Restorative Justice Council Meeting

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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 3-4:30 P.M., on Zoom only

The next meeting of Saint Mark’s Restorative Justice Council will be held on Zoom Sunday, November 26, 3-4:30 p.m. Focus areas will include: immigrants/refugees, Duwamish relations, homelessness and hunger ministries, racial justice, and election support/voter registration. All are welcome to join and participate as we plot our course for justice ministries at Saint Mark’s in this new era. Join using this Zoom link.

Womanist Midrash & Biblical Interpretation with The Rev. Wil Gafney, Ph.D.

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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2, 9 A.M.–12 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall and online via Zoom. Registration required for either option.

Womanist Biblical scholar and renowned author of A Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church, The Rev. Wil Gafney, Ph.D. will lead a seminar on Womanist Midrash, exploring the complexity of scripture and importance of translation as she interprets the Hebrew Biblical tradition of women prophets and leaders. Fee: $65 (for both online and in-person participants). Partial scholarships available. Includes a light lunch and snacks for those participating in person. Register by submitting the form here or below.

Note: Dr. Gafney will also offer a guest sermon on Sunday, December 3, at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

This workshop is made possible through generous gifts in loving memory of Matthew Briggs.

UPDATE: A complete video is now available below. 

A Reflection on Justice Work as Spiritual Practice

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Justice Work as Spiritual Practice: Remarks on the Connection between Spiritual Life, Restorative Justice, and Hope

Presented by The Rev. Canon Jennifer King Daugherty at the Restorative Justice Retreat, Saturday, September 9, 2023

As we begin our retreat today, let’s explore the context of our justice work – the water we swim in. The suffering and injustice active in the world is on full display. Climate change, weather refugees, and the impact on all of creation is real and visible. Racial injustice and white supremacy has been entrenched for centuries, and still emits a powerful toxin in conscious and unconscious ways. Increasing poverty, lack of universal health care, and no safety net is accelerating homelessness and hunger here in Seattle and around the world. There is growing economic inequality, which furthers the disconnection between people with different economic and social circumstances.

Threaded through all of this are the elements of our culture that unsettle our spiritual grounding. Divisiveness between people based on competing narratives of the truth. Sometimes we can’t even agree on the facts of what we see on video recordings. And most impactful, our culture grabs our attention and motivates us toward action through fear and drama. Whatever makes us most vulnerable and unsafe gets the most airtime.

So we need to ask ourselves, “What motivates us toward justice work?” People all around the world come to this work from many locations: secular, religious, public sector, private individuals, governments, not-for-profit organizations. Sometimes people are motivated by experiences of injustice they have witnessed or borne firsthand; they want freedom for themselves and others. Sometimes it is compassion, a desire to serve others. Sometimes it is guilt over the unearned privileges we enjoy. Sometimes it is anger. Often it is a drive to “change the world.”

Steve mentioned that justice work is gospel work. The clearest expression of that, for me, are Jesus’ words in the gospel of Matthew, chapter 25:

I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me . . . Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.

Justice work is incarnational and embodied, it affects our emotions, physicality, and is bound up with our spiritual lives. It brings us face to face with our own limitations of knowledge and control and our inability to predict or manage the future. It can highlight our vulnerabilities and brush up against a deep existential dread. It can stir up our tendency to catastrophize about the future, which can paralyze us.

Justice work makes us ask the question, “Why am I hopeful about this?” The secular world might find hope in the willingness of people, communities, and nations to work hard and put the needs of others before themselves. We might name our trust and confidence in science and the potential for intellectual creativity to solve problems that currently seem insolvable. Or our trust in the good intentions of others.

All of these reasons for hope are real and important. But I want to suggest that justice work that flows solely from a sense of citizenship and generosity is unsustainable. Progress is slow and the problems are huge and growing. This can cause frustration and disappointment in oneself and others, and lead to despair, cynicism, and burnout. The truth is that our individual wells of energy to push the rock uphill are not bottomless. Especially because we rarely see progress that we can claim is directly tied to our actions.

Hope based on the ability to imagine a better future is a meager hope. Cynthia Bourgeault writes,

Our mistake is that we tie Hope to outcomes. Not right. Hope is a primordial force that boils up from the center of the earth in our own being, and gives us the capacity to be truly present and strong, whatever the circumstances. [1]

Justice work is spiritual practice for precisely this reason. James Finley writes that,

Contemplative practice is any act, habitually entered into with your whole heart, as a way of awakening, deepening, and sustaining an experience of the inherent holiness of the present moment . . . The critical factor is not so much what the practice is in its externals as the extent to which the practice incarnates an utterly sincere stance of awakening and surrendering to the Godly nature of the present moment. [2]

What does it look like, then, if justice work is spiritual practice? First, we commit to cultivate the soul’s connection to the holy, so that we open space for that primordial force to dwell and boil up in love, compassion, gratitude, and courage. Second, we focus on the present and on relationships – to ourselves, to others, and to all of creation. We immerse ourselves in what is embodied and real now and let go of the desire to predict and control the future.

Third, we prioritize the offering rather than the outcome. So often, when we want to know what actions we should take, we imagine what the future impact is and discount it back to today. Then we compare results and pick the one that has the highest “value.” But that is not about responding to the present reality; it is engaging in an intellectual exercise. Instead, we need to ask, “What do I see today? What is needed today? How can I love today?” We follow that lead and set aside the need to know what the outcome is.

If justice work is spiritual work, there are some real implications for our ministry together. Foundationally, our deepest motivation for the work is a response to being loved by God and wanting to follow Jesus’ commandment to love others as we are loved. We also follow Jesus by remembering the many times he promised, “Do not fear, I am with you.” Fear is not of God. So when our culture insists on fear and drama, we must resist it and respond with truth and love.

In addition, the heart of a ministry goal can’t be about changing others’ behavior. We need to remind ourselves of that often. J The heart of our ministry must be awakening to and surrendering to God’s movement in the world today and aligning our energy with that. We are not accountable for “changing the world,” but we are accountable for our faithfulness in practice. This faithful, spiritual, practice of justice allows for our own transformation through God’s mercy and grace.

The First Letter of Peter to early Christian communities tells them to “always be ready to account for the hope that is in you” (3:15). This is an absolutely essential part of our justice work if we are to do it from a stance of faith. We must know how and why we hope. Our hope is not based on our passion, skills, resources, poltical power, or ability to problem solve. It is based entirely on who God is, in the present, and Jesus’ vision of God’s kingdom. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he writes, “Hope that is seen is not hope. . . .  If we hope, we wait with patience. . . . The spirit helps us in our weakness, interceding with sighs too deep for words” (8:24-27). We can trust the divine Spirit as our source of primordial hope.

Gathering all these thoughts together, this is what it might look like for justice work to be spiritual practice. We acknowledge the enormous reality of the problems of this world. We acknowledge our own limitations and fears. And we do the work anyway, centering on the needs and opportunities in the present moment. We don’t evaluate the worth of what we do today by measuring its future value. Its worth is how it aligns with God’s kingdom and its power to transform us. What if our ministry is about naming, exploring, and modeling just this?

In Reflections on the Unknowable, Father Thomas Keating writes:

“To hope for something better in the future is not the theological virtue of hope. Theological hope is based on God alone, who is both infinitely merciful and infinitely powerful right now. Here is a formula to deepen and further the theological virtue of hope with its unbounded confidence in God. Let whatever is happening happen and go on happening. Welcome whatever it is. Let go into the present moment by surrendering to its content…. The divine energies are rushing past us at every nanosecond of time. Why not reach out and catch them by continuing acts of self-surrender and trust in God?” [3]


[1] Cynthia Bourgeault, Mystical Hope: Trusting in the Mercy of God (New York, NY: Cowley, 2001.
[2] James Finley, The Contemplative Heart (Notre Dame, IN: Sorin Books, 2000).
[3] Thomas Keating, Reflections on the Unknowable, (New York, NY: Lantern Books, 2014).

Restorative Justice at Saint Mark’s: Next Steps in a New Era

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Photo by Billy Joe Miller,, used with permission.


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 9 A.M.–2:30 P.M., Bloedel Hall (note changed location!), registration required

All are welcome to join in this important conversation as we plot a course for the cathedral community’s efforts in restorative justice. Guided by an abiding commitment to be in relationship with...—rather than simply supplying needs for…—we seek to heal what is broken, restore what is lost, and foster the possibility of transformation for those we serve and ourselves as well. Registration required so we can plan for lunch and room setup. Register here. For more information, contact Dean Thomason or Senior Warden Scott Hulet.

UPDATE: Canon Jennifer King Daugherty has shared her opening reflection from the event, titled Justice Work as Spiritual Practice: Remarks on the Connection between Spiritual Life, Restorative Justice, and Hope. Read her complete remarks here.

Check out a few photos from the event below (click to enlarge):

Sacred Ground: Fall 2023/Spring 2024

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UPDATE 8/17: Registration for this first iteration of Sacred Ground at Saint Mark's is now at capacity, and the waiting list is now also closed. There will be additional Sacred Ground circles forming in 2024. Contact Canon Barrie with questions:

GROUP MEETS TUESDAYS, 6:30–8:30 P.M.., BEGINNING SEPTEMBER 12, 2023, AND ENDING JUNE 4, 2024, in Leffler House or online via Zoom. Capacity is limited; registration is required.

A Film- and Readings-Based Dialogue Series on Race and Faith

Everyone in the Saint Mark's Cathedral community is invited to consider participating in Sacred Ground, an intense, small-group learning cohort which will meet over thirteen sessions, September 12 through June 4 at 6:30–8:30 p.m. on the second floor of Leffler House (hybrid option available). Capacity is limited, so if you feel called to be part of a Sacred Ground circle, please register as early as possible using the form here.

The series is built around a powerful online curriculum of documentary films and readings that focus on Indigenous, Black, Latino, and Asian/Pacific American histories as they intersect with European American histories. Check out much more introductory material here.

Sacred Ground is part of Becoming Beloved Community, The Episcopal Church’s long-term commitment to racial healing, reconciliation, and justice in our personal lives, our ministries, and our society. This series is open to all, and especially designed to help white people talk with other white people.  Participants are invited to peel away the layers that have contributed to the challenges and divides of the present day.

The hope is that members of this first circle at Saint Mark’s may be co-facilitators of future Sacred Ground circles here, but it is not a requirement.

Session Schedule

The Sacred Ground curriculum involves thirteen session that have been designed to work together as a whole. Those who register for Sacred Ground should be able to attend all or almost all of the sessions. The thirteen Tuesdays are as follows:

  • September 12, 2023 (Orientation, Community Building)
  • October 3, 2023
  • October 24, 2023
  • November 14, 2023
    • [Thanksgiving Break]
  • December 5, 2023
    • [Christmas Break]
  • January 9, 2024
  • January 30, 2024
  • February 20, 2024
  • March 12, 2024
    • [Holy Week/Easter Break]
  • April 2, 2024
  • April 23, 2024
  • May 14, 2024
  • June 4, 2024 (End of Class Celebration/Visioning)


The co-facilitators are Hannah Hockkeppel and Heather Millar.

Hannah Hochkeppel joined Saint Mark’s in 20TK, and currently serves as the Co-Program Director for Seeds of Peace in the United States, an organization that works to equip exceptional youth and educators with the skills and relationships to work in solidarity across lines of difference to create more just and inclusive societies. With more than 10 years of experience in a variety of education and program development spaces, Hannah is deeply invested in the work of youth empowerment, advocacy, and peace-building. She holds a B.S in Psychology from Virginia Tech, a M.A in Religion and Theology from Seattle University, and is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Education at Seattle Pacific University.

Heather Millar is a relatively new Saint Mark's parishioner. She moved to Seattle from San Francisco in February 2022. While living in San Francisco, she was very active at Grace Cathedral and in 2020-2021, co-facilitated a Sacred Ground circle there. She was an independent journalist for 30 years and now works at an environmental non-profit.

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Juneteenth 2023 Liturgy & Potluck BBQ

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The Black/African American Circle invites you to a special Juneteenth liturgy and potluck BBQ! The worship service will feature poetry, as well as African American spirituals by Sound of the NW Choir and drumming from Gansango African Music and Dance. The Rev. Malcolm McLaurin will be preaching and The Rev. Canon Carla Robinson will be presiding. Big thanks for the vision and ministry of The Rev. Beverly Tasy, the liturgist! A special offering will also be taken up in support of the Richard Younge Curates of Color Fund.

After the service, all are welcome to enjoy a potluck BBQ on the Cathedral lawn. Please RSVP here to let us know what you plan on bringing. Protein will be provided. Beyond good food and conversation, there will be opportunities to learn more about Circles of Color, the PNW Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians, and our friends at Nurturing Roots Farm. Join us in celebrating freedom and the gifts of our Black/African American community!

June 19 commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and is one of the longest-celebrated African American holidays. Learn more about the history of Juneteenth here and Juneteenth resources for families can be found on Canon Barrie’s blog.

Click here to join via livestream. To contribute to the Richard Younge Curates of Color Fund, go to the diocesan giving page. Under "Giving Type," select "Other Donations" and indicate "Richard Younge" under "Other Designation."

Mothered by God: Divine Feminine and the Black Madonna

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Book Study with The Rev. Canon Carla Robinson

In preparation for Dr. Cleveland’s workshop, The Rev. Canon Carla Robinson offered a two-part discussion about Cleveland’s book God is a Black Woman  on Wednesday, May 10 and Wednesday, May 24. Free event, offered in person and online via Zoom. Complete video of Parts 1 & 2 are now available here.


A Saturday Workshop with Christena Cleveland, Ph.D.

SATURDAY, JUNE 3, 2023, 9 A.M.–2:30 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall and online via Zoom; registration required for either option. 

The Divine is not limited to one gender or race, but for many people the dominant image of God they’ve experienced is that of a white male. Such a poverty of metaphor limits not only our understanding of the Holy One who overflows all human categories but also reinforces white supremacy and patriarchy. Join Dr. Christena Cleveland as she explores the Divine Feminine, especially in the context of her 400-mile walking pilgrimage across central France in search of ancient Black Madonna statues.

Cost: $65 (for both online and in-person participants). Scholarships available. Includes a light lunch and snacks for those participating in person. Registration required. 

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Dr. Christena Cleveland and the Black Madonnas: The Pilgrimage of a Womanist Theologian

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TWO WEDNESDAYS, MAY 10 & 24, 2023, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall and online via Zoom. Optional community dinner at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family).

The Rev. Canon Carla Robinson will lead a discussion of the book God Is a Black Woman by Dr. Christena Cleveland, as seen through the lens of pilgrimage. The book itself came out of her journey to see the Black Madonnas of France. In this series we will explore the major themes of Dr. Cleveland's latest book.

Dr. Cleveland will be visiting the Cathedral in June. This two-part series is intended to help people prepare for the material she will present when she comes to Saint Mark's. Attendees are asked to view either of the two podcasts (linked below) in which Dr. Cleveland is interviewed, and then to read the book.

Complete video of Parts 1 & 2 may be seen below:

Exploring Racial Justice in the Episcopal Church

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12, 2023, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall or online via Zoom; registration required. Optional community dinner at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family).

Facilitated by Vinh Do and The Rev. Canon Carla Robinson. Hosted by Saint Mark’s Cathedral; open to all in the Diocese of Olympia and beyond.

In 2021, the Episcopal Church released its Racial Justice Audit documenting the experience of race, racism, and racial identity within church leadership. At the Diocese of Olympia's Diocesan Convention last fall, a task force presented its findings and proposed ways we in this diocese might engage this important work. This forum is designed as part of that work. All cathedral members are encouraged to register to attend, and members from other churches are most welcome also. This is an opportunity to listen, learn and engage in conversation with others as we seek to understand and work towards racial justice in our communities, guided by five questions developed by the Task Force. Contact Canon Carla Robinson for more information.

Racial Audit of the Episcopal Church:

Dean’s Message on Police Violence and Our Response, January 28, 2023

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Read Saint Mark’s Statement of Lament and Commitment to Action.

Read Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Statement on the Death of Tyre Nichols.

A Message from Dean Thomason

Police Violence in Memphis and Our Response

Dear friends,

“On my honor, I will never betray my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always maintain the highest ethical standards and uphold the values of my community, and the agency I serve.”

That Oath of Honor comes from the International Association of Police Chiefs. The horrific videos released yesterday by Memphis authorities document how tragically and traumatically the five police officers who beat Tyre Nichols to death failed to uphold such commitments to serve the common good and the welfare of their citizens. There is no honor in what unfolded; their values and ethical standards gave way to the frenzied violence; others stood by and did not intervene. Still others delayed their care, and another young man is senselessly dead, another mother grieves, a city cringes in fear and mistrust, and the nation reels once more as we add another name to the litany of lament that grows longer and longer. How long, O Lord, how long!

Kathy and I said Morning Prayer earlier today with this anguish on our hearts. Psalm 55 is the appointed psalm for today—a lament psalm that spoke its truth into this moment, excerpted here:

Hear my prayer, O God…I have no peace, because of my cares.
And I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.
I have seen violence and strife in the city…her streets are never free of oppression and deceit.
Had it been an adversary who taunted me, then I could have borne it…
But it was you, a man after my own heart, my companion, my own familiar friend.

The strife in Memphis is not so distant from us as to be removed from the orbit of our pain and grief. Nor are the woes of that city so different than ours. This does not indict every police officer. Many do uphold the values in the oath above, and they serve us with dignity and respect. We should not lose sight of that fact. We should be grateful for them and thank them. But surely we can say that there is a plague in the law enforcement industry where such brutality is somehow justified time and again. (It is a red herring, in my opinion, to cite that these five officers were Black—except perhaps to note just how quickly they were charged with murder unlike many other police whose demeanor was similarly abusive.)

There is no “them” there. We are in this together, and the long tendrils of racism in this nation will not be eradicated by superficial tilling of our woes. It is painstakingly long, arduous and fraught with risk. But here we stand, and we can do no other if we are to stop killing our children.

I am convinced this nation and our cities will not really embrace this work in transformative ways unless we, as people of faith, actively participate in the work—not to cast aspersions on others, but to model the sort of repentance, lament, and resolve to work for a different way. It will be costly, but it is the quintessential work of this generation.

We lead with prayer, not as escape or a claim of ineffectual indifference, but to gain clarity and conviction to continue, even when the way forward remains elusive. It will require courage and sacrifice, attributes Jesus modeled for us, and is inviting us now to adopt. It seems the Oath of Honor might be fitting for us to consider as well—a mantra, a prayerful commitment we make in this moment, with God’s help:

“On my honor, I will never betray my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always maintain the highest ethical standards and uphold the values of my community, and the agency I serve.”

May it be so.

The Very Reverend Steven L. Thomason
Dean and Rector


Book Study—The Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline, and New Hope for the Beloved Community

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UPDATE: Wendy and Eliacin have prepared the following list of links and references:

Resources for going deeper into the topics of this book study [pdf]

FOUR SUNDAYS, BEGINNING MAY 15, 12:30–2 P.M., in Bloedel Hall and via Zoom, registration required

Join Canon Rosario-Cruz for a book study of The Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline, and New Hope for the Beloved Community by The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers. This book looks in an honest and hopeful way at the history of Christianity and, more importantly, at the life of the Episcopal Church today. Canon Spellers (who presented at Saint Mark's in May of 2019) challenges us with an opportunity to discern our faithfulness toward building the Beloved Community in response to the racial reckoning and the pandemic experience of the past two years. We will meet on Sundays, 12:30–2 p.m.

  • May 15: Introduction, chapters 1–2
  • May 29: Chapters 3–4
  • June 5: Chapters 5–6
  • June 19: Chapters 7–8 and the conclusion

Guest Preacher April 3, 2022: Indigenous Missioner of the Episcopal Church, The Rev. Dr. Bradley S. Hauff

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SUNDAY, APRIL 3, at the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services

Special "Friends Talking" Forum, 10:10 a.m. in Bloedel Hall, or via Zoom

It is our delight to welcome The Rev. Dr. Bradley S. Hauff as Guest Preacher April 3. In 2018 he was called to serve as Episcopal Church Missioner for Indigenous Ministries, a member of the Presiding Bishop’s staff. In his role, Hauff is responsible for enabling and empowering Indigenous peoples and their respective communities within the Episcopal Church while also guiding the broader Church in intercultural competencies.

He is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and lives in Minneapolis. He previously served as rector of All Saints’ in Philadelphia, PA, and has served congregations in Florida, Texas, Minnesota and South Dakota. Hauff holds a Master of Divinity from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary; a Doctor of Clinical Psychology from Minnesota School of Professional Psychology of Argosy University; a Master of Education from South Dakota State University; and a Bachelor of Arts, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The "Friends Talking" forum at 10:10 a.m. in Bloedel Hall on April 3 will feature Dr. Hauff and Dean Thomason in informal conversation, with time for those present to engage Dr. Hauff as well.

UPDATE: A complete video of the Sunday forum, along with additional resources may be seen below. Rev. Hauff's sermon may be heard here.(A transcript will be posted when available.)

NOTE: Rev Hauff encourages all to view this 30-minute video produced by the Office of Indigenous Ministries, titled Native Voices Speaking to the Church and the World.

Reading List

Rev. Hauff has shared the following bibliography for those interested in diving more deeply into the history of Indigenous Peoples, the injustices done, and the Church’s role.

400 Years: Anglican/Episcopal Mission Among American Indians by Owanah Anderson

Jamestown Commitment: The Episcopal Church and the American Indian by Owanah Anderson

The Wisconsin Oneidas and the Episcopal Church: A Chain Linking Two Traditions edited by L. Gordon McLester III et al.

This book is a history of the Oneidas, the first Indigenous tribe with whom The Episcopal Church developed an intentional, organized mission in the 1820s, prior to their relocation from New York to Wisconsin.

Dakota Crossbearer by Mary Cochran.

The life story of the Rt. Reverend Harold Jones, Santee Sioux and first Indigenous Episcopal bishop.

That They May Have Life: The Episcopal Church in South Dakota 1859–1976 by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve is the mother of The Ven. Paul Sneve, Archdeacon in South Dakota

The Four Vision Quests of Jesus by Steven Charleston

The Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston is a citizen of Choctaw Nation and a retired Episcopal bishop. While this is primarily a Christological book, there is also a good deal of history in it.

An Indigenous People’s History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

God is Red by Vine Deloria Jr.

Custer Died for Your Sins by Vine Deloria Jr.

Following Jesus to a New Counter-Cultural, Post-Pandemic Normal

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SATURDAY, JANUARY 15, 2022, 9:30 A.M.–3 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall OR online via Zoom

A Saturday gathering led by Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows

The year 2022 is already being called “the year of all things,” as the world attempts to catch up on two years of pandemic postponements. But Jesus, ever attentive to the present moment, calls us to liberation from the tyranny of being overcommitted and offers us the invitation to rest, heal, and be well. This workshop will explore the resources of our faith tradition for grounded and connected life and ministry for all of God’s people.

Besides Saturday's Wisdom School forum, the visit to Saint Mark's of the Bishop of Indianapolis, The Rt. Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, also included a workshop for clergy, Sunday morning preaching, and a "Friends Talking" Sunday Forum in Bloedel Hall.

UPDATE: Watch the Video of Bishop Baskerville-Burrows' Wisdom School Forum below.

View the Workshop Slides here. (Thanks and credit for workshop slides to @blackliturgies)

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Saint Mark’s at the 2022 Seattle MLK Jr. Day Rally & March

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MONDAY, JANUARY 17, 2022, 11 a.m. Rally; 12:30 p.m. March Starts

At the Garfield High School Front Parking Lot on 23rd

Grab your walking shoes and join us at the 2022 MLK Jr Rally and March in Seattle on Monday, January 17. This year will mark the 39th year of the event honoring Dr. King's legacy.

Due to COVID, Garfield High School is CLOSED. There will be porta-potties (including an accessible unit), so please plan accordingly. Please dress warm and wear comfortable shoes.

More info here. Contact Canon Rosario-Cruz if you are interested in this event.

PLEASE NOTE: While this is an outdoor/outside event, as always, during this time of COVID, use your best judgment and wisdom in deciding how comfortable you are participating in large/crowded events.

How to get there:

At this point in the pandemic, the cathedral is not going to organize carpool/ride-sharing.

If you decide to use Public transportation, these are the directions for using public transportation from Saint Mark’s:

  1. Leave Saint Mark's at 10:10 a.m. on the #49 headed to University District station
  2. Get off at NE Campus Parkway and Brooklyn Ave NE
  3. Walk three minutes to 15th Ave NE & NE 40th St.
  4. Catch the #48 headed to Mount Baker Transit Center (departs from 15th Ave NE & NE 40th St. at 10:30 a.m.)
  5. Reach Garfield High School 10:50 a.m.

Returning to Saint Mark’s from Federal Building downtown (this is where the march have ended in the past).

  1. Walk 10 minutes to Westlake Station
  2. Catch the Northgate train to Capitol Hill station
  3. Catch the #49 headed to University District station, which goes past the cathedral on 10th and Galer

For public transportation fees and/or alternative routes check Metro website: 

If you would like to participate from home:

The Seattle Martin Luther King Organizing Coalition will offer online/Zoom workshops all through the day on Monday 1/17.

Use the link below to find  information and sign-up forms for the workshops. 

Sanctuary Update, December 2021

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Today we were able to share the good news that Jaime’s case has been reopened, which means he will have his day in court to consider whether he might be granted a path to remain in this country with his family. This is a step toward a just outcome, and while the legal proceedings will unfold over the next several months, and may take more than a year, this action allows Jaime to apply for a work permit (which he has done), and to be relieved of the immediate risk of deportation.

The Seattle Times has published an article about these developments.

Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral’s Guest in Sanctuary to Announce an Important Development in the Struggle to Avoid the Separation of His Family

December 16, 2020

SEATTLE, WA—In March of 2019, Jaime Rubio Sulficio, a husband, father, business owner, and community leader facing an imminent, unjust deportation to Mexico, was received into Sanctuary at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle. For the following two years and eight months, he has continually sought a legal remedy that would allow him to stay in the United States and avoid separation from his wife and son, who are both American citizens.

Saint Mark’s Cathedral and the Church Council of Greater Seattle are now happy to announce that Jaime and his family have received news of some positive developments in his case. Legal hurdles remain, and he and his wife Keiko continue to work closely with his attorney and with the Sanctuary Network, a coalition of faith communities working together to accompany immigrants in situations like his.

Details of this significant development will be announced and celebrated at Saint Mark’s Cathedral on Monday, December 20, 2021, at 12 p.m. Members of the press, people of faith, and all with an interest in Jaime’s case and in immigration policy are encouraged to attend. (Masks must be worn by all while inside the cathedral building.) The event will also be livestreamed on the cathedral’s website, and may be seen on this page or on

The tradition of Sanctuary in houses of worship has deep biblical and historical roots. For centuries, churches and other religious spaces have served as places of welcome, hospitality, and moral protection for people who fear harm or violence towards them. Saint Mark’s Cathedral and the Church Council of Greater Seattle will continue to work, through prayer and action, towards a just, equitable, and compassionate immigration policy in this country.

About Saint Mark’s: Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral strives to be a house of prayer for all people, where we worship God and proclaim the reconciling Gospel of Jesus Christ; a loving, welcoming, inclusive community that nurtures faith, encourages service, and integrates social and environmental justice into our lives; a sacred gathering place for the Diocese of Olympia and the broader community in times of crisis, sorrow, and celebration.

About the Church Council of Greater Seattle: The Church Council of Greater Seattle builds collective power through faith-rooted community organizing for transformational change toward liberation and justice.  We envision a future when justice is realized, where all people experience liberation, profound peace, expansive equity, and joy-filled human flourishing.

For media inquiries about Sanctuary, contact Michael Ramos of the Church Council of Greater Seattle at 206.465.6263 or

For media inquiries about Saint Mark’s Cathedral, contact Gregory Bloch at 206.323.0300 x259 or


Special Parish Forum—Statement of Lament and Commitment to Action

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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,
    6. Networking with Affiliate Partners in Ministry.

View a complete video of the forum below.

Download the presentation slides here (pdf).

Download the litany prayed during the forum here (pdf).

Friends Talking: Pastor Carey Anderson

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The conversation between Pastor Anderson and Dean Thomason may be seen below. You can watch Pastor Anderson's sermon in the video of the service here. Audio of his sermon will be available here, as well as a printed text when it is available.


Guest Sermon: 9 A.M. &11 A.M. EUCHARISTS

"Friends Talking" Forum with Pastor Anderson in Conversation with Dean Steve: 10:10–10:50 A.M., Bloedel Hall

Longtime pastor of First AME Church The Rev. Dr. Carey Anderson will preach at Saint Mark’s Cathedral, at both the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services, as part of our deepening commitment to the relationship between Dean Steve and Pastor Carey, and our two faith communities. (Dean Steve has been invited to preach at First AME in January 2022.)

Rev. Dr. Carey G. Anderson is the Senior Minister of First AME Church, Seattle, WA, where he has served since November 2004. Prior to his appointment at FAME, Pastor Anderson was Pastor of St. Paul AME Church in Wichita, KS from 2000-2004, and had been the Pastor of Bethel AME Church in Reno, Nevada from 1984 to 2000. Pastor Anderson holds a B.A. Degree from California State University, Hayward; a Master of Divinity Degree from Pacific School of Religion Theological Seminary, Berkeley, CA; and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from St. Paul School of Theology, Kansas City, MO. He serves or has served on the boards of Habitat for Humanity, The City of Seattle's Equitable Communities Initiative Task Force, the Communities of Concern Commission (Executive Committee Vice Chair), the King County Regional Homelessness Authority, and others. He is renowned for his preaching and leadership in the Seattle faith community and for his commitment to restorative justice. Welcome, Pastor Anderson!


A Report from El Salvador by Elizabeth Hawkins

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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 6:45–8:15 P.M, via Zoom 

Community member Elizabeth Hawkins has been living and working in San Salvador since 2019. A former immigration attorney, she travelled to El Salvador to research the complex factors that lead people to attempt to emigrate to the United States. Learn more about Elizabeth below. Dean Thomason and Canon Rosario-Cruz will facilitate the discussion. Join using this Zoom link.

Please note the the announcement in the printed leaflet incorrectly implied that this conversation would also be offered in person in Bloedel Hall. In fact, this event will be online-only via Zoom.

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A World-Premiere Commission for the O Antiphons Liturgy, 2021

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O Antiphons is a beloved annual liturgy of music and pageantry that marks the beginning of Advent —the season of longing, vigilance, and expectation in preparation for Christmas—which this year is offered Sunday, November 28, 2021, at 7 p.m.. The form of this liturgy that was invented here is now used in churches around the world.

An exciting element of this year's service will be the world premiere of a newly commissioned anthem, conceived and written expressly for the Saint Mark's Cathedral Choir, for the O Antiphons liturgy, and for our space. The work has been composed by Dr. Zanaida Robles of Los Angeles, a renowned vocalist, conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, and a fierce advocate for diversity and inclusion in music. The anthem, titled Ecstatic Expectancy, responds in both content and feeling to the O Antiphons liturgy, while offering a meditation on the evocative verse from Psalm 85: Mercy and Truth have met together; Righteousness and Peace have kissed each other.

This project was supported by the Saint Mark's Vestry, and was not funded by a particular donor—the commission came from the cathedral music program's own resources.

About the composer

Dr. Zainda Robles holds a doctorate from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. She is currently a performing arts instructor at Harvard-Westlake Upper School in Studio City, CA, as well as the director of music at Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church in Pasadena, CA. Read her complete biography and learn much more at her website.

Check out a few of of her compositions here:

The Rev. Eliacín Rosario-Cruz called as Cathedral Canon

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A Message from Dean Thomason

Dear friends,

It is my great delight to share the exciting news that The Reverend Eliacín Rosario-Cruz has accepted the call to serve as Canon and Priest Associate at Saint Mark’s Cathedral. Eliacín (pronounced “ay-lee-uh-SEEN”) is no stranger to Saint Mark’s, having served as Adult Faith Formation Associate here 2005–2008, and he was ordained a priest in the cathedral in 2015. Since ordination he has served St. Luke’s~San Lucas Episcopal Church in Vancouver, WA, and, more recently, as rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Snohomish since September, 2017.

He is a graduate of Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry, and is also a trainer with the College for Congregational Development. His interests include intercultural competency in congregational systems, intersectional justice, and liberation theology. He is a native of Puerto Rico, and his bilingual gifts figure prominently in his ministry.

As Cathedral Canon he will join fellow clergy in our collaborative design of parish ministry, taking his place as preacher, pastor, and teacher, while also serving as a member of the senior leadership team exercising administrative leadership as well. Eliacín’s passion for restorative justice and systemic change lends well to his playing a key and timely role in our community’s efforts in that expression of ministry, and I look forward to his witness and voice in our midst as we plot the course forward together. His first day at Saint Mark’s will be October 26, 2021.

Please join me in welcoming Eliacín, his wife Ricci Kilmer, and their three teenagers, Catherine (Catie) Rosario-Kilmer, Eliacín Gabriel Rosario-Kilmer, Elías Oscar Rosario-Kilmer.

The Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason
Dean and Rector

A Message from The Reverend Eliacín Rosario-Cruz

Dear friends,

It is with great joy that I have accepted the call to join you in ministry and service at Saint Mark’s. I am looking forward to being in community with you. I accepted this call because of your intentional desire to be agents of justice and love in the community with integrity and creativity. I am thrilled to join you in the many ways you show God’s love to your neighbors. See you soon!

Que el Señor omnipotente y misericordioso: Padre, Hijo y Espíritu Santo, los bendiga y los guarde. Amén.

—The Rev. Eliacín Rosario-Cruz

Community Conversation on the Formation Consultant’s Report

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UPDATE: Community Forum on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 6:30–8 p.m., via Zoom

Community Conversation on the Formation Consultant’s Report

In May and early June of this year, we held several Listening Groups with our Formation Consultant, Jamie Martin Currie, who captured a great deal of information and insights from these groups and the parish survey (which had more than 200 providing input). Thanks to all who participated. The report delivered in late June has a great deal of information and several recommendations which we have embraced, and all in the Saint Mark’s community are invited to participate in a follow-up conversation about the report. Join using this Zoom link.

Read the full consultant's report here. 

Read Dean Thomason's initial announcement of this survey below:

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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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Canon Walter Brownridge presents: From Prisoners of Pandemic to Prisoners of Hope

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From Prisoners of Pandemic to Prisoners of Hope: A Day of Reflection on Being Church in our Emerging Reality

SATURDAY, JULY 24, 9:30 A.M.–12 P.M., in-person in Bloedel Hall or virtually via Zoom. Register here or below. 

led by The Rev. Canon Walter Brownridge, Saint Mark’s Theologian-in-Residence

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”  —Desmond Tutu

The past 16 months have been traumatic for many of us, and on so many levels. Pandemic, climate signs of foreboding, and a renewed cycle of racial reckoning. As COVID-19 recedes, in some way, we may feel divided. Some of us may feel that our energies are depleted, and others are eager to leave our isolation and enjoy the summer, and life returning to a sense of normalcy.

Yet, this may be a good time reflect and ask questions of meaning, faith, healing, and that big word: Hope. People in the midst of dark times, as the quote from Archbishop Tutu above notes, certainly need hope. I contend that we need hope when coming out of a difficult period and into the unknown. So yes, we must remain Prisoners of Hope. Together we will explore how hope is a muscle—that must be exercised as a spiritual discipline.

This program will be offered in person in Bloedel Hall OR virtually via Zoom. Register to attend using this link or the form below:

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Mutual Ministry Goals Community Meetings

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An Invitation from Dean Thomason

Dear friends,

Come create our new way forward!

Earlier this year the Vestry forged a key document—our Mutual Ministry Goals—which are designed to inform and guide our work as a community. These three goals center upon the work of justice, creation care, and intergenerational ministry as we plot a course of lifelong spiritual formation for every person in this cathedral community. They are intended to touch every aspect of our common life.

So important are these that the Vestry has restructured its Standing Committees to include these three scopes, and every ministry group is being asked to embrace these goals and reflect on the work in light of them. I write today to encourage each household, and each person, to embrace them in your life as well.

To that end, and to learn more about the goals and action items arising from them, we have community meetings planned in the coming weeks via Zoom. You are welcome to attend any or all; I encourage each person who claims Saint Mark’s as your spiritual home to attend at least one of these. Here is the schedule:

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Presiding Bishop, House of Deputies President issue statement on Indigenous boarding schools

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The Episcopal Church and Indigenous Residential Schools

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Indigenous children across North America were stolen from their families and forced into institutions whose explicit goal was the complete eradication of Native culture, language, and identity—that is, cultural genocide. The Episcopal Church has been complicit in the creation and operation of some of these institutions. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and President of the House of Deputies Gay Clark Jennings have released this statement on this shameful history, calling for the creation of "a comprehensive proposal for addressing the legacy of Indigenous schools" within the Episcopal Church, and supporting a process of truth-telling and healing on the national level.


Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Michael Curry and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings issued the following statement regarding Indigenous boarding schools on July 12, 2021.

(Coverage of Executive Council’s June 25–27 meeting where council discussed Indigenous boarding schools is here.)

In Genesis, God conferred dignity on all people by creating them in God’s own image—a belief that is shared by all Abrahamic faiths. We are grieved by recent discoveries of mass graves of Indigenous children on the grounds of former boarding schools, where Indigenous children experienced forced removal from their homes, assimilation and abuse. These acts of cultural genocide sought to erase these children’s identities as God’s beloved children.

We condemn these practices and we mourn the intergenerational trauma that cascades from them. We have heard with sorrow stories of how this history has harmed the families of many Indigenous Episcopalians.

While complete records are unavailable, we know that The Episcopal Church was associated with Indigenous schools during the 19th and 20th centuries. We must come to a full understanding of the legacies of these schools.

As chair and vice-chair of Executive Council, and in consultation with our church’s Indigenous leaders, we pledge to make right relationships with our Indigenous siblings an important focus of the work of Executive Council and the 80th General Convention.

To that end, we commit to the work of truth and reconciliation with Indigenous communities in our church. We pledge to spend time with our Indigenous siblings, listening to their stories and history, and seeking their wisdom about how we can together come to terms with this part of our history. We call upon Executive Council to deliver a comprehensive proposal for addressing the legacy of Indigenous schools at the 80th General Convention, including earmarking resources for independent research in the archives of The Episcopal Church, options for developing culturally appropriate liturgical materials and plans for educating Episcopalians across the church about this history, among other initiatives.

We also commend Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on her establishment of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative and the effort to “shed light on the traumas of the past.” The Episcopal Church is also working to support legislation that will establish a truth and healing commission on Indian boarding school policy, which would complement the Department of the Interior’s new initiative.

As followers of Jesus, we must pursue truth and reconciliation in every corner of our lives, embracing God’s call to recognition of wrongdoing, genuine lamentation, authentic apology, true repentance, amendment of life and the nurture of right relationships. This is the Gospel path to becoming beloved community.

—Office of Public Affairs of the Episcopal Church, July 12, 2021


Above: Girls at St. Mary's Episcopal Mission School, Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota, MRL 10: G.E.E. Lindquist Papers, 60, 1483, The Burke Library Archives (Columbia University Libraries) at Union Theological Seminary, New York. Can be viewed at
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