August is a magical month. Summer has had some time to work its way into us and we have a few weeks remaining in which to savor her good gifts. Here in the Pacific Northwest, these gifts can be found in the golden light of sunsets extending for long hours while we watch from home, over the water, or from mountainsides; the burgeoning of cherry tomatoes or summer squash in our gardens and on our balconies; or the sun-ripened blackberries that fill every nook and cranny of our neighborhoods.

And with the beginning of August, we also feel the nearness of fall, the coming of September, and the mystery of what the new academic year will bring. August could be said to be a liminal space in the calendar year, a threshold between seasons in which we savor what has been while wonder grows for what is yet to be. These days I am feeling this mystery all the more as we anticipate and prepare to begin the year together in new ways online.

I would venture to say that each of you incoming students is dwelling in a liminal space of your own, lingering at the threshold of who you have known yourself to be and who you are becoming; of where you have been and where you are going. Whether you have been in a literal process of moving this summer or you will be remaining in familiar places physically, we will all be entering into a new season of growth and discovery together.

At The Seattle School, we believe that the stuff of life is the stuff of relationships. We seek to honor the fleshiness of our humanity, the wisdom of our bodies’ deep knowing, and the profound creativity that happens as we encounter one another, allowing each other to sensitize and to open us more deeply to who we are and to who God is. Thus, becoming more fully you is essential to us becoming more fully us. Together we are life-long learners, committed to deepening our love for and investment in one another, and to the flourishing of all people and all places.

Each fall as we begin another academic year we ask this question: What will we create together?

The Office of Students and Alumni (OSA) collaborates with students, staff, and faculty to build relational structures that support our living, learning, and loving together. One such structure that has grown over the last 20 years is the ever evolving body of Student Leadership. Originally a single realm, Student Leadership has developed into what is now four realms: Anamchara, Mosaic, Sacred Space, and Student Council. These realms consist of both students and spouses of students who seek to create a community wherein the diversity and fullness of all of our personalities, ethnicities, perspectives, and giftedness have spaces to know and be known and to contribute to the whole of who we are becoming.

Every year in December and June, we welcome new members to each team. Each one has a student facilitator, and together the student facilitators form a body that we call the Quad. This past week, our new Quad met for the first time. Each Quad member has served for a time on a student leadership team and is now exploring how their own unique gifts will be expressed in the role of facilitator. As we begin our work together we are lingering in this magical month of August, listening for the life that has been gestating in the liminal spaces between the year behind and the year ahead, between what has been and what is yet to be.

You can learn more about the Student Leadership realms on the Student Life page of our website. Meanwhile, it is with great delight that I introduce you to this year’s Quad. Each of them has offered a few of their own words below.

Katey Hyde, Anamchara Facilitator

Hi, I’m Katey Hyde (She/Her/Hers), and I’m entering into my 3rd year of the MACP program at The Seattle School. When we’re back in the building, you’ll usually find me outside the large classroom with a cup of coffee, pondering out the window and staring over the railroad tracks at the water. My work and orientation in the world engages individuals as they find ways to situate themselves in community. I find community to be a place of holistic healing where we discover more of ourselves by being in relationship with another. I am grateful and honored to be doing this work in recognition of the many who have come before me, those who are with/for/alongside me now, and those who will come after.

Sheelagh and John Carleton, Mosaic Facilitators

We are your two-for-one special: Sheelagh and John Carleton, wife and husband, mother and father, spouse and MACP student. Entering into this work as MOSAIC facilitators, we bring a heart for connecting with others, a desire to share God’s love & light, and an enthusiasm for activities with other students and their families, partners and spouses, thus embracing the whole student! With our four kids, we enjoy exploring this awesome world around us, road tripping, hiking, beach combing, river floating, and stargazing. We enjoy family dinners and all kinds of board and card games. We look forward to getting to know you!

Millicent Haase, Sacred Space Facilitator

I’m Millicent, a 4th year MDiv student at The Seattle School. I grew up in Hawai’i before moving to Seattle and completing my BA and MA in Comparative Religion at the University of Washington. It was at the UW that I fell in love with teaching and student leadership and since have gone on to teach and lead in different educational settings. Since beginning my work at The Seattle School, I have also been pastoring at Seattle’s Awake Church. I am thrilled for the opportunity to steward sacred spaces for The Seattle School community – especially in times such as these – and to bless our work together this year.

Daniel Rusco, Student Council Facilitator

I’m an autodidact with a quick wit who always has his nose in at least one book. I like DIY projects, YouTube cooking shows, and 72hr fermented pizza dough. I believe life is more about growing in character than status and hope to bring that energy to my work with Student Leadership.

Together, we welcome you to The Seattle School! We look forward to getting to know you over the next few years, and to knowing what life and flourishing looks like as we partner with you to create something new.