Women, please mark your calendars for a one-day retreat on April 29,2017 at St. Mary-on-the-Lake Peace and Spirituality Center in Bellevue. This annual retreat will again be led by Pastor Van Kley and three other pastors from area churches (including former PRLC vicar, Rev. Debbie Boyce). Our theme is “The Word Made Flesh,” and we will explore it through several hands-on activities. Along with worship and presentations from the pastors, you’ll also have options to bake bread, practice yoga, study Scripture, walk the labyrinth, and much, much more! The retreat will be from 9:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and the cost is $40. Watch your bulletin for registration details in coming weeks, and contact Pastor Van Kley with questions.

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Spirited Women and “Painting the Stars”

Starry Night Van GoghHave you ever looked up at the stars at night and had questions as to how science, religion, and our evolving faith can work together in our universe? And what about beyond? Join Spirited Women for the next few weeks as we tackle this subject through video and discussion. You won’t be bored.

When I have a terrible need – dare I say religion? – then I go outside at night and paint the stars.” – Vincent Van Gogh

Starts Wednesday March 22 at 10:00 am in the Tree of Life Room. You won’t want to miss it.


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Young Adult Pre-Lenten Retreat Feb 17 & 18

Joy, Mercy, Simplicity

Join Pastors Ivar Hillesland, Britt Olson, and Bryon Hansen for a weekend for an exploration of the “Rule of Taizé .” Held at the Seabeck Conference Center on beautiful Hood Canal, this is a time to “get away” and experience the intentional faith practices of the Taizé community that have been adapted by Christians worldwide. Registration brochures are available at the link below.

Young Adult Retreat Brochure & Registration [pdf]

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Financial Peace University

God calls us to steward all that God has given us: our selves, our time, and our possessions.  Without a plan for how to manage God’s money, in God’s way for God’s glory, we are often left wondering where the money went.  Starting on Thursday, January 26th,  PRLC member John Hubbard will be leading a Financial Peace University course focusing on budgeting to eliminate debt, managing and saving wisely, and most importantly prioritizing goals to enable us to live more generously.  Topics covered during the 9-week course include:

  • Saving Money
  • Communicating about Money
  • Cash Flow Planning
  • Dumping Debt
  • Buyer Beware
  • The Role of Insurance
  • Retirement and College Planning
  • Real Estate and Mortgages
  • Unleashing the Power of Generous Giving

Class will meet from 6:30-8:30 pm. The class costs $109 per family for the materials.  Free childcare will be available.  If you are interested in joining the class, contact member John Hubbard to sign up.


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Finding Light in the Dark of Winter

Finding Light in the Dark of Winter

– a time to remember the losses we carry –

Sunday, January 8, 2017


12:30 – Soup lunch and conversation with Rosemary Raynaud, Licensed Counselor and Pastoral Therapist
2:30 –   Worship in the chapel

Winter is a difficult season for many people. Perhaps you are grieving the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, the absence of family, or another sadness in your life. All are welcome for an afternoon of personal reflection, learning, comfort, and worship. Together we will find light in the darkness. Contact Pastor Van Kley if you have questions.


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Circles in January

Pastor Hansen will lead the circles in a study of the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew’s Gospel. Circles meet this month as follows:

Salem Circle: Meets Wednesday January 18 at 10:00 at the home of Mabel Rockness

Bethany Circle: Meets Monday January 9 at 9:30 am.


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Ongoing Adult Faith Formation Opportunities

Sunday Mornings

WAY Alumni Group (WAG)

Every first Sunday of the month — 10:00 am in the church office reception area
WAG is for those who have journeyed The WAY and want to continue to explore their faith journeys in a small-group setting.

Adoption and Foster Care Support Group

Every second Sunday of the month—10:00 am in Pastor Hansen’s office
The Adoption Group meets to explore personal experiences with adoption and foster care. Individuals interested in participating should contact Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher or member Scott Shiebler for more information.

Caregiver Circle

Every third Sunday of the month—10:00 am in Pastor Hansen’s office
If you care for an elderly parent, a loved one with a chronic condition, or a distant relative with continuing needs, you are welcome and encouraged to take part in this support group. This is an opportunity to meet with others experiencing similar life challenges, to learn coping skills, discover local resources, and pray with and for one another.

Sacred Listening

Every fourth Sunday of the month—12:00 pm in the Fireside Room
Using the book Sacred Listening, by James Wakefield, participants in this group gather for a time together to share their experiences with this imaginative form of Bible study based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola as they have been adapted for use in Protestant denominations.

More Opportunities

Lectionary and Lunch

Every Tuesday – 12:00 pm in the Library
Join Pastors Hansen and Van Kley every Tuesday for a discussion of the scripture readings for the next Sunday. Feel free to bring your lunch!

Lent Midweek

Wednesdays during Lent, starting March 8, concluding April 5—11:00 am in the Sanctuary
Come spend time in prayer during Lent. Give yourself a chance to reflect on the mysteries of the season. We will be gathering for worship on Wednesdays, with a special emphasis on the Psalms. A simple soup lunch (at which all are welcome) will be served after worship.

The Parents’ Study Group

Every Wednesday – 6:30 pm in the Fireside Room
Join Pastor Van Kley to talk about the challenges and joys of raising our children in faith. Pastor Van Kley has collected several questions that have come from our youth themselves during confirmation retreats, and we’ll use these to start our conversations. Topics include: faith and science; wrestling with doubt; understanding Lutheranism; and Christian vocation. This is a time to share, learn, support one another, and grow in our own faith, too.

Spirited Women

Daytime Spirited Women every Wednesday – 10:00 a.m. in the Tree of Life Room
Evening Spirited Women every third Thursday of the month – 6:00 p.m. in the Tree of Life Room
We have two groups of Spirited Women at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church: one that meets in the morning (every Wednesday), and one that meets in the evening (every third Thursday of the month). Women of all ages and backgrounds come together in these groups to discuss a particular chosen book and talk about their lives, their faith, and whatever else comes up!

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

Every Wednesday – 6:30 p.m. in the Library
Pastor Hansen leads a discussion on the upcoming Sunday lectionary readings.

Women’s Bible Study Circles

Bethany Circle — every 3rd Monday of the month at 9:30 am
Salem Circle— every 3rd Wednesday of the month at 10:00 am
These groups meet once each month in members’ homes to study a specific book or passage in the Bible under the guidance of one of our pastors.

Troubling the Waters

Every Wednesday beginning January 11— 7:30 pm in the Tree of Life Room
The Troubling the Waters group will wade into the questions of race, identity, and faith that confront the ELCA as a whole and in our community here at Phinney Ridge. The sessions will follow curriculum established by the ELCA as “a journey for White Christians from privilege to partnership.” While periodic absences are understandable, we ask participants to commit to the program so that we can create a reliable space to dialogue about these difficult topics.


Sunday evenings—5:00 pm in Fellowship Hall
Before the first followers of Jesus were known as Christians, they were called “People of The WAY.” Then, and now, The WAY refers to a style of life in which both believing and living are centered in Jesus Christ.

The formal word for this process is the catechumenate. At Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, The WAY is an opportunity for your faith to be explored, nurtured, and renewed; your commitment to Jesus Christ affirmed; and your walk as a disciple of Christ to be established or re-established in the life-giving waters of Holy Baptism or the Affirmation of Baptism.

Young Adult Pre-Lenten Retreat

February 17 & 18 — Seabeck Conference Center
Joy, Mercy, Simplicity
Join Pastors Ivar Hillesland, Britt Olson, and Bryon Hansen for a weekend for an exploration of the “Rule of Taizé .” We will learn about the “Way of Joy, Mercy, and Simplicity”; and we will pray together and individually using music and songs from the Taizé Community.

Liturgy and Justice

Saturday, May 6 — 10:00 am-3:00 pm in the Tree of Life Room
Sunday, May 7— 10:00 am and 6:00 pm in the Tree of Life Room

Dr. Samuel Torvend, Professor of Religion at Pacific Lutheran University, will help us probe the relationship between Christian worship and justice. At the Saturday event (10:00 am-3:00 pm) we will remember the “forgotten Luther” who nurtured civic as well as church reform with initiatives toward the poor and hungry. Dr. Torvend will speak on Sunday at the Adult Forum and at the evening WAY gathering. Dr. Torvend is the author of Luther and the Hungry Poor, Fortress Press, 2008.


Adult Faith Formation Opportunities Jan-May 2017 (print version) [pdf]

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Sunday Morning Adult Forum Offerings Winter — Spring 2017

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

January 8, 2017 – Fonts, Tubs & Pools

On this festival of our Lord’s Baptism, join Pastor Hansen for a look at all kinds of places where baptism is celebrated: tomb-shaped, eight-sided, cross-shaped, tubs, and so much more. How do these baptismal spaces show forth the many-splendored gift that is baptism?

January 15 – The Bible in English

Reformation QuincentenaryMartin Luther was not alone in translating the Bible into the language of the people. Myles Coverdale and William Tyndale and others were translating the Bible into English at around the same time. These reformers shared a deep desire that everyone be able to read and hear God’s word. Join Pastor Nancy Winder for an exploration of the history of how we got the bibles we use and a discussion of the history of biblical literalism and American fundamentalism in relationship to the English Bible and how we read the Bible.

January 22 – Reconciling in Christ Forum

Join us for the third forum dedicated to discernment around PRLC becoming a “Reconciling in Christ” congregation. In this forum, Christians from the LGBTQ community will share their stories, experiences and perspectives on what it means to be a welcoming community.

January 29 – Annual Meeting

The Adult Forum does not meet today because of the annual congregational meeting. Please join us at 10:00 a.m. in the sanctuary for a review of life and ministry at Phinney this past year and a look ahead to 2017.

February 5 – What Is a Christian Response to Islam?

Christianity and Islam have considerable common ground, but also have profound differences in doctrine and theology. Dr. Michael Chrzastowski, who led us in the 6-week series “Understanding Islam” last fall, returns to examine the challenges, conflicts and opportunities for Christians to respond to Islam. In addition, we will discuss distinguishing between Islam and so-called “Islamic Terrorism.”

February 12 – Refugee Resettlement Ministry Opportunities

Come hear from John Forseth, Program Director of the Refugee Resettlement and Placement program of Lutheran Community Services Northwest. John will share about his work, and we will explore possible ways for PRLC to participate in this vital ministry. We hope you can make it!

February 19 and 26 – The Living Word

Reformation QuincentenaryIn the Small Catechism Martin Luther writes: “Baptism is not simply plain water. Instead it is water used according to God’s command and connected with God’s word …” Luther’s Theology of the Word – the living word – is central to his preaching and teaching. In these sessions we will discuss how a theology of the Word influences everything we do and say. On February 19th Pastor Hansen will focus on the word that is preached. On February 26th, Pastor Nancy Winder will talk about the Living Word in music, art, service, community, and in the lives and actions of God’s people.

March 5 – Exploring Psalms

In this forum, our Vicar Katherine GrayBuck will lead us in a study of the Psalms. We will explore two psalms in depth, and discover what history, structure, and the Hebrews have to tell us in the Psalms. Come and gain a new understanding of these rich scriptures that have often been used to curse enemies, lament tragedy, explain who God is, and offer praise.

March 12 and 19 – The Story of Seminex

Reformation QuincentenaryAs we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, we affirm that the reformation cannot be just a one-time event in the past. If the church is to be faithful to the Gospel and open to the Spirit, it must be always reforming. The story of Seminex highlights a significant reformation in 20th century American Lutheranism – a reformation that not only brought about a “Seminary in Exile” but led to three Lutheran church bodies – the ALC, the LCA, and the AELC – forming one new church, the ELCA. Explore with Pastor Don Maier and Pastor Al Bruck the events that surrounded the formation of Seminex, discover the relevance of this 20th century reformation for the on-going life of the church today, and discern where the Spirit might be calling us at PRLC as we seek to be faithful to the Gospel.

March 26 and April 2 – Worship among Lutherans in America

Reformation QuincentenaryIn this two-part forum, Pastor Hansen will lead us in a discussion of liturgical reform and renewal among Lutherans in America. In Part I we will explore worship life with the Service Book and Hymnal (the old red book); the Lutheran Book of Worship (the green book) and Evangelical Lutheran Worship (our current cranberry book). What were the shifts and changes that led to these resources? What has changed? What might yet change? In Part II we will explore how a common liturgy enhances our relationship with other Christians.

April 9 – A Crucified Christ in Holy Week

On this Passion Sunday, join Pastor Hansen for an exploration of the Passion story in the Four Gospels. How did early Christians view Jesus’ death? How did Jesus himself view his death? Do the Gospel accounts present the same story? Why do we celebrate the Passion?

April 16 – Easter (No forum)


April 23, 30, May 7 and 14 – The Liturgy That Does Justice

In the baptismal covenant we promise to “strive for justice and peace in all the earth.” How is it that the Christian liturgy is itself the proclamation and enactment of God’s just reign? We will explore the origins of the liturgy and how God uses the signs, symbols, acts and gestures of worship in forming us to be the just Kingdom of God. Pastor Hansen will lead these discussions, except on May 7, when our leader will be Dr. Samuel Torvend from Pacific Lutheran University.

May 21, 28 and June 4 – What is the Qu’ran?

Dr. Michael Chrzastowski returns for this three-Sunday series exploring the structure, content, and major themes of the Qur’an. We will read the Qur’an narrative of how Satan was cast out of heaven, the Qur’an accounts of Adam and Eve in the garden, and how the Qur’an depicts Noah, Moses, Joseph, Solomon, and other prophets familiar from the Bible. We will particularly focus on how the Qur’an focuses upon the coming Judgment Day, resurrection of the dead, and the issues of heaven and hell.

Adult Forum January-May 2017 (print version) [pdf]

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