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1013 8th Avenue
Seattle, WA, 98104
United States


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.



Liturgical Reflections

Seattle Presbytery


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.

Download the Word Doc

Download the PDF

(640.9 KB)

Tall Timber Spring Pastoral Retreat Inquiry

Seattle Presbytery

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 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: 

Download pastoral retreat schedule

Download retreat inquiry letter

Nominations sought for 2018 Women of Faith Awards

Seattle Presbytery

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.

Read more.

Be the church!

Seattle Presbytery

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?

Read more online.

Calvary PC Philippines Mission Trip

Seattle Presbytery

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." 

Maxim, Johnson announce they will stand for co-moderators at 2018 General Assembly

Seattle Presbytery

The Presbyterian Outlook

December 3, 2017 by Leslie Scanlon Leave a Comment

Rev. Eliana Maxim, Seattle Presbytery

Rev. Eliana Maxim, Seattle Presbytery

Rev. Bertram Johnson, The Riverside Church

Rev. Bertram Johnson, The Riverside Church

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.

Read more.

Paid Sick Leave Requirements (WA state)

Seattle Presbytery

What employers need to know

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.

Read more.

City of Seattle Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance. Learn more.

Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

Seattle Presbytery

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). 

Learn more.

Read more from Presbyterians Today: Can we help end poverty?  

5-Month Guided Prayer Retreat

Seattle Presbytery

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.

Facilitated byRev. Denise EasterRev. Dianna KunceRev. Dr. Bob Slater

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

Download flyer.

Navy Chaplain Corps - hiring for active & reserve duty

Seattle Presbytery

Learn more about answering a call to lead and serve as a Navy chaplain.

Download flyer.

Navy Chaplain Candidate Program Youtube:

Navy Chaplain Candidate Program Facebook Page:


Matthew DeVillers
Lieutenant, US Navy
Navy Recruiting District Seattle
Chaplain Liaison/Recruiter
Office Phone: (206) 632-0064

CongregationU: Free online training course through Jan. 10, 2018

Seattle Presbytery

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.
— Desmond Tutu

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. 

Set up a free account

Anti-Racism Training & Education Opportunities

Seattle Presbytery

In September, nearly 150 people from multiple churches attended the Crossroads Anti-Racism Training offered by Seattle Presbytery. It was a powerful and transformative day of education, reflection, and equipping. For those who attended the training, we are planning to offer a follow-up discussion in early 2018 (more details coming soon). If you were unable to attend the event, look for more opportunities for anti-racism training and education later next year. For more information, please contact Haley Ballast.

More resources:

Regarding ruling elders: Cultural humility

November 16, 2017 by Presbyterian News Service

(OGA) A well-meaning worshipper says to the visiting Asian American pastor, “Your English is very good!” even though English is the pastor’s first language. It grieves her.

A white pastor fakes a Spanish accent and another colleague laughs—while I stand stunned, and grateful that none of our Hispanic or Latino/a colleagues are present.

I made my own gaffe recently when I assumed that a Korean pastor I met had a green card while serving in this country. Instead, he is an American citizen and has pastored his Presbyterian church here for almost a decade. I apologized as soon as I realized my error, but still ….

As an Asian American who lives and moves in a multiracial, multicultural context, one would think that I would “get” diversity on an enlightened level. But, not really. I struggle, make mistakes, and worry about what I’ve said or done. I’m still learning. We all are.

We used to employ the phrase “cultural competency” to describe the ability to effectively and respectfully interact with people of different cultures and races. But more widespread and helpful now is the phrase “cultural humility.” Rather than assessing a skill, and labeling one competent or not, it describes a stance—a rich and freeing one. It is a stance rooted in the servant-hearted way of Jesus Christ.

Adopting a stance of “cultural humility” with someone of a different race, class, or culture means that I choose to be “other oriented.” I seek to be teachable, because I know that I have something to learn from this person. I acknowledge that there are unjust, systemic power imbalances in this world—and in relationships because of them—and I try to be sensitive to the impact that they can have on any interaction.

Read more.

"So You Want to Grow Spiritually?"

Seattle Presbytery

A message from Rev. Renee Notkin, Union Church:

Ted Thwing, a ruling elder of University Presbyterian Church and Union Church, recently published a book entitled, "So You Want to Grow Spiritually?"

Ted interviewed 200 people to determine the causes of the spiritual growth they've experienced across various periods of their lives. The interviews provided not only the data for evaluating the importance of factors that contribute to spiritual growth but also a rich tapestry of wisdom and insight about how these causes are woven into the experiences of life.

This book is not written as a report on the project. Rather, it is intended to draw insight from the interviews to provoke thinking and discussion about spiritual growth. You will find it useful in reflecting on your own spiritual growth as well as on the spiritual growth of those who know you and those you lead.

Available through Amazon.

Waymarkers Offerings: Iona Pilgrimage & Rewilding (wonder) Retreats

Seattle Presbytery

Waymarkers is offering more local retreats to the Pacific Northwest and a pilgrimage to Iona, Scotland in 2018. These offerings, which are rooted in Celtic Christianity and wisdom traditions, invite the participant into a recovered sense of the sacramentality of the natural world, and to practice prayers and postures that create a sense of interrelatedness and divine communion through the wild edges of our lives. 

Learn more online.

BelPres Behind the Scenes: Featuring Bob Wallace

Seattle Presbytery

Bob Wallace (Photo: Wallace Properties)

Bob Wallace (Photo: Wallace Properties)

Posted on October 3, 2017 by Linda Enkema

That’s the kind of dramatic headline that gets our attention these days, although we might ask, “What kind of a person has a name like Presbytery?”

The headline is correct, though, except the Presbytery mentioned was drowning in red ink, not water and is not a person but a group of Seattle-area Presbyterian churches, including BelPres. The member churches meet on a regular basis, worship together, enjoy community, encourage outreach and mission, and come alongside one another in various ways.

How did our Presbytery survive red ink?

I’d like to tell you a true story of the behind-the-scenes service of long time BelPres member Bob Wallace.

Back to our Presbytery. Nine years ago, there were a number of local Presbyterian churches (about five) that had closed over the years due to low attendance. The Seattle Presbytery, which owned the properties, was managing them and was losing about $100,000 each year in doing so. At that time, Scott Lumsden, the new Presbytery Executive (“CEO” of our presbytery), and Bob Wallace became acquainted. They realized together that Bob could be of great assistance because of his extensive commercial real estate experience in his business.

Bob became Co-Moderator of the Presbytery’s Property and Finance Committee and also coached Scott Lumsden in both property management and finance. Scott recalls many sessions with Bob about whether to sell or lease a property, and Scott learned how to manage these properties effectively. Bob always insisted that they have a plan for the funds that would come. According to Scott, Bob would “hold our feet to the fire” concerning good planning, patiently teaching along the way. Scott added “the other members of Property and Finance Committee also did a lot of work. However, Bob is one of the main reasons why Seattle Presbytery has turned the corner financially.”

Read more.

Profound Change After War

Seattle Presbytery

From Rev. Kelly Wadsworth, Seattle Presbytery:

From October 1-31, 2017, I am spearheading an important project for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans in our Greater Seattle congregations.

Profound Change after War” is a way for service members to reflect on their own spiritual encounter and transformation from their own perspective.

Participation involves a 40-60 minute in-person interview describing “an experience when you recognized that you had been profoundly changed by war.” In honor of our veterans, each participant will receive a $75 Amazon gift certificate.

Visit for more information. The attached flyer provides additional details and is available in hard copy as well.

As a Teaching Elder in the Seattle Presbytery and as an Army Chaplain who served with the 1-161 INF BN in Balad, Iraq (‘07-‘08), I am the lead on this project. I am happy to speak further with congregations about why profound encounters are a critical piece of our national conversations.

Download flyer.