Why that Pew Report is great news for the Church

The big headline in USA religion news this week is that a statistically significant number of folks in the United States have moved away from self-identifying as “Christian” and into something we in the Pacific Northwest have known about for years: the “none” zone. Read more »

Celebrating Earth Sunday and Having Fun Being Stewards of Creation

This is a basic lineup of ideas for Earth Sunday. Some of these are initiatives that can be kicked-off on this Sunday, then to be followed throughout the year. Others are awareness actions. 

Wear Green

Encouraging everyone to wear something green for Earth Sunday! In one parish, a lady bought a "bug" shirt to wear each year.  Read more »

Encountering God in the Stations of the Cross

Crown of thornsAs I child, I remember averting my gaze when I walked out of church to avoid the huge and gruesome image of the crucified Christ above the door—the thorny crown, the bleeding wounds, and the pain too human and too difficult to acknowledge.  As an adult, on Palm Sunday, I cringed during the Passion when the crowd (and I) yelled, “Crucify him!”  On Good Friday, I anguished as the cock crowed, felt the pain of the thorny crown, struggled under the wei Read more »

A Book Review by Bishop Greg Rickel: The Soul's Journey

As we begin our Lenten journey I would commend a new book, just out, "The Soul's Journey: An Artist's Approach to the Stations of the Cross" by Kathrin Burleson, with contributions by our Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori and many others from across the church that will inspire you both in sight and words. Read more »

Faith Formation for Lent

What are you doing for Lent this year?”   Sometimes we experience Lent as merely the weeks spent waiting for and preparing for Easter, but it can be a deeply reflective season for us individually or in our congregations.   The diocesan website offers many possibilities.  For instance, you’ll discover the Bishop’s book for Lent: Now You See It, by Cathy N. Davidson (153.7 Dav) as well as numerous other online resources external to our diocese (http://www.ecww.org/2015-lenten-resources)
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Formation Ministry around the Episcopal Church

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of representing our region at a joint network meeting of the Council for Lifelong Christian Formation and the Youth Ministers Network.  These networks support the ministries of the staff officers of the Episcopal Church Center who focus on formation ministries across the Episcopal Church.  While there, I learned of several new resources, especially around supporting and equipping congregations doing mission trips and/or pilgrimages with youth.  I especially commend to you the new

October is Archives Month

Archives Month is an annual month-long celebration highlighting the importance of archives and the value archives bring to our lives.  Founded in 1969, Archives Month is a collaborative effort by professional archival organizations and repositories to raise awareness about archives, what they do, why they do it, and the materials they contain. 

At the time the Diocese of Olympia Archives was officially established in 1976, Bishop Robert H. Cochrane wrote: Read more »

Saint Francis Day - at church and at home

One of my favorite minor feast days at my parish is Saint Francis Day.  One of the benefits of the unfinished flooring in our church is that animals can’t do any real damage, so we observe Saint Francis Day by bringing pets right into the church for our regular Sunday morning worship, after which there is a great parade of animals, and the priests offer blessings.  It is a treat and a delight each year to see beloved pets – from the ubiquitous cats and dogs, to the more unusual snakes, chickens, and turtles.  One year we even had a potato bug make an appearance – you never kn Read more »

Making Faith Stick - ideas and an upcoming workshop

There has been a lot of discussion over the years about what makes faith "stick" with some people, and not with others.  In particular, families are often concerned with how to pass faith from one generation to another.  A new resource was released last month, "The StickyFaith Guide for Your Family" by Dr. Read more »

Ensuring Access: Archivist Attends National Meeting

I’m just back in the office after a trip to Washington D.C. and the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) where members discussed ways in which to better “Ensure Access” to archival materials.  SAA is the primary professional organization for archivists in the United States and Canada and I’ve attended all but one meeting since 1994! Read more »

Back to School: Kids, Consumerism and Faith

Last week I noticed the first “Back-to-School” ads in the newspaper.  While these ads seem to come out earlier every year, always taking me by surprise, I really do look forward to fall. It’s time for a fresh start – football games, falling leaves, and everything new - new classes, new books, new schedules, new clothes . . . Read more »

...And the Ladies Were Called As Well

Last month I attended the annual National Episcopal Historians and Archivists conference in Salt lake City, Utah.  This year’s theme focused on women in the Church – and featured papers and presentations on Episcopal lay and clergy women – wives, deaconesses, nuns and missionaries - who dedicated their lives to serving others and promoting the work of the Church. One of the papers was given by L. Teresa Di Biase on Deaconess Margaret Peppers and her work in the Diocese of Olympia.  I made brief presentations on Dr. Sarah Hucksford Jones and her part in founding St. Read more »

Licensed Ministry Training

Years ago a deacon told me that the best way to provide continuing education for adults was to give them what they wanted to know when they wanted to know it.  At the time I was helping to put together the curriculum for DSOMAT and her suggestion seemed impossible.  Now, years later I’ve come to pretty much the same point of view. Read more »

Inflamed by the prayer

That was Thomas Cranmer’s hope for the Book of Common Prayer:  that it would inflame those who use it with a sense of God’s love.  And that, I would contend, can only happen when we treat it as the treasure it is, using it in both public and private devotion, allowing the repeated reading and hearing of scripture to affect the rhythm and depth of our lives.  Adding to the knowledge of this treasure can only assist in our understanding, and to that end I’m very pleased to recommend a new eight-course series by ChurchNext,  the online education source that I’ve mentioned b Read more »