Volume 6, Issue 47
November 19, 2021
THIS SUNDAY: November 21, 2021
Christ the King Sunday
Holy Sovereigns

Note: Readings are from the feast day of the Holy Sovereigns, November 28th

Acts 17:22-31
The Apostle Paul cleverly preaches to the people of Athens by appealing to their love of idols by citing the one "to an Unknown God" as referring to the God who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 97:1, 9-12
In praise of Our God, who is above all other gods and who holds the lives of God's faithful ones.

Matthew 25:31-46
Jesus gives a startling criterion for those who will get to be with God in heaven from those who will not -- the former care for the least, last, and lost in society.

Suzanne Kobayashi (EM)*
John Hanaoka (U)
Diane Sato (AG)
Mark Cain (DM)

Mario Antonio(EM)
David Crocker (U)
Nelson Secretario (LR)
Jan Hashizume (AG)
Vikki Secretario, Mabel Antonio (HP)
Carolyn Morinishi, Ron Morinishi (DM)

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

Special Holy Sovereigns Aloha Hour
Sunday, November 21st
after the 9:30AM service
Church Lanai

Dance Ministry Christmas Dance Practice
Sunday, November 21st, 28th
December 12th
Memorial Hall

Ke Akua Youth Group Meeting
Wednesday, November 17th
5:00 - 6:00PM
Zoom Meeting
Contact Cami for login info.

Thanksgiving Interfaith Service
Thursday, November 25th
10:30 - 11:00AM

Thanksgiving To-Go Boxed Lunches
Thursday, November 25th
Drive through and walk up available
Church Campus

Advent Formation Class
The Tales of Mother Mary - Exploring Our Advent Gospel Stories
Advent 1, November 28th: Luke 1:26-38
The Annunciation to Mary
Advent 2, December 5th: Luke 1:39-45
Two Cousins and Two Pregnancies
Advent 3, December 12th: Luke 1:46-56
Mary's Song of Praise
Advent 4, December 19th: Matthew 1:18-25
Joseph's Support of Mary
8:45 - 9:15AM
Church lanai canopy

Project Vision Hi`ehi`e Mobile Showers with Laundry Love Go-Bags
Thursday, December 2nd
11:00AM - 4:00PM
Church Lawn

Note: Daughters of the King Canceled for Wednesday, November 24th
Daughters of the King
Wednesday, December 8th
6:00 - 7:00PM
Zoom Meeting
Contact Mabel Antonio for login info.

Recurring Events
Aloha Hour
Every Sunday after the 9:30AM service
Church Lanai

Monday/Friday Crew
Every Monday/Friday, 8:00AM 
Church Office

Project Vision Hi`ehi`e Mobile Showers
1st and 3rd Thursday, 12:00 - 3:00PM
Church Campus
Laundry Love Go-Packs
1st and 3rd Thursdays, 12:00 - 3:00PM
Church Campus

Daughters of the King
2nd & 4th Wednesday, 6:00 - 7:00PM
2021 Holy Sovereigns' Celebration
This Sunday, November 21st - 9:30AM
All Saints' Episcopal Church will be holding its annual celebration of the lives and accomplishments of King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma - the Holy Sovereigns - on Sunday, November 21st. The service will start at 9:30AM.


Within a year of ascending the throne in 1855, the twenty-year-old King Kamehameha IV and his spouse, Emma Rooke, embarked on the path of altruism and unassuming humility for which they have been revered by their people. 

In 1860, the king and queen petitioned the Bishop of Oxford to send missionaries to establish the Anglican Church in Hawaii. The king’s interest came through a boyhood tour of England where he had seen, in the stately beauty of Anglican liturgy, a quality that seemed attuned to the gentle beauty of the Hawaiian spirit. England responded by sending the Rt. Rev. Thomas N. Staley and two priests. They arrived on October 11, 1862, and the king and queen were confirmed a month later, on November 28, 1862. They then began preparations for a cathedral and school, and the king set about to translate the Book of Common Prayer and much of the hymnal.

Kamehameha’s and Emma’s lives were marred by the tragic death of their only child, a four-year-old son, in 1863. Kamahameha seemed unable to survive his sadness, although a sermon he preached after his son’s death expresses a hope and faith that is eloquent and profound. His own death took place only a year after his son’s, in 1864. Emma declined to rule; instead, she committed her life to good works. She was responsible for schools, churches, and efforts on behalf of the poor and sick. She traveled several times to England and the European continent to raise funds and became a favorite of Queen Victoria’s. Archbishop Longley of Canterbury remarked upon her visit to Lambeth: “I was much struck by the cultivation of her mind…But what excited my interest most was her almost saintly piety.”
The cathedral was completed after Emma died. It was named St. Andrew’s in memory of the king, who died on that saint’s day. Among the Hawaiian people, Emma is still referred to as “our beloved Queen.”
Special Holy Sovereigns Aloha Hour
 Bring Pupus and Beverages and Join the Celebration
Aloha kākou,

We have a big and exciting morning coming up this Sunday 21 November -- Holy Sovereigns and Christ the King, when we honor our beloved King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma in the light of Christʻs loving and self-giving sovereignty as our King and Lord.

We are asking as many as possible to bring either pupus or beverages to share this Sunday, like we did for Easter and SuperBowl Sundays. The pupus and beverages should be individually portioned as per COVID safety protocols for shared food, plus it makes it easier for our servers to give portions to everyone.

Much mahalo for ensuring a meaningful and fun time of fellowship together to honor the Holy Sovereigns.

-Kahu Kawika+
You care for the sick and suffering in body, mind, and spirit, especially Noah’s ʻOhana; RebeccaLarry, Suzanne, Melvin, Diane, Jeffrey, Ronald, the Nomi `Ohana, the Nakamura `Ohana, and those we name silently or aloud, let us pray to the Lord. ​Lord, have mercy. 

You embrace all who have died in the faith and bring them into your glorious presence. We pray especially for Noah, Jennie, Paul, and others we name silently or aloud. We thank you for their example and rejoice in their lives. We pray to you, O Lord. 
A Commitment to Respond to God's Generosity 
On All Saints' Sunday, Bill Caldwell presented his view of Stewardship and the Church budget. To hear his take on this subject, please click on the video link below.
Your Pledges of Time, Talent, and Treasure to the Honor and Glory of God are Always Welcome
There is No Time Limit on Giving
Your pledges to the church are welcome any time of year. If you didn't receive a pledge card in the mail, go to allsaintskauai.org to find out how to pledge. Our pledge cards came this year with an accompanying list of the many ministries active at All Saints’. We can choose to pledge ourselves to help with one ministry, or several, and we can choose to make a financial contribution to the church, and we can pledge our skills and talents to help the church.

Prayerfully consider pledging your time, talent, and financial resources. Join us Sundays to celebrate God’s gifts.
Jesus stands before Pilate. We know this story. We hear it on Good Friday, we remember it every week in the Nicene Creed. And our ears hear it anew today, on the cusp of Advent, as we are emerging and rebuilding from an unimaginable time of pandemic. Once again, we proclaim Christ the King of all Creation.

As Jesus and Pilate talk, we learn something powerful about who Jesus is and how he serves God and humanity. We are reminded of who he is called to be and what he has come here to do. And it invites us to wonder who we are and who we are called to be, in this moment, in this season of our lives, and in this moment of our Church. What strikes me how Jesus acts in the time of trial. He acts with integrity. He makes a choice to remain wholly who he is, firmly rooted in love of God and clear about the work he has come to do. In that moment Jesus stays true to who he is. His trust in God remains steadfast too.

We’re invited to do the same. We know this in a distinct way in stewardship season. Our money is one of the most powerful and honest symbols of what we offer to God and to the church. It is one of the truest ways we can understand what we value and what we believe. Faithful, selfless and generous giving invites into a deeper relationship with God and our money. And it requires us to do the hard, but essential work of looking deep within to discover what we truly value, what we consider most precious.

The Rev. Sarah Fisher is rector of St. Catherine’s Church in Marietta, Georgia and is a former member of the Board of Directors for TENS.
Covid Safety Protocols Eased
Let Them Sing!
Bishop Bob has eased some of the Covid safety precautions for churches in the diocese. Here are the highlights:

  1. Congregational singing is now allowed if everyone is masked.
  2. Preaching and reading behind a plexiglass protector without masks is allowed.
  3. Aloha Hour can be resumed outdoors.
  4. Current communion protocols remain in place. Remove your mask only to consume the elements.

All Saints' will resume congregational singing on November 14th. Come and join the joyful noise!
Reflections from Kahu Kawika
Keep Calm & Carry On
The Epistle will now offer both video and text versions of Kahu's sermon presented the previous Sunday. To watch the sermon, click on the link below.
Proper 28B
Daniel 12:1-3
Mark 13:1-8
Psalm 16
Hebrews 10:11-14, 19-25
14 November 2021

One day this past week I happened to be having lunch out, and at a table near me I started hearing a fellow customer speaking excitedly in a joyful voice. It sounded like he was exclaiming to his tablemates, “I love Jesus! I love Jesus!” I wondered if maybe this man had just found faith in Jesus and was so excited to tell his friends that he couldn’t keep it in. I literally thought that revival was breaking out! I was thinking about going over to introduce myself as a priest and to affirm what he was saying, when I heard what he was really going on about: “I love Cheez-Its! I love Cheez-Its!”, in reference to the Kellogg’s cheese crackers. Why he was exclaiming his love for Cheez-Its while eating with friends at a restaurant is beyond me!

Some Christians who love Jesus sometimes let their excitement get the better of them and start to speculate in an unhealthy way whether we are living in the Last Times. Justifiably they point to things like the pandemic, our hyper-polarized politics, cyber insecurity, economic rollercoasters, and the effects of climate change as potential signs of the end. They may feel hard done by in this life and thus want Christ to come back at the end of time and set things right again – and they hope it will be sooner rather than later. The last time I was in a Barnes & Noble bookstore, I noticed long rows of books devoted to the Last Times – it’s in fact a whole section of the bookstore unto itself. There certainly seems to be a cottage industry for books and literature to do with speculating on if in fact we are living close to the end of time.
Our gospel lesson appointed for this Sunday is apocalyptic writing. The word apocalypse means an unveiling or uncovering of what was previously unknown or hidden. Apocalyptic literature abounds with bizarre visions and strange symbolism. Apocalyptic writing emerges especially when people are in desperate situations, in times of persecution, when their faith is under attack or in danger of being abandoned for the sake of safety. Because it’s written in times of persecution, apocalyptic writing often uses symbolic speech that makes it seem a sealed book to those outside the situation – as a kind of code for those on the inside to decipher.

What is always clear, though, is that apocalyptic writing, including chapter 13 of Mark’s Gospel, is written to give hope to its readers. Even though Jesus tells his disciples that the stones of the Temple will one day be torn apart (which gets fulfilled 40 years later when the Roman Empire breaks down the Temple), that’s not the end of the world and in the meantime life will go on – “wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, famines” – NOT that we are near the end, but rather “this is only the beginning of the labor pains” (Mark 13:8). 

Jesus is warning his disciples, and us, to keep our eyes focused on God and God’s actions in history, and to give us assurance that, despite appearances to the contrary, God is still God. God still reigns. The future belongs to God. And Jesus is reminding his disciples that our times—our past, our present, our future—are in God’s hands. While we still have human choice and agency, the fact is that God will work God’s purposes out within human history, within time and space, on this earth, until God brings about the new heavens and a new earth.

The central theme of apocalyptic literature is God’s revelation concerning the coming of the kingdom of God, the fullness of the reign of God. God’s work in history is purposeful, and events are pressing toward the realization of the divine goal for all of God’s creation. In Britain during World War II, posters were up all over London during the Nazi bombings, and they said, “Keep Calm and Carry On.” I think this is what Jesus is trying to convey to his followers – that God is still in control. History is not spinning in circles or repeating itself like the cycle of the seasons. Nor is it haphazardly governed by blind fate or chance. Israel perceived that its history was part of a great divine drama, which, under the direction of God, is moving toward a final consummation.

There are three things to help us to “keep calm and carry on,” to keep steady in our faith that God is in control and that the future belongs to God:

  • Hold onto the Big Picture: The book of Daniel gives us this morning another piece of the Big Picture. In our reading this morning from near the end of the book in chapter 12, Daniel reminds his readers that God and the armies of God, including the Archangel Michael, are on our side. Additionally, our names are written in the Book of Life – we are not forgotten nor ignored, but precious in God’s sight. Those who are wise and stand up for justice in this world will one day rise up from death to shine like the stars. 

This is a glorious picture of hope that we get from the Book of Daniel, reminding us of the Big Picture and the grand movement of history. While we go through many zigs and zags in our lives, we can trust that God is in control and that God is working things out for our benefit and for God’s glory. As we’re reminded in Romans 8:28: “We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God and for those who are called according to God’s purpose.”

  • Know Scripture: Along with our church tradition and use of our reason, being acquainted with the Bible as our scripture shows us God’s character and purposes, and how we can grow more like Jesus in our daily walks. This is not a call for proof-texting, using one piece or passage of scripture to justify our own actions or decisions. It is instead the much more challenging task of examining our whole lives in light of the whole body of Scripture. Not of knowing just a few beloved verses, but knowing the whole story, its shapes and themes and concerns. 

This reminds me of when I took one of my favorite classes in college: The Works of J. R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. One of the themes we noticed in his stories is that the prophecies predicting good things in the end win out – despite the story characters going through severe setbacks and moments of losing all hope. As these characters make their long journeys in Middle Earth to fulfill the tasks they have to do, what motivates them is this sense that they are walking along the contours of history and marching toward the fulfillment of its culmination. Tolkien, a Roman Catholic Christian, purposely infused his Judeo-Christian worldview into his stories.

When we know how the story ends, with victory over death, with joy over sorrow, with love over pain, and that the way to victory is through Jesus’ self-giving love who was willing to suffer and die, we have reason to hope, now and in the future.

  • Expect Trouble, but Expect God More: The early Christians who would have heard or read the Gospel of Mark were people feeling desolated. Many had experienced persecution and even death at the hands of Roman emperors like Nero. By the time of the writing of Mark’s Gospel after 70 CE, the Temple itself has been destroyed by the Roman armies as Jesus had predicted 40 years earlier in our reading from Mark 13, and so especially Jews and Jewish Christians would have easily felt abandoned by God – “How could God allow such a thing to happen?”

Both Jesus and Daniel earlier try to brace their hearers to expect trouble – great suffering, wars and rumors of wars, disturbances in nature like earthquakes and famines, and later in Mark the betrayal of family members – all of which by the way resonates with the Buddhist teaching to expect suffering in this life so that we won’t get dismayed. But the good news and the great hope we have is that such suffering is not the end of the story. Expect trouble, but expect God more. 

God can use whatever present sufferings we are going through to draw us more in dependence on God, as well as to be a help to others who end up going through the same thing later on. As the Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1:4-6a, “God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the same comforting God has given us. For while the sufferings of Christ are abundantly ours, our comforting is just as abundant through Christ. If we are troubled, it is for your comfort and salvation.” What Paul is saying is that sometimes we go through stuff so that we can have the integrity to help out others going through something similar.

So we can know the future belongs to God when we keep in mind these three vital truths: (1) Hold onto the Big Picture; (2) Know Scripture; and (3) Expect Trouble, but Expect God More. While the future is in God’s hands, our own lives and how we choose to live them are in ours. God’s kuleana is in working all things out, but our kuleana is in working with God and God’s people to be living saints improving this world in our own personal ways. No matter how distressing life gets, we have a God who knows what we are going through, because Jesus himself walked this earth and continues to walk with us through thick and thin. God is at work, and God will work things out in the end. “Keep Calm & Carry On.” Amen.
Kapa`a Interfaith Association to Provide Thanksgiving Luncheon
Aloha All Saints' `Ohana,

Thanksgiving is next month and the Free Community Dinner and Service will again be hosted by the Kapa`a Interfaith Association. All Saints' will be an active participant again this year by hosting both the Interfaith Service and the “Pick-Up” Meals from the north side of the gym.

Mahalo nui Loa to everyone who has volunteered to help with Thanksgiving. We are in a wonderful place with more people than needed - what a great problem to have!
If I could have one or two people to help me set up the day before, I would be set. It is putting up tables and hopefully a tent over the “drive-thru” area.

Nothing more is needed except your prayers for a successful Thanksgiving event: the service, the Home Delivery, and the Pick Up at gym.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

-Sarah Rogers
Thanksgiving Chair 2021

You can sign up by calling Sarah at 808-822-3473 or emailing her kuipokauai@gmail.com.
Kapa`a Interfaith Alliance Wins Challenging Religious and Political Extremism Award
Congratulations to the Kapaʻa Interfaith Association (KIA) for being named the 2021 Recipient of the "Challenging Religious and Political Extremism" Award from The Interfaith Alliance of Hawaiʻi (TIAH), in recognition for KIA's years-long commitment to bring local houses of worship of different faiths together for interfaith dialogue, worship, and social outreach during the Thanksgiving holiday! A big shout out especially to our own members Sarah Rogers and Mary Margaret Smith for their leadership, coordination, and vision.

-Kahu Kawika+

New Advent Formation Class
The Tales of Mother Mary - Exploring Our Advent Gospel Stories
Please join Kahu Kawika and Seminary Intern Suzanne Kobayashi during the Advent Season between our Sunday services (8:45 - 9:15AM) under the canopy as we explore in greater depth our four Advent Gospel lessons, as follows:

Advent 1, 28 Nov.: Luke 1:26-38 - The Annunciation to Mary
Advent 2, 5 Dec.: Luke 1:39-45 - Two Cousins and Two Pregnancies
Advent 3, 12 Dec.: Luke 1:46-56 - Mary's Song of Praise
Advent 4, 19 Dec.: Matthew 1:18-25 - Joseph's Support of Mary

This is your chance to get to respond back to the preacher to the sermons, which will all be based on these four Advent Gospel accounts. A hui hou!
All Saints' Dance Ministry to Perform during Advent Season
All are Invited to Participate
Japanese dance Christmas
Aloha All Saints' friends,

We are preparing a Christmas dance to be performed at service on December 19, and we would like to invite you to participate. This dance can involve people both on-island and remote, both female and male. We will mix a video of the remote dancers (to be shown on the sanctuary screens), and the on island dancers will perform live. So, whether you happen to be on Kaua'i, O'ahu, or the mainland, you can participate!

Background: In 2019, we choreographed a super-simple hula to "Angels from the Realms of Glory." A hula to this song had been taught by Mrs. Punua as part of the Christmas pageant back in the 1960s -- all wearing white -- so we decided to recreate that dance in 2019.

For this year, we decided to keep the same choreography. Instead of live music, we will all dance to the same recorded track, which will enable the live and video dancers' timing to match.

If you would like to participate:
  • Please buy or borrow all white clothing (see photo)
  • For on island dancers, please attend one or more short practices at 10:30am on Sundays: Nov 21, Nov 28, Dec 12
  • We will record a video of the steps so you can learn/practice at home.
  • For remote dancers: by Dec 5, please record a video of you dancing this dance, wearing all-white clothing, preferably in front of green plants/trees

Please reply to Carolyn (bmori.16@gmail.com) by Nov 28 and let us know if you will participate. When you reply, we will send you a practice video and give you instructions to record/submit your video. Thank you!

-Carolyn Morinishi
60th Anniversary Full Communion Concordat
Coming Up: Sunday, November 21

A Liturgy to Celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Full Communion Concordat between The Episcopal Church and the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI or Philippine Independent Church) will be broadcast online, Sunday, November 21, 2021, at 1:00 PM HST, 6:00 PM EST, 7:00 AM (Monday) Manila. The Diocese of Hawai'i will be hosting the virtual event that will be available for viewing on the Diocesan website HERE and/or the Diocese's YouTube channel HERE.
LIVE from Tenney Theater!
Trinity of notable women come together in their recognition of the power of prayer to soothe in times of deep loss
The Diocese of Hawai'i presents Anchored: Julian, Emma & Lydia, a play by Jackie Pualani Johnson, Prof. Emerita, Performing Arts Department, University of Hawai'i at Hilo. Originally planned to be performed during Convention 53, the play was postponed when the event went entirely online. The play is now being performed in conjunction with the Feast Day of Our Holy Sovereigns, King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma, this Sunday, November 21, at 4:00 PM. Due to pandemic restrictions, the performance will take place to a small private audience in Tenney Theater, and will be livestreamed to the Diocese's Facebook page HERE.

Anchored was conceived by Rae Costa of the Diocesan Support Center, who broached the idea of framing a theatrical piece that would bring together three women important to the Episcopal Church, each who experienced sequestering during challenging times. Her premise was built on this time of pandemic constraints which are marked by the need to shelter and withdraw from "normal life." Be sure to tune in and don't miss this extraordinary event!
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Christ the King Sunday
Christ the King Sunday is a feast celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church on the last Sunday of the liturgical year. It celebrates Christ's messianic kingship and sovereign rule over all creation. The feast is unofficially celebrated in some Episcopal parishes, but it is not mentioned in the Episcopal calendar of the church year. Marion Hatchett notes that the Prayer Book collect for Proper 29, the last Sunday of the church year, is a “somewhat free” translation of the collect of the Feast of Christ the King in the Roman Missal. This collect prays that God, “whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords,” will “Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule” (BCP, p. 236). The feast was originally instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925 and celebrated on the last Sunday in Oct. It has been observed on the last Sunday before Advent since 1970.

Christ the King Sunday: #AdventWord
November 21, 2021
For the eighth year, #AdventWord will gather prayers via a global, online Advent calendar. Forward Movement, the new home of AdventWord, will offer 28 daily meditations and images during this holy season beginning Sunday, November 28.

Gathering a worldwide community, #AdventWord provides a daily meditation, visual image, and invites your personal reflections via social media to share your own Advent journey. Thousands have participated each year, responding to the words with photos, written responses, crafts, drawings, poems, found art, and Holy Spirit-filled posts.

“A wonderful diversity of our church is witnessed in the reflections this year,” says AdventWord program director, Sarah Stonesifer Boylan. “The beauty of AdventWord stretches out to include a myriad of voices each Advent. I am looking forward to seeing the prayer-filled responses!”

The Advent Sunday lectionary readings inspire the word list for #AdventWord. Discover the visual and written meditations and give yourself the opportunity to dive deeper into the stories of this waiting season.

The prompts for 2021 #AdventWord are:
November 28 - Promise
November 29 - Strength
November 30 - Soul
December 1 - Path
December 2 - Justice
December 3 - Fulfill
December 4 - Heart
December 5 - Praise
December 6 - Everlasting
December 7 - Offering
December 8 - Messenger
December 9 - Splendor
December 10 - Repent
December 11 - Compassion
December 12 - Expectation December 13 - Share December 14 - Exult December 15 - Stir
December 16 - Gladness December 17 - Bountiful
December 18 - Sing December 19 - Blessed December 20 - Feed December 21 - Generations December 22 - Magnify December 23 - Flock December 24 - Greeting December 25 - Child
The #AdventWord Images and meditations can be experienced through AdventWord.org, direct daily emails, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and ASL videos via YouTube. Meditations will also be available in English, Spanish, and French via email and on www.adventword.org.

Published by the Office of Formation of The Episcopal Church, 815 Second Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10017
© 2020 The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America. All rights reserved.

Psalm 121

Kimberly Knowle-Zeller
November 16, 2021
I lift up my eyes to the skies – 
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, 
creator of sunrises and sunsets
wild bears and lap dogs
cherry trees, dogwoods, and dandelions
blades of grass and leaves of gold and red. 
The Lord will be with you – 
walking beside you
listening to your cries
rejoicing in your joy
holding on to hope with you. 
The Lord watches over you – 
waking and sleeping
playing and resting
learning and working
running and walking
traveling and staying home.
The Lord will not leave you – 
whether in sickness or health
belief or doubt
the Lord calls you beloved child; 
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forever more. 


(Based on Psalm 121)
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.
Bishop, Blacksmithing Crew Melt Guns for Garden Tools in Swords to Plowshares Demonstration

David Paulsen
November 16, 2021
Bishop Jim Curry, right, retired bishop suffragan of the Diocese of Connecticut, guides Washington Bishop Mariann Budde in hammering and shaping the metal of a former gun into a garden tool on Capitol Hill. Photo: David Deutsch

[Episcopal News Service] The Rt. Rev. Jim Curry answered his phone Nov. 15 while driving his Toyota Highlander south down Interstate 95 toward Washington, D.C., with two colleagues on board. The vehicle was towing a trailer loaded with their essential cargo: a traditional blacksmithing forge.

Curry, a founding member of Bishops United Against Gun Violence, and his Connecticut-based crew were on their way to appear the next day on Capitol Hill to demonstrate how they melt down guns and turn them into gardening tools. The nonprofit he co-founded in 2017, Swords to Plowshares Northeast, is centered on the process.

The organization takes its name from a passage from Isaiah 2:4 – “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” Swords to Plowshares promotes gun safety with a visual, tangible ministry that Curry says is both practical and symbolic.

“When we started evangelizing and talking to police departments and communities around the country and we could show them the actual transformation, these weapons of death into instruments of life, it’s just been an amazing process,” Curry told Episcopal News Service. “People really get it.”
Bishop Jim Curry heats the metal of a former gun in the mobile forge used by the nonprofit Swords to Plowshares Northeast in its demonstrations. Photo: David Deutsch

Curry retired in 2014 as bishop suffragan in the Diocese of Connecticut. He now serves as chief blacksmith for Swords to Plowshares, demonstrating his skills with a hammer and anvil at gun buyback events across the Northeast. He’s helped the nonprofit destroy about 800 guns in four years. More were melted down Nov. 16 when Curry and the blacksmithing crew fired up the forge during the noon hour outside the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, about a block and a half from the U.S. Capitol.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, both Democrats from Connecticut, attended the demonstration and participated in part of the process of melting and reshaping the former weapons. Washington Bishop Marianne Budde also joined them.

The organization’s ministry is deeply rooted in Connecticut, where lawmakers and Episcopal leaders were moved to action on gun reforms by the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, which left 20 students and six educators dead. Curry recalls responding to the scene of the shooting that day with Connecticut Bishop Ian Douglas and Bishop Suffragan Laura Ahrens.

“Quite frankly, you don’t live through that without your lives changing,” Curry said.

In the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy, the Connecticut bishops joined with bishops in other dioceses that were grieving mass shootings and formed Bishops United Against Gun Violence. The network, with more than 100 member bishops, now is a leading churchwide voice of advocacy for gun safety legislation and common sense precautions, like gun locks and safes. The bishops also memorialize the victims of gun violence and offer prayers and pastoral care to survivors.

In Washington, The Episcopal Church’s advocacy is led by the Office of Government Relations, which has pushed this year for passage of legislation that would strengthen and expand background checks for gun purchases. The House passed two such bills this year, but they have since stalled in the Senate. “A majority of Americans recognize the urgent need for gun reform,” the Office of Government Relations said in an action alert to its Episcopal Public Policy Network.

The agency’s advocacy follows Episcopal policy positions established by General Convention in resolutions dating to 1976 that call for legislation to address the problem of gun violence.
Bishop Jim Curry shows one of the finished tools created from surrendered weapons as part of the Swords to Plowshares demonstration Nov. 16 in Washington, D.C. Photo: David Deutsch

Raising awareness of those positions is one goal of Swords to Plowshares, and the demonstration on Nov. 16 in Washington was arranged to draw the attention of lawmakers, news outlets and passersby on Capitol Hill.

“The biblical promise of swords being turned into plowshares was reenacted today. Our hope is that we can all help to build a more peaceful world,” Lindsey Warburton, a policy analyst with the Office of Government Relations, said in an emailed statement to ENS. “We are glad to support Swords to Plowshares, the work of Bishops United against Gun Violence, and advocacy to the U.S. government to ensure our communities do not suffer any more from gun violence.”

The mobile blacksmithing forge that Curry and his team use is fired by propane, and their blacksmithing tools include hammers, tongs, chisels and anvils. They take the barrels of rifles, pistols and shotguns and heat them in the forge and then reshape the malleable metal into hand tools. Trowels, shaped from shotgun barrels, are relatively easy, Curry told ENS. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to get the rough shape. Revolvers and rifles typically are made from heavier metals, which take more time to mold, he said. The blacksmiths then grind the metal to complete the tool.

The idea for Swords to Plowshares was inspired by a Mennonite blacksmithing ministry in Colorado called RAWtools. Its motto: “Disarm hearts. Forge peace. Cultivate justice.” After hearing about RAWtools’ efforts to collect surrendered weapons and melt them down, Curry went to apprentice with them.

Taking what he learned, Curry and the team now partner with police agencies and other local groups to organize gun buybacks, at which guns can be surrendered with no questions asked, in exchange for cash or other compensation. After the weapons are transformed into gardening tools, Swords to Plowshares donates them to community gardens.

The method and the message are closely intertwined, Curry said, and this transformation that ends the guns’ existence can be emotionally powerful for observers. At a recent session in Massachusetts, “as the gardeners saw us making tools and received tools from us, they were just in tears,” Curry said. “The larger message is, as a society we don’t have to be bound by violence.”

Curry acknowledged that the organization can only melt down guns that are surrendered, leaving plenty of guns out of the organization’s reach in a country where 40% of adults live in a household with a gun.

He emphasized that 60% of the 40,000 gun deaths each year in the United States are not homicides but suicides. “Those suicides are because unsecured guns are available to people at moments of crisis. Buybacks get those guns out of homes,” Curry said.

He also lamented the hundreds of people wounded or killed in the U.S. annually in accidental shootings by children; guns also are prime targets for thefts from homes, especially in suburban communities. In response, Swords to Plowshares works with its community partners to encourage gun owners to obtain locks and safes to secure their firearms.

“If people can rethink their need to have unsecured guns in their house, then we’re really changing the understanding of the place of guns in our lives,” he said.
From left, Bishop Jim Curry, Steve Yanovsky and Pina Violano, co-founders of Swords to Plowshares Northeast, hold up some of the garden tools they created from former guns during a demonstration of the process on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Photo: David Deutsch

Destroying guns is the most direct way Swords to Plowshares fulfills its mission. The garden tools that were created Nov. 16 on Capitol Hill mostly came from metal obtained in gun buybacks held in the Connecticut communities of New Haven, Guilford and Hamden, Curry said, and they eventually will be put in the hands of gardeners.

That process conveys “a real sense of transformation,” he said. “That’s what gives hope.”

– David Paulsen is an editor and reporter for Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at dpaulsen@episcopalchurch.org.
Episcopal Delegates to COP26 Climate Conference Share Lessons of Hope and Struggle with the Church

Eagan Millard
November 12, 2021
[Episcopal News Service] Delegates representing Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and The Episcopal Church at the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference presented a summary of their work to the church on Nov. 12, saying they felt empowered by their presence even though the ultimate outcome of the conference remained uncertain. Delegates said they were frustrated to witness political leaders’ ongoing obstructionism, but proud of the voices and religious conviction that they brought to the table.

“You are making the creation glad,” California Bishop Marc Andrus told the delegates during the presentation. “The groaning of the creation is being turned into the good news and the rejoicing of the creation by your work. There’s so much more to do.”

COP26, known officially as the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, took place in Glasgow, Scotland, and online from Oct. 31 through Nov. 12. Andrus led the Episcopal delegation alongside Lynnaia Main, The Episcopal Church’s representative to the United Nations. They were joined by 24 clergy and lay delegates from across the church, as well as staff members the Rev. Melanie Mullen, director of reconciliation, justice, and creation care; Phoebe Chatfield, program associate for creation care and justice; Rebecca Cotton, a fellow in the church’s Washington, D.C.-based Office of Government Relations; and Nick Gordon, intern for the United Thank Offering.

Part of the delegates’ mission was to learn about the state of the climate crisis and efforts to address it, and to bring what they learned back to the wider church.

“The church is here to do this work not just for the 24 folks who were selected as delegates, but as a whole – as a body of Christ,” Mullen said.

You are encouraged to read the entire article HERE.
Five Marks of Mission
"The Mission of the Church is the Mission of Christ"
The Five Marks of Mission is an important statement on mission. They express the Anglican Communion’s common commitment to, and understanding of, God’s holistic and integral mission. The mission of the Church is the mission of Christ.
The first Mark of Mission, identified with personal evangelism at the Anglican Consultative Council in 1984 (ACC-6) is a summary of what all mission is about, because it is based on Jesus’ own summary of his mission. This should be the key statement about everything we do in mission. 
The Five Marks of Mission:

  1. To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  2. To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
  3. To respond to human need by loving service
  4. To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation
  5. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth
Editor's Note: I urge you to watch the video below to learn about the global Anglican efforts to support the Fifth Mark of Mission: Creation Care
IN BRIEF . . .

These news briefs were featured in previous issues of "The Epistle"
From The Epistle, November 12, 2021
All Saints' Sunday Necrology
Rest eternal grant to them, O Lord:
And let light perpetual shine upon them
During the church service on November 7th, the names of the All Saints' `Ohana and loved ones who had passed on to the Grander Life in the past year were read and prayed for. Click on the link below to view the reading of the necrology.
Who Do You Call?

Contact information for All Saints' Ministries and Outreach

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