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

Gareth Higgins: How Not to Be Afraid

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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 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).

Join us for an evening of storytelling and conversation with Irish writer Gareth Higgins, author of How Not to Be Afraid. Brian McLaren says Gareth’s new book How Not to be Afraid is “a beautiful book,” Kathleen Norris says it’s “a necessary book,” and Micky ScottBey Jones says it’s “a much-needed resource for skill-building through our fear and trauma, so that we might create the belonging and communities we desire.” Nadia Bolz-Weber says “I totally trust Gareth Higgins when he writes about his own fear and how it’s actually possible to transform it into something powerful, something capable of healing us and the world.” Pádraig Ó Tuama says “Gareth Higgins is a friend. This book is too.” Find out more at hownottobeafraid.com

How Not to Be Afraid

Fear feeds on the stories we tell ourselves, Higgins claims, and in the pages of How Not to Be Afraid, he delves into the mechanisms of fear, as well as the quiet, immense strength of individuals and communities that refuse to let it reign.

Grounded in personal experience and expert reflection on violence, conflict transformation, and trauma recovery, Higgins traces vulnerability as strength to address seven common fears that plague each of us at some point in our lives. By examining such topics as the fear of being alone, the fear of not having enough, and the fear of violence and death, he invites readers into habits of hope rooted in Celtic spirituality and the mysteries of love.

In the rich spiritual, activist, and literary tradition of Walter Wink and Kathleen Norris, Higgins points us toward tenderness, empathy, and gentle encounter with each other and with our deepest and most relentless fears. He shows us how we can replace our narratives of fear and cynicism with better stories. Peace is the way to itself, he reveals, and when we choose this path, our lives will never be the same.

Gareth Higgins was born in Belfast in 1975, grew up during the Northern Ireland Troubles, and now lives in the US. He writes and speaks about the power of storytelling to shape our lives and world, peace and making justice, and how to take life seriously without believing your own propaganda. He is the co-founder of The Porch Community, the Wild Goose Festival, The New Story Festival, and the Movies & Meaning Festival, and leads retreats in Ireland and the U.S. He is passionate about helping people discover the meaning of our own lives, and to learn from each other about how stories help us live better. www.garethhiggins.net

Program is free; join online using this Zoom link; no need to register for in-person attendance. Optional community dinner served at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family).

See a the book trailer and a preview of the reading in the brief videos below:

“Is Christianity Worth Saving?” A One-Day Interactive Event with Brian McLaren

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FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2023, 9:30 A.M.–4 P.M., in cathedral nave; registration required

Join renowned leader Brian McLaren for a dynamic interactive event exploring the future of Christian faith in the 21st century.

Is Christianity Worth Saving? is a six-and-a-half hour interactive experience featuring author Brian McLaren. Throughout the three-part event McLaren will be joined by a circle of Seattle-area practitioners, experts, advocates, critics, and audience members who will ask clarifying questions and respond to his insights and observations.

  • SESSION 1—“NO”

Is Christianity Worth Saving? is produced by Off The Map, who've gotten lost so many times they're no longer much afraid.

Cost (updated!): Regular, $39 | "Bring a Friend," $69 | "Team" (up to five people), $99.

Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, activist, public theologian, and interrogator of 21st Century American Christian expression. A former college English teacher and pastor, he is a passionate advocate for “a new kind of Christianity”—just, generous, and working with people of all faiths for the common good. He is the author of many books, including A Generous Orthodoxy (2004), A New Kind of Christianity (2010), The Great Spiritual Migration (2016), Faith After Doubt (2021), and, most recently, Do I Stay Christian? A Guide for the Doubters, the Disappointed, and the Disillusioned (2022). In 2005, Time magazine called him one of the 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America. Learn more about Brian here.

Pre-registration required, and spaces are limited. There are no refunds, but we’ll gladly look for someone who’ll be happy to join us if it turns out you can’t. Register at this link. .

Concert for the Human Family

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SATURDAY, MARCH 4, 7:30 P.M., cathedral nave. Reserve tickets here ($20–35). Co-sponsored by Abbey Arts, Saint Mark’s Cathedral, and the Office of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

“What movement could begin, what conversation could take the stage, if everything else got out of the way? This Concert for the Human Family event is an inspiring collaborative between award-winning musicians and church leaders who believe in the power of music and storytelling to foster Beloved Community. Experience genre-bending original music that bridges jazz, hip-hop and bluegrass, performed by a multicultural team led by Nashville pianist and composer Kory Caudill and hip-hop artist Wordsmith. All woven with sacred stories to launch conversation around reconciliation, healing and justice in the communities we call home. It’s the power of music, for the sake of love.”

The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences named the first Concert for the Human Family webcast as Best Event and Live Stream Video in the 26th Annual Webby Awards in April 2022.

Learn more here, including a series of interesting Behind the Scenes videos. More information about the artists can be found below. Reserve tickets here, and view a brief trailer:

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Climate Conversations

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FIRST TUESDAYS, 6:30–7:30 P.M. (NOTE NEW TIME), 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 first Tuesday evening of each month from 5:30–6:30 p.m.

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


February 7, 2023: What you can do to Reduce Consumption

“Reduce” to promote conservation is a great catchphrase. The reality, though, is often different. Buying fewer clothes, groceries, gasoline, devices and more seems difficult. (We often want more clothes to deal with cold rainy Seattle mornings, for example, and bicycling in the rain, or eating less can seem hard.) We’ll discuss what “reduce” really means, provide insights on how much unexpected excess there is in many people’s lives and look at how we can actually reduce what we use without feeling deprived.

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