Holy Nativity Church Update March 2 , 2016
The Episcopal Church
of the Holy Nativity

Mar 2 Read the Bible in a Year discussion group meets following 10 am service; click here  for more info

Mar 2 Lenten Book Study 6-8:30 pm

Mar 4 Cooking for IHS 1-3 pm in the gym kitchen

Mar 6 Read the Bible in a Year discussion group meetings following 9:30 am service

Mar 9 Lenten Book Study 6-8:30 pm

Mar 16 Lenten Book Study 6-8:30 pm

Mar 19 Palm cross making 9-11 am on the church lanai

Mar 20 Palm Sunday; looking for readers for the Passion Narrative at both services; please contact the church office to participate

Mar 23 Lenten Book Study 6-8:30 pm

Mar 24 Maundy Thursday service 6:30 pm

Mar 25 Good Friday services 12 noon and 6:30 pm

Mar 27 Easter Sunday services at 7:30 am and 9:30 am; kids Easter egg hunt following the 9:30 service

Apr 11 Thrift Shop volunteer appreciation luncheon 11:30 am (details to be announced soon)


Worship Schedule:

  Wednesday 10 am

  Sunday 7:30 and 9:30 am

  Sunday School 9:30 am



Rev. Debra Vanover



The Vestry

Sr. Warden: Barb Poole-Street

Jr. Warden: Eva Eglinton

Treasurer: Wendy Yu

David Callies, Justin Donahue, Lila Johnson, Louisa LeRoux, Ed Moore, Austin Nakoa, Bill Seeley, Mike Sen, Steve Street


Office Hours

Closed Mondays

Tues-Fri 9 am - 2 pm

(808) 373-2131




Parish Administrator

Annabeth Stem (part time)



Parish Bookkeeper

Didi Wong (part time)




Serving March 6

7:30 am service
Lector - Lorraine Mau
Prayers/EM - Kim Garner
Ushers - Mike LeHouck, Chris Souza
Refreshments - Vivian Tom

9:30 am service
Lectors - Adrienne Fung, Justin Donahue
Prayers - Bob Nelson
EMs - Wyn Aubrey-Child, Tom Simpson
Ushers - Steve Street
Refreshments - 

Altar Guild - Jean Yee 's team

Serving March 13
7:30 am service
Lector - Linda Sayegusa
Prayers/EM - Vivian Tom
Ushers - Jim Pavelle
Refreshments - 

9:30 am service
Lectors - Lisa Tamura, John Roberts
Prayers - Cynthia Ramirez
EMs - Sandra Braham, Louisa Le Roux
Ushers - Ed Moore, David Nixon
Refreshments - Ashley Fairbanks

Altar Guild - Sandra Braham's team 


Sunday, March 6
First Reading:Joshua 5:9-12
Psalm 32
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

Sunday, March 13
First Reading: Isaiah 43:16-21
Psalm 126
Second Reading: Philippians 3:4b-14
Gospel: John 12:1-8

Coffee Hour Refreshment Schedule

Mar 6
7:30 - Vivian Tom
9:30 - Scott Schroeder family

Mar 13
7:30 - OPEN
9:30 - Ashley Fairbanks

Mar 20
7:30 - OPEN
9:30 - OPEN

Mar 27
Easter Sunday - everyone please bring refreshments to share!


Last Sunday's Attendance
7:30 am service - 26
9:30 am service - 61

Average Attendance Year to Date
7:30 am service - 31
9:30 am service - 79

Prayer List
Sylvia Cockett; Murray Grune, Jo Dell, Eyrus, Wayne, Kelsey Pomroy, Betty Jo Torres and family, Joyce and family, Mark, Glenn

Holy Nativity Thrift Shop
Caroline Bond Davis, Manager
(808) 373-3744

Wednesdays and Fridays 
9 am - 3 pm

9 am - 12 noon

Click here to visit the Thrift Shop webpage.

Holy Nativity School
Tim Spurrier,  Head of School
(808) 373-3232

Holy Nativity School is dedicated to excellence in education within a small and personalized environment. Built upon the qualities of respect and inclusion, as exemplified in the Episcopal tradition, Holy Nativity School values each child's individuality as it develops principled citizens who recognize their role in a global community.

Click here to visit the School website.

Dr. Barb Poole-Street
Many of you will have already seen the email sent by Austin Nakoa to school parents, staff, and some parishioners (see below). The email addresses part of a letter given to Rev. Vanover on Sunday by new vestry members Austin Nakoa and Mike Sen calling for her separation from the church. The letter given to Rev. Vanover, which is the foundation of Austin's email to the parish, was not discussed or voted on at an official vestry meeting and so cannot be considered an official vestry document even though it is signed by vestry members. As such, it is not in any way binding. In fact, the sharing of this email may indeed violate Rev. Vanover's privacy and personnel rights as an employee. Furthermore, per canons, the only two individuals who can speak on behalf of the church or its leadership are the Rector and the Sr. Warden.
What is important to note is that although Austin's email states there is going to be a separation of Rev. Vanover from the congregation, at this time that is not a reality. There are canonically required steps that must be taken. Completion of these steps can take weeks if not months and a separation agreement between the rector and vestry must be completed before she would leave her position. The first step in this process is a discussion between the rector and vestry and any other "offended parties" about the concerns that exist with the aim of resolving the conflicts and restoring the relationship. Neither I nor Rev. Deb have been informed of any relationships needing restoring nor have we been consulted or asked to participate in any conversation with regards to this action.

Another canonical requirement in such a situation is that specific and detailed reasons for the call for separation of a rector from their parish be recorded and must be provided to the Ecclesiastical Authority, in this case Bishop Fitzpatrick. This only occurs after a meeting between the rector and the vestry where an open discussion of issues has taken place. Again, neither of these steps has occurred. Then, after the Bishop receives such a letter, if one is forthcoming after an attempt to resolve issues at the parish level, in the spirit of Christian reconciliation, mediation can be initiated by the Bishop before any final determination about whether separation is warranted is made. Remember, we are the church and forgiveness and reconciliation is what we are called to in all our relationships.

Let's be clear: the carrying out of the actions referred to, if they were to ever be formally initiated, would have a great impact upon our congregation. As members of this congregation, I/you deserve to know the reasoning behind the writing of the letter given to Rev. Deb and the Bishop on Sunday and the email that was sent to school and church members on Monday. I am sure I voice the concerns of many, if not most, of you that such an action is unacceptable to the members of this parish. We see no foundation for such action and cannot support this in any way.

I believe you all remember the day of the Annual Meeting in January when Rev. David Kennedy, the Standing Committee representative, denied on two occasions the rumor that certain people running for the vestry intended to fire Rev. Deb if they were elected. However, today, only five weeks into their tenure, we see these these newly elected leaders calling for our Rector's separation from our church.

Lastly, the 2015 vestry was told that they lacked transparency in their actions over the last year. Shouldn't we demand more of the 2016 vestry than the information they have provided? The 2015 vestry is still willing to answer any questions about past actions and the reasons for those actions, and they can provide documents to substantiate their decisions and actions. 

Remember the leadership of our vestry represents the whole parish. The goal of reconciliation between church and school which Austin referred to in his email is admirable (and is the same goal that your 2015 vestry was working for), but such a goal of reconciliation should consider the well-being of both the church members and the school community and every individual within these institutions. I, as your Sr. Warden, see the present actions taken against our rector as truly jeopardizing the well-being of us all.

Please keep Holy Nativity Church, Rev. Deb, the Vestry and the Bishop in your prayers as we continue to deal with this issue. I would encourage you that if you desire additional information about what is happening currently, you need to approach the newly-elected vestry or the Bishop and be clear about your concerns and support or lack of support for this action.


Following is the text of the email sent by Austin Nakoa to many Holy Nativity parishioners on February 29, 2016:


Since being elected five weeks ago your Vestry has been working diligently to fulfill the expectations of restoring harmony between this church and its mission school. In the course of this process we have learned that feelings of anger and resentment in both the congregation and school have led us to believe that it is in the best interest of the Rector, the congregation and the school that the Rector be asked to resign from her position. When the Vestry took on this task of reconciliation after being elected, it was our fervent hope that this would include the repair of relationships between the rector and offended parties. However, after lengthy review and discussions we have concluded that a separation is in the best interest of all parties to the conflicts that have consumed so much time and energy of people in both the congregation and school. 

Therefore, a letter to the Bishop has been personally given to the Rector and Senior Warden that outlines options of separation in the best interest of the Rector. The Vestry will follow the guidance of the Bishop and create a mutually agreeable severance plan. During this transition, the Bishop will assign an interim minister to our parish to address worship, employee management, study schedules and other parish needs. 

Please keep the Rector in your prayers as she re-directs her sights on new and rewarding challenges. The Vestry is appreciative of her hard work that she has given Holy Nativity over the last three years.

As more information becomes available your Vestry will continue to send periodic updates.  

Thank you for your support of your Vestry and for this very difficult decision that has been made. Please continue to keep your Vestry in your prayers as well.

Emergency Appeal for Camp Mokule'ia

Bishop Fitzpatrick issued the following request for donations to help with damage to Camp Mokule'ia, the Diocese camp and retreat center on the North Shore, from the recent huge waves that have pounded the Hawaiian islands:

I hope you have seen the notice about Camp Mokuleʻia (click here). While there has been damage that may be covered by insurance, there are also expenses and lost revenue that will not be recouped in short order. Here in Hawaiʻi, we are also keenly aware that big waves are still possible and especially with a storm passing north of the islands next week. There is immediate work with sand bags and shoring up buildings that continues.  

I particularly want to commend the Camp Director, the Rev. David Turner, the entire Camp staff and the Camp's Board for their fine work in this emergency. As a Diocese, we can be thankful that David and his team are on the job.

I therefore appeal to all Episcopalians in Hawaiʻi to send contributions to the Camp to help defray the costs of this emergency. Bea and I will be making a donation of $1,000. 

Please make checks payable to "Camp Mokuleia" and send them to:  Camp Mokuleʻia,  68-729 Farrington Hwy.,  Waialua HI 96791 or click here to donate online.

As a Diocese, we will again be doing the "Trinity Sunday Collection for Camp Mokuleʻia" in our congregations on  May 22nd, but there is a presenting emergency. Your immediate contribution can help with both presenting needs and affirm the staff in this unusual time.  

The Right Reverend Robert L. Fitzpatrick
Ushers Needed!

We need ushers for both services on Sunday mornings.

Ushers are those wonderful people who welcome  worshipers , hand out bulletins, and help folks find a place to sit at church services. They help visitors by showing them the comforts of our church and making them feel welcome. Ushers also collect the offering and direct the congregation for communion. It's not a tough job but it's a very important one!

Please contact the church office at 373-2131 or holynativity@gmail.com if you would like to join our great team of ushers.
Easter Flower Dedications

Share the beauty of Easter by sponsoring a lily or lilies to be used as decoration in the sanctuary. Easter lilies can be given in memory of a loved one or to honor family and friends. All dedications will be printed in the bulletin on Easter Sunday.

If you would like to dedicate an Easter lily, please complete a dedication card (located in the glass-enclosed bulletin board in front of the Sanctuary) and place it in the collection plate on Sunday or drop it by the church office. Suggested donation is $20 per plant.
Check out the latest news and happenings at Holy Nativity School in their monthly newsletter. Click here for the current issue.