Phinney Ridge is blessed with a talented and faithful staff. If you’re not quite sure who to get in touch with, you can always email Office Manager Alyssa O’Connor
Pastor Bryon Hansen is a native of Washington State. He was born in Puyallup and studied at Western Washington University in Bellingham. He studied further at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, where he learned theology and pastoral ministry in the wonderful ecumenical mix of the Graduate Theological Union. Most recently, Pastor Hansen studied at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, where he completed a Doctor of Ministry in preaching degree.
Ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament in 1986, Pastor Hansen has served congregations in Idaho, Oregon and Northern California. He is excited to be back in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and to serve the people of Phinney Ridge Lutheran. His passions in ministry are liturgy, preaching and faith formation for children, youth and adults. He believes these gifts from God powerfully shape and transform lives. Phinney is living proof!
Pastor Hansen is married to the Reverend Canon Britt Olson, a Priest in the Episcopal Church. In their Sabbath time they enjoy hiking, exploring the Seattle area, reading, film and spending time with friends. They share their home with a cat named Linus, who never makes life boring.
Anne is a graduate of Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, IA. Prior to embracing the Holy Spirit’s nudge to become a pastor, Anne worked as a university grant writer and copy editor. She grew up in Walla Walla and, as a native Northwesterner, she is thrilled to be living in Seattle and doing ministry in the Phinney neighborhood. Access to good, local food to cook with, and plenty of cozy, cloudy days are a bonus. Anne is married to Will and together they have four children, Lydia, Charlotte, Nicholas and Matthew. The family loves to sing and play their variety of instruments, and they enjoy exploring the country on long road trips.
Anne is supportive of PRLC’s commitment to worship, liturgy, and presence in the community. She feels called to be a pastor to all – from the youngest to the oldest – but she especially loves ministry with children and pastoral care for our elders. She is a cheerleader for PRLC’s Child Development Center and the teachers who provide such loving care there. Anne loves to work collaboratively with staff and lay people, especially to be on the look-out for new and surprising things that God may be up to in our midst.
Minister of Outreach
Patrick hails from Bothell via his birthplace of San Jose, and childhood homes in Portland and Olympia. He returned to Olympia for his undergrad years at The Evergreen State College studying religion, human communication, and anything else they threw at him. He then served on staff at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission for five years, earned a Master of Arts in Christian Studies from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, and finally answered the call to serve PRLC in 2006 as Minister of Outreach.
Patrick serves the community by welcoming those in need who seek help and understanding from our church. He believes God’s love always surprises and heals, and generosity is our only hope. He enjoys creating space for God’s love to freely cover all God’s children inside and outside the church walls.
When not doing that, you’ll find Patrick loving Jena, his remarkable wife since 2002, and Kloe, their spunky daughter. He may also be skipping rocks on a remote lake, watching baseball, or experiencing the ecstasy and agony of athletic competition. The Meaghers (Maw-hers) enjoy #condolife in the Pinehurst neighborhood with Frida the cat and Pablo the dog.
Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries
Nicole graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota with a BA in Elementary Education and is a licensed teacher in the state of
Washington. Her previous endeavors include many years of working at summer camp, teaching third grade in a Minnesota public school, and over 14 years with ELCA churches leading children, youth, and family ministry.
Nicole’s most important role is being Mama to her two children, Cooper and
Cora. She is an avid reader and enjoys any opportunity to be near, on, or in water. Vacation Bible School is her favorite week of the year, and she has a passion for social justice and making sure all kids know how much God loves them.
Child Development Center Interim Director
Christina is a Northwest native who taught high school English and worked as a private tutor for a long time before coming to Phinney Ridge Lutheran as Office Manager. This year she accepted with gratitude and excitement a promotion to serve as Parish Administrator.
Christina is a new resident of the Magnolia neighborhood, and is a frequent visitor to the San Francisco Bay area, where both her grown children are living.
Communication and Office Manager
Alyssa is a Pacific North West native and a recent graduate from Seattle Pacific University with a degree in Communications and Reconciliation Studies. She has a passion for justice, peace, and holistic flourishing for all of Creation and is excited to pursue those things as the new Communication and Office Manager. When Alyssa is not in the office she is probably at home reading or baking or crafting or out in the Olympics on a hike with her husband Daniel.
Alyssa is so excited to join the Phinney Ridge Lutheran staff and begin to cultivate rich relationships with the community.
Jeff Cooper is from northern California. Growing up in San Jose, he moved to the valley town of Chico early in adulthood, there getting his start on organs built in eighteenth-century styles by Munetaka Yokota, Dirk Flentrop, and others. He went on to earn a Master of Sacred Music from the University of Notre Dame in 2013, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Houston in 2018. During his time in Houston, he often performed as an accompanist on organ and harpsichord, including with the prominent Baroque ensemble Ars Lyrica. He also produced a forthcoming recording of solo music on a Houston organ built by the renowned Pacific Northwest organ builder Martin Pasi.
Jeff takes delight in every opportunity to use the organ as an accompanying instrument, especially in the context of the liturgy, and enjoys exploring the possibilities of Phinney Ridge’s fine Schlicker/Pasi organ in service of the congregation from week to week. He is married to Anna, a soprano; together they are raising two young daughters.
Youth Choir Director
Paul Georgeson is a lifelong member of Phinney Ridge Lutheran, baptized here in 1992! He is a recent graduate of Westminster Choir College, having earned a Master of Music in Sacred Music there, and is the current Assistant Artistic Director for reSound, a small choir exploring the ways choral music can be used to articulate a message of social justice and inclusion for all.
Paul is a board member of the Institute for Social Change through the Arts, an organization focusing on the power artistic expression has to impact social change. He’s recently been published in a collaborative work, The Complete Choral Warm-Up Sequences, led by Dr. James Jordan.
Children’s Choir Director
After graduating from Seattle Pacific University with a degree in Vocal Performance and Worship Arts, Evelyn began her music career in 2010 as a private voice/piano teacher. She now maintains a thriving studio of 40 private students. She also enjoys teaching general music at a small K-8 private school, Laurel Academy. She also is a staff cantor at St. Alphonsus parish, and enjoys praising the Lord through worship and liturgy.
Evelyn does her very best to encourage musical growth and quality worshipful music. She strives to create a fun and encouraging environment that fosters learning and connecting musical expression to our faith in Christ.
Chancel Choir and Hand Bell Choir Director
Beth Ann is now in her second decade of ministry at PRLC, conducting the Chancel Choir and Handbell Choir. Beth Ann strives to honor the gifts and abilities of each choir member, while fostering an environment of healthy singing, high artistic standards, rich and varied expression of faith, musical connection to the church throughout history and around the world, and growth together as the body of Christ.
Beth Ann continues to make music outside PRLC. She is on the staff of the Northwest Girlchoir, and co-conducts Mirinesse Women’s Choir. At Seattle Pacific University, she teaches voice and conducts the Women’s Choir. She holds a B.Mus degree in church music from St. Olaf College and a MM in voice performance from Arizona State University.
Gospel Choir Director
Craig Hopper was born in Seattle, Washington and studied at Seattle Central Community College, where he completed coursework studies in music theory, music composition, piano, and choral training. He has an extensive background in vocal direction and as a church musician.
Craig knew at an early age that music ministry was his calling. While in high school, he served as a volunteer instrumentalist for the Inspirational Chorus and Chapel Choir at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Seattle. There, he developed his skills as a gospel singer and drummer. He would also work as the Assistant Director of the Brotherhood Chorus, and Director of The Hopper Family Singers; a family music ministry whose repertoire included beautiful a cappella African-American Spirituals. The group performed throughout the greater Seattle area from 1977 until 1990.
In 2001, Craig was called as the Director of the St. Matthew Lutheran Church Adult Choir in Edmonds, and in 2004 Craig became Choir Director and Music Coordinator for the newly formed Edmonds Lutheran Church (ELC). At ELC he developed the music program, consisting of an adult choir, a vocal ensemble, a string ensemble, a chime choir and a praise chorus.
After an extended sabbatical, Craig is excited to return to music ministry. He is looking forward to serving the people of Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church. He believes that through the ministry of music people can experience God’s power and grace.
Craig is married and has a son. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, exercising, Major League Baseball, and is a history buff.