Walking the Way

“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.”

Ash Wednesday

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.


Lent Begins in March

A great blessing of the Liturgical Renewal movement has been the recovery of Lent and Easter as times for baptismal preparation and renewal.  Lent is not a sad time.  Nor is it a prolonged reflection on Jesus’ Passion.  That’s reserved for Holy Week.  Lent is a time for personal and communal change and transformation.  For adults in the WAY process, Lent is a time to prepare for baptism at the Easter Vigil.  For other adults in the WAY and our 8th grade confirmation students, Lent leads to a renewal of baptism at Easter.  For all of us, Lent is a time to prepare with joy for the Easter Feast.  The 50 days of Easter then become a training ground for ministry in daily life. Look for various rites at worship during Lent.  These are times to pray for and with the people who are preparing for baptism or renewal of baptism.  Notice, too, the themes of the lectionary readings and the many opportunities before us to grow in faith and renounce those things that prevent a deeper engagement with the things of God.

This year we are provided with rich fare through Lent, compliments of the Gospel of Luke – Jesus fasting in the wilderness, Jesus’ lamenting over Jerusalem and longing for God’s people to return as a mother hen longs to gather chicks under her wings, Jesus’ parable of a fig tree calling us to return to God, the return home of the prodigal son to his forgiving father, and finally, Mary’s extravagant anointing of Jesus before his burial. These scriptures are calling us to return to God who is gracious and merciful and to make our true home in Christ.

The Lenten journey begins this year on March 6thThere are three opportunities to worship on Ash Wednesday: 11:15 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary and a family-oriented service at 6:30 p.m. in the Tree of Life room.


Lutheran Summer Music Recital and Service of Evening Prayer

Join LSM alumni and friends for a recital and

service of Evening Prayer

~ Light reception to follow ~

December 2, 4:00 PM
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
Mercer Island, WA

Thomas Bandar, Viola
Executive Director
Thomas Bandar, Executive Director and Viola Faculty at LSM, welcomes you to enjoy a program of Beethoven, Brahms, Bach and more. Bandar maintains a dual career as an administrator and artist, and is thrilled to bring an Evening of LSM to the Pacific Northwest.

Rev. Paul Hoffman
LSM 2019 Chaplain
Rev. Paul Hoffman, formerly of Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, will preside over a service of Evening Prayer in true LSM style. Rev. Hoffman looks forward to returning to LSM in 2019 to serve as chaplain.

This recital is free and open to all! A freewill offering will be collected to support LSM 2019. If you are unable to attend and would like to donate, you may do so online.

Worship During Christmas

Christmas Worship Times

Monday, December 24 , 2018
+ Christmas Eve

5:00 p.m.

A very special Christmas Eve liturgy led by the Youth Choir and the Children’s Choirs presenting the story of Jesus’ birth from Luke’s Gospel. Come at 4:30 for the special pre-service music!

Festive Candlelight Eucharist
11:00 p.m.

At this liturgy we “pull out all the stops” for a festive Eucharist.   “Hymn and chant and high thanksgiving …” led by the Chancel Choir. Come at 10:30 to hear the beautiful music of the pre-service recital.

Tuesday, December 25 , 2018
+ Christmas Day

11:00 a.m.

Christmas Day Holy Communion with beloved carols and the good news from the Gospel of John.

Sunday, December 30, 2018
+ First Sunday of Christmas

Eucharist with Lessons and Carols
8:30 and 11:00 a.m.

Gather around God’s gifts of Word and Meal on the First Sunday of Christmas with the Service of Lessons and Carols.


(Image: Swanson, John August. A Visit, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. Used by permission under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial ShareAlike 3.0 License.)


Worship in November

The month of November begins with the Feast of All Saints and ends with the Feast of Christ the King.  There is more than a hint of the consummation of all things or “end times” in the scripture readings for November.  It’s reflected in the autumn landscape and chilly temperatures.  Winter is on its way.  Death is part of life.  The good news, though, is this: death does not have the final word.  This note of hope helps carry us through our tears of grief over beloved saints who have died, and God’s promise of a new heaven and a new earth makes us practitioners of hope here and now.  In fact, the reign of Christ the King has already begun!  We live to love our neighbors and ourselves in hope and joy, for Christ is risen.


Special Sundays in October

October is always a special month at PRLC.  We take a “time out” from the Sundays in Ordinary Time to celebrate special Sundays:

The Feast of St. Francis is celebrated this year on October 7th and includes the annual Pet Blessing at the 8:30 service.  Please bring your cat, dog, gerbil or whatever favorite companion to this service for a special blessing.  This traditions has long been associated with the saint who was known for befriending animals, loved nature, preached to birds, and even tamed a wolf.

The Feast of St. Luke is celebrated this year on October 21st with healing prayers offered to all in the assembly at both services.  Luke, identified as the author of the third Gospel and the book of Acts, was believed to be a physician.  His day has been dedicated to prayers for the sick and to caregivers and to services of healing.

Reformation/Reconciliation Sunday commemorates Luther’s posting of the 95 theses and has become an occasion to lift up Ecclesia semper reformanda est – the church is always in need of reform.  On this day we lament the divisions in the church and pray for its constant renewal.  This day is rightly seen as a festival of the Holy Spirit.


Remembrance of All Saints

Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday November 1, 3, & 4, 2018


All Saints Worship Service

Thursday, November 1,  2018                    7:30 pm

John Rutter‘s Requiem is a musical setting of parts of the Latin funeral mass with two added psalms  – Psalm 130 “Out of the Deep” and beloved Psalm 23 “The Lord is My Shepherd”.   It was completed in 1985 and was written in memory of Rutter’s father, who died the previous year. In the first six months after publication it received over five hundred orchestral performances in America alone.  Rutter envisioned this work as a requiem for our time.  The beauty and accessibility of the music and the profound melding of text and tune have endeared the work to countless singers and listeners.

A Quiet Day For All Saints

Saturday, November 3, 2018                    8:30 am-2:00 pm

There are many things that can only be seen through eyes that have cried.
– Oscar Romero

All Saints Sunday (Nov. 4 this year) provides all of us with the opportunity to remember and celebrate those we love but see no more. But as we remember and celebrate, we also grieve. This year we are offering the opportunity for all who grieve to bring their remembrances, feelings of loss, and need for healing to a Quiet Day of preparation for All Saints.

Meeting from 8:30 am until 2:00 pm on Saturday, November 3, 2018, this program will offer a time for prayer and reflection, a time to share stories of those we miss, and a time to sit in the presence of our risen Lord and allow his healing love to enfold us.

Whether your loss is recent or your grief has been a long-time companion, you are invited to take part in this experience.

All Saints Sunday Worship

Sunday, November 4, 2018          Services at 8:30 & 11:00 am

Our All Saints celebration culminates in Sunday morning’s festive worship.  We will remember those from Phinney who have died this past year, and we welcome new saints into the Body of Christ through the celebration of Holy Baptism at both services.  You are invited to bring photos of loved ones now deceased and place them on tables in the sanctuary. We celebrate the baptisms of Cassia Laudadio and Kincade Shutes-David.




Pentecost Sunday, May 20: One Service at 10:00

Pentecost is the culmination of Easter’s 50 days.   At Pentecost we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  It is the Spirit of Christ who breathes new life into the church, and provides us with energy for life, faith, and ministry.  At every celebration of Holy Communion, we pray that the Holy Spirit will make the bread and wine on the table to be the Body and Blood of Christ and to make us, the gathered assembly, to be Christ’s body in the world. It is the Spirit who makes God present and alive.

What a glorious day for the whole church to come together!  We will celebrate Pentecost in one service at 10:00 a.m. followed by a special reception Baptisms will be celebrated, as well as Confirmation (Affirmation of Baptism).

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people, and kindle in us the fire of love.


Prayer Vigil 2018

As our WAY candidates ready themselves for baptism or affirmation of baptism, we as a congregation have a tradition of holding them each in prayer for the 24 hours leading up to Easter Vigil. We do this by individually signing up to pray for a specific half-hour in that 24-hour span, referring to the candidates’ prayer requests that have been shared previously.


The Paschal Triduum

THREE DAYS are at the center of the Christian Year. The liturgies of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil are the most important of the year. The Three Days constitute ONE liturgy that begins on Thursday and culminates at the Vigil on Saturday evening. Please be present for the entire Three Days as we pass with Christ from death to life.

At both services on Maundy Thursday,

you have opportunity to have your feet washed and/or wash the feet of another person. You are invited to experience the reality of which Christ spoke and demonstrated: being served by another and serving others. The gesture points to the posture of Christian service that invites our whole selves. Should you participate in the foot washing, you may wish to wear sandals or shoes that are easily removed when you come to worship on Thursday.

As you arrive for the Great Vigil of Easter on March 31,

you’ll notice a big fire near the entrance on Greenwood. This year, instead of gathering on the lawn, please pass by the new fire of Easter on your way into the church building. There you can leave your water vessel, and the ushers will give you a candle and a bulletin. Please gather in the darkened worship space in silence to await the Service of Light.

You are invited to bring a special water vessel for participating in the Great Vigil of Easter – a cup or jar or pitcher or family heirloom or anything that you regard as special that speaks of your life and story. When you arrive at the Easter Vigil on Saturday before 6:30, you can place them on the table reserved for them. The ushers and water stewards will be available to assist you as needed. At the time of the water procession, you are invited to join the assembly in returning to the narthex space, where you will retrieve your vessel so that you may participate in the water procession.