Support for those Affected by the Eastern Washington fires: How you can help

In a July 25 pastoral email, Bishop Greg Rickel said, "I just received word from Bishop Jim Waggoner of the Diocese of Spokane regarding the fires in eastern Washington and how we might contribute to the immediate relief and ongoing rebuilding of the suffering communities. I urge you to read it and respond as you can to our beloved neighbors." You may donate online through the Diocese of Olympia here: Eastern Washington Fire Relief (link also under Make a Donation in the right hand column of the Home page), or send checks directly to the Diocese of Spokane offices designated for the Disaster Relief Fund: 2014 fires, 245 E 13th Ave, Spokane, WA 99202.   

Letter from Bishop Jim Waggoner: For over two weeks we have been facing widespread, devastating fires in the Diocese of Spokane, the greatest damage and immediate threats to life occurring in Central Washington. Late yesterday I was able to speak with leaders in Brewster, Leavenworth, and Omak who confirmed that while fires are increasingly contained, they still threaten, and immediate response continues as longer term recovery efforts increase. Read more »

Diocese of Olympia cleric receives fellowship for poverty alleviation

The Rev. Sarah Monroe has received a one-year $24,000 Domestic Poverty Fellowship for social justice and advocacy work for The Episcopal Church, announced Samuel McDonald, Episcopal Church Director of Mission and Deputy Chief Operating Officer. Focusing on the Anglican Marks of Mission Mark 4 and Mark 5, the 2014
Justice and Advocacy Fellowships are sponsored by the Episcopal Church Read more »

Child Migrant Crisis: A Message from Hannah Perls, our missionary in El Salvador

In sharing an update from Diocese of Olympia YASC (Young Adult Service Corps) missionary Hannah Perls, Bishop Rickel said, "As we hear lots of information from inside our country about the growing numbers of fleeing children and youth on our borders, I asked Hannah for a view from Central America."

Last week in El Salvador there were 13 murders within 12 hours, many within 10 minutes walking distance of my house here in San Salvador. The thing is, I had no idea until I saw the newspaper the next morning. El Salvador has recorded over 2,000 murders in 2014 alone, but I never see it because of a few very intentional lifestyle choices. I only travel in private taxis or in cars with friends. I live in a gated community with a guard who patrols at night in a house where you have to unlock three separate doors to get in. I avoid buses and the most dangerous areas of the city. If I walk at night, it's always with a large, male friend and only in areas I know. Read more »

Bishop Rickel ordains five to the priesthood July 22 at St. Mark's Cathedral

On Tuesday, July 22, the Rt. Rev. Gregory H Rickel ordained Jennifer King Daugherty, John Forman, Josh Hosler, Laura Murray, and Alissa Newton to the sacred order of priests. Family, friends, their sponsoring congregations, the clergy of the diocese, and well-wishers filled St Mark’s Cathedral on the Feast of St Mary Magdalene to celebrate this momentous moment in the life of church. Read more »

Outside Church Walls - The Power of Why

This past weekend I worshiped at an Episcopal church in Savannah, Georgia. It became apparent this small congregation had experienced a split in the past year, and were in a process of re-evaluating their purpose. During announcements at the end of the service, a working group reported on their plan for reconciliation: small groups of remaining parishioners would visit every person who had left, with an emphasis on listening.
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Supporting Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem’s Response in Gaza

Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem’s Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City with funding for food and fuel as it responds to urgent needs during the current crisis. Despite structural damage to the hospital from the impact of Israeli airstrikes, Al-Ahli staff have maintained round-the-clock presence and care for those who have been wounded. Further adding to the strain are shortages in medical supplies and fuel for electrical generators. The hospital’s food supplies are stretched as they provide for patients, their families, hospital staff and those from the community seeking aid. Read more »

Prayers for the Holy Land and Our Southern Border

In his latest blog post, Bishop Greg Rickel talks about two current human crises: the Middle East and specifically Jerusalem and Gaza situation, and that on our southern borders. They are both situations where, as Episcopalians, we can have a direct impact and connection and to offer information on how anyone who wishes might help. Read the post here. Read more »

Nina Boe, YASC missionary - My work in Brazil

Hello from Rio! Now that things have calmed down a little, I can write a bit about the last few weeks, and my first month back in Brazil – because, amazingly enough, it’s already been a month! So what’s been happening? What am I doing, after all?

[Nina Boe is a member of St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in West Seattle. This is her second year of mission work in Brazil with the Episcopal Young Adult Service Corps (YASC), a program of the Episcopal Church for young adults ages 21-30 to spend a year in international service. Her first year was in the Anglican Diocese of Sao Paulo. You can read more at her blog, or check out this video.]

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Andrea McMillin appointed Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Northern California

The Office of the Bishop [Diocese of Northern California] has announced that the Rev. Andrea McMillin will be joining its staff as the new Canon to the Ordinary beginning September 1, 2014.

"This is a wonderful day for Andrea McMillin and a sad one for me and the Diocese of Olympia," said Bishop Greg Rickel. "Still I rejoice that this puts her in a place to utilize her remarkable skills with which she has graced us these past years."  Read more »

Church Property Dispute Comes to a Graceful End as Covenant Agreement Concludes

Episcopal diocese, departing Anglican parishes reach agreement with no court action. The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia and two Anglican churches that left the Episcopal Church in 2004 have reached an amicable settlement that returns all property to the diocese while making it possible for all parties to continue with their ministries.

St. Charles Church, Poulsbo and Grace by the Sea, Oak Harbor disassociated from the Episcopal Church in 2004 and placed themselves under the authority of an Anglican bishop in Brazil.
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Vancouver parish breaks ground on major building project

St. Luke, Vancouver, the original congregation of the Oregon Territories has broken ground on a $500,000 renovation project. The project expands the Nave and enlarges the choir loft to accommodate the growing number of singers, now at nearly 30, as well as adding a second ADA restroom. It will also provide indoor access leading from the Nave to parish hall and access to the basement for those using wheelchairs, walkers and other devices. Read more »

Pentecost Photo Contest Winners

It was a tight vote, but we have a winner. Congratulations to Karen Connelly for her ribbon depiction of Pentecost. Head over to our Facebook page to see her work.

Honorable mention goes to Suzi Robertson for Good Samaritan, Sammamish, on Pentecost Sunday. Read more »

Celebrate World Refugee Day

The Diocese of Olympia Refugee Resettlement Office shares the success story of Abel

For young people like Abel, a 24-year old refugee from Eritrea, the prospect of starting from scratch in a new society on his own hit him suddenly. “You know, I think all people want to make success. But we struggle, all of us do. That was what I realized right away. That maybe I needed a little help,” Abel said. Read more »

2014 Vacation Bible School

Are you looking for something for the kids to do over summer? Find a Vacation Bible School nearby.

Is your church running a Vacation Bible School? Let us know by emailing details to and we'll list it.

First Nations Committee offers Scholarships to Vancouver School of Theology summer session

The First Nations Committee is offering two scholarships in the amount of $2,500 each to indigenous members of the Diocese of Olympia who would benefit from further education in Native Studies as set forth at the Summer Session at the Vancouver School of Theology. Preference will be given to those seeking ordained or lay leadership within their community and congregation. Unless recipient is enrolled in a degree program, these scholarships will be limited to no more than two years’ funding.
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Outside Church Walls: The Caged Bird Set Free

Maya-AngelouMaya Angelou died today. She was a great inspiration to me. She lived part of her early life in Arkansas, my home state, in a world that might as well have been another planet due to the great chasm then, and even now, between the world of white privilege and the world of the African-American in the south. She did in fact, "rise" above that and taught us all.  Read more »

Money at the Apostles' Feet: Building a Budget

We know very little about how the early church funded itself. We know that the apostles had a common purse and that Jesus sent the apostles to get food from a village which, presumably, had to be paid for. We know that Barnabas sold a field and gave the proceeds to the apostles, in contrast to Ananias and Sapphira who kept funds from the apostles (and met a dreadful end). We know that Paul spent money on travel across the Empire and brought funds back to the apostles in Jerusalem. And we know that deacons gave money to the poor and bought food for widows and orphans. Clearly, the church in its earliest days needed money to accomplish its mission. Read more »

La Iglesia de la Resurreccion seeks Summer Camp Teachers

La Iglesia de la Resurrección, a partner Episcopal Church in the Komo Kulshan Cluster, is offering a four-week Summer Day Camp from July 21-August 15 that seeks to empower immigrant children through community development and education. Applications are being accepted for experienced teachers or student teachers who are interested in working in a culturally and linguistically diverse environment. Job Application Read more »

A trip to El Salvador with Bishop Gene Robinson

Cristosal FoundationThe Committee for Exploring a Companion Relationship between the Diocese of Olympia and the Episcopal Church in El Salvador has just learned that Bishop Gene Robinson will be joining a course tour presented by the Cristosal Foundation on LGBTI ministry and rights this July 7-14. This is a wonderful opportunity for people in the Diocese of Olympia to go to El Salvador and learn about an this exciting ministry of the Episcopal Church with gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender folks. Read more »

Pentecost Photo Contest

Show us your best Pentecost photo! Pentecost is a time of color, and joy, and celebration. Pentecost is a time ripe for photography. To celebrate, the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia is hosting a Pentecost-themed photography contest. Show us how your church celebrates Pentecost, or perhaps, what Pentecost means to you.

The winner will be featured as our facebook cover photo for two weeks. Read more »