The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia | August 2018
Faith formation encompasses the ministries and activities offered by the church that help people grow in faith and in their understanding of and love for God.

Turn, Turn, Turn:
Taking the First Step on "The Way of Love"
As Jesus was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. – Mark 2:14

“Do you turn to Jesus Christ ...?” – Book of Common Prayer, 302

In the months ahead, we will focus on each of the seven steps on the "Way of Love," a practice for a "Jesus-Centered Life" from The Episcopal Church that was introduced by Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, at General Convention this summer.

We'll start with "Turn." The Presiding Bishop says, "Turn your life in the direction of God's love... like a flower to the sun."

"Like the disciples, we are called by Jesus to follow the Way of Love. With God’s help, we can turn from the powers of sin, hatred, fear, injustice, and oppression toward the way of truth, love, hope, justice, and freedom. In turning, we reorient our lives to Jesus Christ, falling in love again, again, and again."

The Episcopal Church has suggested several resources related to this theme that could be used for personal reflection and growth; for a parish-wide commitment to a spiritual practice; or for an adult faith formation program.
Turning in Popular Culture...
> Music: To Everything There is a Season
The lyrics of The Byrds' 1965 hit song are taken almost verbatim from the Bible -- except for the title/refrain, "Turn, turn, turn," and the last line about peace: "I swear it's not too late..." You can find the words in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 . Pete Seeger the songwriter has said, "In addition to the music I did write six words."

> Facebook Post: Garrison Keillor Offers a Prayer of Contrition and Limericks

I wept in church this morning, sat in my pew and wept big tears, breaking several decades of dry-eyed Christianity. And in an Episcopal church!

It was a healing service and after the sermon, the clergy and deacons stood in a line across the front of the church and people were invited to come forward for prayers of healing. Some old, some young, came up to a clergyperson and the two of them joined hands and the supplicant leaned forward and whispered and the clergyperson prayed for him or her. These encounters took several minutes, there was no hurry.

It was so moving, the visible Body of Christ offering prayerful attention to individuals who needed it, and I wept so I couldn't even sing the healing hymn, "Take My Hand, Precious Lord." A steady stream of people. And then I joined them and I went to a black lady deacon who took my hands and I whispered that I have too much anger about a wrong done to me and I feel crippled by anger, and she prayed in a soft Caribbean voice, a long prayer, as I stood there, trembling. And then the hymn, "It Is Well With My Soul," which I love, and another, with the chorus, "He will raise them up, He will raise them up, in the last day" and all around me, Episcopalians, white, black, gay, straight, holding their hands in the air for faith in the blessed Resurrection. Anglicans, being charismatic.

I grew up in a cold fundamentalist sect in which doctrinal purity was the whole emphasis, there was no laying on of hands, only wary sidelong glances. This is a miraculous church, St. Michael's on 99th and Amsterdam. I would move to New York just to attend there. And besides all of that, I wrote some limericks during the sermon, which was inaudible:

Have mercy upon me, O Lord.
I am weak and willful and bored.
I've abandoned Your Ways
But I kneel in Your praise,
Bless my pen and my laptop, my sword.

I say the prayer of contrition
And see my pernicious condition,
And then in an inst-
Ant am cleansed, at least rinsed,
A sinner but a newer edition.
Next month, we'll explore the role of "learning" as a plank for a spiritual life.

Sure, learning can be academic and intentional but it can also come unexpectedly, as an "a-ha" moment, or more slowly as a dawning realization of personal growth that has happened, seemingly, while you were focused elsewhere.

QUESTION TO PONDER: What surprising thing have you learned from your participation in church?

Send your response
(50 words or less) to
We'll share those responses in our September issue.
Turning Outward
Church Collaboration Brings Summer Camp Experience
To the Children of Farmworkers
Back Row: Rev. Helen McPeak, St. Paul, Mt. Vernon; Francisco L ó pez, Resurrecci ó n, Mt. Vernon; Rev. Jo Beecher (retired).

Front Row: Camp Coordinator Julie Davis, Grace, Bainbridge; Baudelina Paz, Resurecci ó n, Mt. Vernon; Valerie Reinke, Grace, Bainbridge & the Diocese of Olympia; Rev. Wren Blessing, Grace, Bainbridge; and Rev. Katherine Sedwick, St. Michael, Issaquah.
After months of collaborative planning and with support from a Bishop's Initiative Grant, La Iglesia Episcopal de la Resurrecci ó n in Mt. Vernon welcomed nearly 70 children of farmworkers for a robust week of summer day camp.

Baudelina Paz, who coordinates Children's Ministry at Resurrecci ó n and is in the discernment process for ordination to the priesthood, says that without activities like this the children are on their own during the summer since parents work in the fields from dawn to dusk, seven days a week.

This is the second year of a collaboration with Grace, Bainbridge. The island church brings clergy, staff, teen crew leaders and adult volunteers. And this year they were joined by St. Michael, Issaquah, and their clergy, staff, teen and adult volunteers, effectively doubling the energy and impact of the camp. St. Paul's, Mt. Vernon served as the host church.

Offerings included arts 'n' crafts, puppet shows, games, music, cooking, visiting artists and authors, science and robotics, and hot meals. A field-trip to Padilla Bay rounded out the week.

On the last day of camp, children took home new backpacks donated by Dakine filled with children's books donated by independent booksellers, coordinated by children's author and Grace member, Jennifer K. Mann, and school supplies collected at Grace.
A Story of Transformation: Baudelina Paz &
La Iglesia Episcopal de la Resurrecci ó n
As told to the Reverend Wren Blessing, Rector, Grace, Bainbridge
Wren Blessing: Tell me about your ministry in Mount Vernon.

Baudelina Paz: Our ministry is to the whole community. People come to get diapers, to get clothes. We help them complete paperwork for hospitals, and we go with them and translate in the hospital. Lawyers come to offer workshops addressing the needs of immigrants. Most of our community is indigenous from Oaxaca, and they speak Mixteco . This church is open to everyone, so people come here to find support. People feel that they can trust us in this place.

WB: How did you begin your ministry at La Iglesia Episcopal de la Resurrección?

BP: I was living in a farmworker camp when I was ten years old and I met (now retired priest) Jo Beecher when she was giving out school supplies. Over time, we got to know her. Through her, the Bishop learned about our community, came to the fieldworkers camp where we lived, and gave us a blessing. He prayed with my mom. It was a huge thing that a Bishop would come and see us where we live, in a small house! Since then, I have started to enjoy coming to church more because at church, I discover myself and where I belong. I am finding my voice. I was a shy person, but I was serving as an acolyte. 
In 2005, when I was eleven years old, I went to Diocesan Convention in our diocese, and my sister and I spoke about our lives as immigrants in this country. We told our own story, the story of our parents. That was my first step toward speaking in front of many. I was nervous, and I cried. But that was the beginning, and I since then, I’ve started speaking on behalf of fieldworkers. I spoke up asking for bathrooms and for water at the fields where I worked. Now that people are speaking more about this, there have been many changes. They are treating workers much better than they were. I found that I could speak on behalf of people.
Our church, Resurrección, isn’t just a church. The people can come; they trust greatly in us. They know that even if their first language isn’t Spanish, they can always come, they will always find help. Our church is for all of the community. Not just summer camp, though summer camp is a way that people have come to trust us. People know that they can come, whether than can pay or not, and they will always be treated with kindness.

WB: How do you hope your ministry will grow?

 BP: In five or ten years, I wanted to see Resurrección grow more. Right now, we are a small group of thirty people. I want to be involved in the church more than anything. I am in the process of taking steps to become a priest, and even though it surprises me, that is my goal. People are showing me the way. People are helping me learn how to grow the church. Please pray for us.  
You're Invited to the Harvest!
Episcopalians Squash Hunger
A bumper crop of nutritious winter squash is ripening in the rich soil of the Snohomish River Valley. We need your help to hand harvest the squash and fill bins in the field. In just three hours, 100 harvesters can fill a Food Lifeline semi with 40,000 pounds of delicious winter squash. That’s 80,000 servings of food! From Food Lifeline the squash goes out to 300 food banks in Western Washington. Open to all ages.

Sunday, September 23:
2:00 p.m. - Harvest
4:30 p.m. - Holy Eucharist in the Fields, Bishop Rickel celebrating
5:30 p.m. - Potluck Picnic -- Sweet Corn, Winter Squash and Pig Roast hosted by Eric Fritch of St. John, Snohomish. Donations welcome. Craft beers by the Episco-Brewers. Bring a side dish, salad, or dessert.

Chinook Farms
10890 Elliott Road
Snohomish, WA 98296
Seattle-King County
Habitat for Humanity Interfaith Build to be Held at
Sammamish Multi-Home Site
Save a day in October for the 2018 Habitat for Humanity Interfaith Build in Sammamish.

Interfaith Build events were initiated by the organization in response to 9/11. Under the banner “Together We Build,” dozens of Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and other faith groups come together each year, overcoming the cultural divisions that rise in the wake of violence and hatred.

T his year's building event will include lunches prepared by faith volunteers, the sharing of cultural traditions, and an Interfaith prayer service. Dates for the build project are October 4, 6, 10, 11 and 13 with a special Interfaith Service scheduled for Sunday, October 14.
Turning to Each Other
Young Adults Connect & Thrive
Members of the Bishop's YA Advisory Group honor leader Spencer Carey (seated) who, has finished his dissertation, graduated and married (all this summer) and now will be moving to Germany. Spencer says, "I have a strong desire for the Episcopal Church to survive and grow its YA community." Back row: Bishops of the past look on approvingly.
Save These Dates for "Versed"
Join other young adults along with Episcopal Priests and Bishop Rickel in a series of conversations that explore the issues of our time.

Tuesdays, 7 - 9 p.m.
October 9, 16, 23, 30 & November 6 & 13
Diocesan House
Dinner included.
Saint Mark's Hosts Young Adults:
Questioning Together
"Questioning Together," will be held Monday, October 1 , 7:30 P.M., in the Leffler Living Room at Saint Mark's Cathedral .

This group gathering offers a supportive community for those in their 20s and 30s to explore questions of faith and meaning in our time. We will meet on the first Monday of every month.

The topic for October is  Do you call yourself a Christian? What does this label mean to you?   Wherever you are in your faith journey, you are welcome. A light dinner will be served; an RSVP is appreciated but not required. To RSVP or for more information, contact Rachel McNary.
Engaging Our Youth
Members of the Diocese of Olympia at General Convention in Austin, TX., including youth, members of the House of Deputies, Saint Mark's Dean Thomason and Bishop Rickel. The group is wearing Camp Huston t-shirts for "Camp Day" and the purple scarves are a symbol of support for more women in the House of Bishops.
Youth Were All-In at General Convention
We had an incredible time at General Convention in Austin. The youth attended committee hearings; the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies; worshiped with thousands of other Episcopalians; ate pizza with youth from Connecticut; learned more about the church ministries through the various vendors in the exhibit hall; participated in a daily vigil with bishops against gun violence; attended a rally against gun violence; marched on the Hutu Immigration detention center; and listened to the stories of some locals about civil rights issues when they were growing up.

Our parliamentary procedure vocabulary grew and we got to be a part of the discussion on prayer book revisions and be present for the welcoming back of the diocese of Cuba.
Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised by how interesting the whole experience was for me and the youth.

-- Denise Brumbaugh
Understanding & Preventing Suicide
Many of us have been through dark times, or watched others suffer. We don't always know how or whether that darkness might lead to suicide.

In times of crisis, what does real help look like? It can feel awkward or scary when we don't know what to do. This training will give practical, simple steps that genuinely help. Facilitated by Renee Cox, this workshop will focus on:

  • warning signs and symptoms of suicidal thinking and actions;
  • suicide prevention;
  • risk groups for suicide and suicidal behaviors; and,
  • intervention:
  • how to talk with the person that you suspect is feeling this way;
  • how to most appropriately respond and intervene;
  • appropriate treatment

Enrichment for Children & Families
Godly Play Orientation Offered
Learn about children’s formation using the wonder-filled Godly Play method. This free orientation will help people new to Godly Play learn the basics of the Godly Play classroom.

Saturday, August 25
9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

St. Bede's
1577 SE Lider Rd
Port Orchard, WA 98366

Sponsored by St. Bede's and the Diocese of Olympia.
Still Searching for Sunday School Curriculum for September?
Thank goodness for Sharon Ely Pearson and her comprehensive chart of nearly 60 unique faith formation programs for children. Just updated in April, this will give you the basic information you need to compare curricula and narrow your search. See more about Pearson and check-out her new book below in our "Just Ask A Librarian" column.

Safe Church Training
Safeguarding God's Children

Safeguarding God's People

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.
Become a Trainer for
Safeguarding God's Children & People

Receive a free, comprehensive training so you can deliver your own Safe Church trainings as needed at your church. This trainer's training will include an explanation of the materials, tips for giving an engaging presentation, suggestions for responding to frequently asked questions, and time for discussion.

Tuesday, August 21
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Diocesan House
1551 10th Ave E 
Seattle, WA 98102

Attendees will also be able to video conference in from St. Luke ~ San Lucas, (Vancouver), St. Stephen (Longview), St. Andrew (Port Angeles), St. Paul (Bellingham), and St. John (Olympia).

Join us at our next

Children & Families Ministry
Leadership Meeting

Wednesday, September 26
11:30 - 1:00 p.m.
Diocesan House
1551 10th Avenue E., Seattle
Lunch provided

Interested but live too far away? Connect with Valerie to discuss regional meetings for
Children & Families Ministry Leaders
Resource Center
Just Ask A Librarian...
By Sue Tait

Question:   Do you have any information that I could give to teachers here to help them cope in many different Sunday School situations, some of which we haven’t even thought of yet?

Sue Says: We do have material for teachers, aside from the instructions and hints that come with specific curriculum. For instance, Sharon Ely Pearson, active in faith formation in the Episcopal Church for most of her life, has compiled and edited a book called The Episcopal Christian Educator’s Handbook . (268.83 Pea).

Published in 2013, this is an encouraging and useful guide to many, many subjects from the kinds of curriculum (lectionary based, Bible story based, etc) to a list of supplies needed for a well-stocked nursery and classroom. Sharon knows teachers are busy people, with no time for lengthy reading, so each entry is a page or less, with bullet point. She believes that our teaching today is not so much filling a child’s mind with facts and doctrines as creating “an environment that cultivates an intimacy with God through one’s mind as well as one’s heart,” and she sees teachers as “spiritual guides pointing to the presence of God” (p.3).

There is information on some aspects of the Episcopal tradition especially useful for teachers new to it. On a less cerebral level, there are tips such as an explanation of the church year (p.121) how to cross oneself (p.132), and how to get paint out of an Easter dress (p.76). There is a glossary of terms. Of course, the Resource Center has other books as well…
A Poem for the Journey: "This Morning"
By David Budbill
Oh, this life,
the now,
this morning,

which I
can turn
into forever

by simply
what is here,

is gone
by noon.

"This Morning" by David Budbill as published in Happy Life (Copper Canyon Press, 2011).
The Faith Formation Team
Denise Brumbaugh
Youth Ministry
Program Coordinator
Maureen Crawford
Director for Adult Faith Formation
Dean, Iona School
Valerie Reinke
Canon for Faith Formation:
35 and Under
Sue Tait
Director, Resource Center
Faith Formation | The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia | 206.325.4200 |