Meet Your Congregation Council

Outgoing Council Secretary Marie Gehman

Marie Gehman, Outgoing Council Secretary

Our family has been part of Phinney Ridge Lutheran since 1988, when my husband David and I found a home where together we could worship and grow in our spiritual lives. What struck us then, and continues to be something we are proud to belong to, is the welcoming and multi-generational nature of this congregation.

Currently, I am a Simulation Specialist at Northwest Hospital, assisting in the training of nursing and medical staff using high-tech mannequins. I love to try new things, and so my work-life has also included time as a hairdresser, bookkeeper, elementary teacher, lab manager, and executive assistant. Over the years, I have lent my hands to service at Phinney as a Sunday School teacher, Council Treasurer, and Quilter; I have served on a call committee, as part of the original WAY team, and more. I am just about to finish a term on Council, with the last two years serving as your secretary. Time on Council gives such a wonderful understanding of the whole of the work here at PRLC. We all have our areas where we see our service, but being on Council reminds us anew of all the gifts our Phinney family brings to the table.

The Phinney community has been an amazing extension of our family, and I feel very blessed by it.


Find Us on Facebook!

On August 17, 2011, longtime member Candi Olson created a Facebook group for Phinney Ridge Lutheran as “a place for members and friends … to share.” That group has grown to over 160 members. It’s been a great place for members to share videos, celebrations, neighborhood information, and appeals for help and/or prayers. It has served our congregation well.

A Facebook GROUP, though, is restricted to members and is not accessible to the general public. We’d like to grow our outreach so that PRLC has a greater presence in the community as a whole. To that end, we have launched a PRLC Facebook PAGE. This PAGE went live on May 2 and already has 30+ “likes”. Everyone on Facebook can connect with our new Facebook page by becoming a fan and then receive updates.

To find the page you can search for “Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church” or just use this link. Here are some things that you can look for when you arrive on the page:

  • On the right side (panel) you will find 1) a brief description of the congregation and # of likes 2) Logistical particulars (address, web address, hours, phone number, and a live link to messaging-privately. 3) Visitor Posts.
  • On the left side (panel) you will find several tabs, i.e. Home, About, Events, Photos, Videos, Notes, etc. You can click on these and it will take you to a page that provides additional information, including other links.

We welcome your engagement on the page. Please do one or more of the following:

  • Tag people you know in the photos.
  • Check out the Events link and click if your interested and/or going to an event.
  • Check out the photos! I’ve set up various albums; e.g. God’s Work. Our Hands; Historic Photos; Pastoral Staff; 100th Anniversary Celebration. Upload your photos to any of these albums and/or start a new album! I’ve uploaded a couple of videos and more will be coming soon. If you have a video from a church function, consider uploading it here. (Be sure to include only pictures and videos that either a) have already been made public on Facebook, or b) you have permission to share.)
  • Check out the Notes section in particular. I’ve used this section to profile various aspects of our church community. For example: Worshiping at PRLC; CDC; Food Bank at PRLC; Music is God’s Creation; The WAY; Sunday School; Adult Forums.
  • “Review” the church. Tell people what you think about PRLC and rate it 1-5 stars.

Our hope and intent is to raise public awareness of our congregation and to reach out to the larger community with God’s work and our hands.

~ Luci Baker Johnson


The King of Neighborhood Events

The Car Show, which takes place on Saturday, June 24th, delivers to our front door one of the largest street fairs in the state! What an opportunity to engage our beautiful city, and share the gift of warm hospitality with thousands. Plans are in the works for live music on our front lawn, and as always we’ll have treats and refreshments for all visitors. Look for volunteer sign-ups in Sunday bulletins, or contact Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher if you can make it. We’ll need lots of help!


Sunday, June 4 – LYONS End of the Year BBQ

Join us for a time to celebrate our seniors, spend time in community, and look back at all the fun things that happened this year. We will be at St John United Lutheran from 6:00-8:00pm. Please bring a side dish or dessert to share, we’ll provide the rest. All LYONS youth, families, friends, alumni, etc are invited.

Sunday, June 11 – High School Campfire at Golden Gardens

What better way to kick off summer than with a campfire and s’mores at the beach? Join us from 6:00-8:00pm at Golden Gardens. Don’t forget a jacket or blanket in case it gets chilly.

Sunday, June 25 – Pride Parade

LYONS will be joining our congregations that are walking in this year’s Pride Parade. We will be meeting at St John United and taking the bus downtown, so please bring bus fare. Meeting time is TBD, so look for it on the LYONS website or in the church bulletin. All are welcome to join us!

Wednesdays After School

All LYONS youth and their friends are welcome to join us after school for some time outside exploring the Wallingford Farmer’s Market. We will be there from 3:30-5:00pm throughout the school year.


Greetings from the Child Development Center

~ Tim Sullivan, CDC Director

After months of soggy playground play and puddle jumping, spring is finally here, and the CDC children are loving every minute of it!  As the weather warms up you can expect to see our children outside on our playgrounds, exploring our community on field trips, and working in our gardens around the building.  Over the past months, the children and staff have been busily planning and working on gardening projects.  We are having so much fun getting dirty, learning the science involved in gardening, and planning and shopping for our school garden.  The children are filled with pride in their work. It’s gratifying for them to use their own ideas and hard-working hands to create something beautiful for their school.  We hope you can enjoy it, too.  While you are around the building, feel free to stop by and experience our sensory garden in the playground lobby, try a green bean from our vegetable garden, or just enjoy the beauty of our child-maintained garden as you walk up the hill to the church office.


Office Needs — Can You Help?

If you click on this link you can read about our beloved office manager’s much-deserved sabbatical from early August into early October. Anybody who has ever observed how efficiently and graciously Christina handles the multitude of responsibilities that come with running this church office – publications; visitor and phone traffic; volunteer coordination and calendaring – knows that she has a big job, and that none of us on staff could cover for her for 10 weeks.

While some of Christina’s tasks may get simplified or taken on by others in her absence, we are looking for help in two areas:

  1. Paid temporary office position focusing on core communication tasks (weekly bulletins, Wednesday emails, monthly newsletter, email): The anticipated work would be about 24 hours in August (presumed Monday through Thursday, with some flexibility in hours) and 28-30 hours per week in September/early October. We are open to the possibility that two qualified persons might follow each other, with one having availability for instance before August 31 or Labor Day, another after. Good computer skills required; familiarity with Publisher a plus. If you or someone you know would be interested in applying, please contact Christina ( or myself (
  2. Increased volunteer hours: The office has been blessed with a number of regular volunteers who answer the phone, assist visitors and do many helpful tasks such as stuffing bulletins and mailings, usually between about 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. In order to minimize interruptions for the paid temporary staff person (above), I would like to find a few folks willing to commit to 2-3 hour afternoon “stints”, ideally on a repeating schedule. [For example: 1:00-4:00 p.m. on 1st, 3rd and 5th Wednesday in August.] We would really appreciate hearing from you, and will gladly accept your gift of time! (No computer literacy required; if you are fairly new to PRLC, this could be a great way to get more connected.)

Thank you — please help to spread the word!

Kirsten Olshausen, Parish Administrator (and a big fan of Christina’s – “she makes it look so easy!”)


Saint Olav and the Office

Office Manager Christina Bogar getting ready for her sabbatical

~ Christina Bogar, Parish Communications and Office Manager

When I began working at Phinney, back in 2011, I understood that my job as office manager wasn’t just about managing the office. Church work is different from work at other places. For many of us it’s a calling. At Phinney it’s considered a ministry.

The PRLC Employee Handbook includes the generous provision that some designated ministry workers are rewarded with periodic sabbaticals. After 6 years, the time has come for mine. Starting on August 6 of this year, I will be gone for a 10-week period of rest, retreat, and renewal.

I’m deeply grateful for this gift. With it I plan to visit Norway – the land of my father’s ancestors, but one I have never visited – and while there I plan to walk the Saint Olav’s Path, going from Oslo to Trondheim, and ending at Nidaros Cathedral, which honors Saint Olav, Norway’s patron saint. It’s a 400-mile journey, and pilgrims walked it for hundreds of years before it fell into disuse at about the time of the Reformation. In the last few decades it’s been revived, and I plan to join the modern pilgrims who will be walking it this summer.

My absence will of course affect office operations. We plan to hire temporary staff to cover the essential, technical aspects of what I do, especially desktop publishing. We anticipate a workload of 24 hours per week in August, going up to 28-30 hours per week in September. (Please contact the office for details, and know that we would welcome referrals of qualified applicants.) We plan to reduce office hours in the summer, and to rely more heavily on our office volunteers for reception duties and other office tasks. (We would also welcome new volunteers in this area – again, please contact the office for details.)

I promise to tell you all about my journey when I return. And I’d like to invite anyone who’s able to help me practice my few Norwegian words and phrases before I leave! Thank you for your patience as we work out solutions and stretch our administration staff to cover these weeks. And thank you for the blessing of this time.


Congratulations to Graduating PRLC Seminarians!

Diakonda Gurning completed his theological education and graduated from  Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, on May 20th. In addition, Diakonda was awarded the Walter Capps Prize for Ministry in the Public Sphere.  Congratulations and blessings to Diakonda!

PRLC member Zach Courter was awarded the Master of Divinity degree at the PLTS Commencement.  Zach and his wife, Pastor Rachel Eskesen, are global missionaries in Hungary.


Farewell from Vicar Katherine


This is an impossible article to write! I am your Vicar, Katherine, and I’m somehow supposed to un-become your Vicar and bid you all a fair adieu. I see so many graduation posts on my Facebook lately, and this feels like my final graduation, without even the consolation of a silly hat. I have finished all the assignments (A grades, thank you), submitted all the paperwork, and preached my final sermon to you. I’m officially off to go become something other than a Vicar, improbably, it will be a Chaplain for now, and I stay in the hope of becoming somebody’s Pastor some day soon. I can not step out into the future that God and the Candidacy Committee have in mind while remaining here, and yet it is here that I would like to be. You have meant so much to me.

You have been unfailingly kind to me. You have given me grace, and compliments, and lefse, and so many cups of coffee, and hugs. You have given me peace and trust and joy. You have given me prayer and hope and blessings on this pilgrim journey. I receive all of these blessings with a heart full of gratitude, and when I am struggling through my next call in life, I will turn to these memories as precious jewels. I cannot tell you how much it has meant to share this time with you.

As for you, I leave you with my peace. This peace is only on loan from Christ, and I trust you will use it well until we meet again. Thanks for all the coffee.

Your Vicar,
Katherine GrayBuck