Justice

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“Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?”

– The Baptismal Covenant, The Book of Common Prayer

 

Saint Mark’s Justice Ministries Mission: To engage the St. Mark’s community in justice issues, to acknowledge and address our own complicity in injustice, to serve and support those who are in need, to advocate for peace and economic justice, to pursue sustainability and ecological justice, to partner with other congregations and organizations serving and providing opportunities to those in need, and to celebrate the opportunity to serve.

As part of our commitment to justice, Saint Mark’s recently adopted a Statement of Commitment and Action, expressing our responsibility to respect the dignity of every human being, strive for justice and peace among all people, and seek and serve Christ in all persons. The statement was born out of concerns about the increase in statements and actions in our nation that target particular groups of people based on their skin color, their religious affiliation, their gender or orientation, their disabilities, or their country of birth. These are artificial divisions that we vehemently denounce as discriminatory and disrespectful. We believe our nation can do better, and we pledge to work toward that better vision. We commit to being a network of activists, in God’s name, joining others who similarly pledge to actively pursue justice. 

AIDS Care Team

AIDS Care Team provides companionship and practical assistance to people living with AIDS. Outings, social contact, shopping and simple household assistance are examples of how team members interact with their “care partners.” The team works under the auspices and supervision of Samaritan Center of Puget Sound. Contact: Sharon Ferguson.

Greenbelt Group

The Greenbelt Group helps maintain and restore the greenbelt slope to the south and west of the Cathedral by removing invasive plants, maintaining the trails, and replanting with native vegetation. Bi-monthly work parties meet at the trailhead on the south side of the parking lot at the Greenbelt sign. Contact: Robert Hayden.

Habitat for Humanity

Saint Mark’s Habitat volunteers team up with the Seattle Habitat affiliate and with Habitat International to build affordable homes locally, nationally, and internationally, working alongside the families who will live in and own these homes. The group organizes a monthly workday devoted to a project in the Seattle area. The current project is focused on renovations here on campus, in Saint Mark’s Leffler House, to prepare for the arrival of Seattle Service Corps volunteers who will reside there. The team will also start a new building project in Sammamish soon. Questions? Contact: Jacquelyn Miller or Gordon Miller.

Hate Crimes/Hate Speech De-Escalation

There is an escalation in hate crimes, hate speech and bias incidents in both our local and worldwide communities. The Hate Crimes, Hate Speech, De-escalation Ministry was created in response to Saint Mark’s Cathedral Parish Statement of Commitment and Action. With God’s help, members of this ministry live out our baptismal covenant by respecting the dignity of every human being. Our goal is to offer hope and solutions to counter hateful acts. We will actively seek ways to identify, report, and confront hateful acts and behavior against all ethnic and religious groups, women, LGBTQ people, immigrants, people with disabilities, and all marginalized groups. We affirm our church as we stand together as a sanctuary and safe haven for people threatened by those who would attack them. Want to get involved? Contact: Bob Chapman, ministry leader.

Health Advocacy

Every fourth Sunday, Health Advocacy hosts a table in the Cathedral Nave with blood pressure screening, listening to health concerns, and a lending resource center. The table is be staffed by parishioners, including Registered Nurses. Stop by and receive a Health Awareness Tip for the month. Saint Mark’s also has a medical equipment resource center; equipment is housed in the boiler room near the Office of Cathedral and can be checked out by contacting the church office. Questions, or want to make a donation? Please contact Mary Segall.

Homeless Advocacy Ministry 

The Ministry’s mission is to engage with the congregation of Saint Mark’s, seeking to educate the community about the situation of homeless people in our city, and about the issues surrounding homelessness in general, and accepting offerings of resources, time, and prayers. We welcome Tent City 3 to the Cathedral grounds when possible. Contact: David Wagner.

Hunger Offering

On the second Sunday of every month, the Cathedral collects a special offering to support several food programs in the Seattle area. This ministry is currently helping the following hunger programs: Compass Center, Lifelong AIDS Alliance, Pike Market Food Bank, Immanuel Community Services, Food Bank at St. Mary’s, and St. Brigid’s Banquet. Contact: Michael Perera.

Jubilee Debt Cancellation

Jubilee USA works for reforms on debt, tax, bank and financial institution reform. Our contribution of $1 per pledging household to Jubilee USA helps us to live into solidarity with impoverished people and impact millions of lives by changing the policies that keep people poor. Contact: Betsy Bell or follow Jubilee on Facebook.

Justice Ministry Coordinating Team

The JMCT encourages and supports the people of the Cathedral and their community allies as they answer God’s call for justice in the world. This Team coordinates the volunteer Justice Ministries by working in partnership with groups, setting standards of performance and providing oversight. Contact: Marjorie Ringness. You can read the minutes from past JMCT meetings here.

Mental Health Chaplaincy

The Mental Health Chaplaincy provides support to our neighbors living on the streets who struggle with a major mental illness, trauma and abuse, and chemical dependency. Staff and volunteers provide one-on-one spiritual care at a local hygiene center four days a week, and weekly at a Capitol Hill meal program, and in many other situations where no other chaplain is available. In addition, through education and advocacy we work to develop ministries to welcome, serve, and support individuals and their families facing the journey with serious and persistent mental disorders. Contact: Kae Eaton.

Mideast Focus

The Mideast Focus Ministry works through mission, prayer, education and action to bring understanding of justice and peace issues in the Middle East region to the Saint Mark’s Parish and to the greater Seattle community. A special Film Series put on by Mideast Focus runs in January and February–read more about it here. Contact: Marla Dittloff.

Mission to Seafarers

For over 160 years, the Anglican Mission to Seafarers has provided spiritual support and companionship, as well as practical help, to merchant sailors around the world. In the Diocese of Olympia, missioners visit workers aboard both cruise ships and cargo vessels, providing essential personal supplies and transportation, in addition to talking to and occasionally leading shipboard worship for sailors of all faiths. Be a part of a Saint Mark’s team to support sailors whose ships call at Puget Sound ports! Serve with friends and make new ones. Contact: the Rev. Earl Grout.

Noel House Shelter

Sunday through Thursday nights, up to 30 homeless women spend the night at Saint Mark’s as part of a shelter network run by Belltown-based Noel House Programs. Volunteers provide evening snacks, breakfast and conversation, working from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. or 9:00 to 10:30 p.m. More information at www.noelhouse.org. Contact: Norva Osborn & Linda Leisy at noelhouse@saintmarks.org.

Northwest Community Bail Fund

Being unable to post bail prior to trial can leave people with a tough choice—either plead guilty to a crime that they may not have committed, or stay in jail for weeks or months. Either choice can impact their job, their shelter/housing, and even custody of children. The Northwest Community Bail Fund has a mission to provide cash bail for people who are unable to pay due to poverty and who are charged with misdemeanor crimes in King or Snohomish County. This allows them to get out of jail during their trial period and defend themselves from a position of freedom. We are modeling the ministry on other bail funds that are currently in existence, namely the Bronx Freedom Fund and the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund. Contact: Mary Lonien, 877-622-6223 or info@nwcombailfund.org.

Oikocredit Support Northwest

Oikocredit is an international cooperative supporting responsible, sustainable development. We work to promote global justice by challenging investors to share their resources through socially responsible investments and by empowering disadvantaged people with credit. Contact: Rick Hodsdon.

Racial Reconciliation

The Racial Reconcliation Group at Saint Mark’s was created and is continually evolving to address the critical and prevasive problem of racism and racial injustice. Together, we confront these issues through processing, prayer, and action. All are welcome. Contact: the Rev. Jennifer King Daugherty, 206.323.0300, ×202.

Refugee Resettlement

The Diocese of Olympia’s Refugee Resettlement Office helps refugees and asylees achieve economic self-sufficiency. Our mission is accomplished through resettlement, job placement activities, and business development programs that promote self-employment. Contact: Marla Dittloff.

St. Brigid’s Banquet

St. Brigid’s Banquet is committed to providing hot, nutritious meals and hospitality to our guests. Meals are cooked and served by our volunteers for the men at the St. Martin de Porres shelter (every third Sunday), the Teen Feed meal in the University District (every second Friday). and for the Noel House women’s shelter in Belltown (every fourth Sunday). We also help cook for the Saint Mark’s Noel House shelter. Contact: Mary Lonien.

Sustainability Ministry

Saint Mark’s is a GreenFaith certified Green Cathedral, and as part of this commitment the Sustainability Ministry implements sustainable practices in congregational life and buildings and provides education to the congregation for use in our personal lives. Through our partnership with Diocesan Carbon Offset program, Earth Ministry, and Faith Action Network, we actively promote environmental stewardship and advocacy. Contact: Carolyn White.

UCEF

United Churches Emergency Fund (UCEF) is a coalition of local church congregations, individuals, and supporting organizations which provide assistance to people in danger of eviction or utility shut-off, and also provides limited assistance to the homeless. Read more about UCEF here. Contact: Louise Gringle.

Urban Garden

The Saint Mark’s kitchen garden on the west side of building, and the planned urban garden on Tenth Avenue, are evolving and welcome all (including children). We grow fruits and vegetables to support the Noel House Shelter at Saint Mark’s. (See also “Garden Ministry.) Contact: Brian Sellers-Petersen or Carolyn White.


Partner and Affiliate Organizations

Episcopal Relief & Development

ERD is our denomination’s organization that responds to human suffering around the world. We provide emergency assistance after disasters, rebuild communities, and help children and families climb out of poverty. More information can be found at episcopalrelief.org. Contact: Brian Sellers-Petersen.

Faith Action Network (FAN)

FAN is a statewide interfaith advocacy nonprofit organization through which thousands of people and more than 103 faith communities across Washington State partner for the common good. FAN believes that justice work is part of our religious calling. FAN communicates with elected officials about critical social issues and advocates for a more just and sustainable world. At Saint Mark’s the FAN Ministry advocates for justice on issues sponsored by Faith Action Network as well as other social, economic and environmental justice issues. More information at fanwa.org. Contact: Sarah Beer, Stacy Andersen, or Liz Shea.

Seattle Service Corps

Seattle Service Corps internship program is a chance for young adults to explore their faith through service and discern their call in a supportive community. A year spent in the program is a commitment to living in intentional Christian community with six other young adults, serving 32 hours per week at a local church or nonprofit, and participating in the worship and communal life of Saint Mark’s. This experience encourages personal growth, inspires spiritual transformation, and provides the means to discern vocational call, all while learning a new way to live out the revolutionary faith we are called to in Jesus Christ. Read more here, or contact: Malcolm McLaurin.