Summer 2022

Yours is the day, O God, yours also the night; you established
the moon and the sun. You fixed all the boundaries of the
earth; you made both summer and winter.

--Psalm 74:15,16
Dear friends,

It has been a busy last few months! Cathedral Day, two ordinations, two O Antiphon services, a few funerals, a wedding, and many more on the horizon! None of our cathedral liturgies would be possible without our talented and passionate liturgical ministers, and so I am grateful for everyone's hard work at pitching in to make our worship possible.

This last week or so, I've been engrossed in news from Lambeth. If that's not something you follow or are aware of, you might check out this one-page document from TEC's website that summarizes the goals of the Lambeth Conference. Not surprisingly, when you gather Christians from different backgrounds and locations, even Anglican Christians, there is going to be some disagreement. And there has been plenty of disagreement at this year's Lambeth. There have also been many moments of beauty, of witness to God's love, of opening up and listening. And that has maybe changed some hearts...with God's help.

What I am reminded of in seeing the news from Lambeth, and the work and witness of the bishops, is how precious the gift of communication is. Each encounter we have with another person grants us a gift to share each other's stories. It is in these encounters of sharing and listening and communicating that our bonds of humanity are strengthened. We share so much in common with our fellow humans, as Bishop Curry loves to remind us (have you heard his On Being podcast with Russell Moore?). The things that are different between us are so very small in number compared to the vast majority of similarities that humans have in common with each other.

I am grateful for the work and witness that we have as Christians among each other. Our moments of encounter offer us those sacred opportunities to share our stories, and to hear others' stories. Our work as liturgical ministers forms us to be the Body of Christ in the world, to serve each other, regardless of those few differences that might exist between us. We are strengthened when we come together as fellow human beings in need of love and forgiveness and strength. The Eucharist forms us for that every week, reminding us that God is our strength, and that we are already forgiven.

May God continue to strengthen us in love, and in those moments when we fall short, knowing that we are already forgiven, may God give us the strength to get back up and try again. We are truly blessed.
Yours in Christ,
Michael Seewer
Cathedral Sacristan & Head Verger
(206) 323-0300 x219
Banner photo above taken by Kevin Johnson at the ordination of Linzi Stahlecker, June 29, 2022.
Mark Your Calendar: Liturgical Minister Training
You are invited! The next Liturgical Minister Training will be on Saturday morning, September 24 from 9am-noon in the nave. This training will only be offered in person. All current liturgical ministers, and those interested in liturgical ministries, are asked to attend one of these liturgical minister trainings at least once every three years. We offer them twice a year, once in Eastertide, and again in September after Labor Day.

Here's the schedule for this September's training

  • 9am-10am: Breakout discussions for the following ministries
  • acolytes, lectors, ushers, greeters
  • Only people from these 4 ministries are asked to attend the 9am-10am session
  • 10am-11am: Plenary session led by Dean Thomason
  • All liturgical ministers are asked to attend this session
  • 11am-noon: Breakout discussions for the following ministries
  • chalice bearers, eucharistic visitors, altar guild, vergers
  • Only people from these 4 ministries are asked to attend the 11am-noon session.

All current Liturgical Ministers are invited to attend the plenary, and then also one of the two breakouts either before or after the plenary depending on the ministry(ies) you're involved in. The goal is that everyone active in Liturgical Ministries attend one of these trainings at least every three years, so if you haven't attended one in a while, please join us! The training won't be offered again until after Easter next year. Please contact me if you have any questions. There is no need to sign up ahead of time...just show up. There will be coffee!
September-December Ministry Scheduling
We have begun to work on the September-December liturgical ministry schedule. All liturgical ministers were emailed on July 21 and July 28 requesting your unavailable dates before the schedule is completed. If you have not yet updated your Ministry Scheduler Pro (MSP) profile with your unavailable dates, please do so no later than Sunday, August 7 so that you are not scheduled on your unavailable dates. Click here to log in to MSP to input your unavailable dates.

Thank you, and if you have any questions about scheduling, please speak to your ministry leader, or email Michael Seewer.
Ministry Updates & Reminders
Please read the below updates for the ministries you are involved in. Any questions? Please speak to your ministry leader or to Michael Seewer!

  • 9am ushers: please give the attendance count to Michael Seewer instead of the presider, either after the service or sometime after you have completed the count.
  • 11am ushers: please remember to check the diagram on the usher table (next to the AED device just south of the narthex doors) to see where you are stationed for both the collection and for communion. The vergers complete the diagram, and it's important to serve where noted so that every section is taken care of. Click here for an example diagram, and see the vergers or me on Sunday if you have any questions!

  • Both 9am and 11am: please remember to assist with handing out service leaflets in addition to greeting and welcoming people. The ushers very much appreciate it!

Lectors/Intercessors/Land Acknowledgment:
  • Please remember to arrive 15 minutes before the service starts and check in with Michael Perera (sound technician) when you arrive. If you are not present by 10 minutes prior to the service, you may be replaced (even if you end up arriving).

Eucharistic Ministers:
  • I will be sending out a tips and reminders video very soon...stay tuned!
  • Please remember to check the whiteboard for your assignment before you come to the narthex. The 9am assignments are in the vesting sacristy, and the 11am are just inside the stairwell doors where the hymnals are located.

  • We are looking for more 11am acolytes! Do you know anyone who might feel called to this ministry? If so, please email me or talk to Erik Donner!

Altar Guild:
  • Please remember when cleaning up after the service to get the two linens from the tables next to the baptismal font, as well as the collection baskets. They are often forgotten!

  • Please remember to help get the procession lined up in the narthex once the presider has said the prayer for the ministers.
  • Second verger: remember to wait until there is a good amount of empty space between you and the people processing in front of you. My suggestion: stand in the doorway until the people in front of you have passed the affusion font, then go. And keep a healthy space between you throughout the procession.

  • We are looking for more compline volunteers, both hospitality ministers and videographers! Do you know someone who attends compline who might enjoy being a part of one of these ministries? Please email me with their name and email address so that I can contact them!
Did you know...we have 2 all-gender restrooms?
In recent weeks, Senior Warden Emily Meeks has been working with Sacristan Michael Seewer and Communications Director Greg Bloch to improve awareness of and signage directing people to the two all-gender restrooms on the fifth floor of Cathedral House. So far, we have added a blurb to the 9am and 11am service leaflets informing people of this information. We also want to make sure that all volunteers are aware of the location of these restrooms so that you can direct people to them if they ask!
If someone asks for the location of the all-gender restrooms, we are hoping you can either take them there, or explain to them how to get there!

  • The two restrooms are on the fifth floor of Cathedral House (click the photo for an enlarged image of the location of the restrooms in relation to the childcare room).
  • Accessible via the southwest stairwell or elevator
  • From the stairwell, go up to the fifth floor and turn left. The two restrooms will be on your right and are labeled "All-Gender Restroom" on the doors.
  • From the elevator, go up to the fifth floor. Exit the elevator and follow the hallway until you see the restrooms on your left (just past the childcare room).
  • If people ask you for directions from the narthex, please take the time to walk them to the stairwell so they don't get lost!
  • If you need to know the code to unlock the stairwell door, please ask me for it!
Sunday Evening Contemplative Eucharist
As you may have read in recent cathedral newsletters, the Sunday Evening Contemplative Eucharist is getting a reboot as of this Sunday, August 7. The Sunday Evening Contemplative Eucharist, which occurs every Sunday at 7pm in Thomsen Chapel, is a long-standing service of Saint Mark's and is quite different from our Sunday morning Eucharistic liturgies. This service engages meditative music and moments of silence, framed by readings and prayers, and the holy meal of the Eucharist.

As part of this rebooted liturgy, we are hoping to find existing chalice bearers who might be willing to serve chalice once or twice in a four-month period. Even if the 7pm service isn't a service you regularly attend, you are welcome to assist by occasionally serving chalice at this service. Currently we only have one active chalice bearer for this liturgy, and so the presider is serving both the bread and the chalice at most services. Having a chalice bearer at every Sunday evening service would be a welcomed addition to correspond with the updated liturgy.

If you have questions, or might be interested in supporting this ministry, please email Michael Seewer, or one of the priests!
Taizé Prayer at Saint Mark's
Saint Mark's will offer another Taizé Prayer liturgy on Tuesday, September 6 at 7:00 p.m. in the nave. All are welcome! The first two Taizé Prayer services earlier this year (April 5 and June 7) were well received, and we hope to continue offering Taizé Prayer services in the new year approximately once every three months.

Another Taizé service will be on Tuesday, November 8 at 7pm in the nave. The Taizé ministry committee is considering additional services in the new year...stay tuned!

If you are interested in assisting with the leadership of our Taizé Prayer services, either musically or otherwise, please let me know! Send me an email at [email protected], or come talk to me. You do not have to have Taizé experience or be a professional musician. Or speak to the other members of the Taizé ministry committee: Hannah Hochkeppel, Natalie Willis, Jane Carter, or Arthur Lee. Thank you!
Thank you from the American Guild of Organists
A few weeks ago, I received a lovely note from Canon Michael Kleinschmidt on behalf of the American Guild of Organists. I wanted to share a part of that note with everyone:

All feedback from our guests for the July edition of O Antiphons indicates that they were moved and inspired by it. Many said it was for them the high point of the 2022 AGO Convention, and they expressed deep gratitude for it. ... Please extend my thanks, on behalf of the AGO, to all participants who led worship those two nights.

I echo Michael's and the AGO's gratitude for everyone, both behind the scenes and in the liturgy as well, who helped make the July O Antiphons services possible. As odd as it was to have an Advent service in July, it all came together beautifully and God was glorified!
Worship & Prayer Committee Meetings
Mark your calendars for the next four Worship and Prayer Committee Meetings! These meetings occur on Zoom and allow the Saint Mark's community to discuss and discern the worship and prayer life at Saint Mark's together, and with clergy and Saint Mark's staff present.

The next four committee meetings will be:

  • Sunday, September 11
  • Sunday, January 15, 2023
  • Sunday, March 19, 2023
  • Sunday, June 11, 2023

Meetings are currently meeting on Zoom from 1:30-3pm on the Sundays noted. If the time or location changes, communication will be shared informing of the updates.

All are invited and welcome to attend these meetings! To attend, please email me to let me know you'd like to join. I'll add you to the list of recipients, and you will receive an agenda in the days prior to each meeting. We often discuss an article, in addition to reflecting on recent liturgies at Saint Mark's. All of that is communicated in the email sent to those interested in the days prior to each meeting.

If you have any questions, let me or Dean Thomason know. We hope to see you at one of the upcoming meetings!