A Message from Dean Thomason
Exciting Staff Developments
Dear friends,
In recent weeks we have been talking a good deal about the Mutual Ministry Goals developed by the Vestry earlier this year and designed to guide much of our strategic work of planning as we enter a post-pandemic landscape changed in so many ways. While there are challenges, to be sure, this moment presents us with opportunities to see things in new light and try new ways of being the Body of Christ. One such innovative way is captured in the third mutual ministry goal:

  • “As we envision ways of being Church in a post-pandemic world, we will foster spiritual growth and nourishing relationships among members of the cathedral community through intergenerational programming, small group gatherings, and innovative ways to incorporate those new to Saint Mark’s as we seek to become Beloved Community.”

Earlier this year, the Vestry also retained a consultant, Jamie Martin-Currie of Houston, Texas, to study, gather data, and make recommendations related to the ways we form community at Saint Mark’s and foster lifelong spiritual formation. Her report draws on feedback from more than 200 persons who participated in surveys, listening groups, and a comprehensive review of our common life. Her report will inform our strategic conversations in the coming months. I commend it to you even as she commends us, as a community, for our faithfulness in our common life.

With all this as background, I am delighted to share with you here some exciting staff developments as part of a comprehensive design as we plot a course forward together.
1. New Staff Positions for Intergenerational Ministries

We recently posted two new positions:

  • a full-time Canon for Intergenerational Ministries, and
  • a half-time Program Coordinator for Intergenerational Ministries.

You can read about those roles here. We are currently receiving applications and hope to have those positions filled by the fall.
2. Adam Conley to expand his role to include staff support for the 20s & 30s Ministry

Additionally, Adam Conley, who has been commendably serving part-time as director of the Seattle Service Corps, will now be full-time, and will also serve as staff support for the 20s and 30s group as those two ministries enjoy several points of convergence. He brings many gifts to the expanded role, and will continue his roles as grant writer and editor of The Rubric as well.
3. Rebekah Gilmore to continue her role as Interim Youth Minister

Rebekah Gilmore stepped into the role of Interim Youth Minister in 2020 when the pandemic forced us to adapt in so many ways. She has done remarkable work in very difficult times, and will continue for a time still in the role, with the Youth Confirmation class to be presented for Confirmation on November 14 when Bishop Rickel visits Saint Mark’s. We are so grateful for her ministry in this regard.
4. Andrea Gradinaru to serve as Interim Sunday Morning Children’s Ministry Coordinator

As we await the arrival of the new Canon for Intergenerational Ministries, I am delighted to announce that Andrea Gradinaru will join the Saint Mark’s staff in August in support of families with children and our Sunday School teachers. She is well known to the children, having assisted with Choir School and in the Childcare Center in recent years. She brings a passion for ministry with children and is an active member of Saint Mark’s already. 
5. The Rev. Canon Jennifer King Daugherty to serve as new Canon for Engagement and Connection

Canon Daugherty begins a well-deserved sabbatical August 16, and when she returns December 1, she will assume a new role as Canon for Engagement and Connection. This role envisions a breadth of ministry that draws on her considerable pastoral gifts and her visionary capacity to see connections that forge partnerships in ministry with groups in the broader PNW community whose missions are aligned with the cathedral’s. Within the Saint Mark’s community, she will continue guiding the pastoral care ministries and will bring some new, innovative ways of forming community in the coming year. We will share more about her role as she returns from sabbatical. In the meantime, I hope you will join me in wishing her a rich time of rest and renewal.
6. Director of Operations Jim Pannell to serve as staff support for Creation Care

Given our commitment to become net carbon zero on the cathedral campus by 2030, and the intentional work on infrastructure required to meet such a goal, Director of Operations Jim Pannell will assume a more integrated role as key staff support for the vibrant Creation Care ministry, even while facilities and finance staff will play important roles as well.
Finally, let me say that, in all of this, there is an intentional blurring of discrete boundaries or “departmental” silos—our mission and ministries are by design overlapping, and they are all informed by the mutuality of our ministries. Similarly, the dean and Canons Daugherty and Ross share a collaborative ministry design in which we happily serve as co-pastors and priests to all the ministries and individuals of Saint Mark’s. We each take the lead in certain settings, but we are devoted to the whole, not a part. We eschew a model of ministry in which one priest serves as sole chaplain for a group in favor of these richer, collaborative ways of serving together. If you have questions, just ask.

I am so very grateful to be in ministry with each of you in this remarkable time. I am, faithfully,

Your Brother in Christ,
The Very Reverend Steven L. Thomason
Dean and Rector