Mary’s Place Volunteer Training

We will welcome back our friends from Mary’s Place February 7-14, and this ministry depends on volunteers.  All volunteers must undergo both the boundary training required of all church volunteers and special training focused on Mary’s Place in particular. If you’d like to take part in this ministry but have not yet undergone training you have two opportunities:

Sunday, January 22, 2017: Boundary Training 9:45AM to 10:15AM / Mary’s Place Training 10:15AM to 11:15AM

Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017: Boundary Training 6:00-6:30 pm / Mary’s Place Training 6:30-7:30 pm


An Opportunity to Serve on Christmas Day

A message from PRLC Hammond House team member Alan Pearson:

Compass Housing AllianceCompass Housing Alliance’s Hammond House Women’s Shelter provides a safe, warm place to sleep each night for 40 women. Guests are served dinner and breakfast at the shelter, and have access to case management and support services. Some are seeking escape from domestic violence, while others are looking to get off the streets. Some women there have been long-term residents and some are transitioning to other housing situations. Every woman’s situation is unique.

On alternate months, a group of volunteers from the PRLC congregation collectively prepares and serves a dinner to the guests of Hammond House. For the month of December, our dinner falls on Christmas Day, which gives us a wonderful opportunity to share new life in Christ on this special day.

Typically, our volunteers prepare dishes separately and then bring the food to PRLC where the servers transport it to the shelter, serve the women, and then share in a meal with them. Both preparing food and serving are wonderful opportunities to share in God’s grace.

Please consider if you are interested and able to take part in this ministry, either on Christmas Day or going forward in the new year.

If interested, please Contact Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher, or mark a Count-Me-In form on an upcoming Sunday.

Outreach News

Missionary Support for Familiar Faces

In July, PRLC had a visit from PRLC member Zachary Courter and his wife the Rev. Rachel Eskesen. Through a sermon and a presentation following the service, we heard about their work as coordinators for the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission Program in Hungary. They not only co-lead a group of YAGM volunteers each year, but also develop connections of support with NGOs working to dismantle Anti-Gypsism in Central Europe. Zachary also just became installed as a pastoral intern at Fasori Evangelikus Egyhaz (Hungarian Lutheran Church). This will be his final step to finishing his Master’s of Divinity, a process PRLC helped start with an endowment fund gift.

The PRLC Council would like to partner with these two wonderful missionaries through prayer, encouragement, and financial support. The ELCA has organized a “Covenant Sponsorship” program for congregations to connect with missionaries. Under this program, we would commit to regular prayer and financial support for Zachary and Rachel, and would receive regular communication about their work in Hungary including opportunities to be involved.

In short, we support the mission of the global ELCA church, and our faith is formed and encouraged by sharing in their work.

While discussing how to organize our participation in a covenant sponsorship with Zachary and Rachel, the council wanted to give the church membership a chance to respond directly. Would you be willing to commit to a monthly or annual gift of support to Zach and Rachel? If so, please contact Parish Administrator Kirsten Olshausen to make arrangements. To read up on their adventures and learn more about their important work, please visit their wonderful blog at


GWOH Update

God’s Work. Our Hands.” Sunday Report

Many Phinney folks participated in outreach activities on September 11th in our celebration of the national ELCA “God’s Work. Our Hands.” day of service. People of all ages packed refugee resettlement kits and “sweet dreams bags” for homeless women, helped improve St. Luke’s Episcopal, beautified the PRLC grounds, and collected dozens of bags of litter from our neighborhood.

Patrick would like to single out for huge thank yous all of the volunteers on this special day. Whether you brought soup, cleaned the kitchen (it was spotless!), coordinated or participated in a project, or simply extended patience to me as I juggled a lot of details, I truly appreciated your willingness to be servants in the Kingdom of God.

Not meant for just one Sunday, the Spirit invites us to take the nourishment of mind and body we receive in communal worship and be in the world daily, living out our faith as the hands of God. As we sang in worship on September 11th:

Hands of God, hands of faith,
offering hope, offering grace,
Hands of blessing, hands of love,
we are the hands of God.

                        Hands of God, by Michael Austin Miller


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 ( / 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

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.