2021–22 Theme for the Year:
A Spirituality of Desire
Desire is often understood as existing in the realm of carnal experience, and is therefore to be denied or rejected. But mystics know a deeper truth—that desire is at the core of our spiritual awareness and informs all that we do and are, in response to God’s desire for us, or alternatively, as a shadow that hinders that union through false attachments.
You may download the complete 2021–22 season brochure here.
UPDATE! NEW DATES: APRIL 29–MAY 1, 2022, at Camp Casey on Whidbey Island
Facilitated by Canon Jennifer King Daugherty
What is God’s desire for you and how might you live more fully into God’s holy longing for you? Spend a weekend away with Saint Mark’s clergy women to connect with each other and listen for the movement of the Spirit in our lives. Time will be set aside for prayer, reflection, creative expression, worship, and enjoying each other’s company.
Learn more here.
Fee: $250; includes two nights lodging (single rooms in the conference center) and all meals. Partial scholarships are available. Space is limited to 25 and is first-come, first-serve. A $100 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your space. Payment in full is due April 15, 2022. Contact Erik Donner (firstname.lastname@example.org) to reserve your spot.
FRIDAY EVENING THROUGH SUNDAY NOON, JUNE 10–12, 2022, at St. Andrew’s House Retreat Center on beautiful Hood Canal
Registration required. Capacity is limited to 25, first-come, first-served.
Facilitated Dean Steve Thomason
All great spirituality is about letting go. Instead, we have made it about taking in, attaining, performing, winning, and succeeding. —Richard Rohr, Adam’s Return
We hear a lot these days of “toxic masculinity” and the ways men are raised to behave in culturally-expected ways. We are taught to perform, but it’s a show God does not need, and it does not sustain us. Nor is it life-giving to those whom we love and serve. God is calling us to something else, to be someone else—to be our true selves.
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. Drawing on wisdom set forth by Fr. Richard Rohr and others, Steve Thomason, Dean of Saint Mark’s Cathedral, will facilitate the weekend to which men of all ages are welcome.
Fee: $250; includes two nights lodging (single rooms in the conference center) and all meals. Partial scholarships are available. Space is limited to 25. There are a few spots remaining, available first-come, first-serve. A $100 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your space. Payment in full is due May 1, 2022. Contact Erik Donner (email@example.com) to reserve your spot.
JULY 17–29, 2022
Led by The Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason & Canon Jennifer King Daugherty
Rescheduled from August 2020 due to the pandemic, but open to anyone at this point, 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 delighting in the serene beauty of the landscape. We will fly to Glasgow where we will spend one night before heading to the island of Iona, known as a “thin place” of holy presence. Four nights on Iona will create the space for the contemplative spirit to awaken. From there we travel to Edinburgh for two nights, attending Sunday worship in the great cathedral and visiting historic sites in the region. We depart early to time our visit to the Holy Island of Lindsfarne and the tidal rhythms that allow safe passage before heading to Durham for four nights, with lodging just down from magnificent Durham Cathedral, containing Cuthbert’s shrine and Bede’s tomb. With Durham as our base, we will move about the ancient missions of Northumbria. 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.
The trip is at capacity at this time. Contact Dean Thomason to add your name to the wait list. A deposit will be required to hold your place. Much more information can be found in the brochure.
A Message from Dean Thomason about Offerings in Light of Pandemic-related Challenges
After more than a year of pandemic-related closures and cancellations, we are now plotting a course for the coming program year of Wisdom School offerings and are excited to gather again. We recognize there remains some need to hold these plans lightly, and we appreciate your understanding in that regard. But the invitation is made even now, with a desire and longing for us to continue our work with Wisdom, and to do so together. I hope you will peruse this brochure, and mark your calendar now for the offerings to come.
—The Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason
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.
NEW DAY: Every Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the cathedral nave.
A bodily and spiritual practice led by experienced teachers and open to all. Pay what you can.
Sundays, 7 p.m., Thomsen Chapel
A candlelit Eucharist with, simple meditative music and periods of silence. Anointing and healing blessings are offered after the service.
Resumes September 12, 2021.
Sundays, 9:30 p.m., Cathedral Nave
A beloved Seattle tradition since 1956, the Compline Choir leads this meditative choral service of nighttime prayers.
The service re-opens to the public on August 22, 2021.
Monday–Friday, 6:30 p.m., Now offered in person in Thomsen Chapel on Tuesdays; online via Zoom on other weekdays.
Every weekday, lay readers offer a spoken service of daily prayer following the form of the Book of Common Prayer 1979. Find out how to participate here.
Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m., and 2nd, 4th, & 5th Thursdays, 7 a.m., online via Zoom
A spoken prayer service following the ancient pattern, to frame the day before us. Find out how to participate here.
Centering Prayer was suspended for the pandemic, and has not yet resumed. Now, nearly two years after the last centering prayer group met in the cathedral building, a focus group is currently planning new centering prayer groups to gather in person beginning spring 2022.
Advent Quiet Morning at St. Andrew's, Green Lake
Saturday December 4, 2021, 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m., at St. Andrew’s, 111 NE 80th St., Seattle
Lenten Quiet Morning at Saint Mark’s Cathedral
Saturday March 26, 2022, 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m., at Saint Mark’s Cathedral
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).
New Year’s Eve Labyrinth Walk
December 31, 2021, 6 p.m to midnight
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.)
PAST WISDOM SCHOOL OFFERINGS
A two-part workshop led by Belden C. Lane
FRIDAY, APRIL 22, 2022, 6:30–8:30 P.M.
and SATURDAY, APRIL 23, 9:30 A.M.–3 P.M., in person in Bloedel Hall or online via Zoom. Registration required.
The Christian mystical tradition can be deeply earthy and sensual in its yearning for union with the Divine. Hildegard of Bingen and Teresa of Avila found a wondrous God in trees and flowing water. Catherine of Siena and Ignatius Loyola were drawn by the wild energy of fire and the darkness of the cave. These mystics call us back to a “Great Conversation” with the natural world, reconnecting our spiritual lives with the earth. Renowned theologian and best-selling author Belden Lane will guide this wholesome exploration through images, storytelling, poetry, and guided meditation.
The confluence of Earth Day, the Easter Season, and springtime delight affords a spectacular opportunity to engage in conversation with nature, and through it, with God. Dr. Lane will offer four reflections:
- The Great Conversation: Listening to Trees
- Wilderness, Storytelling, and the Power of Place
- Catherine and Teresa, Women of Spirit: Fire and Water (Feeding one’s Desire for God)
- Ignatius Loyola and the Cave as Teacher
Space and time are integrated to allow contemplative time in the urban green space, journaling, and plenary conversations. Fee is $60 which includes snacks and light breakfast and lunch Saturday for those in Bloedel Hall.
UPDATE: Video of this event will be posted here when it is available.
SATURDAY, MARCH 19, 2022, 9:30 A.M.–12 P.M., in person only. Registration required—limited to 20 attendees.
Facilitated by Chef Marc Aubertin & Dean Steve Thomason
Food is a profound portal into spiritual growth even as it often carries trappings of stress and shame for many. It doesn’t have to. Sharing a meal is a holy experience, if we avail ourselves of the opportunity to practice presence and to see the bounty before us as opportunity to practice gratitude. Brief reflections across the day will include history of the meal, reflecting on food as spiritual metaphor, and participants will engage in sensate tasting and will share a meal prepared by all present.
Fee: $25, includes resources and food. Registration required. Capacity is limited to 20 attendees, so register early!
TWO WEDNESDAYS, FEBRUARY 16 & 23, 2022, 6:45 p.m.–8:15 p.m., in Bloedel Hall and via Zoom
Facilitated 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.
No registration required. Join using this Zoom link.
The pdf of scripture that was distributed at Part 1 may be found here: Celtic Prayers and Scripture Passages
The complete slides from Part 1 may be found here: Celtic Spirituality part 1 2.16.22
A video of part 1 is now posted here.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 15, 2022, 9:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
A Saturday gathering led by Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows
The year 2022 is already being called “the year of all things,” as the world attempts to catch up on two years of pandemic postponements. But Jesus, ever attentive to the present moment, calls us to liberation from the tyranny of being overcommitted and offers us the invitation to rest, heal, and be well. This workshop will explore the resources of our faith tradition for grounded and connected life and ministry for all of God’s people.
Slides and a complete video of this offering are now available here.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2021, 6:45 P.M.–8:15 P.M., Bloedel Hall and via Zoom
Facilitated by Dean Steve 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.
No fee. In-person attendees must be vaccinated.
A complete video and materials from this presentation are now available here.
THE FIRST WISDOM SCHOOL OFFERING OF THE 2021–22 PROGRAM YEAR
UPDATE: Due to safety considerations around gathering in one space for eight hours at a time, the cathedral has made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person gathering for CONSPIRE. All registrants will be invited to participate virtually. Please note that those who have registered through Saint Mark's will not be able to experience the interactive elements of the weekends events. (Previous years' CONSPIRE offerings have not had interactive elements.) For the full interactive experience, you will need to register through C.A.C. directly. Please contact Dean Thomason with questions.
CONSPIRE 2021: The final in a seven-year series
SEPTEMBER 24–26, 2021
A livestreamed conference hosted locally at Saint Mark's
PLEASE NOTE: Bloedel Hall has reached capacity and registration is now closed for in-person participate. Register at the link below to join in virtually from home.
Join Richard Rohr and friends in this capstone experience building on Richard Rohr’s alternative orthodoxy to create a gateway into practical and authentic contemplation—a way of life rooted in radical openness to God’s loving presence. Saint Mark’s Cathedral serves as a host site for the virtual conference, or you can register through saint Mark's and join from your own. Learn more at the website of the Center for Contemplation and Action here, and register to participate by filling out the form here.
Advance registration required. Fee: $20, includes refreshments across the three-day conference.
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.
Facilitated by Sarah Walston, MA, M.Ed., LMHC, Certified Enneagram InstructorLearning 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.