Lent 3, March 24, 2019 – Renouncing Sexism
The discussion will be led by Pastor Van Kley and include a look at the ELCA Social Statement on “Women & Justice.”
Lent 4, March 31, 2019 – Renouncing Homophobia and Transphobia
We will continue to explore what it means for us to be a Reconciling in Christ congregation and hear testimony from those facing this form of discrimination today.
Lent 5, April 7, 2019 – Renouncing Consumerism and Exploitation of the Earth
Join us as we explore God’s call to stewardship of the earth and reflect upon the systems and practices that seek to dominate the creation.
Passion/Palm Sunday, April 14, 2019 – Renouncing Together at the Easter Vigil
Having explored these renunciations in depth, what will our common prayer look like in preparation for the Three Days of Easter?
Dear PRLC Worship Assistants,
Click on this link to find the Worship Assistant Schedule for March 2019. Please take a look at it and note your assignments.
If you find you need to make a change in your assignment, please trade with someone else on the list. (You can email me to request a list of names and contact info if you need it.) Then contact me at the church office to let me know.
If you find you have been scheduled in error, please contact the worship assistant organizer, Ardis Pilz, directly and let her know. And please let Ardis know by March 20 of any dates you will be unavailable in March. Thank you!
Peace to all,
Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church
March 2019 Worship Assistant Schedule [pdf]