Saint Paul’s, Seattle – a future
Sunday, September 16, 2018 at 1:25PM
Robert Gallagher

Over the years “Means of Grace, Hope of Glory” has posted a number of articles about Saint Paul’s (see below this piece).  

Today’s is a thought about the future. Really a slice of the future. We’ve had this notion floating within us for about a year now. It was set off by two needs. First, was the reality that the labyrinth is rarely used as a place of spiritual practice anymore. Second, was hearing a member of a religious community wonder aloud about having a house in Seattle.

The sermon this morning about bearing the cross – “let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” – caused us to return to last year’s thinking. The preacher wondered about the reality of the labyrinth, with the syringes and human waste, with those who most frequently sit and sleep there, and the call of the cross. It was just “wondering.”  Maybe dropping a thought that might be picked up and moved someplace.

Here’s our thought.

Take all the property of the parish -- except the liturgical space, parish hall, and garden with its ashes of the departed – take the existing labyrinth, the parking lot and the parish house and build a new complex upon that land.

1.    A floor or two with pod housing for those struggling with homelessness. Maybe a focus on families. Contract with a social service agency to run it.

2.    A floor for an Episcopal religious community. The community would pay rent and care for the space.

3.    A chapel on the ground floor. The current chapel, by the parish office, isn’t accessible for those with mobility problems.

4.    Two or three floors of market rate housing. That would help offset costs.

5.    A garden on the roof for leisure, reflection and growing food.

6.    Parish office, meeting rooms, sacristy.

7.    Underground parking.


We don’t really want to sell the idea. Our hope is that others might come up with even better futures for the parish’s land use.

How is your parish using its land? How does it offer awe, adoration and service?


Michelle Heyne , OA & Bob Gallagher, OA

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Article originally appeared on Congregational Development (
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