At Saint Mark's, we seek to provide a variety of opportunities for seekers to deepen in relationship with God and to encounter God's liberating love through community and attention to Holy Scripture, tradition, and reason. At Saint Mark's, we refer broadly to these offerings as "Faith Formation."



Contours of the Christian Life

BEINGS SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2024. MOST MEETINGS ARE ON WEDNESDAY EVENINGS, FEBRUARY 21–APRIL 17, in person in Bloedel Hall or online via Zoom. Online participants, please join using this Zoom link for the first 5 weeks.

A new offering to go deeper into questions of faith in our daily lives. Living a journey of faith takes inquiry and practice to conform to Christ's way of life and be open to continual transformation. In this series, we’ll focus on what it means to deepen our faith, our practices, and our relationships as Episcopalians. Participants are invited to journey together through Lent and commit to seven formation sessions on Wednesday Evenings. Contours of the Christian Life provides further preparation for baptism, confirmation and reception into The Episcopal Church.

DATES & TOPICS

  • February 11 (Sunday)—Opening Reception
  • February 21—Listening for God’s Call in Scripture
  • February 28, 2024—Made in God’s Image
  • March 6—Celebrate with Reverence
  • March 13—Episcopal Identity
  • March 20—Saint Mark’s Identity
  • April 10—Body, Mind, and Spirit
  • April 17—Doing Justice, Loving Mercy

Much more information, including more detailed descriptions of each meeting's topic, can be found here. Email Emily Meeks (emeeks@saintmarks.org) with questions.

The Inquirers' Class

LAST SERIES: SUNDAYS, JANUARY 7–JANUARY 28, 2024, 12:30–2 P.M., Leffler Living Room; in person only.

NEXT SERIES: FALL 2024, DATES TBA (A hybrid option may be offered) 

Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, consider attending this four-class series, facilitated by clergy and staff, where we explore the basics of the Christian faith through an Episcopal lens. Whether you are new to Saint Mark’s, or simply interested in sharing and learning more, you are welcome. The four sessions will explore: Images of God (January 7), How We Read Scripture (January 14), The Way We Worship (January 21), and Spiritual Practices (January 28). More information here.

January 2024 dates and topics:

  • WEEK 1: Images of God | January 7, 2024
  • WEEK 2: How We Read Scripture | January 14, 2024
  • WEEK 3: The Way We Worship | January 21, 2024
  • WEEK 4: Spiritual Practices | January 28, 2024

Attendees who are interested in baptism this fall or in the first half of 2024, or who would like to prepare for confirmation, reception into the Episcopal Church or reaffirmation of faith on Cathedral Day (Saturday, April 27) are strongly encouraged to attend both the Inquirers' Class series and Contours of the Christian Life, a new formation offered in Lent.

Email Canon Wendy Claire Barrie wbarrie@saintmarks.org with questions.


Sacred Ground

A Film- and Readings-Based Dialogue Series on Race and Faith

GROUP MEETS TUESDAYS, 6:30–8:30 P.M.., BEGINNING SEPTEMBER 12, 2023, AND ENDING JUNE 4, 2024, in Leffler House or online via Zoom. Capacity is limited; registration is required.

Everyone in the Saint Mark's Cathedral community is invited to consider participating in Sacred Ground, an intense, small-group learning cohort which will meet over thirteen sessions, September 12 through June 4 at 6:30–8:30 p.m. on the second floor of Leffler House (hybrid option available). Capacity is limited, so if you feel called to be part of a Sacred Ground circle, please register as early as possible using the form here or below.

The series is built around a powerful online curriculum of documentary films and readings that focus on Indigenous, Black, Latino, and Asian/Pacific American histories as they intersect with European American histories. Check out much more introductory material here.


Second Sunday Cathedral Book Group

SECOND SUNDAY OF ADD-NUMBERED MONTHS, 12:30–2 P.M., in person in Cathedral House Room 210, and online via Zoom

A lively book discussion group, sometimes led by special guests. Books are selected by members of the the group themselves. Recent selections have included The Overstory by Richard Powers, The Second Mountain by David Brooks, The Sword of the Lord by Saint Mark's member Andrew Himes, and Why Religion? by Elaine Pagels. All are welcome. Questions, contact: Pearl McElheran. To get the Zoom link, contact Deborah Brown.


Weekly Tuesday Noon Bible Study

EVERY TUESDAY, 12–1:30 P.M., online via Zoom only. Bible Study is on hiatus in the month of August.

This group provides a weekly conversation around the scripture readings for the following Sunday. Each week a discussion is facilitated by rotating guest leaders, and lively conversation ensues as people share their thoughts about the lessons. The group meets from 12–1:30 p.m. for study and prayer over the lectionary, led by a rotating group of cathedral staff and lay leaders. (Join early at 11:30 for social time and chat.)

The Bible Study group has experimented with in-person and hybrid gatherings, but has now decided to return to Zoom-only gatherings for the time being.

For more information and to get the Zoom link to join online, contact Lynne Cobb at: biblestudy@saintmarks.org


The Radix Project: Small Groups/Deep Roots

NEXT ITERATION, RADIX 11, BEGINS OCTOBER 15, 2023.  Learn more and regsiter to participate here.

In January of 2020 Saint Mark's launched The Radix Project: Small Groups/Deep Roots. More than 150 people in 18 small groups met weekly for six weeks to share their stories, reflect on scripture, and pray for one another with intention. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and this was made a regular offering. New groups are formed for each six-session series, offered several times each year.

When the pandemic lock-down came into effect, these groups easily made the transition to virtual meet-ups over the Zoom teleconferencing platform. Many community members have found these small groups profoundly valuable and life-giving, and the groups are welcome to continue meeting on an informal basis following the conclusion of the series, if they wish.

Subsequent series have been on themes such as "Why Resurrection?," "The Role of Surprise in the Spiritual Journey," "Centering Women's Voices", and, most recently, "Creation, Community, and Connection." Learn much more, including video and materials from all the the previous iterations, here.

 


The Wisdom School

The mission of the Wisdom School is to offer “a balanced path for spiritual transformation grounded in prayer and practice, drawing on the Christian contemplative tradition while respecting the diversity of experiences born from contemplative practices of other traditions.” The space for reasoned discourse, lifelong learning, and spiritual renewal is held sacred for all seekers, whether they worship at the cathedral or not. Wisdom School offerings sometimes occur during Wednesday night Cathedral Commons, along with regular contemplative offerings such as the 7 p.m. Sunday Contemplative Eucharist and Cathedral Yoga, and special faith formation events. Read more here.


Education for Ministry

NEW SESSIONS BEGIN EACH FALL

An informational session was offered online via Zoom on June 8, 2022. See a complete video here and below.

Do you want to go deeper into your faith in an intense, ongoing way? Do you want to form lasting connections with others who also seek that connection? Consider registering for Education for Ministry (EfM) [external link]. EfM is a four-year program for lay people to study scripture, church history, and modern theology. Classes connect the material with church tradition, personal experiences, individual beliefs, and current events. EfM is a program of The School of Theology at Sewanee, and is The Episcopal Church’s most in-depth adult Christian education course.

Admission requires a solid commitment to attend the weekly seminars and spend between two and four hours in study and preparation weekly during the academic year (September–June). It is a four-year program, but students commit to one year at a time. Each class is limited to 12 people. EfM is also available online for students who are not able to attend the weekly seminars.

Two different classes meet weekly September to June at Saint Mark’s:

  • Mondays, 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
  • Mondays, 6–8 p.m.

Tuition, including books, is $375. Please inquire by contacting class mentors: Monday morning: Maria Coldwell; Monday evening: Tom Hayton


SPECIAL OFFERINGS

Book Study: The Church Cracked Open: Disruption, Decline, and New Hope for the Beloved Community

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 Christianity and, more importantly, at the life of the Episcopal Church today. Canon Spellers (who presented at Saint Mark's in May of 2019) challenges us with an opportunity to discern our faithfulness toward building the Beloved Community in response to the racial reckoning and the pandemic experience of the past two years. We will meet on Sundays, 12:30–2 p.m.

  • May 15: Introduction, chapters 1–2
  • May 29: Chapters 3–4
  • June 5: Chapters 5–6
  • June 19: Chapters 7–8 and the conclusion

Register using this form or here.

Taking Up Our Responsibility for Racial Justice (Online)

OPENING PLENARY: WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2020, 7–8:30 P.M.

SERIES: FOUR WEDNESDAYS, JULY 15 & 29, and AUGUST 12 & 26, 2020, 7 P.M

At this critical moment in our nation’s and community’s history, we are confronted again with fresh knowledge of longstanding racial injustice – in policing, the justice system, health care, housing, education, the Church, and many other sectors of our common life. Our faith community is grappling with important questions – what do I need to learn? How should I and our church respond? We will undertake a four-week study and discussion series to confront racism—its theology, history, and presence in our lives today—and ways to move forward toward justice. The series is open to all, recognizing the responsibility for change falls on white people. A plenary session with Dean Thomason to learn more about the series was offered on July 1, 7–8:30 p.m. Video and materials from this offering may be found here. Other resources for the work of racial justice may be found here.

 


OCCASIONAL OFFERINGS

Spirited Women: Gathering Together to Grow Together

Are you longing for a deeper connection at Saint Mark’s? Have you wondered about spiritual practices and how to put those into practice in your daily life? Growing out of the 2019 Women's Retreat, the "Spirited Women" group gathers occasionally throughout the year to talk about practices that help develop and nurture a healthy spirituality. Previous meeting topics have included the practice of praying with Anglican prayer beads, reflecting on "holy ordinary moments," and the spirituality of shared meals. Meetings are currently being held via Zoom. New members are always welcome! Learn more here.