Spotlight on Outreach

Compiled by John Wallingford

The Cathedral reached out to our community in some new ways these last few months, in addition to long-time outreach endeavors such as volunteering at Crosswalk, West Central Episcopal Mission, or the Windfall. Have you heard about these new opportunities? Here is a wrap up and a hint of things to come.

  • We answered phones during the KSPS fund drive. Chatting with callers in kindness made me think about Meals on Wheels, where the kindness of conversation is worth as much as the food. Or crisis hotlines where conversation can be a life saver. One elderly man living 80 miles north of Calgary bought tickets for a concert in Calgary as a Christmas present for his wife. We talked about when he’d spring the surprise. It was lovely, listening to his talk about the love he had for his life’s partner.
  • We joined Lands Council for the 15th annual Spokane river clean up, working the edge of the river to fetch beer cans and such, lulled by the rhythmic chatter of water over rapids. Not much more than a mile from the center of the city, you could hardly see evidence of development. This river is a treasure, clear and clean.
  • The visit to Hutton Settlement was described in the Chimes. There are a number of people who were not able to go then, but who would like to tour. Hutton’s Program Director David Milliken was one of the panelists at the Empty Bowls fundraiser for West Central Episcopal Mission on Sept 28th as was Bishop Rehberg, speaking to the importance of partnerships in Outreach. If you are interested in touring Hutton, let me, Gretchen Ramey or Mike Leiserson know and we’ll keep you informed as we set up the next tour.
  • Chapter submitted a resolution to Convention for our Diocese to plant Paris Groves of trees, respecting the Paris Climate accord. Our research established new relations with the Finch Arboretum, the Spokane Soil Conservation District, Lands Council and Spokane Ponderosa, each of whom has recommended sites for Groves. One possibly overseen by the WA Dept of Transportation is alongside the North/South corridor. Imagine a Cathedral Grove there! We expect to work through the winter to refine plans for spring planting season.
  • The Cathedral was invited to join Spokane 350, a new interfaith group for environmental concerns. This group offers a collective voice for environmental issues, stay tuned to learn of opportunities for involvement.
  • We have reached out to the League of Women voters to see how the Cathedral can help their efforts to educate and encourage participation in voting. September’s Episcopal Journal‘s lead story was on the responsibility Episcopalians have to vote! Our via media tradition positions us well to help the process, holding our personal political perspectives in check. It is getting late for the current election, but we hopefully have started a long-term relationship.

We expect to begin a new phase of Outreach activity by convening regular Committee meetings. Watch for the announcement of a meeting in early November.

Finally, let me invite you to propose outreach activities.  I’d love to see every parishioner active in at least one reach out into our community. What activity would you invite your fellow parishioners– or folks who are not yet a part of our faith community– to join you to do?

Meet our new Deacon: the Rev. Jake Andrews

I come to Spokane with my wife, Chris, and our son, Jonah. We were most recently living in Iowa, where I earned my MFA in English from the University of Iowa; I taught there and at Iowa State. But I do not have divided loyalties: I’m originally from Alabama, so I cheer for the Crimson Tide (if I cheer for anyone)!

Before our time in Iowa, Chris and I lived in Scotland and England. Chris earned her PhD in English from the University of St Andrews, and I earned my PhD in Divinity from the University of Aberdeen. I taught theology and was a researcher at the Universities of St Andrews and Cambridge.

I started my journey to ordination with the United Methodist Church in Alabama before becoming an Episcopalian in seminary. I began my formal discernment process with the Scottish Episcopal Church and then life took us to England and then to Iowa, where my process reached its conclusion with my ordination to the transitional diaconate just last summer. Life again intervened, and we moved to Spokane where I have taken a position as Assistant Professor of English at Whitworth, where I teach creative writing. Chris and Jonah are adjusting to life in Spokane before Chris starts looking for a job. If you talk with me long enough, I will mention Augustine – the subject of my doctoral studies – and my theological (and fictional) interests have to do with articulating God’s grace in the midst of the suffering and hardships that life throws our way. But enough about me! Jonah loves the music at the cathedral and he sometimes says “ding ding” where he thinks bells should chime during the Eucharist. Chris is passionate about the liturgy and has a long history of serving parishes (but I won’t say how so as not to volunteer her inadvertently!).

Deacon’s Corner

by Dave Walker

“Ministry is how we practice living our faith, preparing us for living our faith outside of the Cathedral.  Outreach is the subset of ministry that gets us out of our comfort zone and broadens our understanding of the love of God for all persons and all of creation.  Like prayer, fellowship, and the reading of Scripture, Outreach is the stuff we need to build personal faith and build our faith community.”                                                                                                                        John Walllingford, Sr. Warden


For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Romans 12:4-5


Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

1 Corinthians 12:27


What a glorious weekend at St. John’s!!! There was such a great spirit of praise and thanksgiving, warmth and welcome among the worship services on both Saturday and Sunday capped by the amazing turnout and participation with the Ministry Fair. It was one of those weekends where I truly felt the sense of us being a “community under construction” as we gathered for worship and enjoyed each other’s company over a meal and conversation. It was great meeting new folks, reacquainting with longer-term members who’ve been away for the summer and having the opportunity to get to know others who call St. John’s “home” during the weekend. There was certainly a lot of planning and execution of the planning that made the weekend what it was, especially all the behind-the-scene stuff with cooking, set-up and program elements. WAY TO GO!!!


As we enter a new and exciting future with Heather and her family’s arrival with us, the opportunities abound for how we will collectively use our skills, talents and resources in ways that form and shape us as followers of Christ. The ripple effect of our numerous Outreach ministries has both tangible and spiritual ramifications for those we serve through these ministries and for our own understanding of how God is working in us. The energy displayed by the individuals who represented the various ministries was inspiring and I left the festivities with high hopes for our communal commitment to serve those outside and inside the Cathedral through these hands-on and more behind-the-scene ministries.


What I’m most excited about is the potential for how we can collectively bring all our God-given gifts in service to others as we get to know one another better, serve together in ministry, pray together, worship together and welcome both newcomers and long-timers as members of the body, the church. I really appreciated Heather’s challenge for us in this regard. I personally believe that it is in our “doing” when combined with our “faith” where we get to truly experience the power of God in our lives and in those we’re called to serve. It’s our working and worshiping together, with God’s help and leading, that will build up St. John’s as a place of welcome for all people and where we can engage this collective journey of faith in hope, love and service.




Better Know a Parishioner: Kathie Hawkins

I’m Kathie Hawkins. Outside my work at the Cathedral, I work for Travelers Insurance as a licensed insurance agent in 45 states. My hobbies include cooking and sewing and my mini garden on my patio.

What is your history at St. John’s Cathedral, and the Episcopal Church at large?  

My husband Dallas grew up in an Anglican Church in Calgary, while I grew in the Assemblies of God Church as a young person. I was searching for a Church home with a more structured liturgy, which we both found at St John’s about 13 years ago.

What ministries at St. John’s are you most passionate about? If none at St. John’s, what ministries in Spokane are you most passionate about?

Oh where do I begin?  I think I am most passionate about the Verger ministry, since that is my job almost every week. Keeping things running smoothly for our worship is important to me. I also enjoy being the Acolyte leader, as well as the fellowship of Daughters of the King.

I am active in Altar Guild and of course, St. Monica Guild since I love to cook.

What is one thing you’d like to know more about at St. John’s?

I would love to become more knowledgeable about our history, and learn every detail of our Cathedral. One day I will do just that!

What is one thing you would like St. John’s to know more about you?

Most of you already know my love for St John’s. It is my second home!

Racial Reconciliation and the Episcopal Church: Charlottesville

Last weekend marked the year-anniversary of the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. We in the Inland Northwest share a history of challenges from white supremacist groups and ideologies. In the past decade alone, we might remember the 2011 attempted bombing of the Martin Luther King Day parade or the racist flyers that have been repeatedly posted around town. While we are time zones away from Charlottesville, curated resources in response to those events can shed light on race relations in the United States today and help us to respond as people of faith. Learning is key to reconciliation – in order to repent and make amends, we must understand what was done and how it continues to shape our lives today. In that spirit, here are three resources that you might explore in the coming month.

  1. Congregate Charlottesville, the website for an interfaith organization committed to “faith-rooted action and justice oriented education. Congregate Charlottesville equips and prepares people of faith to bear public witness to (in)justice and educates faith communities on issues of justice and liberation.” The Christian resources include liturgy, prayers, and “resources for repair” in the spirit of repentance for complicity in white supremacy, among other goals.
  2. JSTOR’s Charlottesville Syllabus, subtitled “Readings on the History of Hate in America”
  3. The Charlottesville Syllabus, a collection of links put together by UVA Graduate Students Coalition for Liberation designed “to educate readers about the long history of white supremacy in Charlottesville, Virginia”


Better Know a Parishioner: Nicole Sheets

I’m Nicole Sheets, and I teach in the English department at Whitworth University.

What is your history at St. John’s Cathedral, and the Episcopal Church at large?

I joke that I’m a common law Episcopalian because I’ve attended an Episcopal church off and on for the last 18 years, but I haven’t been confirmed. I moved to Spokane in 2010 and started attending St. John’s regularly the year after.

What ministries at St. John’s are you most passionate about?

I’ve heard choirs described as a church within the church, and that’s certainly been true for me at St. John’s. Janet Ahrend and Tim Westerhaus have taught me a lot about music, and what it means to sing as part of an ensemble. I love that there are professional musicians as well as amateurs like me in the choir. And it’s really an intergenerational ministry, which isn’t all that common.

The Cathedral Choir has been my home at St. John’s, and the center of my spiritual practice. I feel more deeply connected to the church calendar, as the music in our rehearsal folder reflects the more introspective seasons of Advent and Lent, and the exuberance of Eastertide. Maybe it’s just the fancy robe, but when I process with the choir on a Sunday morning, I have a heightened attention to what’s happening in the service. Certainly, working on my singing has made me a better listener. My son, Henry, was born last September, and I’ve taken a break from the choir. I miss it very much, and you can hear me belting out hymns in the children’s area in the South Transept.

What is one thing you’d like to know more about at St. John’s?

Now that I’m experiencing St. John’s with two young children, I’d like to learn more about St. John’s youth ministries. I grew up in a different tradition, so I really don’t know what it’s like to be an Episcopal kid. This is maybe exceeding my “one thing” I’d like to know, but I wonder if St. John’s will one day have an outdoor play structure. I was on Chapter when the short-lived Playground Exploratory Committee presented its report. The dream still lives!

A Fond Farewell

A lot can happen in three years.

Three years ago, I was ordained a Priest here at St. John’s Cathedral. It was a great moment in my life and a launching off point for what I am sure will be a life well-filled. Just under three years ago, I started working here at St. John’s Cathedral, the newest Curate, ready to cut my teeth in real ministry and put all of my seminary learnings to good use. It was just over a year ago, that you helped my wife and I welcome our baby girl Charlee into the church as she was baptised here. And it was this past year that we’ve lived into the uncertainty of transition together. It has been these past three years that have taught me a lot about what it means to be a priest, what it looks like to live into that vocation, how I can take what I have learned here with me as I answer the call to serve as the next Rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, in Longview, Washington.

This past year in particular has allowed me to really stretch my learning and put into practice those things I learned in my first two years, while also growing with and learning from this community. Whether it be our exploration together last fall on what mission and outreach means to us as a community, or the experiment that turned into a regular offering of the Joyful Noise Eucharist this past spring, we have worked diligently and faithfully together to create formation, liturgy, and community here at St. John’s. This past year of faithful community discernment and transition period living has also influenced my own personal discernment as I sought my next calling to serve God’s church.

I particularly want to thank the youth and young adult(ish) people of this congregation. I have spent much of my time and energy working with these groups of people in our community, and I have loved every minute of it. Whether it be attending youth group every week, helping grow the Yoga at the Cathedral program, doing seasonal book studies, attending baseball (and hockey and basketball) games, and launching a new concert experience, these people have inspired me in my ministry to see church in new ways.

Ultimately I want to thank this congregation and the people within it that have given me a platform in order to succeed. It started with Bill Ellis, someone I will always treasure having had the opportunity to learn under. It ends in our time of transition as we (not so) patiently await the arrival of our next Dean, Heather. I know that this place and this congregation are in fine position to help lead the church into our unknown future, and I will be excited to see how the Cathedral of Spokane, the Cathedral on the Hill, continues to live out its call to ministry in the greater Spokane community and Spokane Diocese.

Thank you.