Building on recent Wisdom School themes A Spirituality of Desire (2020–22) and An Embodied Spirituality (2022–23), a focus on “place” as the locus of spiritual experience affords a consideration of the world of “home” and pilgrimage. Place is the landscape of memory, meaning, and soul-grounding beauty. Place aids us in situating our story contextually into God’s story of immanent devotion to and presence in creation and into the grand narrative of the communal spiritual enterprise across the ages.
If you weren't able to attend the event, please watch the video below. (Presentation Slides)

The Rev. Erin Jean Warde—Heal Thyself: Spiritual Practices that Lead Us into Joy

SATURDAY, MAY 4, 2024, 9:30 A.M.–12:30 P.M., in Bloedel Hall and via Zoom. Registration required. 

Author of Sober Spirituality, spiritual director and life coach, The Rev. Erin Jean Warde will guide this day retreat exploring spiritual healing in mind, body, and soul. She offers: “Together we will learn how community, creativity, rest, and joy can care for us when we are struggling, whether that's with mental health challenges, the inevitabilities of being alive, or with habits that don't serve us.” The day will explore barriers to feeling joy and fulfillment and how to make small, accessible life changes to care for ourselves, even in overwhelming times.

Fee for the Saturday Workshop: $15 (for both online and in-person participants). Partial scholarships available. Register using this link.

NOTE: Rev. Warde will also preach at Saint Mark's on Sunday, May 5, at the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Eucharists.

Pádraig Ó Tuama—Poetry & Place POSTPONED

THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2024, 7–8:30 P.M. PST, in the Saint Mark’s Cathedral nave and paid livestream. Fee: $15 pre-registration before May 23 for both online and in-person participants / $20 starting May 23 / $10 students.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to a family health matter in Ireland, Padraig has asked to postpone his visit to Seattle. We will share details when we have a new date for him to visit, likely in 2025.

(In addition to this event, the preaching conference for clergy announced for the same visit has also been postponed.)

“It is in the shelter of each other that people live.” Join poet and theologian Pádraig Ó Tuama for an evening of exploration around poetry and place—how shelter presents amidst the storms of life’s journey. Drawing on inspiration from his work with language and religion, conflict and Celtic spirituality, this truth-teller of our time will draw us into an orbit of soulful wisdom and grace. This will serve as a plenary for the multiple pilgrimage opportunities offered in Summer 2024

The Rev. Hillary Raining, Ph.D.—Forest Therapy: Sitting Under the Tree of Life POSTPONED

SATURDAY, MARCH 16, 2024, 9 A.M.–2:30 P.M. PDT, in person only

PLEASE NOTE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Dr. Raining's visit has been postponed. It will be rescheduled in Fall 2024, date TBA.

We live in a world that’s often disconnected from the natural world, and yet instinctively most of us feel the greatest connection to God when we’re outside in creation… and no wonder! Research shows that mindfully spending time in nature is powerful medicine for the body, mind, and soul. Benefits include reduced stress, heart rate and blood pressure, and improved concentration, creativity, and mood. This class will get you outside and into the presence of God. The Rev. Hillary Raining, Ph.D. is a certified Forest Therapy Guide and served as the Saint Mark’s Theologian-in-Residence in 2022. She will also preach at morning services on Sunday, March 17.


The Wisdom School at Saint Mark’s will offers a suite of pilgrimage experiences in the summer of 2024 as we ponder the theme, A Spirituality of Place.

  • A Celtic Pilgrimage to Ireland, July 24–August 2, 2024 (currently at capacity)
  • Compline Choir Pilgrimage to England’s Historic Cathedrals, August 1–19, 2024 (registration deadline has past)
  • An Intergenerational Racial Justice Pilgrimage to Georgia & Alabama, July 2–9, 2024

There will also be local pilgrimages to significant sites in our region, such as St. Andrew's Parish and the Bainbridge Japanese-American Exclusion Memorial, The Northwest African-American History Museum, and the Duwamish Longhouse. Learn more about all of these opportunities, including cost and registration, on the pilgrimage information page: saintmarks.org/pilgrimage 



Contemplation & Community

Led by the Rev. Linzi Stahlecker

FRIDAY–SUNDAY, APRIL 19–21, 2024, at St. Andrew’s House Retreat Center in Union, WA

PLEASE NOTE: The Women's Retreat is at capacity at this time, and registration is closed. Email Canon Linzi at lstahlecker@saintmarks.org for more information.

Saint Mark’s women will gather at St. Andrew’s House on the Hood Canal for a weekend of play, rest, and spiritual reflection. There will be plenty of time for connecting with new people and deepening existing friendships, as well as exploring the beautiful setting through walks and/or a cold plunge in the canal. Participants will have the opportunity to create art, try out new spiritual practices, and share their stories with one another.

Registration opens Monday, November 13, 2023. Most rooms at St. Andrew’s House are double occupancy, but some singles are available. To register after November 13, 1) email Canon Jennifer and let her know if you need a single, and 2) make a $50 deposit through the cathedral website or by mailing a check to Erik Donner at the cathedral. During the first week of registration, priority will be given to those who were not able to attend the previous retreat in 2023.

Total cost for the retreat, including all meals and lodging, is $260 for a double room and $325 for a single room. Partial scholarships available. Capacity is limited.


Speaking the Truth in Love: Finding the True Self’s Home Once More

Led by Dean Steve Thomason

FRIDAY–SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 10–12, 2023, at Camp Huston Retreat Center in Gold Bar, WA, registration required

We hear a lot these days about patriarchy and the ways men are raised to behave in culturally-expected ways that are not life-giving. We are taught that communication forms along a binary of aggression or weakness, but there are healthier ways to speak our truth assertively. God is calling us to something else, to be someone else—to be our true selves while respecting the dignity of others. How we communicate matters.

This weekend retreat is designed to create the space for quiet reflection, time away from the burdens of daily life, spacious time in nature, conversations with other men of faith, and worship. It will be a time of spiritual reflection and renewal. Steve Thomason, Dean of Saint Mark’s Cathedral, will facilitate the weekend to which men of all ages are welcome.

Fee: $230 double occupancy, $275 single; includes two nights lodging and all meals. Partial scholarships are available. Space is limited to 30, available first-come, first-serve. A $100 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your space. Payment in full is due October 1, 2023. Contact Dean Thomason (sthomason@saintmarks.org) with any questions.

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 sixth 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, Gertrud Muller Nelson, 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.


Lenten Quiet Morning and Not-So-Quiet Afternoon

SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2024, 9 A.M.–3 P.M., at Saint Mark’s Cathedral

The nave will be open as a space for prayer and quiet contemplation for this self-curated Quiet Morning; optional offerings will include Morning Prayer (9:30 a.m.), Breathwork (10:30 a.m.), and Centering Prayer (11:30 a.m.).

Afternoon offerings will include a Sound Bath, drumming, art activities, and more. A simple soup lunch will be available in Bloedel Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Freewill donations gratefully accepted ($10–$15 suggested). No RSVP necessary. Email Canon Linzi Stahlecker for more information: lstahlecker@saintmarks.org

Advent Quiet Morning 

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2023, 9 A.M. TO NOON, Leffler House (The Advent Quiet Morning will be offered again in December 2024, date TBA.) 

Saint Mark's annual Advent Quiet Morning will be offered this year on Saturday, December 16. This morning of Spiritual Retreat, in the comfortable Living Room at Leffler House, will include Centering Prayer, a meditative Breathwork session (lead by guest teacher Andrew Ragan), and a Contemplative Eucharist. There will be ample spaciousness for rest in the sacred stillness, for journaling, and for personal prayer. The Quiet Morning is offered at no charge, but freewill donations will be gratefully received. Space is limited, so registration is required, please email Rev. Linzi with questions or to reserve your spot. UPDATE (12/5): This event is now at capacity and is longer accepting reservations.

New Year’s Eve Labyrinth Walk

DECEMBER 31, 6 P.M. to 12:15 A.M. 

By candlelight and contemplative music, many people mark the turn into a new year by engaging in this 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 the stroke of midnight we celebrate the Eucharist with the labyrinth’s rose as our grounding. All are welcome. Freewill donations gratefully accepted ($10-$15 suggested).



Cathedral Yoga

EVERY MONDAY, 6:30 P.M. in the cathedral nave.

In the soaring sacred space of the cathedral nave, this practice encourages health, releasing tension and deepening spirituality—in a welcoming style for any experience level. Learn more here. 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.


SUNDAYS, 9:30 P.M., cathedral nave

A beloved Seattle tradition since 1956, the Compline Choir leads this meditative choral service of nighttime prayers. Broadcast each week on KING 98.1 FM, or streaming at king.org, and as a podcast, and livestreamed.

Contemplative Prayer

MOST TUESDAYS*, 7 P.M., cathedral nave (*A Taizé service replaces Contemplative Prayer on a few Tuesday a year; see 2024 dates listed below.)

The gatherings will still begin with a period of silent meditation, followed by discussions on a variety of contemplative practices including Centering Prayer

Centering prayer is inspired by the writings of major contributors to the Christian contemplative tradition, including the anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing, Teresa of Ávila, John of the Cross, Thérèse of Lisieux and Thomas Merton. Through the silence, 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. Learn more here. Email Phil Fox Rose with questions: phil@philfoxrose.com

Morning & Evening Prayer

MONDAY–FRIDAY, 8:30 A.M., online via Zoom (hosted by St. Paul's Seattle) 

MONDAY–FRIDAY, 6 P.M., online via Zoom

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 morning, we praise God for the beginning of a new day. In the quiet of evening, we give thanks for the day just passed. Online Morning Prayer is hosted by St Paul's; online Evening Prayer is hosted by Saint Mark's; and all are welcome to participate in both. Learn more and find the links to join here.

Taizé Service

SERVICE OFFERED SEASONALLY ON A TUESDAY, 7 P.M., in the cathedral nave. 2024 offerings:

  • TUESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2024, 7 P.M.
  • TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2024, 7 P.M.
  • TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2024, 7 P.M. (special interfaith Taizé service)
  • TUESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2024, 7 P.M.
  • TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2024, 7 P.M.

Named for the village in France where a monastic community developed music for contemplative prayer services, Taizé services at Saint Mark’s have a strong meditative quality and are comprised of silence and song, candlelight and stillness, prayer, and contemplation. As participants sing and sit in silence, we listen to the “still, small voice” within. The mind calms and the soul opens up. God speaks and the heart hears. Learn more here.


Isaiah, the Prophet of Advent 

THREE WEDNESDAYS: NOVEMBER 29, DECEMBER 6 & 13, 2023, 6:45–8:15 P.M., Presenters on Zoom. Optional community dinner at 6 p.m. ($6/child; $8/adult; $25/max. family). 

led by The Rev. Hillary Raining, Ph.D., The Rev. Canon Jennifer King Daugherty, and Canon Wendy Barrie

Join former Saint Mark's Theologian-in-residence, The Rev. Dr. Hillary Raining, for this three-session series centering on the wisdom of the Prophet Isaiah. Each section will focus on an essential and living affirming theme from this book of prophecy. We will explore how Isaiah has been used in the Christian tradition, especially in the mysterious Advent season.

Download the booklet for the series here. 

Program is free. The presenters will be on Zoom. Those attending the community dinner in Bloedel Hall at 6 p.m. will participate in the forum together in Room 210.

Check out Hillary's brief trailer for the series below:

The Rev. Wil Gafney, Ph.D.—Womanist Midrash & Biblical Interpretation

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2023, 9 A.M.–12 P.M. PST, in person in Bloedel Hall and online via Zoom. Registration required for either option.

Womanist Biblical scholar and renowned author of A Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church, The Rev. Wil Gafney, Ph.D. will lead a seminar on Womanist Midrash, exploring the complexity of scripture and importance of translation as she interprets the Hebrew Biblical tradition of women prophets and leaders.

Fee: $65 (for both online and in-person participants). Partial scholarships available. Includes a light lunch and snacks for those participating in person.

This workshop is made possible through generous gifts in loving memory of Matthew Briggs.

UPDATE: A video of this workshop will be posted here when it is available.

Note: Dr. Gafney will also preach at Saint Mark’s Cathedral on Sunday, December 3, at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. All are welcome. (The 11 a.m. Eucharist service will be livestreamed.)


A Spirituality of Place: The Pilgrim’s Journey and Finding Home

TWO WEDNESDAYS, SEPTEMBER  20 & 27, 2023, 6:45–8:15 P.M. PDT, in person in Bloedel Hall and online via Zoom

led by the Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason

Place matters. It is the locus of spiritual purpose, whether at home, on the pilgrim’s way, or in the wilderness. It is the locus of belonging, of grounding, of meaning. The mystics remind us to “look deeply and discover God there.” The geography of the heart is shaped by the land and the ties that bind us to particular places, especially when we come to see it all as holy ground. This two-part series will explore the spirituality of place, pilgrimage and finding home, with spiritual practices that serve as maps for the journey.

Program is free; optional community dinner at 6 p.m. ($8/adult; $25/family max.) All are welcome.


Spirituality of the Meal: Our Daily Bread

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2023, 9:30 A.M.–1 P.M., registration required

led by Marc Aubertin & Deborah Person

The act of feeding ourselves and sharing food with others is a daily necessity. It can also provide opportunities to deepen our spiritual paths and practices. In this morning session, we will explore how, in practice, we connect our faith to the daily work of providing “daily bread”. How does our theology of abundance play out in the grocery store? How do we model God’s love for us, nurturing others and ourselves, while caring for creation through supporting a just food system? The day will also include putting our ideas of abundance and stewardship into action by preparing a meal together with food that participants bring from home—either from their gardens or their pantry shelves.

Fee: $10. In-person only, pre-registration required. Limit 12 participants.

Sacred Stories of Place

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2023, 6:45–8:15 P.M. PDT, in person in Bloedel Hall and online via Zoom

led by the Rev. Canon Jennifer King Daugherty

Why do the sights, smells, and sounds of certain places and landscapes evoke deep spiritual resonance? How do our own stories and spirituality connect to the places of our ancestors? Canon Daugherty will explore these questions and how our experiences of place provide grounding for our identity and relationships with God. She will also share spiritual practices that consider place as the ongoing revelation of divine movement across generations.

UPDATE: A complete video is now posted here

Killian Noe—Discovering Call

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2023, 6:45–8:15 P.M. PST, in person in Bloedel Hall and online via Zoom

All of us know that it is in giving our lives that we find life, full of joy and meaning. But there are so many ways to give our lives. How do we discover the specific way we are to offer our lives, the place our gifts connect with some need in the world? This evening in both the presentation and small group discussions we will work with the “hallmarks of call” and listen for any new call within our long-time call or any new, emerging call on our lives

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

UPDATE: A complete video is now posted here


Information about previous years' Wisdom School offerings, including links to complete videos and other resources when available, can now be found on the Wisdom School Archive Page.