The Radix Project Returns, Fall 2020!

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OPENING ONLINE PLENARY: WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 7 P.M., via Zoom (Join using this link.)


In January of 2020 the cathedral launched The Radix Project: Small Groups/Deep Roots. Over 150 people met together weekly for 6 weeks to study scripture, share stories, and pray for one another. Then, when the Cathedral closed in the Spring, 80 people met in small groups via Zoom to study the Resurrection narratives in the season of Easter. This fall, you are invited to a third series centered around stories of Biblical surprise. New groups are formed for each series, and meet once a week online for six weeks, beginning the first week of October. More information is available on the Radix Project webpage, where material from previous iterations of the Radix Project are now posted, and where materials for the upcoming series will be posted as they become available.

Registration for the small groups is now closed, but the Opening Plenary is open to everyone, whether or not they are participating in the meetings.

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

The Role of Surprise in the Spiritual Journey

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 7-8:30 P.M., via Zoom (Join using this link.)
Dean Thomason will offer some theological reflections on the element of surprise in scripture and in our lives. We’ve had a lot of surprises this year, good and bad! How do we understand them in light of the spiritual journey? (Note: this forum serves as opening plenary for the Radix Project, but all are welcome to attend.) No pre-registration necessary. Join using this link.

Virtual Coffee Hour, Every Sunday via Zoom

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On Sundays immediately following the morning worship service, let's join together for a Virtual Coffee Hour via Zoom. Take some time to connect, catch up, reflect, and just see each other's faces! Thanks to Peter McClung for hosting this much-needed opportunity. The link was recently emailed to the Saint Mark's email list. If you didn't get the message, send an email with a few words about your connection to Saint Mark's to Peter McClung and he'll respond as soon as he can. All are welcome!

On the first Sunday of each month, Coffee Hour also includes the pronouncing of a special blessing for all those celebrating a birthday or anniversary in the coming month! 

Introductions to Sunday’s Hymns: September 27, 2020

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On Thursday, September 24, Associate Organist John Stuntebeck introduced the hymns that will be sung at the 11 a.m. morning liturgy on September 27, 2020, the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost. This introduction was presented live on Facebook.

The hymns discussed are:

  • Come thou fount of every blessing [Hymn #686]
  • Lord, dismiss us with thy blessing [Hymn #344]

Join us in the future on Thursdays at 4 p.m. for another live hymn chat! Just visit the cathedral's public Facebook page at the time of the broadcast—if you "follow" the cathedral on Facebook, you should receive a notification when we're live.

Intro to Sunday’s Hymns: September 27, 2020

Associate Organist John Stuntebeck introduces the hymns that will be sung at the 11 a.m. morning liturgy on September 27, 2020, the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost. The hymns discussed are: "Come thou fount of every blessing" [Hymn #686] and "Lord, dismiss us with thy blessing" [Hymn #344]Posted by Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, Seattle on Thursday, September 24, 2020

St. Francis Day Outdoor Liturgy with Blessing of the Animals.

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You and your animal companion are invited to participate in the great annual tradition of the St. Francis Day Blessing of the Animals at Saint Mark's Cathedral, Seattle, on Saturday, October 3, 2020!

Two different opportunities are offered:

  • 2:30–3:30 P.M.: DRIVE-THROUGH PRAYER AND ANIMAL BLESSING (no pre-registration required)
  • 4:30 P.M.: IN-PERSON OUTDOOR LITURGY ON THE LABYRINTH (registration required, and available via livestream.)

Like last year, the event will feature contributions from acclaimed Seattle musician James Falzone, and include prayers for healing humanity’s relationship with the earth, and for all the creatures who share the earth with us. All are invited to attend, with or without their animal companions. Following current guidelines, attendance will be limited, participants will remain masked and distanced, and advance registration will be required. Families will be asked to sit together in marked "zones" with sufficient distance maintained between them and other attendees.

Dogs, cats, bird, bunnies, ponies, chickens, and animals of all kinds are welcome, but must remain in their household’s designated space until invited, in orderly fashion, to one of the stations for blessing at end of the service. Stuffed animals are also welcome to be blessed, as are photographs of pets who would not find attending the event a blessed experience.

For those who do not wish to attend in-person worship at this time, a drive-through animal blessing will be offered earlier in the afternoon, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., with no preregistration required
The 4:30 p.m. liturgy will also be livestreamed at

To register to attend in person, please go to:

Again, space is limited, and will be on first-come, first-serve basis, so please register soon.

The Wisdom School 2020–21 Season Announcement

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See the complete 2020–21 Season Schedule here. 

Earlier this week, an email was sent to the community announcing the upcoming season of The Wisdom School, now entering its fifth year. The complete schedule may now be seen at, and the full season brochure can be downloaded as a pdf. The earliest special event on the schedule is the annual Advent Quiet Morning at St Andrews on December 12, 2020; the main programing of the season, organized under the theme of The Spirituality of Desire, begins with an opening plenary on January 13, 2021. Other events include visits by the teacher and theologian Belden C. Lane; author and therapist Dr. Hillary McBride (co-host of the well-known podcast The Liturgists); a men's retreat and a women's retreat; a capstone pilgrimage to Britain rescheduled from summer 2019; and more. In light of the ongoing pandemic, contingencies have been built in to the planning—events will be in-person, all-online, or blended as conditions allow. Check back on The Wisdom School page as the events approach, and use this form to sign up for the special Wisdom School mailing list.

Special Parish Meeting – Exploring Potential Uses of the St. Nicholas Building

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On September 2, Dean Thomason sent an email to the cathedral community announcing that the Vestry has recently engaged a development consultant to assist us in exploring potential uses of the St. Nicholas building with a goal of advancing the cathedral’s mission and ministries. John Hoerster serves as the chair of a committee guiding this process. The text of the summary report is available below

On Sunday, September 20 at 7 p.m., Mr. Hoerster and Dean Thomason will share details of the process, plans for parish input along the way, and address questions folks may have at this early stage.

There will be time in this meeting for parishioners to ask questions about the process as well. It is important to note that this is an exploratory process, authorized by the Vestry, which will unfold across the fall, and the committee will provide periodic updates to the parish at key intervals. You may also email committee leaders using the special email address:
Join the meeting Sunday night using the following link:

Exploration of Potential St. Nicholas Redevelopment

September 2020


Saint Mark’s Cathedral is receiving a generous gift this Fall by which it will become the sole owner of the St. Nicholas property that is north of the main cathedral building. As a result, Saint Mark’s is undertaking a process to explore how the property can best be used to further the cathedral’s mission and ministries after 2023, when the current subleases with Gage Academy of Art and Bright Water Waldorf Society expire.

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“Wonder in Creation”: Two Wednesday Forums

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TWO WEDNESDAYS, SEPTEMBER 16 & 23, 7–8:30 P.M., via Zoom

Wonder in Creation: A Two-Week Series of Spiritual Practices in Creation

How do you experience God in everyday life? How might your daily living itself be and become a spiritual practice? The Creation Care and Faith Formation ministries will jointly host a two-week series in September to explore how spiritual practices outside bring opportunities to encounter presence, connection and reflection. Each evening, a panel from Saint Mark's will reflect on their own experiences, and you will have time to share your own. We'll also introduce tangible ways to share in active spiritual practices and reflect on how they may nurture reflection and faith in our response.
Join us to "Celebrate the Harvest" on 9/16. The panelists for the first session will be:
  • Rob Reid
  • Carolyn Blount
  • Keiko Maruyama & Jamie Rubio
  • Lisa Graumlich (host)


The second session, "Mindful Steps," on 9/23, will feature contributions from:
  • Sarah Elwood
  • Robert Stevens
  • The Rev. Earl Grout, Deacon
  • Brother Paul Dahlke
  • Nancy & Andy Valaas
  • Emily Meeks (host)
For questions and to obtain the Zoom link, contact

Here are pdfs of lists of references and resources related to the two sessions:

Session 1: Celebrating the Harvest, Sept. 16

Session 2: Take a Next Step: Mindful Steps, Sept. 23

Video of both sessions is now available:

In addition, below are some additional links shared from the chat and conversation during Part 2:

Year of Seattle Parks 

Vote with Creation as a Value
Books on Ecology and Spirituality
Diocesan Resource Center - email Sue (
Muck Rack
A podcast series on environmental perspectives by Ashley Aheard
The Year You Finally Read About Climate change

"Read about the future of the planet,"
New York Times Book Review.

Faith Action Network Candidate Forum

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MONDAY, OCTOBER 12, 7 P.M., via Zoom

The Faith Action Network will offer a candidate forum for candidates in legislative districts, which includes Sarah Reyneveld and Liz Berry from the 36th District, Kirsten Harris-Talley and Chukundi Salisbury from the 37th District, and Sherae Lascelles and Frank Chopp from the 43rd District. Participants may send in questions to use during the forum before the event. RSVP here: to receive the Zoom link. There will be questions prepared by the sponsors as well as a limited opportunity for the audience to submit questions. Each district will have a 30-minute time slot - see the flyer for more information (click to enlarge).

Saint Mark’s Music Series 2020–21 Season Announcement

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The 2020–21 Saint Mark's Music contains a variety of offerings, from beloved annual traditions to encounters with the unfamiliar. You can read the series announcement email here. This year, all the event on the Music Series will be livestreamed and viewable for free.


Details of the complete series may be found on the Music Series page here. 


Highlight include:

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2020, 7:30 P.M.

Flentrop Organ Concert with Canon Kleinschmidt

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2020, 7:30 P.M.

Native American Flute Songs with Gary Stroutsos

FRIDAY, JANUARY 29, 2021, 7:30 P.M.

Fritts Organ Concert with John Stuntebeck

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2021, 7:30 P.M

Concert à 3: with Jillon Dupree, Rebekah Gilmore, & Page Smith

PALM SUNDAY, MARCH 28, 2021, 4:30 P.M.

Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time

FRIDAY, MAY 14, 2021, 7:30 P.M.

All-Bach on the Flentrop Organ with Alex Weimann

Check out the Music Series page to learn more!

Ministry Blessing Sunday and Ministry Fair (Online)

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SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, before, during, and after the morning worship service.


Check out the Ministry Guide page here, including video introductions by ministry leaders!


Here is the slideshow of cathedral ministries presented before the service on Sunday morning, including live organ accompaniment by Canon Michael Kleinschmidt:

The building may be closed, but the ministries of Saint Mark’s are as vibrant in heart as ever. They are integral to our community—those fully in action during the pandemic and those that will be reenergized as we gather in person again! At the 11 a.m. livestream liturgy on September 13, Dean Thomason will commission and bless all ministries of Saint Mark's. That also includes everyone who participates—all of us—because worshiping together IS ministry!

Just before the morning liturgy, at 10:45 a.m., a slideshow of images of cathedral ministries in action in recent years will be presented (see above).

After the service, Zoom into a lively online Coffee Hour for a special presentation on the ministry life of Saint Mark’s and preview of our new Ministry Guide, and talk together as we kick into our fall season!

If you have not already received the link to join Zoom Coffee Hours, please email Peter McClung for instructions:

Night Prayer with the 20s & 30s Group

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The 20s & 30s at Saint Mark's will be hosting prayer together over the phone on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. The first service will be Night Prayer (from the New Zealand Prayer Book) on September 14. Please email Canon Jennifer to receive the call-in information and liturgy for the service.

Additionally, there will be an optional in-person gathering outdoors in groups of 5 or fewer to call in together to our common prayer on the fourth Monday of each month. Please fill out this form if you are interested in joining a group or getting more information.

The order of service for this offering may be downloaded here.

Reopening Plan is now available

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On Wednesday, September 8, an email message was sent to the cathedral community with information concerning the eventual reopening of the cathedral building and resumption of in-person worship. Dean Thomason announced over four months ago, in May, that "we will not be among the first churches to reopen." As of now, there is no date set to reopen. But a committee of staff and volunteers has worked hard to think through what it will look like when the cathedral's doors do eventually open, and to create policies and procedures to keep everyone as safe as possible during this ongoing crisis.

The work of that committee may be seen on the "Reopening Planning" page here. At this time, the page contains the complete Reopening Plan document downloadable as a pdf, a summary version of the policies and procedures, as well as some Frequently Asked Questions. The Reopening Planning webpage will be continually updated as the situation develops. When the date for the resumption of in-person worship is set, further information including a link to register online to attend a Sunday service will appear there.

Tuesday Bible Study Returns

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EVERY TUESDAY, 12–1 P.M., currently meeting via Zoom 
Tuesday Bible Study provides a weekly conversation around the scripture readings for the following Sunday. It has recently re-launched using the Zoom platform. Each week a discussion is facilitated and lively conversation ensues as people share their thoughts about the lessons. For more information and to get the link to join, contact The Rev. Canon Jennifer King Daugherty.

Feeding Ministry Update Summer 2020

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Saint Brigid’s Banquet/Saint Martin de Porres Ministry Report

Saint Marks Episcopal Cathedral, August 2020

Hello to all the supporters of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral’s ministry to the Saint Martin de Porres shelter on Alaskan Way in Seattle!

I hope that you are enjoying your summer. I wanted to report to our wider group of supporters and volunteers as to what has been happening during July and August for our ministry.

We have had a very busy two months! We are as active as possible in providing meals to some of our homeless friends, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. As you know, our friends in need require more support than ever due to the hardships imposed by the pandemic.

In early July, Reverend Cristi Chapman asked if some of us involved with the Saint Martin de Porres ministry would be able to cook some meals for our church visitors with Tent City 3 in the church parking lot. We decided that the lead cooks in our ministry and those in Teen Feed program ministry should join together to help out.

On Sunday night, July 26, four of us met in the church parking lot to help prepare 50 meals for our guests. You can see the four of us in the photo at the bottom of this email. On the left side of the photo, you will see some of the paper bags we prepared for each Tent City resident. We prepared 50 paper bags, each with a sandwich (Maris Olsen and Mark Stumpf), homemade cookies (Earl Grout), an orange, two containers of potato salad, a bag of chips, a small granola bar, and a can of seltzer water. It was a perfect outdoor dinner on a pleasant summer evening!

On August 23, our other lead cooks Brook Brayman, and Teresa Pliskowski hosted Tent City again with Kathy Albert ‘s help. You can check us out below! This time we offered homemade sandwiches, potato salad, fresh fruit, and cookies. The photo below shows Kathy, Brook, and Teresa in the church parking lot.

Meanwhile, we continue to provide hearty dinners twice a month to the Saint Martin de Porres shelter on Alaskan Way. In July Kathy Albert and Rabi Lahiri, a new volunteer, helped do the grocery shopping. In August Earl Grout and Jay Quarterman helped us at Restaurant Depot. In the final photo you can see Jay Quartermain, Brook Brayman, and Earl Grout with our meal supplies from Restaurant Depot. Thank you all!

Do any of you read the Real Change newspaper sold by Seattle street vendors? In the July issue (Volume 27, Number 28), vendor David Dunn (and Saint Martin’s resident) refers approvingly to Saint Martins as “the ranch.” He talks about how challenging the pandemic lockdown was for many shelter residents. The good news is that Real Change vendors are back selling their papers. Maybe you could buy one and help the vendors out?

Why in the midst of a worldwide pandemic do we continue to provide meals to our neighbors in need? Volunteer Kathy Albert summarized her thoughts and values when she wrote our team members in March. (With her permission):

I'm glad the prep and delivery of the lunches for the Saint Martin de Porres men was such a success!  I'm proud that my faith community is doing the saintly work of serving the needs of our most vulnerable during this pandemic, the people who in the long run will be the most forgotten as we find our way through.  We need to continue doing this kind of work!  We could conceivably shut down this ministry, out of consideration for our own health needs and those of the people around us.  But what about the needs of these homeless people whom we serve?  They are just as important, and our faith tells us their needs are to be considered first.

Perhaps it also helps us to re-read the mission statement from the local Saint Martin de Porres on its website:

Our Ministry of Presence

“Do not depend on the hope of results…In the end, it is the reality of personal relationships that saves everything.”
—Thomas Merton

Our ministry of presence is rooted in the Gospel Values and entwined with our idea of friendship and community. We believe our ministry is to live out an unconditional affirmation and passionate pursuit of the best in every person.

We have faith that the good is there and that we can discover it together through our solidarity with one another in all the pain and joy of life.

We recognize our shortcomings and we ask forgiveness when we fail to sustain our vision of home for one another.

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer! We will periodically keep you all advised of our activities. Thank you again for your continued support in helping to keep our ministry alive and vibrant.

—submitted by Chris Rigos, Team Coordinator

A Season of Creation

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Saint Mark’s and the greater Episcopal Church joins Christian churches across the world in celebrating the Season of Creation September 1 – October 4. From the Season of Creation website:

“The Season of Creation is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator through repenting, repairing, and rejoicing together. During the Season of Creation, we join our sisters and brothers in the ecumenical family in prayer and action for our common home.”
  • Be inspired by watching Presiding Bishop Curry’s video message below, titled, The Jesus Movement: Good News for All Creation.
  • Weekly "Season of Creation" devotionals will be shared in Sundays & Beyond each week during the month of September — See the complete collection of weekly devotionals below!
  • And plan to attend the "Wonder in Creation" Cathedral Commons offering on September 16 and 23 about spiritual practices in Creation.
You can email for more information on the ongoing work and conversation of the Creation Care Ministry.


Statement on Hiroshima Anniversary

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This August marks the 75th anniversary of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima, on August 6, and Nagasaki, on August 9, 1945. As the world community remembers and addresses the ongoing threat of nuclear aggression, the Vestry of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral Parish in Seattle has released a resolution “calling upon U.S. policymakers to determine a timely process for the dismantling of existing U.S. nuclear weapons while urging other countries to do likewise, and urging the President and Congress to explore a moratorium on production of new nuclear arms.”

In solidarity with so many churches and faith-based organizations, Saint Mark’s Cathedral has taken a stand against unjust wars and nuclear weapons going back decades. Dean & Rector The Very Rev. John Leffler repeatedly denounced the Vietnam War from the pulpit in the 1960s, and his successor, The Very Rev. Cabell Tennis, notoriously spoke out against the bombing of Cambodia in a televised sermon on Christmas Eve, 1972. In the subsequent decades, the cathedral has continued to use its voice on these issues, partnering with groups such as the Washington Against Nuclear Weapons Coalition (WANW).

Nuclear disarmament is a particularly significant concern in the Pacific Northwest, since the largest concentration of deployed nuclear weapons in the U.S. is just 20 miles away at Naval Base Kitsap. Washington State’s Hanford Site, which produced the plutonium for the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, continues to store millions of gallons of high-level nuclear waste in unsafe conditions, leaking contaminated material into the environment to this day—an enduring consequence of the country's nuclear weapons program.

Betsy Bell of Saint Mark’s Cathedral, who leads the Nuclear Disarmament Ministry, said, “To the majority of people alive in 2020, both WWII and the Cold War seem like history far in the past, and so it is a shock to realize that the United State continues to build and stockpile nuclear weapons at such a vast scale, and even more shocking in light of how invisible the subject has become in our national discourse. The mere existence of these weapons today is an atrocity!”


Dedication Liturgy of Memorial Benches

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On the first Sunday in August, at 5:30 p.m., you are invited to attend (via livestream or in person) a brief service of dedication and blessing of four benches that have been placed around the perimeter of the labyrinth on the front lawn of Saint Mark’s Cathedral.

These benches are given in loving memory of four long-time members of the cathedral who have recently died—The Rev. Canon Mike Jackson, Randy Revelle, Kathie Moen, and The Rev. Canon Timothy Nakayama. Their families will be on hand for the occasion, and we hope that many in the parish community will gather around them, masked and socially distanced of course, as we remember these beloved people and give thanks for their lives, and place into service these four benches designed to be seats of urban rest around the mystical beauty of the labyrinth. This is one more way we intend to say to the world: wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome here…

Following the brief rite of dedication of the benches, The Pacific Brass Quintet—a professional ensemble with which parishioner and resident trumpeter, Bob Gale, has performed for over twenty years—will gather on the cathedral front terrace and offer a festive musical offering for those present and those joining via livestream.

Video of this service may be seen below:

Cathedral Bees Update

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Cathedral Bees Update

The cathedral building has two beehives on the roof of Bloedel Hall. Thanks to beekeeper Rob Reid, our bees are thriving! Scroll down to view pictures.

Your prayers for the health of our hives are welcome. For more information about protecting pollinators, visit this link.

If you are interested in helping out with the bees, contact the cathedral and we will put you in touch with Rob.

Sundays & Beyond Update August 30, 2020

The bees and beekeepers have been hard at work. In July, one of the hives lost its queen. However, wild bees are able to create a new queen with remaining larvae, so apiarists Rob and Jaime moved eggs from the healthy hive to the queenless one. Once the queen was established, she then started laying fertile eggs. We're happy to report the success of Rob and Jaime's work - both beehives are now thriving!

Sundays & Beyond Update July 19, 2020

The active honeybee hives on the roof of Bloedel Hall have been busy. And, apparently, they have a sense of humor: Q: Why do virgin bees mate in the air? A: They can’t get any privacy in the hive. Consider planting pollinator-friendly plants in your own garden or window box. And reduce or eliminate pesticides on your plants.

Sundays & Beyond Update July 12, 2020

Did you know St. Mark’s has two active honeybee hives on the roof of Bloedel Hall? Installed on May 10, they include thousands of residents. Recently, our apiarist Rob Reid suspected one of our hives had lost its queen because, when inspecting the frames, he was unable to find eggs. But wild bees are able to create a new queen with remaining larvae. To assist our bees, Rob and Jaime Rubio moved eggs from the healthy hive to the queenless one. Now the bees can create queen cells and feed them “royal jelly.” If all goes well, in less than a month, the new queen will mate in mid air with drone bees and start laying fertile eggs. There’s lots of miraculous science involved. You can see where the expression “the birds and the bees” comes from.

Sundays & Beyond Update July 5, 2020

This week’s thought: The world is facing a mass extinction of species, including pollinators. Bees are critically important to our global food production and nutritional security. Estimates suggest that pollinators directly contribute US$235–$577 billion to global food production each year. Without pollinators, many of the foods we depend on would become scarce, putting life on our planet at risk. When planting your flower garden this summer, consider planting pollinator-friendly plants. Take Earth Day Network’s Pesticide Pledge, and learn about additional actions you can take to help protect pollinators.


June Update from Beekeeper Rob

The bee population in our hives is increasing rapidly. We have added a second deep hive box to both hives. I may try to split an existing hive and create a third hive. Providing another queen can be tricky though.

Some of you have joined me in caring for the bees already. Thank you for your company, Jaime, Keiko, Yoshi, Barbara and Steve, and Nancy.

May Update from Beekeeper Rob

Penny and I picked up bees from the Snohomish Bee Company at the Monroe Fairgrounds last Sunday afternoon. Then, we “installed” two “nucs” of bees into two of the existing hives on the roof of Bloedel Hall. I ordered them several months ago and they were shipped here from Northern California a week ago. Each nuc comes with 5 frames and a working queen and thousands of worker bees. It was quick and easy to move the 5 frames, one at a time, into our hives. In fact, miraculously, I saw the queen on one of the frames as I was moving it from nuc box to hive.



Bees update June 2020

Bees update August 2020

Flentrop Organ Workshop Open House

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The Flentrop Orgelbouw, founded in Zaandam in the Netherlands in 1903, created the organ for Saint Mark’s Seattle in 1965, and is still producing world-class instruments in 2020. On Saturday, July 18, 2020, the firm presented a virtual open house via YouTube livestream, during which they presented a tour of their workshop, presented videos and sound recordings illustrating their work, answered live questions from viewers, and revealed their current project, a large instrument for the Royal Birmingham (U.K.) Conservatoire.

View the video below to go step by step through the making of the organ.

A New Liturgical Pattern for Summer

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UPDATE 8/18: With the return of a Sunday Morning service of Holy Eucharist on August 23, the cathedral's experiment with Morning Prayer has concluded. Eucharist will be continue to be offered every Sunday as we enter the fall season. Please reach out to the cathedral or to Dean Thomason directly and let us know what your experience of this liturgy was like.

For a period of time this summer, Saint Mark's Cathedral will adapt the rhythms of its Sunday Morning livestreamed liturgy. On July 19 and 26, the cathedral will offer a service of Morning Prayer instead of Holy Eucharist, harking back to the standard practices of the Church until the last generation. A service of Holy Eucharist will return August 2, followed by Morning Prayer again on August 9 and 16.

This pattern or services, with Eucharist only once a month, and morning prayer at other times, was the normal practice at churches of the Anglican tradition until the liturgical reforms of the mid-to-late 20th century. Morning Prayer, or Matins, is part of the cycle of prayer services contained in the Book of Common Prayer collectively known as "The Daily Office," which in the current prayer book includes Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer (called "Evensong" when sung), and Compline.

Writing at the dawn of the current global pandemic, The Most Rev Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal church, wrote:

Many factors contributed to a general decline in the celebration of the Eucharist well into the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and Morning Prayer became the common service of worship on the Lord’s Day. And while it is good and right that the situation has changed dramatically, that the Holy Eucharist has again become the principal act of worship on Sunday across our church, few would suggest that the experience of Morning Prayer somehow limited God’s presence and love to generations of Anglican Christians. [...]


While not exclusively the case, online worship may be better suited to ways of praying represented by the forms of the Daily Office than by the physical and material dimensions required by the Eucharist. And under our present circumstances, in making greater use of the Office there may be an opportunity to recover aspects of our tradition that point to the sacramentality of the scriptures, the efficacy of prayer itself, the holiness of the household as the “domestic church,” and the reassurance that the baptized are already and forever marked as Christ’s own.

For a few weeks this summer, Saint Mark's will be taking up the Presiding Bishop's invitation. Please write to or contact any of the clergy and let us know what you think of this experiment.


Taking Up Our Responsibility for Racial Justice

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Photo by Tim Pierce via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0


Although this offering is now concluded, you are invited to view the video of the plenary presentation, and explore course materials below. 

At this critical moment in our nation’s and community’s history, we are confronted again with fresh knowledge of longstanding racial injustice – in policing, the justice system, health care, housing, education, the Church, and many other sectors of our common life. Our faith community is grappling with important questions – what do I need to learn? How should I and our church respond?

This four-week study and discussion series in summer 2020 brought the Saint Mark’s community together to confront racism—its theology, history, and presence in our lives today—and ways to move forward toward justice. The in-depth series open to all recognized the responsibility for change falls on white people. We met on four Wednesday nights, with a required advance registration and commitment to attend all sessions and read/watch articles and videos in advance, and began with encouraging participants to read ahead of time Ijeoma Oluo’s book, So You Want to Talk About Race.

Saint Mark’s has ongoing programming each season to continue the work to take up our responsibility for racial justice, and encourages each of us to continue doing our own inner work, and learning, and action. As programs at the cathedral are scheduled, details will be available on the Racial Justice resources page, here.

The syllabus for the four-session series, including required reading and viewing, may be downloaded here.

Additional resources contributed by participants in the series may be downloaded here.

PDFs of the power point slides of the opening plenary may be downloaded here..

The Women’s Compline Choir Returns

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TWO SUNDAYS, JULY 19 & 26, 9:30 P.M., broadcast live on KING-FM, and livestreamed 
After the historic and moving all-women Compline services offered last summer, plans were made for a repeat offering in the summer of 2020. The 21 women who participated last year cannot gather now, but a choir consisting only of Rebekah Gilmore and three other singers will offer Women's Compline once again on two Sundays in July. These services will be livestreamed on the cathedral website and on Facebook Live. Like last year, a new work has been commissioned and will receive its world premiere — Kevin Siegfried, a composer with Seattle roots and longstanding connections with the Compline Choir, has composed “Sisters, we have met to worship,” based on the early American Hymn tune Holy Manna. If you wish, you may RSVP on the Facebook event page.

UPDATE 7/22: Video of the service of July 19 may be seen below: 

UPDATE 7/28: Video of the service of July 26 may be seen below: 

Sandra Smith: A Reflection on Mask Worry

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Back in March, Sandra Smith submitted the very first reflection posted on the cathedral website on the events that were then rapidly unfolding, from her perspective as an immune-compromised person. Now, three months later, she has submitted the following thoughts about the current situation.

I believe all people in our human community do matter, especially the vulnerable and oppressed. We must keep ourselves safe. For people who don’t chose to mask, I have felt righteous indignation with my inner bully/tyrant rising up with anger because my health is threatened. I don’t want to be a bully nor a tyrant nor do I want to hate others whose values and behaviors are different than my own. I want to disarm myself, and ask God’s grace to diminish threats, save all of us, God’s people, and help me to truly walk in love, literally.

So, I walked for exercise with my neighbor. We were masked and maintained 6 feet social distancing from each other. As the months continued, I noticed people on my walk who didn’t wear their masks and it worried me; I felt threatened by their choice as they approached on the street. It surprised me how much woeful energy I felt as I encountered the unmasked. I wondered, why such a threat?

Having walked along a busy street for my daily walk, I felt a slow crescendo of anxiety, both my own and others’. After stepping aside from my frustration and fear, I took time to reflect and realized that I want others to behave in a way that protects me. After all, I wear a mask to protect them. Didn’t they have the desire to protect others, like me?

Then I looked deeper and realized that I had a part in this. Perhaps my need to control the masking behavior of others only increased my frustration. Stepping back from my worldview of what compassionate life may look like, it had now become time for me to admit again, that I only have power over my own behavior and actions. I began to consider the question a very wise woman said, “what can I do differently?”

So, my walking buddy and I chose after Easter Monday to walk a new less busy route while reflecting on a scripture passage each of us brings to the walk, maintaining our six-foot distance between ourselves and the fewer unmasked anxious others we encountered. I avoided the nearby unmasked contractor who was consistently not adhering to the Governor’s directive for him to be masked. As he continued in his illegal neglect, I calmly and firmly wrote to my condo neighbors that the behavior of this unmasked contractor was unacceptable. I asked what does he not understand and why? He is now abiding and masked. I also acknowledge the passing joggers’ rights as equal to my right to be outside and avoid or face away from them as they pass quickly to protect myself.

I try to let go of what is not mine to do responsibly. I don’t want to act in a tyrannical way to any of my neighbors. I fervently want to express my needs in a firm and loving way. I ask God to help me walk in love which is hard to do. I pray that I can continue to choose to do the best I can. God bless you in your journey with the unmasked. Be Safe. Let us pray for one another. Amen.

The Wisdom of Children: An Audio Project from Saint Mark’s

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The Wisdom of Children is an audio project recorded in June, 2020, featuring the voices of the children of the Saint Mark's Cathedral community. Listen now using the embedded player below, or read on for other ways to listen.



Dear friends,

Several weeks ago, in the throes of feeling the acute loss of human interaction, it washed over me how much I missed hearing the voices of children in my life—the murmurs of little ones on the carpet in the nave during worship, the screams of playful delight on the Lowell Elementary School playground across the street from my home, the infectious giggles of toddlers swept up in a moment of joy, even the wailsome cries of a child who intuitively knows all is not right with their world. Children bring a spiritual wisdom to the mix, unhindered by worldly ways that tilt toward cynicism. I have learned much from these little ones through the years, when I take time to listen, really listen.

The idea of asking children questions and capturing their words in audio files matured under the leadership of Kelly Moody, our Associate for Spiritual Formation, and Canon Cristi Chapman, and we are delighted to share the voices of several children of Saint Mark’s here, in this time of pandemic. Entitled The Wisdom of Children, the invitation is simply to have your heart lifted, and perhaps opened a bit more to the spiritual connection we all share, as beloved children of God. There is wisdom here, and nourishment for the soul. Enjoy!

Blessings and Peace,

The Very Reverend Steven L. Thomason
Dean and Rector

Please note that, for convenience, "The Wisdom of Children" will also be made available as a special episode of the Saint Mark's Prayer Podcast for Children and Families—search for the podcast title on your app of choice, and select the episode "The Wisdom of Children."
You may also listen on SoundCloud here.

Below are the full interviews of all the children. Thanks to all the participants!

Seattle Multifaith Clergy Lament & Prayer for Racial Justice

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This Friday, June 5, at noon, a group of Seattle clergy from many faith traditions will gather on the terrace and steps of St. James Cathedral to pray and observe eight minutes, 46 seconds of silence while the Cathedral’s funeral bell tolls. Rev. Dr. Kelle Brown, Lead Pastor, Plymouth Church, will speak and invite all to the time of silence. Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral will be represented at the event by Dean Steve Thomason. Learn more in Dean Thomason's message here. Participating clergy will wear face coverings and observe appropriate physical distancing. The brief service will be livestreamed at and on St James Cathedral’s Facebook page:

NOTE: To comply with the recent directive regarding outdoor religious services, in-person attendance at this event must be strictly limited. Please DO NOT plan to attend this event in person.

UPDATE: A full video of the event may be seen below:

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