Outreach News

“God’s Work. Our Hands.” Sunday on September 11!

Last year, as part of our 100th Anniversary celebration, we participated in this ELCA-wide day of service joining Lutherans around the country in sharing God’s love in tangible ways throughout our community. We had so much fun we thought we’d do it again! This year’s program takes on special meaning as we serve on the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. What a great way to shine a bright light of hope in our world on this special day.

We’ll worship together at one 10am service that morning, share a light soup lunch following, and honor our upcoming Sunday School Teachers. Then, we’ll get to work serving in these areas:

  • “Sweet Dreams Bags” for Women’s Shelter: Gather items and assemble these loving bags for distribution at a neighborhood shelter for homeless women run by Compass Housing Alliance.
  • Yard Work for Area Seniors: Partner with the PNA’s Village program aimed to help keep seniors in their homes by lending a hand with arduous but necessary yard work.
  • Landscaping at PRLC: Join our grounds gurus Scott and Joel as they continue improvements outside around the church.
  • Refugee Resettlement Kits: Assemble and decorate these important kits to be distributed to refugees who settle in our area through Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services.
  • Litter Pickup in Greenwood: Walk an assigned route picking up litter and beautifying our neighborhood.
  • St. Luke’s Work Projects: Join a team headed to St. Luke’s Episcopal in Ballard to fix up that wonderful building and bless our friends there.

Where is your heart stirred into action? Please sign up ahead of time by marking your Count Me In form on Sunday, or contact Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher directly in the office. Thanks for participating and spreading our witness of love in the community!


Outreach Support Team Forming

The honor of serving as your Minister of Outreach gets outweighed only by the blessing this work heaps upon me. I dedicate most of my time to being available to people in need who contact the church in desperation. Thanks to your generous support of the Parish Outreach Fund, we can often step into this need and provide a source of direct relief. In 2015 alone, we extended this assistance in 148 separate instances, ranging from a tank of gas to a few hundred dollars of move-in assistance toward a permanent home.

The satisfaction of this work comprises only a part of the blessing I receive. The stories I hear, the faces I remember, and the gratitude that flows back on an almost daily basis has enriched my life and changed my heart for the better. This abundance cannot be kept to myself.

For some time, I’ve wanted to bring together a collection of like-minded church people who could both share in the blessing of this work and also help expand our outreach ministry. The time is right to form an Outreach Support Team. I anticipate gathering at the church once a quarter, sharing a meal, and conspiring to draw from the blessings and shine the light of Christ even farther into our world. Is this an idea to which you feel drawn? If so, please contact Patrick Meagher in the office (outreach@prlc.org / 206-783-2350) and we can discuss more.


School Supplies Needed for Compass Housing Alliance

School starts in less than a month and the back-to-school ads in the newspapers and on TV are already in full swing.  Our friends at Compass Housing Alliance (CHA) have asked our help in providing some of the children in CHA housing with basic school supplies. As you may know, CHA provides semi-permanent and temporary housing for families in need in the greater Seattle area.  These families can generally buy food and pay their rent, but many don’t have additional funds for school supplies, backpacks and other things that most kids take for granted.  Here is the list of school supplies that are needed:

  • 3-ring or 6-8 pocket binder with pencil pouch
  • 6 index dividers
  • Loose leaf (lined) notebook paper
  • 8 composition books (lined)
  • 2 composition books (quad ruled/ graph paper)
  • 3” x 3” post-its
  • Ballpoint pens (blue/black only)
  • #2 pencils
  • Erasers
  • Ruler (metric and standard markings)
  • Glue stick/ glue
  • Colored pencils and highlighters
  • Scissors with blunt ends
  • Protractor/Compass
  • Pocket Calculator/Basic Calculator
  • Flash Drive (USB Storage Device)
  • Algebra TI-36x Pro Calculator
  • Kleenex
  • Backpacks

Click on the link below for a printable pdf version of the list. We need to get these supplies to the CHA children by Labor Day, so please drop off what you can in the church narthex before the end of the month.  Thanks in advance for your generosity!  Questions? Contact Sally Thompson at (206) 706-7653.

School Supplies for Compass Housing Alliance [pdf]

Outreach News

“God’s Work. Our Hands.” Sunday on September 11

We anticipate another wonderful day of service and community for this year’s “God’s Work. Our Hands.” Sunday. Plans are coming together to reprise many of last year’s service projects, as well as add a few new ones. Projects include assembling refugee settlement kits (in partnership with Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Service), litter clean up around the neighborhood, continued beautification of our grounds as well as St. Luke’s in Ballard, Phinney Phlame visits to homebound members, and more.  We’ll have opportunities to serve for everyone regardless of age and mobility. Please plan on attending as we participate in the ELCA’s nationwide day of service. Our work takes on a special meaning with the big day occurring on the 15th anniversary of the tragedies of 9/11. What a great way to drown out the forces of destruction in our world by extending the love of Christ through gifts of service in our community.

A Chance to Help the PRLC Food Bank In July

During the week of July 18th, we have the unique opportunity to help out a fun neighborhood event as well as secure significant funding for the food bank. The Greenwood Gumshoe Detective Walk is held every summer as a way to build community, support local non-profits, and practice ninja-spy skills.  Since the event began in 2006, it has raised over $43,000 for local non-profits, and this year our food bank stands as a recipient of around $1500.  All we have to do is put up posters the week of July 18th promoting the event.  Can you help?  Please contact me (Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher) if you can lend a hand. Learn more about the Gumshoe Walk at dothegumshoe.org.

Car Show Fun!

The newly formed Phinney Folk Band entertained visitors at this year's Greenwood Car Show.

The newly formed Phinney Folk Band entertained visitors at this year’s Greenwood Car Show.

We enjoyed another busy but fun day participating in the huge Greenwood Car Show in June.  Special thanks to our volunteers who staffed the hospitality table, the faithful who donated cookies, and the musicians who entertained the crowds on our front lawn. The weather was pleasant and the event a large success. We look forward to next year!

Needed: School Supplies

For the children of Compass Housing Alliance

PRLC will be collecting school supplies for the children of Compass Housing Alliance (CHA) again this summer.  CHA owns several apartment complexes where families in need can live in safe, comfortable environments.  The families can afford the reasonable rent, plus they can buy groceries, but there is little money for important things like school supplies. PRLC has helped in this effort regularly in the past and we hope to do so again this year. Stay tuned for more details in the next few weeks.


Outreach Ministry Report

Art Walk Wrap Up, Car Show Coming Up!

Beautiful weather and artwork combined once again to make for a wonderful Phinneywood Art Walk in May.  Appreciation and gratitude is required for our artists: PRLC member Sallie Shippen, Staff Member Dallas Cooper, and long time neighborhood friends Matthew Herbener, Paisley O’Farrell, and Nancy Harris.  And special thanks to our cookie donors, as well as the kind individuals who volunteered to staff the hospitality table.  Our welcome was warm and loving to the many visiting art walkers thanks to your efforts.

We’ll need your help again on June 25th.  The Greenwood Car Show roars upon us and promises to be bigger than ever.  If you attend, be sure to stop by the PRLC front lawn and enjoy the blues and jazz band “Left Turn on Blue” featuring PRLC members and friends.  Left Turner Scott Radford is organizing other acts to entertain the thousands of attendees throughout the day, and rumor has it that our newly formed Phinney Folk Band will make an appearance.  We’ll need a solid team of volunteers to put on our hospitality table, and another round of delicious home-baked or store-bought cookies.  Contact Patrick or look for sign-up opportunities in the June “Count Me In” forms on Sundays.


Maier & Totland GWOH“God’s Work. Our Hands.” Sunday on September 11

Last fall, we enjoyed a transformative day of service as part of the ELCA’s nationwide “God’s Work. Our Hands.” Sunday.  We’ll join the program again this year, and our work takes on a special meaning with the big day occurring on the 15th anniversary of the tragedies of 9/11.  What a great way to drown out the forces of destruction in our world by extending the love of Christ through gifts of service in our community.  Ideas are already coming together, but we need more.  Look in upcoming bulletins for ways you can be involved even at this early stage, and save the date of Sunday, September 11!


PRLC to Explore Becoming a “Reconciling in Christ” Congregation

~ Tiffany Megargee

The Reconciling in Christ (RIC) program recognizes Lutheran congregations, synods and other organizations that publicly declare welcome to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. At our April 24th congregational meeting, a motion was made from the floor that the council of Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church establish a task force to explore becoming a Reconciling in Christ congregation.  The motion was seconded, and after brief discussion, the motion passed.  At the May church council meeting, the council began the process of assembling a working group of six to eight parishioners.  Tiffany Megargee was asked by the council to lead this group. Once the committee is finalized, we will meet over the summer to work with the Building an Inclusive Church Welcoming Toolkit which provides a format for a guided process to lead us in our discussion and discernment. This guide has been used across the country in helping congregations as they explore becoming RIC.

There are currently ~ 27 Reconciling in Christ congregations in our area, including Ballard First, Central Lutheran, Columbia City Church of Hope, Gethsemane Lutheran, Gift of Grace Lutheran, Holy Trinity, Immanuel Lutheran, Luther Memorial, St. John United, Our Redeemer’s, and Magnolia Lutheran.

We ask for your prayers during this time of searching. Engaging in a welcoming process can enrich the faith life of the whole community and allow us to engage each other in respectful, grace-filled conversations and deeper learning of who we are in Christ.


Seattle Pride Parade: Sunday, June 26, 2016

Pride Parade 2015As we have in years past, Seattle-area Lutherans will gather to participate in the 2016 Seattle Pride Parade. Last year, this included 200+ Lutheran individuals and more than 28 congregations, including PRLC.


  • We will meet between 10:30-11:00 am at the southeast corner of 4th Ave. and Cherry St.
  • Parking will be a challenge, so consider carpooling or taking public transportation. If you wish to take the bus from PRLC, meet Pastor Van Kley at the church entrance before 10:00. We will board Metro Route 5 at 10:05.
  • The parade route is 1.5 miles long, and takes about 2 ½ hours to walk. Plan ahead for yourself and your children, and be prepared with good shoes, layered clothing, sunscreen, strollers, snacks, water, etc.

Contact Pastor Van Kley if you plan to attend.


Outreach News

~ Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher

Easter Breakfast Thank You!

It’s an annual joy to express the gratitude I feel following the Easter Breakfast.  Once again this year, we raised close to $3000 for the Outreach Fund.  Every dollar will go directly toward an immediate need in our community.  Thank you all for the donations, and a special thanks to the tireless work of our breakfast crew led by the Roscoe and Hendrix families.

Art Walk Approaches

Mark your calendars for May 13 and 14 and plan to attend the Phinney-Wood ArtWalk at PRLC and around the neighborhood.  This large event offers great art viewing, as well as a chance to be engaged in our community.  We will need volunteers to help with hospitality and to provide cookies.  If you can help from 6-9pm Friday, or 12-5pm Saturday, please let me know or mark an upcoming Count Me In Form on Sunday.


The Call Toward Relationship

by Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher

On Maundy Thursday, we dedicated a full day of Holy Week to Jesus’ command to follow his example and wash one another’s feet. If you’re like me, one of the hardest times to accept this mandate is at the freeway off-ramp where a broken face holding a scrawled sign awaits. HOMELESS VET / WILLING TO WORK. SINGLE MOM / ANYTHING HELPS. Or sometimes simply GOD BLESS.

I’m often asked how to handle these situations. We all know the dangers of over-indulgence, and yet to do nothing gnaws at our sense of decency, not to mention our call to be servants. Unfortunately, my response doesn’t usually satisfy. I honestly don’t know what should be done. The problem with telling you what to do is that I’m not there to listen to what God may be stirring in your heart. It’s only natural in our culture of efficiency that we would want a formula or a “best practice” to apply to these situations, but God offers us a relationship instead.

Being aware of our motivation for helping someone affords a greater possibility of living out God’s call. Do we want to provide help so the person will go away, or to alleviate our guilt (like an ibuprofen pill will alleviate a headache)? These all-too-common motivations are understandable, but lead us away from relationship, and outside of God’s call to love our neighbors. Instead of looking for a best practice, I encourage you to become attuned to God’s prompting in your soul. You have unique gifts, resources, and ways of loving people that I don’t have. God wants to use those to spread the Kingdom of Heaven.

In light of my unhelpful advice to wait on God’s inspiration, there are some guidelines I think we can keep in mind. I do not advocate giving money away for all the reasons we already know about. One idea is to keep $10 Subway gift cards, or small packs of non-perishable food in your car to hand out. If you like, you can print out this link on our website listing free hot meals in northwest Seattle, and offer it. At least one free meal is available every day of the week in this part of Seattle.

If you choose this route, I encourage you to remember the call toward relationship. Even if you have nothing material to give, you can learn someone’s name. Perhaps ask them where they’re from, or where they are going. Tell them you’ll be thinking about them. You might see them again, and a relationship can grow from your kindness.

Easter is a season to consider how to live in light of the resurrection. For the disciples, the presence of a resurrected Christ often created more questions and ambivalence than before, yet stirred their hearts toward a deeper commitment to follow Jesus. God is waiting to guide us through this season and through our efforts to live out the Maundy Thursday call to service. May we listen and follow this call.





Shoreline Schools Host Event Welcoming LGBTQ Families

Members of the PRLC DiversiTeam warmly invite you to participate in a local community event supporting our LGBTQ congregation members and neighbors.  (People who regard themselves to be LGBTQ typically include individuals who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning or the more general term for sexual minorities, Queer.) On April 7th at 5:30 pm the Shoreline School District will host the first all-embracing welcome event of its kind at the Shoreline Center (NE 185th  St & 1st Ave NE). A potluck dinner will take place with activities and entertainment for all ages.  This event is not restricted to just Shoreline residents to ensure this will be a truly inclusive, festive community experience.  Contact DiversiTeam member Erica Shutes-David at eashutes@gmail.com or 206-852-3941 with questions.