WHAT IS THE WISDOM SCHOOL?

All people hunger for spiritual meaning in their lives, whether they affiliate religiously or not. The Wisdom School at Saint Mark’s, now entering its fourth year, was created with a broad vision to invite people on diverse spiritual journeys to listen to and learn from each other in a vital practice of collaborative engagement.

Our mission 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.

Each year’s programming includes free offerings and a few that require a registration fee. The Wisdom School has hosted Walter Brueggemann, Mirabai Starr, Ed Bacon, and others who bring their acclaimed gifts to share with participants, as well as being a host site for CONSIPRE webcasts, which feature teachers like Richard Rohr, Barbara Brown Taylor, angel Kyodo williams, Ken Wilber, and Barbara Holmes.

The 2019-2020 Wisdom School program is a truly exciting one, with opportunities for everyone to delve deep and explore the path of wisdom.

2019–2020 PROGRAM OFFERINGS

The Art of Forgiveness

Wednesdays, September 11, 18, and 25, 2019, 6:45–8:15 p.m., Bloedel Hall
Facilitated by Dean Thomason
We all know what it is to be betrayed in life, and to face the deep pain and mistrust that follow, often distorting the shape of our lives forever. Forgiveness is not forgetting or pretending the betrayal did not happen. Why is forgiving so difficult...and reconciliation often even harder? Why does Jesus call us to forgive, and how can it be life-giving? In this series, we will explore forgiveness as a spiritual practice guided by the Wisdom literature of our Judeo-Christian tradition and other religions, while also exploring the works of modern theologians and psychologists as we seek to engage in this work and its healing balm in our lives.

Program is free with no registration required; optional community dinner at 6 p.m., $7.


Liturgical Living: Learning to Dance with God in Every Place

Friday evening, November 1, 2019, 6–8 p.m., Bloedel Hall; and Saturday, November 2, 2019, 9 a.m.–2 p.m., Skinner Auditorium
A workshop on faith at home facilitated by author and artist Gertrud Mueller Nelson

Seasons and cycles in our year and in our very life-cycles have always been marked and celebrated by cultures throughout the world. The Church in its faithlife celebrates these cycles as well. In our liturgies they are elevated; in our sacraments they are blessed, underscored, and made communal. Collective observances and personal observances are enriched through traditions and rituals. How does our faithlife in church benefit from ceremony and sacrament? How could our familial and personal lives be enriched with our awareness and a conscious way to celebrate? Have you noticed those unconscious rituals that already shape our lives? Come join us as Gertrud Mueller Nelson shares her understanding of how we might “dance with God” in our simple daily cycles, in the cycles of the church year, and in the sacred celebration that is our very life, from birth to our final transition to eternity.

Co-sponsored by the Diocese of Olympia and Saint Mark’s Children & Family Ministries. Program is free with required registration Friday and Saturday. Community dinner at  6 p.m. Friday with free-will offering.

An Enneagram Primer

Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 6:45–8:15 p.m., Bloedel Hall
Facilitated by Dean Thomason

The Enneagram is a holistic personality-typing system composed of nine distinct types, each of which serves as a lens through which a person views the world and approaches human interactions and development. This session is for people who are new to the Enneagram or who would like a refresher. While no prior experience with the Enneagram is necessary, participants are encouraged to know their type before the class. Learn more at: enneagraminstitute.com or purchase The Essential Enneagram by David Daniels and Virginia Price.

Program is free with no registration required; optional community dinner at 6 p.m., $7.

The Enneagram Instinctual Subtypes that Fuel Our Behavior

Friday, January 10, 2020, 6:30–8:30 p.m.; and Saturday, January 11, 2020, 9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., Bloedel Hall
Facilitated by Sarah Walston, MA, M.Ed., LMHC, Certified Enneagram Instructor

Learning your Enneagram instinctual subtype can be a powerful tool in illuminating why you do what you do, helping us unfold into the spiritual journey. In spiritual teachings, our body’s instincts are often seen as obstacles or corrupting influences that get in the way of God’s will. It doesn’t have to be that way. Participants will explore the three deep instinctual drives that fuel behavior; which one animates you most profoundly; and how this combines with your Enneagram point of view to create a distinct orientation. This work is particularly useful in learning to bridge persistent difficulties in relationships.

Fee $60. Pre-registration required.

The Power of Vulnerability: Moving Beyond Shame Toward Life

Wednesdays, March 4, 11, and 18, 2020, 6:45 – 8:15 p.m., Bloedel Hall
Facilitated by Cathedral Canons Daugherty, Ross, & Chapman
To risk being vulnerable is to risk discovering one’s true, authentic self. What does it take to be vulnerable? What gets in the way of authentic living, and why? Based on the work of Dr. Brené Brown, this series examines barriers that get in the way of authentic living, including how shame-honor cultures have promoted increasingly contorted experiences of self and others. We will also look at practices that foster a healthy framework of living. Truth that grows from love doesn’t bite or belittle—instead, truth nurtures the fullness of our being with each other, with ourselves, and with God. It is the kind of truth that thrives on real vulnerability. Join us this Lent as we engage in self-reflection, examining how barriers in our own lives impact us and how those can be transformed into new, better ways of living.

Program is free with no registration required; optional community dinner at 6 p.m., $7.


CONSPIRE 2020
Nondual Consciousness: The Change that Changes Everything

Friday through Sunday, May 15–17, 2020; begins at noon on Friday in Bloedel Hall
A live webcast with Richard Rohr and friends, hosted at Saint Mark’s Cathedral. This is the final conference in the seven-year series exploring Rohr’s themes of an alternative orthodoxy, and will be the culmination of years of learning, connecting, and growing. The three-day event will be a deeply contemplative, embodied experience. Click here to learn more about this event from the website of the Center for Contemplation and Action. Click on the button below to register for the event at Saint Mark's in Seattle.

Fee: $10, which includes refreshments, light breakfast, and post-webcast access to videos.


Men’s Retreat in the Easter Season

Friday through Sunday, June 5–7, 2020, at Camp Casey on Whidbey Island
Reflect, share, listen, learn, rest, grow…at a men’s weekend away, led by the Dean and a spiritual retreat facilitator. We’ll explore themes of discerning the movement of the Spirit in our lives, while reflecting on the challenges of modern life and all its demands. Time for contemplation, conversation, enjoying nature, worship, and each other.

Fee: $250; includes two nights lodging (single rooms in the conference center) and all meals. Partial scholarships are available. Space is limited.


Capstone: Following in Celtic Footsteps—
A Pilgrimage to Iona & Ancient Missions of Britain

August 25 though September 5, 2020
Led by The Very Rev. Steven l. Thomason & The Rev. Cristi Chapman, and facilitated by Lightline Pilgrimages, LLC.
The shape of this 11-day trip is contemplative and communal, drawing on the ancient wisdom of Celtic spirituality and the monastic rhythms of worship, prayer, and life in community, while also breathing in the serene beauty of the landscape. We will begin the journey with three days amid the “thin places” of Iona, then make our way to visit sacred sites in Whitby, Jarrow, and the Rievaulx Abbey. Our itinerary will take us to magnificent Durham Cathedral and St. Cuthbert’s Shrine. Inspiration along our journey will draw on the lives of early saints like Columba, Aidan and Bede as well as writings by modern spiritualists like John Phillip Newell, John O’Donohue and Esther de Waal. There will be two pre-pilgrimage gatherings for those who make the trip. Space is limited. A deposit will be required to hold your place.

Cost to be finalized in Fall 2019 (based on dollar/pound conversion).

ONGOING OFFERINGS

 

Cathedral Yoga

Sundays, 6–7 p.m., Cathedral Nave
In the sacred space of the cathedral, this practice encourages health, releasing tension and deepening spirituality—in a welcoming style for any experience level. A freewill offering is appreciated.


Contemplative Eucharist

Sundays, 7 p.m., Thomsen Chapel
This evening Eucharist offers periods of silence for reflection, simple meditative music, and lots of candlelight, with anointing and healing blessings offered after the service.


Compline

Sundays, 9:30 p.m., Cathedral Nave
A beloved Seattle tradition since 1956, the Compline Choir leads this meditative choral service of nighttime prayers. Also broadcast live on king-fm 98.1 or streaming at king.org/listen.


Centering Prayer

Mondays, 7:15 p.m., Thomsen Chapel
Through silence, meditation, and readings, we open our minds and hearts—our whole being—to God, the Ultimate Mystery, reaching beyond thoughts, words, and emotions, that we might experience God’s presence within us.


Evening Prayer

Monday–Friday, 6:30 p.m., Thomsen Chapel
Every weekday, lay readers from Seattle-area congregations including the cathedral lead a spoken service of daily prayer following the form of the Book of Common Prayer 1979. In the quiet of evening, we give thanks for the day just passed, and offer our praise to God.

 


SEASONAL OFFERINGS

 

Advent Quiet Morning
at St. Andrew’s, Green Lake

December 7, 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m., 111 NE 80th St., Seattle

and

Lenten Quiet Morning
at Saint Mark’s Cathedral

March 14, 2020, 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m., Cathedral Nave
These two special Quiet Mornings help us move deeply into the sacred seasons with morning prayer, centering prayer, walking meditation, and unstructured time for reflection held in shared silence. Freewill donations gratefully accepted ($10–15 suggested).
Reservations are appreciated; RSVP to The Rev. Cristi Chapman, cchapman@saintmarks.org.


New Year’s Eve Labyrinth Walk

December 31, 6 p.m.–12 a.m., Cathedral Nave
By candlelight and contemplative music, come mark the turn into a new year by engaging in this deep spiritual practice. With pews removed, the labyrinth is laid down in the center of this sacred cathedral, allowing people to “circle to the center” as a practice designed to illuminate the inner path of wisdom. At midnight, Holy Eucharist is celebrated at the center of the labyrinth. All are welcome. (Suggested donation: $5 per person; $15 for families.)