The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia | June 2018
"Faith formation encompasses the ministries and activities offered by the church outside of weekly worship that help people grow in faith and in their understanding of and love for God." 
Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry Visits Western Washington
The Diocese is looking forward to welcoming Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to the Pacific-Northwest this month. Go to the Diocese web-page:
to find out where he'll be and when, and then brush up on a few background details to help you keep up with the energetic PB...
PB Curry Fast Facts:

  • He was ordained as a priest in 1978; was elected Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in 2015; and has spoken out on issues including social justice, immigration policy and marriage equality
  • He most recently campaigned for the creation of family day care providers, educational centers and investment in inner-city neighborhoods in all three of his parish ministries - North Carolina, Ohio, and Maryland
  • In North Carolina, he helped to refocus the church's development goals to fund malaria nets to save more than 100,000 lives
  • Bishop Curry defended the Episcopal Church's move to allow same sex couples to marry in church in 2015 (Source:

The Sermon Heard 'Round the World

Last month our Presiding Bishop stepped onto the world stage by delivering a sermon entitled, "The Power of Love," for the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Windsor, England.

Here's the video and full text, courtesy of Episcopal News Service, as well as a review of the sermon from Episcopal Cafe' contributor, Linda Ryan. She writes: " It reminded me of a lot of Baptist sermons that I’ve heard but blessed be, I heard not a single word about sin... and repentance and judgment. I heard about love and it touched me to the depths."


Live Streaming Evensong: Almost As Good As Being There

The Presiding Bishop visits the diocese about once every decade, so even if you can't get to Saint Mark's Cathedral in Seattle for his celebration of Evensong -- this Thursday, June 14th at 7:00 p.m. -- you can participate in the excitement and novelty by live streaming the service. Host a viewing party for youth, or invite the whole congregation to watch and listen to what is sure to be another dynamic sermon.

What's Bishop Greg Rickel reading these days?
We thought we'd ask, and here's what he said...
I am reading several books right now, which I tend to do.  The one I would recommend is entitled, The Patient Ferment of the Early Church: The Improbable Rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire by Alan Kreider.

I heard this book spoken of in a sermon, and before I could even leave the nave I had purchased it.  Kreider is a Mennonite, and that, in and of itself, is interesting in someone from his tradition reviewing the early church teachers. I am intrigued by this book because I feel its relevance for our time is so crucial and needed.  

Take a Leadership Role
Young adults (ages 18 - 35) from throughout the diocese are invited to participate in our Young Adult Advisory Group. The next meeting will be held at the Diocese House on Tuesday, July 24 from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. We'll gather for dinner, lively discussion, planning and brainstorming. E-mail April Caballero to RSVP or to be added to the Young Adult mailing list.

A Holy Waste of Time: Self-Discovery Retreat, August 17-19
Spread the word! Our popular end-of-summer retreat is on the horizon and it promises to be the holiest waste of time in recent memory. Kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking, ukulele classes, yoga, friendship, and evening worship, will all offered over the weekend at St. Andrew's House on the picturesque shores of the Hood Canal. For more information and to register go to:

Episcopal Service Corps is Accepting Applications for 2018-2019
Is someone you know -- maybe a recent college graduate or a young member of your congregation -- looking for a life-changing year of formation, community, social justice and service? Check out the Seattle Service Corps...

Yes – the Episcopal Church in Western Washington has its very own service corps, based at Saint Mark’s Cathedral. Corps members live together on the cathedral campus in Seattle’s vibrant Capitol Hill neighborhood while volunteering 32 hours a week at a partner church, mission or non-profit. All living costs (including room and board) are covered and corps members receive a monthly stipend.

Applications for the 2018-2019 program year (beginning in September 2018) are now being accepted. Click below to start your application, or forward it to a young adult you think may be interested. Program director Adam Conley  is happy to answer any questions you may have.

6-Day: Summer Camp for High Schoolers
"'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the great puzzle!"
- Alice, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Follow us down the rabbit hole as we adopt Alice's curiosity and explore what God has in mind for us at 6-Day, our annual camp for rising 10th - 12th graders. Activities include group conversations, workshops, and daily worship but also games, a dance, a variety show, and camp activities like crafts and archery, with plenty of chances to relax, swim, or hike. With so many possibilities you're bound to find inspiration... In the words of the Cheshire Cat: "You're sure to [get somewhere] if you only walk long enough."
Registration closes June 15
Middle School Youth Retreat (JYC) an Inter-Galactic Success
May the Force be with you! We had a lot of fun in sunny, beautiful Port Angeles at our last JYC retreat. Here are some photos from the weekend. Thanks to St. Andrew’s for hosting us. Please consider adding diocesan youth retreats to your calendar!

Closing Prayer or Night Service Liturgy
Tailor-Made for Youth
We came across a powerful liturgy, "Let Your Light Shine," courtesy of Anglican Youth Ministries in New Zealand, that would be perfect for a closing prayer or night service at camp or at other youth gatherings. It begins with the following quote:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God...We are all meant to shine, as children do."

New Free Curriculum Features Picture Books
Children's picture books are a reliable resource in faith formation (see Jerome Berryman's new book, reviewed below) and it's for good reasons: their themes can be profound; their illustrations are captivating; they can speak to all ages; and they provide a natural springboard for theological discussion.

The Storytellers curriculum, home-grown in the Diocese of Olympia, is designed to help staff and volunteers in children's ministry select the perfect book and expand on it with wondering questions, hands-on Bible work, and art. Storytellers is ideal for elementary age (2nd - 4th grade) Sunday programming.

We will be publishing this curriculum, one book at a time, in this monthly newsletter and archiving these entries on the Diocese website . This month's entry is The Three Questions , a story based on one of Tolstoy's, adapted and illustrated by Jon J. Muth, It asks -- and answers -- three important and timeless questions: When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?

Essential Summer Teaching Tip: 7 Ways to Quiet a Crowd
As summer moves into high gear, you might find yourself leading boisterous groups of children and teens (and maybe a few boisterous adults?!) at summer camps and VBS. The high energy is part of the fun but how do you change gears and get everyone's attention? And how do you create a climate of respect when it's needed?

Building Faith , an on-line resource of the Virginia Theological Seminary, has some suggestions for you. Put these into practice on Day One and you'll ensure better crowd control, even on Day Five.
Safeguarding God's Children

Saturday, June 16, 9:00am
St. Andrew, Seattle
Safeguarding God's People

Saturday, June 16, 10:00am
St. Hilda St. Patrick, Edmonds

Saturday, June 23, 9:00am
St. Andrew, Seattle
Please register in advance so that enough handouts will be available for everyone. 
The latest dates and contact information for trainings are kept on the  Diocesan website .

If you are planning to schedule a Safeguarding training at your church, please let us know so we can share the news on our website and in this newsletter. Contact: Tonja Mathews, Resource Associate with your training details.
General Convention as faith formation? Oh, yes...
In early July, many roads will lead to Austin, TX and our 79th General Convention. But what does this huge gathering of Episcopalians have to do with faith formation?... 

Our faith is formed by what we do, what we hear, what we read and how we worship and pray. Just watch Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s introductory video to those who will be attending (and for the rest of us, too) as he makes the connection.

Want to know more? At the website for the General Convention you will find an online pamphlet that includes information on how convention works and is well worth at least skimming. To see the breadth of resolutions being proposed , scan the list and look more deeply at the subjects that interest you the most. You can then follow those resolutions when convention begins.

Want an overview and a framework to understand Episcopal polity? We recommend: A People Called Episcopalians: A Brief Introduction to Our Way of Life , revised edition, by John Westerhoff and Sharon Ely Pearson (283.73 Wes).

Just Ask A Librarian...
Beginning next month in this column, I’ll respond to a question or two that you have asked me about resources that are available and how to find them. Are you working on a project for which the Diocese Resource Center might help? Are you starting a new service, planning a retreat, seeking ice-breaking games? Or something else? Please e-mail me at -- Sue
"Storying" with Jerome Berryman: A New Resource
A new book by Jerome W. Berryman is always an occasion and this year he has given us Stories of God at Home: A Godly Play Approach (268.432 Ber). He writes, “In this book I have tried to apply what I discovered from the children in various settings about how to ground our families in God’s overflowing creativity to meet the challenges we face.”

Stories deepen meaning through the building up of layers, and this is true of the stories of God and our own stories as well. Berryman quotes a Jesuit psychotherapist and teacher who emphasizes that narrative meaning “is the co-creation of the teller and of the hearer” so he calls this synergistic relationship “storying” rather than the more linear idea of a storyteller and audience.

In the first six chapters, Berryman talks about “storying” creation, Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, The Good Shepherd, and the liturgical cycle of the church year. In a seventh chapter he presents six children’s books which he relates to those same stories of God. 

The final chapter discusses what to do when you don’t know what to do, and begins with the very personal account his second daughter, born with the defects of spina bifida and hydrocephalus. He claims, “We can still survive these challenges as our forebearers did by listening well to each other and telling stories of God face-to-face, weaving them together with our own stories.”

How to Regain Your Soul
By William Stafford
Come down Canyon Creek trail on a summer afternoon
that one place where the valley floor opens out. You will see
the white butterflies. Because of the way shadows
come off those vertical rocks in the west, there are
shafts of sunlight hitting the river and a deep
long purple gorge straight ahead. Put down your pack.

Above, air sighs the pines. It was this way
when Rome was clanging, when Troy was being built,
when campfires lighted caves. The white butterflies dance
by the thousands in the still sunshine. Suddenly, anything
could happen to you. Your soul pulls toward the canyon
and then shines back through the white wings to be you again.

The Diocese of Olympia Faith Formation Team
Contact Us!
Youth Ministry
Program Coordinator

Director for Adult Faith Formation
Dean, Iona School

Canon for Faith Formation:
35 and Under

Director, Resource Center
The Faith Formation Team works with local leaders like you to connect, consult and create formation ministries at the parish and diocesan level. Our staff team offers support across the continuum of life: children and families, youth ministry, young adult, campus ministry, and ministry with adults. 

Special thanks to Josh Hornbeck , Diocese Director of Communications, for his support in building webpages and creating a web presence for Faith Formation.