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Greetings, People of the Diocese of Olympia:

The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.

After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.

We, you and I, are right at the beginning of listening again to the central story we’ve been given as the Christian folk—the story we hear during Holy Week as we await the coming of Easter.

That story is made up of a number of smaller stories.

On Monday in Holy Week, we hear the story of the woman who anoints Jesus’s feet with perfume and Jesus’s interpretation that she is anointing his body for burial.

On Tuesday in Holy Week, we hear the story of people who go to Jesus’s disciples and want to see him. In response to this, Jesus says to his disciples, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

On Wednesday in Holy Week, we hear the story of Jesus predicting that he will be betrayed by one of his own.

On Maundy Thursday, we hear the story of Jesus’s meal with his friends and his washing of their feet, all to teach them to serve one another.

On Good Friday, we hear the story of Jesus’s arrest and crucifixion.

And finally, on Holy Saturday, we hear the story of Jesus entombed, the quiet story that sets the stage for Jesus’s resurrection from the dead.

Story after story after story after story.

And in and through them all, I believe that this is the invitation:

That we walk these stories one at a time, one step at a time, one emotion at a time.

That we walk these stories step by step, as the visual we have for Holy Week suggests, the visual of the stairs in the woods headed downward.

That we walk these stories, step by step, and, in doing so, inhabit them.

For this story, the story of God in Christ pouring out God’s very life for our sake and the sake of the world is the story of our lives as Christians.

It is the story of a suffering that wounds, that lays low unto death, but through the resurrection, will not extinguish the power of God.

It is the story of things that fall apart, shattering into many pieces but in the resurrection will be made new by the Creator of all.

It is the story of a beautiful dwelling place that God will build in the place of bitter disappointments and ashes.

I encourage you to read and reflect on the Eucharistic readings each day for Holy Week. A way to do this is to go to

My best wishes to you during Holy Week.

Holy Week 2024: A Message from Bishop Skelton

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