June 1, 2020
From the Desk of the Bishop:

My Dear Siblings in Christ Jesus,

This morning, I joined St. Peter’s Church, Honolulu, for virtual Morning Prayer. We observed the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (transferred). At the time I was struck by the words of the Psalm of the day (Psalm 7:1-4, 12-13):
Give the King your justice, O God, *
and your righteousness to the King's Son;
That he may rule your people righteously *
and the poor with justice.
That the mountains may bring prosperity to the people, *
and the little hills bring righteousness.
He shall defend the needy among the people; *
he shall rescue the poor and crush the oppressor.
or he shall deliver the poor who cries out in distress, *
and the oppressed who has no helper.
He shall have pity on the lowly and poor; *
he shall preserve the lives of the needy.
These words were still on my mind as I watched the news as peaceful and legally assembled demonstrators were pushed away from the White House by mounted Federal and military forces with tear gas and rubber bullets. Why? It appears to have happened to allow the President to make a short statement and then to walk across the street to stand on the sidewalk in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, with, literally, a Bible in hand for a very short photo opportunity. He was joined by members of his staff. No one from the Parish or the Episcopal Church was present. I think this photo-op after the violent clearing of the streets was unfortunate and unhelpful. Personally, I particularly found the sight of the President waving the Bible during a photo opportunity to be profoundly offensive and even sacrilegious.

Threats of meeting violence with violence without an acknowledgement of the racism and historic inequality that permeates our society, or a call to the common good, is a moral failure. Making no practical distinction between peaceful demonstrators gathered in front of the White House and violent rioters adds nothing to restore a sense of justice or calm. Threatening to domestically deploy the military to the streets of our nation to battle our own citizens is dangerous and imprudent. The United States is in crisis. There is a violent minority – including it appears those from various groups with no real concern about the core issue of racial inequality and police violence – who are wreaking havoc on communities. The violence and racism need to be addressed by our leaders – and all of us -- in a peaceful, calm and wise way.

Today, I also listened to the brother of George Floyd, Terrance. He called the community – the nation – to peace, education and action. In his grief and righteous indignation, he showed the path of righteousness.

I admit that I reflect on this day as a Disciple of Jesus Christ. Again and again, I am driven to the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-12) when Jesus taught:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Terrance Floyd witnessed to the truth of the Sermon on the Mount.

Please offer these prayers from the Book of Common Prayer tonight before you go to sleep and tomorrow when you wake up:
For the President of the United States and all in Civil Authority

O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: We commend this nation to thy merciful care, that, being guided by your Providence, we may dwell secure in your peace. Grant to the President of the United States, and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do your will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in thy fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

For Social Justice

Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart and especially the hearts of the people of the United States, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For those who suffer for the sake of Conscience

O God our Father, whose Son forgave his enemies while he was suffering shame and death: Strengthen those who suffer for the sake of conscience; when they are accused, save them from speaking in hate; when they are rejected, save them from bitterness; when they are imprisoned, save them from despair; and to us your servants, give grace to respect their witness and to discern the truth, that our society may be cleansed and strengthened. This we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ, our merciful and righteous Judge. Amen.

In Times of Conflict

O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
As the Body of Christ – the Church – we must stand with those who are peacefully seeking justice and are striving for righteousness in our time.

The Right Reverend Robert L. Fitzpatrick
Bishop Diocesan
The Episcopal Diocese of Hawaiʻi

The Episcopal Church in Micronesia
Statement from Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry on President Donald Trump’s use of a church building and the Holy Bible
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry Pentecost Sermon
[June 1, 2020] The following is a statement from Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry:

This evening, the President of the United States stood in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, lifted up a bible, and had pictures of himself taken. In so doing, he used a church building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes. This was done in a time of deep hurt and pain in our country, and his action did nothing to help us or to heal us.

The bible teaches us that “God is love.” Jesus of Nazareth taught, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The prophet Micah taught that the Lord requires us to “do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.”

The bible the President held up and the church that he stood in front of represent the values of love, of justice, of compassion, and of a way to heal our hurts. 

We need our President, and all who hold office, to be moral leaders who help us to be a people and nation living these values. For the sake of George Floyd, for all who have wrongly suffered, and for the sake of us all, we need leaders to help us to be “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”

The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
Stay Informed! Quick Links to the Diocesan Websites :
Contact Information
Sybil Nishioka, Editor & Communications Contractor
The Episcopal Diocese of Hawai'i
229 Queen Emma Square, Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 636-7776