Children Youth and Family Ministries in December

A Note From Nicole

By Nicole Meyer

Dear Phinney Friends, 

The King who was coming is still coming!  This is full of mystery. Our Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd graders will be reminded of this each Sunday morning in Advent as they gather at 10am for Godly Play.  A mystery is hard to enter sometimes. That is why the time of Advent is so important. Sometimes we walk right through the mystery and do not even know it is there, distracted by baking, shopping, wrapping, giving, entertaining and so much more.  One of the most important moments at Godly Play each week is when we WONDER together. I’m WONDERING how you will notice the WONDER of our baby king in this season? A king that is on the way, yet most certainly already here. I pray that you will stop, watch, and pay attention as the light grows.  With you in all the expectation of Advent.

A Fall of Fun!

The youth of PRLC have had a fall full of fun including our first fellowship event in October with pumpkin carving followed by dinner roasted over the fire, a fabulous weekend youth retreat at Camp Casey on Whidbey Island, and a delicious feast for Friendsgiving.  Every gathering has included more than 20 youth and many rounds of their favorite game, sardines. Looking forward to much more hiding and seeking in 2020 and beyond!


Christmas Eve rehearsal for those participating in the 5pm worship service will take place on Sunday, December 22 at 3:00. Choristers, Cherubs, and Youth Choir members are all asked to attend the rehearsal.

Later, all are welcome to gather at the Norse Home to offer some festive carols to the community there from 5:30 to 6:30. Please bring a plate of cookies to share. Non-choir members of all ages are invited to be a part of the caroling!

Falalala Lock-In

December 20-21st @ 6pm – 9am

All youth in grades 6-12 are invited!  We’ll meet at PRLC at 6pm and then things will get WILD as we head to Woodland Park Zoo to see the lights, before returning to church for a full night of festive fun.  Late night pizza, ingredients for the great Christmas cookie bake-off, and a hot breakfast will be provided. Please dress warmly and bring a wrapped gift for a white elephant exchange, your sleeping bag, pillow and whatever else you need to be cozy overnight.  If you can contribute $20, that will help cover our costs.

Sunday School Schedule

Confirmation Mentor Sunday is December 15

Confirmation students in grades 6,7, & 8 and their mentors will gather in the Fellowship Hall for an experience sure to be full of ADVENT-ure and other age groups will meet as usual. 

December 8th and 22nd are regular class days. 

There will be NO Sunday School on December 29, but we’ll resume on January 5th.

Coffee Corner

We’ve decided to “stay in” for coffee Wednesdays this month and will be gathering in the youth room for hot cocoa, Christmas movies, and other seasonal surprises December 4, 11, and 18 from 3:30-5pm.

BFJ December Schedule

Our whole community is invited to join in midweek evening prayer on Wednesdays during Advent. We will gather for contemplation, song and prayer, using the Holden Evening Prayer liturgy, at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday December 4, 11, and 18.

For this reason, we’ve slightly revised our usual BFJ schedule for December. Here’s what will happen: 

*No Confirmation classes

5:15 Youth Choir

5:30 COMBINED Choristers and Cherubs rehearsal

6:00 Dinner for all (watch your bulletin for opportunities to sign up!)

6:20 Gospel Choir rehearsal

6:30 Advent Evening Prayer in the Sanctuary (30-45 minutes)

7:30 Chancel Choir 

There will be NO Bread for the Journey activities on December 25 or January 1. Our regular schedule resumes January 8.

Circles in June

The Holy Trinity is celebrated this year on June 16th.  What does scripture say about the Trinity?  How does the mystery of the three persons in one God say about the nature of God and our life in God?  In what ways does the Trinity serve as the foundation of our life and faith?  We will look at a number of scripture passages as well as passages form prayers and hymns in our worship book.

The Circles will meet as follows:

Bethany Circle will meet on Monday, June 10 at 9:30 am in the home of Caroline Brakken.

Salem Circle will meet on Wednesday, June 19 at 10:00 am in the home of Mabel Rockness.

Come sing or play music!

Phinney Bread for the Journey concert May 15


A Concert to celebrate our musical community and benefit the ELCA program God’s Global Barnyard


All Phinney children and youth are invited to perform music: sing or play a solo, duet, group number, give a preview of your upcoming recital piece, have fun! Any style of music is welcome. We welcome your help to make the concert a success!


May 15th, our second-to-last BFJ, following the the Confirmation dinner.


The PRLC sanctuary


Phinney kids have played music in the past to benefit the family shelter of Mary’s Place. BFJ is winding down so this will be a fun chance to enjoy music together and support a program that seeks to aid people all over the world, supplying people with animals, bees, even water filters and solar lanterns, everything to make their lives better.


Contact our children’s choir director Evelyn Hartwell if you can sing or play something that night! Email Evelyn by Wednesday, May 8th.


All are welcome to enjoy the concert. Treats to follow!


Here’s more info on God’s Global Barnyard:

What is the difference between ELCA Good Gifts and similar organizations?

Many other organizations are doing wonderful work around the world, and some do work in similar ways. A main difference between the ELCA and other programs is that this church receives almost all of the money to fund its work directly through its congregations and members, and almost all of the money that we distribute goes to support the work being carried out by our congregations, global companion churches and ecumenical partners. This is unique because the church is our delivery system. It is successful because the church is present in far corners of the world and already connected and trusted in communities. And finally, it is sustainable. Our churches and partners are the ones who identify local needs and solutions; we just help make those dreams a reality.

What about animals? How can I talk about the importance of animals with others?

Your gifts to God’s Global Barnyard support the sustainable development ministries of ELCA World Hunger, which include training, education, resources (and much more) to help the community care for animals and create new market opportunities like starting a small business selling eggs, meat or dairy products. Your gifts support this comprehensive approach to animal husbandry.

Adult Forums During Easter

Practicing Resurrection

At the Adult Forums during Easter we will consider what it means to practice resurrection by hearing the testimony of PRLC members as they reflect on living out the Baptismal covenant of bearing witness to God’s love, serving all people, and striving for justice and peace in the world.

3 Easter, May 5 – Practicing Resurrection: Being open to God’s call

Led by Nancy Monelli
Usually,  when we see a break in the cement of a sidewalk  or a crack in a wall,  we notice that something is growing, or trying to grow, out of that broken place. There are cracks like these in all our lives when pain, disappointment, or sorrow cause cracks in our confidence, serenity or even faith. But these are also the times when God can give us growth in new and transformative ways.  Easter living includes being attentive to the broken places in the lives of the people God places in our lives, and  being a companion who is willing to listen and share God’s love with them during these dark times, trusting that God will fill their places of darkness with new life and growth. Nancy will use this lens to discuss her vocation of spiritual direction and mentoring.

4 Easter, May 12 — Practicing resurrection: going to prison

Led by Chris Shultz
Kairos is a prison ministry that seeks to share God’s unconditional love with people who have often experienced little of it. Chris will tell how he got involved with this ministry and how going to prison has been one of the best things that has ever happened to him.

5 Easter, May 19 — Practicing Resurrection: Living out Baptism as Journalists

Led by Amy Radil and Martin Kaste
How do we testify to the Gospel in the public sphere – especially at work? Or SHOULD we testify? We’ll look at arguments for keeping faith out of work.

But we’ll also discuss the ways that — even in secular fields such as journalism– we can watch for the opportunities God sets before us to live out the Gospel and witness to those who wish to hear.

6 Easter, May 26 — Practicing Resurrection: Patience

Led by Pastor Hansen
How is the cultivation of patience a way of living for members of the Body of Christ?  In what ways is Jesus revealed in the cultivation and practice of patience?  How is patience a virtue?  How might Christians be trained for patience?  Come and learn about this holy habit as it was practiced in the earliest centuries of the church and what it may look like for us today.


Children, Youth, and Family Ministry News

Children, Youth, and Family Staff Update

This month, the personnel committee and pastors will finalize the position description for a fulltime Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministry. We hope to begin interviews soon. Our goal is to have the position filled well before the 2019-2020 program year begins in September. If you know of qualified candidates for this position, please share the information with them as it becomes available. Most importantly, please pray for the  person who will come to us, and for all those involved in the search and discernment process.

Please take our Vacation Bible School Survey!

A couple of things have thrown a wrench in our usual VBS plans. First, the dates that PRLC families normally prefer for VBS (the first full week after school ends) have been filled with snow make-up days. Since the next week includes a holiday, we are proposing July 8-12 as tentative dates. We will need to rely heavily on volunteers In order to have a successful VBS, especially because we are currently without a dedicated staff member. It may be that a year off of VBS is what is called for, but if we have enough interest, we will continue. Please follow this link to take the survey, so that we can determine the feasibility of VBS this year. Thank you!

Confirmation Banquet

Congratulations to our nine 8th grade students who affirmed their baptisms at the Easter Vigil: Aaron Cornell-Maier, Einar Ogle, Zoey Hogan, Eliana Megargee, Trygg Magelssen, Carys Davis, Lindsey Wilder, Luisa Miller, and Sonja Miller. We will honor them at a banquet during Bread for the Journey on Wednesday, May 15. Come celebrate, hear a bit about their faith journeys, and help us welcome them into full participation of our PRLC community!

Newly Painted Youth Room

If you haven’t wandered around the church lately take a peek inside the Youth room and the Tower room. At our March confirmation retreat we had over 20 youth painting the Youth Room and the Tower Room to renew the walls and make the space their own! We had a fun weekend learning about God, playing sardines, and bonding as a group. A huge thank you to Kari VanSanford for designing and helping to paint our Youth Room Mural. The mural is a beautiful depiction of our baptismal promises:

  • To live among God’s faithful people,
  • To hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper,
  • To proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed,
  • To serve all people, following the example of Jesus,
  • And to strive for justice and peace in all the earth

Bread for the Journey End-of-Year Picnic

Wednesday, May 22, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
West Woodland Park Playground
5500 Phinney Ave. North

Main dish will be provided. Please bring something to sit on and a salad or dessert to share!

Last Day of Sunday School is May 26

We will meet in the Tree of Life room at 10:00. Included in this time of celebration will be our annual Blessing of the Bicycles (and other summer recreation)! Ride your bike to church that morning, or bring other symbols of your favorite summer activities for a blessing.


Adult Christian Education in March

Dwelling in the Lenten Word

A small study group for adults will take place at Bread for the Journey during Lent.

Join Pastor Hansen for a discussion and reflection on the Sunday Gospels:

  • Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness
  • his lament over Jerusalem
  • the barren fig tree
  • the prodigal son, and
  • Mary’s lavish anointing of Jesus before his death

Let these rich passages shape your Lenten journey.  We meet beginning March 13th and through Lent in the Fireside room at 6:30 p.m. following the BfJ meal.

Circles in March

The Circles will not meet in March, but all members are encouraged to attend Lenten midweek services and lunch every Wednesday.

Lenten Devotionals Available

Mind the Gap, a daily devotional for the season of Lent written by PRLC member Nancy Monelli, is now available on Sunday mornings at the Grace Station. The suggested donation for each book is $5, and all proceeds will benefit the Circle of Welcome Refugee Ministry of Lutheran Community Services Northwest.



Adult Forums in 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. Led by Ryan Ferrer, Cara Scheffler, and Robert Wall.

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?


PRLC Constitution and Bylaws Update

Please join PRLC member and former Council Secretary Marie Gehman on February 17, 2019 to learn about important proposed changes to the Constitution and Bylaws. The constitution currently in effect dates back to 2008. You will be hearing why an updated, unified document will be brought for a vote at the next regular Congregational Meeting in April.

The goals of this update are in short:

  1. To unify Constitution and Bylaws into one document. They are currently two separate documents, and some of the numbering scheme has gotten misaligned over the years.
  2. To match the ELCA Model Constitution and incorporate language changes developed at the 2013 and 2016 Churchwide Assemblies.
  3. To remove language that no longer reflects current PRLC practices.

Please come to the Tree of Life Room on February 17, 2019 at 10:00 am, between services.


Adult Forums

Sunday mornings at 10:00 in the Tree of Life Room

February 10, 2019 – Earth Ministries

Care for creation, environmental justice, and responsibility for future generations are core faith values that we have an opportunity to speak up for in this legislative session. Learn how to put these values into practice with Jessica Zimmerle from Earth Ministry.  She will discuss important environmental bills being considered by the state legislature—including a 100% clean electric grid and protection for Puget Sound—and share tools to make it easy for you to speak up as a faithful advocate.

February 17, 2019 – Update on PRLC Constitution

Why do congregations have constitutions?  What are they for?  Come and learn about these questions and the revisions and updates to the Constitution with PRLC member Marie Gehman.  This will be a great opportunity to learn as we prepare to vote on the updates at the April congregational meeting.

February 24, 2019 — What is your Image of God?

As we grow and get older our lived experiences influence how we envision God.  Together we will look at some familiar images, and some that may surprise you.  Join Vicar Elizabeth Peter in a discussion as we expand our language and images for God!

March 3, 2019 – Religica

Religica is new online platform dedicated to a post-cynical approach to religious and spiritual traditions today.  Learn about this new online adventure from PRLC member Michael Trice, who, along with other religious leaders across the country, created Religica. will be clarified as a response to the public hunger many feel toward greater spiritual connection.  Come be present for the conversation.