The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia | February 2019
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.

The Final Step on "The Way of Love"
Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 

Freak weather, like snow drifts in Seattle, can be a startling reminder of who's in charge and what's important. When the landscape goes from green to white in a matter of hours, it's nothing but a wake-up call from God; a reminder to appreciate the beauty which is in evidence all the time though we've become inured to it.

Like most of you, we at the Office of the Bishop were asked to work at home during the days of snow and ice. All good until my central heating went out. Hmm. We do have a propane fireplace, so I just moved my ersatz office a little closer to that. Fine. Then our electricity went out. Good-by computer! It was at that very moment that I decided to layer up and go out into the snow with my sledding, shrieking children. Yep! It took total system failure to get me to go out and play.

As adults, we're not predisposed to taking a break. Once in work mode, it's difficult to flip that switch. But the Biblical precedent of resting on the seventh day, of taking the Sabbath, tells us that this is exactly what we must do to stay in touch with our humanity. The Way of Love is a practice and, paradoxical as it may sound, it may only be through practice that we can get into the habit of resting and relaxing.

-- Valerie Reinke
"One of the greatest challenges to us as church is to go against the culture’s use of time as a commodity... and its focus on production and consumption. God loves us. God saves us and makes us whole. God rests on the seventh day. If we decide to embody this as church, what will the shape of our time look like? How will we operate differently from the culture around us?"

By Jane Carol Redmont, Episcopal Cafe, May 2008
The Bishop's Bookshelf
By Bishop Greg Rickel

For nearly a decade I have, for each Lent, selected a Lenten book for us to read together as a diocese. This year I am deviating just a bit from that, and suggesting that, instead of a book, we follow in the Presiding Bishop’s Way of Love curriculum for Lent.

There are a host of resources for this study and you will have many options for doing this individually or with those in your congregation. Below you will find a link and all listed resources. I hope you will find this study to be life giving and inspirational. This curriculum can flow into Easter and I encourage you to consider that as well.
Faith Formation Mini-Conference
When: Saturday, March 2, 2019, 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

For: Staff, clergy, music directors and volunteers from across the Diocese who provide faith formation in its many forms.

Keynote Speaker: T he witty and wise Bev Gaines will reflect on  Self Care: Soul Care. Bev is a spiritual director and life coach with two decades' experience working in Episcopal and other church settings.She will outline practices for more rewarding work that avoids the pitfalls of burn-out and exhaustion.

Workshops: Chart your own adventure with topics from four different tracks: Children & Families, Youth, Adults, and Music & Arts . Workshops topics are described in more detail at the registration link.

$15/person includes continental breakfast and lunch. Child-care needed? Please register your child/ren on or before 2/25. $10/child for on-site care. Scholarships always available.
We Rise Together: High School Youth Retreat
Black Diamond Camp, Auburn | March 15-17 | $90 Registration (Scholarships Available)

St. Patrick of Ireland knew that there is a wildness to the Holy Spirit. His journey of capture, slavery, and redemption is an amazing example of how we are invited to encounter God's Holy Spirit.

Sometimes the Spirit blows through our lives like a gentle calming breeze and sometimes like a raging wind. Like a good friend, the Holy Spirit shows us the path to take and guides us to companions along the way. Do you feel stuck in life and need direction? Are you in a need of a good friend? Do you need a little Spirit in your life? Join us at Black Diamond Camp in Auburn for the Spring High School Youth Retreat.  

From black light dodgeball and worship experiences, to speeding ziplines and small group connections, it's going to be a weekend filled with fun and meaningful encounters with the Holy. Lodging is onsite. Come and join us for an incredible weekend!
Black Diamond Camp: FLASHBACK to 2017...
Enjoy these pictures from the high school winter retreat at Black Diamond two years ago. Expect the same kinds of extreme fun at this year's event too. Hope to see your youth there!
-- Denise Brumbaugh
Plan Ahead for Youth!
Save These Dates...

Mar 15-17, 2019 - We Rise Today! High School Retreat , Black Diamond Camp in Auburn (grades 9-12) Onsite lodging, special activities! Register here.

May 3-5, Impact , Middle School Retreat (grades 6-9) Location TBD

May 11, Launch for Graduating Seniors NEW!
Launch is an all-new, one-day event filled with workshops, activities and lunch with the Bishop to help all graduating high school seniors prepare for this major life transition.
St. Thomas, Medina


July 14 - 20, 6-Day Summer Camp , Camp Huston, (current grades 9-12)

August 4 -10, Youth Creation Care Pilgrimage NEW!
With special guest: the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori. We invite those in youth ministry and leadership to join our planning team. Write for more info.
Registration for summer will open soon!
Youth, Youth Leaders, Volunteers & Parents
Follow Diocesan Youth on Social Media
Stay current on upcoming events and youth related news!

Be sure to "Like" Episcopal Youth of Western Washington, our all-new FB page...

...Also Follow us on Instagram @ecwwyouth
Greater Seattle-area churches , please promote these opportunities for adults in their 20's-30's in your Sunday bulletins. Need specific formatting? Let us know at
Young Adult Happenings
In the Greater Seattle Area
  • Questioning Together - First Mondays of the month, year-round – A supportive group that discusses questions of faith and meaning over dinner. Saint Mark's Cathedral, Capitol Hill - 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.

  • Evening Episcopalians – Sunday evenings, once-a-month -- Curious about the traditions, histories and flavors of other churches in our diocese? Let’s check out the 5 p.m. services at different parishes in the Seattle area, and maybe go for dinner/drinks afterward. Get on the meet-up e-mail list:

  • Nacho Theology - Fourth Thursdays of the month, T.S. McHugh's Pub, Lower Queen Anne, 7:15 p.m. hosted by St. Paul's, 

  • YA Bible Study - Tuesday nights, February - April, Chainline Brewing Co., Kirkland. We’ll focus on the lineages of Jesus found in Matthew and Luke and dig into the stories of some of the people listed there. Questions? Need a ride? Connect with or

And coming soon…

Film Nights @ D-House  - Friday nights. Save the dates for film that creatively explores the Abrahamic faiths and the ways that religion and society intersect for better or worse. March 29 th , April 26 th  & May 10 th . 7:00 p.m. More info.:
Intrigued by the new YA Bible study on the "Lineage of Jesus," Donita Payne shared a favorite book that has given her insight into Jesus' interactions with women.
Dear Faith Formation Team,
I am not a young adult - but if I were I would be interested in your activities.  As a matter of fact, I am 82 years old and I applaud your effort to interest young people .

A quick question - are you familiar with  The Female Ancestors of Christ , by Ann Belford Ulanov? Ann Ulanov was professor at Union Seminary for many years, was a Jungian analyst, an Episcopalian, and is now probably in her 80's. She and her husband, Barry Ulanov, (deceased) wrote many books together.  I will not go on and on but just want to mention the above book as an important resource in talking about the women in the genealogy listing of Jesus and Ulanov's writing about the effect this may have been on how Jesus saw and dealt with women. 

Donita Payne 
Follow the Diocese Young Adult Facebook Page
Be sure to "Like" and encourage the Young Adults in your congregation to "Like" Episcopal Young Adults of Western Washington. Diocese-wide events and activities specifically tailored to bring young adults together as a faith community are listed here.
Across the Diocese
Confirmation Classes Begin
St. Stephen's Outlines its Lighter Approach
Writer and humorist, Mary Lyons, shares that she and the Reverend Nic Mather are planing to deliver a casual, engaging, and occasionally humorous series of evenings for the adults at St. Stephen, Longview, who are preparing to be confirmed.

They're calling it a "Christian Initiation Class" and describe it as a way for church members to "get straight with their questions and commitments in the Episcopal Church." The series will include:

● A "behind-the-scenes tour" of the church and its ministries
● A chance to quiz clergy in "a difficult-to-dodge setting"
● Time to "learn about lots of stuff relating to God, Jesus Christ and Church"
● A free booklet about TEC "and a chance to learn what 'TEC' means"
● Time to meet some regional leaders and hear about their ministries
● An opportunity to "make some pew friends who’ll share the road, wherever it may lead."

How are you preparing your confirmands and how are your classes unique? Share with us at

Bishop Greg Rickel administers confirmation at La Iglesia Episcopal de la Resurreccion.

This year he will confirm teens and adults from across the diocese at Saint Mark's on Cathedral Day, Saturday, May 18.
Godly Play Training Offered:
Use Promo Code for Registration
Godly Play is best learned from the inside out which is exactly what happens at a GP "Commuter Core" Training. Within a circle facilitated by Godly Play trainers, Cindy Spencer and Andy Rosane, you will experience and learn Godly Play stories, practices, and theology in a collegial, prayerful setting.

8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. When registering, enter the PROMO CODE: olympia for $52 off of each training -- a $156 discount for the trio, courtesy of the Diocese of Olympia. Lunch is included. All workshops held at St. Thomas, Medina.
 The Way of Love for Children: Rest !
Blackout by John Rocco

Like Seattle's snow-pocalypse where the city was shut down for a time, Blackout depicts a power outage in the city and the joyous coming together that it precipitates, much to the delight of the children: board games on the roof beneath the stars, and a block party on the streets.

A Quiet Place by Douglas Wood

Picture Book Theology says, "Use this book with children when you are teaching them about the potential for and benefits of quiet time with God. Emphasize how worship of God can happen anywhere at any time."  
Lent With Children & Families...
An Ash Wednesday (or other Lenten) service tailored to children and families can make great use of a labyrinth. Here ashes are imposed at the center. The Diocese of Olympia has a huge labyrinth on canvas (think: easy set-up and removal) that you can borrow. Request it at

Also, consider these resources to round-out your Lenten approach:

  • Online Resources:

Four Things I Tell Children The Sunday Before Lent by Christine HIdes. Key concepts to help children understand this solemn yet anticipatory season of the church.

Creative Ideas for Children’s Ash Wednesday by Elizabeth Rees. St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria, VA has a children’s service for Ash Wednesday each year (pictured above). Here are some of the ways they observe this holiday in a way that is accessible and meaningful to children.

  • Books:

Make Room: A Child’s Guide to Lent and Easter by Laura Alary (j263.96 Ala): An illustrated book about Lent to read to children.

Learning Centers for Advent and Lent by Doris Murphy (268.68 Mur): This book has ideas for Lenten lessons and activities suitable for Sunday School or home, for children and intergenerational groups. It includes crafts, games, prayers, and more.
  • Crafts and Activities:

Things to Make & Do for Lent & Easter by Martha Bettis Gee (268.432 Gee)

Many thanks to our Seattle Service Corps member, Sarah Blanco, for pulling together these resources. Remember you can borrow any of these books, free of charge, from the Diocesan Resource Center and librarian Sue Tait will mail them out to you.
Safe Church Training

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 details.

Join us at our next

Children & Families Ministry
Leadership Meeting

~ Connect with your colleagues
~ Share ideas and best practices
~ Plan for the future

Wednesday, March 27
11:30 - 1:00 p.m.
Diocesan House
1551 10th Avenue E., Seattle
Lunch provided

Just Ask A Librarian...
By Sue Tait

Question: In this newsletter you have posted the last of the “Way of Love” resource lists. Now we are to rest, but what does that even mean? It sounds so antithetical to the other topics we’ve considered.

Sue says: It has to do with life balance, with rejuvenation. There are many excellent books and articles on The Episcopal Church website dealing with the concept of “sabbath” and many more in our Resource Center library as well. You can see the pattern: one of going out and returning, a sort of call and response between God and us. Remember the idea of church as a basecamp.

A set of books briefly exploring each of the seven spiritual practices has just been issued from Church Publishing, Inc. These little books are anthologies of a sort. Short chapters by several authors help us to continue to explore ramifications on the Way of Love, the path we have chosen. Looking at the "Rest" volume, we find chapter headings like “Loafing with God”, “Mindfulness”, “Spaciousness”, “Silence” and “Doing nothing.”

Although the reflection questions for all the practices are included, these little books contain additional thoughts on the Way, not bibliographies.

If you would like to see one volume, or the entire set, click the button below and they can be mailed to you.
A Poem for the Journey:
For One Who Is Exhausted, a Blessing (Excerpt)
By John O'Donohue
When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;
Then all the unattended stress falls in
On the mind like an endless, increasing weight.
The light in the mind becomes dim...

...There is nothing else to do now but rest
And patiently learn to receive the self
You have forsaken in the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken
And sadness take over like listless weather.
The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back...

...Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.
Be excessively gentle with yourself.
Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.

Learn to linger around someone of ease
Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,
Having learned a new respect for your heart
And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

The Faith Formation Team
Lower Res
Sarah Blanco
Faith Formation Team Member
Seattle Service Corps
Valerie Reinke
Canon for Faith Formation:
35 and Under
Denise Brumbaugh
Youth Ministry
Program Coordinator
Sue Tait
Director, Resource Center
Maureen Crawford
Director for Adult Faith Formation
Dean, Iona School

Faith Formation | The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia | 206.325.4200 |