When my landlord Tom asked if I would like a 4x4 garden plot, I was nervous (I can’t keep succulents alive) and interested (I love vegetables). I decided to give it a try. I felt drawn to name the space but came up short, asking my husband to help brainstorm. “What about Thickens?” he said. I didn’t get it. “You know, the plot thickens.” 

And so, to make plot Thickens viable, I pored over gardening content. The details seemed complicated, and I started wondering if this was further evidence I lacked a green thumb. But Tom wouldn’t let me off that easy. “We’ll do this together,” he said. I put aside reading how it was supposed to look and just started showing up, paying attention, and asking a lot of questions. He showed me how to gently loosen roots before placing in the dirt, use a trellis to thread spirey beans, layer soil around tomatoes with just enough mixture of compost, and take time to just let plants, well, be plants. 

Over these longer days of summer, the plot has thickened—not just with leafy greens and sugar snap peas that fill my salad bowl but with connection and friendship. Tom and I are 47 years apart but have discovered we share a love for travel, playing sports, and eating pizza with fresh basil sprinkled just after baking, all of which has unfolded tending earth and vine. 

This makes me think about ministry opportunities too. It can be intimidating to start something new or uncertain but we don’t have to go at it alone: we do this together. I know for me personally, stepping into areas of interest has deepened my connection to Saint Mark’s and introduced me to people I didn’t know well before who now feel like dear friends. 

As we reopen fully, there are additional opportunities to serve and connect together this summer —serving as a liturgical minister, discovering a new neighborhood on a Stairway walk, contributing to goals on intergenerational community, restorative justice and climate change, gathering outside on the labyrinth for prayer, and experiencing Compline in person. What looks interesting to you? 
—Emily Meeks ([email protected])
Opportunities in Liturgical Ministries

If you are interested or have any questions about these roles, please reach out to Michael Seewer, who is our cathedral sacristan, at [email protected]. (Learn more about Michael here!)

  • Acolyte
  • Service: 9 a.m. or 11 a.m.
  • Helpful to know: Involves carrying objects at various points of the liturgy and participating in various liturgical processions. Once resumed, a full team will include a combination of acolyte, torch bearer and crucifer roles depending on service.

  • Altar Guild
  • Service: 9 a.m. 
  • Helpful to know: A good fit for those who have attention to detail and enjoy a ministry that is more independent and behind the scenes.

  • Eucharistic Ministers (chalice bearers) 
  • Service: 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. 
  • Helpful to know: We are not yet ready to resume serving the common cup, but we want to be ready when we do. This is a licensed ministry, and is open to all baptized and confirmed members in good standing. 

  • Flower Ministry
  • Helpful to know: A good fit for those with a good sense of color and proportion. No experience with flower arranging needed. Training will be provided. Availability needed for Thursday, Friday or Saturday to create arrangements. See photos and video about the flower ministry here.

  • Oblation Bearers
  • Service: 9 a.m. or 11 a.m.
  • Helpful to know: Ministers who bring the gifts of bread and wine to the altar during the offertory. This ministry is not currently active, but will be sometime likely in the coming months. 

  • Readers
  • Service: 9 a.m. 
  • Helpful to Know: Lectors read scripture from the Old or New Testament and Intercessors read the Prayers of the People. A good fit for those with a talent and passion for reading and speaking in front of large groups of people. 

  • Hospitality Ministry 
  • Service: Compline, Sundays at 9:30 p.m.
  • Helpful to Know: Beginning August 22, two hospitality ministers are needed before and during Compline to welcome and answer questions, ensure doors are open and closed at appropriate times, and orient those present to the spirit of the service—quiet, stillness, contemplation. It is a good opportunity for couples to serve together.
Meet Adam Conley: New 20s/30s Staff Support

Current role: Director of Seattle Service Corps, grant writer, and editor of The Rubric

Pronouns: He/Him/His

At Saint Mark’s since: April 2018

Also serves as: a board member of Seattle Seafarers Center and on the Advisory Council of the Episcopal Service Corps; member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Lower Queen Anne

Interests: travel, reading, writing, preaching, music, hiking, boating, exploring imaginative prayer and spiritual practices, and engaging in worship and community life at St. Paul’s and Saint Mark’s. Adam is a performer with ETHEL!!, a character drag ensemble founded out of the Seattle Men’s Chorus that hosts BINGO nights and fundraisers for LGBTQ+ youth groups.

“I am thrilled to support Saint Mark’s 20s & 30s as you continue to live into your call as a vital cathedral ministry.”

Get in touch with Adam at [email protected]
Participate in Mutual Ministry Community Meetings

Are you interested in Restorative Justice & Systematic Change, Creation Care & Carbon Reduction and Intergenerational Community? These are our Mutual Ministry Goals this year and are intended to inform every aspect of our common life at the cathedral. Your voice and perspective are valued at these upcoming community meetings - bring your ideas and your questions. Two meetings remain:

  • Sunday, July 25, 2–3:30 p.m. - Innovative Intergenerational Community 

  • Monday, August 9, 6:30–8 p.m. - Creation Care & Carbon Reduction 

These meetings will be held via Zoom. More information, including information for past meetings (Restorative & Systemic Change on July 11 and Worship & Prayer on July 18) can be found here
Sunday Stairway Walks 

SUNDAYS, AUGUST 8 & SEPTEMBER 26, 2 P.M.–5:15 P.M., pre-registration required

Join with other young adults from around the Diocese of Olympia to explore and learn about different neighborhoods and Episcopal parishes within Seattle. 

Up next: Saint Mark’s and “The Olmsted Vision” on August 8. On this walk we will start with a welcome and background on Saint Mark’s from Dean Steve Thomason. On this walk we will see how the vision of the Olmsted Brothers shaped Seattle's parks, exploring The Arboretum, Interlaken Park and Volunteer Park, and winding through Montlake, Stevens and Broadway neighborhoods. Light refreshments provided after the walk. Total distance: ~4.2 miles. Learn more here.

Why the stairs? Seattle has 650 publicly accessible stairways. In the early 1900s, property developers in hilly Seattle would construct public stairways for convenience and to improve access to trolly lines. Now, these scenic passageways provide opportunities to discover off-the-path views through Seattle neighborhoods.

Contact Emily Meeks ([email protected]) or Michael Perera ([email protected]) with questions.
Night Prayer this Summer 

Join us for prayer on 2nd and 4th Monday evenings at 7 p.m.. This liturgy, which usually ends around 7:15, is offered over the phone. On 4th Mondays, participants are invited to gather on the labyrinth in addition to the call-in option. On July 26, we will transition from our liturgy from the New Zealand Book of Prayer to a new service!

  • MONDAY, JULY 26*



[* Denotes in-person gathering on the labyrinth in addition to audio.]
A Personal Invitation from Michael Perera

"So you want to talk about race."

Well, here it is. About Race.

(What feels like) a very long time ago, Cara Peterson and I sat down to talk about the elephant in the cathedral; looking around at the people and the community we love, and knowing that nobody else looked like us; and knowing what they saw when they looked at us. We'd hear it in their questions, read it between the lines of their emails, and feel it in the absence of other BIPOC folks who chose not to stay.

"We should do something," we said to each other.

I'd hear other podcasts about being brown in white spaces, I'd read the blogs and the articles and the thinkpieces of what it meant to be an outsider on the inside, and I'd think, "I have something to say. I know I can be a part of this." But it always felt like shouting into the wind.

Not anymore, though. Now, we talk. We talk about race. We sit down with our friends, we talk to them about who they are, and we talk to them about what it means to look very different from everyone else in that big cathedral.

And we hope you listen. We hope you listen to these stories of who we are when we're not the center of unwanted attention, these stories of what it feels like to be seen differently, and why it is so important for us to be here, with you; and why it is so important for you to be here, with us.

Many thanks to Krista Serianni, to Sarah Garrett Vasquez, and so many others who offered advice, feedback, encouragement, and support; this work would literally not have happened without you.

Let's talk about race. It's about time.
—Michael Perera ([email protected])
Cathedral Conversations about Race can be heard wherever you get your podcasts—just search for "cathedral conversations"—or at saintmarks.org/podcast. The first episode of the new series is now available (in two parts). New episodes will be released every two weeks. The entire congregation of Saint Mark's is encouraged to listen to these conversations with an open heart. The participants have shared their stories with the entire cathedral community not to shame or embarrass, but so that we all might learn and grow together in love. Later in the summer, once a number of episodes have been released, a community forum is planned to process and learn from what we have heard.
Natalie shared “Christ Has No Body,” a poem and prayer from Teresa of Avila, a Carmelite nun and Spanish mystic. 
Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
“I found it just by being curious about her work following the Mirabai Starr workshop (Luminous Night: A Spirituality of Loss, Grief, and Hope),” said Natalie. “It deepened a feeling for me that was already there about the role Radix participants play for each other and in the world.”
Cathedral Yoga

Cathedral Yoga is now re-launching on MONDAY evenings at 6:30 p.m., beginning Monday, July 26. Classes will be led by certified professional yoga instructors—Irene Beausoleil and Wendy Townsend. Open to all levels from newcomers to experienced practitioners. Donation based. Questions? Contact [email protected]

In-person services will begin on Sunday, August 22 (9:30 p.m.). You are invited to come and be a part of this 65-year Seattle tradition.
Young Adults Wilderness Pilgrimage
July 30–August 1, Central Cascades
Learn more here or email [email protected]

Holy Waste of Time Weekend
August 20–August 22, Hood Canal
Learn more here or email [email protected]

Intergenerational Hike
September 12, 2–5:30 p.m., Twin Falls
Sign up here. Questions? Email [email protected]