Group Viewing of “Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water” at SAM

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SATURDAY, MAY 21, 10 A.M. TO NOON, Seattle Art Museum

Come explore the vast connections of water in the context of artwork at a new exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum. A group from Saint Mark’s is planning to attend on Saturday, May 21 at 10 a.m. and then discuss the art afterward at SAM’s cafe, MARKET. Interested in meeting up? Email Wayne Duncan ( or Emily Meeks (

This exhibit closes May 30, and It’s what SAM calls “an experiment in artistic activism.” On display are the works of 74 artists from 17 countries and seven Native American tribes. Visitors are greeted with a welcome in Lushootseed, one of many Coast Salish languages, by Ken Workman, a Duwamish Tribal Member and descendant of Chief Seattle.

Art by Coast Salish Artist Peter Boome on Exhibit in the Cathedral Nave

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ON EXHIBIT APRIL 24–JUNE 5, in the cathedral nave UPDATE: Now extended through JULY 10


UPDATE: A complete video of the forum may be seen below.

OPENING RECEPTION: SUNDAY, APRIL 24, 12:30 P.M., cathedral nave

The Visual Arts Ministry of Saint Mark's Cathedral and Saint Mark's Creation Care Ministry are delighted to co-sponsor an exhibition of works by Peter Boome, Coast Salish Artist and member of the Upper Skagit Tribe of Washington State, April 24–June 5 in the cathedral nave. He works in a variety of mediums, and his exhibition at Saint Mark's will include both prints and paintings. Each of his works tells a story, and his exhibition at Saint Mark’s will explore themes including the connection between spirituality and natural world. Works on display in the nave will include new work created especially for this exhibition, a template for a mural on the Seattle waterfront displayed here publicly for the first time, large-scale works on canvas, and smaller prints and paintings. Works will available to be purchased from the artist.

Join the artist for a conversational forum at 10 a.m. between Sunday morning services on April 24, offered in person and online, and for the opening reception at 12:30 p.m. that afternoon. The reception will feature music by members of the Native Jazz Quartet.

Sunday Morning Forum with Peter Boome

About Peter Boome

Peter Boome is a member of the Upper Skagit Tribe of Washington State. He earned his AA from Northwest Indian College, his BAS and MES from the Evergreen State College, and his JD from the University of Washington School of Law.

Peter’s work has been aggressively sought after by collectors around the world. He has emerged as a leading Coast Salish artist, winning prestigious awards at shows such as Indian Market in Santa Fe, The Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, the Heard Museum in Phoenix and many more. Peter has worked with both new and established indigenous artists from around the country and as far away as New Zealand.

His work has been displayed at institutions including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the Autry Museum in Los Angeles, and the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center, and is part of the permanent collections of the Burke Museum and Washington State History Museum.

More of Peter's work can be seen and purchased on his website here.

This video from the Washington State Historical Society features footage of the artist at work at approx. 15'50".

The video interview below was recorded in August of 2021 by The National Museum of the American Indian.

Cathedral Commons—Middle East Children’s Alliance: The Maia Project

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 6:45 p.m.–8:15 P.M., in Bloedel Hall and via Zoom

Join Zeiad Shamrouch, Executive Director of the Middle East Children’s Alliance, as he discusses MECA’s Maia project, which is supported by Bishop Rickel and the Diocese of Olympia.

The Maia Project began in 2007 when the Student Parliament at the UN Boys’ School in Bureij Refugee Camp, Gaza were given the opportunity to choose one thing they most wanted for their school: They chose to have clean drinking water. The reason: 95% of Gaza’s water is unfit for human consumption. Since then The Maia Project has completed 73 water purification and desalinization projects, bringing clean water to 90,000 children in Gaza.

The Middle East Children’s Alliance is a nonprofit organization working for the rights and the well-being of children in the Middle East.

“Easter Uprising” by Doug Thorpe

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April 14, 2022

We will go into the future as a single sacred community or we will perish in the desert.
—Thomas Berry

People in Gaza rely on water from public filling stations.
Pollution on tap in Gaza

It’s Shrove Tuesday, aka Mardi Gras—the night before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. As I’m waiting for a friend, a message on my phone alerts me to the information that it’s World Water Day. Water scarcity in the West Bank and Gaza is an issue I’ve explored in some detail, beginning with my first trip to Israel-Palestine some ten years ago with friends from Earth Ministry.

The water situation there hasn’t changed much since then. As Amnesty International reports, soon after Israel occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, in June 1967, the Israeli military authorities consolidated complete power over all water resources and water-related infrastructure in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Of the water available from West Bank aquifers, Israel uses 73%, West Bank Palestinians use 17%, and illegal Jewish settlers use 10%. While 10-14% of Palestine’s GDP is agricultural, 90% of them must rely on rain-fed farming methods.

I’ve not been to Gaza—it’s next to impossible to get in since its border has been controlled by Israel—but I have friends who endure the reality of life over there, where the water is essentially undrinkable, primarily because of the destruction of sewage plants during Israeli attacks. A recent report sums up the hard news.

We all have a chance to learn something about this through a Wednesday night forum on April 20th featuring staff from The Middle East Children's Alliance. They[1]  will lead a discussion about the Maia Project that brings clean water to schools in Gaza by installing filtration systems. It’s a project endorsed by our Bishop; members of the Bishop’s Committee and the Cathedral’s Mideast Focus Committee are working at raising awareness and funds.

It's all part of what we’re calling Mutual Ministry: the recognition that we do not work in silos but that, for example, Creation Care connects directly with issues of environmental injustice, which in turn connects with ongoing racial injustice. And all of it calls us because of a love for a world seeded into us by the love given to us by Christ.

There are no borders in the geography of Jesus.

The next night, Judy and I go to the Cathedral for the Ash Wednesday service and listen to Eliacin give the homily, where he beautifully connects the mark of ash on the forehead received tonight—from dust you came, to dust you return—to the mark of oil on that same forehead that will come for the newly baptized at the Easter Vigil. Which this year will include my grandson Walter, who will be baptized at the Vigil at Saint Mark’s in the Bowery in New York. The hand of the priest, flesh on flesh, the sign of the cross.

You are sealed by the Holy Spirit in baptism and marked as Christ’s own forever.

From death and a desert wandering to new life, rising up out of the waters in a resurrected body that is not simply one’s old body but is every body, everyone, the body of Christ, raised with Him, meaning that we’re alive in love, immortalized in and through love. The waters of baptism—often just a few drops, a handful—signify this love which cleanses and heals and, yes, restores.

We take water so much for granted until we don’t have it. But of course the beauty and power of water is at the heart of this new life, both literally in our bodily need but also aesthetically in its sheer beauty. One of the first places I felt something of this was on the Gulf Coast of Florida where my grandparents lived. At night, as a teenager, I’d leave our rented apartment and walk down to the beach and just sit there and stare out at the dark waves, the sky and stars. It was there that I first sensed that we are truly as wide as the sky.

That feeling remains every time I’m at the ocean or simply sitting at the shore of Puget Sound or a river in the North Cascades. It is as deep as the sky, older than the universe itself. What’s left is gratitude, because you know you’ve done nothing to deserve it. And you know that what you feel is a holy thing. The old life gone. Nothing left but grace.

Rising up from the ashes.

After all the years of laboring you arrive here, at this place, this Easter, with the memory of ash on your forehead, yourself as dust and yet with the love for a newly baptized grandson seeded deep inside the soil of your heart. Knowing that there is work to be done in the vineyard, in this wounded world, and knowing too that there are new generations preparing for the task. May there be rainfall and snow melt, flowing rivers and clean lakes, for those who follow us. May there be clean water.

Longtime Saint Mark's parishioner and former vestry member Doug Thorpe is Professor Emeritus of English at Seattle Pacific University.

Belden Lane at Saint Mark’s: Ravished by Nature’s Beauty

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FRIDAY, APRIL 22, 2022, 6:30–8:30 P.M.
and SATURDAY, APRIL 23, 9:30 A.M.–3 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall or online via Zoom. Registration required.

An offering from The Wisdom School at Saint Mark's

Ravished by Nature’s Beauty—Longing for God

A two-part workshop led by Belden C. Lane

The Christian mystical tradition can be deeply earthy and sensual in its yearning for union with the Divine. Hildegard of Bingen and Teresa of Avila found a wondrous God in trees and flowing water. Catherine of Siena and Ignatius Loyola were drawn by the wild energy of fire and the darkness of the cave. These mystics call us back to a “Great Conversation” with the natural world, reconnecting our spiritual lives with the earth. Renowned theologian and best-selling author Belden Lane will guide this wholesome exploration through images, storytelling, poetry, and guided meditation.

The confluence of Earth Day, the Easter Season, and springtime delight affords a spectacular opportunity to engage in conversation with nature, and through it, with God. Dr. Lane will offer four reflections:

  1. The Great Conversation: Listening to Trees
  2. Wilderness, Storytelling, and the Power of Place
  3. Catherine and Teresa, Women of Spirit: Fire and Water (Feeding one’s Desire for God)
  4. Ignatius Loyola and the Cave as Teacher

Space and time are integrated to allow contemplative time in the urban green space, journaling, and plenary conversations. Fee is $60 which includes snacks and light breakfast and lunch Saturday for those in Bloedel Hall.

Advance registration required. Fee: $60. 

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“Lenten Thoughts” by Doug Thorpe

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February 23, 2022

A birch leaf held fast
In limestone ten million years
Still quietly burns,
Though claimed by the darkness.


Let earth be this windfall
Swept to a handful of seeds—
One tree, one leaf,
Gives us plenty of light.


John Haines, The Owl in the Mask of the Dreamer: Collected Poems

Lent. The word derives from the Old English lencten meaning spring season, perhaps derived from a related root meaning long, connected to the lengthening of days. Or, perhaps, to just how long it can take for spring to arrive in the north. Think of the melting of icicles off gutters, which I remember best from my childhood on the edge of Chicago when I used to delight in eating them like popsicles. Lent is no longer winter exactly, but in northern climates it’s also not that burst of energy that we associate with Spring, even though the spring equinox often occurs during Lent. Still, it’s during this liturgical season that somewhere below the surface of the earth things are beginning to quicken. Life returning—time itself is in motion again.

The church calendar follows this seasonal calendar, at least here in the northern hemisphere. We move from the celebration of Mary’s pregnancy on March 25, close to the spring equinox, to the birth nine months later on December 25—winter solstice, as light begins to overtake the darkness. Then we move quickly from birth and baptism to the 40 days of desert wilderness, also echoing the Israelites’ 40 years of wandering: Lent, with that underground sense of something still unknown coming—a wind, a belief in buried seeds. And just as Joshua crosses over the Jordan River into the Promised Land, so does Jesus—whose name echoes Joshua’s—arrive at last back in Jerusalem, David’s city, the spiritual center of the Promised Land.

And then suddenly it all seems to end. And then it doesn’t.

We’re in motion and yet also circling, since we do it every year, all praise to The Book of Common Prayer. Each of us is a year older, so that we’re moving forward through time even while the liturgy circles, so that simultaneously we feel ourselves caught within a linear process, time moving inexorably ahead, even while we stand outside of time. We are, in Christ, in time and freed from time.

There is no better expression of this, in my opinion, than the experience of celebrating Eucharist even as we are observing Lent—and yes, right up through Good Friday. So there we are, caught in this linear sequence that leads us inevitably to the cross and death, and yet in the very midst of that we are celebrating again this meal with Jesus, who is very much with us—not simply as a memory, but somehow here, now, even as He is with Mary Magdalene at the tomb and with those disciples on the road to Emmaus.

Very paradoxical. My non-logical literary mind loves it.

So too with the idea of the Kingdom: we affirm it as a future apocalyptic reality (and we finish the New Testament in linear fashion with a vision of the descent of the “New Jerusalem” among us), even as we accept Christ’s proclamation of a Kingdom already here, around us, among us, within us.

Clearly this is a Kingdom rather unlike Rome’s, or indeed unlike David’s.

Seasons come, seasons pass. We have a journey before us only to discover that there is nowhere we need to go.

Consider the story that Belden Lane (the cathedral’s guest this coming April) retells from Niko Kazantzakis. A pious monk saves up all his life to make the great pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he will approach the Holy Sepulcher at last, circle it in ritual fashion three times, and only then be ready to return home and be ready to die, a transformed man. At last he has the money for the trip and he sets off, leaving his monastery for the first time in decades. But no sooner has he left than he comes upon a poor beggar who asks the monk where he’s off to. “Jerusalem,” proudly says the monk.

“And you have saved enough for this trip?” asks the beggar.

“Yes indeed—I have it right here in my satchel.”

The beggar then describes his plight: a wife and young child at home, no work, no food; indeed, they are on the very edge of starvation. After a moment’s silence the beggar looks at the monk: would you consider, he says, giving me your money and then walking around me three times before returning to your monastery?

The monk returns the gaze of the beggar and then slowly opens his satchel, hands over his life’s savings, circles three times around the man—and yes, returns to the monastery ready to die, a transformed man.

Lent. Yes, we have a long journey ahead of us. And yet—where is there to get to? Jerusalem? The Holy Sepulcher? Sometimes yes, absolutely, we need to go on pilgrimage. But, the story reminds us, ultimately there is nowhere else we need to go to follow this Way, recognizing that Christ himself is right here, directly in front of us in a world in need of all we’ve been saving up. And so we circle that holiness—in the liturgy and in the love we give away to family, friends, strangers, the broken earth itself. We return home and live out our days transformed, moving with the seasons even as we live, as Blake put it, in eternity’s sunrise.

Longtime Saint Mark's parishioner and former vestry member Doug Thorpe is Professor Emeritus of English at Seattle Pacific University.

Winter Solstice Poetry Reading with Creation Care

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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19, 10:10 A.M., Bloedel Hall

Winter solstice brings the first day of winter and a return of more sunlight. Drawing from a selection of poems connected to light, parishioner and English professor Doug Thorpe will guide us in a time of reading and reflection to discover creation themes. A slideshow of light-inspired photos from Saint Mark's parishioners will also be shared.

Download the poems from the event here (pdf).

Download the slides from the program here (pdf),

The COP26 Experience: Heathy Skepticism and Abiding Faith—A Forum with Dr Lisa Graumlich

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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 6:45–8:15 P.M, online only via Zoom

For two weeks in November many of us sat on edge of chairs following updates from the twenty-sixth Conference of the Parties (COP26), more commonly known as simply the climate summit. As it ended, many felt disappointed that our high hopes for an ambitious global plan of action were not fully realized. What happened? Where do we go from here? Please join us for a discussion with Lisa Graumlich who will reflect on her long-time engagement with climate change as well as her recent experience as a COP26 delegate on behalf of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, participating virtually.

Saint Mark’s parishioner Dave Menz and Grace Episcopal parishioner John Kydd will also be sharing a few insights and photos about their experiences of being in Glasgow among the crowds.

Check out the following resources presented at the event:

Click here to read her letter from the first week of the conference, and here to read her article Loss and Damage: Why these two words hold the key to a just transition in a warming world on the Episcopal Church website.

“We All Have the Potential to Be Activists”—A Reflection by Anna Xie

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Heather Sutkus, a youth in the community of Saint Mark's and member of cathedral's Creation Care Ministry, wanted to share this essay written by her friend and classmate Anna Xie. Heather writes, “I chose Anna’s article because I was struck by how her experience of childhood was dramatically different from my own. Whereas I grew up unaware of the toll my lifestyle had on the environment, Anna had to live with the consequences every day.”

"We all have the potential to be activists."

by Anna Xie

“Don’t run,” my teachers told me, “Play walking soccer.” Or sometimes, “We have indoor recess.” Why? Because it was unhealthy for us to breathe. I spent the first 12 years of my life in Shanghai and Beijing, where the air quality made headlines around the world. Words like “beyond index” and “red alert” were frequently used.

In first grade, I had an assignment to go outside every night and record what I saw in the sky. But almost every night, I couldn’t see anything. I would write “too [sic] pollootd”. Six-year-olds should not have polluted in their daily vocabulary.

My name is Anna, I’m 16 years old, and I am a climate activist. I used to think pollution was just the way things were. That it’s normal to have air purifiers in every room. It’s common to get lingering sore throats when adjusting to polluted air. Of course, everyone has the air quality app right next to the weather one. Some places had it bad, like Beijing, and others had it better, like Seattle, where my family lived during the summer. The clean, crisp air in Seattle was a buffer. I believed everything was under control. I knew about the increasing threat of climate change, but it couldn’t possibly affect me. Besides, adults were on it.

But they aren’t. With climate change being the single largest threat to humankind and the World Health Organization’s projected 250,000+ climate-related deaths between 2030 and 2050, why isn’t everyone freaking out?

It’s time for sweeping, nationwide change and as youth, we need to be part of it. Our home and our dreams are at stake. My generation’s future does not extend beyond 2050. Babies born today will hardly be 30. Us young people are the largest stakeholders of all.

The horrifying thing is that we have solutions to solve the climate crisis. The tools are in our hands, but we just aren’t using them.

In 2019, I finally had enough. In Seattle, where I live full-time now, pollution is clouding the view of Mount Rainier and temperatures are climbing to record highs. Worldwide, this is only the beginning. It was time to do something. Not just for myself, but for people who aren’t as fortunate as I was to be able to move away from the pollution. I ended up joining my school’s environmental club, and after having a great experience there, I decided to go a step further and join an environmental organization. Naturally, I turned to Google, and looked up “environmental organizations to join.”

That search led me on a path to join Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL), a nonpartisan environmental organization advocating for national policies to combat climate change. It has been one of the most inspiring and educating decisions I have ever made. Through CCL, experienced members coached me on lobbying Congress and members of our local state legislature for the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, a bipartisan, market-based solution to lower emissions. Together with youth from around the state, I have organized local community events to bring even more youth into the climate movement. Because of CCL, I’ve met so many passionate climate activists, adults and youth.

The problem for youth is that many don’t think we can create change, but we can and we have. Thousands of youth-led climate movements around the world are gaining momentum. In September 2019, millions of young people held the largest ever global climate demonstration. Seeing people accomplish something amazing like that makes me optimistic and hopeful for the future.

However, we can’t do this on our own. Youth have the power to lift a movement up, but we need everyone to create lasting positive change. Everyone brings individual talents and assets to the climate movement. 

After starting a school bottled water ban campaign, it surprised me that discussion was taking place simply because I had an idea and said something about it. Imagine if today, we all spoke up for our home and our futures. We all have the potential to be activists. It just takes that one step. Wouldn’t it be something?

Anna Xie is a 16-year-old student at Mercer Island High School. 

Photo from the Climate Strike in London via Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY 2.0

Convention on Climate Change Events

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COP26 KICK-OFF: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28, 10 A.M. PST, Register here



UPDATE: The Episcopal Church's Creation Care office has published a piece by Dr. Lisa Graumlich titled COP26 — What to watch for? What to pray for?.


Attend Virtual COP26 Public Events

From October 31 through November 12, 2021, 120 political leaders will gather in Glasgow, Scotland, for the United Nations 26th Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26), which feels to many like the last chance for coordinated global action to prevent the most catastrophic consequences of human-caused climate change. Saint Mark's Parishioner and American Geophysical Union president-elect Dr. Lisa Graumlich has been invited to be part of The Episcopal Church delegation to this potentially historic meeting. You are invited to register and attend the public events below.


Episcopal Climate Advocacy at the UN: COP26 Kick-Off with the Presiding Bishop’s Delegation  

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28, 10 A.M. PST, Register here

Join the Episcopal Presiding Bishop’s Delegates to the United Nations 26th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) and our partners for this public launch event! Participants will meet our delegates and get an introduction to global climate advocacy through a faith lens, just in time for the start of COP26 on October 31st, 2021. We will share Episcopal policy priorities and advocacy strategies, and invite the whole Episcopal Church to join in prayer and witness for this critical global conference.


Liturgy for Planetary Crisis: Episcopal Worship Service during COP26 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 8 A.M. PST, Register here 

Please join in prayer and worship with our Episcopal Presiding Bishop’s Delegation and all who have been present in witness and advocacy at this global climate conference. This service is open to all and will focus on the need for swift, just action to bring us back into right relationships across the human family and with all of God’s creation. The liturgy will draw on our Episcopal tradition and beyond and will offer strength to the community at COP26.


COP26 Closing Event: Report Back from the Presiding Bishop’s Delegation 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 11 A.M. PST, Register here 

As the 26th Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change draws to an end on November 12th, gather with Episcopal advocates and ecumenical partners for this closing event. Our Presiding Bishop’s Delegation will offer reports from their witness at the conference, as well as top line summaries from the negotiations. We will finish with a faith-led vision of the future for Episcopal advocacy around climate change.

19th Annual Community Multi-Faith Summit

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Faith—Science—Sacred Activism. Hear from leaders of various faiths, including First Peoples, Buddhist, Jewish, and Christian, as they share how their faith tradition calls them to act on climate change. And then join in the discussion with panelists about actions communities can take together to be part of hopeful solutions. This online-only event is co-sponsored by Saint Mark's.

Register here, or contact Marjorie Ringness or Libby Carr if you have questions.

View the PDF flyer here.

2021 St. Francis Day Outdoor Liturgy with Blessing of the Animals

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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2021, 4:30 P.M., on the outdoor labyrinth and front lawn

On Saturday, October 2, 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!

The event will again feature contributions from acclaimed Seattle musician James Falzone, and this year, music will also be offered by 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. Following current recommendations regarding outdoor events with crowds, all attendees must remain masked at all times, and are requested to maintain social distance as much as possible. You are welcome to bring your own chair to use on the lawn, although chairs will also be provided.

UPDATE: Video may be seen below

Service Leaflet

Code Red For Humanity: Reflections on the IPCC Report 6th Assessment Report on Climate Change

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The recent IPCC report shows that heating from humans has caused irreparable damage to Earth that could worsen in the years to come. Come learn about causes, potential impacts and response options while reflecting how we may find hope in our collective efforts for change.

Saint Mark's parishioner and American Geophysical Union president-elect Lisa Graumlich will lead us in making sense of these findings and explore how we may move forward with this information.

Click here to download the slides from the presentation.

Click here to download a list of references and resources.

A video of the event can be seen below :

PLEASE NOTE: Like all cathedral gatherings, both in person and online, this event began with a Land Acknowledgment. However, it was inadvertently not recorded, and so does not appear in the video above. Saint Mark’s Cathedral acknowledges that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People, who are still here, and we honor with gratitude the land itself and the life of the Duwamish Tribe.

Autumnal Poetry Reading, hosted by Creation Care

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 3, 10:10-10:50 A.M., Bloedel Hall

Fall is upon us with leaves changing, crisper nights, and fruits for foraging. Drawing from a selection of autumnal poems, parishioner and English professor Doug Thorpe will guide us in a time of reading and reflection to discover creation themes and connections.

View a PDF of the poetry read at the event here.












Intergenerational Hike to Twin Falls

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UPDATE: Check out the Creation-themed liturgy shared at the event here, and some photos below: 

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2021,  2 –5:30 P.M.

Let’s hike together! All ages are welcome on this 3 mile roundtrip hike to Twin Falls as we take time to connect, move and pray in nature after church. We’ll meet at the trailhead at 2 p.m. and finish by 5:30 p.m. Bring your water, snacks and appropriate gear - we recommend good hiking shoes, layers, sunscreen and a hat.

Register to attend here!

Questions? Contact Emily Meeks ( 

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Special Parish Forum on the Statement of Lament and Commitment to Action

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UPDATE: This event has been rescheduled for November 17, 2021. Learn more and register here.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2021, 6:30–8 p.m.

Hybrid gathering: in Bloedel Hall and via Zoom (registration requested for either option so we can plan accordingly)

Earlier this year the Vestry unanimously adopted the Statement of Lament and Commitment to Action as a guide for our important work as individuals and community as we strive for justice and peace and respect for every human being. It is a substantial document with a broad range of statements leading to actionable ways we are called to live and act in the world. In the special parish forum, to which all are invited and encouraged to attend, we will reflect together, unpack the document, and break into groups which will focus on specific areas of work including

  1. Addressing Homeless and Hunger in Seattle,
  2. Cathedral innovations for Reparations,
  3. Racial Justice and Healing,
  4. Global Justice ministries,
  5. Immigration Ministries, and
  6. Networking with Affiliate Partners in Ministry.

Please register in advance using the form below, whether to plan to attend in person or online via Zoom. If you choose the online option, a Zoom link will be emailed to you directly in the days before the event.

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Holy Honey: A Cathedral Bees Update

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Honey from the cathedral beehives has been harvested! Thanks to beekeepers Rob and Penny Reid, with help from Jaime, Yoshi, and Keiko, who collected honey from the hives in the cathedral kitchen at the end of July 2021.

The honey is separated from the wax using a hand-cranked machine that spins the frames at high speeds.

The Cathedral Breadbakers Guild are now using our bees' honey in their loaves prepared for communion every Sunday. "Bee prepared" for honey to be sold in the nave, coming soon!


Click photos to enlarge.

Clean Cars 2030 Coalition Rally

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Co-hosted by Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light

Saint Mark’s is honored to host a Clean Cars 2030 Coalition rally sponsored by Coltura on Saturday, August 14 at 12 p.m. There will be music, art, food, speakers, and an EV parade and car show at this family-friendly outdoor event. Anyone who has an electric car is welcome to hop in the parade and you can meet in the parking lot at 10:30 a.m. to decorate. If you are able, bring your family by EV, bike, bus, or light rail to show your love for clean transportation! RSVP on Facebook here.

A Creation Care Reflection by Doug Thorpe

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by Doug Thorpe

June 21, 2021

In late May, an article in The  New York Review of Books tells me that “a national poll showed that 28 percent of Republicans agreed that ‘things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country.”  And what’s driving this fear and anger?  According to political scientist Robert A. Pape, the answer is “fear of the Great Replacement”—meaning, of course, that “minorities are progressively replacing white populations due to mass immigration policies and low birthrates.”

In short, racial grievances.

I’m reading this the day after attending—in person!—the cathedral’s 9 a.m. service, officiated by our friend and former Saint Mark’s staff member Malcolm McLaurin, the first African American man in this diocese to be ordained to the priesthood.

Which is good news—and also, of course, sobering news, given that this cathedral has stood for almost a century.

Well, we are a majority white congregation, and a majority white denomination. Which just means that we have to work harder to forge relationships across racial and ethnic boundaries, which we can do in part by sharing in work that crosses over.

For example:  Environmental Justice.

A small summertime example:  Bill McKibben tells us in his weekly New Yorker eblast that a ten-degree-Fahrenheit jump in temperature during the warm season was associated with an increase in emergency-room visits for “mental-health disorders, self-injury/suicide, and intentional injury/homicide.” Both these effects show up more strongly in this country in Black and Hispanic patients—probably, as Dr. Rupa Basu explained (She’s the chief of air-and-climate epidemiology at California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment), because those groups disproportionately live in low-income neighborhoods. “They’re often in areas where there are more fossil-fuel emissions, fewer green spaces, and more blacktop and cement, which really absorbs and retains the heat,” she said. “And also living closer to freeways. That exacerbates air pollution. And, with the heat, that’s a synergistic effect. It’s environmental racism that leads to these differences in exposure.” Some people, she added, bristle at hearing that: “Someone said to me, ‘Oh, so now we’re breathing different air?’ And I said, ‘Yes, that’s exactly right. We can track it down to the Zip Code level.’” Call it critical race epidemiology.

There are things we can do, and Saint Mark's is actively seeking for these large and small solutions. And so it was a small pleasure that, on the same day that our parish celebrated the calling and ordination of Malcolm, we also joined together in the cathedral parking lot and blessed—yes, blessed—the new charging station for electric cars. In doing so we honored the legacy of Jim Mulligan, one of the founders of Earth Ministry and a long term supporter of Creation Care at the cathedral.

As Jim’s widow Ruth said in her comments, Jim would surely have found the humor in the situation: I mean, putting a plaque on a charging station is not exactly like having your face carved on Mount Rushmore. But, as Ruth also said, Jim liked to work behind the scenes, quietly, and yes, with a good sense of humor.

And so there we were, gathered together in the parking lot on a warm June morning.  One small step, as one of our astronauts once said.  But it was a step that put him on the moon.  That’s where small steps can lead.

Longtime Saint Mark's parishioner and former vestry member Doug Thorpe is Professor Emeritus of English at Seattle Pacific University.


Ruth Muligan speaks at the E.V. charging station dedication, June 20, 2021.

Dean’s Message on Land Acknowledgment

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Dean Thomason sent the following message to the community regarding the creation and intention behind the cathedral's Land Acknowledgment. Much more information can be found at Saint Mark's Land Acknowledgment page.

A Message from Dean Thomason

Dear friends,
You may have noticed in recent months more occasions when we have begun our worship or meetings with a Land Acknowledgment:

Saint Mark’s Cathedral acknowledges that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People, who are still here, and we honor with gratitude the land itself and the life of all coast Salish tribes. 

Over the last year a Vestry-appointed ad hoc group has worked to develop the Land Acknowledgment we are now using. It was adopted unanimously by the cathedral Vestry in April of this year, and every group at Saint Mark’s—every ministry, every gathering, every committee—is encouraged to begin your time together with this Land Acknowledgment. The Vestry is committed to this action and many more as we seek to deepen our relationship with and support for the Duwamish People. You can read more about that, and the process that led to this action, on the website, but I hope and expect you will embrace this work as well, with intention.

Words matter, and this is the work of justice to which we are called as a community of faith, and as individuals. If it feels awkward at first to say the words, as I suspect it might for some, I beseech you to press on, keep saying them, and remain open to the conversion that can happen when the words help form you into a new awareness.

In my conversation with Duwamish tribal chair (and descendent of Chief Seattle) Cecile Hansen as part of this process, she spoke of the tribe’s desire to gain federal recognition; the desire to see the economic, ecological, and social harms perpetrated against her people be corrected; the desire to be in relationship with groups like Saint Mark’s Cathedral who are willing to recognize and respect the first peoples of the land on which we gather. I assured her of our commitment to that relationship and that respect for her and the Duwamish people. I made that commitment on behalf of this wonderful community, and I hope you will stand with me and the Vestry in this cause. There is much more to come.

Your Brother in Christ,

The Very Reverend Steven L. Thomason
Dean and Rector


Creation Care: Carbon Tracker Training

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UPDATE: A Complete video of the presentation is now available below.

Written instructions are available here.

For help navigating the video above, please refer to this video timeline, or click "view on youtube" and refer to the chapters in the video description.

THURSDAY, JUNE 3, 7-8:30 P.M., via Zoom

Saint Mark’s Cathedral has the bold goal of achieving a net-zero carbon footprint by the year 2030 – both for its facilities and for its congregation. We have encouraged our members to use the carbon tracker adopted by the Episcopal Church at to measure your carbon footprint, and the St. Mark’s community group on the site now includes 66 households - that’s great! Now we have an opportunity to learn more about this tool to reduce our carbon footprint, save money, and have fun doing this together as a community. Thursday evening, June 3 from 7-8:30pm we will have the developer of SustainIslandHome, Lisa Altieri, with us for a training on the tool – how to explore the site more to find ways that we can reduce our household carbon footprints. If your household isn’t signed up yet, there will be an opportunity to do that, as well. Join us via Zoom on June 3 to help Saint Mark’s achieve a net-zero carbon footprint together as a community. Register to attend here.

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Creation Care Connect: A Conversation with Elizabeth Hawkins in El Salvador

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MONDAY, MAY 24, 6 P.M., via Zoom



Creation Care Connect: A Conversation with Elizabeth Hawkins in El Salvador

All are welcome to join in a conversation with Elizabeth Hawkins, a cathedral community member who has been living and working in San Salvador since 2019. She will share her perspectives with a Creation Care focus from her view living in El Salvador. Join using this Zoom link.

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Sacred Ground: Cultivating Connections Between Our Food, Faith and Climate

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UPDATE: a video of this event is now available here or below. Click here to download a pdf of resources and references related to this event., and here for a list of recipes shared by panelists. 

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 7–8:30 p.m. (program) and 8:30–9 p.m. (optional after chat), via Zoom 

How can our food choices reflect our deepest values and beliefs?  Join Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral for a virtual community discussion on food justice via Zoom. Sacred Ground will explore how the ways we grow, harvest, share and repurpose food can forge deeper spiritual connections and invite new opportunities to participate in our community. Panelists will include: Nyema Clark (Nurturing Roots), Stephen Dorsch (The Common Acre), Hannah Cavendish-Palmer (Oxbow Farm), and Aaron Scott (Chaplains on the Harbor). Sacred Ground is hosted by Creation Care and Faith Formation ministries in connection to Earth Day and Faith Climate Action Week.

Register here.

Creation Care All-Parish Survey

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The Creation Care Ministry team wants to hear from YOU! Everyone is the Saint Mark's community is invited to complete the brief survey below to help guide our programming in 2021.

There are just eight simple questions—it should take less than five minutes to complete.

The deadline to submit is February 14, 2021. Thank you!


“The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.”  —Psalm 24:1

Saint Mark’s Cathedral has set a goal for its campus and households to achieve a net zero carbon footprint by 2030. The Creation Care Ministry supports this goal and strives to faithfully address the crisis of climate change. See our Creation Care webpage for more on this.

A “net zero carbon footprint” means we measure and reduce our carbon emissions and offset the remaining carbon footprint by contributing to carbon offset programs. We have chosen the national Episcopal Church’s carbon tracker ( because it offers a way to individually and collectively measure and reduce our emissions that come from five basic household areas where we have the most impact on climate change. These five areas—electricity, home heating, transportation, food, and waste—account for 40% of US global emissions.

We ask that you, a member of our Saint Mark’s family, complete this survey to guide us in our work to help our households achieve this goal.

Create your own user feedback survey
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