Now entering its fifth year, The Wisdom School at Saint Mark’s Cathedral was created with a broad vision to invite people on diverse spiritual journeys to listen to and learn from each other in a vital practice of collaborative engagement. To date, more than three hundred have participated. We are delighted to publish the offerings for the coming year and encourage you to mark your calendars now for these.

The Wisdom School was created to offer a balanced path for spiritual transformation grounded in prayer and practice, drawing on the Christian contemplative tradition while respecting the diversity of experiences born from contemplative practices of other traditions.

Each year’s curriculum is guided by a theme which, for this year, is “desire” and its role in the spiritual journey. Traditionally desire is understood as existing in the realm of carnal experience and is therefore to be denied or rejected. But mystics know a deeper truth—that desire is at the core of our spiritual awareness and informs all that we do and are, in response to God’s desire for us, or alternatively, as a shadow that hinders that union through false attachments. This year’s programming addresses multiple facets of this reality.
We have two keynote speakers offering workshops this year—Belden Lane, speaking on the “Great Conversation” with nature, and Dr. Hillary McBride, who will address “Body and Spirit” in two events next spring. Several other events, retreats, and a capstone pilgrimage to Iona and the Celtic missions round out the program. We’ve built in contingencies for all these offerings, in light of the ongoing pandemic, and will adjust as warranted. Our weekly and seasonal gatherings for centering prayer, yoga, and quiet days of contemplative prayer will also resume when it is safe to do so.

For complete information, and to register for events, visit If I can offer any information or answer your questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am,

Gratefully yours,
The Very Reverend Steven L. Thomason
Dean and Rector
The Wisdom School at Saint Mark's
2020–21 Season Schedule Highlights
The Very Rev. Steve Thomason
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13, 2021, 6:45 P.M.–8:15 P.M.
Opening Plenary—A Spirituality of Desire
Facilitated by Dean Steve Thomason
FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2021, 6:30–8:30 P.M.
& SATURDAY, JANUARY 23, 2021, 9:30 A.M.–3 P.M.
Ravished by Nature’s Beauty:
Christian Mystics and the Longing for God
A two-part workshop led by Belden C. Lane
Spirituality of the Meal
Facilitated by Chef Marc Aubertin & Dean Steve Thomason
APRIL 16–18, 2021
Women’s Retreat—
Desire and Holy Longing
at Camp Casey on Whidbey Island.
Facilitated by Canons Daugherty, Ross & Chapman
Two Events with Dr. Hillary McBride, PhD 

FRIDAY, APRIL 30, 2021, 6:30–8 P.M.
This Is My Body
Public reading and signing of her new book This is My Body: Practices for Coming Home to Yourself and Living Fully Alive

SATURDAY, MAY 1, 2021, 9:30 A.M.–3 P.M.
Body and Spirit:
Why We Are Both and Why Both Matter
All-day workshop with Dr. Hillary McBride
JUNE 11–13, 2021
Men’s Retreat—“Our Shelter from the Stormy Blast”: Spiritual Reflections on 9/11, Pandemic, and Change
at St. Andrew’s House Retreat Center on the Hood Canal.
Facilitated by The Rev. Dr. Stuart Hoke & Dean Steve Thomason
JULY 25–AUGUST 5, 2021 (tentative dates)
Capstone—Following in Celtic Footsteps: A Pilgrimage to Iona and Ancient Missions of Britain
Led by The Very Rev. Steven L.Thomason & The Rev. Canon Cristi Chapman
Complete descriptions and additional offerings, including seasonal and ongoing practices, may be found at: