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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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2019 Youth Triennium

Seattle Presbytery

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Presbyterian Youth Triennium

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

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!

Seattle Presbytery will lead a delegation to attend this event. Rev. Scott Anderson (St. Andrew PC) is our 2019 registrar. Contact Seattle Presbytery for more information.

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

Resources to help separated immigrant families

Seattle Presbytery

On June 16, 2018, the PC(USA) Stated Clerk issued this statement on separated immigrant families:

Nelson: ‘We must not punish desperate parents by tearing their children away from them’

Office of the General Assembly Communications - June 16, 2018

ST. LOUIS

Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II —Randy Hobson

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Stated Clerk the Rev. J. Herbert Nelson, II, issued a statement  from the denomination’s 223rd General Assembly condemning the Trump administration’s new policy of separating young children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“What has this nation become?” Nelson queried. “How have we wandered so far from Jesus’ kind admonition, “‘Let the little children come to me…’” He also criticized the Justice Department’s stated use of separate detention of parents and their children as a “deterrant” to immigration and accused the administration of selective use of scripture, saying the citing of Romans 13:1 to obey the law (presumably whatever the law says), while ignoring the higher scriptural demand that “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10) is a blatant misuse of the biblical message.

The full text of Nelson’s statement, dated June 16, 2018: 

As Presbyterians gather for the meeting of our 223rd General Assembly, we are mindful of the many issues of justice, peace and compassion we face, both as citizens of the United States and members of the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

While we face issues of peace on the Korean peninsula, tragic injustice in the Middle East, and the spectre of climate change in our nation and our world, there is nothing of more urgency than the tragedy that is unfolding at our borders, where children are ripped from their parents and placed in holding cells, while their frantic parents scream in agony at the separation.

What has this nation become? How have we wandered so far from Jesus’ kind admonition, “Let the little children come to me … for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs”? How can this be happening in a nation in which so many claim the traditions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam and the critical importance of families to the fabric of our lives together?

Perhaps the most egregious aspect of this policy is the willingness of the highest legal official of our nation to suggest that if a mother has fled violence in her own country to save herself and her children but has not had a chance to make a proper petition for safety in the U.S., she should be taught a lesson by having her children taken from her. It is almost incomprehensible that these acts should be used as a warning to others who would come.

What makes matters worse is the audacity of quoting the Apostle Paul’s admonition to believers in Romans 13:1 to obey the law (presumably whatever the law says), while ignoring the higher scriptural demand that “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10).

The crisis of tens of thousands of desperate people coming to the United States for relief seems almost overwhelming. But as the officials of our government attempt to address the crisis, we cannot afford to tarnish the highest values of our nation. We must not punish desperate parents by tearing their children away from them, leaving the parents without access to the children or assurance of their welfare. 

In the name of God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stop!

In the faith we share,

Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)


PC(USA) General Assembly 223 in St. Louis

Seattle Presbytery

Kindom Building for the 21st Century

"But strive first for the kingdom of God and His righteousness." Matthew 6:33

June 16-23, 2018 in St. Louis

GA 223 website 

Seattle Presbytery GA 223 Commissioners:

Leslie Ferrell, Mercer Island PC
Rev. Doug Kelly
Julia Sensenbrenner, Bethany PC
Rev. Eliana Maxim
Rachel Jewett, Mercer Island PC/YAAD

A comprehensive list of actions taken and groups formed at the General Assembly can be found here and here.

More links: 

2018 Gift Project

GA223 news updates from Office of the General Assembly

Spirit of GA on Facebook

GA223 news updates from The Presbyterian Outlook

Post-GA bulletin inserts from The Presbyterian Outlook

Eliana Maxim & Jeff Keuss Featured on KUOW

Seattle Presbytery

Is Seattle a 'None Zone?' And the future of the church

By MATT MARTIN & BILL RADKE

Did you know that Seattle has the second most places of worship per capita in the nation? Meanwhile, we are also the second most religiously unaffiliated city in America. So basically, Seattle has a lot of empty churches. And after June 24th, there will be one more empty church. That will be the last day of service for the Capitol Hill Presbyterian church.

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle Pacific University Professor Jeff Keuss, Reverend Eliana Maxim with the Seattle Presbytery, and Pastor Tyler Gorsline from A Seattle Church about the landscape among Chrisitian churches in Seattle and what the future of these institutions looks like in the city.

Listen online.

Meet those standing for moderator

Seattle Presbytery

June 6, 2018 by The Presbyterian Outlook 

The Presbyterian Outlook asked those standing for co-moderator or moderator and vice moderator to share their sense of call as well as their vision of what God may be calling the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to do and be in the years ahead. We are grateful to each of these candidates for their willingness to serve, their honest responses and their faithfulness to seeking God’s will. 

Read more.

The PC(USA) needs gender equity

Seattle Presbytery

Time’s up, #MeToo and #ChurchToo

By Rhashell Hunter | The Racial Ethnic Torch

LOUISVILLE – The 2016 presidential electoral campaign brought up issues that were disturbing to many women. The criteria for fitness of the woman candidate for the office of president, such as comments about the clothes she wore, for example, were standards seemingly not imposed on male candidates in the race. The comments surrounding women’s bodies were also alarming. These conversations brought up a sort of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for some women, as they themselves have experienced sexual harassment and discrimination.

Read more.

 

Sustenance to Bloom - NEXT Church blog article by Eliana Maxim

Seattle Presbytery

Sustenance to Bloom

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.

Read more.

The Religious Imagination of Children Project

Seattle Presbytery

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

            bwigger@lpts.edu

            502.489.2842

***

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.

Elizabeth Juarez Memorial Fund

Seattle Presbytery

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) 

visit: SQUAREUP.COM/STORE/LBPC

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...

Lina

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Muslim Association of Puget Sound Open House

Seattle Presbytery

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.

Thank you  

MAPS Outreach Team  

outreach@mapsredmond.org 

Learn more.

Letter Writing Campaign

Seattle Presbytery

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.

Should you have any questions, please call Sandra 954-785-2220 or email sandra@tfpby.org.

Mail items to:

Presbytery of Tropical Florida
Attn: Sandra Figueredo
1919 SE 5th Street
Deerfield Beach, FL  33441

Liturgical Reflections

Seattle Presbytery

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.

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 zachary@talltimber.org 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 

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."