The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia | Winter 2020
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 Conundrum of Church Work
Maybe because our colleague, Denise Brumbaugh* (pictured left, in the Holy Land), will be leaving us for other opportunities, or maybe because of some thoughtful changes in human resources at the Bishop's Office (e.g. Denise's Youth Ministry Coordinator position has been increased from 20 to 30 hours per week), I've been thinking a lot about the interplay of church and work.

Insomuch as any of us in the church has the power to influence the wages and hours of others, it makes sense to make fair pay and compensation a priority. This is intramural social justice.

In the context of a Christian workplace, we can re-imagine and correct the ways that the broader culture rewards some fields but not others. Especially when we increase the wages and hours of those who work directly with children and teens, we align our dollars with our values. And it's not entirely altruistic... To reach the collective dream of "more young people in the church," we have to invest in staff who are dedicated to that effort.
-- Valerie Reinke

* Here's the job description and request for application, cover letter and resume' for the

By Bishop Greg Rickel
I have very much enjoyed a book called  Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed,  by Lori Gottlieb. I honestly cannot remember how this got on my “you gotta read this” list but it did, referred by something else I read or heard.

Odd to a degree, I am so glad I followed through. Gottlieb is a therapist and a former writer for several hit shows, including “Friends,” who became a psychologist and counselor. When I first read the title, “and our lives revealed” I thought this might be some voyeur book into her clients, and in a way it is. She does talk about that, changing all the names to protect the innocent, but I now know this: “and our lives revealed” refers to OUR lives, yours and mine, and how our mind works.

Always a supporter of therapy in good times and bad, I am a bigger supporter after this book. Even if you are not interested in any of that, the stories here are worth it. And she does a great job adding humor. I do recommend this book.  
Top 10 Reasons Need to Experience
Better Together...
Once again, Better Together is on the horizon -- Saturday, March 7 in Bellevue. We hope you and your team are planning to be there! Need some encouragement? Here are the top 10 reasons you should go:

10) New ideas and perspectives will breathe new life into your work.

9) Ample networking time -- you'll make connections that lead to future collaborations.

8) Keynote speaker, Sharon Ely Pearson, is the backbone of faith formation in the Episcopal Church and she is making a rare west coast visit to share her wisdom with us.

7) Twelve workshops to choose from. Tracks include: Children & Families; Youth; Adult/Inter-generational; and, Music, Liturgy & the Arts

6) Free musician's ticket - bring your music director!

5) Get out of the rain. It's warm and dry at St. Margaret's, Bellevue.

4) Travel the night before and stay at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, Bellevue, at a reduced rate.

3) Food, glorious food! Continental breakfast and lunch included.

2) We keep it inexpensive so everyone can participate -- $15/person and $10/child for on-site child-care.

1) "When two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.” Matthew 18:20 (The Message)
Keynote Sharon Ely Pearson: "Faith Formation in a Changing Church: Learning from the Past, Preparing for the Future"

"It is always refreshing and helpful to hear what others are doing and experiencing.
Too much of the church experience is working in the vacuum of your own parish."

-- 2019 Better Together participant evaluation
Know of another upcoming conference that you think would be of interest to others?...

Would you like to attend one of these or know someone in your congregation who might benefit? Ask about our partial scholarships...

You Should Get Out More...
Conferences in 2020
June 23 - 26 , Arizona - Young Adult and Campus Ministries Leadership Conference , hosted by the Episcopal Church. "An opportunity for leaders in ministry with young adults and college students to be nourished and nurtured..."

October 2 - 3 , Texas - Evolving Faith Conference - "A gathering for wanderers, wonderers and spiritual refugees." Especially effective for young adults who were raised in an evangelical church and have landed in the Episcopal church.

October 5 - 8 , Colorado - Cross+Gen Life Conference The focus is on "cross-generational" or inter-generational programming. "I intend to go...I've become increasingly curious about these sorts of adaptive changes in faith formation." -- Kelly Moody, Saint Mark's Cathedral

October 11 - 13 , Seattle - Liturgical Visual Arts Conference , hosted by CIVA, Christians in the Visual Arts. "Join us in exploring how we use visual expressions to praise God within the liturgy."
New Diocesan Pilgrimage Webpage Highlights Upcoming Trips
Ever wanted to traverse the Camino de Santiago? Interested in the churches and cathedrals of England? Check out the Diocese of Olympia's new pilgrimage listing for upcoming trips open to all. There's even a link to add and promote your congregation's upcoming event: Pilgrimage Offerings

Apply Now...
Join Hundreds of Other Episcopal Teens in
Washington D.C. this Summer!
The Diocese of Olympia is sending a delegation to join youth from around the world, so don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to recognize that we are ‘yoked together’ as a community through God’s mercy and grace. Registration is now open and closes this Sunday, February 9 .
Black Diamond Camp in Auburn is a teen favorite with zip-lines, blacklight dodgeball, disc golf, a dance and more!
Break out that tape measure and make sure you have your wrench in hand, cause it's time to put together your Relationship Toolbox at this year's Winter High School Retreat from the Diocese of Olympia!

Whether it's learning to build a strong foundation with family and friends or making sure you have the right tools to maintain your relationship with God, you'll spend the weekend in worship and community, large group activities, and small group conversations.

So don't miss this chance to join other high school students from across the diocese for a fun weekend of games and activities, community and worship, and finding the right tools to keep all of our relationships strong and secure.
Small Actions, Big Change
Kids4Peace will host a youth event Sunday, February 23  called  "Small Actions Big Change: A Teach-In Style Event in Honor of Black History Month " from 2 - 5:00 pm at the Centilia Cultural Center, Seattle.

6th-8th graders:  Will learn about the power of community during the Civil Rights Movement and build skills to combat bullying & discrimination.

9th-12th graders:  Will hear about Ida B. Wells & Fannie Lou Hamer, powerful activists during the Civil Rights Movement. Build skills to organize and build people power to create change!

Follow this event on Facebook
Summer 2020 for Teens:
Share these Dates With Your Congregation!
High School Summer Camp - 6-Day
Sunday, July 19 - Saturday, July 25
Camp Huston, Gold Bar
In the foothills of the Cascades
Youth Creation Care Pilgrimage
Sunday, August 2 - Saturday, August 8
This summer we're island hopping!...
San Juan, Orcas, Lopez & Whidbey Islands
Registration opens soon!
What's Ahead...
  • FEBRUARY ~ Winter High School Retreat 2/28-3/1 @ Black Diamond Camp in Auburn
  • MARCH ~ Better Together Day of Faith Formation, 3/7 @ St Margaret’s Bellevue - Youth track designed especially for Ministry Leaders
  • MAY ~ Spring Middle School Retreat, Diocesan House, 5/16-17
  • JUNE ~ Connect (A retreat for adults involved in youth ministry) 6/12-14 @ St. Andrew’s House
  • JUNE ~ Launch for Graduating Seniors, Saturday, June 20
  • JULY ~ EYE (Episcopal Youth Event) July 5 - 11 - held in partnership with Washington National Cathedral and the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.
  • JULY ~ Six-Day, Youth Summer Camp, July 19 - 25
  • AUGUST ~ Youth Creation Care Pilgrimage, August 2 - 8
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 Facebook page... Also Follow us on Instagram @ecwwyouth

Strengthen Your Core
Godly Play Training Opportunities
Now's your chance to get the Godly Play training you and your volunteers need with these winter/spring options. Enter the promo code olympia when you register for the trainings at St. Thomas and Grace (just RSVP for the St. James training) and receive 1/3 off ($55) per training session, courtesy of the Diocese of Olympia.

St. Thomas, Medina - Commuter Core
8:30 - 5:30 p.m.
This Saturday, February 8 - Sacred Stories
Trainers: Cindy Spencer & Andy Rosane
Church contact: Lisalynn Reed

Grace, Bainbridge Island - Commuter Core
9:00 - 6:00 p.m.
March 14:  Sacred Stories
May 2:  Parables
May 30:   Liturgical Action
Trainer: Rev. Kay Flores
Church contact: Kim Cockroft

St. James, Sedro-Woolley - Refresher
March 21: Godly Play Refresher - The Artistic Response
Trainer: Lindsay Knight
RSVP: Karen Larson , (360) 319-5998
What's holding you back? Is the registration fee or travel expense an obstacle? If you want to be there, we want you to be there. Check in at for assistance.
Picture Book of the Season:
Parables and Miracles of Jesus
By Mary Hoffman, Illustrated by Jackie Morris

Summary: This wonderfully illustrated book retells eight of Jesus’ parables and describes nine of his miracles, all in a conversational and contemporary way that is accessible to all. Reviewing these short stories is a great way to familiarize children with Christ’s ministry and teachings, especially during Lent.
You're Invited:
Children & Families Ministry Leadership Lunch Meeting
Whatever your role in Children's Ministry -- staff, volunteer, clergy, advisor -- you are invited to join a dynamic group of practitioners from around the diocese for a regular quarterly meeting. Next up:

Wednesday, March 25
Noon - 1:30 p.m.
Bishop's Office, 1551 10th Ave. E., Seattle
Lunch & travel expenses covered
Children & Families Leadership Meeting participants in December. These meetings are full of new ideas, collaboration, commiseration, and resources. Join us!
Safe Church Training
Young Adult Happenings
In the Greater Seattle Area
"Evening Episcopalians" gathering at St. Luke's, Renton for dinner and "Yule,"
the church's special liturgy commemorating the shortest day of the year.
Questioning Together  - Monday, March 2nd (first Monday 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. and follow on Facebook .

Evening Episcopalians  – Curious about the traditions, histories and flavors of other churches in our diocese? Let’s check out the evening services at different parishes in the Seattle area, and maybe go for dinner/drinks afterward. Get on the meet-up e-mail list: and follow us on Facebook .

Healing Eucharist & Game Night - Wednesday, March 15 (third Wednesday of the month, March thru June) --The Healing Eucharist starts at 6:30 p.m. and is an opportunity for healing prayer with oil and support from the worshiping community. Then at 7:15 pm, enjoy dinner together and play board and card games. St. Columba, Kent. Questions?

Young Adults at Better Together - Saturday, March 7th (registration info. above) - Don't miss this workshop which the Bishop's Young Adult Advisory Team has developed and evolved since first presenting it to a standing-room-only crowd at Diocesan Convention:

"Attracting and Engaging People in Their 20s & 30s:
What Do Young Adults Want, Anyway?"
The young adult workshop at Diocesan Convention drew a large and engaged audience. The presenters, Josh deLacy, St. Luke's, Renton; Katya Nemec, Emmanuel, Mercer Island; and Heather Irwin, Holy Cross, Redmond; have now tailored the presentation for Better Together. They will be joined by Michael Perera, Saint Mark's Cathedral; Jad Baaklini and Lauren Wearsch, both from Epiphany, Seattle.
And save these dates:

  • Tuesday, July 14 - BBQ with the Bishop, Office of the Bishop, Seattle, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
  • Friday - Sunday, August 14 - 16 - A Holy Waste of Time Retreat, Saint Andrew's House, Union
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 .
Just Ask A Librarian...
By Sue Tait

QUESTION: With Ash Wednesday less than a month away, I’m wondering about programs for groups during Lent, but also resources for individuals. What do you suggest?

SUE SAYS: There are so many resources, books and DVD’s in our Resource Center collection, but also a wealth of information and daily devotions online. You can go to the “list” section of our online catalog  to find a partial list of the amazing resources available for Lent from Forgiveness: A Lenten Study to Give Us This Day: Lenten Reflections on Baking Bread and Discipleship .

Lent is a time of discernment, reflection, commitment and the intentional development of a way of life to carry us to a deeper connection to God. There are increasing options in Bishop Curry’s “Way of Love” materials, and much more besides.  Click here to see some of what is available for individuals and groups.
The Winter of Listening
By David Whyte
Inside everyone
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born.

Even with the summer
so far off
I feel it grown in me
now and ready
to arrive in the world.

All those years
listening to those
who had
nothing to say.

All those years
how everything
has its own voice
to make
itself heard.

All those years
how easily
you can belong
to everything
simply by listening.

And the slow
of remembering
how everything
is born from
an opposite
and miraculous

Silence and winter
has led me to that

So let this winter
of listening
be enough
for the new life
I must call my own.

— Excerpt from "The Winter of Listening" from  The House of Belonging . © Many Rivers Press, 1997.
Denise Brumbaugh
Youth Ministry
Program Coordinator
Sue Tait
Director, Resource Center
Grace La Torra
Director for Adult Faith Formation
Dean, Iona School
Aemelia Tripp
Seattle Service Corps
Faith Formation & Communications
2019 - 2020
Valerie Reinke
Canon for Faith Formation:
35 and Under
Faith Formation | The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia | 206.325.4200 |