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1544 South Snoqualmie St.
Seattle, WA 98108


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.



Steel Lake PC Awarded McCormick Prize for Innovation

Seattle Presbytery

From The Center for Innovative Ministry

McCormick Theological Seminary and the Center for Innovative Ministry are pleased to announce the winning entries of the 2017 McCormick Prize for Innovation.  The Annual Prize recognizes “impactful use of innovation in ministry,” and this year will award $7,000 in prizes to the winners.

“The quality of this year’s entries was very strong,” said Center for Innovative Ministry Director Dr. Thomas Dickelman.  “We received entries from throughout the country reflecting a wide range of ministries.  In most cases, the innovations began with a single idea that ultimately had multiple impacts.  Choosing three winners from among all the outstanding entries was a sizeable challenge.”

The First Prize of $5,000 is awarded to St. Mark Lutheran Church in Lacey, Washington, led by Pastors Eric and Beth Utto-Galarneau. In 2016, the North Thurston Public Schools had nearly 800 homeless children, with at least one homeless child in virtually every classroom. When the church went to the schools to see how they could help, they were told the greatest need beside housing was clean clothes. Students with dirty clothes were bullied, embarrassed, suffered from low self-esteem, and don’t want to go to school. The St. Mark innovation was creating a free laundry facility by converting a Sunday School classroom in their church for local homeless families. The laundry also includes a food pantry, and during harvest, guests receive fresh produce from the church’s organic garden. Additionally, St, Mark is actively working to address the larger issue – housing – with plans to build 5 tiny houses on church property for unaccompanied, homeless female teens. “We applaud Co-Pastors Pastors Eric and Beth Utto-Galarneau for their dynamic leadership, and the creative use of church resources to positively impact homeless children,” offered Dickelman.

The Second Prize of $1,500 goes to Steel Lake Presbyterian Church in Federal Way, Washington where Rev. Dr. Will Mason is the minister. “Steel Lake is an example of how innovation is ultimately about solving problems and creating opportunities,” Dickelman said. The leaders of the church did a thoughtful assessment of their congregation and community, and felt called to dramatically change their ministry from an inward to an outward focus. They made multiple courageous decisions, including right-sizing by selling their campus and targeting ministry to the rapidly-growing local senior segment by partnering with numerous care facilities in their community.

The Third Prize winner of $500 goes to Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Illinois. After many years of declining membership and community impact, in 2016 the church adopted “The Compassion Project” as its future vision. “Lincoln Park led by the Rev. Dr. Beth Brown is yet another example of a church that focuses on serving others outside it doors, and in the process, comes alive itself,” Dickelman offered. “The range of innovative programs they are developing is significant, from creating a way to engage people of all faiths and no faith in addressing some of the critical justice issues of our time, to developing a mechanism to generate ongoing income.”

Two additional ministries were recognized, receiving Honorable Mention. ROC SALT Center (Rev. Dr. John Wilkinson) is a collaborative ministry that serves people in a high-poverty Rochester, New York neighborhood and invites mission groups to be transformed spiritually as they serve in the community.  The Joyful Feast (Rev. Dr. John Vest) in Richmond, Virginia uses meals to allow people to reconnect with each other, with the natural world, and with the divine. Both ROC SALT and The Joyful Feast are relatively new, innovative ministries, and show great promise to have powerful impact in their communities.

For additional information contact Dr. Thomas Dickelman,

Rev. Dennis Hughes (HR) Memorial

Seattle Presbytery

Seattle Presbytery received word today that the Rev. Dennis Hughes passed away very early Easter Sunday morning, April 16.

Northminster Presbyterian Church will host a service of witness to the resurrection on May 20, 2017 at 2:00 PM.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Public Witness; Compassion, Peace and Justice Program. Please make checks payable to The Presbyterian Church Office of Public Witness and mailed to Northwest Coast Presbytery at 1010 E. Casino Road, Everett, WA. 98203.

We join Dennis' wife Ann and the Hughes family in their grief and yet rejoice that our friend and colleague has now joined the church triumphant and completed his baptism.

All proposed constitutional amendments have been ratified

Seattle Presbytery

New provisions take effect June 25, 2017

APRIL 10, 2017

Jerry Van Marter


All sixteen constitutional amendments proposed by the 222nd General Assembly (2016) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have received the 86 affirmative votes from among the 170 presbyteries needed for ratification.

The new provisions will take effect on June 25, 2017—one year from the adjournment of the assembly that proposed them. Presbyteries have until that date to vote on the proposals and are encouraged to do so.

The amendments (descriptions provided by the Association of Stated Clerks) and the voting tallies as of April 10, 2017:

  • 16-A: to require all councils to adopt and implement a child and youth protection policy. (107-3)
  • 16-B: to create flexibility in filling the membership of committees above the session by not requiring “at least one-half being members of congregations,” instead requiring “in numbers as nearly equal as possible.” (98-11)
  • 16-C.1–8: to change ordered ministry titles back to their form before the Book of Order was amended in 2014—“teaching elder” changed back to “minister of the Word and Sacrament”; “ruling elder” changed back to “elder”; and “commissioned ruling elder” changed back to “commissioned lay pastor.” The eight amendments change this wording in eight different places in the Constitution.
  • 16-C.1. (98-12)
  • 16-C.2. (98-12)
  • 16-C.3. (99-11)
  • 16-C.4. (98-12)
  • 16-C.5. (98-12)
  • 16-C.6. (88-22)
  • 16-C.7. (95-15)
  • 16-C.8. (98-12)
  • 16-D.1: to remove a permanent ban—the result of a 2014 amendment to G-2.0509—on teaching elders who had renounced jurisdiction while in the disciplinary process from working in or for a church under the jurisdiction of the PC(USA) in either a paid or volunteer position. The new provision removes this restriction by requiring the former teaching elder to rejoin the church and to resubmit to the original disciplinary process. (86-22)
  • 16-D.2: to remove any statute of limitations regarding the alleged prior offense cited in 16-D.1. (87-21)
  • 16-E: to remove the requirement in G-2.1101 that all certifying bodies must have a “handbook.” (108-1)
  • 16-F: to add the phrase “caring for God’s creation” to the “Ministry of Members” listed in G-1.0304. (104-5)
  • 16-G: to make the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper available to developing Christians who have not yet made the baptismal declaration. (97-3)
  • 16-H: to replace the current Directory for Worship with a new Directory for Worship. (94-6)

Read more.

    Tall Timber Youth Summer Camps

    Seattle Presbytery

    From Tall Timber:

    If you’re still searching for the right summer camp where your kids can be surrounded by fresh air, many laughs, great friends, majestic mountains, and serene rivers, look no further – Tall Timber (in Leavenworth, by Lake Wenatchee) is in its 60th year, and planning a great season of summer camps and expeditions. Tall Timber offers summer youth camps for all ages (and family camps, too) in its beautiful location bordering Glacier Peak Wilderness. Just some of the fun and life-changing (and safe!) activities include rock climbing, hiking, archery, music, arts and crafts, bible studies, team games and sports, the high and low ropes courses, mountain biking, group prayer, lots of cookouts, and so much more. Tall Timber offers a rich environment for campers to get outside, disconnect from the screens, and reconnect with Self, Nature, Friends, Community, and Creation.

    Free Articles for Churches on Child Abuse Prevention

    Seattle Presbytery

    How can churches raise awareness around the issue of child sexual abuse—and take steps to prevent it?

    In recognizing National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Church Law & Tax is offering free access to five articles on this topic throughout the month of April. Additionally, any orders placed for our newly-revised awareness training program Reducing the Risk on will receive free shipping with the coupon code "rtr417" (coupon expires at the end of April).

    Read more.

    PC(USA) Launches Abuse Prevention Hotline

    Seattle Presbytery

    Presbyterian News Service April 3, 2017

    Toll-free number to help families and churches prevent child sexual abuse

    by Rick Jones | Presbyterian News Service

    LOUISVILLE – The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), A Corporation, has teamed with the Insurance Board and Praesidium to help PC(USA) church councils and members of churches prevent child sexual abuse. The partnership has launched a toll-free Abuse Prevention Helpline (866-607-SAFE) to provide assistance to church councils and church families in their efforts to keep predators away from children.

    “Statistics show that one out of four girls and one out of six boys will be abused before the age of 18,” said former Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons, who worked to make the helpline a reality. “We know that sexual predators seek out trusting environments where children are present and churches are vulnerable because of close relationships and immediate access to children.”

    Read more.

    A Life Preserver for Your New Testament Greek Skills

    Seattle Presbytery

    New study group for rebuilding skills in New Testament Greek

    Dear friends in Seattle Presbytery,


    I am trying to connect with people who 1) have studied New Testament Greek and 2) have a desire that their Greek reading skills not disappear into thin air. If you are one of these people or if you have a friend who is, I hope you will keep reading.

    I believe the key thing to help us keep from completely losing our ability to read the Greek New Testament is this: being able to meet every couple of weeks with other folks who want to regain that skill. If you are studying with people who care about this, you are going to get better at it.

    The good news is that there is an extremely good Greek teacher who is willing to meet with us. This is not an opportunity that comes along every day. Renee Williams has taught Greek and Hebrew at Fuller in Seattle for three decades, has a great sense of humor and an uncanny ability to help people rebuild their ability to read Greek. I am notquite sure how she does this, but Renee is able to create an atmosphere in which there is a lot of fun and there isn’t a lot of worrying about making mistakes.  

    We are going to meet on Tuesday April 25 from 6-8 to do a little learning and to talk about the group. You are welcome to come and check it out. Our plan is to meet the second and fourth Tuesdays from 6pm to 8 in Classroom 2 of Fuller Seminary (which is now located two blocks directly south of Northgate Mall.)

    If you are wondering about cost, I am going to bring a basket to each gathering and I am encouraging people to put in 10 or 15 bucks to help compensate Renee for her time, energy, travel expense and all the work she has done to get good at this. That is the only cost, other than getting yourself to the Fuller campus.

    If this sounds like something you want to consider participating in, please email me at or phone me at 206-819-9966.

    I would really like to hear from you even if the 2nd and 4th Tuesday schedule does not work for you. There may be some flexibility on days of the week etc.

    In fact, it would be very valuable for me to talk to anyone who has interest in this, even if there is no way you can participate right now.

    -Alan Beasley

    Download event flyer. 

    UNITE 2017 Youth Winter Retreat

    Seattle Presbytery

    More than 120 youth from all over the Puget Sound gathered at the beautiful Tall Timber Ranch near Leavenworth for the 5th Annual UNITE winter retreat last December. The theme of the retreat was “Reconciliation” with Tali Hairston from the John Perkins Center for Reconciliation, Leadership Training and Community Development at SPU as the speaker.

    Reconciliation was not only preached by Tali, sung during worship, and discussed in depth in small group settings. It was also experienced in a very real way as this very diverse group of young people of multiple race, age (middle school-college) and economic background drew closer to each other, to God, and to God’s beautiful creation.      

    HUGE thank you to Seattle Presbytery, North Coast Presbytery, and Tall Timber Ranch and Seattle Community Church for making this amazing experience possible for so many years!

    UNITE 2017 has already been set for December 26-29th. Please join us, if you can!

    For more information, please contact HT Lee at   

    Facing Racism: A Vision of the Intercultural Community Antiracism Study Guides

    Seattle Presbytery

    Presbyterian Mission Agency Resources Available

    This series of six antiracism study guides is appropriate for an hour-long conversation among adults or teens. They provide a pedagogical tool for empowering church communities to have important conversations about race and racism in relation to Christian faith. The study guides are based on topics and concepts covered in the church-wide antiracism policy “Facing Racism: A Vision of the Intercultural Community.” The topics of the six guides are:  Biblical Imperatives to Antiracism, Envisioning a New Way of Life Together, PC(USA) and Racial Reconciliation, Racism 101, Enduring Legacy of Racism in the U.S., and Responding as a Community of Faith. This training tool includes a list of antiracism resources for congregations or presbyteries desiring further information.

    Download PDF

    Dennis Hughes reflects on love, loss and all the saints

    Seattle Presbytery

    Presbyterian News Service    March 16, 2017

    Dennis Hughes with the author, who were ‘in the pink’ at the 221st General Assembly (2014). (Photo provided)

    Dennis Hughes with the author, who were ‘in the pink’ at the 221st General Assembly (2014). (Photo provided)

    Cancer diagnosis illumines pastor-scholar’s life, end of life

    by Emily Enders Odom | Presbyterian News Service

    LOUISVILLE – Dennis Hughes has always known that in life—and in death—he belongs to God. But in 73 years of living, he has known the latter all too well.

    As a newlywed in his early 20s, Hughes was thrust too soon into the role of family patriarch following the premature death of his beloved in-laws. It was a role, he says, “to which I had not aspired, nor thought I would be cast into.”

    Then, as a pastor for nearly 50 years, Hughes was an unfailing source of comfort to grieving families even as he bore faithful witness to the resurrection. At the font, he steadfastly proclaimed baptism as a dying and rising with Christ. And—as one of the foremost writers and interpreters of Reformed liturgy—Hughes crafted resources for the Book of Common Worship (1993) and articles for Reformed Liturgy & Music that continue to inform Presbyterian practice around death and dying.

    And now—at the end of his own life—Hughes has yet another gift to share with the Presbyterian and ecumenical church that he loves.

    Read more.

    Church Financial Officers Forum Resources

    Seattle Presbytery

    Recordings and links of webinars hosted by the Presbyterian Foundation are available below. Check our events page for upcoming webinars. Register in advance: Rob Hagan, Presbyterian Foundation Ministry Relations Officer.

    Best Stewardship Practices

    Best Financial Stewardship Programs: View the webinar recording
    Planned Giving Best Practices: View the webinar recording
    Narrative Budget Template Instructions: PDF Handout
    Narrative Budget Sample: PDF Handout

    Making Readable Finance Reports

    View the webinar recording
    Making Readable Financial Reports: PDF handout

    Creating Endowments

    View the webinar recording

    Payroll Issues

    View the webinar recording

    How to do a Financial Review

    View the webinar recording

    Online Giving

    View the webinar recording

    NEXT Church National Gathering Live Stream

    Seattle Presbytery

    The 2017 NEXT Church National Gathering live stream will begin at 11:00 am CDT on Monday, March 13th. Don’t see anything? Check the schedule to be sure a plenary event is happening. If you think there’s an issue, please send us a tweet or an email!

    Seattle Presbytery will make a donation on behalf of presbytery members who would like to use this resource.

    Watch now.

    Charlie Scoma (Validated Ministry, Seattle Presbytery) & Glenn McCray (Mt. View PC) speak @ the 2017 NEXT Church National Gathering.

    PC (USA) Stated Clerk opposes order banning refugees' entry into U.S.

    Seattle Presbytery

    Stated Clerk opposes order banning refugees’ entry into U.S.

    JANUARY 28, 2017

    Office of the General Assembly


    Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)


    Yesterday President Donald Trump signed an executive order to allegedly protect the nation from terrorists entering the United States. In practice, however, this order serves to further harm those who are the very victims of terrorism, genocide, religious and gender-based persecution, and civil war.

    Right now, across the globe, there are families grabbing their bags and clinging to each other as they tearfully flee the home they love, the home they never wanted to leave, because home is no longer safe. And many, after being fully vetted by a legal refugee entry process, are not being allowed to enter the U.S. and are being wrongfully detained at airports across the country.

    This is a miscarriage of justice and goes against everything we stand for as a country shaped and formed by people who emanated from other lands.

    As the top ecclesial officer of the nation’s largest Reformed body, I urge the president and his administration to reverse this very harmful decision regarding refugees. Presbyterians are not afraid of this so-called terror threat. We are not afraid because we profess a faith in Jesus, who entered the world a refugee.

    Read more


    Colombia Mission Trip 2017

    Seattle Presbytery

    In continued missional partnership with the Presbytery of the Coast of the Presbyterian Church in Colombia, the Presbytery of Seattle is sending a team of 13 ruling and teaching elders to Barranquilla on Jan. 23.

    Participants will be spending time and working alongside displaced campesinos that the church has helped relocate to new farmlands. The team will also visit missional communities that local presbyterian churches have established to serve those in need and participate in several workshops at the Reformed University (led by professors Tali Hairston and Lindy Scott) on the role of the church in the peace process and reconciliation within latin american politics.

    Please keep the following mission team members in your prayers.

    Staci Imes                 Woodland Park Presbyterian Church

    Renee Notkin           Union Church

    James B Notkin        Union Church

    Ben McConaughy    Mercer Island Presbyterian Church

    Alex Maxim              Mercer Island Presbyterian Church

    Chris Pritchett          John Knox Presbyterian Church

    Doug Early               Queen Anne Presbyterian Church

    Mark Zimmerly        Madrona Grace Presbyterian Church

    Tali Hairston             John Perkins Institute, Seattle Pacific University

    Lindy Scott               Whitworth University

    Eliana Maxim            Seattle Presbytery

    Photos and updates will be posted on the presbytery Facebook page as well as the presbytery website.

    For sale from Southminster PC

    Seattle Presbytery

    Southminster Presbyterian Church has received a donation of two outdoor mausoleum crypt spaces at Evergreen Washelli Cemetery in north Seattle.  The spaces are in an above ground tandem crypt (two spaces end to end), and the church would like to sell both spaces together for $4000, less than half the retail price.  To find out more or to arrange an opportunity to see the crypt, contact Bill Gwyn at 206-349-2968.

    An Invitation from Seattle Presbytery

    Seattle Presbytery

    Many thanks to Rev. Dani Forbess, Coastland Commons, and Northminster Presbyterian Church for their gracious and warm hospitality last night at our presbytery meeting. We also wish Rev. Kevin Nollette a fruitful and blessed retirement. 

    As we look forward, I want to take this opportunity to invite you to Leadership for Healthier Churches on Saturday, January 28 at Seattle First Presbyterian Church. There is no end to the challenges that church leaders face on a day to day basis. Pastors, elders, sessions, staff members -- all of us -- face difficult decisions about the future and the need to change. Underneath this all lay the relationships that bind us together as one. 

    Ron Richardson has dedicated much of his life helping church leaders navigate the personal and the professional aspects of leadership. If you are looking to grow in your ability to serve the church in a healthier, more productive way, please join us for this special leadership event. 

    In Christ, 

    Scott Lumsden