For Adults

Learning is life long at Phinney. Sunday morning provides a number of adult education opportunities. Click on the link below to read about this season’s offerings.

Adult Forum Fall 2018 [pdf]

September 16, 2018 —This Changes Everything

Come learn about the LYONS summer trip to the ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston. We will share memories, things we learned, and have a time to answer questions about our experience. We will also share a devotion from the Gathering and find out how we can continue to “Change Everything”.

September 23, 2018 — What’s Happening in the Synod?

Pastor Shelly Bryan Wee, Assistant to our Bishop in the Northwest Washington Synod will be present to discuss the work and ministry of our Synod and our ELCA.

September 30, 2018 — Walking the WAY

The WAY is a gift to those who are new to PRLC, those seeking baptism and those already baptized who wish to deepen their faith journey.  Come and learn about the WAY.  This will be a good introduction for those who will participate in this year’s WAY cycle AND a forum for all PRLC members to learn more about this ministry that is at the heart of our common life and mission.

October 7, 2018 — The Power of the Pen

Join PRLC member Mary Lydic to discover how art illuminated the “dark ages” and kept Christianity alive through the “Book of Kells.”  Explore the mysteries of St. Columba (521-597 CE) and the Isle of Iona, the cradle of Christianity in Great Britain.

October 14, 2018 — Friendly Water for the World

Lack of access to clean water has taken its toll on people around the world.  In the past decade alone, many have died from waterborne illnesses.  Come and learn how Friendly Water for the World is working toward just solutions.  PRLC member Steve Johnson serves on the Board of Friendly Water for the World, and will speak of its work with communities around the world who have little in the way of access to resources by sharing knowledge and providing training in ensuring clean water through the establishment and maintenance of water filtering systems.

October 22, 2018 — Who Are Orthodox Christians?

When did the Christian church split into east and west? Who are the Eastern Orthodox? What do they believe and how do they pray? Learn more with Mark Stokoe, a practitioner in the Orthodox Church.

October 28, 2018 – May They Be One

On this Reformation Sunday, we lament the divisions in the Christian church and pray for the church’s unity. Join Pastor Hansen for a discussion of a groundbreaking 1982 agreement from the World Council of Churches and the state of Christian ecumenism since that time. Why is it important to celebrate Reformation Sunday as Reconciliation Sunday?

November 4, 2018 – The Anti-Slavery Movement in America as Christian Witness

The radical Antislavery Movement of the 19th Century was the first great social movement demanding racial justice in American history.   Join Steve Pfaff for a discussion of this movement that was Christian in inspiration but went beyond the confines of conventional religion.  Insisting on the spiritual equality of the races and the sexes, activist spiritual virtuosi like the Grimke sisters and Theodore Weld called on fellow Americans to lives of active holiness that would overcome the “national sins” of slavery and racism.  The movement helped to define what it means to take moral positions in public life and has lasting implications for how we approach Christian witness today.

November 11, 2018 — Praying the Psalms

Join Vicar Elizabeth Peter to learn a little bit about Martin Luther and his love of the Psalms.  We will discuss how we can connect to them too!

November 18, 2018 — Consecration Sunday

On this special stewardship celebration join your PRLC family for brunch!

November 25 & December 2, 2018 — What Are We Waiting for?

Church people know that Advent is about waiting.  But what are we waiting for?  Many churches are engaging in an ecumenical conversation about expanding Advent from four weeks to seven!  Whatever for?  Join Pastor Hansen for an exploration of Advent and how a richer and fuller observance of this liturgical season might deepen our experience of the liturgical year and the Christian life.


Small Group Opportunities

Park Hoppers: Families with young children will gather at various playgrounds in our area for simple fun and fellowship. Meets every Sunday throughout the school year after the second service. Contact Kara Kalenius Novak ( for more information.

Spirited Women: Spirited Women of PRLC meet weekly for spirited conversation. Large and small group conversation, care for one another, coffee, tea and healthy snacks are shared as women discuss openly their questions, doubts, certainties and challenges of daily faithful living in response to the current book they are reading. Spirited Women meet every Wednesday through the school year from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Tree of Life Room.

Spirits-Filled Men: The Spirits-Filled Men is for all men of all ages.  (Well, at least 21 years of age and over.) We meet on the first Tuesday of the month for fellowship and support.  We want to provide a place for men to meet, get to know each other, and also to share the wisdom of the years.  Contact Brad Wressell at 206-789-5915 or for more information.

WAY Alumni Group (“WAG”): WAG is for those who have journeyed The WAY and want to continue to explore their faith journeys in a small-group setting.  Stay tuned for more information.

Adult Small Group at Bread for the Journey: Come share with others thoughts about PRLC becoming a refugee sponsor. We’ll discuss some specifics about what that means, plus step back and examine the big picture with topics such as the history of the church response to refugees, a Biblical basis for refugee response, global migration and the problems of displacement, among others. Remaining dates and times are Wednesday September 19, 26, and October 3 from 6:30-7:10 pm in the Fireside Room (north end of Fellowship Hall).

Lectionary and Lunch: We meet every Tuesday at noon in the church library. The lectionary texts (scripture readings for the upcoming Sunday) are discussed. Bring a sack lunch. The pastor who preaches the following Sunday leads the discussion. Contact: Pastor Van Kley (206-783-2350 / or Pastor Hansen (206-783-2350 / for more information.

Men’s Retreat: Make plans to join us for a fun time of connection exploring the life of the Apostle Peter. On the evening of October 19th and all day on the 20th, we’ll gather at PRLC to connect with the story of Peter, with God, and with each other. Don’t miss breakout workshops, worship, delicious lunch at Gorgeous George, a trivia challenge, and many more creative ways to be together. This event is great for all identifying men college age and up. Contact Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher (206-783-2350 / for more information.

Women’s Retreat: Save the date for PRLC’s women’s retreat: January 26, 2019, from 9am -4 pm. Contact Pastor Van Kley (206-783-2350 / for more information.


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.

Return to top

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.


Return to top

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.



Return to top

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?


Return to top

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.


Return to top

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.


Return to top

Circles in February

Do you renounce the devil and all the forces that defy God?
Do you renounce the powers of this world that rebel against God?
Do you renounce the ways of sin that draw you from God?
Response: I renounce them!*

In preparation for Lent, the Women’s Circles will discuss the phrase “I renounce them!” which we repeat during the baptismal liturgy.

Bethany Circle will meet at 9:30 on Monday, February 25 at the Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church library.

Salem Circle will meet at 10:00 on Wednesday, February 20 at the home of Lois Huseby.


* from Evangelical Lutheran Worship © 2006. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Augsburg Fortress under license #36567.


Return to top

Adult Forums in December

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

December 2, 2018

What Are We Waiting for? (Part 2)

Pastor Hansen will lead the discussion that began on November 25 with a focus on the season of Advent and a current ecumenical proposal to expand this season of preparation from  four weeks to seven.

December 9, 2018

Pastoral Housing Update

The ad-hoc group charged with exploring options for housing arrangements for the Associate Pastor will present their findings and answer questions.


Return to top