Sunday Worship and Other Activities Suspended

All activities cancelled until further notice.

The Food Bank will remain in service on Tuesdays from 1:15 to 3:00pm, and Wednesdays from 6:15 to 8:00pm, serving on a walk-up basis with no appointments necessary, and with personal distancing measures in place. Please consult the King County Health coronavirus recommendations for more information.


Beloveds,
We are sad to announce that we have decided to cancel Sunday worship services, along with all PRLC ministries and programs. We know that this is a major loss, and for many it will feel like yet another blow in a flurry of closures and cancellations impacting our emotional and mental health. We also know, however, that we have a responsibility to follow the recommendations and restrictions that have been developed by experts, especially for the sake of our most vulnerable neighbors. Our decision is also in line with the recommendation of our bishop and aligned with other congregations in our area. At this time, worship at PRLC is canceled for March 15 and March 22, and we’ll continue to monitor and assess the situation day by day.

While we will miss worshiping God together, we also know that the Church is not a building! The Church is the body of Christ, and that body is as alive and active as ever. Here are a few ways you can continue to worship and serve God while our building is closed:

  • The Gospel reading and sermon will be videoed and posted on Sunday morning. This week, we’ll hear the story of the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at a well. How fitting for us, as we walk this wilderness path seeking refreshment and renewal! We had already planned to replace our usual “sermon” with a dynamic testimony from PRLC member Donna Linn. Thank you, Donna, for being willing to adjust to a video message. You won’t want to miss it! Watch for other online resources in coming days.
  • Our worship bulletins and sermons are always accessible online. Take time to read through the bulletin, and especially to pray for those on our prayer list.
  • A daily reflection will be posted by a staff member every day on our PRLC Community Facebook page. Join now if you haven’t already! This page can also be a great way for you to share prayer requests and updates, and continue being in conversation with one another.
    Think about who normally sits around you in worship. Give them a call! Staff will continue to work in the building during normal office hours, so call us if you need contact information for a fellow member.
    Similarly, remember that a couple of years ago posted a “Who is my neighbor?” map in the narthex, and people were invited to peg their home location on that Seattle-area map. Small groups were formed by neighborhood for Lent that year. Would it be possible for you to connect with PRLC members who live in your neighborhood? If you’re healthy, take a walk, pray together, read and discuss the daily lectionary.
  • Devotional booklets for individuals and families have been available at PRLC for the past couple of weeks. If you’d like us to mail you one, please let us know.
  • Sing hymns! Read your Bible. Take a walk and marvel at God’s creation while breathing fresh air. Pray the psalms.
  • Continue supporting the mission of our congregation by mailing your offering or giving online. The work of our congregation around the region and world does not stop during this disruption, and we are committed to paying all of our employees fully. See below for instructions to give online or by text.
  • Monitor the community health situation and take precautions to protect yourself and your neighbors. Be sure to get news from reputable sources such as the King County Health Department. Also, turn off the news when you start feeling anxious!
  • This is a Lenten fast that none of us would choose, but we know that God desires abundant life for us, and that Christ walks with us through this. We believe that there are always blessings to be found in times of wilderness, and we pray for God to open our minds and hearts to new ways of being Church that we never imagined before. The resurrection celebration will be so sweet when we gather again!

While the pastors will not be making our normal visits to hospitals and senior living centers, we are still here for your spiritual care. Please let us know if you or someone you know is sick or in need of prayer or conversation.

In God’s peace,
Pastor Anne Van Kley
Pastor Bryon Hansen

March Events Cancellation

Sunday Worship at Phinney Ridge continues at 8:30 and 11:00am.
Other church activities suspended until the end of the month.

Dear Friends in Christ,
Due to concerns over the possible spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have decided, along with many other churches and organizations, to cancel all PRLC activities except Sunday morning worship.
The doors will be open for worship on Sunday at 8:30 and 11:00. As we advised in last week’s email, please stay home if you feel sick or have cold and flu-like symptoms. Regular Sunday gatherings outside of worship (Sunday School, Adult Forum, the WAY and 8th grade confirmation) will be canceled. Wednesday activities are canceled, as well. This includes the Lenten worship and soup lunch, Spirited Women, youth coffee, and all Bread for the Journey activities—confirmation, classes, adult study, choir rehearsals, and the BfJ dinner. When we do gather for worship, we will adjust things just a bit (as we did this past Sunday) to protect the health of all those in attendance. Please assess your own risk level when determining whether to come to worship or not.
We are sad to suspend normal parish activities, especially during this time of Lent. Be assured that this decision was made following a good deal of conversation and prayer. We are not pushing the panic button, but taking recommended measures to preserve the health and well-being of our PRLC members and friends.
In challenging times like these there are always opportunities to do life and ministry in alternative ways. So, even as you stay put in your homes, please consider accessing these resources:

  • If you have not plugged into the PRLC Facebook page, know that we will be providing daily reflections throughout Lent beginning tomorrow. Either Pastor Bryon, Pastor Anne, Nicole or Patrick will be providing a reflection based upon one of daily lectionary readings. If you have not done so, please find the Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church Community page. It’s easy to join.
  • In the weekly email we will provide access to Sunday bulletins and sermons. These are always available at www.prlc.org.
  • Should you want hard copy versions of the Lenten devotions for families or adults let us know and we will be happy to mail them to you.
  • Take a moment to contact other PRLC siblings in Christ, electronically or over the phone, to check in.
  • And we ask you to take time to pray for our church community, the church of Christ in all lands, and the needs of all the world.
  • If you have a worship book at home, the orders for morning prayer, evening prayer, and prayer at the close of the day are rich resources for worship and prayer.  So are the psalms.

Though we may find ourselves staying home more than we wish, we trust that we can make the most of this time by observing Lent in prayerful and reflective ways. We also have opportunity when we return to parish life as we know it to celebrate the season of Easter in fresh ways. In fact, we could very well celebrate midweek services in the Easter season!
In 1 John, we are told that “perfect love casts out fear.” This verse from scripture doesn’t mean to suggest that we are never afraid. Nor does is suggest that we exercise love perfectly. It does point to the good news that true and perfect love comes from God and in times of anxiety we depend upon God as our best resource for life. Be not afraid. God is with us and nothing can separate us from the love of God who enfolds us, gives us good courage and makes us wise.
Pastor Hansen and Pastor Van Kley

Coming this Summer

Family Camping Weekend
at Lutherwood · July 24–26

Grab your tent and a sleeping bag and let’s 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!

Camp Lutherhaven
July 26–31

(Note Date Change!)

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.

Youth Coffee Wednesdays

Wednesdays in March
3:30–5:00pm

Youth Coffee Wednesdays will be happening in the Youth Corner outside Nicole’s office for the month of March. Students in grades 6-12 are invited to gather there every Wednesday afternoon.

Spring Youth Retreat

Friday, March 27, 5:00 p.m. – Sunday, March 29 noon
6th–12th Grade · $140 (scholarships always available)

Come along and explore what it means that God
places a comma where we put a period, With this weekend’s lectionary text about Lazarus as our guide, we’ll PAUSE together overlooking the ocean in a beautiful waterfront home in Seabrook, Expect time to swim in an indoor pool, beach play, scrumptious home-cooked meals, and lots of fun and laughter!

Register online by March 18.