Nominate a Candidate for 2023 Vestry or Convention Delegate

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Nominations for candidates for the Saint Mark’s Vestry and for Delegates to Diocesan Convention are now open for 2023.

The Vestry is a group of laypeople elected by the parish who, along with the Rector, supervise and sustain the finances, facilities and grounds of the Cathedral. New members are needed both to serve on the Vestry and to act as delegates at next year's Diocesan Convention.

Members of the Nominating Committee will be in the back of the nave each Sunday in October to answer questions and accept names of those interested. If you would like to nominate someone or would like more information about either of these important roles, please send an email to nominations@saintmarks.org or visit the Vestry page of the cathedral website. Thank you!

The Paradoxical Friendship of Grief and Joy

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TWO WEDNESDAYS: OCTOBER 19 & 26, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall and online via Zoom. Optional community dinner at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family).

Facilitated by Canon Jennifer King Daugherty

Grief and joy can seem like opposites—experiences of sadness and loss are profoundly different from those of happiness and delight. Yet, both grief and joy reveal our vulnerability and capacity to love; they both soften our hearts and make us aware of our dependence on God. In this two-week series, Canon Jennifer King Daugherty will explore the paradoxical kinship of grief and joy and how the wisdom and grace we gain from either experience deepens our understanding of the other—and our relationship with God.

This is a Cathedral Commons offering, presented as part of the current season of The Wisdom School at Saint Mark's. Program is free; register for Zoom link (registration link will be posted here when it is available); no need to register for in-person attendance. Optional community dinner served at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family).

United for Good: An Interfaith Prayer Vigil on the Eve of Elections

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Click on the flyer image below to enlarge.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2022,  7–8 P.M., in the cathedral nave or via livestream

In this time of trial and struggle, as we confront challenges to our civil society and our body politic, we are at a crossroads of conscience. And though the voices of vitriol and extremism often resound loudly, it is the judicious wisdom of resilient and courageous peacemakers who will lead us through this crisis. Prayerful reflection stands as a hopeful response to the static of cynicism. We stand in solidarity with those who seek a different way for our nation and its elected officials.

Join local religious leaders and fellow citizens who will gather in Seattle’s Saint Mark’s Cathedral at this unprecedented time. All are invited to join in this brief non-partisan interfaith service of hope, either in-person or via livestream. On the cusp of the exercise of our most essential civil right, we ask you to embrace this moment of contemplation and connection, as we affirm the principles that transcend our differences, and the common cause that will bind the wounds of this great nation.

AN INTERFAITH EVENT CO-SPONSORED BY:

  • Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral
  • St. James Roman Catholic Cathedral
  • Temple De Hirsch Sinai
  • First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Seattle
  • The Church Council of Greater Seattle

Saint Mark’s Stewardship 2023

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Saint Mark’s Stewardship Committee is pleased to announce the launch of the 2023 Stewardship Campaign on Sunday, October 2. Packets of material about this year's campaign were sent to all parishioners this week, including a letter from Dean Steve Thomason. Beginning this Sunday and continuing through October 30, members of the community will offer reflections during the 9 and 11 a.m. Sunday services, on why they value Saint Mark’s and its ministries, and why they choose to share their time and treasure here.

The first speaker, on October 2, will be Chris Rigos, Junior Warden for Stewardship. He will announce the opening of the campaign, explain how you can be part of it, and share how important all our contributions are to Saint Mark’s, to the life of the parish, and to our own spiritual development. After the services, Chris and other members of the Stewardship Ministry will be available in the rear of the nave for questions and concerns.

Please visit the Stewardship page of the cathedral website to find the online pledge card and Frequently Asked Questions. Additional material will be added there in future weeks. Thank you for your participation, support, and prayers.

Meet the 22/23 Seattle Service Corps

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2, 10:10-10:50 A.M., Bloedel Hall

Join the 2022-2023 cohort of the Seattle Service Corps in Bloedel for a Q&A and an opportunity to get to know them better. Learn about their stories and what drew them to SSC and life in intentional community, and hear their impressions of Seattle so far. Check out this article introducing each of these amazing young people, recently posted by the Diocese of Olympia.

St. Francis Day & Blessing of the Animals, 2022

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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2022, 4:30 P.M., on the outdoor labyrinth and front lawn

On Saturday, October 1, Saint Mark’s will once again offer its beloved Saint Francis Day tradition. A few years ago this offering was moved from Sunday morning to Saturday afternoon, and the outdoor celebration has a truly festive community atmosphere. Dogs, cats, bird, bunnies, ponies, chickens, and all creatures great and small are welcome!

Music will be offered by acclaimed Seattle musician James Falzone and the young choristers of Choir School. The service will include prayers for healing humanity’s relationship with the earth, and for all the creatures who share the earth with us. Following the service, animals can receive an individual blessing from a priest if desired.

All are invited to attend, with or without their animal companions. Stuffed animals are also welcome to be blessed, as are photographs of pets who would not find attending the event a blessed experience.

Animals should remain leashed or kenneled. You are welcome to bring your own chair to use on the lawn, although chairs will also be provided.


Below: Photos from previous years' St Francis Day celebrations, including images from 2015 through 2021. Click to enlarge. 

Sunday Forum on Taizé Prayer at Saint Mark’s

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 10:10–10:50 A.M., Bloedel Hall

Gather between the services on Sunday morning, October 9, for an interactive, intergenerational forum with the leaders of Saint Mark's Taizé ministry. Learn a bit about what exactly Taizé is, its origins in France, and what got the Taizé ministry started here at Saint Mark's. Then we'll discuss the unique music of Taizé, and do some singing together. It will be informative and fun for all ages, and serve as preparation to more fully participate in the upcoming Taizé service on Tuesday, November 8. Any questions, contact Sacristan Michael Seewer: mseewer@saintmarks.org

The Return of 20s/30s Sunday Stairway Walks

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23, 3–5:30 P.M., meet at Trinity Parish on First Hill (registration required)

In the fall of 2021 the 20s/30s Group from Saint Mark's gathered for a series of Sunday urban hikes inspired by the book Seattle Stairway Walks, and incorporating tours of different Episcopal parishes in the area. They were a great chance to connect with our neighbors and siblings in the Diocese of Olympia, and to discover new nooks and crannies of Seattle's urban landscape.

On October 23 this popular offering will return, with a tour of the "mother church" of the Diocese of Olympia, Trinity Parish on First Hill. The group will begin with a brief presentation and tour from Dr. Lisa Graumlich, deacon-in-training, and then wind our way up and around to explore the architectural details of the rapidly-transforming Seattle waterfront and downtown, finishing up with refreshments back at Trinity. Register here. Questions? Email Emily Meeks (emcmeeks@gmail.com)


Did you know that Seattle has 650 publicly accessible stairways? In the early 1900s, property developers in hilly Seattle would construct public stairways for convenience and to improve access to trolley lines. Now, these scenic passageways provide opportunities to discover off-the-path views through Seattle neighborhoods.

Join with other young adults from around the Diocese of Olympia to explore and learn about different neighborhoods and Episcopal parishes within Seattle. Routes will draw inspiration from Seattle Stairway Walks and range between 2.5–4 miles at an easy pace. The walks start and end at the parish, with an opportunity to connect with clergy and other participants. We’ll also have an opportunity to learn more about the parish, meet clergy and enjoy refreshments after the walk. 

WHAT TO BRING:

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Water 
  • Sun glasses/sun screen
  • Masks for when entering a parish

Below: A photo from the August, 2021, Stairway Walk: Saint Mark's Cathedral and “The Olmsted Vision”

“Friends Talking”—The Rev. Canon Dick Toll

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SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 10:10-10:50 A.M., Bloedel Hall

Rev. Canon Richard K. Toll, Canon Pastor of St. Mark’s Cathedral, 1976-84, returns to Seattle from his retirement life in Portland, OR to participate in a Symposium: The Holy Land – What’s Next? - a gathering of faith leaders working for peace and justice in Israel/Palestine (Bloedel Hall, Saturday, Sept. 24th, 1-4 p.m.).

On Sunday morning, join the Cathedral Parish in welcoming Dick and his wife, Elaine, both of whose ministries were a major part of parish life during their time here. Dick’s post-Saint Mark’s ministries—as Rector of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Milwaukie, Oregon and founding Executive Director of Friends of Sabeel North America—deeply affected many lives, at the local, national, and international level.

Listening as an Act of Solidarity

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UPDATED WITH VIDEO

TWO WEDNESDAYS, OCTOBER 5 & 12, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall and online via Zoom. Optional community dinner at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family).

Listening as an Act of Solidarity

Facilitated by The Rev. Linzi Stahlecker & The Rev. Canon Eliacín Rosario-Cruz.

As Christians, we are called to strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect the dignity of every human being. A foundational practice for this work is the ability to listen to the lives and experiences of our neighbors. In these sessions, we will explore how culture shapes our ability to listen and impacts our work of justice. We will learn and practice various ways to cultivate listening as an act of solidarity and how to create spaces that honor complex stories and foster transformative relationships.

Join using this Zoom link.

UPDATE: A video of part 1 is now available:

“Exploring Indigenous Theology” with The Rev. Canon Mary Crist. Ed.D.

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UPDATED WITH VIDEO, SLIDES, AND RESOURCES

Exploring Indigenous Theology: Two-Eyed Seeing, Vision Quests, and Sacred Stories

A Saturday morning workshop offered by The Rev. Canon Mary Crist, Ed.D. (Blackfeet)

Co-sponsored by Saint Mark's Cathedral and the Office of the Bishop of the Diocese of Olympia.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2022, 9:30 A.M.–12:30 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall or online via Zoom. Free, but registration required for either option.

Dr. Crist extends this invitation to join the workshop:

"Did you know that the Episcopal Church has over 400 years of history with Indigenous people in North America? Did you know that many Indigenous spiritual beliefs are compatible with those of Jesus? How can we make it possible for Indigenous people to be Christians and to honor the spiritual practices of their ancestors at the same time? How can we use “two-eyed” seeing, vision quests, and sacred stories to explore Indigenous theology? We will explore these questions and others in our time together. Participants will learn what Indigenous leaders in the Episcopal Church have to say about being both Native and Christian and how theological education is expanding to broaden the preparation of church leaders. Bring your own stories and questions to share in this workshop grounded in the narrative tradition."

The Rev. Canon Mary Crist, Ed.D.  (Piitaki/Eagle Woman) is enrolled Blackfeet from the Douglas family in Montana. She is a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles serving at St. Michael’s Ministry Center in Riverside. Dr. Crist serves on the Presiding Bishop’s Staff as the Coordinator of Indigenous Theological Education in the Department of Ethnic Ministries. She is a Visiting Professor of Education and Indigenous Studies at Bexley Seabury Seminary in Chicago. She has earned the Doctor of Education from Columbia University in New York, Master of Divinity from Claremont School of Theology, Master of Education from Pan American University, and Bachelor of Arts from the University of California Berkeley. She is the author of the articles “Frybread in Canaan” and “Native Christian Perspectives on Reconciliation,” both published in the First Peoples Theology Journal, as well as various articles in early childhood education, special education, and online instructional design. In 2022 she was named a Woman of Distinction for Province VIII by the National Episcopal Church Women.


UPDATE:

Download the slides from the presentation (pdf) here: Exploring Indigenous Theology Presentation Slides

Note: some slides in the presentation contain video, which are not included in the pdf version. Videos played include:

The personal essay by The Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton referenced in the presentation may be found here: The Cultural Conundrum of the Indigenous Christian

A complete video may be seen below:

“Jerusalem’s Old City: A Holy Story” with Matthew Teller

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2022, 7–8:30 p.m., in person in Bloedel Hall or online via Zoom

Jerusalem’s Old City—A Holy Story
A Presentation by BBC Journalist and Author Matthew Teller

Co-sponsored by Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, and Other Press Publishers, New York

In Jerusalem, what you see and what is true are two different things. The Old City has never had “four quarters” as its maps proclaim. And beyond the crush and frenzy of its major religious sites, many of its quarters are little known to visitors, its people ignored and their stories untold. Nine Quarters of Jerusalem lets the communities of the Old City speak for themselves. Ranging from ancient past to political present, it evokes the city’s depth and cultural diversity.

Matthew Teller’s highly original “biography” features the Old City’s Palestinian and Jewish communities, but also spotlights its Indian and African populations, its Greek and Armenian and Syriac cultures, its downtrodden Dom Gypsy families, and its Sufi mystics. It discusses the sources of Jerusalem’s holiness and the ideas—often startlingly secular—that have shaped lives within its walls. It is an evocation of place through story, led by the voices of Jerusalemites.

To join online via Zoom, please register using this link.


About the Speaker

Matthew Teller writes for the BBC, The Guardian, Times of London, Financial Times and other global media. He has produced and presented documentaries for BBC Radio and has reported for the BBC’s From Our Own Correspondent program from around the Middle East and beyond. He is the author of several travel guides, including The Rough Guide to Jordan. His previous book was Quite Alone: Journalism from the Middle East 2008–2019.

Reflections on the Pilgrimage to Iona and the Celtic Missions

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Click to enlarge:

UPDATED WITH VIDEO

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall and online via Zoom. Optional community dinner at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family)

Join Dean Thomason, Canon Daugherty, and participants from July’s pilgrimage from Saint Mark’s as they share a bit of their experience and spiritual gleanings while also inviting everyone present to share experiences of sacred travel and why this is an important spiritual practice for all people. A preview of a potential pilgrimage to Ireland will also be shared. All are welcome.

Canon Daugherty's slides from her presentation may be seen here (pdf).

A complete video may be seen below: 

The slide show played before the presentation:
Steve played a brief excerpt from remarks by Phil Cousineau to the group prior to the pilgrimage. His complete presentation may be seen here:

Dean Thomason on the Meaning of the Legacy of Queen Elizabeth II

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UPDATED WITH VIDEO

The Queen, Colonialism, and the Anglican Communion: Connections, Heritage, and Hope in a New Era

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 6:45 p.m.–8:15 p.m., in person in Bloedel Hall and online via Zoom. Optional community dinner at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family)

Join Cathedral clergy and canons for a reflection and conversation on our experience of Queen Elizabeth’s recent death and funeral, the connections we share as Anglican Christians, the challenges of colonial realities of the British Empire, and what we see unfolding in the global arena of 21st Century geopolitical landscapes.

Dean Thomason has written a reflection on the meaning of Queen Elizabeth's legacy, which may be read below.

UPDATE: A complete video is now available:


A REFLECTION FROM DEAN THOMASON

A Queen and the Project of Democracy

Dear friends,

In the days since Queen Elizabeth died, I have received several inquiries about what we at Saint Mark’s Cathedral planned to do. Some had an expressed need for formal ritual to honor this woman of remarkable grace and fidelity to her role; others found it troubling that a monarch who epitomized the colonialist structures of a fading empire would be regarded at all. I will admit being a bit amused by the machinations other cathedrals and churches undertook to have special services, watch parties, and the like.

For our part, we split the difference: we commended her in our prayers on Sunday morning September 11, while the Compline Choir devoted parts of the service of compline that evening to special intentions for the Queen. It felt like a Via Media approach worthy of our Anglican heritage.
I am no royalist, but I fervently believe we pray for those who have died, as we did for Elizabeth, using her full name, Elizabeth Mountbatten-Windsor, as we did for her husband Philip last year. Her name was read alongside others’ names—in our baptismal and resurrection theology, no one person is more important than others. We buried my sister-in-law on September 8, the same day Elizabeth died, and I was preparing for a parishioner’s funeral at Saint Mark’s two days later. These others were no less important to observe than a queen’s.

But the energy given this particular queen’s death amidst the pomp and circumstance of royal customs surrounding her funeral provides an opportunity to reflect on what is really involved for us as we gaze upon the ritual from a distance—from a country that fought a war to separate ourselves from this imperial throne. We can have it both ways (independent yet with bonds of affection), but we should give considerable thought to what it is in this moment that draws us into this queen’s orbit.

Rowan Williams offers a fine reflection on the ways her life and work as monarch were sacramental, grace-filled and faithfully exercised. The invitation is to see not just Queen Elizabeth’s life in that light, but how we might see ours alongside such an invocation of the Spirit to speak into our lives as faithful enterprise.

Serge Schmemann wrote an opinion piece in the September 11 issue of the New York Times: “To function in an otherwise normal democracy, a hereditary monarchy requires that the citizenry accept a bit of fiction — namely that one family, standing above politics, can represent the nation and its values.” What is it about royalty that captures our imagination, and why?

And Hari Kunzru wrote in the same issue: “the British elite have always understood that the monarchy is a screen onto which the people project their own fantasies.” What does that mean for us as Americans?

There are 56 countries in the British Commonwealth; 14 of those are constitutional monarchies (including Canada) who will now replace their queen’s image from their currency with their new king’s. There is already talk about which of those nations may choose this time of transition to reflect on what has been, and how they may orient to a different polity. I pray that work is guided primarily by principles of justice for all their citizens. To be sure, we have work to do in this regard as well.

None of us choose the family into which we are born. Elizabeth was born wealthy, and when called upon to serve as queen, she did so with courage and commitment to her people. She did not seek the throne. I believe history will account for her effort as one of faithful devotion in which she sacrificed her ego in the cause of service to her society. And perhaps that is the image worthy of emulation—servant to the larger project of democracy, just society, and the common good. May we have the grace and courage to be such servants here and now.

Blessings and peace,

The Very Reverend Steven L. Thomason
Dean and Rector

New Children’s Worship Bags

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New purple bags with color-coded tags (pink for toddlers, blue for preschoolers, yellow for elementary ages) filled with items to connect kids to worship are ready for this Sunday, September 11!

Pick them up in the narthex and return them there when you leave. Each contains age-appropriate materials such as a clipboard with a children’s lectionary-based bulletin, a finger labyrinth for older children, a lacing lamb for younger ones, and Montessori hand kites with ribbons in liturgical colors for responding to the music.

Celebrating 10 Years of Steve and Kathy Thomason’s Ministry at Saint Mark’s Seattle

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Steve and Kathy Thomason's first Sunday at Saint Mark's, Seattle, was September 2, 2012. The community of Saint Mark's Seattle recognizes with joy and gratitude ten years of their presence in this place, and of Steve's leadership of the cathedral community.

Everyone is invited to add their voice to the community's expression of thanks by leaving a comment of any length, at the bottom of this post.

Your email address will not be shown. If this is your first time leaving a message on saintmarks.org, your comment will be held temporarily for moderation.

Wednesday Night Community Dinner Resumes

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One of the first cathedral offerings to be suspended in March of 2020 was the treasured community supper, offered most Wednesdays for several years as part of the regular Wednesday night suite of offerings. Now at last we are able to gather for this shared meal once again, created by the team led by Chef Marc Aubertin.

Wednesday evening offerings begin with in-person Evening Prayer in Thomsen Chapel at 6 p.m. Dinner is served in Bloedel Hall from 6 to 6:30 p.m. (Health regulations require that food service ends promptly at 6:30.) A faith formation offering or other community activity usually follows at 6:45. For the first dinner, on Wednesday, September 14, there will be no Cathedral Commons offering—they begin one week later with Dean Thomason's presentation on embodied spirituality on September 21 (see bel0w). But the dinner will have all its usual energy provided by the kids of the Choir School, whose rehearsals are immediately before or after the meal. The cost of the meal, payable in cash at the door or electronically, is now: Child/$6, Adult/$8, Family max/$25.


Note: One beloved element of the Wednesday community meal that will sadly not be resuming are Jim Green's delicious salads. For several years he personally made the salad for the dinner each week. Jim died last May, and the UW Department of Anthropology recently published this moving remembrance.

 

Luke Abdow Called as Seattle Service Corps Program Director

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Dear friends,

It is my great delight to announce that Luke Abdow has accepted the call to serve as Program Director for the Seattle Service Corps and as staff support for the vibrant 20s & 30s ministry group.

Luke is a native of Massachusetts and served as a fellow in an Episcopal Service Corps program in Boston for two years, 2016 to 2018. Prior to that he served in the Fulbright Scholars program as an English teacher in Senegal, and he has experience as a community organizer, a food service worker, and a chef and baker. He comes to Saint Mark’s from nearby North Bend, where he is the Food Services Director and Head Chef at Rainbow Lodge Retreat Center. He was a researcher and co-author of the Racial Justice Audit of the Episcopal Church, which is part of the broader church-wide initiative, Becoming Beloved Community: The Episcopal Church’s Long Term Strategic Commitment to Racial Healing, Reconciliation, and Justice. He is a 2014 graduate of Tufts University with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies and Community Health. He will begin his role at Saint Mark’s Cathedral in early October.

Mr. Abdow’s call is the culmination of a robust search process in which an extraordinary committee of gifted leaders of Saint Mark’s diligently worked with an excellent pool of applicants, prayerfully discerning unanimous support for Luke’s call. I am very grateful to committee members Scott Hulet, Fraser Reach, Hannah Hochkeppel and Lynette Hatscher, and to Canon Barrie for guiding the process. I hope you will join me in thanking them for their good work, and please join me in welcoming Luke to the Saint Mark’s community. I am,

Gratefully

The Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason
Dean and Rector

The Holy Land: What’s Next?

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A Conversation Among Faith Leaders Witnessing to Peace and Justice in Israel-Palestine

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 1–4 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall or online via Zoom. Free, but registration required for either option.

The Mideast Focus Ministry of Saint Mark's Cathedral, the Bishop’s Committee for Justice & Peace in the Holy Land, and Kairos Puget Sound Coalition present this symposium, which brings together prominent voices from different religious backgrounds to ask where the struggle to achieve justice and peace in the Israel-Palestine goes from here. Participants will include:

  • Rev. Naim Ateek – Founder, Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center
  • Rev. Richard K. Toll – Founding Exec. Director, Friends of Sabeel North America
  • Rev. Don Wagner, former National Program Director, Friends of Sabeel N.A.
  • Jonathan Kuttab, Executive Director, Friends of Sabeel North America
  • Mark Braverman, Ph.D. - Executive Director, Kairos U.S.A.
  • Alice Rothchild, M.D. – Jewish writer and social activist for peace
  • Ranna Harb – Co-Founder, Falastiniyat (Palestinian diaspora collective)

UPDATE: A complete video is now available below:

Becoming and Belonging: Embodied Spirituality in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

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NOTE: This presentation had been postponed from its original date and will instead be offered DECEMBER 7 & 14, 2022.

TWO WEDNESDAYS, DECEMBER 7 & 14, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall and online via Zoom. Optional community dinner at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family).

FACILITATED BY DEAN STEVE THOMASON

The Wisdom School at Saint Mark's presents this timely presentation from Dean Steve Thomason. Drawing on the evolutionary theology of Teilhard de Chardin and the ground-breaking postulations by Ilia Delio, we will explore what embodied spirituality means in a post-human world where climate change, artificial intelligence, and modern medicine converge to create an altered dynamic in which humans exist and evolve. What is the role of spirituality in this increasingly complex and complicated world?

Program is free; register here for Zoom link; no need to register for in-person attendance. Optional community dinner served at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family).

Radix 8: Creation, Community, and Connection

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UPDATED WITH VIDEO

The Return of The Radix Project

OPENING PLENARY: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2022, 6:30–8 P.M., online via Zoom ONLY

(Note: This presentation will NOT be offered in person in Bloedel, as previously announced.)

The Radix Project is an opportunity to gather in small groups, share their stories, reflect on Holy Scripture and sacred art, and pray for one another with intention. The project was created to provide a way to connect in a setting that fosters trust, so that our relationships with God and one another are strengthened. This fall, the theme for Radix 8, Creation, Community, and Connection, will draw from scriptures that invite us to consider how creation itself may inform our relationship to God and each other. All are welcome and encouraged to join the opening Plenary Presentation with Dean Thomason and the Radix Project team, whether or not you plan to participate in the small groups. 


SMALL GROUPS MEET: ONCE A WEEK STARTING THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 18, THROUGH THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 23. (Sunday groups conclude on October 30.) 

Deadline to register for a small group: Tuesday, September 13, 2022. Click here to download the participant packet (pdf), containing guidelines, scripture selections, discussion questions, and accompanying visual art. Learn more about Radix groups and see video and materials from previous iterations here. Questions? Email radix@saintmarks.org

A complete video of the opening plenary may now be seen below:

Two Important Ministry Surveys

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The Needs and Hopes of Families with Children and What Happens After the 20s/30s Group?

The Children and Families Committee has a survey for parents, grandparents, and caregivers about faith formation and community building for kids and their adults. We'd love to learn what you are hoping for! Find the survey here:

https://forms.office.com/r/se0nRia2RH

What might be next for those who are moving on from the 20s/30s Group at Saint Mark's? The cathedral leadership is eager to hear what you need and what you'd like. Here's the link:

 https://forms.office.com/r/WG8Qc1cFPC

Conversations About Gratitude

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This year's annual Stewardship campaign will occur in October as usual, but as a "prelude" to Stewardship season the members of the Stewardship Committee, led by Junior Warden for Stewardship Chris Rigos, invite all to participate in a five-week conversation about gratitude.
Each week, a broad question to stimulate mindfulness of and reflection on gratitude will be posted. In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul writes: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus towards you.” —let's explore this mindset together. The Stewardship Committee believes that a heightened awareness is the best way to thoughtfully begin our formal stewardship season in October. Everyone in the community is invited to write replies to each week's prompt.
The members of the Stewardship Committee—Greg Simon, Amanda Davis, Wayne Duncan, Deborah Person, Canon Eliacín Rosario-Cruz, and Junior Warden for Stewardship Chris Rigos—are looking forward to these conversations, and thank you for your willingness to be part of this exercise. If you have any questions, please write Chris Rigos at: crigos33@gmail.com

WEEK 5—GRATITUDE FOR THE CATHEDRAL

For the last several weeks, the Stewardship Ministry has invited everyone to reflect on what gratitude or thankfulness means to you and how you experience it. We talked about how you express gratitude to yourself or others, and how you nurture that sense of wellbeing and goodwill. These abstract conversations are almost over, and we now focus hearts and minds on the here and now—Saint Mark’s formal Stewardship campaign for the year 2023 will begin on Sunday, October 2. Soon you will receive a package of Stewardship materials in the mail, and you will hear reflections from parishioners in person and on video throughout the month of October.

So, our final question involves how your developing sense of gratitude applies to this beloved spiritual home, Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral. For what are you grateful, here at Saint Mark’s? Do you experience that feeling towards the clergy, staff, preaching, liturgy, or music? Ministries of restorative justice, creation care, or intergenerational connections? The sense of community, or particular community members? Perhaps it is the core beliefs and ethos of this place. If you have been attending Saint Mark's for some time, have these feeling changed over time? Remember: “wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome here.”

As we launch into our formal Stewardship campaign, continue to reflect on the ideas shared here. As we bring this series to a close, we thank you for your thoughts and prayers, and we end with our final question: Where are you on your gratitude journey with Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral?

Please offer a response of any length in the comments at the bottom of this page, or send an email to stewardship@saintmarks.org. (Note that the first time you leave a comment, it will be held in moderation before appearing.) Thank you for participating in this conversation.

WEEK 4—SPIRITUAL JOURNEY

Every week the presenting clergy member at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral invites us by saying: “Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome here.” On Sunday, September 11, Dean Steve Thomason continued this blessing by asking us in his sermon on Sunday morning: “Where are you on your spiritual journey?”

1 Corinthians 13:11 reminds us that we are born with a developing sense of self, our world, and our place in that world. When we become adults, we “put an end to childish ways.” The same observation may apply to our developing sense of gratitude or thankfulness. In our youth, perhaps we are grateful in a purely transactional way—for an unexpected gift, a fine report card, or a dream job. Sometimes our praise and prayers of gratitude are only for the “positive” or “pleasant” things, and we nurture, perhaps unconsciously, the belief that our prayers are being answered because of our “good” behavior.

So, where are you on your spiritual journey with gratitude? Are you prayerful for the events that benefit your life and family? Are you able to give thanks for positive things that happen to others but not to you? Are justice advances in far-off places part of your gratitude list, or progress in protecting our endangered creation, or nourishing meals provided to those who are experiencing hunger?

Where are you on your spiritual journey with gratitude?

WEEK 3—DAILY PRACTICE

The Saint Mark’s Stewardship Committee continues its five-part Gratitude Conversations with a question from community member Greg Simon:

In my day job, I reply to a lot of emails—200 or more most weeks.  I’ve noticed that nearly every one of my responses begins with “Thanks.”  And I really do mean that.  Setting aside all of the marketing spam, the messages I respond to really do deserve my gratitude.  Often, someone is telling me something that I need or want to know.  Or someone is telling me they’ve finished doing something that I asked for or just hoped for.

I did have the thought that I could just automate the first word of every email response.  It would be simple to have every reply start with “Thanks.”  In my email software, that’s under “Options>Mail>Replies and Forwards>Preface Comments With”.  Starting every reply with an automated “Thanks” would look exactly the same to the person receiving my message.  But it wouldn’t be the same for me. And gratitude really isn’t a transaction.  While it is important for people I correspond with to feel thanked, it’s much more important for me to feel thankful.

So I still type out those letters T-H-A-N-K-S every time.  Those six keystrokes add a few seconds for me to feel gratitude and consider what I’m grateful for.  I hope my gratitude will grow to be ever-present – but never automatic.

What things do you do every day to cultivate gratitude?  How do you make gratitude ever-present but not automatic?


WEEK 2—EXPERIENCE

The Saint Mark’s Stewardship Committee continues its five-part Gratitude Conversations with a focus how we experience gratitude and what we do with that experience.

Franciscan Father Richard Rohr talked in May 2020 about our need for a new vision when he wrote:

G. K. Chesterton spoke of the “mystical minimum” which he defined as gratitude. When we stand in the immense abundance of the True Self, there is no time or space for being hurt. We are always secure, at rest, and foundationally grateful. The grateful response for what is given—seeing the cup half full—requires seeing with a completely different set of eyes than the eyes that always see the cup as half empty. I don’t think it is an oversimplification to say that people basically live either in an overall attitude of gratitude or an overall attitude of resentment. The mystical minimum is gratitude. Everything that is given—that we are breathing today—is pure gift. None of us have earned it. None of us have a right to it. All we can do is kneel and kiss the ground—somewhere, anywhere, everywhere.

Several questions immediately rush into our consciousness. Does Rohr’s view or that of G.K. Chesterton resonate with you? How does a sense of thankfulness come upon you? Does it come to you slowly and quietly, or with a burst of speed, clarity, and whistles and bells?

What you do when gratitude fills your heart, mind, or soul? Do you rest quietly, “kiss the ground,” or rush to “go tell it on the mountain?”


WEEK 1—DEFINITIONS

The Saint Mark’s Stewardship Committee continues its five-part Gratitude Conversations with a focus on the broad importance of gratitude and its meaning to each of us.

In his 1984 book Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer: An Approach to Life in Fullness, Brother David Steindl-Rast writes: “All prayer is essentially an act of gratitude. Even the prayer of petition that boils up from some agonizing personal need includes, if it is authentic, a stated belief that ‘God’s will be done’—an expression of our utter dependence on God’s mercy.” Another author states that “gratitude is the ultimate spiritual practice.”

But what is gratitude? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary offers a definition for gratitude as a strong feeling of appreciation to someone or something for what the person has done to help you.” Researchers writing in a 2019 article published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology propose that “gratitude stems from the recognition that something good happened to you, accompanied by an appraisal that someone, whether another individual or an impersonal source, such as nature or a divine entity, was responsible for it.”

So, what does gratitude mean to you? How it is different in different contexts?

Blessing of Backpacks, Community Picnic, and Dessert Dash

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 6–7:30 P.M.

All are welcome to a back-to-school gathering on Friday evening, September 3—to reconnect in person, have some fun together, and celebrate the amazing kids of our community. Bring a blanket and your own picnic dinner. The cathedral will provide fresh fruit, chips, and water/lemonade for everyone along with a variety of fun activities. There will also be a Lunchbox Dessert Dash (featuring cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and bars) to benefit the Seattle Service Corps and the youth of Saint Mark's. Bring your backpacks, bookbags, and briefcases to receive a blessing! Contact Canon Barrie with questions.

Easing COVID-19 Requirements at Saint Mark’s—August 17, 2022

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A MESSAGE FROM DEAN THOMASON

AUGUST 17, 2022

Dear friends,

As you may have seen in the news in recent days, the CDC has promulgated new guidelines related to COVID precautions and interventions. More importantly for us locally, King County public health officials have observed a dramatic decrease in infection rates and have reduced the risk level to LOW. That change, along with the trending infection rate of less than 200 new cases daily per 100,000 population, means that Saint Mark’s Cathedral will once again make mask-wearing optional, effective today for ministry groups and for worship beginning Sunday, August 21, 2022.

Please note: we will retain the “masked and distanced” section in the south pews and transept for any who want to continue those precautions. We do so, mindful still, that there are some for whom such safeguards are important measures for their comfort in worship. We want all to feel welcome. Of course, you’re welcome to mask and sit wherever you like. For ministry groups, I hope you will extend the courtesy of asking one another your comfort level and be guided by a consensus that takes everyone’s needs into account. I know you will be gracious and gentle with one another.

Liturgical ministers will continue to show proof of vaccination and boosters since they move about in the space and interact with many persons. Of course, vaccination remains an important element of caring for ourselves, and others. I hope you will get your next booster when they become available this fall. Be assured I will do so as well.

These changes mark a shift in approach to the virus as an endemic reality with which we must learn to live over the longer term. Having just returned from Britain, where similar adjustments were made weeks earlier, I can tell you we can do this and remain a vibrant worshipping community and a beacon of hope for all who yearn for the good news we have to share. We will remain nimble, flexing in our precautions as needed, always guided by our public health officials and the data with which informed decisions can be made. But for now, let’s celebrate this as a welcome relief and an opportunity to gather as we press on faithfully. I look forward to seeing your beautiful smiles once again!

Blessings and peace,

The Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason, Dean & Rector

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