Although the cathedral building is closed, the community of Saint Mark's continues! In the words of Dean Thomason, "I wonder if we might see this time as not only a challenge but also an opportunity—to see it as being afforded a time in which life is changed, and to ask ourselves, for what purpose?" 

This page will contain reflections to read, video to watch, suggestions of activities to engage in, invitations to virtual meet-ups, and more. Check back often, as new content will be added all the time. Click on the title or images to see each post's own page, or to leave a comment.

Members of the cathedral community (wherever they may be) are encouraged to join the private Facebook group Saint Mark's Cathedral Community Life during the Closure. In this group members can connect and share in a more informal way. For those who do not use Facebook, content from the group will be posted on this page regularly.

Preparing for Pentecost from Home

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The Feast of Pentecost is upon us!

On May 31, the Church observes the Feast of Pentecost. It is a great feast, a grand day, and one full of joy and anticipation! 

While social distancing may change the look of some of our celebrations, nothing can stop the Holy Spirit from transforming our lives and the life of the Church. This year, there are lots of ways to catch that Pentecost Spirit at Saint Mark’s! Read on for some suggestions... As always, engage with any or all of these practices as you wish or are able. You are very much encouraged to make them your own, adapting them as makes sense in your life and your circumstances right now. And please contact the cathedral, in whatever way is convenient for you, to share your feelings and experiences.

1.

Preparing your home altar before next Sunday

First, prepare your home altar home altar for this new season. You might redress it colors fitting of the day—reds, oranges, yellows—and consider placing symbols of Baptism and the Holy Spirit. Include something that reminds you of your own baptism like or other symbols for the promises made at baptism, such as your baptismal certificate, a Bible, BCP, bread, or prayer beads. A candle brings to mind the flames of the Spirit—and if you happen to have the candle presented to you at your Baptism available, bring it out! Other images of the Holy Spirit include: birds, wind, water, oil, fruit, and more. A cross and flowers are always appropriate adornments. Think creatively about how the Divine Spirit might best be represented to you! In addition, place a small bowl of water and a fragrant branch of your favorite herb to be used during the Sunday liturgy. Please take a picture of your Pentecost altar and share it for the community to see, either on Facebook or by emailing them to info@saintmarks.org.

What is Pentecost?

Pentecost is one of the Major Feasts of the church year. We celebrate and give thanks for the gift of the Holy Spirit, we remember how God speaks to humanity through every human language, we renew our Baptismal vows, and we mark "the birthday of the Church"—the moment when the small band of confused disciples became, through the grace of God, the kernel of global movement to transform the world. Pentecost is also an inflection point in the rhythm of our liturgical year, marking the end of our 50-day celebration of Easter and the turn towards the "long green growing season" of the so-called "Ordinary Time" of the summer.

2.

Prayerfully reflect on the Baptismal Covenant

The promises we made (or were made on our behalf) at our Baptism, and which we renew at each Baptismal liturgy during the year, articulate the core of what it means to follow Christ. Before the Pentecost celebration, you are invited to take a moment to read through them—they may be found in our Book of Common Prayer, p. 304, or at this link. What is one promise you feel called to practice with intention at this moment? Write it down; then on Sunday place that note on your altar during the Offertory.

During the week leading up to Pentecost, keep an eye out for more videos and ideas, here on the cathedral website or on social media.

3.

Participate from home on Sunday morning 

For many years, people of Saint Mark's have enjoyed wearing red to church on Pentecost—particularly for the sake of seeing the whole congregation in red. Put on your favorite red outfit before the service begins, and, if you are so inclined, take a picture and send it in to the cathedral——either on Facebook or sent to info@saintmarks.org. We'll put the photos we receive together into a collage.

Join the livestream a few minutes early (about 10:45 a.m.) for another special slide show. The Holy Eucharist with Renewal of Baptismal Vows begins at 11 a.m. Have your water and herbs ready to use during the service. The service will contain some special elements. Listen with care to the readings, and offer your voice along so many others as we sing and pray and give thanks to God!

Above: The 2016 Pentecost Run, Ride, & Roll

4.

On Sunday afternoon, take your celebration outdoors 

For many years, a Pentecost tradition at Saint Mark's has been, following the Sunday service, to "run, ride, or roll" around Green Lake, wearing festive red clothes and with bikes and scooters festooned with red ribbons and streamers. The event would conclude with root beer floats. This type of celebration is not possible at this time, but why not recreate it in miniature, alone or with your household? Decorate your favorite mode of transport and take your celebrations outside! Ride, run, or stroll through your neighborhood. Decorate your yard or balcony. Notice the feel of the wind and the sun. Enjoy festive cake and floats. How might you give thanks to the Living God in new ways that reflect how God is moving in your life? And don't forget to take pictures and share them on Facebook or email them to info@saintmarks.org.

Come Holy Spirit, and renew the face of your Church!

An Introduction to Sunday’s Hymns: May 24, 2020

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On Thursday, May 21, Canon Kleinschmidt introduced the hymns to be sung during this coming Sunday's live-streamed service for May 10 at 11 a.m—The Seventh Sunday of Easter, The Sunday after the Ascension, AND, at Saint Mark's, Heritage Sunday. This introduction was presented live on Facebook.

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

Intro to Sunday's Hymns: May 24, 2020

Canon Kleinschmidt introduces the hymns for the live-streamed liturgy on May 24, 2020 from Saint Mark’s, Seattle — when we will observe The Seventh Sunday of Easter, The Sunday after the Ascension, AND Saint Mark's Heritage Sunday.

Posted by Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral on Thursday, May 21, 2020

Virtual Coffee Hour, Every Sunday via Zoom

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

Heritage Sunday at Saint Mark’s Cathedral

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SUNDAY, MAY 24

  • DEAN'S FORUM AT 10 A.M., via Zoom

  • SPECIAL LITURGY AT 11 A.M.

  • FESTIVE COFFEE HOUR AT NOON, via Zoom

In 2019 Saint Mark's began what was intended to be an annual tradition: Heritage Sunday, an opportunity to celebrate and give thanks for all the generations who have come before us in the community of Saint Mark's, Seattle—from the founders of the parish in the nineteenth century, to those longtime members of the community who still bless us with their experience and wisdom today.

The event will begin with a special Zoom forum in the 10 a.m. hour. Dean Thomason will present a brief slide show of historical details about the cathedral, then a panel of The Reverends Carla Berkedal Pryne, Kate Kinney, and Sue Reid, who served at Saint Mark’s as priests in three different decades, will reflect on their experiences. This forum will be presented simultaneously over Zoom and on Facebook Live—watch your email for more details, or contact info@saintmarks.org.

From 10:45 until the start of the 11 a.m. liturgy, the livestream will present a special slideshow of historical images from the 1940s through the 2000s, shared by many members of the community. (Note: If you want to share a photo to be included, please send a copy, with your names on the back, to Erik Donner at edonner@saintmarks.org no later than Monday May 18)

Like last year, the 11 a.m. service will again employ elements of the liturgy that would be familiar to generations past, including music, prayers, vestments, and the order of service itself. Drawing on prayers spanning nearly 500 years of Anglican worship, we will pull out the stops for a special celebration. Former senior wardens serving in three different decades will read the scriptures. Former Dean The Rev. Fred Northup will be guest preacher. Dean Thomason will officiate. Special music will frame the joyful occasion, including a rousing postlude of Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” with organ and percussion.

Following the service, there will be a Zoom gathering to which all are invited as we share stories about our common life at Saint Mark’s through the years. Special guests have been invited—including Pro Christo Award recipients, former senior wardens, and all the living clergy who have served at Saint Mark’s through the years. Join the fête to share some Saint Mark’s time together! Watch your email for the links to participate, and contact info@saintmarks.org with any questions.

Trying Times: Stress, Anxiety, Depression and Grief—How to Tell the Difference

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A Webinar with Shelley Mackaman, PhD, and Wayne Duncan, PhD

SUNDAY, MAY 24, 2020, 3 P.M., via Zoom 

Documents for this event:

Do you find yourself fretting or anxious about reopening? Are your children stressed with the challenges of virtual school? Are you struggling to balance all the aspects of life now converging in your home life? We are all facing new pressures in light of this pandemic and the lack of certainty about so many things. Dr. Shelley Mackaman (clinical psychologist in Kirkland with emphasis in Child Development and Family Psychology) and Dr. Wayne Duncan (Child and Adolescent Psychologist in Seattle) are both active members of Saint Mark’s Cathedral and will offer timely and important information for people of all ages. Dean Steve Thomason will moderate the webinar. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. The webinar is free but advance registration is required. Click here to register now.


 

About the presenters

Shelley Mackaman has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Child Development and Family Psychology.  After working and training in a variety of settings from urban pediatric hospitals to rural mental health centers, she is now in private practice in Redmond, Washington and is the staff psychologist at an integrated care clinic in Kirkland, Washington.

Wayne Duncan is a child and adolescent clinical psychologist in Seattle. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota and completed his clinical internship at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. He consults frequently with families around learning and school issues.

Mideast Focus Ministry Presents: Gaza Fights for Freedom

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Film Screening & Live Discussion 

FRIDAY, MAY 29

Watch the films at 6:00 p.m. (or earlier)

8 p.m.: Live discussion with Former Congressman Dr. Brian Baird via Zoom.

paired with the award-winning short film Nightmare of Gaza

On Friday, May 29, the Online Film Series continues with Gaza Fights for Freedom. Filmed during the height of a six-week campaign of protests near the Gaza-Israeli border in 2018, this film features exclusive footage of the demonstrations. This documentary tells of Gaza’s complex history through rare archival footage, info-graphics, and first-hand accounts. Backed by thorough legal documentation and exclusive evidence, this film details Israeli military war crimes that are supported by our own country.  See the trailer here.

The documentary will be paired with NIGHTMARE OF GAZA, an award-winning short film by Farah Nebulsi.

After viewing the documentary, join together on Zoom for a live discussion with Former Congressman Dr. Brian Baird. Email Liz Gilbert, elizabethegg@hotmail.com, for the links to participate, or to sign up for the Mideast Focus mailing list and receive the links automatically.

Exploring Sunday’s Scripture (Online)

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FOUR MONDAYS IN JUNE: JUNE 8, 15, 22, and 29, 7–8 P.M., via Zoom.

Join Cathedral Clergy and gather on Zoom for an hour on Monday evenings, June 8, 15, 22, and 29, to check in with each other and look ahead at some of the readings for the upcoming Sunday. A little Bible Study and a little reflection together as we find new ways to connect to our lives to the shared sacred narrative of Scripture. What is God calling you to notice in this different season? Come (online) whatever weeks you can! Email Canon Cristi Chapman for the Zoom link, cchapman@saintmarks.org.

Noonday Prayer, Wednesdays 12 p.m.

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Due to the success of the Daily Office Zoom meetings at 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. on Thursdays, Cathedral Sacristan Michael Seewer is now offering Noonday Prayer, following the order of the Book of Common Prayer 1979, every Wednesday at noon. This is a brief service (around 10 minutes) of Psalms, scripture, and prayer that all are invited to join. The same link as our Daily Evening Prayer will be used. To get the link, simply email Michael at mseewer@saintmarks.org.

The Home Altars of Saint Mark’s

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Earlier this week, the people of Saint Mark's were invited to create home altars to serve as a focal point for their Holy Week observances. Visit this post for details. Below are some of the photographs that members of the community have sent in to the cathedral or shared in the Facebook Group. Click to enlarge!

Making your Home Altar

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We are about to enter a Holy Week like none other any of us have ever experienced. We are all anxious to feel the joy of the Feast of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, but it is a core part of our tradition that we must, with intention, walk through the Holy Week observances of Passion and death in order to reach our Easter celebration.
As has been announced, Saint Mark's Cathedral will be livestreaming services from the cathedral nave throughout Holy Week. In addition, in order that we might all more fully engage with the Holy Week journey, we will all be invited into various activities and practices in our own homes that will integrate with the liturgies offered through the livestream. You may participate in these activities whether you are home alone, with a partner, or with your family.
The first of these is the home altar. In the video below, Dean Steve Thomason, Choir School Director Rebekah Gilmore, and Associate for Spiritual Formation Kelly Moody of Saint Mark's Children's and Families Ministries introduce the idea of a home altar, and show what their families have created.
You will be invited to engage with your home altar in specific ways during the Maundy Thursday and Good Friday observances in particular. As it says in the video, please send in images or other reports on what you have created for yourself.

A Special Video for Choir Members

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The music program at Saint Mark's Seattle, somewhat famously, involves seven different choirs (Saint Mark's Singers, Cathedral Choir, Evensong Choir, Compline Choir, Junior Choristers, Senior Choristers, and Schola). During this time when choirs are neither singing for liturgies nor meeting weekly to rehearse, choir members are feeling separation and absence acutely.

Canon Kleinschmidt and Choir School Director Rebekah Gilmore made the following video to recreate the warm-ups which begin all choir rehearsals, when singers prepare our voices and our bodies for the work to come. At Saint Mark's, the children and adult choirs share many of the same warm-up exercises! The exercises included in the video are beloved by 5-year-old junior choristers and 50-year veterans of the Cathedral Choir alike.

Share your Dinner Wednesday night!

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Let’s gather virtually and have fun staying connected! This Wednesday, March 25, on our usual Cathedral Commons night, visit the Saint Mark's Seattle Community Life during the Closure group and post a photo of your dinner table or what you're eating. Some members of the group tried this last Wednesday, and it was so lovely to see everyone! (A few examples are pictured at below.) This Facebook group is "private"—to join in, just follow the link above, or visit our our regular Facebook page and click the blue "Visit Group" button below the main image.
For an extra reminder of Wednesday nights at the cathedral, begin by singing our usual Table Grace, accompanied by this video, featuring Canon Musician Michael Kleinschmidt on the Bloedel Hall piano.
And if you don't use Facebook, email a photo or even just a few words to Communications Director Greg Bloch, and he'll post it here on the Online Community Life page along with a sampling of the reports from the facebook group.

Jo Ann Bailey: Help Medical Workers by Making Fabric Masks

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Community member Jo Ann Bailey, a professional seamstress and teacher of sewing, submitted this report below about making fabric masks for healthcare workers. (Last week on the cathedral's Facebook Group, there was a call from Providence Hospitals for help sewing masks, but they have subsequently engaged manufacturers, including a Mukilteo furniture factory, to produce masks in quantity and are no longer soliciting volunteers. The opportunity described below is a better option!)


A shortage of protective clothing for medical professionals is yet another complication of this current COVID-19 crisis. Fabric face masks from the community are now welcome as hospitals and clinics prepare for an increase in patients. While fabric masks are not to be used in the care of COVID-19 patients, according to the CDC, fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies have been exhausted. Fabric masks can also be helpful in other areas of patient care as supplies of PPE are depleted. Prior to disposable masks, fabric masks were standard use for hospitals. These masks can be washed and sterilized repeatedly as needed. They provide needed protection to health care workers as well as patients.

Seattle area JoAnn Fabrics locations [editor's note: no relation!] are receiving and distributing donated, community-made, masks. For store locations visit  www.joann.com. Patterns and clear, easy to follow, instructions are also available here: https://www.joann.com/make-to-give-response/

A few helpful hints:

  1. Narrow elastic has recently followed toilet paper off the store shelves. The tie-on style of mask will probably be the best for now unless you have ¼” elastic in your stash.
  2. Use 100% cotton, tight weave, fabric. Use on both sides, or line the inside with cotton flannel.
  3. From the patterns and styles available, choose the one that best suits your supplies and skills.

 

Please email or call if you have questions. I would love to hear from you! Email at this link.

—Jo Ann Bailey

Dean’s Letter: One Body, Many Parts

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As we approach two weeks since the first public health directives upended our normal routines, with many in the interim faced with job loss, school closures, and the threat of illness coming too close, I am keenly aware that the stress of this disruption and the weight of the burgeoning health care crisis are bearing down on us, collectively and individually. It is difficult in the moment to find an unimpeded path to resolution and a return to normalcy (whatever that may look like). None of us are certain how long this will last, and that naturally enough prompts anxiety. And there is a deep sense of grieving intermingled in it all.

I name all of this, having had personal conversations or email exchanges with literally hundreds of you in recent days—I name all of this as we prepare for a very unusual Holy Week, and I am acutely aware of the fact that we are making our journey to the cross of Good Friday this year like no other year in living memory. But we do so ever-enlightened by the hope of resurrection. We are resurrection people, and we are called to live in a way that does not gloss the harsh realities of life, but rather holds those struggles in the context of resurrected life, trusting that something new is in the works, even if we can’t quite make it out just yet....

Please click here to read the remainder of the Dean's message.

Morning Prayer, 7 a.m. Thursdays

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For many years, a devoted congregation has gathered each Thursday morning for a weekday service of Holy Eucharist. Similar to daily Evening Prayer, the Thursday Morning Eucharist will likewise be replaced at this time by a service of Morning Prayer offered each week using the Zoom online teleconferencing platform.

The service meets for the first time tomorrow, March 19, at 7 a.m., and then every Thursday morning after that until the cathedral reopens. The Sunday morning Eucharist is normally followed by a community breakfast, so this online service will also be followed immediately by a period of time to talk and be together. You can even enjoy your breakfast at that time if you'd like! This is a way of maintaining something like the typical weekly routine for those who have attended this service regularly, something very important for all of us at this time. All are welcome.

You will need a copy of the Book of Common Prayer in order to follow the service. The BCP is available online here. Like Evening Prayer, the flow of the liturgy may be unfamiliar at first, but will quickly become routine after a few weeks.

All you need to join in is a special link. (If you’ve never used Zoom, the instructions here will walk you through how to do this.) We cannot post that link publicly, so anyone who would like to participate should email Sarah Elwood at selwood@uw.edu.

A big thank you to Sarah and the entire faithful 7 a.m. Thursday congregation, as well as Cathedral Sacristan Michael Seewer, for making this online offering available to the whole community.

Daily Evening Prayer Online

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Join us for Daily Evening Prayer via Zoom, every weeknight at 6:30 p.m!

For many years, Saint Mark's has offered a spoken service of Daily Evening Prayer in Thomsen Chapel most weekdays at 6:30 p.m. (Read more about the history of this service here.)  While the cathedral building is closed, the leaders of this ministry are continuing to offer the service online, using the Zoom teleconferencing platform.

To join, all you is a computer or phone with a camera, and a special link. We cannot publicly post this link online, so if you are interested in joining the service, simply email Cathedral Sacristan Michael Seewer at mseewer@saintmarks.org for the information.

To participate in the liturgy, it will be helpful to have a copy of the Book of Common Prayer 1979, and an NRSV Bible. However, both are available online, and the leaders of the service will put the text on the screen to help you follow along.  If you've never attended this liturgy before, the flow of the service can take a little getting used to, but don't let that deter you! After attending a few services it will become routine.

Contact Michael Seewer with any additional questions you may have. And heartfelt thanks to the lay leaders of this service, especially Sue Tait, for keeping this important offering alive.