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1013 8th Avenue
Seattle, WA, 98104
United States

(206)762-1991

The mission of Seattle Presbytery is to participate, in word and deed, in God’s transforming work through the Gospel of Jesus Christ: †by strengthening the witness and mission of our congregations and members and by building strong partnerships with each other and the larger Christian community.

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Calvary PC hosting community conversation on affordable housing

Seattle Presbytery

All invited to attend kick-off conversation about affordable housing

The Calvary Presbyterian church will be hosting a “community conversation” on affordable housing on Oct. 26.

By Kevin Hanson, The Courier-Herald

Lynelle Caudillo shares the story of a woman who landed a professional-grade job on the Plateau and hoped to live in Enumclaw. The search proved fruitless for the single mother of two and, as a result, she now makes the commute to and from Federal Way.

Caudillo, a pastor at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Enumclaw, tells the tale to attach a real-life situation to a pressing, societal problem. Simply, affordable housing is in short supply in Enumclaw.

The city certainly isn’t unique when it comes to limited supply and greater demand. A lack of affordable housing seemingly is being discussed everywhere these days and it’s a cause being tackled throughout the Puget Sound region. Advocates are found in government circles and among those in the realm of social services.

Read more online.

Zoom Check-ins re: Clerks,  Session,  Polity,  Records

Seattle Presbytery

Zoom Check-ins re: Clerks,  Session,  Polity,  Records

Wed., Oct. 23 & Wed. Nov. 6
12:00 – 1:00pm

https://zoom.us/j/890050226

Dean Strong is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/890050226

One tap mobile +16699006833,,890050226# US (San Jose) +19294362866,,890050226# US (New York)

Dial by your location +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 890 050 226
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/acBwBFRaPE

Contact: Rev. Dean Strong, Stated Clerk

See also: 2019 Session Records Review Form

2019 Manual for Clerks of Session & Session Moderators

Presbyterian Youth Triennium

Seattle Presbytery

July 16-20, 2019
Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana

2019 Seattle Presbytery Triennium delegation:

Christine Stratton (Chaperone), Southminster PC

Rev. Ken Onstot (Chaperone), Southminster PC

Jessica Cedergreen, Southminster PC

Emma LaRochelle, Southminster PC

Linda Engen (Chaperone), Overlake Park PC

Erik Engen, Overlake Park PC

Carissa Bartlow, Bethany PC (Inland NW Presbytery)


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Five days of CONVERSATION, RECREATION, LEARNING, WORSHIP AND FUN! Drawing from the rich and diverse theology, history and education of the Presbyterian tradition – the Triennium experience is packed with the information students long to explore!

Digging into faith through a variety of activities and experiences – all focused around the theme “Here’s My Heart” (Recognize the line yet? Hint: It’s a lyric from a classic tune / hymn we sing!) participants at the Triennium will re-enter their lives with a fresh sense of inspiration grounded in the context of personal and communal worship!

Presbyterian Youth Triennium is a gathering for high school age youth (entering 9th grade through graduated 12th grade) from the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church that occurs every three years. All participants must be registered through a local presbytery or church delegation.

Presbyterian Youth Triennium website

Presbyterian Youth Triennium on Facebook

‘Here’s my Heart’ named 2019 Presbyterian Youth Triennium theme

Mission Development Program seeks board members

Seattle Presbytery

Board Member Recruitment

Are you looking for a way to join a mission driven, financially responsible organization that serves Presbyterian churches? The Mission Development Certificate (MDC) and Loan Program is seeking new board members for a three-year term beginning in 2020. MDC offers low cost loans to churches through investments from individuals and churches that build, expand and renovate capital facilities. This thriving program began in 1955 and continues to serve Presbyterian churches in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

As a board member, you will meet twice a year to set the vision and direction of the organization. If you are interested in joining the executive board, please contact Dean Mielke at dmielke@mdcprogram.org to learn more about this important ministry.

SeaPres Update: Un Hermanamiento

Seattle Presbytery

When Seattle Presbytery first began exploring in 2014 a possible missional partnership with the Presbyterian Church in Colombia, a guiding principle for our conversations was mutuality. We sought to move away from the traditional mission partnerships of giver and recipient, privilege and need… in short, we were seeking an equitable and balanced relationship where we would both learn and benefit from being together.  

We developed an “hermanamiento”, literally translated from Spanish to “twinning”. It’s a sibling model that acknowledges both entities – Seattle Presbytery and Presbiterio de la Costa – have their own gifts and challenges to bring to the relationship. We recognize and name the inherent imbalance of power (we have more churches and more financial resources than they) and yet also see the significant ministry their presbytery has done through a myriad of community engagement opportunities.

Over the past years, Seattle Presbytery has sponsored an annual trip to Barranquilla where 10 -12 participants go and learn about the social and political context of doing ministry as a Presbyterian church. We have explored the role of the church around issues of peace, violence, displacement, and economic scarcity. We have witnessed the power of a re-envisioned diakonia ministry that calls for congregants to face outwards to care for their communities. We have participated in theological lectures and workshops at their Reformed University and seen what it means for the church to be fully invested in education, from preschool through college.

We have also hosted pastors and elders from the Presbiterio de la Costa, sharing with them the work of our congregations, the challenges of being church in our location, and the desire we have to be an integral part of our communities. Along the way we have discovered shared ministry goals and gifts.

What’s Next?

The next level of “hermanamiento” is to take this from the presbytery level to the congregational one, with several of our churches launching a relationship of mutuality with congregations in Barranquilla. This is an opportunity for churches to share ideas and vision, create friendships and exchange liturgical, musical, or educational resources. What a great way to practice language skills for all!

We are excited to welcome Rev. Gloria Ulloa (Executive Presbyter of the Presbiterio de la Costa), Rev. Milciadas Pua (Dean of Academics at the Reformed University), Valeria Diaz (student at the Reformed University and ruling elder), and Rev. Cristhian Gomez (pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Barranquilla) to Seattle this month. Please take a moment to welcome them and hear them at the Oct. 15 Presbytery Meeting. 

We are also preparing for Seattle Presbytery’s trip to Barranquilla from Jan. 27 – Feb. 7, 2020. If you are interested in participating, please complete the application form by no later than October 25.

Required pre-trip meetings for the team are scheduled on Nov. 4, Dec. 2, and Jan. 6 at 7pm.

We’ve moved away from the historical model of missional partnerships when an American church would come and “do” for a church in an emerging country. We recognize that God is at work in all places and we are called to come together to learn from one another and witness each other’s faithfulness. This is an hermanamiento.

Rev. Eliana Maxim
Seattle Presbytery Co-Executive Presbyter

The Search for Peace & Justice in the Holy Land

Seattle Presbytery

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Join University PC, Bellevue PC, and United Church of Christ University Congregational Church (UCUCC) for a series of video presentations with facilitated discussion called, "The Search for Peace and Justice in the Holy Land" https://cmep.org/curriculum/search-peace-justice/ which was developed by the group known as Churches for Middle East Peace. https://cmep.org/ . The fall series will serve as preparation for a Holy Land trip scheduled for the end of April 2020 in partnership with Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP).

The U District series (hosted by UCUCC) will begin October 1st, and continue on every other Tuesday until November 26. The same series begins this evening in Bellevue, and it will continue on alternate Tuesdays through November 19.

EVERY OTHER TUESDAY:  Oct. 1, 15, 29, Nov. 12, 26

•         Who Christians of the Holy Land are

•         The conflicting historical claims to this land

•         How these perspectives challenge efforts for reconciliation

•         Repercussions of the continued occupation of Palestinian land

•         How to be an effective advocate for a just peace in the Holy Land

Contact: Holy Land Task Force, hltf.upc@gmail.com.

GA 224 Nominations & Elections

Seattle Presbytery

Election of GA Commissioners and Young Adult Advisory Delegates 224th (2020) General Assembly, Baltimore, June 20-27, 2020.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: OCTOBER 7, 2019
Note: YAADs will be elected at the October 15, 2019 Seattle Presbytery meeting. GA commissioners will be elected at the February 25, 2020 presbytery meeting.

The Presbytery of Seattle is entitled to two (2) ruling elder commissioners and two (2) teaching elder commissioners.                        

The process below strives to respect three Presbyterian Principles:  

1.   “the election of the persons to exercise authority, in any particular society, is in that society.” [F-3.0106]

2.   “Presbyters are not simply to reflect the will of the people, but rather to seek together to find and represent the will of Christ.” [F-3.0204]

3.   “The Presbyterian Church shall guarantee full participation or representation in its worship, governance, and emerging life to all persons or groups within its membership.” [F-1.0403] 

1.  Nomination is by application (see below), which will be distributed to the presbytery for consideration.

2.  Nominees must be available for questioning at the time of the election.

3.  Selection is by election; that is a majority vote.

4.  Presbytery will vote until a majority and representation requirements are obtained.

5.  Alternates will be those with the next most votes.

6.  If no person meets all of the criteria, those who apply may be considered by the presbytery.

Download complete GA commissioner selection process.

Download GA commissioner application form.

Download YAAD nomination form.

Vashon PC helps host community bike drive

Seattle Presbytery

From Vashon PC Pastor Leigh Weber:

On Saturday. September 14, we partnered with Bike Works, an organization in Seattle that takes used bikes and bike parts and repairs them to make available to kids and others who might not otherwise have one.  It also keeps used and broken bikes from being tossed in the land fill.  We had no clue how many folks to expect and we were laughing about what we would do if no one showed.  Right at 9 a.m. folks started showing up and it was a steady stream until we closed at 1 pm.  We partnered with John L. Scott on island to use their truck to transport them to Seattle (we collected two full truck loads) and we partnered with Vashon E Bikes who gave a gift certificate towards an E Bike that folks entered a drawing for if they make a bike donation.  We also partnered with our neighbors at Camp Colvos, who gave us wrist bands for a free beer for a donation.  

We collected almost 150 bikes, saving the planet some more space and making more available to others. 

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KIRO 7 TV: Scam targeting churches hits Eastside

Seattle Presbytery

BELLEVUE, Wash. - The pastor at a Bellevue church is warning the community to be alert after a scam cost some of her parishioners hundreds of dollars.

Bellevue police say the thieves obtained an email address very similar to the one belonging to Pastor Vonna Thomas at Newport Presbyterian Church. The person who sent the email told parishioners one of their members had cancer and it would be helpful to give that person iTunes gift cards. 

When one church member sent hundreds of dollars in ITunes gift cards to the scammer they got another email asking for more. 

Read more and watch video online.

PC(USA) resources on gun violence prevention

Seattle Presbytery

Gun Violence Policy

The PC(USA) and its predecessor bodies have addressed gun violence through the actions of many General Assemblies in the last fifty years. Beginning in the late 1960’s, in response to the assassinations of public leaders, the General Assembly called for “….control [of] the sale and possession of firearms of all kinds.” Similar resolutions were passed again in 1976, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1996 and 1998.

Each resolution reflected a sense of moral urgency in response to rising gun violence and the cultural trends that contributed to it. These resolutions have called on the church to be involved in education and advocacy at the federal, state, and community level to prevent gun violence. In 1991 and 1996, these resolutions were backed up with strong educational curricula as well as comprehensive strategies for advocacy.

In 2008 the General Assembly recommended that churches should take seriously the pastoral implications of caring for members of our community who have experienced the pain of gun violence, advocate for legislation that would increase the safety and well-being of communities in relation to the presence of guns, and conduct a national study on gun violence. From this recommendation, a gun violence prevention task force of ten people was formed under the auspices of the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy.

The task force worked tirelessly over the next two years and produced a comprehensive study of contemporary gun violence in the United States, complete with recommendations for the church as to how to address this critical issue. This study was unanimously approved by the 219th General Assembly.

Learn more online.

PC(USA) resource list on gun violence prevention.

In Our Shoes: 2019 Justice Pilgrimage Exhibit @ Lake Burien PC

Seattle Presbytery

To Seattle Presbytery

Last month 31 of us from Lake Burien Church community participated in a week-long pilgrimage “The Gospel and the Politics of Race” through the US South. Our community began meeting and preparing from January to June, praying and learning together. Led by Lisa Sharon Harper and Freedom Road Consultants, we traced the story of the enslavement and confinement of people of African descent on US soil and confronted the evil reality of white supremacy.

It was a powerfully transformative experience for us - providing a sobering reminder of how deeply entrenched racialized violence is in the US. It also became painfully clear that the Church was cover for much of that sin. As most of us realize, our country has not yet healed from this original sin.

Our pilgrimage team, led by Crystal Hairston and Shannon Smythe, designed and created an exhibit to share some of the transformative learning about the history that continues to shape us all. The exhibit was the pilgrimage team's attempt to continue the journey, share the story, and to heal.

We invite you to make time to come see this exhibit. It is so well done you will not be disappointed. We have decided to keep the exhibit open for the month of August. We believe it to be an important resource for our community beyond our congregation as we do our part to contribute to a vision of shalom and justice.

Pastor Lina Thompson
Lake Burien Presbyterian Church

KING Television features Lake Burien PC pilgrimage exhibit. Watch online.

Learn more online.

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Share your thoughts, prayers, and reflections with Seattle Presbytery:

Read a reflection by Rev. Dani Forbess (Northminster PC Pastor)

If you have visited the exhibit and would like to share a reflection with Seattle Presbytery, contact EJ Lee.

Ninth Presbyterian Church (Colombia) project

Seattle Presbytery

October 2019 Update: Read thank-you letter from Ninth Presbyterian church.
With the help of generous donations from our churches and members, Seattle Presbytery was able to contribute $12,000 to this project. Thank you to everyone who made this possible.


Over the past five years, the Seattle Presbytery and the presbytery of the North Coast in Colombia have built a foundational base of relationships that has enriched both our presbyteries. Through these years, one of the congregations we have come to know well in Barranquilla, Colombia is the Novena Iglesia Presbyteriana - affectionately called La Ceiba - led by Rev. Vilma Yanez who is spending a sabbatical month of July here in Seattle with us. “Ninth” Presbyterian has been providing significant hope, love, and service in a neighborhood very much longing for all three gifts. Up until recently, their ministry flowed out of very “humble” building. A couple of years ago, it was condemned and the congregation has been doing their best with a makeshift location.

With the help of their presbytery and contributions from the congregation, the church was recently able to purchase a house in the neighborhood which they hope to convert into their permanent worship space. Significant work needs to take place in order to make this structure safe and appropriate for their mission and ministry.

Seattle Presbytery has been invited to partner with our sister presbytery to help the Ninth Church. With materials and labor factored in, Rev. Yanez and her congregation need to raise an additional $20,670. Within one day of hearing of this need, our own Vashon Presbyterian Church voted to contribute $2500 toward this ask. We know that we have numerous, generous congregations in our presbytery who would welcome the opportunity to help out as well. 

If your congregation would like to come alongside of Ninth Presbyterian Church (and Vashon), please contact any member of the Colombia Task Force (Doug Early, Renee Notkin, Staci Imes, or Eliana Maxim). Any amount contributed by Friday, August 30, 2019 will be deeply appreciated.

Checks can be made out to Seattle Presbytery, and mailed to 1013 8th Ave, Seattle 98104. PLEASE note in the memo section: "Ninth Pres. Church project." Please send by Friday, August 30, 2019.

Photos: La Ceiba’s previous location.

AI and Faith

Seattle Presbytery

Invitation from David Brenner (University PC Ruling Elder):

AI and Faith is an educational nonprofit created by University Presbyterian, Union Church, and 3 other faith congregations (MAPS, Temple DeHirsch and the Iman Center) as well as SPU, Seattle U and Jim Wellman’s Initiative for Global Christian Studies at UW. In addition to these 8 institutional partners, we have almost 40 distinguished expert Founding Members, including leaders at UPC and Union and new national members from Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Nashville and points east, and adding more weekly. Our goal is creating a voice for sophisticated AI professionals and ethicists/theologians/philosophers to help steer society toward artificial intelligence for human flourishing and not destruction.

Read the first issue of the monthly AI and Faith newsletter:

https://mailchi.mp/aiandfaith/august-2019-newsletter-390115 or on website at: https://aiandfaith.org/newsletters/

Union Church in Seattle serves community through hospitality

Seattle Presbytery

August 9, 2019 by Robyn Davis Sekula (Vice President of Communication and Marketing for the Presbyterian Foundation)

Union Church in Seattle is “a church with a day job – a very involved day job,” says Scott Lumsden, Seattle Presbytery Co-Executive Presbyter.

Stick around for a few days at 415 Westlake Avenue and you’ll see he’s right.

On Sunday mornings, the building is a worship and fellowship space for Union Church, a PC(USA) congregation. Monday through Friday, it functions as a coffee and chocolate shop called Kakao. The large, open space dedicated to worship on Sunday mornings is an event space at other times and is named for its address, 415 Westlake.

Union Church hosts a Sunday worship experience that’s a remix of traditional church activities. The first and third Sundays are dedicated to traditional worship, the second Sunday is designed as a time for deep discussion in small groups and the fourth Sunday is reserved for community service.

The overarching goal of Union Church and its associated businesses is to be a blessing to Seattle, and to connect members of its congregation to the larger city so they can do the same. “The community of Union Church supports the work here because of the connections that it fosters, and because of the ways it addresses the needs of this community,” Lumsden says. “That’s what makes it special, and something we could all learn from as a Church.”

The Seattle Presbytery and University Presbyterian Church in Seattle have both provided funding and other support to help Union Church get established. The Presbyterian Foundation has consulted with the Seattle Presbytery on investments and spending strategies. “We love the opportunity to partner with church leaders to envision how God is calling them in new and creative ways to be the church and do ministry,” says Tom Taylor, President and CEO of the Presbyterian Foundation. “Union Church provides a beautiful sense of community in South Lake Union that would not exist without this commitment and vision of pastors James B. and Renee Notkin, and we’re so grateful for their dedication to the cause of Christ.”

Read more online.

Special Update from the Presbytery of the North Coast, Colombia

Seattle Presbytery

Special Update from the Presbytery of the North Coast, Colombia

This past July 20, while we celebrated independence day in our country, yet another human rights leader (and former FARC guerrilla) was assassinated. Our churches in Barranquilla will be joining Colombians all over the country this Saturday - A Day of Prayer and Action - in marching for peace. On Sunday, July 27, we will be praying for the peace we long for in Colombia. We invite you to please join us in prayer in your worship time: may the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Thank you for your partnership and witness.

SeaPres Update: From Eliana Maxim

Seattle Presbytery

Dear friends,

Matthew 25 logo.jpg

The Mission Agency of the PC(USA) recently issued an invitation to churches and mid-councils to commit themselves to be identified as a Matthew 25 faith community. And at the last Executive Board meeting, it was voted unanimously for the Seattle Presbytery to join the Matthew 25 movement. In order for the presbytery to live into this, we commit to have at least 20% of our congregations identify as a Matthew 25 church. I invite your church to be one of those… will you?

What is a Matthew 25 church?

Matthew 25:31–46 calls all of us to actively engage in the world around us, so our faith comes alive and we wake up to new possibilities. Convicted by this passage, both the 222nd and 223rd General Assemblies (2016 and 2018) exhorted the PC(USA) to act boldly and compassionately to serve people who are hungry, oppressed, imprisoned or poor.

How the vision unites all Presbyterians

By accepting the Matthew 25 invitation, you can help our denomination become a more relevant presence in the world. We recognize Christ’s urgent call to be a church of action, where God’s love, justice and mercy shine forth and are contagious. And we rejoice how our re-energized faith can unite all Presbyterians for a common and holy purpose: our common identity to do mission.

What are we committing to?

The Matthew 25 church has three foci: commitments to building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism, and eradicating systemic poverty.

Truth be told, many of our churches are already hard at work in one or more of these areas such as active partnership with their communities to help the poor, to engage in honest conversations around privilege and prejudice, and the revitalization of their congregations through commitment to their communities.

These can be expressed in a variety of ways and our denomination has provided helpful resources for churches seeking to find creative ways to pursue these goals. https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/matthew-25/become-a-matthew-25-church/

I invite you to embark on this missional journey with the presbytery. And share with us your stories of how your church is expressing the Matthew 25 identity. I look forward to how together we can be a presbytery that makes a loving commitment to fearless discipleship in our communities.

And one more invitation...

Over the past five years, the Seattle Presbytery and the presbytery of the North Coast in Colombia have built a foundational base of relationships that has enriched both our presbyteries. Through these years, one of the congregations we have come to know well in Barranquilla, Colombia is the Novena Iglesia Presbyteriana - affectionately called La Ceiba - led by Rev. Vilma Yanez who is spending a sabbatical month of July here in Seattle with us. “Ninth” Presbyterian has been providing significant hope, love, and service in a neighborhood very much longing for all three gifts. Up until recently, their ministry flowed out of very “humble” building. A couple of years ago, it was condemned and the congregation has been doing their best with a makeshift location.

With the help of their presbytery and contributions from the congregation, the church was recently able to purchase a house in the neighborhood which they hope to convert into their permanent worship space. Significant work needs to take place in order to make this structure safe and appropriate for their mission and ministry.

Seattle Presbytery has been invited to partner with our sister presbytery to help the Ninth Church. With materials and labor factored in, Rev. Yanez and her congregation need to raise an additional $20,670. Within one day of hearing of this need, our own Vashon Presbyterian Church voted to contribute $2500 toward this ask. We know that we have numerous, generous congregations in our presbytery who would welcome the opportunity to help out as well. 

If your congregation would like to come alongside of Ninth Presbyterian Church (and Vashon), please contact any member of the Colombia Task Force (Doug Early, Renee Notkin, Staci Imes, or Eliana Maxim). Any amount contributed will be deeply appreciated.

Checks can be made out to Seattle Presbytery, and mailed to 1013 8th Ave, Seattle 98104. PLEASE note in the memo section: "Ninth Pres. Church project."

Photos: La Ceiba’s previous location.

Documentary: True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality

Seattle Presbytery

Documentary: True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality

For more than three decades, Alabama public interest attorney Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, has advocated on behalf of the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned, seeking to eradicate racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. An intimate portrait of this remarkable man, True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality follows his struggle to create greater fairness in the system and shows how racial injustice emerged, evolved and continues to threaten the country, challenging viewers to confront it.

Currently free on HBO.

Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Executive Director, Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama

Author of Just Mercy, a Story of Justice and Redemption

Bel Pres member Lori Taylor moved to Montgomery and began working for EJI about 3 years ago.

Various items available for SeaPres churches & new worshiping communities

Seattle Presbytery

Please contact Seattle Presbytery if your church or new worshiping community needs the following:

  • Pianos: We have several lovely grand pianos needing temporary (or possibly permanent) homes. At the top of the list is a gorgeous concert grand Steinway. We also have 6 foot grands - several Chickerings, a couple of Howards, and a Merrill upright. If your church would like to host one of our pianos, contact SeaPres to make arrangements. If you know individuals who would be interested in purchasing one, reasonable offers may be considered. You will need to make moving arrangements.

  • Cushioned black chairs

  • Cushioned red chairs

  • Other assorted chairs

  • Assorted tables

  • Blue hymnals

Music library - If your church music library could use a refresh or some filling in, both First PC Seattle and Kent had extensive choral music libraries.  From Bach to Vivaldi, Hayes to Sleeth - there's a wide variety of individual anthems, collections, and oratorios/cantatas. Number of copies varies by selection.  

Churches are responsible for all pick-up (including any associated costs). Items are currently only available to Seattle Presbytery churches and new worshiping communities.  Contact Seattle Presbytery for more details.