Early Summer 2021

"We thank thee for thy Church,
founded upon thy Word,
that challenges us to do more
than sing and pray,
but go out and work as though
the very answer to our prayers
depended on us
and not upon thee."

--Henri Nouwen
Dear Liturgical Ministers,

Summer sure has arrived with a bang! After record-breaking temperatures all over, I send you greetings in the hope that everyone has stayed cool and safe over the last week. These unusual weather events we are seeing have been weighing on my heart, and I've been crying out to God in prayer to be with us as we suffer the effects of all we have done, and all we have not done, to contribute to climate change.

The above quotation in my weekly liturgical planner from Henri Nouwen reminds me of what our prayer calls us to do: our prayer calls us to action. Our very liturgy itself, and the shape and movement the liturgy brings to our prayer, forms us to go out and do, to be agents of change, guided by the Spirit. We hear the words of our ancestors in scripture, we pray for ourselves and world, we ask God's forgiveness for the wrongs we have done and caused and our negligence, and then we are fed with the Spiritual food we need to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world. And then, the procession out and the dismissal given to us by the Deacon calls us to "Go forth into the world" to be the hands and feet of our loving, liberating, life-giving God.

As I believe it was Pope Francis who said, "You pray for the hungry. Then you feed them. This is how prayer works." Pray. And then do. As our liturgy forms us and shapes us to live and actually BE the Gospel in the world, my prayer for each of you is that together, as a community, we continue to be guided by the Spirit as we seek to be agents for the change that our world so desperately needs.
Yours in Christ,
Michael Seewer
Cathedral Sacristan & Head Verger
(206) 323-0300 x219
Banner photo above taken by Kevin Johnson during the Ordination liturgy on June 15.
New Worship & Prayer Committee
As part of a strategy driven by the new Mutual Ministry Goals adopted by the vestry, a new standing committee on Worship & Prayer has been created. As we form this newly convened committee, all liturgical ministers are invited to join us for a meeting on July 18 from 1:30-3pm on Zoom. We will meet to cast a vision forward in a post-pandemic world. We'll learn about the newly restructured committees in light of the newly adopted Mutual Ministry Goals, and discuss/brainstorm how these goals might shape our worship and liturgy.

All liturgical ministers are invited to join us for this initial meeting, and no commitment to "join" a committee is required. We also hope to have meetings quarterly to continue the conversation.

Join me, Dean Thomason, and vestry liaisons Peter McClung, Carmen Brady, and Scott Kovacs for this conversation. Any questions, let me know. We hope to see you there!
Sunday Worship Updates
You may have noticed an email in your inbox on Monday morning from the Cathedral titled "Cathedral Worship UPDATE". This very important update happily announces the lifting of a number of pandemic restrictions in worship. Specifically:

  • Limits on total number of worshippers is ending (all are welcome!)
  • Pre-registration for worship is ending
  • Screening upon arrival is ending
  • Fully vaccinated worshippers may discontinue masks and distancing indoors, if they wish

With these changes, we will have newly identified "distanced" and "undistanced" sections, noted by signs. The "distanced" section, in the south two seating sections of the nave, are for those unvaccinated, or for any vaccinated person who wishes to remain masked and distanced. All people in this section will wear masks and maintain social distancing.

We continue to ask anyone with illness or symptoms to stay home! Even if you are volunteering, and even if it's last minute, please do not come to worship if you are experiencing any symptoms. We will find you a substitute!

As of this Sunday, we will also once again have our Assisting Lay Ministers serving in worship. Please note, we are not yet resuming the serving of the common cup, so communion will continue to be administered in one kind with the bread only.

Also, all who serve as a liturgical minister will need to be vaccinated. Please see the next section on "Confirming Vaccination Status" for more information on this.

Any questions, let me know!
Confirming Vaccination Status
With the lifting of many pandemic restrictions as of this Sunday, July 4, we will also now require that all liturgical ministers show proof of vaccination to volunteer. I sent an email to everyone on Monday, June 28, outlining the process for confirming your vaccination status.

The next time you volunteer, please bring a copy or photo of your vaccination card and show to me to confirm being fully vaccinated. I will maintain a log of everyone who has a confirmed vaccination status, so you only need to show me your card one time so that I can mark it down.

All liturgical ministers will be seated in the undistanced sections, which are for fully vaccinated people only. Masks will be optional, and you no longer have to keep distance between others.

If you are not fully vaccinated, or if you are not yet comfortable sitting undistanced and near people who are not masked, please let me know as soon as possible so that we can plan the schedule accordingly! Any questions, please contact me. Thank you!
Hospitality Minister Updates
Below are a number of important updates for Hospitality Ministers, which apply to both the 9am and 11am services. Please take a look, and let me or Don Sutkus know if you have any questions!

  • Starting this Sunday, we will no longer be checking people in at the door! All hospitality ministers are asked to welcome people while handing out the service leaflets, answering questions, and showing people the locations for seating. I will explain the changes in the nave the first Sunday you volunteer coming up.

  • We are not yet resuming the passing of the offering plates, but we do plan on resuming that sometime in the near future. Stay tuned for updates on that. For now, we will continue having an offering basket and sanitizer bottle near the head of each aisle.

  • Starting this Sunday, we will have three total communion stations. There will be one communion station at the head of the center aisle that the two sections of chairs will use for communion, and then two communion stations at the head of both outer aisles. The south station will be for the distanced section of chairs along the south wall and south pews. The north station will be for the north pews and chairs along the north wall (undistanced section). Here's a map that shows the communion flow as well (please note, this map and the flow is subject to change!)

  • For the two hospitality ministers who count the offering, please note that there are envelopes and counting sheets in the top right-hand drawer of Thomsen Sacristy. Remember these important tips when counting:
  • You ONLY need to count the cash and coins! Itemize out the number of each bill and coin on the counting sheet.
  • You DO NOT need to count the checks! Simply stack them up and place in the deposit envelope.
  • Any offering envelopes: leave them sealed and do not count! Place them in the deposit envelope along with the itemized currency and stack of checks.

  • Many have asked about the Emergency and Disaster Response Manual, so I wanted to share a link to it here. I also have a copy printed in a binder that we keep in the narthex closet by the women's room. Bottom line, if there's every an emergency or a natural disaster during a service, see me or another staff person with questions!

Even with all of the newest changes in worship, the Hospitality Ministry continues to be critically important to making sure all who worship with us feel welcome and safe! Many thanks to all of you who volunteer in this important ministry. If you are not currently a Hospitality Minister but are interested in this vital role, please talk to me or Don Sutkus, or one of the Hospitality Ministers on Sunday.
Opportunities in Liturgical Ministries
As we continue to resume certain ministries during our liturgies that were on hiatus due to the pandemic, there are a number of opportunities at both the 9am and 11am services, as outlined below. If you, or someone you know, might be interested in any of these opportunities, please reach out to me or the people noted below, or speak to any of the members of the ministry you are interested in to learn more. And of course, training is provided!

Acolytes - both 9am and 11am
  • While we do not yet have a full team of acolytes serving at our 9am and 11am services, we will resume this ministry sometime in the near future. We generally schedule three acolytes at the 9am service (one crucifer, two torch bearers) and five acolytes at the 11am service (one crucifer, four torch bearers). This ministry is open to all, and is especially suitable for youth and young adults, and involves carrying objects at various points of the liturgy and participating in various liturgical processions.

Altar Guild - 9am
  • We have room for two or three people to join the 9am altar guild. This ministry is open to all, and would be of interest to those who have attention to detail and enjoy a ministry that is more independent and behind the scenes.

Eucharistic Ministers (aka Chalice Bearers) - both 9am and 11am
  • We are also not yet ready to resume serving the common cup, but we'd like to be ready when we do! We could use a few additional Eucharistic Ministers at both 9am and 11am. This is a licensed ministry, and is open to all baptized and confirmed members in good standing.

Flower Ministry
  • Our talented team of Flower Ministers is seeking new volunteers! This ministry is open to all, and is especially suitable for those with a good sense of color and proportion. You do not need experience with flower arranging, and training will be provided to anyone interested! Contact Beatrix Roemheld-Hamm if you'd like to learn more about joining the Flower Ministry, and be sure and check out the Flower Ministry webpage! Please note: volunteers in this ministry generally come to the church on Thursday, Friday or Saturday to create arrangements, and so are not active on Sundays.

Oblation Bearers - 9am and 11am
  • Oblation Bearers (aka Element Bearers) are ministers who bring the gifts of bread and wine to the altar during the offertory. This ministry is not currently active, but will be sometime likely in the coming months. This ministry is especially suitable for couples or families, especially with young children. We will be scheduling Oblation Bearers at both the 9am and 11am services once we resume this tradition.

Reading Ministries - 9am
  • The Reading Ministries include two roles that serve during liturgies of Holy Eucharist and Evensong: Lectors, who read scripture from the Old or New Testament; and Intercessors, who lead the Prayers of the People (only during services of Holy Eucharist). We have room for a few more Lectors and Intercessors at the 9am service. These ministries are open to anyone, and are especially suitable for those with a talent and passion for reading and speaking in front of large groups of people.
In addition to the Sunday morning opportunities noted above, The Compline Choir will reopen its services to the public on August 22. In order to make its reopening smooth and safe, we are seeking volunteers to join a new Compline Hospitality Ministry. Each Sunday evening beginning August 22, we'd like to schedule two hospitality ministers to be present before and during the Compline service. These hospitality ministers will have a few responsibilities, including: welcome all who enter, answer questions, make sure doors are open and closed at appropriate times, and ensure that all present are familiar with the spirit of the service (quiet, stillness, contemplation). If you might be interested in volunteering one Sunday a month as a Compline Hospitality Minister, please email me, or email Jason Anderson (director of the Compline Choir).
Hymnals At Home
Do you sometimes attend Sunday worship via livestream? If so, would you find it helpful to have a hymnal at home? We are exploring ways to reduce the amount of paper we use in printing service leaflets, and are considering the possibility of sharing hymnals with those parishioners who would benefit from having one at home during worship as part of this initiative.

If having a hymnal at home for worship interests you, please reach out to me or Communications Director Gregory Bloch.
Saint Mark’s Cathedral acknowledges that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People, who are still here, and we honor with gratitude the land itself and the life of the Duwamish Tribe.