For Children

There are age appropriate opportunities on Sunday morning and Wednesday night for children of all ages.

Children Youth and Family Ministries in December

A Note From Nicole

By Nicole Meyer

Dear Phinney Friends, 

The King who was coming is still coming!  This is full of mystery. Our Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd graders will be reminded of this each Sunday morning in Advent as they gather at 10am for Godly Play.  A mystery is hard to enter sometimes. That is why the time of Advent is so important. Sometimes we walk right through the mystery and do not even know it is there, distracted by baking, shopping, wrapping, giving, entertaining and so much more.  One of the most important moments at Godly Play each week is when we WONDER together. I’m WONDERING how you will notice the WONDER of our baby king in this season? A king that is on the way, yet most certainly already here. I pray that you will stop, watch, and pay attention as the light grows.  With you in all the expectation of Advent.

A Fall of Fun!

The youth of PRLC have had a fall full of fun including our first fellowship event in October with pumpkin carving followed by dinner roasted over the fire, a fabulous weekend youth retreat at Camp Casey on Whidbey Island, and a delicious feast for Friendsgiving.  Every gathering has included more than 20 youth and many rounds of their favorite game, sardines. Looking forward to much more hiding and seeking in 2020 and beyond!


Christmas Eve rehearsal for those participating in the 5pm worship service will take place on Sunday, December 22 at 3:00. Choristers, Cherubs, and Youth Choir members are all asked to attend the rehearsal.

Later, all are welcome to gather at the Norse Home to offer some festive carols to the community there from 5:30 to 6:30. Please bring a plate of cookies to share. Non-choir members of all ages are invited to be a part of the caroling!

Falalala Lock-In

December 20-21st @ 6pm – 9am

All youth in grades 6-12 are invited!  We’ll meet at PRLC at 6pm and then things will get WILD as we head to Woodland Park Zoo to see the lights, before returning to church for a full night of festive fun.  Late night pizza, ingredients for the great Christmas cookie bake-off, and a hot breakfast will be provided. Please dress warmly and bring a wrapped gift for a white elephant exchange, your sleeping bag, pillow and whatever else you need to be cozy overnight.  If you can contribute $20, that will help cover our costs.

Sunday School Schedule

Confirmation Mentor Sunday is December 15

Confirmation students in grades 6,7, & 8 and their mentors will gather in the Fellowship Hall for an experience sure to be full of ADVENT-ure and other age groups will meet as usual. 

December 8th and 22nd are regular class days. 

There will be NO Sunday School on December 29, but we’ll resume on January 5th.

Coffee Corner

We’ve decided to “stay in” for coffee Wednesdays this month and will be gathering in the youth room for hot cocoa, Christmas movies, and other seasonal surprises December 4, 11, and 18 from 3:30-5pm.

BFJ December Schedule

Our whole community is invited to join in midweek evening prayer on Wednesdays during Advent. We will gather for contemplation, song and prayer, using the Holden Evening Prayer liturgy, at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday December 4, 11, and 18.

For this reason, we’ve slightly revised our usual BFJ schedule for December. Here’s what will happen: 

*No Confirmation classes

5:15 Youth Choir

5:30 COMBINED Choristers and Cherubs rehearsal

6:00 Dinner for all (watch your bulletin for opportunities to sign up!)

6:20 Gospel Choir rehearsal

6:30 Advent Evening Prayer in the Sanctuary (30-45 minutes)

7:30 Chancel Choir 

There will be NO Bread for the Journey activities on December 25 or January 1. Our regular schedule resumes January 8.

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Children, Youth, and Family Ministry News

Children, Youth, and Family Staff Update

This month, the personnel committee and pastors will finalize the position description for a fulltime Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministry. We hope to begin interviews soon. Our goal is to have the position filled well before the 2019-2020 program year begins in September. If you know of qualified candidates for this position, please share the information with them as it becomes available. Most importantly, please pray for the  person who will come to us, and for all those involved in the search and discernment process.

Please take our Vacation Bible School Survey!

A couple of things have thrown a wrench in our usual VBS plans. First, the dates that PRLC families normally prefer for VBS (the first full week after school ends) have been filled with snow make-up days. Since the next week includes a holiday, we are proposing July 8-12 as tentative dates. We will need to rely heavily on volunteers In order to have a successful VBS, especially because we are currently without a dedicated staff member. It may be that a year off of VBS is what is called for, but if we have enough interest, we will continue. Please follow this link to take the survey, so that we can determine the feasibility of VBS this year. Thank you!

Confirmation Banquet

Congratulations to our nine 8th grade students who affirmed their baptisms at the Easter Vigil: Aaron Cornell-Maier, Einar Ogle, Zoey Hogan, Eliana Megargee, Trygg Magelssen, Carys Davis, Lindsey Wilder, Luisa Miller, and Sonja Miller. We will honor them at a banquet during Bread for the Journey on Wednesday, May 15. Come celebrate, hear a bit about their faith journeys, and help us welcome them into full participation of our PRLC community!

Newly Painted Youth Room

If you haven’t wandered around the church lately take a peek inside the Youth room and the Tower room. At our March confirmation retreat we had over 20 youth painting the Youth Room and the Tower Room to renew the walls and make the space their own! We had a fun weekend learning about God, playing sardines, and bonding as a group. A huge thank you to Kari VanSanford for designing and helping to paint our Youth Room Mural. The mural is a beautiful depiction of our baptismal promises:

  • To live among God’s faithful people,
  • To hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s supper,
  • To proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed,
  • To serve all people, following the example of Jesus,
  • And to strive for justice and peace in all the earth

Bread for the Journey End-of-Year Picnic

Wednesday, May 22, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
West Woodland Park Playground
5500 Phinney Ave. North

Main dish will be provided. Please bring something to sit on and a salad or dessert to share!

Last Day of Sunday School is May 26

We will meet in the Tree of Life room at 10:00. Included in this time of celebration will be our annual Blessing of the Bicycles (and other summer recreation)! Ride your bike to church that morning, or bring other symbols of your favorite summer activities for a blessing.


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Communion Instruction for Children

At PRLC, all are welcome to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Instruction is appropriate for children at any age that the parents see fit. Many children receive “First Communion” instruction at around Kindergarten or 2nd grade, and then again when they are older and able to think differently about the sacrament. Frankly, we all need instruction throughout our lives! We never fully grasp the mystery.

Pastor Van Kley will offer communion instruction for children in February. She will gear her lesson toward the ages and abilities of those interested. Please contact her directly if this is something you desire for your child, whether communion will be new for them, or if they’ve already been communing but desire further instruction.

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Join Us for Sunday School Each Week at 10:00

Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church is happy to offer faith formation opportunities for all ages. This wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of our terrific volunteer Sunday School teachers: Joyce Aasland, Carolyn Murphy, Karla Ogle, Will Van Kley, Steve Milliren, Lori Chrisman, Tina Georgeson, Julie Carr, Bart Brosten, Ben Maier, and our musicians, Larry Burris and Joel Maier. Thank you to all of you! We are set to kick-off a wonderful new year of Sunday School on September 16.

Each week, we’ll begin in the Fellowship Hall with a time to chat and mingle (and have a snack) after the first worship service. Then, at 10:00, children and youth will start the Sunday School hour with a brief time of singing and dancing together. Afterward they’ll be split into their grade levels for age-appropriate learning and activity time.

Pre-K kids will be with Joyce & Carolyn in room 303/304

K-2nd grade students meet with Karla & Will or Steve & Lori in the Godly Play Room (room 418)

3rd – 5th graders will be with Tina & Julie in room 301/302

6th – 8th graders are with Bart & Ben in the Fireside Room

High School students will meet weekly in the Youth Room


Nursery care is always available for our littlest learners. An Adult Forum is also held in the Tree of Life Room each week.


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Vacation Bible School June 25-29, 2018

Have you ever had a bad day, and then someone gives you an unexpected gift or reaches out with a hug and somehow it all seems much better?

 At this year’s vacation bible school, we’ll explore the nature of grace, and how God’s unexpected love changes just about everything in our lives. We’re excited to welcome our friends from Camp Lutherwood, who will lead groups, games, songs, and field trips all geared toward experiencing God’s grace for God’s people.

We’ll offer a day-long program for kids entering 1st-6th grade in the fall, as well as a half day morning program for 4-year olds through Kindergarten. Older kids and adults are still welcome (and needed!) to volunteer as leaders and helpers. Please contact Minister of Outreach Patrick Meagher in the office for more information.

Download the registration brochure below, and let’s have some fun!

1st – 6th grade: 9am – 3:30pm
Cost: $75 for the week

4 yo – K: 9am – 12pm
Cost: $40 half day

VBS 2018 Registration Form [pdf]


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Happy 2018 from the Child Development Center!

As the holidays and the year end, it is always an exciting time downstairs in the CDC.  Things slow down a bit, and we have a little time off and have a lower number of children at school each day while many of the children are visiting family and friends for the holidays.

That time always gives me a chance to reflect on the upcoming year, as well as all the joys and challenges we faced in the last year.  As I reflected on this last year, one thing I kept coming back to is how thankful I am for the position I have and the support I have from the CDC families, our local community, and Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church.   One example of this was the preschool’s field trips to the local Christmas tree lot just off Holman.  As soon as we arrived in the big church bus all the workers were excited to see the children.  They told us they were wondering when we would show up, and began talking to the teachers like long lost friends.  I watched the children running around the lot, hiding behind trees, and collaborating on what tree they should bring back to their classroom.

It was a special thing to see how much joy these children could spread along to our community simply by expressing their joy.  After long days of selling hundreds of trees, the workers found their spirits refreshed by the happiness of our children, and there was a smile on everyone’s faces.  It left me proud of what an amazing school we have, and thankful that I get to be in this place every day.   I am looking forward to another amazing year in the CDC, and wish all of you the happiest of new years.

~ Tim Sullivan, Director of the PRLC Child Development Center


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Refugees: an Epiphany BfJ Book Study

Wednesdays Jan. 10– Feb. 7, 2018

The worst refugee crisis since WWII is upon us: With 34,000 people fleeing their homes a day and a total of 65 million displaced persons in the world, 20 million of which are refugees, there is a major crisis going on awaiting our awakening. Join Vicar Gompf as she leads you through conversation and a reading of “Seeking Refuge” by Stephan Bauman. Vicar Gompf also recommends the book “Refugee” by Alan Gratz for teenagers, and for families with younger children, “My Name Is Not Refugee” by Kate Milner.  Please purchase your adult BFJ book prior to attendance. A few copies are available for sale at Grace Station ($15), and you will also find them in stock across the street at Phinney Books.


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Children and Family Ministries Report

The Monelli Memo:  This month we celebrate the five hundredth anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. But I must confess that I am much more interested in the reformation I see happening every day. Babies are re-formed into toddlers, toddlers are re-formed into children, and children are re-formed into teens right before my eyes. Expanding abilities and independence are all part of this ongoing reformation and so is the growth in the knowledge of and love of God. It is such a blessing to pray with the youngsters at Bread from the Journey each week. From children aged five to ten years old I hear prayers for God’s healing of pets and grandparents as well as for those affected by natural disasters, racism, and homelessness. As their worlds expand, so does their understanding of the greatness and goodness of God’s love. This is the kind of re-formation that God offers to us all and we need only look to our children and teens to be reminded of this.

 For His Sake,

My Tithe of Treats     

On Sunday, October 22, all children will receive a “My Tithes of Treats Bag” and will be encouraged to fill it with a portion of their trick or treating candy and return it to the church. These treats will be given to children and others who would not normally have any sweet treats at all.

The Phinney Phlames will meet on Sunday, October 8th  in room 301-302 with Joyce Aasland and Nancy Monelli

 All youngsters in the 4th and 5th grades are invited to this lively youth group experience. This month we will be celebrating Phall Phun with lunch, minute-to-win-it games, fall crafts, and much, much more. In November, the group will travel to St. Luke’s in Ballard to help with food preparation for the Edible Hope Program.

Programs and activities for the Adult Members of Children and Family Ministry

The Caregiver Circle meets on SUNDAY 15, October 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. If you would like more information, please contact Nancy Monelli at




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Vacation Bible School 2017


… whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
~ Philippians 4:8

This year we will be exploring whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise. Our journey will take us on an exploration of the Holy Scriptures, into the beauty of nature, and alongside commendable and praiseworthy members of our community.

We will use music, arts and crafts, cooking, study, service, and fun to help us make this journey. And we invite our families and friends to join us on Saturday for a festive picnic celebration that will feature a presentation, food, bouncy house, and more!


June 27-30, 2017, 9 am-12:30 pm
$40 ($35 before June 1)

Optional Afternoon Program
12:30-4 pm
$16 per day

Saturday Special Event
for VBS participants and their families and friends
July 1, 2017, 4-6 pm

– Scholarships are available –

VBS 2017 Registration Form [pdf]

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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.


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