September 2021 Newsletter
A Note from the Team!
After more than a year of gathering virtually we are so excited to be reconnecting with children, youth, and families in-person. We know that everyone’s situation is different, and we are committed to providing connection and spiritual support for each child, youth, and family member at Saint Mark’s - whether that is in-person or still virtual.

What have we been up to recently? Well, we have dusted off the Godly Play stories, purchased more Legos than any one person should have, and are planning some exciting events and maybe another surprise porch drop for this year!

See below for...

  • Children & Youth Ministry COVID Protocols
  • Prayer & Activities At Home
  • Infant & Toddler Gatherings
  • Pre-K to 5th Grade Sunday Church School Information & Registration
  • Youth Events
  • Choir School

Special welcome to Rev. Canon Dr. Marda Steedman Sanborn as she joins Saint Mark’s for a three-month period. We are so excited to have her voice and wisdom supporting children and family ministries this fall.

If you have any questions as we begin the program year never hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected]. We can’t wait to see you, meet you, and share in ministry and faith with you all this year.

Andrea, Rebekah, Hannah, Marda, Sonjia, Kristen, Alicia
COVID Protocols
We know that COVID continues to impact our community and are working hard to make sure that we do everything that we can to keep everyone safe as we return to in-person ministry. We hope to be transparent and clear as we communicate these protocols with you. Please reach out if you ever have questions or concerns, and know that we will continue to update as needed and share with you all as we move through the year.

  • The Saint Mark’s Cathedral protocols will apply to all programs, we will take the lead of the Cathedral as well as putting additional protocols in place for children and families.
  • We will strive to be outdoors and in larger indoor spaces as much as possible (for family events and other gatherings)
  • Everyone will enter the buildings masked and stay masked at all times while indoors
  • No food goes into the buildings or classrooms, and we will not be serving food during any programs or events.
  • Please sanitize hands when you come into the room and when you leave! Bathroom sinks are also available for handwashing if you prefer not to use sanitizer.
  • When we are indoors we will be masked, will do our best to maintain three feet of distance when sitting.
  • We will have the doors and windows open as long as the weather allows, and will be gathering for Sunday Church School classes in the St. Nicholas Building. With the window and door airflow, and our smaller numbers on Sundays, we are excited to return to our Sunday classrooms in ways that are safe for us all. As we move forward, we will continually evaluate and make adjustments to how we use the space as we endeavor to keep everyone as safe as possible.
  • As we prepare for events and programs, we are working hard to make sure that manipulables (pens, crayons, lego bricks, etc.) are separated out into individual containers so that each child has their own materials as much as possible.
  • When we do have shared materials, we will be limiting 2 participants using each material at the same time.
  • If we are eating during an event or program, we will do our best to be outdoors or indoors with 6 feet of space between us.
Prayer/At Home Activity
Each month we will include short prayers, activities, and suggestions for bringing faith and liturgy into our homes! These might include questions for conversation during meals or car rides. We might share a prayer or reflection for parents, children, or the whole family. It might even be a short action or activity that the whole family can do together. The goal? Keep it short, keep it simple, and keep it grounded in faith and wondering together.

Prayer for Families
from the Book of Common Prayer
  • Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who settest the solitary in families: We commend to thy continual care the homes in which thy people dwell. Put far from them, we beseech thee, every root of bitterness, the desire of vainglory, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness. Knit together in constant affection those who, in holy wedlock, have been made one flesh. Turn the hearts of the parents to the children, and the hearts of the children to the parents; and so enkindle fervent charity among us all, that we may evermore be kindly affectioned one to another; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Young Persons
from the Book of Common Prayer
  • God our Father, you see your children growing up in an unsteady and confusing world: Show them that your ways give more life than the ways of the world, and that following you is better than chasing after selfish goals. Help them to take failure, not as a measure of their worth, but as a chance for a new start. Give them strength to hold their faith in you, and to keep alive their joy in your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for Parents
from the Book of Common Prayer
  • Almighty God, giver of life and love, bless N. and N. Grant them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their common life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy. And so knit their wills together in your will and their spirits in your Spirit, that they may live together in love and peace all the days of their life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Infant & Toddler
We will begin monthly gatherings for babies and toddlers (and their parents) in October! This is a time for parents of little children (newborn to 3 years old) to gather and build community. We will include a few simple songs, short age-appropriate activities or stories, and prayer practices that we can do together. Everything that we experience will be something that you can take home and incorporate into your own at home faith practices!

Our first gathering will be on Sunday, October 3, from 1010:45 a.m. (between the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Eucharist services). Stay tuned for more information!
Children's Sunday School
Sunday School Resumes September 19!

EVERY SUNDAY, 10–10:50 A.M., St. Nicholas Building, 2nd Floor, registration required
Pre-K—2nd grade
Godly Play is a creative, imaginative approach to spiritual formation designed especially for young children and based on a Montessori foundation. Led by Alicia Goodwin and Andrea Gradinaru.
3rd–5th grade
Building Faith Brick by Brick is a time for us to explore stories from the Bible and respond through our own creative engagement with LEGO bricks! Led by Kristen Kelly and Sonjia Gavin.
Youth Events
To participate in any of the youth events listed below, please get in touch with Rebekah Gilmore at [email protected].

Fall Happenings

During the fall of 2021, rather than weekly Sunday morning gatherings, the youth will gather for monthly events and service projects. We encourage you to mark your calendars for those happenings and show up so we can enjoy seeing each other and making a difference in our church and community together.

In lieu of youth specific Sunday School, check out the Sunday morning forums being offered to the adults of the cathedral. Much of what is discussed there isn’t just for adults but is interesting to youth as well (think Climate Change, meditation practices, what it is like to be a part of the Episcopal Service Corps...). The adults attending those forums will be interested in the youth perspective on the topics discussed. Represent!
Dean Thomason in Conversation with Buddhist Monk Tan Nisabho

The first Sunday morning forum will be on This Sunday, September 19, 10:10-10:50 a.m. Have you wondered about Buddhist meditation and practices? The first forum of the fall will feature a conversation with Buddhist monk Venerable Nisabho who is a native of Spokane, WA, but studied and was ordained in the Forest Monastery tradition in Thailand. The community he leads is currently meeting on Saturday mornings on the Saint Mark's campus. Tan Nisabho and Dean Steve are exploring together cross-cultural and interfaith expressions of contemplative practices, including Christian centering prayer. There will be time for those present to engage Nisabho with your questions.
Youth Service Project with Nurturing Roots Community Farm

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 10, 12:45–3 P.M.
Mt. Baker, 6218 Beacon Ave. S., Seattle

Youth will offer their elbow grease to assist with the fall chores on this special farm. Nurturing Roots is a thriving urban farm and community farming program that values community, self-sufficiency, food empowerment, social justice, and education. Check out their website at

Class of 2020-2021: Classes Resume on September 20, 6:30-8 p.m., via Zoom. This class of confirmands will be confirmed on November 14, 2021, at the Bishop's Sunday visit to Saint Mark's.

Interested in confirmation? The confirmation process is a time of self-discovery and study with other youth over the course of one year. This is a time to go deep. Using the curriculum of Confirm Not Conform, students will explore what they believe, what Christians, and more specifically Episcopalians, before them believe, and what experiences, teachings, and writings help us make those decisions. Classes will be a mix of online and in-person. Join using this Zoom link. If your middle school or high school child is interested in being a part of the next confirmation class, reach out to Rebekah Gilmore at [email protected].
Choir School
Choristers are back in person this fall! Singers are masked and rehearsal spaces altered to allow for adequate air circulation and social distancing. We are making music together again! Registration is still open and it isn't too late to join.

Calendar: You may access the Google Calendars here.

Tuition: Tuition will be $150/semester for each chorister and can be paid through the cathedral website here. Scroll down to "Choir School Tuition" line. If tuition is a hardship for your family at this time, we can offer partial or full scholarships due to the generosity of some of our other families. Don't hesitate to ask. We want your children to sing!
Questions? Email the Choir School at [email protected]
Jr. Choristers
(beginners, age 5 and older)
  • Tuesday rehearsal option: 4:45–5:30 p.m.; Began Sept. 14
  • Wednesday rehearsal option: 3:30–4:15; Began Sept. 15.

Sr. Choristers
(intermediate level, determined by director)
  • Wednesdays 4:30–6 p.m.; Began Sept. 8.

(High School youth and changed voice boys)
  • Wednesdays 7:30-8:30 p.m.; Began Sept. 8.

Upcoming liturgy schedule
  • 9/26 - Schola 9 a.m. (8:15 call time)
  • Saturday, 10/2 - Jr. Choristers (Blessing of the Animals Service, Saturday 4:30 p.m., 3:45 p.m. call time)
  • 10/3 - Sr. Choristers 9 a.m. (8:15 a.m. call time)
  • 10/10 - Schola 9 a.m. (8:15 a.m. call time)
  • 10/17 - Sr. Choristers 9 a.m. (8:15 a.m. call time)
Remember to keep an eye on our weekly Sundays & Beyond email, the Online Community page of the cathedral website, and the Facebook Group. Each week there are new offerings and ways to stay connected at Saint Mark's.