"Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?"
—The Baptismal Covenant, The Book of Common Prayer
Saint Mark's Justice Ministries Mission: To engage the St. Mark’s community in justice issues, to acknowledge and address our own complicity in injustice, to serve and support those who are in need, to advocate for peace and economic justice, to pursue sustainability and ecological justice, to partner with other congregations and organizations serving and providing opportunities to those in need, and to celebrate the opportunity to serve.
As part of our commitment to justice, Saint Mark's recently adopted a Statement of Commitment and Action, expressing our responsibility to respect the dignity of every human being, strive for justice and peace among all people, and seek and serve Christ in all persons. The statement was born out of concerns about the increase in statements and actions in our nation that target particular groups of people based on their skin color, their religious affiliation, their gender or orientation, their disabilities, or their country of birth. These are artificial divisions that we vehemently denounce as discriminatory and disrespectful. We believe our nation can do better, and we pledge to work toward that better vision. We commit to being a network of activists, in God’s name, joining others who similarly pledge to actively pursue justice.
The JMCT encourages and supports the people of Saint Mark’s and their community allies as they answer God’s call for justice in the world. This team works in partnership with all the volunteer Justice Ministries of the cathedral to set standards of performance and provide assistance, oversight and coordination. Learn more here.
CONTACT: JMCT Chair Justin Mills
The Creation Care Ministry of Saint Mark’s Cathedral strives to faithfully address the crisis of climate change. As stewards of the life-giving goodness of God’s creation, we will work with the Saint Mark’s and broader world communities to educate ourselves and take action together to preserve our shared planet and sustain life for the generations to come.
The Saint Mark’s Vestry has charged all of us to integrate Creation Care within each of our ministries and to identify innovative ways to reduce our institutional and personal carbon footprints. We encourage participation in the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia’s Carbon Offset Cooperative Mission (ecww.org/carbon-offset) as a way to measure, reduce, and offset your carbon footprint.
Saint Mark’s volunteers have been working with the local Seattle/King County affiliate of Habitat for Humanity and participating in national and international building projects for over 25 years. Recently the Saint Mark’s Habitat crew has also been assisting in projects on the cathedral grounds. Learn more here.
CONTACT: Jacquelyn Miller or Gordon Miller
HIV/AIDS Care Team
Members of Saint Mark’s HIV/AIDS Care Team provide companionship and practical assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS. Outings, social contact, shopping, and simple household assistance are examples of how team members interact with our “care partners.” The team works under the auspices and supervision of Samaritan Center of Puget Sound.
CONTACT: Sharon Ferguson
The Homeless Advocacy Ministry’s mission is to engage with the congregation of Saint Mark’s, seeking to educate the community about the ongoing crisis of homelessness in our city, and about the issues surrounding homelessness in general. We seek to support programs, such as the Threshold Fund move-in assistence program, that have a direct impact on the lives of homeless adults, children and families. Learn more here.
CONTACT: David Wagner
On the second Sunday of every month, the cathedral collects a special offering to support several food programs in the Seattle area. This ministry is currently helping the following hunger programs: Compass Center, Lifelong AIDS Alliance, Pike Market Food Bank, Immanuel Community Services, Food Bank at St. Mary’s and St. Brigid’s Banquet.
CONTACT: Vicky Greenbaum
This group creates opportunities to encounter and learn from people of faith from other religious traditions. The group has organized several visits to the Idris Mosque in north Seattle, and participates in events at faith communities throughout the Seattle area. Learn more here.
CONTACT: Brett Bowton-Meade
Jubilee Debt Cancellation
Saint Mark’s is a Jubilee congregation that advocates for right relationships of all peoples at all levels of environmental, economic and social justice issues. Saint Marks prays for those who suffer from injustice in these areas; we contribute $1 per pledging household per year (with the option of declining to participate); we advocate for the disadvantaged when financial institutions, governmental agencies or elected officials are making decisions that could negatively affect them.
CONTACT: Betsy Bell
Lowell Elementary Volunteers
Lowell School, right in the Saint Mark’s neighborhood, has a very diverse student population, including children who are homeless and those with special needs. A positive presence—whether in the classroom, lunchroom, playground, in the office, at the buses or on a field trip—can really brighten the day for a student as well as build community. Come join us! If you’re interested in volunteering, you can learn more and sign up directly with Lowell School at https://lowellelementary.org/volunteer/. To check in with others who volunteer at Lowell, and to be on the Saint Mark’s mailing list of Lowell-interested parishioners, contact: The Rev. Canon Nancy Ross
The Mideast Focus Ministry works through mission, prayer, education, and action to bring understanding and to promote advocacy for justice and peace in the Middle East region, both within the Saint Mark’s congregation and to the greater Seattle community. Learn more here.
CONTACT: Mary Segall
Noel House Shelter at Saint Mark's
Sunday and Monday nights, up to 40 homeless women spend the night at Saint Mark’s as part of a shelter network run by Catholic Community Services. Volunteers provide evening snacks, breakfast and conversation, working from 5:15 to 6:15 in the morning and 8:00 to 9:30 on Sunday evening; 9:00 to 10:30 on Monday evening. More information may be found here.
CONTACT: Norva Osborn
The mission of this new ministry initiative is to provide a welcoming face at the cathedral during the week, help visitors to the cathedral find answers to their questions, provide water, snacks, restroom access, and hygiene items to those who may need them, and to connect visitors with local service providers when appropriate. The ministry will operate in the narthex from 1–3 p.m., Monday through Friday, and will begin on September 23, 2019. Volunteers must complete several required trainings. Learn more here.
CONTACT: Dale Largent
Work and ministries around racial justice and reconciliation at Saint Mark’s are continually evolving to address the critical and pervasive problem of racism and racial injustice. Together, we confront these issues through education, processing, prayer, and action. All are welcome.
CONTACT: The Rev. Canon Jennifer King Daugherty
Working with the Church Council of Greater Seattle and Casa Latina, Sanctuary at Saint Mark’s volunteers are trained for standing up beside immigrant communities facing threat and oppression and building solidarity with our neighbors through relationship, sharing and action. Learn more here.
CONTACT: The Rev. Canon Nancy Ross, or Phillip Lienau
Saint Brigid’s Banquet is committed to providing hot, nutritious meals and hospitality to those in Seattle who are homeless/hungry. Our volunteers cook and serve meals monthly for men aged 50+ who are currently living at St. Martin de Porres shelter, and bi-monthly for teens and young adults served by Teen Feed in the U District. Please consider joining this heart-warming and fun ministry! We welcome all adult volunteers. Learn more here. For times and locations, please contact:
Brenda Schoolfield (St. Martin de Porres)
Maris Olsen (Teen Feed)
Partner and Affiliate Organizations
ERD is our denomination’s organization that responds to human suffering around the world. We provide emergency assistance after disasters, rebuild communities, and help children and families climb out of poverty. More information can be found at episcopalrelief.org.
FAN is a statewide interfaith advocacy nonprofit organization through which thousands of people and more than 103 faith communities across Washington State partner for the common good. FAN believes that justice work is part of our religious calling. FAN communicates with elected officials about critical social issues and advocates for a more just and sustainable world. At Saint Mark’s the FAN Ministry advocates for justice on issues sponsored by Faith Action Network as well as other social, economic and environmental justice issues. More information at fanwa.org.
CONTACT: Tom Sunderland
Friends of the Saint Mark's Greenbelt
The Greenbelt slope to the south and west of the cathedral is an asset to the entire community that has been entrusted to the cathedral. Friends of Saint Mark’s Greenbelt is a unit of the Green Seattle Partnership which helps maintain and restore the land by removing invasive plants, maintaining the trails and replanting with native vegetation. For infomation about bi-monthly work parties contact:
The Mission to Seafarers locally serves cargo and cruise ship sailors in the Port of Seattle. During cruise ship season, trained volunteers shuttle crew from Pier 91 to and from downtown Seattle so that they can shop for essentials and enjoy being off the ship for a short time. Throughout the year, trained Seafarer chaplains visit cargo ships to provide companionship and spiritual support as well as practical help. Occasionally, Seafarer Missioners conduct church services aboard ship, but always serve as chaplains to sailors of all faiths.
CONTACT: The Rev. Earl Grout
The current system of bail is among the most inequitable and unjust aspects of our justice system. Being unable to post bail prior to trial can leave people with a tough choice—either plead guilty to a crime that they may not have committed, or stay in jail for weeks or months. Either choice can impact their job, their shelter/housing and even custody of children.
The Northwest Community Bail Fund began as a ministry of Saint Mark’s Cathedral, but is now an independent 501(c)3, part of the National Bail Fund Network. It provides cash bail for people who are charged with low-level crimes in King and Snohomish Counties and who are unable to pay due to poverty. This allows them to get out of jail during their trial period and defend themselves from a position of freedom. NCBF also collaborates with the Pre-Trial Justice Institute, the ACLU, and stakeholders in Washington State on bail reform to reduce/eliminate the use of bail.
CONTACT: The Rev. Canon Jennifer King Daugherty
United Churches Emergency Fund (UCEF) is a coalition of local church congregations, individuals, and supporting organizations which provide compassionate listening, focused referrals, and financial assistance to prevent homelessness. Saint Mark’s is a member of the coalition and partners with ucef to serve those outside their usual service area. A small grant from UCEF makes it possible for an individual or family to stave off an eviction or utility shut-off. It creates a window of hope for people to keep the roof they have long enough to make a difference.
CONTACT: Brett Bowton-Meade