Slideshow image
Slideshow image
Slideshow image
Slideshow image
nav image
nav image
nav image
nav image
Early in the morning of May 31st, 2011 the staff of the Synod office left the cozy confines of 401 West Georgia, boarded an Amtrak train at the old CN terminal on Main Street and travelled the 180 kliks south to Seattle, Washington.
The purpose of the trip was to connect Bishop Michael Ingham and the staff of the D of NW with the staff of the Diocese of Olympia (visit their excellent website) and Bishop Greg Rickel; have some food, share some information about our ministries and attend the “nooner” game, June 1st at Safeco field between the Seattle Mariners and the Baltimore Orioles.
We share many things with the Diocese of Olympia, among them, our names.
Although headquartered in Seattle they are the Diocese of Olympia which is a much smaller city (albeit the State Capitol) and we are the Diocese of New Westminster with our Cathedral church and offices in Vancouver.
This time together had been in the works for many years and it is hoped that now that we have taken the first step to get to know one another, our relationship will grow, and together we will continue to share ideas for mission in ministry in the place that has become known as Cascadia. Cascadia, a part of the world where secularism is the fastest growing “ism” and many inhabitants identify as “spiritual but not religious.”
The D of NW visitors arrived at the Diocese of Olympia offices at 5:45pm on May 31st.
The offices are located about 500 metres north of St. Mark’s Cathedral on 10th street in the Capitol Hill district, one of Seattle’s nicest (and coolest) neighbourhoods. The offices are not in a church or in an office building but in a stone mansion built between 1903 and 1905 by Canadian businessman, John Leary who moved to Seattle from New Brunswick in 1869 at the age of 32. In 1892 he married (his second marriage) Eliza Ferry the daughter of Washington State’s first elected Governor and together they planned and built this magnificent structure located in the wooded area on the hill overlooking Lake Union.
(The view from the Solarium which has served since 1948 as the Bishop's Office is spectacular.) Unfortunately John Leary didn’t live long enough to see the house completed.
Subsequently, the Diocese purchased the home in 1948 for $45,000 and what followed were: many renovations, the selling off of the very valuable Tiffany windows and a near disastrous arson fire in 1987.
The D of NW staff received a very warm welcome from our D of O counterparts and a pleasant evening was had by all. Eleven D of NW staff and at least two dozen D of O staff both paid and volunteer sat down and enjoyed a delicious meal of grilled pork loin prepared by Chuck Hamilton (Diocesan Coordinator for Episcopal Relief and Development {think PWRDF}) who happens to be the partner of Kathy Hamilton the Canon for Youth and Young Adults and a major force in organizing this summit.
The next morning we met again again at Diocesan House for a delicious buffet breakfast and two hours of facilitated discussions about our ministries. The discussions were engaging and inspiring and left us all eager for more time together.
At 11:30am it was time to brave the relentless late spring drizzle and travel the six kilometres to Safeco field for the ballgame. Kathy Hamilton had secured box seats (they treated us) on the third level in right field for our group. The retractable roof was closed and the attendance at the game was soft except for the third level bleachers above us, filled with thousands of elementary and middle school aged kids enjoying a mid-week field trip.
The game was a pitchers duel with very little offence.
With the score 1-1 in the 5th a Seattle batter hit a long hard liner to centre field. Baltimore Centre Fielder, Adam Jones made a highlight reel, circus catch running up the outfield wall to make the grab. The Mariner’s fans around us groaned louder than usual because highly touted prospect Jones had come up through the Seattle organization and started his Big League career with the Mariners in 2006 before being traded to the Orioles in 2008.
With the score still tied 1-1 in the 7th it was Jones’ turn at the plate and he launched a home run down the third base line. More groans. Baltimore 2 Seattle 1.
After Baltimore went down in order in the top of the 9th, it was time for “Rally Caps.”
The rally caps superstition for those who don’t know, involves turning one’s baseball cap inside out, re-shaping the brim and positioning it on the head at an awkward angle. This apparently creates some positive energy and can result in the home team scoring enough runs in the bottom of the 9th to emerge victorious.
Even with two Diocesan Bishops and several clergy wearing rally caps the mojo wasn’t great enough and the game ended 2-1.
Many of the group then relocated to a nearby establishment and watched the first period of Game One of the Stanley Cup final before walking the few blocks to the train station and returning home.
The D of NW staff look forward to welcoming the D of O staff to Vancouver in the near future.
Images: Top left, Rev. Eileen Nurse and Archdeacon Ronald Harrison find their seats for the four hour train ride from Vancouver to Seattle. Right middle, the D of NW staff is welcomed by the D of O folks in the reception room of Diocesan House. Lower left, Bishop Greg, Bishop Michael and Rev. Canon Janet sporting rally caps but to no avail. Below the giant screen at Safeco field displays a special message.