Volume 6, Issue 10
March 5, 2021
THIS SUNDAY: March 7, 2021
Third Sunday in Lent

Exodus 20:1-17
Psalm 19:7-14
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
John 2:13-22

Joe Adorno (EM)*
John Hanaoka (U)
Diane Sato (AG)
Mark Cain (DM)

Mary Margaret Smith (EM)
David Crocker (U)
Nelson Secretario (LR)
David Crocker (AG)
Nelson Secretario, Mabel Antonio (HP)
Carolyn Morinishi (DM)
Rachel Secretario (SS)

Live Stream
9:00AM on our home page, YouTube, or Facebook accounts

* EM - Eucharistic Minister; U - Usher; LR - Lay Reader; AG - Altar Guild; HP - Healing Prayers; DM - Digital Ministry; SS - Sunday School

Guest Celebrant: The Rev. Bob Carver
Sunday, March 7th
8:00AM and 9:30AM

Aloha Hour
Every Sunday 
10:45AM - 12:00PM

Friday/Monday Crew
Every Friday/Monday
Church Office

Adult Formation Series
Revive Lent
5:00PM - 6:00PM

March 9, Session 3: What is prayer and how do we pray?
March 16, Session 4: Making space and praying the Lectio and Visio Divina
March 23, Session 5: Praying through the hurt
March 30, Session 6: Death and dying, and praying with Jesus in the garden
Call the church office or email Kahu at rector@allsaintskauai.org to enroll.

Ke Akua Youth Group Meeting
Wednesday, March 10th
5:00 - 6:00PM
Contact Cami for login information.

Daughters of the King
Thursday, March 11th
7:00 - 8:00 PM
Contact Mabel Antonio for login information.

Ministry Council Meeting
Saturday, March 20th
9:00 - 10:00 AM
Contact Jan Hashizume or Linda Crocker for login information.

For the aged and infirm, for the widowed and orphans, and for the sick and the suffering, especially Kellie, Mike, the Fulford 'Ohana, Rosalind, Glen and those we name silently or aloud, let us pray to the Lord. ​Lord, have mercy. 

For all who have died, especially Milfred, Millie, Donn (Curly), Dr. Haruki, Micheal, those affected by the COVID-19 virus, and those we name silently or aloud, in the hope of the resurrection, and for all the departed, let us pray to the Lord. ​Lord, have mercy. Amen.
Reflections from Kahu Kawika
Pay Now or Pay Later
Lent 2B
Mark 18:31-38
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
Romans 4:13-25
All Saints’ Kapaa
28 February 2021
One thing I said before about my love for the Bible is that it shows us very human characters, warts and all. By so doing, we as fallible beings can more easily identify with them than if they had been depicted in epic, grandiose, and semi-godlike fashion.
Case in point: the people we see in today’s readings. Abraham, Sarah, and Peter are rightly considered people we admire and remember from our faith tradition, but they certainly are not shown in the Bible as perfect individuals. 

Regarding Abraham, he fears for his life when Sarah and he are traveling in other peoples’ territory – because of Sarah’s beauty, Abraham is so afraid of King Abimelech of Gerar and of the King of Egypt, respectively, that he lies about Sarah, saying she is his sister rather than his wife, apparently willing for these kings to take her for themselves in order to spare Abraham’s life. Thankfully, when the kings learn that Sarah is really Abraham’s wife, they each refuse to take her.

Later on, Sarah, meanwhile, actually laughs derisively at God! When the Three Divine Visitors come to Abraham and Sarah to announce that Sarah would conceive and bear a son despite her old age and barrenness, Sarah bursts out laughing in total disbelief. As a result, the Visitors tell her that she will name her son “Isaac,” which in Hebrew means “laughter” and thus will be a constant reminder of Sarah’s lack of faith at that moment.

Peter, Jesus’ number one disciple and a close friend, keeps putting his foot in his mouth over and over again in the Gospel stories. Today’s Gospel reading is no exception: When Jesus gets real with his disciples and tells them that they are about to go to Jerusalem so that Jesus will be betrayed, handed over to a criminal’s trial, die on the cross as a convict, and rise again after three days, Peter takes Jesus aside and tries to dissuade him. Peter realizes that he didn’t get on the “Jesus Train” just to have the crowds, religious authorities, and Roman government get him and the other disciples in trouble for following Jesus, and so Peter tries to talk Jesus out of his plan. What Peter does is so offensive to Jesus (and a temptation for Jesus to avoid the bad that is awaiting him) that Jesus in turn loses his temper and rebukes Peter back, saying in so many words: “Get behind me, Satan! For you’re focused on your fear of people, rather than on your love for God.” I don’t know about you, but I personally have never called someone “Satan” or “the devil.” Calling someone “Satan” is pretty strong language, especially if that someone is a close friend and follower!

I think what Jesus is getting at is the fact that Peter, even at this late stage as a follower of Jesus, wants the glory of being seen following a charismatic Messiah, rather than the dismaying prospect of following a perceived “loser” to his shame and death. Peter wants all the good stuff and none of the bad. How much is this like us, especially in our avoidance culture often looking to maximize our convenience and minimize personal sacrifice! We want to get good things at minimal or no cost to us.

This reminds me of a FRAM motor oil commercial from way back. A customer is at a motor repair garage and wondering if the higher-priced FRAM oil is worth getting. The mechanic advises him, “You should buy the FRAM – it will keep your engine humming. But it’s your choice – you can either pay a little now or you will pay a lot later!”

I think when Jesus tells the crowd, “Those who want to save their life will lose it, but those who lose their life for my sake, and the sake of the Gospel, will save it”, in essence he is saying something like that FRAM motor oil commercial – “you can pay a little now or pay a lot later.” Peter’s problem in our story is that he doesn’t want to pay anything at all. The road to Heaven may be free, but there are no shortcuts.

The fact of the matter is that following Jesus’ advice to “pay now” takes a lot of courage. In this holy season of Lent, we are to take special stock of our lives and see if there are any motivations or attitudes for which we need to repent, offer back to God, and ask for God’s Holy Spirit to give us the wherewithal to turn around. Change can be hard, and especially change to do with who we are and what we tend to do and think. The first step is simply to acknowledge that we at times fail God, each other, and ourselves – when we admit our own “poverty of spirit,” as Matthew’s version of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 talks about, then that is when we open ourselves up to being filled up with God’s abundant Spirit. 
It’s far easier to give up chocolate or red meat for Lent than it is to give up a pernicious attitude, a prideful posture in relation to others we think “lower” than ourselves, a stubbornness that refuses to apologize for a wrongdoing, or a habit of practicing deceit in order to gain an unfair advantage over others. The hardest work and the heaviest cost involve a willingness on our part to work on ourselves such that we live a life of glorifying God and blessing others.

Peter (and many of the other disciples) want Jesus to lead his followers to a violent overthrow of the Roman government. They want Jesus to head up a new glorious King David-style kingdom where all enemies are at bay and Peter and the other disciples are at the top of the pyramid. That’s why a little later on in the Gospel of Mark, Peter and the other disciples start arguing among themselves as to which one is the greatest (Mark 9:33-36), or who will get to sit at Jesus’ left- and right-hand thrones when he comes into his glory (Mark 10:35-45). Peter and the others want the grandeur and the glory of ruling in the world without the kuleana of paying the cost of Jesus’ discipleship. But they eventually learn that to follow fully in Jesus’ footsteps means to follow him completely and in all things – including and especially in Jesus’ self-sacrificial nature.

At one of the schools where I served as a school chaplain, one line of the school pledge that all the students, teachers, and staff had to promise to do repeatedly says, “I will try to choose the harder right over the easier wrong.” This reminds me of Psalm 15:4, in answer to the question about the type of person who can approach God: “(the one) who keeps a promise even when it hurts.”

Jesus’ word to Peter and to the crowd is, “You can pay a little now or you can pay a lot later.” May this Lenten season be used by God to mold us into the kind of people who happily and without reservation will pay now, to get the much more glorious blessings of being molded more into the likeness of our Lord, and the eventual and unspeakable joys of inheriting our place in Heaven. The road to Heaven may be free, but there are no shortcuts. Amen.
Music Director Sends Out a Big Mahalo to Our Virtual Choir
Enjoy the Video of Their Latest Performance
Aloha All,
I just want to send out a huge MAHALO to all of you for your time and effort participating in the Virtual Choir, “Jesus walked this lonesome valley” for Lent 1 on February 21st. You sounded amazing! For me it was chicken skin when the choir came in with four parts following my intro. I know many, myself included, were truly moved by your performance.
Big-time kudos to Ron Morinishi for his masterful editing skills, and Cami Baldovino for getting the video completed in short order, Mahalo!
Also thanks to those who contributed from the mainland, and those not in the regular ASC choir, Melissa and Trishana, thank you! Your gift traveled from off-campus directly to our hearts.

We will be preparing for our Easter Sunday performance soon. Virtual Choir members, prepare your voices and to those who listen, prepare for another excellent performance by our All Saints' Virtual Choir.
-Hank Cutis
Music Director
New Ministry Begins at All Saints'
Come and Join the Office Angel Ministry
The Office Angel Ministry starts March 1, 2021. The ministry focuses on helping out in the church office. The tasks will include answering the phone, stuffing envelopes, etc. The angels will work in 3 hour shifts: 9AM - 12PM, or 12 - 3PM. You can choose one day a month or weekly, whatever suits your schedule. 

If you’re interested, please give Netta White a call at 808-822-7540, or 619- 249-8471.

Thank you for considering lending a helping hand. This ministry enables our Church and Pre-School Administrator, Cami Baldovino, to focus on more important matters for our church, pre-school, and youth group. 
Mahalo nui loa,
Netta White
kauai independent food bank

Kaua`i Independent Food Bank Needs Your Help
Please Consider Lenten Donations
Aloha mai kākou,

As we remember our Lord who fasted forty days and nights in the desert in this season of Lent, we also remember those among us who are forced to fast in the form of food deprivation, especially as a fallout of the Pandemic.

During this season, I'm inviting us to join in a partnership with the Kaua`i Independent Food Bank to bring them donations of non-perishable food. Any monetary donations (made out to the Kaua`i Independent Food Bank) will assist the food bank in purchasing supplies in bulk at lower cost. At the Sunday services and other services during Lent and Holy Week, we'll have our Red Food Wagon just outside the Sanctuary entrance while monetary donations can be put in the offering calabash -- feel free to put your food items in or around the Red Food Wagon and we'll make sure to get them to the Kaua`i Independent Food Bank on a regular basis. You can also drop off food items during the week at the Church Office - just let either Cami or me know ahead of time, since we have to limit the number of non-Preschool people on the Preschool grounds.

Mahalo nui loa for your prayerful consideration,

Kahu Kawika+
Lenten Adult Formation Series
The past year has been a very challenging time for all of us. As we make our way through the disruption and turmoil, we will be confronted with questions about how we want to rebuild our lives anew. As Christians, we know that we do not face the future alone or ill-equipped. Jesus promises always to be with us and has gifted the community with the power of the Spirit as a guide, advocate and comforter.

This Lent, I would like to invite you to participate in a six-week small group process called Revive Lent, published by Forward Movement (who also produce the daily devotional guide “Forward Day by Day”). Revive Lent will provide an opportunity to become grounded in foundational spiritual practices that will equip you for a deeper spiritual journey. In this time of uncertainty, Revive Lent helps us to talk with one another, build a deeper relationship with God and prepare to journey with Jesus through Holy Week.

Revive Lent comprises 6 sessions:

March 9, Session 3: What is prayer and how do we pray?
March 16, Session 4: Making space and praying the Lectio and Visio Divina
March 23, Session 5: Praying through the hurt
March 30, Session 6: Death and dying, and praying with Jesus in the garden

Our sessions will be via Zoom on Tuesdays 5:00PM - 6:00PM, starting on February 23rd and concluding on March 30th. In order to enroll, please either speak with me directly, call the church office, or email me at rector@allsaintskauai.org. I will then send you the Zoom link you will need for each of our sessions.

May God richly bless us as we grow in faith to serve God’s world,

Kahu Kawika+
Join the All Saints' `Ohana Workplaces List
Patronize Our 'Ohana Businesses
Ohana workplaces jar
The pandemic has taken quite a toll on Kaua`i residents, including many of our church `Ohana. In the spirit of “Shop Local” we would like to compile a list of stores, restaurants, and services for whom All Saints’ parishioners and their families work. Grocery stores, plumbing companies, landscapers, resume writing…whatever you do. With this list we can support our `Ohana and Kaua`i by patronizing these businesses. Please consider contributing your work/workplace to our list. You can include your name or submit the listing anonymously. Drop your business card or written description in the `Ohana Workplaces jar outside the sanctuary on Sunday or email your submission to news@allsaintskauai.org
Save the Date!
Spring Training 2021 is Coming in March
The Diocese's annual Spring Training event is coming and will be held online, Saturday, March 13, 2021. Workshops being offered will cover a variety of topics including grant writing, Safe Church, youth ministry, communication tools and much more! Participants can sign up for three sessions. Be sure to mark your calendars and save the dates for the Spring Training. Registration and details coming soon!
Seabury Calls New Chaplain: The Rev. Chris Golding Returns to Hawai`i

Returning to the islands is the Rev. Chris Golding who will be serving as Seabury Hall's Chaplain beginning in August. Originally from Australia, Fr. Golding served in the Diocese as the Associate Rector at St. Clement's and Vicar at Emmanuel, before moving to New Orleans, where he has been the Associate Priest at St. Luke's in Baton Rouge.
The Priory Earns Nationwide Computer Science Female Diversity Award

[February 10, 2021] A startling report released in September 2020 by Accenture and Girls Who Code revealed that the number of women in tech has been decreasing over the years, despite what people may think about their presence in the industry. However, the young women at St. Andrew’s Schools, also known as The Priory, have something to say – and do – about that.
Women have almost caught up to men in the fields of technology, engineering and mathematics, right? You might assume so—but they have actually fallen further behind at the very moment when tech roles are surging and vital to the U.S. economy and its continued leadership around the globe. Unbelievably, the proportion of women to men in tech roles has declined over the past 35 years. And half of young women who go into tech drop out by the age of 35 (Executive summary, “Resetting Tech Culture” – report by Accenture and Girls Who Code). READ FULL ARTICLE HERE
Good Friday Offering
The Cathedral office in Bahrain with a note now familiar all over the world: “Please note that this office is closed due to social distancing.”
(Photo credit: The Ven. Bill Schwartz)
Words like “unprecedented” seem too small to describe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has sorely afflicted the lives of millions of people around the world. It is hard to get one’s mind around the impact of this crisis. And yet, for many Christians in the Middle East, the pandemic is just one more crisis to add to the list.

Reflecting upon the situation at the Ras Morbat Eye Clinic in Yemen, the Ven. Bill Schwartz, Archdeacon for the Gulf in the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, writes: “The COVID crisis is actually only one more difficulty for them in the face of three other ongoing epidemics (cholera, dengue fever, malaria) and all are greatly affected by all of the problems of the ongoing civil war.”

In the Middle East the political instability of neighboring countries faced in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen and elsewhere can overshadow all other concerns. Governments in turmoil continue to create conditions which promote poverty, food insecurity and economic instability which put
a desperate strain on refugees and displaced persons, health care, education and family life in the best of times.

The Good Friday Offering is an opportunity throughout the Episcopal Church to support our Anglican sisters and brothers in their ministry to their neighbors to help meet the needs of innocent people caught in the middle of these realities.

In this time of exceptional circumstances, please make a gift to the Good Friday Offering in one of the following ways: 

1) use your smartphone to text ‘GFO’ to 91999
(messaging and data rates apply),

2) give securely online at bit.ly/goodfridayoffering, or

3) send your check contribution by mail to:
DFMS-Protestant Episcopal Church US P.O. Box 958983
St. Louis, MO 63195-8983
Make your check payable to: The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society with “Good Friday Offering” in the note field. Thank you.

© 2021 The Episcopal Church, 815 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017
‘Sacred Earth’ Website Launched: Finding Hope in Ecologically Challenging Times

St. Mark's Episcopal Church, San Marcos, TX

February 3, 2021
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, San Marcos, TX, has launched “Sacred Earth,” a new website exploring the interplay of spirituality and nature. The site is an outgrowth of the Sacred Earth Symposium that was scheduled for April 2020 but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be found at https://www.sacred-earth.net

Feeding the mind, discerning intentions, and developing practices that nourish the individual while enhancing the life of the community—these are some of the aims of Sacred Earth. Through stories, interviews, book reviews, and videos about people living in environmentally sustainable ways, this site is an attempt to help users navigate the current ecological crisis with hope, faith, and the knowledge that they are not alone. Also included on the site are Celebrate Earth! an adult spiritual formation process, links to a wide range of faith-based environmental organizations, information on environmental justice, and a bibliography on the paradigm shift required for living wisely on the Earth.

Brandon Beck, co-chair of the Sacred Earth planning committee, explains how this project has intersected with his own life. “When I was 13,” he recalls, “I asked Mom to take me to Austin for an animal rights activism training. I remember my joy in connecting with others who openly and actively celebrated our human responsibility to the island home we call Earth. I remember their commitment to our non-human siblings even as we walk in Love and continuously learn to live responsibly within our human species. The Sacred Earth project and website are a way station on a journey I started 30 years ago at that training. I have made connections, again, with people of like mind, intention, and practice.”

Sacred Earth will help people engage with the natural world in ways that nurture both the individual and the Earth. Topics range from the theological underpinnings of creation care, to very practical ways of living an ecologically responsible life. As the pandemic continues, and isolation becomes more burdensome, individuals and families are increasingly turning to nature for psychological, spiritual, and physical sustenance. Sacred Earth offers them resources they can use in this endeavor.

Contact Person: Susan Hanson
Good News Gardens Begins Its Second Year of Praying, Planting and Proclaiming

By Heather Beasley Doyle

March 3, 2021
Beekeeping at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Reston, Virginia. Photo courtesy of Brian Sellers-Petersen

[Episcopal News Service] When Heather Zimmerman visited St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2019, she spotted vegetable boxes “wedged in between some cemetery stones,” she recently told Episcopal News Service. In them, the church’s property manager, Roberto Morales, was “gleefully growing tomatoes,” said Zimmerman, yet he bemoaned the churchyard’s lack of sun.

The observation prompted Zimmerman, who is the executive director of Awbury Arboretum, to invite the Rev. David Morris, St. Luke’s rector, and Morales to expand the church’s kitchen garden into one 35-square-foot plot and another half its size at Awbury Arboretum’s 16-acre community garden, which is less than two miles from the church. The harvested produce would go to the church’s food pantry and meal programs, which fed 9,000 people at the church in Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood in 2019.
A group of gardeners from St. Luke’s in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From left to right, the Rev. David Morris, Donna Drake, Roberto Morales and Jimmie Reed. Photo: Donna Drake

St. Luke’s first growing season at the arboretum was last year. Volunteers donned masks and stood far apart as they grew squash, potatoes, onions and other vegetables. “Incorporating another area like the one at Awbury, we realized we needed some guidance,” Morris said. So when they heard about The Episcopal Church’s Good News Gardens movement, they joined.

Good News Gardens, an initiative of the church’s Evangelism and Creation Care offices, launched last spring. It blends faith and agriculture and asks participants to plant, pray and proclaim, with the hope of feeding those in need while stewarding land and fostering community. Good News Gardens has gained enough traction that the church recently hired its first coordinator/agrarian evangelist to support a widening vision of how Episcopalians can connect and care for each other while tending the earth.
St. Fiacre watching over Jerusalem Greer’s garden in Arkansas. Greer is The Episcopal Church’s staff officer for evangelism and the creator of the Good News Gardens program. Photo courtesy of Jerusalem Greer

The moment felt ripe for a similar Episcopal movement, so Greer reached out to agrarian ministers, including the Rev. Nurya Love Parish of Plainsong Farm, who was launching a similar initiative in partnership with the dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan. With positive feedback, the offices of Evangelism and Creation Care launched Good News Gardens. Participants grow more vegetables, fruits or herbs than they need so they can share the extra with friends or donate it to a local feeding program. Would-be gardeners are invited to plant for the first time, and all are asked to pray daily for creation and share stories of their gardens via social media and personal connections.

Greer, along with Associate for Creation Care and Justice Phoebe Chatfield, created the Agrarian Ministries Facebook group last April to support Good News Gardens; the page quickly became home to a loose network of Episcopalians engaged in gardening and agriculture at a time when quarantined Americans were gardening en masse, triggering a run on seeds and chicks. Food insecurity was also growing; 50 million Americans — up from 35 million Americans in 2019 — experienced food insecurity last year.

The Agrarian Ministries page steadily attracted members; today, more than 1,200 people share pictures, stories, articles and advice. Some participants garden from home, others cultivate church land and some are farmers. A few dioceses developed the program (Greer describes it as “very open-source”) with local structure, support and social media channels. As of mid-February, more than 240 people or groups had signed up for Good News Gardens 2021.

“Last year was kind of like our experiment,” Greer said. “One of the challenges was how fast it grew, to the extent that we brought Brian (Sellers-Petersen) on this year because of how much passion and excitement there is around this work, and the possibilities of what this work could be.”

Brian Sellers-Petersen, the coordinator/agrarian evangelist, said that an expanded social media strategy is in the works and that his main hope for the movement’s second season is for people “to see ‘gardens’ as an inclusive word,” meaning all aspects of the food supply chain. Beekeeping, gardening for butterflies, raising chickens, growing herbs, composting and gleaning leftover food are all part of the movement. In light of last year’s seed run, he also hopes to create a Good News Gardens seed bank “so that we can share seeds between ourselves.”

Last year, seeing how other members of Good News Gardens wove gardening with faith informed St. Luke’s six regular gardeners in Philadelphia. In preparation for his church’s second year at Awbury Arboretum, Morris attended Good News Gardens’ first 2021 webinar in early February. “It was really helpful,” he said; the event inspired his crew to write a kitchen garden mission statement.

Jennifer Blecha and the Rev. Kerri Meyer, farmer-scholar and farmer-priest respectively, also joined Good News Gardens last year. They moved to Hutchinson, Minnesota, from San Francisco, California, to start Good Courage Farm in 2019; their vision is to grow fruit and asparagus while cultivating a faith-based community from their land.
Jennifer Blecha (left) and the Rev. Kerri Meyer (right) of Good Courage Farm. Photo courtesy of Kerri Meyer

When the Agrarian Ministries page went live, “I thought, ‘Awww, that’s cute,’” Meyer said. As membership grew, she realized: “We’re a people. There’s a bunch of us out here.” From a handful of others in the faith-based gardening community, Meyer had earlier “sensed that there was some energy around this,” she said. “Things happened in those ministries, but it was really lonely work.”

Being part of Good News Gardens has mitigated that loneliness, and while one of the movement’s goals is to ease food insecurity, its biggest benefit last year, possibly, was boosting morale. “It’s done a good job of removing aloneness,” Greer said.

The Rev. Anna Woofenden, transition pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and author of “This Is God’s Table,” is a member of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts Creation Care Leadership Circle. The diocese plans to strengthen its Good News Gardens structure and is collaborating with the Diocese of Massachusetts. Woofenden sees Good News Gardens as transformative not only for participants but for the church as well. When theological reflection or spiritual formation combines with hands-in-the-dirt community work, it changes people, Woofenden said. “It also changes what the church is, or how and who the church is.”

In a sense, Good News Gardens is effectively fueling the church’s evolution. Agrarian ministry is a public liturgy as the church works to change its culture, said the Rev. Melanie Mullen, director of reconciliation, justice and creation care. The more that work beyond the pews is considered part of the church, “the more we can do to revitalize the energy behind spreading the Gospel in all these different ways,” she said.

As Blecha and Meyer look to their third growing season, they’re sticking with Good News Gardens — and they have ideas. “One of the next keys for Good News Gardens is to bridge the gap between healthy produce and the people who need it most” with food kits similar to HelloFresh or Blue Apron, Blecha said. Churches could help to assemble them. The time needed to cook healthy food creates a barrier, she said; kits minimize that barrier. “We’re not a veggie farm, but if we were, that’s what I’d want to figure out,” she added.

However the details play out, Good News Gardens complements Good Courage Farm’s vision. Meyers called the mandate to plant, pray and proclaim a “beautiful distillation” of the Gospel. “You put this seed in the ground and you commit to tending it, but there’s a certain point at which you realize the growth of that seed is not by your power,” she said. “And so sometimes all you can do is pray once you’ve put that seed in the ground.”

– Heather Beasley Doyle is a freelance journalist, writer and editor based in Massachusetts.

What is Prayer?

March 2, 2021

Kimberly Knowle-Zeller
What is prayer? 

the sounds of children’s voices 
the warmth of hands touching
the newly sprouted crocuses reaching for the sky
the breeze rustling across trees
the sun breaking through clouds.
What is prayer? 

the longing to feel God’s presence
the desire to sit with God’s word
the hope for days to come
the peace of a lit candle 
the silence found in a deep breath. 
What is prayer? 

the sizzling of veggies over the stove
a warm cup of tea
fresh made bread delivered by a neighbor
sticky hands reaching for cookie dough
bread and wine, given and received. 
What is prayer? 

a cry for help
a plea for relief
a song of joy
a shout of praise
a whisper: are you there? 
Is this prayer? 

this note
and words
the tapping of keys across the screen
the waiting and wondering.
Could it be? 

all of this and more, 
moving through life
and the world 
proclaiming God’s love
our worth
and name: beloved child
a prayer of God calling us good. 
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. You can read more at her website, follow her work on Facebookor sign up for her monthly newsletter.
In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

March 2, 2021
United Thank Offering

By the Rev. Canon Heather L. Melton, Staff Officer for the United Thank Offering
Growing up, I anxiously awaited signs of spring. In February, I would watch as some poor groundhog was roused from his winter nap by a goup of men decked out in top hats, hoping for an early spring. Then, I would hope that March would begin with bad weather so spring would come at the end of the month. There is something magical about spring and how the wait for it often coincides with Lent, another time of waiting. For many of us, as March arrives this year, it brings with it the anniversary of the shutdowns, lockdowns, and changes caused by the coronavirus. Many of us are feeling the effects of a long year, one that has felt very lion-like in terms of the old proverb and has been full of change, unrest, fear, and isolation. My guess is that we are all feeling a bit weary and perhaps are searching for signs of spring, hoping for the gentleness of a lamb after a season of journeying with the lion.

Today, I watched what I hope is the last snowfall of the season. The clouds are now moving on and the bright blue sky of the American Southwest is peaking through. The birds are rejoicing that I ventured out earlier in half a foot of snow to fill their feeder while my daughters played in the snow nearby. As I watch all of this happening in my yard, I feel weary and am looking for signs of spring. Spring, for me at least, is all about hope. It is the annual reminder that God is making all things new. The hope of resurrection is all around, as I stare at flowerpots, wondering if the plants have survived the winter. Garlic that I planted in the fall will be the first signs of new life in our garden. I’ve already ordered the seeds of other plants that will join the garlic once the temperature holds at night, and I’ve bought new bubbles and jump ropes for the girls. It’s as if, by doing these things, I can make spring come a little faster, as if I can will that amazing smell of spring out of the ground and into my heart simply by preparing for it.

Preparation is a great Christian discipline. We are often preparing for things, from Lenten commitments to Advent wreaths, and our faith has thrived for generations on traditions handed down, shared, and lived. The seasons of preparation in Christianity are often rewarded with great celebration: high holy days, festive worship, big family meals, and time together. For the last year, we have prepared and hoped for those celebrations of old while finding ways to celebrate safely in the midst of the pandemic. I think the weariness is a sign of hearts longing for resurrection and transformation. And while the pandemic is by no means over, there is hope. Vaccines in the United States are getting to people; summer is coming, which seems to push back against the virus as well; and we have grown more resilient, even if it doesn’t feel like it, and that resiliency will serve us well. Hope is like the soft wool of a lamb, the grassy smell of a sheep’s breath, the gentle bleat of a lamb calling for its loved ones. Hope feels like spring. Hope creeps up on us, like the green infusing the blade of grass, the crocus beginning to germinate, or the garlic plant darting out of the cold ground. Hope makes us strong enough to keep going and wise enough to know that it isn’t all settled, like a cold night after a warm spring day. But we have to prepare and watch for hope, just like we prepare and watch for spring, so we can be fully present to its unfolding. Hope, like spring, will show up whether we are ready or not, but it really is glorious to watch it from the very first signs. Hope emboldens us, strengthens us, and empowers us to keep showing up in the world. Hope is a rainbow that God places in the sky to remind us that God loves us. It has been a very long year and a really long time to wait for that lion to head out like a lamb. I don’t know what March will bring in terms of the pandemic, but I do know that spring and Easter are on the way and hope is already here, peeking out in small ways and encouraging us to not give up but to keep moving forward. And for that, I give thanks. Happy spring, may you find the hope of Christ unfolding all around you.
Science-Faith Partnership is Vital for Tackling Climate Change, Archbishop of Canterbury Says

March 3, 2021

[Anglican Communion News Service] Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told an international gathering of faith leaders that the fight against the climate crisis would benefit from the relationship between science and faith. He made his comments in the first of a series of online meetings being held in advance of the United Nations’ COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland, later this year. Welby said that “the relationship between science and faith presents us with a very real and a powerful route to lasting, major change. Our global reach, our commitment to local communities and our hope combined with the knowledge and expertise of science can forge a powerful alliance.”

He welcomed United States President Joe Biden’s decision to resume America’s commitment to the Paris Accord and said: “I speak as a Christian. Jesus teaches us that there are no greater commandments than to love God and love our neighbor. To abide by those commandments as a Christian today is to step up to the challenge of climate change and connected environmental crises.”
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba Asks Biden to Make Moderna Vaccine Available in South Africa

Posted March 2, 2021
[Anglican Communion News Service] Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba has appealed to United States President Joe Biden to use the immense wealth and power of the U.S. to ensure that South Africa and other countries that desperately need coronavirus vaccines have access to them. Speaking to the online publication The Intercept, Makgoba said, “I would say to President Biden: ‘You have an amazing opportunity to be a force for good in the world. So we are appealing to you … look at those that are suffering and ensure that there is access, particularly to the global south, to this lifesaving vaccine.’”

Makgoba is specifically requesting that the Biden administration make the Moderna vaccine available in South Africa. He wants the Moderna vaccine because it is 94% effective. Until recently, South Africa was preparing to begin injections of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, but the government halted the rollout because that vaccine has been shown to provide only minimal protection against a variant of the coronavirus first discovered in South Africa.
IN BRIEF . . .

These news briefs were featured in previous issues of "The Epistle"

Please submit your story ideas to the Epistle Staff at news@allsaintskauai.org.
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