In addition to the regular offerings, here are some exciting upcoming special events:

A Spirituality of Place: The Pilgrim’s Journey and Finding Home

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TWO WEDNESDAYS, SEPTEMBER 20 & 27, 2023, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall or Online via Zoom. Optional community dinner at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family)

The Wisdom School 2023/24 Program Year Opening Plenary Presentation, Led by Dean Steve Thomason

Place matters. It is the locus of spiritual purpose, whether at home, on the pilgrim’s way, or in the wilderness. It is the locus of belonging, of grounding, of meaning. The mystics remind us to “look deeply and discover God there.” The geography of the heart is shaped by the land and the ties that bind us to particular places, especially when we come to see it all as holy ground. This two-part series will explore the spirituality of place, pilgrimage and finding home, with spiritual practices that serve as maps for the journey.

Program is free; optional community dinner at 6 p.m. ($8/adult; $25/family max.) All are welcome. Register to attend via Zoom. (No advance registration needed for in-person participation.)


2023 St. Francis Day Celebration & Blessing of the Animals

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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7, 4:30 P.M., on the front lawn and labyrinth

On Saturday, October 7, Saint Mark’s will once again offer its beloved Saint Francis Day tradition. A few years ago this offering was moved from Sunday morning to Saturday afternoon, and the outdoor celebration has a truly festive community atmosphere. Dogs, cats, bird, bunnies, ponies, chickens, and all creatures great and small are welcome!

Music will be offered by the young choristers of Choir School, and The Rev. Linzi Stahlecker will offer a brief reflection. The service includes prayers for healing humanity’s relationship with the earth, and for all the creatures who share the earth with us. Following the service, animals can receive an individual blessing from a priest if desired. All are invited to attend, with or without their animal companions. Stuffed animals are also welcome to be blessed, as are photographs of pets who would not find attending the event a blessed experience. Animals should remain leashed or kenneled. You are welcome to bring your own chair to use on the lawn, although chairs will also be provided.

Dementia and Spirituality: Hope on the Journey

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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2023, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall or Online via Zoom. Optional community dinner at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family). This forum is in collaboration with St. James Cathedral.

Join online or in person at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral for a conversation titled Dementia and Spirituality: Hope on the Journey.

The evening will include a presentation from Dr. Thomas Grabowski from the UW Memory and Brain Wellness Center followed by a panel conversation reflecting on dementia and ministry with Father James Eblen, Sister Judy Ryan and the Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason.

Come learn more about what dementia is, its impact on people living with the disease and their caregivers, and ways to provide support along the journey.

Program is free, but registration is requested for in-person or online participation. Optional community dinner served at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family). Register using this form. If you choose to participate online, a Zoom link will be sent to registrants prior to the event. For assistance in registering, contact: edonner@saintmarks.org or 206.323.0300 ext. 217


Learn more about the speakers:

Dr. Thomas J. Grabowski is a neurologist and medical director of the UW Memory Medicine Memory and Brain Wellness Center where he leads a provider team that diagnoses, treats, and supports patients living with memory loss or dementia. Dr. Grabowski has made patient and family wellbeing into a top priority in the clinic by helping people adjust to cognitive challenges over time and leveraging intact personal strengths. He also oversees a multi-disciplinary effort to further a precision medicine approach to Alzheimer's disease through the UW Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) and conducts research at the UW Integrated Brain Imaging Center (IBIC).


James Eblen has ministered as a priest in the Seattle Archdiocese for more than fifty years, half of them teaching in the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University. For the last ten years, James has provided liturgical ministry for residents at Providence Mount Saint Vincent in West Seattle and for retired women religious at the nearby Saint Joseph Residence. Ministry among these older adults has been my learning ground about dementia.



Sr. Judy Ryan has been a member of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary for 63 years. She earned her BA degree from Holy Names College at Fort Wright; and her Master's degree in Theology and Pastoral Ministry from Boston College. Her ministry has steadily evolved from high school teaching to years of campus ministry with students and faculty at Gonzaga University and San Jose State. As she began to feel her own aging and need to slow down, she readily accepted an invitation to be a pastoral and spiritual presence with her older Sisters in Community at Los Gatos, CA.  There she "fell in love" with elders, completed CPE training as a Chaplain and spent the next 17 years in spiritual care with elders living in residential care: at Providence Center in Olympia, WA and  Mount St. Vincent's here in West Seattle. These were 20 privileged years of learning wisdom from these men and women who daily shared their living, dying and entering into eternal life with her.


The Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason has served as Dean of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle since 2012 after serving churches in his native state of Arkansas. He was ordained a priest in 2004 after graduating from the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from University of Arkansas (1991) and practiced medicine for more than 20 years as family doctor and hospice/palliative care specialist before turning to parish ministry full-time in 2012.

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Climate Conversations

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SECOND THURSDAYS, 6:30–7:30 P.M., online via Zoom

Looking for practical ways to reduce your impact on the environment? Saint Mark’s Creation Care Ministry is hosting Climate Conversations about everyday things in our lives. These monthly conversations will be held on environmentally-friendly Zoom on the second Thursday evening of each month.

Register to participate using this link (same Zoom link each month).

Scroll down on this page to find materials, slides, and videos of past conversations in this series. 


OCTOBER 12, 2023: Save Money by Caring for Creation

It seems like buying climate-friendly food and clothing, installing devices to use less carbon-spewing energy and doing more to care for creation would be costly. In reality, the opposite is true. You can save money by consciously caring for creation. We’ll discuss how to buy groceries and clothes in ways that save money. We’ll look at alternatives that can save energy or use less water. And we’ll take advantage of the insights on the St Mark’s Carbon Tracker to learn to do more. Our discussion will focus around how to spend less while caring for creation more.  

NOVEMBER 9, 2023: Celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with a Creation Care Mindset

Thanksgiving and Christmas are wonderful times for getting together with family, meeting friends and celebrating a special season. There’s about 25 percent more trash in December, however, and homeowners produce 22 percent more light with their Christmas decorations. We can care for creation and still have a great time. From shopping and traveling better to enjoying climate-friendly meals and travel, small changes we make can have a big impact. We’ll show how to care for creation better around the holidays and we’ll center discussion around actions participants take for climate-friendly holiday celebrations.

DECEMBER 14, 2023: Find Great Deals for Local Foods and Plant-Based Meals 

While many of us think first of going to farmers markets to buy produce from local farms that is far fresher and tastes better, there are other places to purchase products. For people considering a switch to plant-based meals and who don’t find products such as Impossible Burgers that cost too much, there are alternatives. We’ll discuss where to buy local produce, where to find plant-based products, and alternatives to better-known plant-based foods such as Impossible that taste great and cost less.

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