Holy Week message from Bishop Skelton

This Holy Week message for 2023 comes from the Bishop Provisional of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, the Most Rev. Mellissa Skelton.

A Holy Week message

Greetings people of the Diocese of Olympia. I speak to you today from the traditional and hereditary lands of the Duwamish people.

I don’t enjoy the world of punning, making puns very much. But while I was out for a walk the other day, I thought of a pun on Holy Week that I thought was good that I want to tell you about. Holy Week is also wholly week. Holy Week is also wholly week.

What do I mean by this? During Holy Week, you and I get to walk in the path of the one sent by God to live our lives wholly. That is, completely, fully, all in all, the heights, the depths, the strange in between times, everything.

On Palm Sunday, part of what we get to do is to walk in the steps of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem with a kind of giddiness.

On Maundy Thursday, we get to sit at table with Jesus and his friends in an intimate meal and engage in an equally intimate foot washing. That same night, we get to watch in fear and helplessness as Jesus is arrested as a part of a betrayal by one of his own.

On Good Friday, we get to witness Jesus’ public execution on a cross and, as a part of this, face our own mortality.

Then finally, on Holy Saturday, we get to wait quietly in between times, not knowing or understanding what’s about to happen next.

Holy Week is our way of experiencing a God whose humanity is wholly reflective of our humanity. It’s also a chance for us to visit and better understand some painful moments in our own lives, past, present, and yet to come. Painful moments that we often just put to the side.

I invite you, I urge you, to walk with Jesus completely, wholly during Holy Week. For His path is the path of our own humanity. His path is the path of life.

—The Most Rev. Mellissa Skelton

Resources for Holy Week 2023

The Most Reverend Melissa Skelton

The Most Reverend Melissa Skelton is the Bishop Provisional in the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia. The diocese voted to place itself under the authority of Bishop Skelton at the Diocese of Olympia’s 2022 Diocesan Convention.

Bishop Skelton has deep ties to the Diocese of Olympia, previously serving as the rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Seattle and as the Canon for Congregational Development and Leadership for the Diocese of Olympia. During this time, she developed and launched the College for Congregational Development, which continues to this day and is currently hosted by eight dioceses across the Episcopal Church.

In 2013, Bishop Skelton was elected 9th Bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster [Vancouver], The Anglican Church of Canada. In 2018, she was elected Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of British Columbia and Yukon, making her the first woman in the Anglican Church of Canada to hold the position of Archbishop.

Before her time in the Diocese of Olympia, Bishop Skelton served as rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Castine, Maine, while also serving as the Executive Director of a land trust. Prior to this, she was Vice President for Consumer Products and Community Engagement at Tom’s of Maine, Vice President for Administration at The General Theological Seminary, and Brand Manager at The Proctor & Gamble Company. While at General Seminary, she served as the Director of the College for Bishops.

Bishop Skelton holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of South Carolina, a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago, and a Master if Divinity from Virginia Theological Seminary. Additionally, she completed a certificate in Organization Development at the NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science. After retiring from the Anglican Church of Canada, Bishop Skelton returned to the Diocese of Olympia to serve as a Bishop Assisting. She is married to the Rev. Eric Stroo, a mental health counselor and a deacon in the Episcopal Church. Between them they have three children and five grandchildren.

The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer: Worshiping God, living in community, reaching out to the world.

Church of the Redeemer

Church of the Redeemer: Worshiping God, living in community, and reaching out to the world around us. We are an Episcopal Church serving north King County and south Snohomish County. We welcome you be with us as we walk the way of Jesus.

Church of the Redeemer is at 6210 Northeast 181st Street in Kenmore, Washington. We are a short distance north of Bothell Way, near the Burke-Gilman Trail. The entrance looks like a gravel driveway. The campus is larger on the inside than it is on the outside. And we managed to hide a large building on the side of a hill that is not easily seen from the street.

The Episcopal Church welcomes you.