Saint Mark’s offers a variety of social and formation opportunities on Wednesday night. These offerings are known as the Cathedral Commons, since they provide a space in which the cathedral parish community can come together to share, learn, and grow.

Many of these offerings are presented as "hybrid" events, with a full experience available both to those gathered in person in Bloedel Hall, and to those joining from home online. Others are offered online via Zoom only, and certain events (such as the Rogation Day procession and Twelfth Night gathering) are offered only in person. Special events, presentations, and forums sometimes occur on other weeknights—these events are also posted on this page.


The Community Dinner, prepared by Chef Marc Aubertin and his team, is served in Bloedel Hall from 6 to 6:30 p.m. (Due to food safety requirements, food service must end at 6:30 p.m. sharp.) Cost: $6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family. The Community Dinner is on summer hiatus. It will resume in September.

A presentation or forum then frequently (though not always) follows the Wednesday dinner, 6:45 to 8:15 p.m.


Please note: Schedule and descriptions subject to change.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 12, 6 P.M., Bloedel Hall and via Zoom. Note earlier time. Community Dinner is currently on summer hiatus.

Forum on Pauli Murray, Priest, Scholar, Activist, and Poet

The Saint Mark’s Queer in Christ Ministry has planned two events in July honoring The Rev. Pauli Murray, the first Black person perceived as a woman in the U.S. to become an Episcopal priest, and the first queer person added to The Episcopal Church’s “Calendar of Saints” (called Lesser Feasts & Fasts). Murray’s feast day is July 1.

On Wednesday, July 12, at 6 p.m., noted author (and creator of the Brave Sis Project) Rozella Kennedy will present an evening hybrid forum in Bloedel Hall and via Zoom, exploring who Pauli Murray was, their life as a priest, activist, scholar, and poet, and why their story is important to us today. Stay tuned for more details about this event.

Wednesday dinners and forums will be on summer hiatus for July and August.

Dinner and forum resume Wednesday, September 13, 2023.



TWO WEDNESDAYS, MAY 10 & 24, 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).

Dr. Christena Cleveland and the Black Madonnas:
The Pilgrimage of a Womanist Theologian

The Rev. Canon Carla Robinson will lead a discussion of the book God Is a Black Woman by Dr. Christena Cleveland, as seen through the lens of pilgrimage. The book itself came out of her journey to see the Black Madonnas of France. In this series we will explore the major themes of Dr. Cleveland's latest book.

UPDATE: A video of Part 1 may be seen here.

Dr. Cleveland will be visiting the Cathedral in June. This short series is intended to help people prepare for the material she will present when she comes to Saint Mark's. Attendees are asked to view either of the two podcasts (linked below) in which Dr. Cleveland is interviewed and then to read the book.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 17, 2023, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in person only in Bloedel Hall (and throughout the cathedral grounds). Optional community dinner at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family).

A Rogation Day Liturgy

Join Rev. Stahlecker, Canon Rosario-Cruz, and Canon Barrie as we celebrate and give thanks for the gifts of Creation with an outdoor liturgy for Rogation Day, an observance that dates to the 5th century. For 1,500 years, the weekdays preceding Ascension Day have been marked by outdoor prayers and thanksgiving for the fruitful Earth. Following the community dinner in Bloedel Hall, participants will process around the cathedral grounds, stopping to reflect and pray at significant locations. The liturgy includes a portion of the Great Litany.

UPDATE: The leaflet for this year's procession may be seen here

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26, 6:45–8:15 P.M., presenters online via Zoom. Optional community dinner at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family).

Sacred Listening as a Transformational Practice

Please note: The presenter, Rev. Stahlecker, led this forum online via Zoom. The Wednesday evening community dinner was served in Bloedel Hall 6–6:30 p.m. as usual, and those who wish to attend the dinner and then participate in the forum did so together in Cathedral House Room 210.

Facilitated by The Rev. Linzi Stahlecker. An offering of The Wisdom School at Saint Mark's.

Sacred listening is more than the hearing of words and sounds. Sacred listening is an invitation into relationship and an honoring of the ways in which the Divine presence is felt and responded to in our lives as a source of transformation. In this forum, we will learn about—and practice—various ways to cultivate sacred listening, how to notice and recognize the resistances and avoidances that may hinder our transformation, and we will create spaces together that honor the sharing of our stories and the fostering of transformative relationships as a way to enhance and expand our relationship with God.

UPDATE: A complete video is now posted here.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12, 2023, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall or online via Zoom; registration required. Optional community dinner at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family).

Exploring Racial Justice in the Episcopal Church

Facilitated by Vinh Do and The Rev. Canon Carla Robinson. Hosted by Saint Mark’s Cathedral; open to all in the Diocese of Olympia and beyond.

In 2021, the Episcopal Church released its Racial Justice Audit documenting the experience of race, racism, and racial identity within church leadership. At the Diocese of Olympia's Diocesan Convention last fall, a task force presented its findings and proposed ways we in this diocese might engage this important work. This forum is designed as part of that work. All cathedral members are encouraged to register to attend, and members from other churches are most welcome also. This is an opportunity to listen, learn and engage in conversation with others as we seek to understand and seek racial justice in our communities, guided by five questions developed by the Task Force. Contact Canon Carla Robinson for more information.

Program is free, but registration is required for in-person or online participation. Optional community dinner served at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family).

UPDATE: A complete video is now available here.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29, 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).

Reflections on the Holy Land Pilgrimage

Walking in the footsteps of Jesus, in the land of the Holy One, is a transformative journey which thirty souls from the cathedral community recently made. As Christians, we are all called to make pilgrimage as a spiritual practice, drawing on sacred experiences, near and far. This special forum is designed to share a bit of the flavor, rhythms, challenges, and insights gleaned from the experience on the pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Many have asked when we might hear more about the trip—this is the opportunity to do so. All are welcome, in person or on Zoom.

UPDATE: A complete video is now available here.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22, 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).

Out of the Ashes: A Story of Recovery and Hope

with Sallie Crotty

Sallie Crotty is a writer, educator, and mental health advocate. Her mission is to help erase the stigma surrounding mental health. Author of the 2022 memoir Out of the Ashes: A Story of Recovery and HopeSallie will talk about the essential role that her faith plays in her healing from and living with mental illness. She’ll also share insights from other writers. Sallie and her husband moved from Texas to Seattle in 2019 and joined Saint Mark’s in 2020.

UPDATE: A complete video of this forum is now available here.

TWO WEDNESDAYS: MARCH 8 & 15, 2023, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall only. Optional community dinner at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family).

Hymns as Spiritual Nourishment

A two-part Cathedral Commons forum with Michael Kleinschmidt, Canon for Cathedral Music

Canon Kleinschmidt will lead a two-part exploration of the wonderful world of hymns on Wednesday evenings, March 8 and 15. Focusing on the hymns we will sing this Lent and Holy Week, the discussion will attempt to answer questions such as: Why do some hymns touch our hearts more than others? What ingredients of word and melody do our most enduring hymns share? How may I participate in singing a hymn in church, even when I am unfamiliar with the melody? How may hymns enrich my own devotional life? We will sing, we will laugh, and we may even shed a tear or two in our exploration together.

Program is free. Optional community dinner served at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family).

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).

Gareth Higgins: How Not to Be Afraid

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 

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, New Story and Movies & Meaning festivals, and leads retreats in Ireland and the US. 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.

UPDATE: A complete video is now available here.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2023, 6:45–8:15 P.M., presenter on Zoom. Optional community dinner in Bloedel Hall at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family).

The Heros Journey and the Liturgy

Led by Jeremy Crawford

In fantasy games like Dungeons & Dragons, groups of players weave a story together about a fellowship of heroes. Those heroes vanquish horrors, experience unspeakable wonders, and transform the world. We’ll explore what we can learn from such group storytelling and how it relates to the story we immerse ourselves in each time we participate in the divine liturgy.

Presenter Jeremy Crawford is a Saint Mark’s parishioner who studied theology at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and is the lead rules designer of Dungeons & Dragons.

Program is free; Those attending the community dinner in Bloedel Hall will participate in the forum together in Room 210.

UPDATE: A complete video is now available here.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2023, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall only. Optional community dinner at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family).

Candlemas Eve Candle-Making and Evening Prayer

This in-person-only event looks ahead to Candlemas, the Feast of the Presentation (February 2, midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox) of the infant Jesus in the temple, when Simeon recognizes him as the Anointed One, “the Light to enlighten the Nations.” Traditionally, it is the day in which candles are blessed for use in the coming year, so we’ll hear about the history of the day, make candles to take home and end with a simple service of Evening Prayer in Thomsen Chapel.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2023, 6:45–8:15 P.M., presenter on Zoom; those who wish to join for the parish supper at 6 p.m. will participate together in Room 210

Religion in the Public Square: A Year at Newsweek

Julia Duin, Newsweek’s contributing editor for religion as well as the daughter of long-time Saint Mark’s parishioners Robert and Phyllis Duin, shares what were the top religion stories for 2022 and how she covered them. Ranging from the Trump prophets and a praying football coach in Bremerton to Mormons’ increasing embrace of “Heavenly Mother” God, the reparations movement in churches, evangelical adoptions and of course the demise of Roe v. Wade, not to mention the death of a pope. 2022 was a big year for religion news! We'll discuss the role of religion in the public square and how it impacts our daily lives and relationships.

Also in 2022, Julia won four awards for her articles from the Religion News Association (the professional group for the nation’s religion reporters for the secular press) as well as the Evangelical Press Association. Over the years, she’s won at least 15 other national awards for her work. She’s been a reporter or editor for six media outlets, including the Washington Times and the Houston Chronicle, has written seven books on religion topics, has a master's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and another MA in religion from Trinity Episcopal School of Ministry in western Pennsylvania. She and her daughter live in Issaquah.

Program is free. Community dinner served at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family). Those attended the dinner who wish to participate in the forum will gather in Room 210 at 6:45.

UPDATE: A complete recording of this presentation is now available here.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11, 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).

Addiction and Love: Reclaiming Our True Identity

Facilitated by Killian Noe. An offering of The Wisdom School at Saint Mark's.

Most of us suffer from mistaken identity. We identify as the trauma we have endured or the behaviors that emerge from that trauma. The spiritual journey is the life- long journey of reclaiming our truest identity, which is Love. We will reflect on the many ways we numb our pain instead of staying present to and being transformed by our pain and we will celebrate the hope/joy of living from Love.


Killian Noe is the Founder of the Recovery Café Network, and is the author of Finding Our Way Home and Descent Into Love. Read more about Killian here.

Program is free. Optional community dinner served at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family).

UPDATE: This program was inadvertently not recorded. We apologize for the inconvenience. 

NOTE: This presentation was postponed from its original date in September 2022.

TWO WEDNESDAYS, DECEMBER 7 & 14, 2022, 6:45 p.m.–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).

Becoming and Belonging: Embodied Spirituality in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Facilitated by Dean Steve Thomason. An offering of The Wisdom School at Saint Mark's.

The Wisdom School at Saint Mark's presents this timely presentation from Dean Steve Thomason. We are in a paradigm shift of seismic proportions. Drawing on the evolutionary theology of Teilhard de Chardin and the ground-breaking postulations by Ilia Delio, we will explore what embodied spirituality means in a post-human world where climate change, artificial intelligence, and modern medicine converge to create an altered dynamic in which humans exist and evolve. What is the role of spirituality in this increasingly complex and complicated world?

Program is free. Optional community dinner served at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family).

UPDATE: A complete video, slides for both sessions, and additional materials are now posted here

Books referenced include:

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2022, 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).

2022 Report from El Salvador by Elizabeth Hawkins

Saint Mark's parishioner 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. She will give us an update about the current situation in El Salvador. Elizabeth will share how liberation theology has informed her decision to stay in El Salvador and the work she is currently doing as the Program Director of Programa Velasco, an NGO dedicated to educating and empowering women, children, and families.

UPDATE: A complete video is now available here.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2022, 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).

Martinmas, a 40-Day Advent, and the Holy Dark

Canon Barrie will share stories of St. Martin, whose feast day on November 11 marked the beginning of Advent in the Middle Ages, as we talk about how to live into the long winter—where we find comfort and strength during the cold, dark months, and how, too, darkness can nourish and enrich us. Please plan to share a recipe, tradition, or other recommendation for the season.

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2022, 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).

The Triduum of All Hallows/All Saints/All Souls

In this forum led by Canon Barrie, we’ll explore the pre-Christian, Celtic roots of these holy three days and reflect on their relevance in the present day. You are invited to bring a photograph of someone you “love and see no longer” for the prayer table we’ll set with flowers and candles in commemoration of All Souls, better known in the Anglican tradition as the Commemoration of All Faithful Departed.

TWO WEDNESDAYS: OCTOBER 19 & 26, 2022, 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).

The Paradoxical Friendship of Grief and Joy

Facilitated by Canon Jennifer King Daugherty. An offering of The Wisdom School at Saint Mark's.

Grief and joy can seem like opposites—experiences of sadness and loss are profoundly different from those of happiness and delight. Yet, both grief and joy reveal our vulnerability and capacity to love; they both soften our hearts and make us aware of our dependence on God. In this two-week series, Canon Jennifer King Daugherty will explore the paradoxical kinship of grief and joy and how the wisdom and grace we gain from either experience deepens our understanding of the other—and our relationship with God.

UPDATE: Video of parts 1 and 2, along with slides and resources, are now available here.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2022, 7–8:30 p.m., in person in Bloedel Hall or online via Zoom

Jerusalem’s Old City—A Holy Story
A Presentation by BBC Journalist and Author Matthew Teller

Co-sponsored by Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, University Book Store, Seattle, and Other Press Publishers, New York

In Jerusalem, what you see and what is true are two different things. The Old City has never had “four quarters” as its maps proclaim. And beyond the crush and frenzy of its major religious sites, many of its quarters are little known to visitors, its people ignored and their stories untold. Nine Quarters of Jerusalem lets the communities of the Old City speak for themselves. Ranging from ancient past to political present, it evokes the city’s depth and cultural diversity.

Matthew Teller’s highly original “biography” features the Old City’s Palestinian and Jewish communities, but also spotlights its Indian and African populations, its Greek and Armenian and Syriac cultures, its downtrodden Dom Gypsy families, and its Sufi mystics. It discusses the sources of Jerusalem’s holiness and the ideas—often startlingly secular—that have shaped lives within its walls. It is an evocation of place through story, led by the voices of Jerusalemites.

UPDATE: A complete video is now available here.

TWO WEDNESDAYS, OCTOBER 5 & 12, 2022, 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).

Listening as an Act of Solidarity

Facilitated by The Rev. Linzi Stahlecker & The Rev. Canon Eliacín Rosario-Cruz.

As Christians, we are called to strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect the dignity of every human being. A foundational practice for this work is the ability to listen to the lives and experiences of our neighbors. In these sessions, we will explore how culture shapes our ability to listen and impacts our work of justice. We will learn and practice various ways to cultivate listening as an act of solidarity and how to create spaces that honor complex stories and foster transformative relationships.

Program is free; no registration required. Optional community dinner served at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family).

UPDATE: video and materials from both sessions are now available here.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2022, 6:45 P.M.–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)

Reflections on the Pilgrimage to Iona and the Celtic Missions

Join Dean Thomason, Canon Daugherty, and participants from July’s pilgrimage from Saint Mark’s as they share a bit of their experience and spiritual gleanings while also inviting everyone present to share experiences of sacred travel and why this is an important spiritual practice for all people. A preview of a potential pilgrimage to Ireland will also be shared. All are welcome.

Free, and no registration required. Optional dinner in Bloedel Hall 6–6:30 pm ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family)

UPDATE: A complete video and other materials are now available here.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2022, 6:45 p.m.–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)

The Queen, Colonialism, and the Anglican Communion: Connections, Heritage, and Hope in a New Era

Join Cathedral clergy and canons for a reflection and conversation on our experience of Queen Elizabeth’s recent death and funeral, the connections we share as Anglican Christians, the challenges of colonial realities of the British Empire, and what we see unfolding in the global arena of 21st Century geopolitical landscapes.

Dean Thomason has written a reflection on the meaning of Queen Elizabeth's legacy, which may be read in advance of the conversation here.

UPDATE: A complete video is now available here.

THREE WEDNESDAYS: JUNE 22, JULY 27, and AUGUST 24, 2022, 5 P.M.–8 P.M., in Bloedel Hall and throughout the cathedral grounds. Registration requested. Fee: $10 in advance; $12 at the door.

The Return of Eat, Play, Love!

This Year's Theme: The Water of Life

First offered in the summer of 2019, Eat, Play Love (Not Your Average Bible Study) is an opportunity for all ages to share a meal, learn, explore, and have fun together at the cathedral. Now this offering returns for 2022!

Take a night off cooking and enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by our own Chef Marc Aubertin, then participate in a variety of creative and reflective activities, including the option to attend in-person Evening Prayer 6–6:30 p.m. The evenings end with a brief service of Compline in the Cathedral Nave.

This year, we will explore the theme "Water of Life" through three scripture stories (Creation, the Baptism of Christ, and The Woman at the Well) and respond to them creatively through activities such as music, art, and science. We'll also dive into justice-seeking as it relates to clean water and water access, both locally and globally.

Eat, Play, Love will be offered over three non-consecutive Wednesday evenings (June 22, July 27, and August 24) from 5 to 8 p.m. Fee, when paid in advance: $10 per person/per night, maximum of $90 per family. Inability to pay should not be a barrier to participation; email Canon Barrie for a scholarship:

To participate, complete the registration form then submit your payment using Alternatively, you may pay at the door, at the rate of $12 per person.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8, 2022, 6:45–8:15 P.M., via Zoom only.

EfM Informational Session

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). There will be an informational forum plus Q&A about the EfM program on Wednesday, June 8, 6:45-8pm, via Zoom. EfM is a four-year program for lay people to study scripture, church history, and modern theology. It is a four-year program, but students commit to one year at a time. Each class is limited to 12 people.

Three different classes meet weekly September-June at Saint Mark's: Sundays, 6:30–8:30 p.m.; Mondays, 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.; and Mondays, 6–8 p.m. Tuition is $325, plus the cost of textbooks. (UPDATE: The Sunday Evening group is coming to an end and will not resume in the fall)

If you’re interested in joining a class in the fall, please attend the forum on June 8, or contact one of the mentors: Monday morning: Maria Coldwell; Monday evening: Tom Hayton.

UPDATE: A complete video is now available here.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1, 2022, 9:30 A.M.–2:30 P.M. [NOTE MORNING TIME], Bloedel Hall and online via Zoom

Starting Over in Prayer with Fr. Martin L. Smith

These difficult COVID years have left many of us in need of a “reboot” in our prayer. Join us for a time of reflection, prayer, and discussion, about being emotionally honest with God just now, and open again to more real intimacy with God. Fr. Martin L. Smith is well known throughout the Episcopal Church and beyond for his roving ministry of spiritual formation in retreats and workshops, and as the author of widely read books exploring contemporary spirituality, including The Word is Very Near You, A Season for the Spirit, Reconciliation, Compass and Stars, and Love Set Free. He is based in Washington DC. This workshop is free, but registration is required.

UPDATE: A complete video is now available here

WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 2022, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in person only, outdoors on the cathedral grounds

A Rogation Day Liturgy

Rev. Stahlecker, Canon Rosario-Cruz, and Canon Barrie will lead this intergenerational, prayerful exploration of the tradition of Rogation days, an ancient practice of blessing and giving thanks for the earth which sustains us.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 18, 2022, 6:45–8:15 P.M., online via Zoom only

Spiritual Practices as Balm for the Soul: A Forum with The Rev. Dr. Hillary Raining

We are living in a moment of great cultural and spiritual change. At times it can feel like there are countless factors working against us to add stress to our lives. Yet, in our spiritual traditions we have a great wellspring of practices that can ground us in the Holy Sprit if we turn to them. In this presentation, The Rev. Dr. Hillary Raining, Saint Mark’s 2022 Theologian in Residence, will invite us to explore some of these practices—new and old—that can bring wisdom and joy to our souls. In preparation for this event, participants are invited to read this article by Willigis Jäger from his classic work, “Search for the Meaning of Life.”

Participants in the March forums with Dr. Raining said, “She is an engaging teacher, warm, and accessible” and “she shares vital information for personal healing that then translates into community healing.” Contact Canon Daugherty at with any questions.

UPDATE: A complete video may now be seen here.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2022, 6:45–8:15 P.M., online via Zoom only

Made in Faith: Clothing and Sustainability

Join Creation Care for a special forum featuring parishioner Clara Berg, fashion historian and curator, and Richard Hartung, sustainable writer/blogger to discuss connections between clothing, the environment and our faith.

We'll share ways to buy less, choose well and make clothes last.

UPDATE: Slides and a complete video are now available here

WEDNESDAY, MAY 4, 2022, 6:45–8:15 P.M., online via Zoom ONLY; registration required

Liturgical Ministers Training & Forum

You are invited! The next Liturgical Minister Training will be on Wednesday evening, May 4. We are offering this training for the first time at a Wednesday Evening Forum, and it will be online only via Zoom so that as many people as possible can attend. The format will be abridged from Liturgical Minister Trainings in past, as follows:

  • 6:45–7:30: Plenary and Theological Reflection led by Dean Thomason
  • 7:30–8:15: Breakouts by Liturgical Ministry, led by ministry leaders

All Liturgical Ministers, or those interested in joining a new ministry, are invited to attend. The goal is that everyone active in Liturgical Ministries attend one of these trainings at least every three years, so if you haven't attended one in a while, please join us! The next training will be offered again after Labor Day. Please contact sacristan Michael Seewer  if you have any questions:

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2022, 6:45–8:15 P.M., online only.

Forum on the Psalms

Please join Canon for Cathedral Music Michael Kleinschmidt and Canon for Intergenerational Ministries Wendy Claire Barrie for learning and conversation about the psalms—how and why we read, chant, and sing them.

After an outline of the history and structure of the Book of Psalms itself, Canon Barrie will explore why we read these ancient Jewish poems and how we understand and pray them in our Christian context today. Then Canon Kleinschmidt will present the various different ways that psalms are given breath and life in our worship tradition. Where does our tradition of "plainchant" come from? How does "Anglican chant" work? What exactly is a "metrical paraphrase"? What's special about the Peter Hallock psalm settings we sing so often?

This is a great way to prepare for the upcoming PSALMATHON! with the Evensong Choir (Saturday, May 14, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon in the cathedral nave).

UPDATE: A complete video is now available here.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2022, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in Bloedel Hall and via Zoom

Middle East Children's Alliance: The Maia Project

Join Zeiad Shamrouch, Executive Director of the Middle East Children’s Alliance, as he discusses MECA’s Maia project, which is supported by Bishop Rickel and the Diocese of Olympia. The Maia Project began in 2007 when the Student Parliament at the UN Boys’ School in Bureij Refugee Camp, Gaza were given the opportunity to choose one thing they most wanted for their school: They chose to have clean drinking water. The reason: 95% of Gaza’s water is unfit for human consumption. Since then The Maia Project has completed 73 water purification and desalinization projects, bringing clean water to 90,000 children in Gaza. The Middle East Children’s Alliance is a nonprofit organization working for the rights and the well-being of children in the Middle East.

UPDATE: A complete video of this event is now available here.

TWO WEDNESDAYS, MARCH 23 & 30, 2022, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in Bloedel Hall and via Zoom

Knowing God Through the Body: Justice, Liberation, and Fullness of Life

A Forum with The Rev. Linzi Stahlecker

TWO WEDNESDAYS, MARCH 23 & 30, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall or online via Zoom

Over the course of this two-week series, Rev. Linzi will explore embodiment as a way to come to know and love ourselves, each other, and God more fully; discussing together why this is essential for the mission of the Church. Drawing from interdisciplinary thinkers, Scripture, and spiritual practice, Rev. Linzi will frame this series in her own life experience, participants are encouraged to notice parallels and differences from their own social location and life story. Rev. Linzi hopes you will join her in Bloedel Hall—the series will be hybrid and you are also welcome to join via Zoom.

UPDATE: Video and slides from Parts 1 and 2 are now available here.

TWO WEDNESDAYS: MARCH 9 & 16, 2022, 6:45–8:15 P.M., via Zoom only, registration required. 

Forum with The Rev. Dr. Hillary Raining: Blood Memory and Spiritual Inheritance

In the last few years, scientists have discovered what indigenous communities have known for countless generations: that the emotional and physical lives of our ancestors will fundamentally affect our emotional and physical lives as well. Yet, this concept of generational spirituality is underexplored in our faith communities. In this two part series, The Rev. Dr. Hillary Raining, Saint Mark’s 2022 Theologian in Residence, will explore the role of our ancestors in shaping our lives as well as how we might help heal ourselves and others. Join us for a combination of scholarship and experience in community! Participants are invited to read Rev. Raining’s article on spiritual inheritance and gratitude here. Learn more about Rev. Raining here.

UPDATE:  Videos of both sessions can now be found here, along with slides and additional materials.

TWO WEDNESDAYS, FEBRUARY 16 & 23, 2022, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in Bloedel Hall and via Zoom. 

Celtic Spirituality: Delight, Wonder, & Reverence

Led by Canon Jennifer King Daugherty

Join Canon Daugherty over the course of two Wednesday evenings to explore the riches of creation-based spirituality in the Celtic tradition. She’ll share some of what she learned while on sabbatical in Ireland and Iona, and we’ll practice rhythms of embodied prayer and openness to daily encounters with the holy. 

UPDATE: The complete videos, slides, handouts, and bibliography from this offering are now posted here.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2022, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in Bloedel Hall and via Zoom.  

The Book of Common Prayer

The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) shapes how we worship, what we believe, and how we see the world and ourselves in the Episcopal tradition. It is designed to shape our very lives in rich ways. Join us for a community discussion as we explore its content and discuss how we incorporate it into our spiritual lives.  A physical copy of the BCP or a free online version are not needed to attend but could be helpful to have available. Join in person at Bloedel Hall or via Zoom.

UPDATE: Download the slides from this presentation here.

TWO WEDNESDAYS, JANUARY 19 & 26, 2022, 6:45–8:15 P.M., online via Zoom only

Following the Magi: Exploring and Celebrating Dimensions of Culture

The season of Epiphany is a time of unveiling, light, and revelation. On Wednesdays, January 19 & 26, we will gather in the spirit of the Magi following the bright star, exploring and celebrating 9 dimensions of culture. The Rev. Canon Eliacín Rosario-Cruz will facilitate our conversation.

On Wednesday, January 19, we will explore the following dimensions of culture: Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, In-Group Collectivism, Institutional Collectivism

On Wednesday, January 26, we will explore the following dimensions of culture: Gender Egalitarianism, Assertiveness, Performance Orientation, Future Orientation, Humane Orientation

UPDATE: A video of part 2 of this offering is now available here(Part 1 was inadvertently not recorded.)

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5, 2022, 6:45–8:15 P.M., in the cathedral nave and Bloedel Hall. Some portions of the evening will be livestreamed. 

Twelfth Night Celebration and Burning of the Greens

In our tradition, the celebration of the Feast of Christmas lasts twelve days, beginning December 25 and ending on January 5 (that is, the day before the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6). The evening of the last day of Christmas is known as “Twelfth Night,” and is an opportunity for festivity and reflection. Come together in the cathedral nave on January 5 for a brief rite to bid farewell to Christmastide and to usher in the Season of Epiphany. Then, we’ll have a bonfire of the Christmas greens in the lower parking lot,  followed by hot drinks and festive snacks for all.

UPDATE: See a glimpse of the outdoor bonfire here.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2021, 6:45 P.M.–8:15 P.M, Bloedel Hall and via Zoom 

A Conversation about Intersectionality by Canon Eliacín Rosario-Cruz

“We will work to adopt an intersectional approach in all aspects of our common life, remembering that all forms of oppression are connected. We look to educate ourselves, and share with others, the many places where our privilege blinds us from being compassionate to others.” —from Saint Mark's Statement of Lament and Commitment to Action

“Intersectionality is a lens through which you can see where power comes and collides, where it interlocks and intersects. It’s not simply that there’s a race problem here, a gender problem here, and a class or LBGTQ problem there. Many times that framework erases what happens to people who are subject to all of these things.”  —Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw

Join Canon Eliacín Rosario-Cruz Wednesday evening for a conversational presentation about Intersectionality and its importance in our congregational life and ministries in the world.


WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2021, 6:45 P.M.–8:15 P.M, online via Zoom only

The COP26 Experience: Heathy Skepticism and Abiding Faith—A Forum with Dr. Lisa Graumlich

For two weeks in November many of us sat on edge of chairs following updates from the twenty-sixth Conference of the Parties (COP26), more commonly known as simply the climate summit. As it ended, many felt disappointed that our high hopes for an ambitious global plan of action were not fully realized. What happened? Where do we go from here? Please join us for a discussion with Lisa Graumlich who will reflect on her long-time engagement with climate change as well as her recent experience as a COP26 delegate on behalf of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, participating virtually.Saint Mark’s parishioner Dave Menz and Grace Episcopal parishioner John Kydd will also be sharing a few insights and photos about their experiences of being in Glasgow among the crowds.


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2021, 6:30–8 P.M. (rescheduled), in Bloedel Hall and via Zoom

Parish Forum on A Statement of Lament & Commitment to Action

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 we are called to live and act in the world. In the special parish forum, to which all are invited and encouraged to attend, we will reflect together, unpack the document, and break into groups which will focus on specific areas of work including

  1. Addressing Homeless and Hunger in Seattle,
  2. Cathedral innovations for Reparations,
  3. Racial Justice and Healing,
  4. Global Justice ministries,
  5. Immigration Ministries, and
  6. Networking with Affiliate Partners in Ministry.


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2021, 6:45–8:15 P.M, via Zoom only

A Report from El Salvador by Elizabeth Hawkins

Facilitated by Dean Steve Thomason and Canon Eliacin Rosario-Cruz

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 here. Dean Thomason and Canon Rosario-Cruz will facilitate the discussion.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2021, 6:45 P.M.–8:15 P.M., Bloedel Hall and via Zoom

Wisdom School Opening Plenary: A Spirituality of Desire with Dean Thomason

Drawing on art, poetry, science, and theology, including writings of the mystics, we explore desire as a deeply-seated (and perhaps divinely hard-wired) spiritual gift that enables us to engage the Other in life-giving union while also reflecting on ways we fall prey to false attachments meant to fill the spiritual whole that only God can fill. 

UPDATE: Video and slides from this presentation may be found here.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2021, 7 P.M. via Zoom only

Creation Care Forum: Reflections on the IPCC Report 6th Assessment Report on Climate Change

The recent IPCC report shows that heating from humans has caused irreparable damage to Earth that could worsen in the years to come. Come learn about causes, potential impacts and response options while reflecting how we may find hope in our collective efforts for change. Saint Mark’s parishioner and American Geophysical Union president-elect Lisa Graumlich will lead us in making sense of these findings and explore how we may move forward with this information.

UPDATE: A complete video recording and resources from this event are now available here.

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 recommendations which we have embraced, and all in the Saint Mark’s community are invited to participate in a follow-up conversation about the report.

Read the full consultant’s report here

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2021, 7–8:30 P.M., via Zoom

The Doctrine of Discovery: The Episcopal Church, Indigenous Peoples, and the Necessity of Decolonizing Christianity

A Presentation and Discussion with The Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton

The Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton

Saint Mark’s welcomes The Rev. Rachel Taber-Hamilton, who is Shackan First Nation, Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Everett, and Coordinator of Ethnic Ministries Circles of Color.

The Doctrine of Discovery historically informed the legal premise for justifying the forces of colonialism, including the enslavement of African and Asian peoples as well as the oppression and genocide of indigenous peoples. Rev. Taber-Hamilton will share the historical development of the Doctrine of Discovery, the historical role of the Church, and real-world contemporary examples of its continuing impact. The Doctrine of Discovery remains embedded in the legal policies of the U.S. and colonized nations throughout the world, policies that maintain the theological, political, and legal justification for continued neo-colonialism, including the seizure of land, genocide, oppression, and racism.

The Episcopal Church National Convention in 2009 formally renounced the doctrine and urged dioceses’ reflection and action. Come learn how allies can help deconstruct the effects of the Doctrine of Discovery as a social force in our Church, in our nation, and in our world.

Video, slides, and resources from Cathedral Commons events from 2019 and before are archived here.