Home / Justice / Racial Justice

In the wake of George Floyd's murder in 2020 and the subsequent racial awakening in America, and as part of Saint Mark's continual work towards racial justice for all, Saint Mark's and the Diocese of Olympia have recommitted to rooting out racism within ourselves and the church at large. This page serves to share the work of Saint Mark's to address racism within the cathedral and within ourselves, as well as the cathedral's work towards change and justice for every human being, especially BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and other marginalized communities.

Read Dean Thomason's 2020 statement on racism and violence here.

Recent and Ongoing Actions

Saint Mark’s is excited to present Cathedral Conversations About Race, a new podcast series from Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle. In this series, hosts Cara Peterson and Michael Perera speak with the BIPOC members of the cathedral about their respective faith journeys, and their experiences of being a BIPOC person in our community. Periodically, Cara and Michael will interview the clergy of the cathedral, to get their reactions on the stories they've heard, and what this means for the cathedral's work of anti-racism. Learn more here.


The Community of Saint Mark's is encouraged to register for Dismantling Racism Training from the Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing. Learn more here.

Projecting Justice at Saint Mark's: From May 25 - June 8, the Saint Mark’s cathedral building became a public monument as names of citizens killed by police were projected onto the façade of the cathedral, in letters over three feet high. In this extraordinarily public way, Saint Mark's used its most visible asset—the cathedral building itself—to “say their names” in order to spark discussions and move towards meaningful change in our own community and region. Learn more here.

Saint Mark's Statement of Lament and Commitment to Action was unanimously approved by the Vestry in May of 2021. It builds upon the Anti-Racism Covenant crafted by the Diocese of Missouri and adopted by the Diocese in 2020. Read the statement here and learn more about how and why it came about here.

On April 27, 2021, the Vestry of Saint Mark's adopted three Mutual Ministry Goals: Creation Care and Carbon Reduction; Restorative Justice and Systemic Change; and Innovative and Intergenerational Community.

Mutual Ministry Goal: Restorative Justice and Systematic Change

Drawing on our scriptural enjoinder to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God, we will renew our commitment to seek and serve Christ in all persons, working toward restorative justice and the dignity of every human being while lamenting and working to change those systemic evils—in the church and the world—that corrupt and destroy the creatures of God.

Read the full Mutual Ministry Goals here, adopted April 27, 2021.

After a three-year process, the office of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church has released the Racial Justice Audit of Episcopal Leadership to the public. Learn more, including upcoming webinars discussing the findings of the audit, here.

In December of 2020, Saint Mark’s announced that The Rev. Canon Walter Brownridge would serve as Theologian-in-Residence for 2021, during which he will preach periodically, teach, consult with ministry leaders, staff and vestry, with a special focus on the cathedral’s efforts to address systemic racism.

Read more about The Rev. Canon Brownridge here.

Diocesan Updates

At the 2020 Diocesan Convention, the Diocese of Olympia voted overwhelmingly to sign on to A Covenant to Root Out Racism, put forth initially by the Rt. Rev. Deon Johnson, Episcopal Bishop of Missouri. Read Bishop Rickel's statement and see the complete text from 12/20/2020 here.

Click here to read the plans and priorities for anti-racism work from the Diocese of Olympia, as of July 2020. Click here to read an August 2020 update from The Rev. Canon Arienne Davison, Canon to Ordinary, with more detailed plans for a commitment to anti-racist work in the Diocese of Olympia over the next several years.


Video Events and Presentations

On May 22, 2019, The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, author of Radical Welcome and the Presiding Bishop's Canon for Evangelism, Reconciliation and Stewardship, visited the Diocese of Olympia and gave a presentation at Saint Mark's Cathedral titled "Becoming Beloved Community."
Gospel Work: An Introduction to Anti-Racism work in the diocese of Olympia.
Click here to learn about the series of online presentations and discussion titled Taking Up Our Responsibility for Racial Justice. Although this series is now concluded, you may view video and materials from the class. The opening plenery, above, was streamed July 1, 2020.
Saint Mark’s Theologian-in-Residence, The Rev. Canon Walter Brownridge, gives an introduction to acclaimed African-American religious leader and theologian Howard Thurman’s legacy. Canon Brownridge’s presentation led off an invitation to read for Lent Thurman’s foundational work Jesus and the Disinherited, exploring the Gospel as a manual of resistance for the poor and disenfranchised. This introductory presentation was offered Sunday, January 28, 2021. Learn more here.
The Seattle Clergy Moment of Lament & Prayer for Racial Justice was livestreamed Friday, June 5, 2020, at 12 noon.

­­Anti-Racism Learning Resources

The list of anti-racism resources, references, and recommendations compiled by the cathedral community in the summer of 2020 can now be found here.

Racial Justice Updates and Events

Book Study—The Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline, and New Hope for the Beloved Community
with No Comments

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 … Read More

Guest Preacher April 3, 2022: Indigenous Missioner of the Episcopal Church, The Rev. Dr. Bradley S. Hauff
with No Comments

UPDATED WITH VIDEO 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 … Read More

Following Jesus to a New Counter-Cultural, Post-Pandemic Normal
with 2 Comments

UPDATED WITH VIDEO 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 … Read More

Saint Mark’s at the 2022 Seattle MLK Jr. Day Rally & March
with No Comments

UPDATED WITH TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION 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 … Read More

Sanctuary Update, December 2021
with No Comments

UPDATED WITH VIDEO PRESS CONFERENCE AND RALLEY: MONDAY, DECEMBER 20, 12 P.M. 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 … Read More

Special Parish Forum—Statement of Lament and Commitment to Action
with No Comments

UPDATED WITH VIDEO WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 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 … Read More

Friends Talking: Pastor Carey Anderson
with No Comments

UPDATED WITH VIDEO 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. SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 21 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. … Read More

A Report from El Salvador by Elizabeth Hawkins
with No Comments

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 … Read More

A World-Premiere Commission for the O Antiphons Liturgy, 2021
with No Comments

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 … Read More

The Rev. Eliacín Rosario-Cruz called as Cathedral Canon
with 3 Comments

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, … Read More

Community Conversation on the Formation Consultant’s Report
with No Comments

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 … Read More

Special Parish Forum on the Statement of Lament and Commitment to Action
with No Comments

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 … Read More

Canon Walter Brownridge presents: From Prisoners of Pandemic to Prisoners of Hope
with No Comments

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. … Read More

Mutual Ministry Goals Community Meetings
with 1 Comment

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 … Read More

Presiding Bishop, House of Deputies President issue statement on Indigenous boarding schools
with No Comments

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 … Read More

Juneteenth Service of Freedom & Healing, 2021
with No Comments

Diocese of Olympia Circles of Color Present: Juneteenth Service of Freedom and Healing | Saturday, June 19, 2021, 12:30 p.m.  Service Leaflet Offertory donations support the Richard Younge Curates of Color Fund which was established to honor the ministry of the Rev. Richard Younge and to support the ongoing formation of newly ordained people of color in the Diocese of Olympia. Please write “Juneteenth” in the memo line. Give using: saintmarks.org/give or venmo.com/saintmarkscathedralseattle or mail a check to: 1245 10th Ave E, Seattle … Read More

An Introduction to Saint Mark’s Statement of Lament and Commitment to Action
with No Comments

On May 25, 2021, the cathedral Vestry unanimously adopted a Statement of Lament and Commitment to Action, a revised and expanded statement of principals for this community. This document has been in the works for many months, and builds on the cathedral’s 2016 Statement, titled Renewing Our Covenant—which for many years has been posted on the church’s front doors—and A Covenant to Root Out Racism, created in Diocese of Missouri and adopted by the Diocese of Olympia at the 2020 … Read More

Dean’s Message on Land Acknowledgment
with No Comments

Dean Thomason sent the following message to the community regarding the creation and intention behind the cathedral’s Land Acknowledgment. Much more information can be found at Saint Mark’s Land Acknowledgment page. A Message from Dean Thomason Dear friends, You may have noticed in recent months more occasions when we have begun our worship or meetings with a Land Acknowledgment: Saint Mark’s Cathedral acknowledges that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People, who … Read More

1 2 3