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.



This series has been postponed to a later date to be announced.

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 scriptural study and 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. How is this work related to the Lenten journey? Join us as we engage in self-reflection, examining how barriers in our own lives affect us and how they can be transformed into new, better ways of living.

Program is free with no registration required. Come early for Holy Eucharist with Service of Light at 5:30 p.m. in Thomsen Chapel, and/or optional Community Dinner at 6 p.m., $7.

The Center for Contemplation and Action, who Produce CONSPIRE, have send the following notice: Due to serious concerns about the health and safety of our community, we have decided to postpone CONSPIRE and the Alumni Gathering until 2021. All attendees will be notified by Friday, March 27 with the new date and information on how to obtain a refund if you are unable to attend. All in-person and webcast registrations will carry over to the new date.

The capstone conference in a seven-year series
on Richard Rohr’s alternative orthodoxy

Live webcast, Friday through Sunday, May 15–17, 2020; begins at noon on Friday in Bloedel Hall

Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit. —Zechariah 4:6

This spring thousands of people from around the world will gather online and in person to learn from and dialogue with the core-faculty of the Center for Action & Contemplation—Cynthia Bourgeault, James Finley, Barbara Holmes, Brian McLaren, and Richard Rohr—teaching together for the first time.

Discover your place in the emerging contemplative community of people who are committed to the intentional work of personal transformation, embodied practice, and engaged living—the manifesting dynamism of God’s love in the world. CONSPIRE 2020 will be a capstone experience uniting Richard Rohr’s seven themes of alternative orthodoxy to create a gateway into practical and authentic contemplation—a way of life rooted in radical openness to God’s loving presence. From this vulnerable place, things like adversity, disruption, and suffering become sources of transformation, greater love, and connection. We cannot think ourselves into a new way of living; rather, we must live ourselves into a new way of thinking.

It is a time of planetary disruption and great change. Institutions, ideologies, and religious rituals feel increasingly out of sync with the experiences of everyday life. Yet even amidst uncertainty and confusion, we see the Spirit at work, freeing the transformative wisdom of the Christian contemplative traditions from the storehouses of the past in service to the healing of our world.

Fee: $15, which includes refreshments, light breakfast, and post-webcast access to videos.

This retreat has been cancelled. We hope to offer a similar event in the future.


Men’s Retreat:
‘Our Shelter from the Stormy Blast’—
Spiritual Reflections on 9/11

Friday evening through Sunday noon, June 5–7, 2020, at Camp Casey on Whidbey Island
facilitated by The Rev. Dr. Stuart Hoke and Dean Steve Thomason

In the spring of 2019, the cathedral offered a Women’s Retreat in the Easter Season; this year we offer a similar event for men. As a priest on staff at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City, the Rev. Dr. Stuart Hoke happened to be standing under the North Tower of the World Trade Center when it was attacked on September 11, 2001. For his talks at our retreat, Stuart will narrate his eyewitness accounts of the day’s events and the recovery efforts that followed in his parish church and neighborhood in the ensuing months. He will also reflect on the many spiritual awakenings that emerged from the ashes—learnings that touch all of us as we navigate life in the 21st century. Join Dr. Hoke and Dean Steve Thomason for this weekend of spiritual reflection and renewal. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

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 May 1, 2020.

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

August 19 though 30, 2020
Facilitated by The Very Rev. Steven L. Thomason & The Rev. Cristi Chapman


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 Durham as our base, moving about ancient missions in Northumbria. We will lodge just down from magnificent Durham Cathedral, containing Cuthbert’s shrine and Bede’s tomb. We will make our way to Glasgow, then on to the island of Iona, known as a “thin place” of holy presence. 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 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. To read the full brochure, including information about cost and registration forms, go to saintmark.org/iona.

Space on the tour is limited, and early booking is strongly advised. To reserve a place, please complete a booking form and pay an initial deposit. Bookings with initial deposit payment should be received by Friday, February 28, 2020. Bookings received after that date may be subject to surcharge, depending on flight availability. Final balance due by Thursday, April 30, 2020.



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.


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, streaming at king.org and as a podcast.

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.




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

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


Lenten Quiet Morning
at Saint Mark’s Cathedral

NOTE: The 2020 Lenten Quiet Morning has been cancelled.
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.)


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.

Program is free with required registration Friday and Saturday. Dinner provided 6 p.m. Friday. Lunch and snacks provided Saturday. Children are welcome to participate on Friday evening, and childcare will be available by request both days.

Co-sponsored by the Diocese of Olympia and Saint Mark’s Children & Family Ministries.

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.