November 14, 2023

The full-feature Special Edition Convention 55 Chronicle is now available for viewing on the Diocesan News website HERE. (This email is an abbreviated version of the full article with excerpts taken from it.) The full article includes complete coverage of all of Friday's Education Day activities, handouts, Annual Meeting documents, videos, and TONS of photos!

Bishop's Special Post-Convention Video Message

Coverage of Convention 55 begins with a post-Convention video message from Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick, who sums up the remarkable two-day event that, at times, overflowed with emotion; passion, tears, laughter and joy expressed. To view, click HERE or on the image.

To go directly to the full article now, click HERE or on the button below.

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Friday, October 20

The Right Rev. Robert Fitzpatrick opened Convention 55's Education Day with a huge welcome, flanked by a large cross on stage that had triggered people's curiosity. It is the rooftop cross from Holy Innocents Episcopal Church, one of the few items salvaged from the ash and rubble. This was the cross displayed on the stage, and there it remained throughout the entire event. It's presence served as a reminder that Holy Innocents Church and its members were there in our hearts. READ MORE

​The Education Day plenary sessions featured three Diocesan ministries that are comprised of volunteers (lay and ordained) from around the Diocese. Often referred to as task forces with specific action goals, they work hard to further the mission of the Church and to educate all in its reach. Plenary sessions were led by: The Racial Reconciliation Task Force, Environmental Justice & Creation Care Task Force, and the Deacon's Ministry. Both tears and hilarity were in abundance. The Diocese's Archdeacon, the Venerable Steve Costa, shared poignant and moving accounts in two of the sessions, while the Environmental Justice and Creation Care's "game show" brought about lots of laughter with team names like Confused Coconuts, Anxious Ocean, and Frustration Jason Momoa ---whaaat? True!

I think this was the best Education Day we've had in years. I appreciated keeping everyone in a large group and at the same presentations. It allowed our delegation to discuss all topics together in depth. This year's presentations were keenly in tune with overall current diocesan and wider church initiatives which I think is important. I especially appreciated that Hō'imi Pono and Deacons in Our Midst both provided specific and practical ways to take what we learned back to our congregations. - The Rev. Katlin McCallister

The Diocese of Hawai'i saw the ordination of their newest vocational deacon, Mary Margaret Smith, during the Convention's Opening Eucharist in St. Alban's Chapel. Mary Margaret is a graduate of the Diocese's Waiolaihui'ia Center for Ministry (WCM), and currently resides on Kaua'i. Although a member of All Saints' Episcopal Church in Kapa'a, she has been serving at St. Michael and All Angels in Lihue, as part of her training and internship. Several members from both All Saint's and St. Michael's made the trip over as presenters and witnesses to this very special occasion. READ MORE

Wonderful to be present for the ordination of the new deacon. I love the service with all the clergy. They mean it when they say the responses and say AMEN. I always enjoy meeting and talking with others who are at convention. I was impressed with the meals, especially the Hawaiian food. It was very good. - Joanne Mahuka



Saturday, October 21

[The 55th Annual Meeting of Convention] convened promptly at 8:45 AM by the Right Rev. Robert Fitzpatrick, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Hawai'i. Brother Ambrose Cristóbal, one of the Chaplains to Convention, delivered the Opening Prayer in a style all his own. His brief, 27-word prayer elicited joyful chuckles and applause, with an A+ for delivery! READ MORE

For the first time, the Bishop's Address to the Convention was recorded live in its entirety. The Bishop acknowledged the overwhelming response to the Maui wildfires and the generosity from folks in the Diocese and around the world. But despite the loss of the Holy Innocents' building, the Bishop reminded us that the church remains alive through its members; its future yet to be written. READ MORE

In a departure from the usual speech(es) given in response to the Bishop's Address, the committee worked together to present a deeply meaningful experience to the Convention. 

Passionate, emotional, astute, and joyful... these are adjectives that describe the wide range of emotions that filtered throughout the meeting and manifested in discussions on the resolutions. The subjects of the resolutions were just as diverse and reflective of the hot topics in our world today; from politics and war to the environment and solidifying partnerships. READ MORE

This was the most open and participatory Convention in years. I loved how we were able to accept and perfect resolutions from the floor. It helped more of the members of the Convention to have a voice and to have their voice matter. That made me really proud. - Anonymous survey response

The initial draft for the Proposed Budget for 2024 was completed by Diocesan Council on July 15, 2023, and was made available to the Diocese for review and comments at that time. Unfortunately, the Maui wildfires on August 8, and loss of Holy Innocents Church, would have a drastic impact on the Diocese. Council returned to the drawing board to consider the implications, and came up with the Proposed Budget for 2024 by the canonically set deadline of September 6, 2023. Over the next few weeks, rapidly changing developments and the overwhelming support pouring in for Maui, kept our staff and governance committees busy. It became clear that more adjustments needed to be made to the proposed budget. Just days before the Annual Meeting, the "Substitute Proposed Budget for 2024" was finalized, and eventually passed.

Kapolei, better known as O'ahu's "Second City," is a burgeoning area that shows no sign of slowing down. This West O'ahu town is also home to Hālau Wa'a Episcopal, the Diocese's newest and most innovative church plant, led by the Rev. Mark Haworth. READ MORE

In February of this year, the Diocese established the Kapolei Development Task Force to research and recommend action to the Diocesan Council on the use of the property. The Rev. Jennifer Masada and Mr. Trip Lynch gave a presentation on the work the task force has been doing. In just eight months, they have achieved remarkable results with a proposed vision, business model, and fundraising plan. 

Three members of the Hawai'i youth delegation that attended the triennial Episcopal Youth Event (EYE23) in July, were on hand to share their experience. The three presenters were Aurora Benn (St. James', Waimea, Hawai'i Island), Alexandra Ogasawara (Epiphany, Honolulu, O'ahu) and Jordan Natividad (St. John the Baptist, Māʻili, Oʻahu). The 3-day event is one of The Episcopal Church's largest event, second only to General Convention. 

What a privilege and blessing it was to participate in the Diocesan Convention. The spirit generated by so many local Episcopalians was palpable. Highlights included the Bishop's remarks, observing the legislative process of resolutions being presented and modified by participants, and the ordination of a new Deacon (always an emotional experience). - Hans L'Orange

Mahalo nui loa for a great Convention 55!

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Sybil Nishioka, Editor & Communications Contractor
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