Photo by Jeff Neuberger.

Spokane, Washington
                                                      March 13, 2017
Notes from the Dean


 We have a big weekend coming up at St. John's. On Saturday at 11:00 we will ordain The Reverend Gretchen Rehberg as the 9th bishop of our diocese, and the next morning at both the 8:00 and 10:30 services she will celebrate the Eucharist and preach. This is a great privilege to have Bishop Rehberg here at Cathedral the day after she is ordained. There are lots of places she could have gone, and lots of things she could have done, but she chose to be here, and I am both delighted and grateful she did.
     Her ordination will be a very large and very grand liturgy.   Our Presiding Bishop, The Most Reverend Michael Curry will be here, along with a number of other bishops. The preacher will be Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori, visiting for the third time during my tenure.
     Though my reputation as one who does not particularly go in for a lot of ceremonial is well established, this is one of the few occasions for which I make an exception. A diocese is a group of congregations gathered under the pastoral care and supervision of a bishop, and thus, the ordination of a bishop is a moment for the whole diocese to gather together around the visible symbol of their unity in Christ, the bishop the Church has just ordained.  It will be an important moment for us all.
     It will also be pretty crowded, which is why I am grateful Bishop Rehberg will be with us the very next day for our Sunday liturgies. On Sunday we will have an opportunity that no one else is going to get, the chance to hear her preach and participate with her as she celebrates the Eucharist.   Moreover, Sunday will not be nearly as hectic as Saturday, so those who want to say hello and get to know her a little better will have an opportunity to do just that.
     Come for the pageantry on Saturday; it will be well worth your while. Come to be with Bishop Gretchen on Sunday; that will be worth your while as well.


ORDINATION of Bishop-Elect Gretchen Rehberg

RSVP: Online at

Friday, March 17, 2017
5pm-8:30pm.  Bishop Waggoner's Celebration Banquet at The Lincoln Center,
                                                                                     1316 N Lincoln St.

Saturday, March 18, 2017
11am-1pm.  Ordination, Presiding Bishop, The Most Rev. Michael Curry, officiating.  
                                       Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, preaching.
1pm-3pm.    Ordination reception, open to all guests.

Sunday, March 19, 2017
8am and 10:30am.  Holy Eucharist with Bishop Gretchen Rehberg. 

10:15am.   St. Stephen's, 5720 S Perry St.  Holy Eucharist with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry 

The ordination and consecration is scheduled to be live streamed 11am-1pm via YouTube, and Facebook Live. (Note: A Facebook account is NOT needed to watch the live stream on Facebook.)  Recordings will be available online.   Please share these links widely:
Where to Watch Live: 
Diocese of Spokane's Facebook page: 
Camp Cross' Facebook page:

PARKING - Please carpool and come early for parking for Saturday's Ordination. A shuttle van will be available for people parked at our overflow parking lot at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 316 E. 24th Ave., Spokane. Shuttles will run every 15 minutes starting at 10am.

To you, O Father, all hearts are open; 
fill, we pray, the heart 
of this your servant whom you have chosen
to be a bishop in  your Church,
with such love of you and of all the people, 
that  she may feed and tend the flock of Christ,
and exercise  without reproach the high priesthood
to which you have  called her,
 serving before you day and night in the ministry 
of reconciliation,
declaring pardon in your Name,
offering the  holy gifts,
and wisely overseeing the life and work of the  Church.
In all things may she present before you
the acceptable  offering of a pure, and gentle, and holy life;
through Jesus  Christ your Son, 
to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be  honor and power and glory in the Church,
now and for ever.

News from the Deacon's Desk

From the Liturgy for Ash  Wednesday, we are invited "in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word."  
     To be frank, I have learned over the past couple of years to more fully enter into and appreciate this season of intention and hard work because it reinforces a discipline I've undertaken to spend consistent and intentional time with God.  As I've mentioned in previous "Notes" columns, this time with God revolves around praying the Daily Office, generally Morning prayer, and with journaling is shaping who I am becoming.  I am continually reminded of what Dean Ellis says about our respective Lenten journeys, that we will get what we want.
     As I've matured spiritually and chronologically, I've learned I don't want to waste any more moments where I can be open and available to what God wants of and for me.  Lent puts the onus directly on me to engage with God as he prepares me to more completely enter into the Paschal mystery.
     Another way of more fully engaging with this season of preparation and self-reflection is being offered on  Friday, March 24th . That evening we will be offering, to the glory of God, the evening service of Choral Evensong.
     In short, Evensong is the sung version of Evening Prayer.  With its companion service of Matins, or Morning Prayer, and the celebration of the Eucharist, these three services are the principal liturgies of the Anglican/Episcopal tradition since 1549, the year that the Book of Common Prayer was first authorized for the Church of England. 
     Prior to the Reformation, prayer in the early evening or late afternoon was known as the office of Vespers, one of the eight Canonical Hours of the divine office of the Western church.  Bishop Thomas Cranmer established the office of Evensong using elements taken from both Vespers and Compline, generally to be conducted in the English language, as was the case with the entire liturgy.  After a series of slight modifications, the office of Evensong took its modern form in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England, a form that is still followed closely throughout the whole of the Anglican and Episcopal Church.  (Taken from St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral/Minneapolis website)
     As mentioned above, Evensong is the sung version of Evening Prayer.  We are so blessed here at St. John's with the music that is part of our worship each week, whether it be from the choirs, organ, orchestral groups or bells.  Music offers another lens through which we experience the mystery and majesty of God; combined with the prayers composed and modified from our ancient traditions, creating a service that touches both mind and heart.  
     A Statement from Coventry Cathedral says: a very tiny fragment of something else: It is a fragment of the worship which is offered to God by Christian people every hour of the 24 in every part of the world.  When you come to is as if you were dropping in on a conversation already in progress...a conversation between God and people which began long before you were born and will go on long after you are dead.  Evensong is drawn almost entirely from the Bible. Its primary purpose is to proclaim the wonderful works of God in history and in the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Its secondary purpose is to evoke from the worshiper a response of praise, penitence, prayer and obedience.

I invite you to allow this service to deepen your experience of Lent and help you to "get what you want" from this season of preparation for the celebration of Easter.



Continuing our Wednesday  Lenten study program on the theme "You are the Light of the World" as we consider where and how we see people revealing the light which is from God.
     This Wednesday, March 15, Rabbi Tamar Malino and Dr. Linda H unt speak to us at a critical time of conversation in our places of worship.   As leaders who cherish families and youth, Rabbi Molino and Linda Hunt encourage education and hospitality,  teaching and encouraging us to offer ourselves as light and neighbor in simple as  well as critical ways.  
     Rabbi Tamar Malino serves both Temple Beth Shalom and
Temple Emanu El.   Dr Linda Hunt and her husband, Jim, are part of our own congregation.  Dr Hunt is an author and co-founder of the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship. The Foundation equips young adults with skills to transform service experiences into lives of service leadership.
     A brief Eucharist is offered at 5:30pm in the Cathedral, followed by a soup supper at 6:15pm and the program beginning at 7:00pm.  Child care is available.

Future programs:
March 22nd:  Marti D' Agostino of Daybreak Youth Services, a treatment center for adolescent victims of chemical dependency.
March 29th:   St.John's Cathedral Youth Group: Panel discussion.
April 5th:        The Rev. Woody Garvin, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church.



Join our choral scholars for a Lenten Choral Evensong on Friday, March 24 at 7pm.  Led by David Walker and our Cathedral music intern, Gonzaga music major, Andrea Timm, this liturgy has ample room for reflection and quiet prayer in the midst of beautiful music.
     We are finding that the spirituals we are singing throughout Lent are part of our broader initiative to pray with the richness of our African American musical tradition, culminating in our Good Friday Seven Last Words in African American Spirituals on April 14, at 12 noon. Designed as a lunch hour service and shorter than in past years, this will be a rich offering of spirituals arranged by  William Dawson, Moses Hogan and Steven Sametz, which will be sung by both the congregation and the choir. 
    Friday evening, April 14 at 7:00pm, we will present a special Good Friday concert, presented by the Cathedral Kantorei, Collegium Orchestra, and guest dance company.  Featuring the baroque composer (and teacher of Bach) Dieterich Buxtedhude's Membra Jesu Nostri, this exquisite music and poetry is enlivened with dance under the direction of Karla Parbon, dance faculty member at Gonzaga and Whitworth Universities. This contemplative musical event is free.  Donations will be gratefully accepted to underwrite the costs of this offering for our Spokane community.


A bit of advance notice for those interested in joining the spring Inquirers Class. We will start on Wednesday, April 19th, at 7:00pm,  continuing each Wednesday at the same time through Wednesday, May 24. Each class will be an hour. All are welcome, but the class is particularly suited for those who are new to the Episcopal Church and want to learn more about our history, our liturgies, our theology, our polity, our sacraments and how we use the Bible. Dean Ellis will teach this class. 

  • March 15     Lenten Study Series.  Eucharist in the Cathedral, 5:30pm, Great Hall Soup Supper at 6:15pm, Speakers, Rabbi Tamar Molina and Dr Linda Hunt, 7:00pm.  Child care available.
  • March 17-19th  Episcoball Youth Event. 12pm. for further information call the Cathedral office.
  • March 22     Lenten Study Series.  Marti D'Agostino. Schedule as listed above.
  • March 24     Choral Evensong.  7:00pm
  • March 29     Lenten Study Series.  Cathedral Youth Group Panel.
  • April 5          Lenten Study Series.  Rev Woody Garvin.
  • April 9          Palm Sunday.
  • April 14        Good Friday Service.  12:00pm  7 Last Words in the African American     Spirituals Tradition. 
  • April 14         Good Friday Service. 7:00pm  Contemplative Concert featuring          Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri.
  • April 16        Easter Sunday
  • April 19        Inquirer's Class Begins.  7:00pm.
The April issue will be published on April 10, the second Monday of the month.  Articles or announcements are invited.  Please send copy by the previous Thursday