St. James Cathedral
SOCIAL OUTREACH
& ADVOCACY 
Volume 4 | Mid-February 2021 | LENT
"I am in your midst as one who serves."
St. James Cathedral Welcomes
New Outreach Assistant: Lonnie Larsen
Lonnie’s commitment to social outreach began as a young adult with a heart to serve the poor and vulnerable. She spent her twenty-first birthday doing ministry at an orphanage in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Later she served in the American Southeast with AmeriCorps’ National Civilian Community Corps, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympic World Games, the National Parks Department, Charleston Public Schools, Sisters of Charity of our Lady of Mercy and others to strengthen developing communities.

For ten years, she served the YMCA of Greater Seattle working with children, families and homeless young people in the University District. She earned a degree in Elementary Education from Central Washington University and taught special education preschool and 3rd grade in Highline Public Schools. 

Lonnie, her husband, and three sons live in Auburn and are parishioners at Holy Family Church. She spends as much time as she can growing food in the backyard. She’s currently a graduate student at Pacific University in Portland, Oregon where she’s pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Writing. She writes creative nonfiction and has a special interest in the history of Catholics in the American West. 
Participate in the Parish Vision Survey
Father Ryan invites you to complete a survey about your experience of the Cathedral parish: what's working, what's not? What could we do better? What should the Cathedral's priorities be as we look to the future?

Please respond by February 22nd.  

The First Annual International Day of
Human Fraternity
In his newest encyclical Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis stresses the need for all people to recognize that we are brothers and sisters all. This past week, His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr Ahmed Al-Tayyeb celebrated the first annual International Day of Human Fraternity. Together, they released A Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together. You can watch their addresses to learn more about this momentous event, bringing together the leaders of the world’s two largest religions.
Circle of Hope
Virtual Support Group
Are you, like many others, experiencing the stress of COVID-19? Has the pandemic affected your general mental health and well-being? Whether or not you live with a mental health condition, the current times have been challenging.
 
If you would like to connect with others who also struggle with life’s daily demands please consider joining Circle of Hope, a virtual gathering or those seeking connection and support in a faith centered environment.
 
Facilitators Nancy Granger, Parish Mental Health Nurse and St. James parishioner Dave Pina, retired Air Force Chaplain and Suicide Prevention Specialist, look forward to joining you in this community of faith and support.
This group will meet weekly via Zoom for 8 sessions on Thursdays, February 18 - April 8, 6:30 – 8:00pm.
 
For information about this group and to register please contact Nancy Granger at 206-382-4269 or ngranger@stjames-cathedral.org.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Reflections on the
Movement for Black Lives
The U.S. Bishops Conference offers a series of four articles on the expression "Black Lives Matter". They provide background information which helps clarify a sometimes controversial topic and serves as a stepping stone toward further reflection and dialogue.

Click HERE to learn more.
Moral Mondays at Seattle University
Join the Seattle University community on Mondays in February for conversation and critical engagement. Each session offers a short reading that illuminates current social justice issues facing the Black community:  

Black Reconstruction in America
Monday, February 22 | 12-1 p.m. 
by W.E.B. DuBois

Via Zoom (password OMABHM21) for community, conversation and critical engagement. 
Stations of the Cross:
Overcoming Racism
As we prepare ourselves for Lent, may we be ever more mindful that people in our day suffer unjustly simply because of the color of their skin or their national origin. Let us acknowledge the sin of racism and work to combat it in our social structures, our institutions, and our hearts.
 
Traditionally, Catholics pray the Stations of the Cross every Friday during Lent. Perhaps this year, you may want to pray this version of the Stations of the Cross, to ask for God to help us overcome racism.




FOOD & HUNGER
St. James COVID-19 Meal Ministry
February's cold, wet weather has meant busy times for the Cathedral Kitchen. A full belly helps battle freezing weather. Thanks to generous donors we've also been able to provide cold neighbors with warm coats, hats, gloves and scarves.
 
St. James Cathedral continues to receive food donations on Tuesdays, 9am to 11am. Come to Cathedral Hall (Columbia St., between 9th and Terry Ave.).  Suggested items for donation include:

  • Canned chilis and stews with pull-tab lids
  • Ingredients to make sandwiches: Sliced bread, deli meats, sliced cheese, condiments. (Must be unopened.)
  • Pre-packaged, store-bought, frozen or restaurant-prepared casseroles (i.e. lasagna)
  • Other ready meals like ramen noodles, easy mac n cheese, canned ravioli.
  • K-Cup coffee, cocoa and tea.
  • Individual drinks.
  • Snacks such as individual chips, candy, crackers.
  • Breakfast items such as cereal cups and granola bars.
  • Fresh fruit, preferably soft, such as bananas and orange and grapes.
LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY
Federal Advocacy
The U.S. Congress is working with President Biden to put together another emergency spending bill to address the widening pandemic and deep recession.

This proposal must include critical resources for affordable housing and homeless assistance:
  • $6.1 billion for Emergency Solutions Grants
  • $30 billion for emergency rental and utility assistance
  • $28 billion for 500,000 rental vouchers
  • $44 billion for the National Housing Trust Fund

Congress must hear from you about the importance of including housing and homeless assistance in the next COVID emergency bill!
 
State Advocacy
Action Alert
Stop the Expansion of Assisted Suicide

Please click here to urge your State Representatives to oppose expanding assisted suicide.  House Bill 1141 increases access to physician assisted suicide and accelerates the process. The bill broadens the definition of "qualified medical provider" and loosens the definition of those who can provide counseling. Additionally, this bill decreases the amount of time that a patient is required to wait between making a request and receiving a prescription to terminate his or her life. 

The Washington State Catholic Conference opposes HB 1141.
Action Alert
Prison to Postsecondary Education

If one of your state representatives is a member of the House Committee on Appropriations, please urge your representative to pass House Bill 1044 (HB 1044) out of Appropriations. Identify your district and state representatives here. The House Committee on Appropriations will be voting on HB 1044 on February 16. HB 1044 permits the Department of Corrections (DOC) to implement postsecondary education certificate and degree programs at state correctional institutions. It also establishes processes for identifying, assessing and accommodating incarcerated persons with learning disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and cognitive impairments.

Related to the bishops' restorative justice priority, the WSCC supports HB 1044.
Action Alert
Working Family Tax Exemptions

If your House representative is on the House Appropriations Committee, request that your representative pass the Working Families Tax Exemption, House Bill 1297. Identify your district and House representatives here. Also commonly known as the Working Families Tax Credit or the Recovery Rebate, HB 1297 will assist low-income, working individuals and families, including tax-paying immigrants. The HB 1297 tax credit seeks to address Washington's regressive tax system, which causes low-income Washingtonians, who are primarily Black, American Indian and Alaskan Native, Latina or Latino, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, and multiracial, to pay six times more in taxes as a percentage of their household income in comparison to wealthier residents. 

The WSCC supports HB 1297.
Join us for the first-ever virtual Catholic Advocacy Day in Olympia
on Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Our theme this year is Catholics for Equity & Life. In this time of COVID and the call for economic and racial equity, we invite you to join with Catholics from across Washington State to raise our voices for a society in which all people and Earth can thrive. Issues we plan to address include economic recovery, affordable housing, racial equity and the environment. The priority issues may change based on developments during the legislative session, and we will have updated information closer to the day itself.  

Register online by March 9 or call 206.223.1138.
HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS
WHEEL Women's Shelter
Job Opening
WHEEL (www.wheelforwomen.org) is a dynamic, grassroots organizing effort of homeless/formerly homeless women that operates a unique, loving, low-barrier women’s shelter on First Hill. We also facilitate an informal women’s referral service. We’re looking for level-headed, kind-hearted, reliable strong women to staff the new shelter, and perhaps do fill-in shifts (day, evening & night) at our current shelter. Duties include: intakes and welcoming women, managing referrals, keeping the peace, set-up, light cleaning and sanitation, meal service and informal resource-sharing. We work cooperatively with our host site and other space users to ensure that the building and its users are not adversely impacted by the shelter program. Rate of pay: $17/hour. Medical/dental benefits after 3 months for those working full-time

Queries: Email only to womensempowerment@sharewheel.org
CARE FOR CREATION
St. James Care for Creation Committee
Are you concerned about the health of our planet and all who live on it? The St. James Care for Creation committee seeks to educate, inspire, and motivate parishioners to a deeper reverence and respect for God's creation, and to encourage our parishioners and the communities we live in to address environmental problems, especially as they affect poor and vulnerable people.
 
The group’s next meeting is this Thursday, February 18, 7 to 8pm. Join us to learn what we are planning, including a panel discussion, a film series, and efforts to decrease the Cathedral’s carbon footprint to zero!
 
Interested? Contact Patrick Barredo, pbarredo@stjames-cathedral.org.
Act NOW for Salmon
For years, people of faith across the Northwest have been calling on our elected officials to support a collaborative approach regarding the future of the Lower Snake River.

This past weekend, Congressman Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) released a groundbreaking proposal that seeks to bring people together for the biggest salmon and river restoration project in history.

This is a groundbreaking proposal, and we can't let it slip through our fingers. Click HERE for an easy way to let Washington Senators know that this issue demands their leadership.
END OF LIFE
Faith & Action First Fridays
to End the Death Penalty
Faith & Action First Fridays is a monthly opportunity to invite Christ’s mercy to transform our broken criminal legal system and eradicate the use of capital punishment.

The Catholic Mobilizing Network's First Friday Vigils offer a virtual space to pray as a faith community in response to the injustice of executions. They include time for guided prayers, petitions, Scripture reflections, and contemplative silence, and feature the voices of Catholic bishops, Church leaders, and allies across the abolition movement.

Click HERE to join First Friday Vigils.
FEBRUARY BOOK RECOMMENDATION

The story of the black Catholic community in the United States begins with the story of the Catholic church in Africa.

With this historical overview, Davis, professor at Indiana's St. Meinrad School of Theology, begins his task--"to retrieve a mislaid memory'' of the black Catholic presence in the United States for the last 300 years. The issue of slavery--including the uneasy responses of America's first bishop, John Carroll, in the late 18th century, and the pro-slavery views of John Hughes, outspoken archbishop of New York during the Civil War--is positioned within the political and social fabric of those centuries. Yet, as shown in this masterfully concise history, the faith flourished among such black Catholics as Pierre Toussaint, the 19th-century New Yorker now proposed for sainthood. 

Studded with personal stories, this is a chronicle both sad and inspiring. Davis's groundbreaking research should pave the way for further exploration of the growing black Catholic community. 

(Review courtesy of Publishers Weekly)
CLOSING PRAYER
Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, once remarked, "My strength returns to me with my cup of coffee and a reading of the psalms."

During Lent, a time of repentance, it is customary to pray the seven penitential psalms. Reading Psalm 6, the first of the seven, with a cup of coffee this morning, I (Lonnie Larsen) was reminded that during this pandemic each of us has cried out, "Lord, how long?" Each of us has laid awake drenched with worries. But, I was also reminded that the Lord always hears the sound of our weeping.

And just like Dorothy promised, my strength was returned to me.

Do not reprove me in your anger, LORD,
nor punish me in your wrath.

Have pity on me, LORD, for I am weak;
heal me, LORD, for my bones are shuddering.

My soul too is shuddering greatly---
and you, LORD, how long?

Turn back, LORD, rescue my soul;
save me because of your mercy.

For in death there is no remembrance of you.
Who praises you in Sheol?

I am wearied with sighing;
all night long I drench my bed with tears;
I soak my couch with weeping.

My eyes are dimmed with sorrow,
worn out because of all my foes.

Away from me, all who do evil!
The LORD has heard the sound of my weeping.

The LORD has heard my plea;
the Lord will receive my prayer.

My foes will all be disgraced and will shudder greatly;
they will turn back in sudden disgrace.