The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia | January 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 Next Step on "The Way of Love"
Every day he was teaching in the temple, and at night he would go out and spend the night on the Mount of Olives... Luke:21:37

Presiding Bishop Curry suggests that "going" on the Way of Love should include "crossing boundaries," a hint that this kind of movement will require us to abandon our comfort zones...

And it just so happens that Bishop Rickel is in the holy land, visiting the sacred sites and retracing Jesus' footsteps. In his Holy Land blog, he has challenged his travel companions to be intentional: "to decide between being a tourist and a pilgrim -- quite different things."

Back in Seattle, Michael Perera, a parishioner of Saint Mark's, is planning for "Evening Episcopalians," monthly field-trips to churches throughout the diocese to partake of their Sunday night offerings (see YA Happenings, below).

In the context of the church, "going" is not about sight-seeing or being comfortable. If we are to travel on the "way of love," we need to be on the ground, self-propelled, pushing our limits, searching and exploring, connecting and relating, but also growing and transforming. Buen camino!
-- Valerie Reinke
The Bishop's Bookshelf
By Bishop Greg Rickel

This month I would recommend, The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Very Short Introduction by Martin Bunton. I am reading this book in preparation for my seventh Holy Land trip which I will be on when you get this review.

I have fallen in love with the land and the people and, even though it is one of the most honored and revered places on earth, especially by the three Abrahamic faiths, it is one of the most tense on earth too. As humanity tends to do this, control is a basic theme here.

But the conflict, age old, is not simple. This little book is the shortest and best quick description. Quick is always dangerous, especially with something like this conflict, but it is a start. And I truly believe more and more people, whether you are planning a trip there or not, should know more about this issue. There is a saying I very much believe in on many levels: "as Jerusalem goes, so goes the world."  
Faith Formation Mini-Conference
When: Saturday, March 2, 2019, 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Who: Better Together is for staff, clergy and volunteers from across the Diocese who provide faith formation in many ways: through classes, lectures, activities, music, special events and outreach.

What: Th is day-long event is designed to provide resources, inspiration, opportunities for collaboration, and ample soul care.

  • We'll start the day with a continental breakfast and then get rolling with our keynote speaker, the witty and wise Bev Gaines, speaking on Self Care: Soul Care. Bev is a spiritual director and life coach with two decades' experience working in Episcopal and other church settings.

  • Next we'll move into lively workshops. Chart your own adventure with topics from four different tracks: Children & Families, Youth, Adults, and Music & Arts. We'll break mid-day for lunch and networking.

  • We'll close with a simple service -- complete with music & liturgy created at Better Together in real-time -- to send you back into the world, refreshed and ready to take on your faith formation programming for 2019-20!

Registration & Information:

$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.

Travel Relief: Will it take you more than 2 hours each way to get to Bellevue? Consider staying at the Fairfield Inn & Suites - Bellevue on Friday 3/1. We've secured a block of rooms with a special reduced rate: $60/room for up to 4 people. Contact for simple booking instructions. Room reservation deadline: 2/15
Kids in Training. Elaine Ogden at St. Columba, Kent shares: this is something awesome my youth group participated in this past weekend, a Youth Advocacy Workshop in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., put on by  Kids4Peace. Here we see youth and supervising adults role play in a “hassle line.” The line on the right are the “attackers,” with the line on the left playing the role of “victims.” Each line gets one minute to try each role play. Other exercises let “bystanders” learn to de-escalate attacks. (Photo credit: Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)
South End Regional
Youth Game & Craft Afternoon
Come visit Christ Church, Puyallup, for crafts, games, munchies and more! Middle and high-schoolers are invited to join us on Sunday, February 10th from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Wear comfy clothes and be prepared to have fun and
meet other teens!

Youth leaders, a quick email with expected numbers of kids and adult mentors would be great! This event follows December's event for the South End Region at St. Columba, Kent. All are welcome.

Christ Church is located at 210 5th Street SW, Puyallup, WA 98371. Fo r questions or more information, please contact the Rev. Rachel Endicott at 253-848-2323 or email at .

[If you are hosting a regional event for youth or children, please contact to publicize in the Faith Formation e-newsletter.]
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!

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 youth events 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
The Joy of Regifting. January's YA gathering with the Bishop happily resulted in new homes for previously unwanted gifts. Books, CD's, calendars, clothing, bath and body products, even a candle with a "do not burn" warning, were all graciously received by their new owners.
The Bishop's Young Adult Advisory Group:
What's Working & What's Not in
My Episcopal Church
When young adults (YA's) -- folks in their 20's - 30's -- gathered at Diocesan House at the top of the new year, Bishop Rickel posed some tough questions. Here's the insightful take-away from a diverse group representing churches around the diocese:

What originally drew you to the Episcopal Church? What keeps you here?

  • The honesty and vulnerability of the people in my congregation
  • Its “counter-cultural identity”
  • I can just be myself/feel accepted (repeated several times)
  • Its message of progressive responsibility
  • Its frank look at its history – owning past wrongs

What would you change? What could be improved?

  • The church doesn’t ask enough of its young adults!
  • The church should “reclaim” the Bible – what’s the Episcopal perspective/understanding of scripture?
  • Seems stuck in tradition – older members could make more space for younger members and take the time to ask: what do you think?
  • Long-time Episcopalians can be proprietary/condescending to newer members
  • The church can be too opaque – not a lot of explanation provided so stepping into it for the first time as an adult can be challenging/intimidating
  • The Episcopal Church hasn’t marketed itself well – people in general are not aware of what the church stands for
  • People should not assume that YA’s just want to be with other YA’s; many are searching for an inter-generational experience
  • “Unexamined class barriers:” the church needs to consider its relationship to privilege; “how do I participate if I don’t have money to contribute?”
  • There seems to be a monolithic view of young adults – need to appreciate our diversity/individuality
  • More community liturgies – ad hoc in response to current events, tragedies, local/global
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, [That's this Thursday, 1/24!
Mike Malpasuto will be leading a discussion on “Sacred Spaces” -- how location/space affects both individual and communal prayer.] 

YA Bible Study  - Tuesday nights, February & March, 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.:
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.
Notes from the Chalkboard at Iona:
Facing Our Complicity in "Social Sin"
Last month at Iona School, we tackled tough topics: creation, freedom, evil, sin, guilt, and grace. 

We developed working definitions and then talked about original sin, social sin and our moral complicity in participating in structures that harm people. There was very lively and enriching discussion on:

  • the mistreatment of animals in the food we eat;
  • the mistreatment of people in “sweatshops;”
  • government, economic, political, and religious systems that marginalize people; and,
  • our consumption and its effect on the earth, to name just a few topics.

We all left more informed (and with heavy hearts), but with lots to ruminate on, pray about, confess, and determine our next steps. The bottom line is we are glad God offers grace. If you are looking for an idea for a Lenten series, I suggest some of these topics—action is sure to follow discussions like these! 

-- Maureen Crawford
The Iona Olympia School provides a comprehensive academic and practical curriculum for those seeking ordination in the diaconate; for some seeking local ordination as priests and deacons; and for lay persons who feel called to such training.
 The Way of Love for Children: Go!
Oh The Places You'll Go
By Dr. Seuss

It's everyone's favorite graduation gift; a rhapsody on going out into the world with joy and wonder. Full of wisdom and silliness like this:

"You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up 
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's 
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left."

Ruth and the Green Book
By Calvin Alexander Ramsey

For a black family, a road trip through the Jim Crow south could be treacherous. In this case, Ruth is traveling from Chicago to visit her grandmother in Alabama and her family uses "The Green Book," described as "the Bible for black travelers in the mid-20th century," to figure out which restaurants and hotels will serve them. Picture Book Theology finds the theme of hospitality to the traveler relevant here: "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers." Hebrews 13:2, but the book also demonstrates that God will provide way-stations and protect pilgrims while they're on the journey.
Godly Play Training Offered with
Promo Code for Members of the Diocese
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. Lunch is included. All workshops held at St. Thomas, Medina.

Things You Can Do To Champion Your Children's Ministry
Here are a couple of practical things you can do to “champion” the children’s ministry in your church.
  • Come into each meeting (vestry, staff, committee, ministry) with a story or anecdote about what God is doing in the children’s ministry.

  • Send weekly updates to your rector detailing the successes of the previous weekend and upcoming events. (Also, if something went wrong, make sure you’re the first one to tell your priest about it.)

  • Be sure to communicate regularly with other church staff. A monthly email is a great way to make sure that your fellow church staff members know what is going well and what is coming up.

Annette Safstrom, Ministry Architects , Sustainable Children's Ministry
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:   At the end of the Sunday service the deacon says, “Go in peace…” Does that mean to go home? Or go to coffee hour? Or something else that is more in line with a spiritual practice?

Sue Says: Great question. Our baptism calls us to go into the world to love and serve the Lord there, and this month’s recommended books for The Way of Love explore that call.

Radical Sending: Go to Love and Serve by Demi Prentiss and Fletcher Lowe. (253 Pre) builds on the work of Stephanie Spellers in Radical Welcome. While her book explores ways to incorporate newcomers into the church, these authors proclaim the faithfulness of taking our beliefs out into the world, living our faith in our daily lives and exploring what it means to be a disciple. This is our vocation as laypeople. Each chapter is followed by discussion questions for use with small groups.

The Way of Love as spiritual practice was introduced by our Presiding Bishop Michael B Curry at the 79th General Convention last summer. This idea -- that we can become the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement -- is not new this year. In 2013 he wrote Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus (248.4 CUR) in which we are called to do justice, love mercy, forgive like Jesus, and by doing so help to transform the world. Those who live in that way, according to Curry are called to “craziness.”
A Poem for the Journey:
How Would You Live Then?
By Mary Oliver
1935 - 2019
What if a hundred rose-breasted grosbeaks
blew in circles around your head? What if
the mockingbird came into the house with you and
became your advisor? What if
the bees filled your walls with honey and all
you needed to do was ask them and they would fill
the bowl? What if the brook slid downhill just
past your bedroom window so you could listen
to its slow prayers as you fell asleep? What if
the stars began to shout their names, or to run
this way and that way above the clouds? What if
you painted a picture of a tree, and the leaves
began to rustle, and a bird cheerful sang
from its painted branches? What if you suddenly saw
that the silver of water was brighter than the silver
of money? What if you finally saw
that the sunflowers, turning toward the sun all day
and every day -- who knows how, but they do it -- were
more precious, more meaningful than gold?

Copyright 2004. First published by Beacon Press in Blue Iris .
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 |