May 2, 2018/in National Gathering /
Each month, we post a series of blogs around a common topic. This month, Jeff Bryan is curating a series reflecting on the 2018 National Gathering in late February. You’ll hear from clergy, lay people, community leaders, and others reflect on their experiences of the National Gathering and what’s stuck with them since. How does the “Desert in Bloom” look on the resurrection side of Easter? What are your own thoughts of your National Gathering experience, or on what these reflections spark for you? We invite you to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter!
by Eliana Maxim
In a busy season of ministry, the opportunity to attend the NEXT Church National Gathering popped up on my calendar quite unexpectedly. I remembered the enthusiasm with which I had registered back in early winter, but now with to-do lists multiplying magically, I wasn’t sure I would find the time or “head space” to engage.
I am so glad I did.
The theme of “The Desert in Bloom” appropriately described what many of the pastoral leaders with whom I work have been experiencing. The realities of ministry can certainly make one feel as if you are in extended wilderness time. And that you are doing it alone.
In order to bloom in said desert would require sustenance, at least for this pastor. A desert in bloom means hope above all else.
Presbyterian Youth Triennium
July 16-20, 2019
West Lafayette, Indiana
Seattle Presbytery will lead a delegation to attend the 2019 Triennium. The presbytery is currently seeking to appoint a registrar. The registrar oversees and coordinates the presbytery coordinating team (group of volunteers who get youth information, promotion, registration instructions, etc.) Contact the SP office to learn more.
The Religious Imagination of Children Project
Dr. J. Bradley Wigger, Professor of education and childhood studies at Louisville Seminary, is directing a research project to better understand children’s thinking and imagination, including the ways children reflect upon God and religious life.
If you are a parent with a child (3-12 years old), who would be willing to participate in the study, we would appreciate a chance to talk with you, and with your child’s assent, interview your child. Interviews typically last about 30 minutes and are set up at your convenience. Participation could make important contributions to better understanding children.
If you are possibly willing to participate, have questions, concerns, or are curious, please contact:
J. Bradley Wigger
The study is funded by the Henry Luce III Foundation through Louisville Seminary and conforms to the ethical standards of research with human subjects as approved by the school’s Institutional Review Board. Confidentiality will be maintained by disguising the names or other identifying features of participants.
A message from Lake Burien PC:
Dear Friends and Family -
Wednesday night, April 4th, near the Alturas apartments in Burien, two young women's lives were taken.
The Juarez family is now without a sister and daughter, and our community is now without a classmate and friend.
Below, you'll find the remembrances of older sister, Maria, about her younger sister, Elizabeth.
"Elizabeth always put her friends and family before herself, making sure they were doing alright before focusing on herself. She had big plans; always talking about how she was going to change her life around. For a 13 year old to handle a hard life the way she did is impressive. She made mistakes but once she realized what mistake she made she went back and tried to fix it or do things differently so she could do things the right way. She never gave up. I would like for Elizabeth to be remembered as the loving caring silly person she was. That a 13 year old child had such a big heart and so much love to give is amazing."
Thirteen years old, can you imagine?
Our commitment to raising funds for Elizabeth's funeral costs flows out of our commitment to the health and wellness of young people in our community. We want them to know that they are not alone - in life and in death - and that we build this community together, alongside them and their dreams for a transformed community. Will you join us in raising funds for this untimely, tragic death? With your donation, we come alongside a grief-stricken family and offer the hope and generosity of a loving community.
Ways to give:
Please donate to Lake Burien Presbyterian online or with cash/check in person with the memo "Elizabeth Juarez”.
Make checks payable to:
Lake Burien Presbyterian Church and mail to
15003 14th Ave. SW
Burien, WA 98166
or you can make a donation via our website - (see information below)
scroll to memorials, enter amount and note: "Elizabeth Juarez Memorial" in the notes section at the end of checkout process.
My relatively short time as a pastor in this community has been both beautiful and during times like this, heartbreaking. Mostly, my days and weeks are filled with lots of promise and hope. Holding on to and proclaiming the promise of resurrection, not just for the "hereafter" but for justice, shalom and redemption in the "here-and-now" is the unique and profound calling of the Church. May we be bold enough to live, pray and proclaim, "on earth as it is in heaven"....
With Love and great thanks to you in advance, for your consideration, generosity AND prayers for all those directly affected by this tragedy. I'm very grateful to be able to call on you for help.
Blessings to all of you...
As-Salam Alaikum (peace be upon you),
The Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) invites you to meet your Muslim neighbors, tour our mosque and community center (especially if you have never visited a mosque), learn about Islam, observe (and if you wish, participate in) an Islamic prayer, have your questions answered about Islam/Muslims, and enjoy a small meal together! All for free, as our guest. Registration required (http://maps.gd/openhouse). Please arrive no later than 3pm.
Please also share this invitation with your friends, neighbors, coworkers, family and others so they can attend this special event as well.
We look forward to welcoming you to MAPS, regardless of your religion, faith tradition, race, national origin, gender, sexuality, age (but no childcare provided), different abilities, or political viewpoints.
MAPS Outreach Team
LETTER WRITING CAMPAIGN
A great idea has come to us via James Potts, Director of Family Ministries at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood. He has networked with churches across the nation to begin a Children’s Letter Writing Campaign to the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. If you would like to have your children or youth ministries participate, please begin the campaign as soon as you can, gather the letters and send them to the Presbytery Center, without envelopes (one envelope for all is fine). We will give them to Rev. Willy Figueredo to hand deliver them to a guidance counselor at Stoneman Douglas. There will not be a time frame for this project in frequency or duration. However immediate response will be beneficial for the students as they are currently in shock and in grief.
Mail items to:
LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT, IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE PARKLAND, FL SHOOTING
The Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus, PDA Director; Rev. Dr. Jim Kirk, PDA Associate for National Disaster Response; and Rev. Dr. Bruce Wismer co-pastor, Pine Shores Presbyterian Church, Sarasota, FL, and coordinator for the PDA Human-Caused Disaster Response on the National Response Team; prepared the Liturgical Reflections linked below for the first Sunday in Lent, following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. Please use and share these reflections.
The staff at Tall Timber would like to invite you to our Spring Pastor’s Retreat! This will be a chance to relax after the pressures of Holy Week and Easter. It will be a 2-3 day event (depending on your responses to the survey below) that will include up to 6 meals, housing, access to our hiking trails and available recreation activities (weather dependant), as well as endless coffee, cocoa and tea.
We want to extend this invitation to any of your ministry professionals who work full-time or mostly full-time, that serve in key leadership roles in your church (i.e. Senior Pastor, Worship Pastor, Youth Pastor, Children’s Pastor, College Ministry pastor/leader, Administration, etc). Our goal is to make this retreat a time of rest and community for you and your team, to allow you time to meet other leaders who are serving in similar capacities with a similar heart for God’s call on our lives, and to cultivate relationships that extend beyond Tall Timber.
Tall Timber is a set apart place that the Spirit has blessed over the decades, allowing people time to disconnect from the pressures at home and reconnect with their Creator in a special and stunning natural sanctuary. Thanks to four pastors who fell in love with the dude ranch that was the camp’s predecessor, and with the support of the local presbytery, this amazing property was secured to begin building a place where people from all walks of life could encounter our Triune God. The property became a ministry for many youth from across Washington to encounter Jesus, to grow, and be discipled. It also became a place of rest for pastors, who could come and stay at the property and refocus on God. We are still committed to this long history of restoration and reconnection.
The cost of the retreat ($99 for a two-day, $139 for a three-day) covers food, housing, and any activities that are available (weather dependant). Attached, you will see a proposed schedule. You will also notice there is very little programming scheduled as we want this to be a time to breath and take a break, fully recognizing that everyone rests in their own way; we want to provide space for the rest you need.
Please contact email@example.com with any questions that you have. If this is something that sparks your imagination then please take 3 minutes to fill out a survey that will measure your interest in a retreat like this.
Grace and Peace,
Dave Saugen Executive Director
Survey Link: https://goo.gl/forms/hykZPyHNeeRV2Rx82
Thank you, Mercer Island Presbyterian Church, Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, and New Hope Revival Church for an unforgettable meeting!
Awards recognize clergywomen who challenge racism and injustice
by Gail Strange | Presbyterian New Service
LOUISVILLE — Nominations are being sought for the 2018 Women of Faith Awards sponsored by Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. The 2018 theme is Clergywomen who Challenge Racism and Injustice.
“This year’s award will recognize clergywomen who are ‘woke’ and who challenge systemic racism and oppression,” said the Rev. Dr. Rhashell Hunter, director of Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries. “Many of us are blessed to know clergywomen who have been advocates for racial and intercultural justice, with a respectful awareness and appreciation for each other’s different races, ethnicities, cultures and languages.”
At each General Assembly, three outstanding women are recognized at the Women of Faith breakfast. “We will show gratitude and recognize clergywomen who have made significant contributions and who challenge systemic racism and oppression,” said Hunter. The breakfast will be June 17 at the 223rd General Assembly (2018) in St. Louis.
The Presbyterian Outlook article by Heidi Husted Armstrong:
First Presbyterian Church of Seattle: Then and now
First Presbyterian Church of Seattle was organized in 1869 with seven charter members (one man and six women, including founding pastor George Whitworth’s wife, daughter and daughter-in-law). By 1939, FPCS had 11 assistant pastors, a session of 110 elders and church membership peaked at 8,818 members, the largest in the nation. Though today its geographical footprint is an entire city block of buildings on the eastern edge of downtown Seattle in a neighborhood called First Hill, FPCS’s membership hovers much, much closer to that initial charter membership number than the later pinnacle.
While membership decline was initially attributed to the launching of many branch churches whose members had been retained on the FPCS membership roll, over the decades, like many other downtown churches, the decline was the result of urbanization, with a steady post-World War II exodus to the suburbs. In addition, over the last 60 years, the relentless hemorrhaging of the mainline church over theological disagreements has affected this historically theologically conservative church. The concrete “brutalist” architecture sanctuary erected in 1969 that seats 1,200 hasn’t been used for Sunday worship in well over a decade.
More recently, FPCS experienced a painful church split in late 2015 that was the final blow to the once thriving church. In February of 2016, the Seattle Presbytery’s administrative commission concluded that the session “was unable or unwilling to wisely manage its affairs in accordance with PC(USA) polity, [and] had caused a schism within the congregation,” which resulted in their removal from leadership (although by then the previous co-pastors had resigned their ordinations).
What remains today is a pretty small (though unusually eclectic) group. On any given Sunday, you’re likely to find 20-30 people gathered for worship in the chapel: a handful of long-time members, a new person or two from the neighborhood or another part of the city, homeless and marginalized folks, tourists visiting from afar, a few presbytery supporters and occasional “temporary” folks in town receiving specialized medical treatment on nearby “Pill Hill.”
What also remains is ongoing complex litigation and a property development joint venture option that complicate the fundamental question for the congregation: Do we have a ministry future? Still, with legal and development questions hovering in the background, the gospel imperatives persistently rise to the surface: What does it mean for us to serve God now? How do we live the good news right here? How do we love our neighbors?
Calvary PC went to the Philippines for a mission trip in August 2017. One of the goals was to provide medical assistance to families in areas with a dire need for medical care. Thanks in part to financial support from Seattle Presbytery, Calvary PC and a local church in the Philippines (Bonbon United Church of Christ) were able to extend medical help to more than 600 people. The team was also able to provide long term assistance to those in need.
From Neil R. Quilo, Mission Team Leader:
"Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to represent our church and our denomination and entrusting us with the task of extending Christ's blessings to our brothers and sisters Philippines."
Here we go: The first team to stand for co-moderators of the 2018 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has emerged.
Eliana Maxim, associate executive presbyter of Seattle Presbytery and a vice moderator of the Way Forward Commission, announced on Facebook and Twitter Dec. 3 that she will stand for co-moderator along with Bertram Johnson, who is minister of justice, advocacy and change at Riverside Church in New York.
Both are PC(USA) ministers and people of color. Maxim has served as vice moderator of the PC(USA)’s National Hispanic/Latino Presbyterian Caucus.
Maxim said Seattle Presbytery has endorsed her to stand for co-moderator. She said Johnson is a member of the Presbytery of New York City, which will consider his request for endorsement when it meets in January.
Starting January 1, 2018, employers in Washington will be required to provide their employees with paid sick leave.
Initiative 1433, which was approved by Washington voters in fall 2016, contains 4 primary changes to state law:
- Requires employers to provide paid sick leave to most employees beginning January 1, 2018.
- Increases the minimum wage over the next several years.
- Ensuring tips and service charges are given to the appropriate staff and,
- Protects employees from retaliation when exercising their rights under the Minimum Wage Requirements and Labor Standards Act.
Leaders from around the country are coming together to build the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.
The organizing focus over the next few months is simple: educating folks about the Campaign to build long-term commitment in building a Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and getting folks signed up to participate in the 40 days of Moral Resistance and civil disobedience during the Spring of 2018. The goal is to get 1000 folks in each of the 25 participating states to pledge their commitment to the campaign.
Consider completing the online Pledge Card (the online Pledge Card).
What are the Spiritual Exercises?
The Spiritual Exercises are an invitation to renew and deepen our relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer and meditation on Scripture. The Exercises are not intellectual exercises – teaching a set of theological propositions, but rather a series of prayerful meditations on Scripture that help us to clarify and deepen our devotion to Jesus Christ.
What does the commitment look like?
We meet one Saturday a month from January to May. A commitment to a daily time of prayer. You are provided with guided prayer exercises to aide you in your daily times of meditation and prayer.
Location: St Mary on-the-Lake Peace & Spirituality Center, Bellevue
Cost: (includes retreat materials and snacks). Pay in full before January 1 for discounted rate. For payments after January 1, $50 deposit due at time of registration with installments beginning January 27; to be paid in full by May 19. Payment plans & Scholarships available upon request.
Early-Bird (Before January 1) $390
General Registration, $450
Married Couple, $750
Retreat Alumni, $350
Dates of January to May 2018 5-Month Guided Prayer Retreat:
Saturday, January 27, 2018 – 9AM to 3:30PM *lunch provided
Saturday, February 24, 2018 – 9AM to 1PM
Saturday, March 24, 2018 – 9AM to 1PM
Saturday, April 21, 2018 – 9AM to 1PM
Saturday, May 19, 2018 – 9AM to 1PM
Optional Wrap-up Retreat: Saturday, June 9, 2017 – 9AM to 2PM | $55
Registration: Download Registration Form and mail to:
RMNW, PO Box 12243, Mill Creek, WA 98082
Learn more about answering a call to lead and serve as a Navy chaplain.
Navy Chaplain Candidate Program Youtube:
Navy Chaplain Candidate Program Facebook Page:
Lieutenant, US Navy
Navy Recruiting District Seattle
Office Phone: (206) 632-0064
At CongregationU, we want to offer some hope in light of the tragic shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, that took 26 lives and wounded many more last Sunday.
From now through January 10, 2018, our “Active Shooter Situations in Church Settings” online training course is available FREE to churches and faith-based organizations.
In this course, your clergy, staff, volunteers, and members will learn:
· How active shooter situations differ from other emergency situations
· What to do when faced with an active shooter situation
· How to work with law enforcement during an active shooter situation
· The importance of planning and preparing for emergency situations
· Specific challenges churches present in active shooter situations
Our mission is to educate congregations about relevant, timely topics through e-learning. In the wake of this tragedy, we hope this training course can be a bridge for knowledge and awareness, to help congregations as they seek to protect their facilities and the people within.