Introduction to Sunday’s Hymns: November 15, 2020

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On Thursday, November 12, Canon Michael Kleinschmidt introduced the hymns that will be sung at the morning service this coming Sunday, November 15. This introduction was presented live on Facebook.

The hymns discussed are:

  • Christ whose glory fills the skies  [Hymn #7]
  • Rise up, ye saints of God! [Hymn #551]

...plus a few words about the the All-Parish Virtual Choir. Submissions are due this Sunday; please participate!

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.

Altar in the World: A Pre-Thanksgiving Offering of Service and Prayer

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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 10–11:30 A.M. (mini-pilgrimage), 12 P.M. (prayer service)

Watch video of the concluding prayer service:

Service Leaflet

As the season changes and the weather becomes colder, Saint Mark’s offers an opportunity to remember and be of service to those in our community who lack safe and secure shelter. Participants will create small care packages, known as “Manna Bags,” containing items that people experiencing homelessness themselves have said are most useful to them. The act of assembling these bags will be an opportunity to prayerfully reflect upon our responsibility to serve Christ in all people, and to respect the dignity of all our neighbors. This offering includes three parts. Community members of all ages are welcome to participate in any or all of the following, as they feel able.

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A Message of Gratitude from the Saint Mark’s Stewardship Ministry

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The members of the Stewardship Ministry of Saint Mark's Cathedral have made the following video message to express their gratitude for all who have participated in this year's annual Stewardship campaign.

Please take a moment to watch, including a bit of special music played by Canon Kleinschmidt at the end.

You can still make your annual pledge!

Please visit saintmarks.org/stewardship, or contact Erik Donner in the cathedral office: edonner@saintmarks.org or 206.323.0300 x217.

The 2020 “O” Antiphons Serivce

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UPDATE: The full video of this year's service may be seen below. Download this year's service leaflet here. Scroll down for more information!

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 7 P.M., livestreamed at saintmarks.org/livestream

The annual "O" Antiphons Liturgy is considered by many to be a highlight of the liturgical year at Saint Mark's. The particular form of this liturgy that we use was invented here, first presented in 1986, and is today used by churches around the world. It is structured around the seven medieval antiphons, each beginning with the word "O ," which also form the basis of the Hymn "O Come O Come Emmanuel." This beloved cathedral tradition provides a moving and evocative entrance into the Advent season of prayerful expectation. This year's event will offer the familiar service reimagined for the medium of livestream, with a number of exciting musical and liturgical elements in store, culminating in Saint Mark's grandest virtual choir presentation yet.

 


About the "O" Antiphons Service

Advent Processions have been offered at Saint Mark’s Cathedral for many years, though known by several names: Advent Vespers, Advent Lessons and Carols, etc. In 1986, a liturgy using the Great “O” Antiphons as a framework was developed and presented here for the first time. Today, the form of this liturgy created here is used in churches around the world. In normal times, it is one of the few opportunities each year to hear the Compline Choir, the Cathedral Choir, and the Choir School collaborate in a single service  Through the decades, former music directors Peter Hallock and Mel Bulter have written a number of works especially for this service, these choirs, and the space of the cathedral nave—these include several settings of the O Antiphons themselves, the processional anthem "Let My Prayer Come Up as the Incense," and the arrangement used for the culminating rendition of "O Come O Come Emmanuel," among others.

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Cathedral Bees Update—Fall 2020

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We are happy to report that we continue to have two thriving hives on the roof of Bloedel Hall. We are especially grateful for the steady help and interest of Jaime Rubio. He has given our bees the extra daily attention they’ve needed this season. It’s been enjoyable to watch the hives flourish. We witness healthy behavior including the bees fanning their wings to regulate temperature in the hive. We continue to see lots of yellow pollen coming in.

It became apparent that we have relatively high numbers of varroa mites which is a huge problem for all beekeepers. A recent commentary says probably every hive in the US has some mite infestation so we decided it was time to bite the bullet and treat using oxalic acid vapor. Thus my “super mask” in the photo below. Since mites get into the cells where eggs are laid by the queen, three rounds of the acid treatment are required to successfully reduce the mite population. This can be done with very little damage to the bees.

You may be wondering about the honey.  We will be leaving honey in the hive this winter so the bees have plenty of nourishment through the wet, cold weather. We hope to harvest next year after the bees have survived and when pandemic precautions are no longer an issue. We ask you to remain patient and continue praying for the health of our winged friends.

Peace to all,
Rob Reid


See previous Cathedral Bees updates here.

Film Screening and Discussion: 2040

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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2020, 1-3 P.M.

Film available upon registration 11/13-11/22

Now, more than ever, we need positive voices in the ecological crisis. Join people from around the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia to see director Damon Gameau's "exercise in fact-based dreaming" titled 2040. The film takes a solutions-based approach to how we can, using the technology we already have, mitigate the enormous global issues we currently face. The main themes/solutions looked at in the film are around: empowerment of women and girls; marine regeneration; regenerative agriculture; renewable energy; and circular economy. It's a story of hope, and a powerful tool to encourage people to take action. The film may be watched for no charge between 11/13 and 11/22 using this link. And then join in a conversation about the film with others on Sunday, November 22, 1–3 p.m. Hosted by the Diocese of Olympia.

See the trailer below:

Creation Care Interview: Dr. Lisa Graumlich

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Dr. Lisa Graumlich, in conversation with Kylee Krida

Lisa Graumlich is dean emeritus of the College of the Environment at the University of Washington. She has devoted her career to studying the causes and impacts of climate change, with a special focus on using paleoecological records such as tree-rings to understand the magnitude of human impacts. She is passionate about science communication, and she speaks frequently on climate change impacts and adaptation. She has testified on long-term climate variability before the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and is the president-elect of the American Geophysical Union as of January 1, 2021.

Introduction to Sunday’s Hymns: November 8, 2020

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On Thursday, November 5, Associate Organist John Stuntebeck introduced the hymns that will be sung at the 11 a.m. morning liturgy on November 8, 2020, the Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost. This introduction was presented live on Facebook.

The hymns discussed are:

  • Signs of endings all around us  [Wonder, Love, & Praise #721]
  • Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates [Hymn #436]

... followed by a few words by John about upcoming virtual choir offerings.

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.

Post-Election Book Discussion: Love Is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times

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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 7–8:00 P.M.

Post-Election Book Discussion:
Love Is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times - Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s New Book!

Let’s gather after the election and talk about hope for the future in a real, Jesus-centered way! As the descendant of slaves and the son of a civil rights activist, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's life illustrates massive changes in our times. In his new book, he uses the prism of his faith, ancestry, and personal journey to show us how America came this far and how to go a whole lot further. The way of love is essential for addressing the seemingly insurmountable challenges facing this nation today: poverty, racism, selfishness, deep ideological divisions, competing claims to speak for God. Let’s get some love going and talk about the PB’s charge and challenge together! If you’d like to hear more about the book, read here. Registration required here.

Hymn Sing! Hosted by Dean Thomason and Canon Kleinschmidt

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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 4:30-5:30 P.M.

Join in an old-fashioned Hymn Sing via new-fashioned Zoom. Hymn requests from any hymnal will be welcomed. (For this occasion, please do not request Advent or Christmas hymns; opportunities to sing those are coming soon!) The Zoom link for this event is found here.

Use this form to request ONE favorite hymn. This is a first-come, first-served process; act fast!

YOUR Voice is Needed—O Come O Come Emmanuel

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UPDATE: The video had its premiere at the conclusion of the "O" Antiphons liturgy, and watching it was a meaningful and moving experience for many. Huge thanks to everyone who participated, including community members from across the country and around the world! The completed video can be seen below, or with the other recent offerings on the Virtual Choir Video Collection page.

You—yes, YOU—are invited to be part of a video offering of “O come, O come, Emmanuel,” the closing hymn in Saint Mark's beloved annual tradition, the O Antiphons liturgy. The video will resemble one of the virtual choir videos our choirs have offered from time to time since the pandemic began, but this time EVERYONE is invited to contribute! No matter if you have no experience in choirs, if you think your voice isn't good enough, if you've only recently connected with Saint Mark's, or where you are physically located... your participation is needed!

The liturgy is offered on November 29 this year, so submissions must be received by November 15.

Record yourself (either alone or with your household!) singing along with the "guide track" video (below). Then submit your video using the button below. That's it! More detailed step-by-step instructions are below.

Here are the words and music for the last two verses of the hymn (Click to enlarge, or download a pdf here):

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

You will need (1) a device to film yourself with (a phone, computer, camera, etc), (2) headphones, and (3) a device to play guide track. It is possible to use one device (say, a laptop) to serve both roles, or you can use two separate devices.

  1. Set up the device to film yourself. The device should be sitting somewhere stable—not in your hand or on your legs. Make sure your entire face is in the frame, the camera lens is about eye level, there is enough light on your face, and that you are not lit from behind.
  2. Set up the device to play, through headphones, the guide track video below (or at this link). PLEASE NOTE: The purpose of the headphones is so that the video you submit will have only your voice, and none of the sound of the guide track.This makes the editing process a little easier. However, if you are filming your entire household, or if for any other reason it is difficult for you to record yourself without also having some sound from the guide track audible as well, that is okay! Turn the volume of the guide track as low as you are able, and submit your video anyway!
  3. In the video, Compline Choir Director Jason Anderson sings beginning at verse 7. Listen to him sing verse 7 by himself, then begin singing along when he gets to the refrain: "REJOICE, REJOICE!" Then sing along with verse 8 (which is, incidentally, the same as verse 1), then finally sing the refrain one last time. There is a slow-down at the end. (It is the custom at Saint Mark's to sing "Is-RAY-el" rather than "Is-RAH-yel.")
  4. Sing along with the video once or twice to practice. When you're ready to record your video, hit record on your filming device, hit play on your video-playing device, and go for it!
  5. Check that your video looks okay, and that it contains only the sound of your voice (if possible). Remember: Everyone hates the sound of their own voice recorded! Don't worry that you don't sound "good enough." It's much more important that you are together in time with the guide track.
  6. Submit your video by clicking the button below (or this link). If you have recorded your video on a smartphone, you should be able to open this page in your phone's browser, click the button, and then upload directly from your device. Then you're done!

Write to info@saintmarks.org if you are having trouble and we will try to help.

Reversing Global Warming: Introduction to “Drawdown” for People of Faith

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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., Free Zoom meeting. More information/register: https://drawdown4people-of-faith.eventbrite.com

If you're concerned about climate change, join others from around the Diocese for a virtual gathering to look into how you -- and your congregation -- can make a difference. We'll hear from Drawdown Seattle's founding director, Scott Henson, about Project Drawdown—a scientific study that identified 100 solutions that together, could actually reverse global warming by 2050. Then, spend time in dialogue with others to identify the vital role you and your church can play in the movement to help care for creation. This workshop is co-sponsored by the Bishop's Committee for the Environment.

You can watch video from the event with Drawdown Seattle hosted by Saint Mark's Creation Care ministry in May 2020 here.

Meet the 2020–21 Seattle Service Corps!

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Check out this video by and about the current Seattle Service Corps!

The seven women of the 2020–21 cohort extend pandemic-safe hospitality with a virtual tour of their home. Learn who is who, where they're from, and where they serve. Produced, directed, and edited by Stephanie and Caroline.

Introduction to Sunday’s Hymns: November 1, 2020

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On Thursday, October 15, Canon Michael Kleinschmidt introduced the hymns that will be sung this coming Sunday, November 1, the Feast of All Saints, both at the 11 a.m. morning Eucharist and the 4:30 p.m. Choral Evensong. This introduction was presented live on Facebook.

The hymns discussed are:

  • For All the Saints [Hymn #287]
  • Ye watchers and ye holy ones [Hymn #618]
  • Jerusalem the Golden [Hymn #624]

...plus a few words about the organ music and choir anthems which will be offered on this great feast of the Church.

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.

Introduction to Sunday’s Hymns, October 25, 2020

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On Thursday, October 8, Associate Organist John Stuntebeck introduced the hymns that will be sung at the 11 a.m. morning liturgy on October 25, 2020, the Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost. This introduction was presented live on Facebook.

The hymns discussed are:

  • Immortal, Invisible, God only wise  [Hymn #423]
  • What does the Lord require? [Hymn #605]

... followed by a few words by John about his organ selections for Sunday, and a reminder about Canon Kleinschmidt's recital on the Flentrop on Friday, October 23, 2020, at 7:30 p.m.

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.

Stewardship Reflection and Community Discussion

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Each Tuesday during Stewardship Season, October 4–November 8, a member of the Stewardship Ministry is posting a brief reflection and invitation to discussion in the Saint Mark's Community Life closed Facebook group. If you do not use Facebook, here is the final reflection from November 3, posted by The Rev Canon Cristi Chapman, along with highlights of the subsequent discussion. Please add your thoughts in the comments below!

My coffee table was anything but pristine this morning, featuring at least nine different containers. The obvious ones were present: cereal bowl, empty mug, and tea strainer. Several candleholders occupied one corner. On the other side, a ceramic bowl was filled with buttons and stickers and, yes, dust.

It is fitting that a container is the image for this year’s annual campaign. By now, you probably have seen the clear glass bowl, full of colored stones, during the live stream. Like every aspect of our liturgy, the bowl serves a purpose. There’s a practical aspect, of course. Each stone represents a pledge for 2021. And wow, it’s much easier to move 500 stones when they are all gathered into one place! That’s not all, though. The glass container is also an outward sign of something profoundly important: God’s movement at Saint Mark’s and in our own lives. It is a tangible reminder of the Body of Christ and each of our part within it.

How has God been at work through you and through your experiences at Saint Mark’s in the last year?


Saint Mark’s has kept me connected to community even when we can’t physically be together. Our parish and Church is like the simple glass bowl, it holds a secure space for all of God’s diverse children. I meet God in that diversity and call to create a secure space in our church for all.Oh, the simple crystal bowl was my mom’s. It makes my heart sing to see it and I know mom is pleased it’s part of our appeal.
—Robert Stevens

Here is the reflection from October 27, posted by ministry team member Greg Simon.

Can Venmo be a sacrament? It has become one for me.

Julie and I fulfill our annual pledge to Saint Mark’s automatically – directly from our bank to the cathedral office every month. But I have still valued the ritual of hearing those offertory sentences and placing cash in our offertory basin every Sunday. Or I did until the pandemic happened. Since March, that sacramental act of giving during our liturgy now happens on Venmo.

I could say that the pandemic has upended many of our sacraments. Or I could say it has expanded them. As life has moved to “the cloud”, Zoom has become a space for sacrament. And Facebook. And Chromecast. Even Xfinity! When that all seems disorienting or even disturbing to me, I remind myself that people said the same thing about the printing press.

I think that our actions with money have always been a sacramental space. Our money decisions are, as the traditional catechism puts it, “outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace”. Giving money directly connects our ordinary lives to the extraordinary life of God’s Kingdom. Our gifts to grow the Kingdom are, as the catechism says, “certain means by which we receive that grace”. Even if they happen over Venmo.

How has your sacramental giving changed since March?


I have been giving online for years, even since the option became available, mainly because I stopped carrying my checkbook, and it was a way for me to give "my first fruits" on payday.
Giving during this time of pandemic feels like a powerful connection. I think it always did, but I had so many other ways of connecting and interacting with all of you, that I didn't notice it as much. Now, when I give my gift, I take a little time, picture our church and our wonderful people, and savor the thought that I am continuing to be present with you all, even while apart physically.

—Lynne Markova


I donate using the text message system. Before, I’d send the message just before the offertory anthem at the 9:00 service, then sing that anthem since I’m in the Saint Mark’s Singers. Now, I do it from home at the same point in the online Sunday morning webcast. It is a symbolic way of putting something in the basket.

—Carleton MacDonald

Here is the reflection from October 20, posted by Vestry member and fashion historian Clara Berg, along with highlights of the subsequent discussion. Please add your thoughts in the comments below!

The stewardship collect for this year begins with, “Generous Creator, you knit us together into one common life.” For today’s stewardship reflection I want to muse a little on knitting as a theological metaphor. Knitting is known as a “single element” technique. That means knitting takes one continuous thread and then shapes it into something new. You begin with a ball of yarn and loop it in a specific way to form a hat or scarf or sweater. So being knit together implies that, like a strand of yarn, we are already connected to one another (as members of the human family and children of God). But being knit together means an added closeness and a new shape—which serves a fresh purpose. How have you felt knit into community at Saint Mark's?

"I love the "knit together" anthems - seeing all those faces I miss seeing in person....
It's important to me to walk around the grounds at least a couple of times a week. And sometimes chat with Ray"
—Greg Simon


"There was something comforting about seeing pictures of everyone's Wednesday evening dinners right after the building closed. Knowing that we were still finding a way to eat together but from our own homes was reassuring. It was also fun to discover what a deep bench of good chefs there are at Saint Mark's!"
—The Rev. Cristi Chapman


"Sometimes, especially when we have large meetings or classes, I like to arrive early and spend the first few minutes just scrolling through the gallery of faces, reminding me that we're all part of the same community even if we can't be together in person."
—Lynne Markova


"Clara, I’ll never use the phrase “knit together” in quite the same way ever again! What an beautiful and profound image... and it speaks exactly to what I’ve learned during the building closure: that this wasn’t just a group of people who happened to be in the same place as me on Sunday morning, and that we were actually connected in a deeper way all along."
—Greg Bloch


"It also implies a creation, as in "you knit me together in my mother's womb" from my favorite Psalm 139."
—Lynne Cobb


"I've been able to meet folks that I might not have met otherwise because of having more available on Zoom. I'm eager to see people in real life again and I'm thankful I can participate in some things that I couldn't have before."
—Amanda Osenga


 

Here is the reflection from October 6, posted by ministry co-chair Lynne Markova, along with highlights of the subsequent discussion. Please add your thoughts in the comments below!

Welcome to this week's Stewardship Reflection!

During this pandemic, two unique clouds have helped me to stay connected and avoid isolation. I am grateful for them both.

One is the technical computing cloud, the backbone of servers, other hardware and software that fuels our global network. It enables us to connect quickly, safely and virtually, whether through texting, emailing, attending (yet another) Zoom meeting, or my sharing this reflection. The other is our wonderful “Cloud of Witnesses,” our Saint Mark’s community that has gathered virtually in dozens of new and innovative ways, reminding us that we are not alone. We are still One Body, even during this difficult time, and, one day, we will gather in person again.

For me, making my pledge is one way of giving thanks to God for the gift of our community. It is also a tangible way I can contribute to others staying connected and can help to bring about our longed-for reunion, whenever it arrives.

How has God helped you to stay connected and “knit together” during this pandemic?


Thank you, Lynne! One of the ways I witnessed God working through Saint Mark's this summer was through Tent City 3. The hospitality of the community to care for our new neighbors was remarkable. So was the hospitality of the residents to the wider community. (More on that latter part in Sunday's sermon!) God *is* finding all kinds of ways to bring us together...to knit us more closely to and with each other. What a great joy to witness!
—Cristi Chapman


Being part of the team that helps with the livestream production during the pandemic has been a discomfiting experience; the nave feels unnaturally sterile (no pun intended), and I'm acutely aware of the privilege of having access to the cathedral when so many hundreds of our fellow worshippers can't be there.

But when I read their comments on social media about how they follow along every week, how they stand and sing the hymns as we do every Sunday, it reminds me that we are all so deeply and powerfully connected. We have committed our time, our energy, and our money to this place, and I fully believe that God commits to us that we will never be alone.

Even as COVID-19 has taken away so much from us, God has given us so much; the gift of community, the gift of connection, the gift of love.
—Michael Perera

Lynne Markova replied: "Thank you, Michael ! I was on the Vestry when we voted to purchase the livestream equipment. I remember we were all very excited about the new technology and how it might make people feel more drawn in and included. I'm not sure if anyone envisioned it being the lifeline that it has proven to be. So many thanks to you and the rest of the team who work so hard to make the connection possible."


This summer we brought several Ministry groups together through “Virtual Popcorn HappyHours.” It was great to see familiar smiling faces and to hear voices of people we are in community with but have not seen since closure. It was as if time has not passed. It was a blessing.
Robert Stevens

Lynne Markova replied: "Thank you, Robert! The one I attended was so much fun. One of the things I try to do is arrive early to Zoom meetings, especially the larger ones, so I can scroll through and see everyone's faces.
As one of my friends and I agreed, if we *have* to live through a pandemic, at least we're doing it in a time where we have technology to keep us connected."

Watch Party and Discussion of Documentary “13th”

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MONDAY, OCTOBER 19

5:30 P.M. • MOVIE WATCH PARTY OVER ZOOM; 7:15 – 8:15 P.M. POST-FILM DISCUSSION OVER ZOOM

THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED! A USEFUL DISCUSSION/REFLECTION GUIDE MAY BE SEEN HERE

Gather together online to watch and then discuss the profound documentary “13th,” filmmaker Ava DuVernay’s exploration of the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the mass incarceration of African Americans. Scholars, activists, and politicians analyze the history of criminalization of African Americans and the intersection of race, justice, and the prison-industrial complex. If you’ve already watched the documentary, join us later at 7:15 – 8:15 on Zoom for a discussion of what this means for us, and what our responsibility is to work to change this system. Registration for both movie and discussion are the same, and are required here. Want to know more? Great article in The Atlantic here, and Ava DuVernay discusses the film with Oprah here.

Erik Donner receives the Ky Chen Service Award

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Each year at Diocesan Convention, the Bishop recognizes a church employee in the diocese with The Ky Chen Employee Excellence “No Problem” Award, named after the staff member at Diocesan House who ran the print shop for 25 years, and famously replied "No problem!" to any request.

At this year's (virtual) diocesan convention, held last weekend, the 2020 Ky Chen award was presented to Saint Mark's Cathedral's own Erik Donner. As is made clear in the award citation, printed below, Erik serves an extraordinary number of different roles at the cathedral, and anyone who engages with Saint Mark's in any way has most likely experienced his dedication, conscientiousness, and efficiency first-hand.

Please read the Bishop's citation, and then watch the video of his acceptance below (or using this link). Congratulations, Erik!


2020 Ky Chen Award Citation

For several years Erik Donner has worn many hats at the cathedral—executive assistant to the dean, manager of accounts receivables, stewardship and membership support liaison, office manager and office volunteer coordinator, and the one who juggles many other responsibilities in this complex organization.

He always engages his work with grace and good will for all whom he encounters, and he has the deft gift of engaging parishioners in communication about money with non-anxious presence, a commitment to confidentiality and an eye toward the pastoral realities of people's relationship with money.

He greets all people with respect and a desire to help, no matter who it is that presents with an issue.

And on top of all that, he is a Cathedral Verger, acolyte, lector, altar guild member, and the spouse of Jenny, an equally gracious and active member of Saint Mark's.

Erik epitomizes the "no problem" approach to his work as ministry, and all at the cathedral are grateful for his presence among them.

The Bishop's presentation of the award may be seen in the video below, beginning at 24'40" (the final award presented in the video).

Introduction to Sunday’s Hymns: October 18, 2020

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On Thursday, October 15, Canon Michael Kleinschmidt introduced the hymns that will be sung at the 11 a.m. morning liturgy on October 18, 2020, the Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost. This introduction was presented live on Facebook.

The hymns discussed are:

  • Jesus shall reign  [Hymn #544]
  • O God of earth and altar [Hymn #591]

...plus a few words about this Sunday's anthem at the offertory, Kevin Siegfried's arrangement of the Shaker song "Peace unto Zion," and the organ prelude, two baroque chorale-preludes on the hymn tune Ein' Feste Burg.

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.

Tent City 3 at Saint Mark’s: A Report from Summer 2020

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Click the image below to see a pdf of this report as it appeared in the Fall 2020 issue of The Rubric. 

The following report was published in the Fall 2020 issue of The Rubric.

Ministry report by The Rev. Canon Cristi Chapman.

Between 2001 and 2013, Tent City 3 (TC3), a movable community of people who have experienced homelessness, took up residence at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle for three months each year. After a hiatus, they returned this summer in the midst of a global pandemic, arriving to set up camp on July 7. Tent cities began in Seattle in 1990, when a group of citizens experiencing homelessness came together to create a self-managing community run according to grassroots democratic principles. Thirty years later, the organization that grew out of this initiative, called SHARE/WHEEL, runs 11 indoor shelters and two tent cities, housing almost 500 individuals. During that time, the crisis of homelessness in the Seattle area has only become more acute. Today, Seattle has the third-largest homeless population in the nation, despite being only the 15th largest city. [citation]

Per an agreement with the City of Seattle, Tent City 3 sets up its facilities on the property of a church or other host and stays for approximately 90 days before moving on. Living in a tent is not the secure, permanent housing that everyone deserves; however, for some of those for whom such housing is inaccessible, a Tent City can be a better situation than more traditional homeless shelters. Unlike many shelters, it allows mixed-gender couples to live together and some animal companions can join them. In addition, the residents are not bound to restrictive curfews, which removes a significant barrier to employment (most residents of Tent City are employed full- or part-time).

TC3 resident Mary moved to the camp in late August after returning from Florida. She says it has been difficult for her to figure out how to finalize her claim for disability after a recent accident. In Florida, she had to meet with people in person to verify her claim, but with covid-19, those offices were closed. She moved back to Washington, in part, because the state offers more pathways for her to receive benefits. Mary was grateful to find a home at TC3 while she sorted out what was next. About TC3 and covid-19, Mary said, “You make the best out of whatever situation you find yourself in.” Mary’s motto was shared by many others who made their homes in tents outside the cathedral building this summer.

TC3 residents were not the only ones who had to adjust to covid-19. So did members from Saint Mark’s. In the past, many different groups at the cathedral would regularly interact with residents from the camp. While this summer’s building closure and physical distancing requirements made that more difficult, it didn’t stop ministry from happening. Instead, new ways developed to connect residents with the community. Members of Saint Brigid’s Banquet provided meals while adhering to the governor’s precautions. The cathedral provided pallets of water. Individuals brought other basic needs like socks, jeans, t-shirts, and can openers.

Parishioner Kathy Albert recently said of the work done by Saint Brigid’s Banquet: “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 the most vulnerable among us? Our faith tells us their needs are to be considered first.”

Tent City 3 packed up and moved to their next host on September 15. In this extraordinary and dangerous time, their presence was a gift and a blessing to the cathedral in so many ways. We continue to remember them in prayer, we decry and denounce the dehumanizing and degrading treatment to which those who have lost their home are subjected in this country, and we continue to work for a world in which all can live with safety and dignity.

United for Good: An Interfaith Election Contemplative Prayer Vigil Co-Sponsored by Saint Mark’s

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Click on the flyer image below to enlarge.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2020,  6:30 P.M., watch live here or on the Saint Mark's livestream page

This event is co-sponsored by Saint Mark's, St. James Catholic Cathedral, Temple de Hirsch Sinai, First African Methodist Episcopal, and the Church Council of Greater Seattle

Please join with Dean Thomason, virtually, as Saint Mark’s cosponsors this event with Temple DeHirsch Sinai, First AME Church, St. James Cathedral, and Church Council of Greater Seattle. Amidst the cacophonous noise of round-the-clock spin and the restless ticking of our anxious hearts, we gather in prayerful solidarity to settle our souls, as people of faith and citizens concerned for the well-being of our nation. As we pray for wisdom and grace, healing and connection, we draw on the broad and ancient wisdom to be still, entering the contemplative spirit that transcends word and speech, and rest for a moment of inspiration and intentional grounding. For more information, click here.

Voting, Politics, and the Church: A Message from Dean Thomason

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Dear friends,

This Friday, October 16th, marks the opening day in this state for early voting in the November 3rd general election. As I consider my own ballot, I find myself prayerfully mindful of the right and privilege I have as a voting citizen in this nation. Not everyone is afforded the right, restrained either by law or by impediments of disenfranchisement or disinterest.

I am especially mindful of our nation in these turbulent days and prayerful for a peaceful election. I bid your prayers, too, that we may be given grace to be guided “by the better angels of our nature,” as Abraham Lincoln famously wrote in his first inaugural address, as the vituperations launched toward one another reached a boiling point. “Though passion may have strained, it must not break the bonds of our affection,” he said.

Many have offered spiritual counsel in recent weeks—good counsel—on ways to navigate this difficult stretch of days. I commend them to you here once more—


...to name just a few. The common theme is perspective and grounding. As people of faith, we know such perspective and grounding are forged in the contemplative spirit of prayer and self-reflection, not the acrimonious energy oriented to the other. So I add my voice of entreaty to you: claim your spaces of contemplative quiet with intention in the coming days and weeks; turn off the cacophonous spin which feeds off worst-case hyperbole; turn into those spiritual practices that enable you to plant your whole self squarely with perspective and a firm grounding in the values you hold most dear. These values rise from our identity as God’s beloved.

I often get questions, or challenges really—that the Church and its leaders should refrain from entering the political fracas. I appreciate their sentiment, which I take to mean we should avoid using the pulpit to make decidedly partisan pronouncements. They often cite “separation of church and state” as the prevailing reproach against such activity. A closer read of the founding documents of this nation, however, and additional clarifying statements made by those who wrote them, draws an important distinction between the need for a wall “separating church and state,” and some corollary premise to separate religion from politics. The latter is a fabrication not intended by the founders, and they made that very clear. They saw political and religious expression as inexorably linked and believed one’s values were derived from the intermingling of the two. [note 1]

A person’s religion informs his politics, or it’s not much of a religion. When Americans speak of freedom these days, I think we largely intend a freedom from obligation to anyone else. I am free to do and say whatever I want. Unmoored by a commitment to the common good, our nation teeters perilously close to the precipice of a chasm, lured over the edge by songs of hatred and fear and hubris—a house divided cannot stand.

Our faith-informed notion of freedom comes with an undeniable sense of servanthood. Christian freedom intends the fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—virtues that ultimately bear fruit when others experience them as gifts from you.It is dangerous to speak of politics and religion in the same conversation. I know it is. Such talk is fraught with chances to demand that we are right while others are wrong, or even worse, to claim hubristically that God is on our side. But it seems to me that we are living in a time when our religious virtues are desperately needed in the public discourse, and that is what we have to offer—not our claim of moral superiority, but our humble claim to Christ-like virtues offered to all as neighbors.

So vote, dear ones. Bless you in the act of voting. And may you be a blessing to all the families of the earth. I am,

Affectionately,

The Very Reverend Steven L. Thomason

Dean and Rector

NOTE
  1. Meacham, Jon. American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation. New York: Random House, 2006. We must note the sad deficiencies of the Declaration of Independence and its authors who did not responsibly address the evil of slavery in this nation.

Virtual Choir Anthem Collection

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Inspired by the success of the "O come, O come Emmanuel" video, the next virtual choir video will again be for the entire cathedral community—a rendition of "Jesus Christ is risen today" for Easter Sunday! Click the image above for all the details.

 


In the Stewardship video above, Heather and Peter briefly reflect on their history at Saint Mark's, and then explain how the Saint Mark's virtual choir offerings came about.

Like many choral and instrumental ensemble around the world whose normal activities have been suspended due to the pandemic, the choirs of Saint Mark's Cathedral have turned to "virtual choir" offerings, in which choir members each record themselves singing their own part individually, and the videos are edited together to make one performance. While the experience for the choir members is nothing like gathering in person to sing in a choir, it is a valuable way to allow the participants to continue to offer their gifts in worship during this extraordinary time.

The process of editing together all the submitted videos is labor intensive and technically complicated. All the videos below were edited by longtime Cathedral Choir members Peter Garbes and Dr. Heather MacLaughlin Garbes, on a volunteer basis.

Their generosity of time and talent has been exceptional. Their many hours of work, combined with labor of the music staff in preparing the guide tracks and printed music, and of course the work of the choir members themselves, means that each video below represents dozens of hours of labor.

Jesus Christ is Risen Today! • April 4, 2021

O come O come, Emmanuel • November 29. 2020 (“O” Antiphons Liturgy)

Keep Your Lamps! (arr. Thomas) • November 8, 2020

At the River (Lowry/Copland) • November 1, 2020

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind (Parry) • October 11, 2020

Lord for Thy Tender Mercy’s Sake (attr. Farrant) • September 6, 2020

Ave Verum Corpus (Mozart) • July 26, 2020

If Ye Love Me (Tallis) • May 31, 2020

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: bit.ly/36-37-43CandidateForum 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).

Introduction to Sunday’s Hymns: October 11, 2020

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On Thursday, October 8, Associate Organist John Stuntebeck introduced the hymns that will be sung at the 11 a.m. morning liturgy on October 11, 2020, the Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost. This introduction was presented live on Facebook.

The hymns discussed are:

  • Rejoice, ye pure in heart!  [Hymn #556]
  • Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness [Hymn #339]

... followed by a few words by John about his organ selections for Sunday, and more than a few words from Gregory Bloch about this Sunday's "vitual choir" presentation, Dear Lord and Father of mankind by C.H.H. Parry.

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.

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