In this Issue
  • Opening Reflection: Prof. Doug Thorpe on wilderness and memory
  • Events: Upcoming opportunities and video of recent offerings
  • Faith and Creation: Intersectionality and Environmentalism 
  • Carbon Tracker: Updates & Spotlight on Travel and Keeping Cool
  • Resources & Quick Links 
Moments in the Wilderness

It’s an old game I’d often play with my students to jog them into writing, especially in Spring Quarter as we moved into May. We all get a little restless indoors by this point in the academic year, sitting in a sterile classroom; we start to feel some warmth rising up from the earth and can imagine again a life beyond the rain and cold. So I’d ask: if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? Tell me about it—make me feel it in your words.  

My own answer would vary. I dearly love the Gulf of Mexico and the beautiful white beaches of Siesta Key, just as at certain moments I might choose the Left Bank of Paris early in the morning as the bakeries were opening, or even certain quiet streets in the old city of Jerusalem at dusk. But it’s clear to me that my own preference finally lies with the Cascades. So many memories up there—so many hikes and backpack trips with Judy and Kate over the years, and with the hope and expectation of more to come. And of course part of the pleasure is coming to know these places fairly intimately after numerous trips. For me the Cascades are specific: among many other sacred spots I think of Dishpan Gap, just north of Lake Sally Ann on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), or Meandering Meadows, still further north by a few miles and a mile below the PCT, or Macalester Pass, a few miles north of Stehekin. 

Of course all of these spots are beautiful, but I could have chosen others which are clearly more picturesque. So what is it about these places? It’s certainly that sense of truly being out there—in the mountains, far from roads and cities, far from Starbucks—but it’s also being out there with people whom I love. And so the memories of those places are filled not just with glorious mountains and deep green valleys but with people....

Eat, Play, Love is Back

Eat, Play, Love will be offered over three non-consecutive Wednesday evenings (June 22, July 27, and August 24) from 5 to 8 p.m. This year, we will explore the theme "Water of Life" through three scripture stories (Creation, the Baptism of Christ, and The Woman at the Well) and respond to them creatively through activities such as music, art, and science. We'll also dive into justice-seeking as it relates to clean water and water access, both locally and globally. Learn more here
Climate Conversations

Looking for practical ways to reduce your impact on the environment? Saint Mark’s Creation Care Ministry is hosting Climate Conversations about everyday things in our lives. These monthly conversations will be held on environmentally-friendly Zoom on the first Tuesday evening of each month from 5:30–6:30 p.m. The next conversation will be on Tuesday, August 2 and focused on water. Click here for the full schedule
Cathedral Campus Gardening

On the second Saturday of each month, 9 a.m. to noon. All are welcome and needed, whether you have a green thumb or not! The next work party is Saturday, August 13, 9 a.m. to noon. Questions? Email [email protected].
Video is now available for:

Presentation slides (pdf) are now available for:

Leah Thomas, author of The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People and Planet (2022), recently spoke with Hannah Wilson (Farm Manager at Yes Farm, leader of the Black Farmers Collective and co-chair of the Environmental Justice Commission of the City of Seattle) as part of a program offered by Town Hall titled The Intersection Between Environmentalism, Racism, and Privilege.

The Rev. Edie Weller has written a reflection on the issues raised in this program. Read her response here.

Some resources related to this program:

Additional resources on this topic recommended by Prof. Doug Thorpe:

Visit a Fire Lookout 

Recommended by Richard Hartung

Not long ago, people in fire lookouts on ridges and mountains around the Pacific Northwest constantly searched for wildfires during the summer so firefighters could put them out before they grew. While people have been replaced by satellites with scanners, the lookout stations remain and are a great destination for day hikes with beautiful views. One of the best ways to find a lookout to visit is to read Lost Fire Lookout Hikes & Histories: Olympic Peninsula & Willapa Hills by Leslie Romer. Her carefully researched book shows where the lookouts are, the routes to the fire lookout sites, accurate hike directions, details of the distance and elevation gain, and notes on the history of each destination. The 65 hikes to lookouts will give you great views, short hikes or long ones and new insights into the history as well as the mountains of our beautiful region.
Hike Spray ParkA Mount Rainier Wonder

Recommended by Kathy Minsch 

One of my peak magical hiking experiences after moving out here from the East Coast has been walking the Spray Falls, Spray Park trail in Mount Rainier National Park. It is a blend of my favorite trail features: hiking through woods at a gentle then steeper incline, accompanied by the soothing sounds of water and birds until reaching the tall narrow falls, which provide an opportunity to cool off, rest and eat; then proceeding onward through more woods that get shorter until breaking out into the colorful flower bedecked meadows with alternating views of Mount Rainier along the winding trail. The spectacular beauty and spiritual force of the mountain lures me along, with more meadows and views at each turn. I have introduced numerous friends to the wonders of this hike since a friend and I experienced its magic together for the first time. I am looking forward to walking it again this summer.  
Become a Lighthouse Keeper

Recommended by Richard Hartung

Before the days of GPS and satellites, lighthouses were the only reason many ships avoided crashing into rocky shorelines. A hardy band of lighthouse keepers staffed the lighthouses year-round, making sure the lights and foghorns stayed on and warned ships of danger. While the locations were remote, the houses keepers lived in were very comfortable.

Now that technology has replaced people, you can live like a lighthouse keeper for a few days. Washington State Parks and the United States Lighthouse Society highlight a small number of restored lighthouses and keepers’ cabins in beautiful locations around Washington state that you can reserve for a delightful getaway. The well-appointed and comfortable houses sleep anywhere from two to eight people and usually include a kitchen as well as other amenities. For us, staying in one was a delightful escape in a beautiful location, with walks and day hikes nearby. From Cape Disappointment and Point No Point to New Dungeness and more, try staying in a lighthouse to enjoy a delightfully unusual vacation.
Richard Hartung at the lighthouse keepers house at Cape Disappointment.

With less water and higher temperatures during the summer, water and energy usage often rises. Saint Mark’s Carbon Tracker has ideas, though, on how to reduce carbon emissions and save money amidst summer fun.

An easy one is to turn your thermostat just a few degrees higher in the summer or lower in the winter, which saves energy and money. On the hottest days of Seattle’s now-warmer summers, simple steps like closing drapes to keep the sunshine out and using a fan rather than air conditioning can lower your energy needs. Taking advantage of the good weather to walk or ride a bike to your destinations rather than driving can reduce fuel usage. And if you have a garden, you can reduce your water and keep more moisture in the soil by using a 3-to-8-inch layer of mulch made of grass clippings, shredded leaves, compost or other materials. Watering in the early morning or late evening to avoid evaporation and putting the water where the plants need it, as close to the roots as possible, also avoids unnecessary evaporation.  

Traveling this summer? Travel and tourism create 11 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council, and making small changes can reduce your impact. One great way to lessen emissions is to reduce air travel and take a staycation, as a local tourist in your hometown. If you do fly, a direct flight creates fewer carbon emissions and lightening your baggage by 15 pounds decreases emissions by about 80 pounds on a ten-hour flight. Consider an airline with a “green” program, such as Alaska Airlines' “Greener Skies” or United’s "Eco-Skies.” As you choose where to stay, consider a hotel with a lower carbon footprint by using Google or Trip Advisor to search for eco-certified or “green” hotels. They may also be healthier because materials used in construction, paint, furnishings and cleaning avoid ingredients that release toxins.
When you arrive at your destination, staying in one place rather than taking many side
trips reduces your carbon footprint. You can also deepen your appreciation for the place by walking around and interacting with locals. An eco-friendly is easy, enjoyable and may be less stressful than our usual routines. And you can get even more ideas by signing up for or using the Carbon Tracker
The Rev. Dr Bradley Hauff, The Episcopal Church's Missioner for Indigenous Ministries, visited Saint Mark’s this spring. He provided a reading list of those interested in diving more deeply into the history of Indigenous peoples, the injustices done, and the Church’s roleparticularly the Episcopal Church's role). That list is now posted here. (Scroll past the videos.)

A pdf of a flyer distributed at Cathedral Day 2022
from Libby Karr

Information about eco-anxiety and eco-grief, features Katherine Hoerster
Recommended by Emily Meeks

A resource shared at the May 29 forum on the Beekeeper Ministry Forum led by Rob Reid
from Marjorie Ringness
Recent photos from the Leffler Garden.
A special Earth Day flag flying high on April 22, 2022.
Creation Care Monthly Ministry Meetings

THIRD TUESDAYS, 6:308 p.m., via Zoom 

Anyone is welcome to join a Saint Mark’s Creation Care Ministry meeting on the third Tuesday evening of every month from 6:308 p.m. via Zoom. Please contact Marjorie Ringness for the link. Notes from past meetings can be found here under Ministry Meetings.

Please note, however, that there will be NO ministry meeting in the month of July. But plan to join us on August 16 when we will have a rare in-person gathering to celebrate the work of this ministry and have a chance to get to know each other better outside of our Zoom screens!
Quick Links:
Saint Mark’s Cathedral acknowledges that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People, who are still here, and we honor with gratitude the land itself and the life of the Duwamish Tribe. [Learn more]