Walking Alongside Our WAY Candidates

In Lent, we support our WAY candidates as they prepare to renew their baptismal promises at the Easter Vigil in these ways:

Rites during Sunday worship – On the Third Sunday in Lent, those walking the WAY will receive the gift of the Creed and on the Fifth Sunday in Lent, they will receive prayer books.  In both rituals, we will pray God to” raise them by God’s Spirit, revive them by God’s word, and form them by God’s hand.”

Prayers of the People – Each Sunday, several of the petitions led by the Assisting Minister come from the intentions of these persons preparing to affirm their baptisms.

Sponsors – A sponsor functions as a companion for folks in the process.  They join them all through the journey and are present, too, at the Sunday evening gatherings.

Pray for: Ellen Arrington, Amanda Darling, Riley Donelson, Renée Dudley, Darrell Kirk, Jim Popp, Liz Schmidt, Steve Schmidt, Daniel Vanger, Fred Vonderlage


Lenten Book Group Forming

Last summer, as a congregation, we read Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon To White America by Michael Eric Dyson, and then met together on an evening in August to discuss the book.

This year, we would like to offer a six-week book group during Lent in an effort to “unpack” the book and grow further through the experience together. If you are interested in being a part of this book group, please contact Jenn Boelter at jenneepiejoi@aol.com, and more information will be provided as Lent approaches.

Adult Forums in February

Sunday mornings at 10:00

Feb. 4 – Peanut Butter Miracles!

PRLC members Rody and Alice Rowe led a nutrition program for six years serving severely malnourished children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They will tell the story of that calling and reflect on:

  • The vocational call on all followers of Jesus
  • The “Feed Congo Kids” venture
  • Life in the Congo
  • On-going work in the Congo through a non-profit called “Our Family in Africa”

Feb. 11 – No Forum today

All ages are invited to come take part in the Lent Event.

Feb. 18 – Lutheran World Relief: Helping Families in Poor Communities across the World

Come and learn what you are doing through Lutheran World Relief around the world to break the cycle of poverty and to respond to some of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. In addition to financial gifts, did you know that the quilts tied on Tuesday mornings at PRLC go to Lutheran World Relief efforts?  Our guest speaker will be Reverend Jonathan Buck, philanthropic advisor for LWR.

Feb. 25 – Welcoming the Stranger: Sanctuary and Faith-Based Solidarity for Such a Time as This

Acts of accompaniment and solidarity, sanctuary and immigration rights, are all part of the Christian tradition. As people of faith, public witness rooted in our relationships with immigrants and refugees can help lead us toward the vision of the Beloved Community.  How are we called to act in “such a time as this?” Our guest speaker will be Michael Ramos, Executive Director of the Seattle Greater Council of Churches.


Spirited Women Beginning New Book Study

Spirited Women is a group of women who meet every Wednesday morning to talk about the book they’re reading, as well as the questions, doubts, and certainties of daily faithful living. Their first meeting of the year will be January 10, 2018 at 10:00 am in the Tree of Life room. They are starting a new book: Bitten by a Camel: Leaving Church, Finding God, by Kent Dobson. Books are available for purchase at the Grace Station on Sunday morning (cost $20, payable by check or exact change only), or at Phinney Books, across the street from the church, where you will receive a discount if you mention Spirited Women. The book is also available for download on to electronic readers.

Start the new year off by joining Spirited Women for spirited conversation, coffee, tea, and treats. All are welcome.


Happy 2018 from the Child Development Center!

As the holidays and the year end, it is always an exciting time downstairs in the CDC.  Things slow down a bit, and we have a little time off and have a lower number of children at school each day while many of the children are visiting family and friends for the holidays.

That time always gives me a chance to reflect on the upcoming year, as well as all the joys and challenges we faced in the last year.  As I reflected on this last year, one thing I kept coming back to is how thankful I am for the position I have and the support I have from the CDC families, our local community, and Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church.   One example of this was the preschool’s field trips to the local Christmas tree lot just off Holman.  As soon as we arrived in the big church bus all the workers were excited to see the children.  They told us they were wondering when we would show up, and began talking to the teachers like long lost friends.  I watched the children running around the lot, hiding behind trees, and collaborating on what tree they should bring back to their classroom.

It was a special thing to see how much joy these children could spread along to our community simply by expressing their joy.  After long days of selling hundreds of trees, the workers found their spirits refreshed by the happiness of our children, and there was a smile on everyone’s faces.  It left me proud of what an amazing school we have, and thankful that I get to be in this place every day.   I am looking forward to another amazing year in the CDC, and wish all of you the happiest of new years.

~ Tim Sullivan, Director of the PRLC Child Development Center


Adult Forums in January

Sundays at 10:00 a.m. in Tree of Life

January 7, 2018
Welcoming Refugees
How can we welcome those who are fleeing violence and persecution? Please join Sam Altis from Lutheran Community Services this morning to learn what it’s like for refugees arriving in the US, what the current state of refugee resettlement is both nationally and locally, and some ways you can be involved in welcoming refugee families.

January 14, 2018
Mark: The Gospel of Surprise
During this year, most of our Gospel readings come from Mark.  What is unique about Mark’s Gospel?   What is Mark’s contribution to our understanding of Jesus and the Christian life?  Mark has been described as the “Master of Surprise.”  How does this Gospel surprise us?  Join Pastor Hansen for the conversation.

January 21, 2018
Jessica Zimmerle from Earth Ministries
For over 25 years, Earth Ministry has been inspiring and mobilizing the faith community to play a leadership role in environmental stewardship and advocacy. Join us on January 21 for an engaging adult forum on care for creation led by Jessica Zimmerle, Program & Outreach Director for Earth Ministry. We will explore the connection between faith and sustainability, think about how our congregation can get involved, and learn tools to advocate for the protection of our one and only planet.

January 28, 2018
Congregational Meeting—No Adult Forum
Due to the PRLC Annual congregational meeting, there will be no Adult Forum on January 28th.


The Rite of Welcome

On Sunday, January 28th, the day of the PRLC Annual Meeting, we celebrate the Rite of Welcome at both services.  In this rite, our candidates in the WAY process are welcomed into the congregation, receiving the gift of a Bible, prayers of blessing, and the sign of the Cross.    This rite marks the beginning of a journey that leads to baptism or affirmation of baptism.  In addition to the adults asking this journey, our 8th grade confirmation students will be included as they prepare for their Affirmation of Baptism on Pentecost.

Refugees: an Epiphany BfJ Book Study

Wednesdays Jan. 10– Feb. 7, 2018

The worst refugee crisis since WWII is upon us: With 34,000 people fleeing their homes a day and a total of 65 million displaced persons in the world, 20 million of which are refugees, there is a major crisis going on awaiting our awakening. Join Vicar Gompf as she leads you through conversation and a reading of “Seeking Refuge” by Stephan Bauman. Vicar Gompf also recommends the book “Refugee” by Alan Gratz for teenagers, and for families with younger children, “My Name Is Not Refugee” by Kate Milner.  Please purchase your adult BFJ book prior to attendance. A few copies are available for sale at Grace Station ($15), and you will also find them in stock across the street at Phinney Books.


Circles in January

This month’s theme: Refugees

What does the Bible say about the treatment of refugees? Who were refugees in the Bible and why? How does our response to refugees help or hinder? Vicar Pam  Gompf will lead the women’s circles in January on a journey of the refugees of the Bible and how biblical response to refugees over the millennia has changed … or not.

Bethany Circle will meet January 8 at 9:30 at the home of JoAnn Thuring.

Salem Circle will meet January 24 at 10:00 at Randi Valdok’s home.


The Quilt That Is the Catechumenate

The WAY at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church is a process of adult faith formation formally known as the catechumenate.  It is an opportunity to explore, nurture, and renew your faith; affirm your commitment to Jesus Christ; and establish or re-establish your walk as a disciple of Christ. Longtime PRLC member Karen Peterson describes her experience in The WAY, below.

There is one ritual that has always been precious to me since I affirmed my baptism through the catechumenate. In our congregation, we have a “water procession” during the Easter Vigil just before the Rites of Baptism and Affirmation of Baptism begin. All members of the congregation, young and old, are encouraged to bring a vessel that is meaningful to them from home. That vessel is filled with water and they bring it forward to pour it into the larger tub that serves as our baptismal font. I love the imagery of the whole community adding to the baptismal waters, connecting all the saints in one community. It is especially meaningful when there’s an infant baptism, since I’ve been a neonatal intensive care nurse for many years and I see these babies washed in the waters that so many others have provided.

I came into the catechumenate following the difficult breakup of my marriage to a pastor. I didn’t have to go through this process to “join” the church, but was encouraged to and I experienced it as a welcoming and nourishing experience. I felt accepted for who I was as a Child of God, and felt that by affirming my baptism alongside others meant “new life” just as much for me as for those who were baptized at that Vigil. When the pastor prompted all of us during the Vigil and I said along with them “in faith I turn to Christ”, I knew that although my faith journey might have been very different from others, this baptism somehow “wove” us all together.

Since that Vigil 13 years ago, I have served as a sponsor to several other women. Each has been very different, and I have watched each share the difficult parts of their own faith journey with me and with the others in our small group. Besides the water procession, it has been the Rite of Welcome – with the Sponsor “crossing” the different parts of the Candidate’s body – which has been so impactful for me. It’s a reminder that we are to use all of ourselves to do God’s work in the world. To have been crossed by another and to cross others and then to see others in the congregation – including my adult son – experience this rite and this process has been life-giving.

I think the catechumenate has the power to restore a person as an individual in a community; to help them heal and see themselves as a servant of Christ in the world. I love the sharing that happens in the small group, the Bible studies and questioning. But I am surprised and in awe of how the catechumenate forms a faith community from many different sorts of people. Maybe it is fitting that at this point in my life I’ve begun making quilts at the church … alongside the woman who sponsored me, now 13 years ago.

The WAY meets almost every Sunday evening from 5-7 pm in PRLC’s Fellowship Hall. The evening begins with a shared meal, and free childcare is provided. All are welcome to come take part in this time of community and faith formation. Contact Pastor Hansen (pastor@prlc.org) with questions, or call the church office.