Spring 2019 Cathedral Commons

Join us on Wednesday evenings for food, fellowship, and faith formation. This weekly offering is designed to make space for community gathering and spiritual growth during the week.

6–6:45 p.m. Optional Catered dinner in Bloedel Hall (Adults $7, Children $5, Max Family $20)
6:45–8 p.m. Adult Faith Formation Opportunity (In Bloedel Hall unless otherwise noted)


No Wednesday Forum April 17 (Holy Week; Tenebrae)


What is Faith?

WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 6:45–8:15 p.m.

Facilitated by Cathedral Clergy

An entry in the occasional series "Practically Speaking: Life Practices for Faithful Living" offered February 20, April 10 & May 8.) More details to come!


Are We There Yet? Racial Healing and Reconciliation in Our Time

WEDNESDAY, MAY 22, 6:45–8:15 p.m.

Facilitated by The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers

Join The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers as she visits Saint Mark’s Cathedral to talk about racism, healing, and reconciliation. Canon Spellers is the Presiding Bishop’s Canon for Evangelism, Reconciliation, and Creation. Her self-described mission is to help Episcopalians follow Jesus’ Way of Love and to grow loving, life-giving, and liberating relationships with God, each other, and the earth. Her session at Saint Mark’s will be an interactive reflection on the reality of racism and the hope for justice and healing in our time. Gain courage and renew your commitment to being agents of transformation. Learn more at www.episcopalchurch.org/reconciliation


Past Cathedral Commons offerings this season

Healthy Attachment and When to Let Go

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10, 6:45–8:15 p.m.

Facilitated by Canon Nancy Ross and Rev. Cristi Chapman

On the eve of Holy Week, come and share what this Lenten season has been like for you. Together we will reflect on what our faith teaches—and what we practice—about letting go of attachments. What holds you back from fully being in relationship with God? When have your icons turned into idols? What have you discovered about what your heart is yearning for this season? Find out how Scripture guides us and shows a way forward from the cross to the empty tomb. [An entry in the occasional series "Practically Speaking: Life Practices for Faithful Living" offered February 20, April 10 & May 8.]


Special Forum on Sanctuary Ministry

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3, 6:45–8:15 p.m.

Facilitated by Dean Steve Thomason and Canon Nancy Ross

As was announced on Friday, March 29, Saint Mark’s has activated its Sanctuary ministry to provide safe space for Jaime so his family will not face long-term separation because of unjust policies. This forum will provide more information, an opportunity to answer questions you may have, and provide education to ensure we maintain safe space. All are welcome

The Invitation to Wisdom and Grace

WEDNESDAYS, MARCH 13, 20 & 27, 2019, 6:45–8:15 p.m.

Facilitated by Dean Thomason

Drawing on the works of Richard Rohr, Ken Wilber, Kathryn Tanner, and the great mystics Teresa and Julian and others, the invitation to wisdom and grace involves work of self-awareness, disruption, and transformation. Using Rohr’s rhythm of spiritual journey described as “Order—Disorder—Reorder” as the paradigm, our understanding of God unfolds, from tribal and idolatrous features, into the true character of mercy, justice and love, experienced as grace. All are welcome. Program is free with no registration required; optional Community Dinner at 6 p.m., $7.
Week 1: ORDER


Let Your Life Speak: Why Everyone Should Plan Their Own Funeral

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 6:45–8:15 p.m.

Facilitated by Dean Thomason and Cathedral Clergy

Why do we have funerals? Are they for the deceased or those left behind? Why should you plan your own funeral? Dean Thomason and the Cathedral Clergy will address such questions, and facilitate a hands-on look at the theological underpinnings of the burial liturgies and how you make decisions regarding your own funeral plans, offering that work as a gift to your loved ones. Clergy will also talk about documenting that plan and how regularly reviewing that plan can become an important spiritual practice. Here are resources to help you:
A Guide to Planning Your Funeral (docx)
The Saint Mark's funeral planning form (docx)
The Saint Mark's funeral planning form (pdf)
Suggested Burial Rite Readings (pdf)

The Process of Forgiveness

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 6:45–8:15 p.m.

Facilitated by Canon Jennifer King Daugherty

(Part of the series "Practically Speaking: Life Practices for Faithful Living" offered  February 20, April 10 & May 8.) For Christians, Jesus’ commandment to forgive is right up there with loving God and our neighbor.  But forgiveness can be elusive and sometimes can feel impossible. What is it anyway? And how do we move toward forgiving our friends, enemies and even ourselves?  Come join Canon Daugherty in exploring forgiveness and practical ways to heal our relationships

Special Conversation about Border Ministry, Immigration, and Asylum

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16, 6:45–8:15 P.M.

Facilitated by The Very Rev. Steven Thomason and The Rev. Canon Nancy Ross
Join Dean Thomason and Canon Nancy Ross who will offer reflections on their recent trip to the U.S.-Mexican border as we consider a collaborative project in support of refugees and immigrants, on the border and here in the Seattle region. Those present will be invited into conversation as we envision this potential ministry together. All are welcome; please encourage others to join you who may be interested. For more background, read Dean Thomason’s blog from the trip here.


Practicing Gratitude as the Gift of Life

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2019, 6:45–8:15 P.M.

Facilitated by Dean Thomason

Brene Brown says: "Today we live in a culture of scarcity; a culture of "never enough." It is a vortex of endless insufficiency. There is another way. The antidote is practicing gratitude, not as a whimsical emotion, but as the deep well of true life available to us all. We were created to discover this! How do we tap gratefulness in meaningful ways, and how does gratefulness color all of life? Dean Thomason will offer reflections on such questions, and invite those present into conversation.


A Growing Urgency: Advancing Technologies and their Ethical Challenges


Facilitiated by Joe Caggiano and Cristi Chapman

No force is more powerful than technology in shaping the world in which we live. Data-driven social media, predictive behavioral algorithms, gene manipulation, and climate focused engineering interventions are a few of the rapidly-advancing technologies that impact our lives. How can we engage in this rapidly changing environment, particularly when technological development and decision-making often lie beyond the scope of daily experience? This two week series provide some introductory background and then explore new ways people might engage in decisions about technology; whether the Church’s role in social justice or environmental activism is a precedent for deeper influence on emerging technologies; and what it means to be a moral agent, rather than passive recipient, in the face of relentlessly advancing technologies.

Video and resources

Video and resources from past forums are available on the Cathedral Commons - Video & Resources page.