Help for Jena

More than once, you’ve heard me say “Never resist a generous impulse.”  It is one of the ways we live as disciples of Jesus.  I saw this in action last Sunday when several of you asked about helping the family of Patrick Meagher, our Minister of Outreach, in the months ahead as his wife Jena will be receiving radiation and chemotherapy treatments.  You can practice generosity by contributing to a special fund to assist the family with Jena’s medical bills and other expenses.  If you want to contribute to the fund, please make checks out to PRLC and in the Memo line write: “Jena’s Fund.”  You may also contact Kirsten, our Parish Administrator.  In addition, you can sign up to bring meals to the Meagher family and help in other ways by accessing Jena’s Caring Bridge Website.  Please offer healing prayers for Jena and prayers for Patrick and Kloe as well.

Peace,
Pastor Hansen

Eucharistic Practice in the Midst of Economic Injustice

Eucharistic Practic in the Midst of Economic Injustice

The cry of the poor has become your own cry; our hunger and thirst for justice is your own desire.
~ Eucharistic Prayer VII Evangelical Lutheran Worship

a workshop at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church

in commemoration of the
500th Anniversary of the Reformation

Saturday, May 6, 2017
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

 

Some of Martin Luther’s reforms linked sacramental practice with social assistance.

  • What was the relevance of Luther’s economic and social writings?
  • What does that mean for the church today?

Led by Dr. Samuel Torvend, Professor of the History of Christianity at Pacific Lutheran University. Dr. Torvend is the author of Luther and the Hungry Poor: Gathered Fragments and Daily Bread, Holy Meal: Opening the Gifts of Holy Communion

 

Eucharistic Visitors Hit the Road!

Recently I visited one of our wise elders – someone who hasn’t been mobile for a long time. And while we were talking she said to me, “I haven’t been to church in a long time, but I’m so glad that church still comes to me.” This sentiment is exactly what lay Eucharistic Visitation is all about.

Beginning in April, you’ll see something new in worship about once a month. Members of our lay Eucharistic Visitor team will come forward after communion, and together we will bless and pray for them, sending them out of our assembly and into the homes of those who cannot be with us physically on Sundays. The Eucharistic Visitors will then make home visits, bringing with them conversation, prayer, scripture, and communion.

The concept of lay Eucharistic visitation is not new, and it’s not even new to PRLC. This ministry has existed on-and-off here for decades. What’s important to remember about this is that it is not done purely for practical purposes. The pastors will, in fact, continue to visit homebound members just as regularly as always. But visits by fellow congregation members serve to remind us all of the communion of saints! They remind us that we are one in Christ. By bringing communion straight off of our table and putting it into the hands of those who can’t get here, we simply extend our worship. Isn’t that a beautiful thing??

I invite you to be a part of it. If you or someone you know would like a visit from a lay Eucharistic Visitor, or if you’d like to be trained to participate in this ministry, please let me know.

Pastor Van Kley

 

From Our Minister of Outreach

Update on Jena

In April, my family will enter another season of health challenges, and I want to take a moment to fill you in. Jena, my lovely wife, has dealt with a slow growing brain tumor for the past 5 years. So many of you supported us in significant ways during her brain surgery in 2014. We learned in January that the time has come for her to seek radiation and chemotherapy treatments for the remaining tumor material. This came as a surprise, and made the past couple of months difficult as we plan for the upheaval this will cause.

You can read more specifics about Jena’s journey, as well as access ways to help out on a Caring Bridge site we set up:

https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jenacmeagher

This site is a great way to keep you updated, and allows for me to do a better job sharing information than I can do on a busy Sunday morning when I see most of you.

Unfortunately, I will need to be free to care for Jena and Kloe (our 9-year-old daughter) during these treatments. For this purpose, I’ll scale back my involvement with the church through June. My focus will be on keeping office hours to see clients, and I won’t be involved in other church programs. I look forward to re-engaging in the wonderful work of PRLC outreach with a clear mind and freer schedule in July.

It’s hard to write about your extensive support and love for me and my family over the years. I get very emotional. We appreciate every caring gesture, and value your prayers most of all. Thank you.

In love,
Patrick, Jena, and Kloe

 

Easter Breakfast Needs Volunteers

Easter is April 16th and we invite you and your guests to join us in the fellowship hall for the annual Easter breakfast benefiting our Outreach Fund. Serving time will be from 8:30AM till 11:00AM. Fluffy scrambled eggs, ham, cinnamon rolls, fresh fruit, juice and coffee will be awaiting you. Volunteer Coordinator Jeff Hendrix (206-795-0848) and Chef Ken Roscoe are also looking for volunteers to help with set-up, serving and clean-up of this event. We especially need help with the Saturday setup (9am to 11am) and the Sunday cleanup (11am to 1:30pm). We usually serve around 300 people and would really appreciate your help in making this event happen. Thrivent will generously provide some matching funds. Sign up on Sunday morning’s count me in or contact Jeff Hendrix directly to volunteer.

 

Outreach Ministry News

Bus tickets

This month I wish to highlight a much-used but often overlooked PRLC outreach service. Thanks to a generous city program, we use the Outreach Fund to purchase bus tickets for clients at a 90% reduction of actual value. For a mere quarter, we can help someone attend a vital job interview, medical appointment, or sign up to enter a housing program. We offer two bus tickets a month to individuals who meet the city’s low-income requirements. This popular service occurs in the church office, where front desk volunteers and staff dispense tickets throughout the week.

And the blessing keeps growing! Because we have to track and report the numbers to the city, we know we gave away 1,462 bus rides in 2015. The amount grew to 2,137 last year as word spread and need increased. With an average of 178 a month, and two tickets per person per month, we are reaching an average of 89 individuals every month through our bus ticket program. Thank you for making this happen through your generous support of the Outreach Fund!

 

PRLC Pilgrims: Moving Forward Together

2017-02-01 Holding Candles (cropped)Many of us wrestle with how to best live as both Christians and citizens while partisan politics divides our country. At PRLC, we take great care in how we approach public advocacy on potentially divisive issues. Some may wish to keep political opinions private, while some may feel compelled by the Holy Spirit to speak and act publicly. We respect the convictions of every member of our community, even if we disagree.

Recently, a large group of PRLC members participated in the Womxn’s March on Seattle and found tremendous hope in the practice of walking together toward a common goal. Continuing in this vein, a new group is forming: PRLC Pilgrims. As individuals on a long journey, we may tire. As a community on a pilgrimage, we support each other and draw from our strong faith tradition to move forward in the face of oppression. Together, we march toward the light.

Pastor Bryon and I held a special prayer service centered around the Psalms on February 9th. I found it extremely helpful to sit with others and read the words of lament, pain, hope, and rebirth in our sacred texts. Our timely Adult Forum the following Sunday with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services taught us about the current struggle to receive and place refugees in our immediate area. I felt and heard a lot of energy from those who attended to keep in touch with this issue moving forward. If you’d like to stay updated on this and other issues the PRLC Pilgrims will be involved in, please contact me via email (outreach@prlc.org).

In the Light of Christ,
Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher

 

Expansion Planned for the Child Development Center

~ Associate Pastor Anne Van Kley

CDC LogoAt our recent annual meeting, I presented the congregation with a proposed building enhancement project that would positively impact multiple PRLC ministries. Here is a summary of that presentation.

In the fall Tim Sullivan, director of our Child Development Center (CDC) approached the staff to talk about expanding the CDC. Currently the CDC includes five classrooms for children ages one through five. However, many kids age out of our program before they are ready (or old enough) for kindergarten. Each year, the CDC turns down multiple requests for kids to stay in our five-year-old room another year, because we simply don’t have the capacity for that right now.

Tim reported that for several years he’s seen a growing need among the families we serve for a classroom that would serve older five year old children.

Tim brought an initial proposal to the church council in November, asking for permission to pursue this possibility. He asked the council first to decide if this was a worthwhile mission for us to take on, and the consensus was a strong yes. The CDC has always existed to serve the needs of our community, and our desire is to continue that mission.

Tim’s original proposal included five options for use of space in our building. And this is where things got even more exciting.

We realized that talking about an expansion of the CDC provides us with a wonderful opportunity to consider all of our ministries. Many of our spaces have not been updated for many years, and there are several rooms in our building that could be used more efficiently.

So, we next formed an exploratory committee to look closely at our options. This group gained energy as we studied our current space use and tried to re-imagine how we could update our building and benefit multiple ministries at once.

At this point, the committee and church council agree that the best option is to convert our current nursery into a new, permanent CDC classroom.

Obviously that means we need a new nursery, since it is a vital part of our congregation. Considering many options, our team concluded that a wonderful new nursery could be created in what is currently known as the Tower Room (located on the 4th floor near the balcony). The current women’s restroom on that floor will become the new private nursery bathroom; the men’s room will become a unisex bathroom; the Cry Room that’s in the balcony will be updated to match and complement the new nursery; and we will move the archives that are currently stored in the Tower Room to a new and improved location.

As you can see, this whole proposal really creates a “domino effect” that ends up affecting many of our ministries in ways that give us some really exciting opportunities!

Currently the Tower Room is used for many meetings – both for congregational ministries and outside groups. It’s also where we teach confirmation; and frankly, our confirmation classes have outgrown that space. To accommodate all of that, we also are proposing enhancements to both the Fireside Room and the Youth Room, which are downstairs off the Fellowship Hall. These spaces are multi-functional and need to remain multi-functional. Upgrades will include improved, functional archive space; a large meeting table; intentional youth and confirmation space; and added work space for the Food Bank.

I’m sure you’re wondering about finances and next steps. The project is not anticipated to affect our budget because the CDC currently has enough reserved funds to cover the proposed costs. In fact, reinvestment of CDC profits into multiple PRLC ministries is good stewardship of those profits.

Our hope is to have the new classroom available for students this fall. We would work backwards (beginning with downstairs enhancements) so that we are never without a meeting space or nursery during the transition. The next step is to meet with a contractor and designer to begin work on the details of the project. The congregation will have an opportunity to vote on the complete proposal at our congregational meeting in April.

Please know that your questions, feedback, and ideas are always welcome.

 

PRLC Going RIC

RIC LogoAt the February meeting, the PRLC parish council came to consensus that our community become a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) congregation. As an RIC congregation we are officially welcoming to sisters and brothers from the LGBTQ community. This decision is the result of much discernment. The conversation and prayer around this issue has taken place for many years. In the last year alone we’ve held adult forums and hosted other venues for conversation. At our January annual meeting we took a straw poll to gage the support of the congregation. The results of the poll were overwhelmingly in support of PRLC becoming an RIC church.

What’s next? The RIC committee will be at work fashioning a “Welcoming Statement.” How might such a statement, inclusive of the LGBTQ community, welcome all people and what does it mean for us to welcome all? Please feel free to pray these questions and to offer input by contacting Tiffany Megargee, chair of the group. And know that you are always welcome to speak to Pastor Van Kley or myself with any concerns or questions you may have.

As the Body of Christ we are Jesus’ welcoming arms. May the Spirit continue to lead the way.

God’s Peace,

Pastor Hansen

PRLC Pilgrims

Moving Forward Together

Many of us wrestle with how to best live as both Christians and citizens while partisan politics divide our country. At PRLC, we take great care in how we approach public advocacy on potentially divisive issues. Some may wish to keep political opinions private, while some may feel compelled by the Holy Spirit to speak and act publicly. We respect the convictions of every member of our community, even if we disagree.

Recently, a large group of PRLC members participated in the Womxn’s March on Seattle and found tremendous hope in the practice of walking together toward a common goal. Continuing in this vein, a new group is forming: PRLC Pilgrims.

2017-02-01 Holding CandlesAs individuals on a long journey, we may tire. As a community on a pilgrimage, we support each other and draw from our strong faith tradition to move forward in the face of oppression. Together, we march toward the light. Our first need is to gather before God and find rest for our souls. Drawing on the rich emotional landscape of the Psalms, Pastor Hansen and Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher are planning a special service to care for heavy hearts and find rebirth for the days ahead.

Service of Lament and Thanksgiving

Thursday, February 9, 2017, 7pm

If you’d like to attend, please contact Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher.