Photo by J eff Neuberger.

Spokane, Washington
                                                      May 9, 
Notes from the Dean
On Sunday, May 21, Anjanette Green will be the Guest Presenter at the Sunday Forum at 9:15am. The following will give a sense of her thoughts.  Please plan to attend this rare opportunity.
Dean Bill Ellis
Sunday Forum  May 21

Chemicals are ubiquitous in our environment and are the building blocks of nearly everything we employ in our daily lives. They constitute the main ingredients in carpet, paint, particle board and furniture. They are used to coat textiles and fabrics, cookware, utensils. They are the base material for sporting equipment, automobile parts and toys. Chemicals are what make all manner of plastics and have been used for decades to make products that we have come to rely on.
     However, many of these chemicals have questionable, even dangerous impacts on our health and the environment and the more we study them, the more concerning the results are starting to be. Even more alarming is how our government, up until last June, had been operating under an antiquated toxic chemical control act (TSCA) that hadn't been updated for nearly 40 years leaving the EPA feckless in its regulation capabilities.
     Presently, we now find toxins in unsuspecting and concerning places, including the most remote corners of the planet. Chemicals of concern are building up in aquatic life, birds, soils, vegetation, our indoor air and as one might suspect, our bodies.
     But there is a new trend gaining momentum that is pointed to change this pattern. Growing public awareness and concerned citizens alongside non-government organizations and brave policy-makers are gathering force. For the last five years, the pendulum has started to shift from "business as usual" to a rigorous demand for chemical ingredient transparency and improved material processing. Landmark studies from reputable institutes, independent data-gathering from grassroots organizations, and a well-informed Architecture, Design and Construction community is helping to foster innovation and transparency in our modern material world.
     Learn how you too can be part of this movement for positive change at the Sunday Forum, May 21.

Anjanette Green is a LEED AP ID+C, Living Future Accredited Professional (LFA), Co-author and Senior Fellow of the RESET IAQ Certification Standard and is currently contributing to the USGBCs Indoor Air Assessment Working Group.
    Green, a former Interior Architect, is currently a Materials Analyst and Indoor Air Quality professional who has been studying chemicals in the built environment for over 15 years.
In 2013, she was the first ambassador in China for the Living Building Challenge (LBC), and subsequently Materials Consultant for the first two LBC projects in the country.  The same year, she helped develop the first version of RESET, a certification program focused solely on healthy Indoor Air Quality and its impacts on human health.
     Green has helped author some of the first industry product declarations, labels and certifications for products for Chinese, European and US manufacturers alike.
     A supporter of green chemistry, biomimetic design and regenerative methodologies, Green's passion lies in reformulation strategies and bio-based alternatives. By working with manufacturers around the globe to look critically at their material ingredients and upstream processing, she helps eliminate chemicals of concern in products to bring more innovative, bio-based materials to market.
     Anjanette Green is also long-time Cathedral member Marguerite Green's daughter.

News from the Curate's

Many of you don't know this, but I have known Michelle Klippert since I was 15 years old. I met her the very first time I counseled at Camp Cross, at the Intermediate 1 session to be exact. Being a counselor was a very big deal for me. I had spent the previous five years looking up to the counselors as the epitome of cool, and now I had the opportunity to be that for someone else. And thankfully, for my first time counseling, I had the privilege of getting to work for a program resource person named
Michelle Klippert, who made the experience everything I ever thought it would be, and then some.
     Throughout my counseling experience, camp experience, staff experience, I got to experience a number of camp morning program sessions run by Michelle, and every time I left invigorated and better grounded in my faith.
     As I made the move to Spokane to start at Gonzaga, I knew that I wanted to stay plugged in to church and began attending the Cathedral. But, the Cathedral was a hard place to worship for a relative outsider at that time. Again, Michelle was there. I got involved with the youth group here, giving up a couple hours of my Wednesday nights to serve as an adult volunteer, continuing to make that connection with youth that I had met all the way back that first year counseling. Michelle gave me the opportunity to gain valuable leadership and ministry experience and the time I spent working with the youth group would eventually have me headed to seminary (after a bit of a detour). My freshman year, Michelle would even give me leftover dessert from youth group or other programs that I would take back to my dorm and share with friends, making what became a well-worn loop around Catherine/Monica halls.
     Even as I ventured out into the world post-college, I still kept connected to Michelle and her family, spending time with them at their lake cabin, boating and learning how to wakeboard. She was always there to give me an outlet, a person I could trust to simply be with.
     Coming back to Spokane after seminary, the position here at the Cathedral was not quite open yet, and with that, the white house needed a bit of a facelift. But, my wife Krista was lucky enough to land a job as we were moving here, and needed to start at the beginning of July (1.5 months before I started here, 2.5 months before the white house would be ready for us to move in). Michelle again was there, offering up her home to us, giving us a place to live while we waited for what would become our home. She didn't have to do that for us. But, that's who Michelle is. She is giving. She is caring. She is welcoming and kind. And, she has been a very important presence in my life for 16 years.
     These past two years working with Michelle have been a great learning experience for my own understanding of what it takes to do children and youth ministries. These past two years have also shown me how lucky this Cathedral, this diocese, Camp Cross, and every youth that has had a chance to learn from Michelle, have really truly been. No one can ever replicate the love, compassion, and understanding that she has shown over the past 17 years. And, it is this same love, compassion, and understanding that will surely make her an amazing hospital chaplain.
     Thank you Michelle, from the bottom of my heart.

Fr Nic
Notes from the Deacon's Desk


I've noticed that I've been experiencing a heightened sense of personal reflection of late, a state of deep contemplation that has touched numerous aspects of my life as both an individual and as part of a wider community.  This increased sense of self reached a crescendo on a recent trip from Pullman back to Spokane when I was nearly hit head-on by a car that had crossed the center line and missed me by no more than 5 feet; at least that's what it seemed like as I passed a young woman on my side of the highway at 60+ miles per hour.  While I don't know if this can necessarily be categorized as a "brush with death", it certainly brought home very quickly the reality of my mortal nature.
     As I recounted this experience with my co-workers later in the day and with my wife that evening, I was struck by an inner peace that has begun a process of soul-searching and self assessment I hadn't experienced previously.  What a gift it has been to take stock in those things, experiences and people that create a new sense of purpose and are life-giving, while discarding baggage I thought was important that, in fact, was far more shallow and empty than I'd like to admit.
     One aspect of this reflective thinking is my coming to a greater understanding of how little I've done to foster and forge deep, meaningful relationships.  I've come to recognize that I have many acquaintances, both professionally and personally.  I "know" lots of people but in reality I would be hard pressed to consider that I have "relationships" with them.  They are my "contacts," not necessarily my friends and certainly not close friends.  In retrospect, I realize how I have not lived consistently into what we find in St. Luke's Gospel where Jesus, in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, lays out what it means to love God and love neighbor.  My guess is my falling short stems from the fact that I don't always "see" or fully appreciate who my neighbor is.
     As we gather each week in this sacred and majestic space, we come as neighbors.  Some of us know many folks who share the pews with us, some know few.  Our collective reasons for attending vary; some come to hear excellent preaching, others for the amazing and uplifting music, still others for the beauty of the liturgy.  Some come to be anonymous and worship in the privacy of their own soul while others seek the comfort of being with their long-standing friends.
     But some come seeking help, refuge and a place to belong.  It's hurtful to hear when "we" collectively fail to fully welcome and acknowledge those who are new in our midst, as I heard this past weekend.  It's also encouraging when folks who stopped by prior to the Saturday evening service to take some pictures and notes for a homework assignment felt welcomed enough to stay for the liturgy.  Sometimes we fail and sometimes we succeed in welcoming those around us, but we must always be attentive, yours truly included.
     This exhortation doesn't just mean with "new" folks among us, it means that we get to know, to talk with, to get to a place with our fellow parishioners personally that we can begin the process of developing relationships that are meaningful, supportive and through which God can do amazing things using our collective effort.  It encompasses our willingness to allow our fellow neighbors to fully participate in the life of the cathedral whether that be serving on a committee or guild, engaging in classes like yoga or seeking wisdom and fellowship through adult and youth formation opportunities.
     We've recently said our goodbyes to Bishop Jim and Gloria, though we rejoice in the fact they're staying in Spokane.  We will soon say our goodbyes to Bill and Beth with both sadness and gratitude as they return to Bend. There will come a time where Nic, Krista and Charlee will follow a call to another parish or diocesan position.  It will be by our strong relationships and commitments to each other that we will continue to minister to the needs of our neighbors, both inside and outside the walls of St. John's, among old-timers and newcomers, young and not-as-young, those well off and those on the margins whether financially or spiritually, as we embrace new leadership with Bishop Gretchen and new opportunities for service under the vision of our next Dean and Chapter.
     My prayer for us all is that we allow ourselves to become known to each other; to seek the best in and for each other; to become the neighbor we seek from each other.  God will bless our efforts and will use us to bring the Kingdom of God just that much closer to reality.



Heavenly Father, in your Word you have given us a vision
 of that holy City to which the nations of the world
 bring their glory: 
Behold and visit, we pray, the cities of the earth.
Renew the ties of mutual regard which form our civic life.
Send us honest and able leaders.
Enable us to eliminate poverty, prejudice, and oppression,
that peace may prevail with righteousness,
and justice with order,
and that men and women from different cultures
and with differing talents may
find with one another
 the fulfillment of their humanity;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Several months ago, Spokane Alliance made a presentation at our Sunday Forum regarding Washington's tax structure.  St John's Carolyn Holmes carries on her commitment to the community.

CAROLYN HOLMES and "Washingtonians Talk Awkwardly About Taxes"

Jim Dawson of Fuse Washington has   released  "Washingtonians Talk Awkwardly About Taxes."  Multiple interviews were carried out with leaders, community activists, and ordinary folks to create a real conversation about taxes, the budget, our communities, and the future we want. The video participants include our own Carolyn Holmes and local business owner Kelly Chadwick. 
     This link makes an easy connection to vital information that is essential in the days ahead. There are four brief  videos, and all may be freely shared.  The  target audiences for the project are communities historically left out of the public conversation on tax reform. The focus centers voices of young people, people of color, and trying to recruit participants from the regions where we have organizing infrastructure.
     Thank you, Carolyn, for your investment as a citizen of our community.


Reading a terrific (little-178 pages) novel about a 12th century saint--Godric of Finchale--ex-Crusader, hermit, whose best friends are two snakes, Fairweather and Tune.  Frederick Buechner was short-listed for a Pulitzer prize for Godric, and has justifiable praise for bringing unlikely and little known characters to light.  Saint Brendan of Ireland, Isaac, in Son of Laughter as well as many other novels and collections of essays and sermons.
     Save the dates of June 26 and July 24 for a highly enriched (and fun) experience!

  • May 21        Adult Forum.  Anjanette Green.  9:15am.  Great Hall.
  • May 21        Farewell to Michelle Klippert.  Coffee Hour following 10:30 service.  Great                       Hall.
  • May 28        Adult Forum.  Sam Mace: Save Our Wild Salmon. 9:15am. Great Hall
  • June 10       Evangelism for Episcopalians.  10:00am-2:00pm.  Lunch provided. RSVP.
  • June 26       Summer Reading of Godric & Picnic.  6:00pm.
  • July 7          St John's at the Ballpark.  6:30pm.  Avista Stadium.  Free.  RSVP.
  • July 24        Part 2.  Summer Reading of Godric & Picnic.  6:00pm.
The June issue will be published on June 12, the second Monday of the month.  Articles or announcements are invited.  Please send copy by the previous Thursday.