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.
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 as classes start in September, we will all be entering into a new season of growth and discovery.
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, each with a particular emphasis: 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 can know and be known and can contribute to the whole of who we are becoming.
The teams are composed of volunteers and meet weekly to discern and collaborate around a shared mission and objectives. All are welcome to apply. We welcome new members in December and in June each year. You can learn more about student leadership here on the student life page of the website.
Each realm has a student facilitator, and together the student facilitators form a body that we call the Quad. 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.
Bee Cook, Mosaic Facilitator
Hello! My name is Bee and I’m the new Mosaic Facilitator. My spouse, Nate, and I are passionate about getting out in nature with our pup and having deep conversations over a home cooked meal. We loved our time as Mosaic participants this last year and are excited to help other partners and spouses feel welcome and find a sense of belonging like we did.
Lori Bailey, Sacred Space Facilitator
I’m Lori, and I am an MDiv entering my third year. As your new Sacred Space Facilitator, I bring into this role a love of beauty and of play, as well as a passionate pursuit of what’s good and true. And I most enjoy doing this work in conversations and community— whether that’s in my role as an artist and musician at All Souls Church in my beloved West Seattle or within the red brick walls. It’s my honor to join you all in tilling the sacred soil of what we share at The Seattle School, and it would be doubly an honor to share a cup of coffee, a meal, and a good laugh with you in the months to come!
Jenna Elliott, Student Council Facilitator
Hi, I’m Jenna Elliott (she/her) and I’m entering into my 3rd and final year of the MACP program. I’m interested in intersections and complexity, and looking forward to supporting students and faculty as we venture into this new experience of a dual-model with both low-residencies and on-campus students. As we engage this new model, I’ll look forward to finding ways to connect students and faculty across modalities, time zones, locations, degree programs, and cohorts.
Together with these stellar and gifted teammates, I 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.