Volume 6, Issue 32
August 6, 2021
THIS SUNDAY: August 8, 2021
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

1 Kings 19:3-8 
God meets the prophet Elijah in his greatest moment of need and weakness after fleeing from the disobedient King and Queen of Israel.

Psalm 34:1-8 
Praise for God, who answers the psalmist and frees them from their fears.

Ephesians 4:25-5:2 
Be imitators of God as God's children, in word and in deed.

John 6:35, 41-51 
Jesus assures the disbelieving crowd that he is indeed the Bread of Life.

Joe Adorno (EM)*
Jeff Albao (U)
Dee Grigsby (AG)
Mark Cain(DM)

Dileep Bal (EM)
Mary Margaret Smith (U)
Joan Roughgarden (LR)
Faith Shiramizu (AG)
Nelson Secretario, Mabel Antonio (HP)
Curtis Shiramizu, Carolyn 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

Guest Celebrant
Rev. Austin Murray
Sunday, August 8th and 15th
8:00 and 9:30AM

Ke Akua Youth Group Meeting
Wednesday, August 11th
5:00 - 6:00PM
Zoom Meeting
Contact Cami for login info

Daughters of the King
Thursday, August 12th
7:00 - 8:00PM
Zoom Meeting
Contact Mabel Antonio

Organ Concert
Sunday, September 12th
2:00 - 4:00PM
Guest Organist: Peter Dubois

Recurring Events
Aloha Hour
Every Sunday, 10:45AM - 12:00PM
Under lanai tent

Monday/Friday Crew
Every Monday/Friday, 8:00AM 
Church Office
Laundry Love
1st & 3rd Wednesday, 5:00PM
Kapa`a Laundromat

Daughters of the King
2nd & 4th Thursday, 7:00 - 8:00PM
For those affected by the pandemic, those affected by racial violence, Nestor, Wanda, Clay, Vanessa, Noah, James, Taylor, and those we name silently or aloud, let us pray to the Lord. ​Lord, have mercy. 

For those saints who have gone before us in the Grander Life, especially those affected by the COVID-19 virus, Lawrence, Nathan, Bob, 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
The Everlasting Gobstopper

John 6:24-35
Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15
Ephesians 4:1-16
Proper 13B
1 August 2021

When I was a Priest Assistant and School Chaplain at St. Mark’s Church, School, and Preschool in Upland, CA, about 20 years ago, I was part of a group from our Deanery who organized ministry and activities for middle schoolers. We created an event called the “Bishop’s Middle School Ball,” open to all middle schoolers in our deanery of churches. We had outdoor game booths, including a dunking booth that would drop a priest into a pool of water whenever someone could successfully throw a ball at a nearby target – and yes, I got dunked!

We also had delicious food of various kinds donated for indoor eating inside our fellowship hall. While we were eating around our circular tables, a local magician we hired went around and performed tricks at each table. He came to ours and asked me to give him a quarter, so I pulled one out of my pocket and made a mental note of its features – the year that it was minted, as well as any nicks and scratches I could see that would only belong to that coin. The magician took my quarter and took a pencil from the table, and put the eraser end of the pencil on top of the face of the coin. Holding the coin in his fingers in one hand and the pencil in the other between his fingers, he started turning the pencil back and forth so that the eraser pivoted on the surface of the face of the quarter. All of a sudden, it looked like the metal of the coin around the pencil eraser started to bunch up, as if it were liquid, to make room for the eraser end to penetrate the coin. The magician twisted the eraser end back and forth until it seemed to poke through the other side of the coin! He then pulled the eraser end back up through the coin and the metal seemed to fill in the hole that was once there. Everyone couldn’t believe what they saw in front of them right before their eyes.

The whole time my brain was telling me that this is impossible, but my eyes told a different story. Perhaps this is like the crowds we come across in our readings this morning from John 6 and Exodus 16, where they witness food being produced from nowhere – from scarcity to abundance, and what seems impossible for people is possible with God. Both stories have the following in common:

  • There is a hungry crowd following a leader (Jesus and Moses, respectively)
  • Many in each crowd had seen or heard about other miracles associated with the leaders (physical healings, plagues of Egypt, splitting of the Red Sea)
  • The crowds follow a “gotta see it to believe it” attitude (doubting Moses’ intentions, wanting Jesus to be a strong political and military leader)
  • The leader, though, has a “gotta believe it to see it” posture (Moses urges his people to ‘draw near to God’ to see the miracle, and Jesus tells the crowd to ‘come to God first to get fed, and to believe first to slake thirst’)

Jesus, though, goes on to tell the crowd of something even greater than himself as a constant source of food or as a political leader to kick out the Romans. He describes himself as “the Bread of Life” and encourages the crowd to “feed on him,” no doubt to draw spiritual nourishment from following Jesus but also maybe John the Gospel writer’s hint of the importance of Holy Communion, to feed on Jesus’ body in a real sense. In one of the seven very important self-identifying “I Am” statements Jesus makes about himself in the Gospel of John, he tells them, “I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

This reminds me of the Roald Dahl classic book, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” which was made into two movies. The world-renown chocolate maker, Willy Wonka, informs the kids taking a tour of his factory that he has invented an amazing sweet called an “Everlasting Gobstopper”. Wonka’s claim is that this is a candy that can be enjoyed without ever melting down in the mouth, that it always lasts, and that his mean candy manufacturer competitor Mr. Slugworth would like to learn its formula out of fear of going out of business. Wonka had created the Everlasting Gobstopper “for children with very little money – you can suck on ‘em forever!”

In today’s Gospel reading from John 6, Jesus in essence declares himself God’s “Everlasting Gobstopper” for the world, that those who feed on him will never go hungry and never get thirsty. Why does Jesus declare this? Because the crowd are too attached to what they can get out of Jesus – they want more food! They see him as a glorified vending machine. But Jesus sets them straight by getting their priorities in order. Jesus, who is eternal, is better than any earthly food, which does not last for long. They want to see more and then believe, but Jesus says to believe in him first in order to see more.

People don’t change very much, and the crowd around Moses 1,200 years earlier are very similar to the people around Jesus. Despite bearing witness to the strong hand of God delivering them miraculously through the 10 Plagues including the death of the firstborn at Passover, then through the Red Sea to escape the pursuing Egyptian army, and finally to complete freedom from centuries of slavery, the reading starts off today describing how the people are complaining about the leadership of Moses and his brother Aaron, and the crowd actually crying out to go back to Egypt again! In short, the people love the gifts of God more than the Giver.

We tend to be rather myopic with our faith also. We are much more drawn to what God can give us or do for us than to God directly. This reminds me of when I started taking my own faith more seriously in my teenage and young adult years – I had many startling and wonderful answers to specific prayers to God, but had to learn to love God more than these. Getting to this level of faith is what I call “But Even If Not” faith, named for the three Jewish youths in the book of Daniel who refused to bow the knee to the King of Babylon – when the King threatens them with being set on fire unless they bow before a big idol in the king’s image, they refused, saying that they believe God can save them “but even if not, we will still refuse to bow down to your image, O King” (Daniel 3:18).

Like those brave youths, we can have a “but even if not” faith in God if we see God as the big value to which we adhere and are drawn, rather than things that are temporary gifts that can easily disappear and dissipate.

I close with the Collect Prayer for last week:

O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
austin murray

Join Us in Welcoming the Rev. Austin Murray
Guest Celebrant August 8th and 15th
While Kahu and Muriel will be away on vacation, we have the honor and delight of having as our supply guest priest the Rev. Austin Murray, for the Sundays of August 8th and 15th. Fr. Austin is a long-standing continuing member of the Diocese of Hawai`i, although he currently resides in New Jersey as the Priest-in-Charge of St. James Memorial Church, Eatontown. He is the former rector for many years of Trinity-by-the-Sea in Kihei, Maui. In addition, he was the founding Dean of the Waiolahui`ia Center for Ministry (WCM) in our diocese to train people for the lay, diaconal, and priestly orders of ministry and in which Kahu Kawika is the chief instructor. Please welcome and embrace Fr. Austin during his time with us!
office angel logo

Office Angels Want to Help Celebrate Your Birthday!
Look Forward to a Birthday Card in the Mail
The Office Angel Ministry humbly requests your participation in their new outreach effort. They would like to honor all participants on their birthdays with a special birthday card from All Saints' Church. If you would like to participate in this birthday initiative, please email back church@allsaintskauai.org with your birthday and any other information you would like to share. 

Birth years are not required, just the month and day. If you know of anyone else who may enjoy participating, please feel free to pass on their birthday and mailing address to us. Going forward, if we learn of birthdays from any sacramental events (baptisms, marriages, etc.) we will update your information to our list automatically. 
For those without email addresses, we will prepare a sign-up sheet to fill in at the church on Sundays. 
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. 

-Cami Baldovino
Church Administrator
Worship Ministry in Search of Ushers
Please Consider Joining this Important Ministry
The pandemic has changed many things at All Saints': how we greet one another, where we sit in the pews, how we receive communion. One not-so-visible change is our number of ushers. A stalwart few have returned with our in-person worship to greet our `Ohana and visitors as they arrive at the sanctuary and help guide them through communion, open the sanctuary before services and close it afterward, set up and break down the informational table by the front door, and other tasks as they appear. While the pandemic has reduced the duties of our ushers it has not eliminated the need for these dedicated volunteers. We look forward to the day when we can once again offer visitor lei and bring the offering to the altar for the blessing.

The duties of an usher are simple but vitally important to our Sunday services. If you feel called to serve, please contact Cami at church@allsaintskauai.org. She will pair you with a current usher to learn the responsibilities of this important ministry.
Sloggett Center Solar and Roofing Project Update
An Environmental Initiative
The preschool roofing and painting project is now finished. The new roof and paint give the Sloggett Center a fresh updated look. The kids will have a brand new preschool when classes begin in August.

The solar panel project is in the KIUC permitting stage. Most likely, we will wait for the fall break in the school calendar (October) to do that installation.

Our fundraising effort continue to ensure we have the capital to cover any unexpected expenses and to maintain our investment in our new roof and solar system. Continued support raised our total by $1,100 last week. Thank you to everyone who continues to give to this project.
The Vestry and the Environmental Ministry are grateful to all the donors who have contributed to make this project possible. We have gained another $1,000 since our last update. A special thanks to Kathy Northcutt for writing the NPT grant application that brought in $100,000 toward our goal. We are thankful that the All Saints’ `Ohana recognized the value of this project and donated so generously.

Mahalo nui loa to you all!
Announcing the Inaugural All Saints' Organ Concert
September 12, 2021
First in an On-going Series Supporting Our Community
Featuring Peter DuBois
Director of Music and Organist

Third Presbeterian Church
Rochester, NY
Peter DuBois has served as Director of Music/Organist at Third Church since 1991. In addition to his full-time duties at Third Church, he is Host and Producer for the popular nationally syndicated public radio program With Heart and Voice. For 15 years, while serving Third Church, Peter concurrently served on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music as Assistant Professor of Sacred Music and Director of the Sacred Music Diploma program. Prior to coming to Third Church, he served 10 years as Director of Music/Organist at Christ Church United Methodist in Charleston, West Virginia, and taught at West Virginia Wesleyan College and the University of Charleston.

Peter holds degrees in organ performance from the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Peter maintains an active performing career, with recitals throughout the United States and abroad, including at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, Notre-Dame de Paris (twice), the Basilica of Ste. Clotilde in Paris, and the Cathédrale du Saint-Saveur in Aix-en-Provence. 

Please join us on September 12th at 2:00PM for what promises to be a spectacular concert performed on All Saints' Rosales Opus 41 Pipe Organ.

Details to follow. Until then, mark the date!
Surge In Positive Delta Variant COVID-19 Cases
Aloha my dear Siblings in Christ Jesus,

I returned from visiting my Grandchildren in Rhode Island late Sunday to the new surge in positive COVID-19 cases here in the Islands. We are again faced with a difficult situation.

As with the broader community, there has a been a general relaxation of practices in our congregations over the past couple of months. The Customary in the time of Pandemic Updated 5 February 2021 is still the “official” word, but we are faced with a new situation. As the Episcopal Church in Hawaiʻi, we must renew our vigilance.

As we consider the current situation, I assume all clergy, lay leaders (wardens, vestry/bishop’s committee members, members of Standing Committee and Diocesan Council, etc.) and lay church employees who can be vaccinated, have been vaccinated against COVID-19. I am aware that some individuals have not been vaccinated for medical reasons and that children under 12 are not yet eligible to be vaccinated. Otherwise, I certainly hope all other Episcopalians in this Diocese have been vaccinated. I consider it imperative for our community and our moral responsibility to be vaccinated.

With the variant, we are facing additional concerns. Even those of us who have been vaccinated are susceptible to the Delta Variant of the Virus, though generally the impact on the health of the infected is significantly lessened. Those vaccinated, however, can still transmit the Virus. That means we can put children and the vulnerable at risk. We must again live into our responsibility to care for our neighbors (the Great Commandment: Mark 12:28-31). Being vaccinated, if able, is a moral responsibility.

With the Delta variant of COVID-19, masks should be worn by all at any indoor gathering. This includes indoor worship (or any small gatherings). For now, I also think masks worn by all at outdoor worship is important and a witness to our children and the vulnerable that we are in this together. With social distancing and plexiglass shields/screens, readers and preachers can still remove their masks to perform those tasks. I know some congregations have slowly introduced congregational singing with masks. I have asked the clergy to immediately reconsider that aspect of worship. I think the same is true of “Aloha Hour” (if there is such a short fellowship time after worship, it needs to be outside with masks and social distancing). Outdoor worship with masks and social distancing is still ideal. If indoors, everyone needs to be strict about social distancing and air flow must be maximized.

Keep in mind, even though most – if not all – parishioners have been vaccinated in any given congregation, we are again protecting the children and the vulnerable in our community, congregation and family. Masks, social distancing, and proper air flow are again a must.

Can the Church require vaccinations of Clergy and employees? The Chancellor is considering guidelines, but generally the answer is “yes.” The Bishop can require vaccinations of eligible Clergy who engage in direct physical contact with God’s people during sacerdotal ministrations. With appropriate accommodations, the Bishop can make it a requirement for eligible lay employees of the Episcopal Church in Hawaiʻi and Organized Missions. Similarly, Vestries can make it a condition for eligible lay employees in Parishes who are in contact with the public. Again, there may be medical reasons Clergy and lay employees cannot be vaccinated. The Chancellor is exploring appropriate guidelines with other chancellors of the Episcopal Church. I do believe this is a pastoral situation. I am not inclined to move to “requiring” vaccination of the clergy and lay employees. I trust those of us serving in God’s Church are morally responsible people and are willing to do the right thing for the Common Good, and have already been or will soon be vaccinated.

Can vaccinations be required of volunteers (Eucharistic Ministers, food distributers, thrift shop volunteers, etc.)? Yes, as a volunteer, a person’s involvement can be limited to include reasonable requirements to keep others (and the individual) safe. That can include vaccinations and especially if there is direct contact with an at-risk population. A person does not have to be a volunteer or be allowed to fulfill a particular volunteer ministry. Volunteers are not employees. Again, I understand this to be a pastoral situation.

Should churches suspend worship right now? At this time, I think churches can provide the needed safeguards with masks, social distancing, and sufficient air flow (ideally outdoors). I recognize that can change. I trust the “Clergy-in-Charge” (Rector, Vicar, Interim, Priest-in-Charge, etc.) or the Senior/Bishop’s Warden in congregations without a current “Clergy-in-Charge” to make such a call, but, generally, I think we are learning to deal with COVID-19 as best we can. I have asked to be informed if a congregation moves to suspend worship and to share with me the criteria in making the decision as it relates to the immediate local community.

As God’s Church, we have learned how to adapt in this pandemic, and the current surge is one more bump on the way to the “new” normal. Again, please encourage everyone who is able and eligible to be vaccinated.

Please contact me with any questions.

Almighty God, in Christ you make all things new: transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace, and in the renewal of our lives make known your heavenly glory; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Your Brother in Christ Jesus,

The Right Reverend Robert L. Fitzpatrick
(Pronouns: he, him, his)

Bishop Diocesan
The Episcopal Diocese of Hawai'i 
229 Queen Emma Square 
Honolulu, HI 96813-2304 

Be sure to stay informed with all the latest COVID-19 updates in Hawai'i through the State's portal HERE. You'll find latest news updates, stats, media resources, information on Safe Travels, Vaccination sites, and much more. Quick links to separate County vaccine webpages are shown below:

All Angels' Loaves & Fishes Receives Grants for Fresh Produce
The folks at St. Michael's and All Angels in Lihue have been looking at ways to acquire fresh produce for their Loaves and Fishes feeding ministry. They were just awarded two grants that will fund the purchase of fresh produce from local farmers beginning July of this year through June of 2022.

Pictured at left, their volunteers were able to hand out abundant bags of fresh produce, along with the usual bags of canned goods, pasta and bread acquired from the Hawai`i Food Bank. They worked with Malama Kaua`i who delivered the produce directly to our distribution site at Vidinha.

So many families commented on how happy they were to receive fresh goods. We are so thrilled to be able to provide even better nutritional options to those in need. Thank you to the foundations for entrusting us with these funds. We are grateful for your help in feeding those in need in our community. (Photo and story from the St. Michael weekly e-news)
Taking advantage of a unique virtual opportunity, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry invites all Episcopalians over 18 to consider applying to be a delegate to the 2021 United Nations climate change conference — known as the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties, or COP26. Applications are due by Aug. 20, and the presiding bishop’s delegation will attend daily virtual events during COP26, which takes place in Glasgow Oct. 31 to Nov. 12.

“This year’s online platform will allow for wider representation on the delegation,” said the Rev. Melanie Mullen, director of reconciliation, justice, and creation care for The Episcopal Church. “Episcopalians who are young adults, people of color, Indigenous, LGBTQ identifying, and from communities affected by climate change and environmental injustice are especially invited to apply.”

Organizers underscored the vital importance of decisions from the annual COP gatherings in the effort to reverse the worst effects of climate change. Already this year, June was recorded as North America’s hottest on record and the fourth hottest globally; the western U.S. is experiencing its worst drought in two decades.

“Non-governmental organizations, including religious bodies like The Episcopal Church, participate in these UN meetings by advocating for our own needs and concerns, especially giving voice to vulnerable populations within our Church,” said the Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California and head of the delegation. “As delegation members, we stand in solidarity with smaller nations, such as those in the Pacific Ocean, who already feel the leading-edge effects of climate change.”

During the conference, delegates will be expected to attend two to five hours of events per day and follow a particular issue within the climate negotiations. They will have the opportunity to speak at Episcopal Church COP events and write and publish blog posts about their engagement with the event.

“We bring our values and beliefs into the room at the COPs,” Andrus said. “The world religions hold the earth to be sacred, respect the rights of vulnerable populations, and have sacred paths for people to travel that lead us from disintegration to wholeness.”

The presiding bishop began sending a delegation to the COP with the historic Paris Agreement meeting in 2015 and has done so every year since. Delegates bring back what they learn to share with the wider church and also carefully monitor the major workstreams of the COP. These workstreams include mitigation, finance, adaptation, loss and damage, and raising ambition, which means accelerating progress to achieve emissions reduction goals and involves building consensus and partnering strategically at local and global levels.

The presiding bishop will announce his nominations for the delegation by early September. Members will meet monthly ahead of COP26 via video conferencing as well as daily during the November event.

To learn more and to apply by Aug. 20, visit https://www.episcopalchurch.org/ministries/creation-care/cop26/

Contact creation@episcopalchurch.org with questions.

Published by the Office of Formation of The Episcopal Church, 815 Second Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10017
© 2021 The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
How ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ Went from a Little-Known Poem to an Episcopal Hymn and a Cultural Anthem

Egan Millard
August 2, 2021
James Weldon Johnson, left, and J. Rosamond Johnson at the piano. Photo: Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

[Episcopal News Service] As the song known as the “Black national anthem” achieves wider recognition in the United States, its significance is also being celebrated in The Episcopal Church. “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” sung by generations of African Americans as a tribute to their struggles and triumphs, was introduced to white American Christians by Episcopalians and Lutherans 40 years ago, and a congressional bill endorsed by The Episcopal Church now proposes designating it as the U.S. national hymn.

Despite being a beloved African American anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was little known outside Black communities until the 1980s, when Black Lutheran and Episcopalian musicians pressed for its inclusion in their denominations’ hymnals. The song was included in the original version of the eponymous Episcopal hymnal compiling African American spirituals, which was originally released in 1981 as a supplement to the 1940 hymnal. It was then included in the standard 1982 hymnal, which helped introduce the song to a wider audience.
At its most recent meeting in June, The Episcopal Church Executive Council passed a resolution supporting a bill introduced earlier this year by U.S. Rep. James Clyburn that would make “Lift Every Voice and Sing” the official national hymn.

“I see this resolution, and this attempt in Congress, as a way to accept – on the part of this whole country – an offering of an important poem and song to all the American people, just like Black Episcopalians offered this song to The Episcopal Church,” said Byron Rushing, the vice president of the House of Deputies who sponsored the Executive Council resolution, at the meeting. Though the resolution passed, it prompted some debate about whether it was appropriate for a secular nation to have a national hymn – especially in light of the church’s efforts to counter rising Christian nationalism.

“A hymn is inherently Christian, by definition by the Encyclopedia Britannica. And it’s a song of praise to God,” the Rev. Mally Lloyd pointed out during the discussion on the resolution.

“I love to stand up and shout it. I love to declare it. But putting as a national hymn is where I am having trouble in terms of trying to encourage inclusivity and honoring of all of our nation.”

The song’s lyrics are not overtly Christian, but they do mention God and heaven several times. Despite its description as a hymn in Clyburn’s bill and its inclusion in hymnals, its origins are secular.

The lyrics were written by James Weldon Johnson – a Black man from Jacksonville, Florida, who became a leader in the Harlem Renaissance. Among other vocations, Johnson was a lawyer, a teacher, a poet, a diplomat and a civil rights organizer. He was the leader of the NAACP for 10 years, the first Black professor hired by New York University, and the U.S. consul to Venezuela and later Nicaragua. He and his brother, composer J. Rosamond Johnson, also together wrote about 200 songs for Broadway musicals.

In 1900, while serving as a school principal in Jacksonville, Johnson was asked to speak at a celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. Instead of a speech, he wrote a poem, which his brother then set to music. It was sung by 500 schoolchildren at the event, but the Johnson brothers didn’t think it would ever spread beyond that. They were wrong.

“The school children of Jacksonville kept singing it, they went off to other schools and sang it, they became teachers and taught it to other children,” Johnson recalled in 1935. Booker T. Washington helped popularize it, its lyrics were printed in Black newspapers and it was selected as the official song of the NAACP.

“Within twenty years, it was being sung over the South and in some other parts of the country. Today the song, popularly known as the Negro National Hymn, is quite generally used. The lines of this song repay me in elation, almost of exquisite anguish, whenever I hear them sung by Negro children,” Johnson wrote.

It is not clear whether Johnson ever considered himself an Episcopalian, but he did help organize the 1917 Silent Parade in New York, in which about 10,000 African Americans marched down Fifth Avenue in protest against lynchings and racist violence, along with leaders from St. Philip’s Church, the oldest Black Episcopal parish in New York. Today, Johnson is included on The Episcopal Church’s Holy Women, Holy Men calendar, commemorated on June 25.

Though “Lift Every Voice and Sing” enjoyed a resurgence in the late 20th century due to its inclusion in church hymnals, it was sung in earlier decades at Black secular events as well as churches, Rushing told Episcopal News Service.

“Black churches always sang it, but when I was growing up, you couldn’t go to a large meeting of Black people where they didn’t sing it, either at the beginning or the end,” Rushing said. “It was always seen as a secular song.

“The other custom that Black people had was they always stood” while they sung it, Rushing added, “and there would be events where people sang both the national anthem and this.”

During discussion of the resolution at Executive Council in June, member Diane Pollard also recalled hearing it in both religious and non-religious contexts, and that it was revered in a way similar to the national anthem.

“I was taught that when this song is sung, you stand up,” Pollard remembered. “And my grandmother was not telling me to stand up because it was a song from the church. Far be it; many churches were the last to get on the bandwagon with equality for nonwhite people. She was telling me to stand up out of respect.”

The song has enjoyed new popularity in recent years from secular sources again, largely due to the Black Lives Matter movement. Beyonce performed it at the Coachella music festival in 2018. The NFL will play it before all games this season, after doing so during a week last year. And in January, the legislation to make it America’s national hymn was introduced in the House of Representatives.
Making it the national hymn “would be an act of bringing the country together,” Clyburn said when introducing the legislation. “The gesture itself would be an act of healing. Everybody can identify with that song.” Episcopalians can learn more about how to support the legislation at the Episcopal Public Policy Network.

Rushing said he was approached by Carl MaultsBy, the director of music at St. Richard’s Episcopal Church in Winter Park, Florida, encouraging the church to adopt a resolution supporting the bill. Rushing added that while he understands the concerns about adopting a “national hymn,” he said the word “hymn” in this case is only used because no song except “The Star-Spangled Banner” can be called a national anthem in the U.S.

“I understand the difficulty with the word ‘hymn,’” he said during the Executive Council meeting. “I think that if you ask most Black people what they would call this, they would have said an anthem. But that, of course, creates a slight problem in this legislation if we use that term. … We’re recognizing an important song in American culture.”

The Rev. Charles Graves IV, another Executive Council member, also argued in support of the resolution, saying that there are already other national symbols that invoke God, but the purpose of Clyburn’s legislation is not religious but cultural and educational.

“We’re in the middle of this conversation about critical race theory and what will be taught in schools in terms of the history of race and the current realities of race in this country,” Graves said. “And so adding this hymn to our national canon helps to ensure that in the same way that schoolchildren are taught about the bald eagle and taught about the Constitution … they will also be taught about James Weldon Johnson and about the struggle out of which he wrote this hymn.”

– Egan Millard is an assistant editor and reporter for Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at emillard@episcopalchurch.org.
St. John’s in Washington Gets Full Lego Treatment as Brick-Building Parishioner Pairs Faith, Hobby

David Paulsen
August 5, 2021
Matthew Taylor’s Lego model of St. John’s Episcopal Church Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., was on display last week at BrickFair in Arlington, Virginia. Photo: Matthew Taylor

[Episcopal News Service] In Matthew Taylor’s imagination, the historic church in Washington, D.C., that sits across Lafayette Square from the White House is 144 “studs” long (about 45 inches). It is 15 inches wide, rises about 2 feet from its base and is made from as many as 5,000 bricks, many of them purchased online from after-market sellers around the country and the world.

The parishioners who worship in this version of St. John’s Episcopal Church are made of plastic and, whether sitting or standing, are only the size of a thumb. Even so, this yearlong project was an outsized achievement for Taylor.

“This is the biggest Lego model I’ve ever built,” Taylor, 31, said when Episcopal News Service reached him by phone to assemble the story behind his scale model of St. John’s. With the model mostly complete, Taylor showed it off last week at the annual BrickFair expo in Arlington, Virginia, alongside his Lego model of Christ Church in Alexandria, where he now lives. The Lego St. John’s caught the eye of CNN’s Jake Tapper, who posted a photo of it to Twitter during a family visit to BrickFair.
The first brick, or cornerstone, of the real-life, full-size version of St. John’s was set in 1815. It now is best known as “the church of the presidents” because of the occasional visits made by the sitting commander in chief. Last year it was the backdrop to the large Black Lives Matter protests that occupied Lafayette Square. During those protests, the church sustained minor damage from vandalism, and the site became a focal point for outrage directed at then-President Donald Trump for posing for a photo outside St. John’s after police had forcibly cleared protesters from the square.
Episcopalians in the Diocese of Washington gather outside St. John’s Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, on June 2, 2020, to support protesters calling for justice after the killing of George Floyd. Photo: St. John’s via, Facebook

Taylor’s model of St. John’s includes Lego versions of the police officers and police vehicles that now regularly patrol outside the church, but he said he didn’t set out to make a political statement. A more central goal in his design was detailed authenticity, and in that, Taylor’s biggest hurdle was getting the color right.

It’s hard to find Lego bricks in St. John’s unique shade of yellow.

“I think it’s probably one of the few churches or few buildings that are that sort of pale yellow. It’s super distinctive in D.C.,” Taylor said. The color is also rare in the Lego world. The Denmark-based toy company has produced 6,233 different brick shapes in its standard yellow, Taylor said, but only 363 in the “cool yellow” he needed for his St. John’s model.

That still may sound like a lot of shapes, but for a Lego builder, an accurate architectural rendering can depend on finding the perfect brick. Taylor, for example, was having trouble with some of the church’s arches and angles until Lego released a Fiat 500 car kit that included some of the yellow shapes he was looking for. Most other bricks were mined from Lego’s “Friends” series, with its heavy reliance on pastels.
The model captures other key features of St. John’s, from its six street-facing white columns to subtle details of the interior, such as the pulpit, pipe organs and chandelier. Taylor started the build last August, while the pandemic still was preventing the congregation from gathering for worship inside the church, so he conducted much of his research on interior details using online resources, such as the Historic American Building Survey.

“Now that we’re back in the church, I’ve been able to take pictures of things,” Taylor said. He began noticing details that previously had escaped his attention, like a big brass cross positioned in the balcony. The model took about a year to build and revise, and he’s still adding some finishing touches. Only half of the pews are installed.

Matthew Taylor, a parisioner at St. John’s Episcopal Church, (pictured at right above) spent about a year designing and assembling his model of the church with up to 5,000 Lego bricks. Photo courtesy of Matthew Taylor

“Building sort of happens in fits and spurts because of shipping delays,” he said. “It’s been really rewarding to see it all come together.”

Taylor began attending worship services at St. John’s nearly a decade ago while earning his law degree from Georgetown University. The church “was a real place to find solace and peace,” away from the grind of law school, Taylor said, and he continues to be a member of the congregation.

He has only the haziest memory of assembling his first Lego set, but he thinks he was 3 and he thinks it was a space police theme. As he grew older, he was drawn to Lego Star Wars kits and once won “best in show” at an arts and crafts expo for teenagers at the state fair in Tennessee, where he grew up.

He mostly left the hobby behind when he went to college. By then, he also had stopped attending the Church of Christ services of his childhood and instead was worshiping in a United Methodist church in Nashville. After moving to Washington in 2012 to begin his law studies, he began attending services at St. John’s and was confirmed as an Episcopalian in 2014.

He graduated from law school in 2015 and began working for the federal government, now specializing in veterans law. He also started getting back into Legos.

Two years ago, his faith and his hobby intersected at Washington National Cathedral. As part of the cathedral’s ongoing fundraiser, he volunteered to help paying visitors build segments of a growing Lego model of the Gothic structure, which he now calls the “big Lego cousin” to his St. John’s model.

When finished, the National Cathedral model will incorporate an estimated 500,000 Lego bricks. Only about 100,000 have been assembled so far. The project “has been in a bit of suspended animation” during the pandemic, spokesman Kevin Eckstrom told ENS, but the cathedral hopes to reopen to visitors in the fall and let Lego builders resume their work.

Taylor’s Lego projects don’t come close to the scale of the cathedral’s build, and his first stab at a Lego St. John’s was even smaller. A few years ago, he created a tiny rendition of the church as a gift for a fellow student in his Education for Ministry class who was moving to Minnesota.

That got him thinking about expanding the design to what Lego fans call minifigure scale – the size proportionally fit for a Lego minifigure, or something in the range of 1:35 to 1:48. The scale isn’t exact because “a Lego minifig has much different proportions than a human does,” Taylor explained.

Although the Lego St. John’s took Taylor about a year to build, it wasn’t constant labor. With a design, bricks and instructions in hand, he figures he now would be able to rebuild the same model during a long weekend of clicking bricks together.

He has shared photos of the model in progress to clergy at the church, as well as on Facebook, and he recently posted a gallery from the BrickFair to his personal blog. The model has not yet made an appearance inside the church it is modeled after, but Taylor hopes someday to display it at St. John’s for the whole congregation to see.

“I hope that they enjoy seeing it as much as I enjoyed building it,” he said.

– David Paulsen is an editor and reporter for Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at dpaulsen@episcopalchurch.org.
New Pilgrim Routes Launched in One of Britain's Busiest Holiday Destinations
Pilgrimage routes linking historic churches and ancient holy sites in one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations have been launched as part of a Church of England-funded project.

July 30, 2021
[Church of England] Devon Pilgrim offers people the chance to “take a journey of the heart” on routes which include Dartmoor and the ancient seat of the bishops of Exeter at Crediton.

Each pilgrimage is divided into sections which start and end at a church, so they can be walked in one go over several days or in shorter segments.

The churches all have a ‘pilgrim corner’ with prayers and meditations for people to engage with and a pilgrim stamp for walkers to mark their progress in specially designed Pilgrim Passports.

The Bishop of Exeter, Robert Atwell, said “We associate pilgrimage with the medieval world but in our generation, we have rediscovered its grace."

"People of all backgrounds are walking the ancient paths and, in so doing, entering upon a journey of the heart.

"Many of them are discovering that God walks with them in their life.”

Devon Pilgrim is part of Growing the Rural Church, a Diocese of Exeter project to help rural churches to be sustainable for the future and to engage with their local communities creatively.

It is supported by a £1m Church of England Strategic Development Fund grant.

Sarah Cracknell, Growing the Rural Church Project Manager, said “Pilgrimage is having a resurgence, whether it is the Celtic idea of the inner journey or the medieval tradition of travelling to a specific place to seek help or ask for direction.”

How We Relate to What Is
(Photo by Becky Sheller)

Laurie Gudim
August 1, 2021
“Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” — John 6:35. This morning I have been pondering this sentence, especially the “whoever believes in me” part. When was it, I wonder, when I came to feel the deep sense of belonging to Christ that graces my life?

I have had a rather rocky experience with Christian community. I have stood in the fellowship hall doorway of many parishes while people ignored my presence. Sometimes I have experienced a real sense of belonging and acceptance, but more than once that has proved false.

When I was twelve, I studied to be confirmed in a denomination I don’t even remember now — one my mother, siblings and I attended at the time. I was committed and diligent, learning everything they asked of me. On the day of the confirmation, my mother came to church. I was to sit with her until I was called forward with the other kids. They called everyone by name, but they forgot me. I sat next to my mother and sobbed.

When I was a teenager various youth pastors tried to get me to profess a belief in Jesus as Lord and Savior. They thought of this as something a person chooses, maybe an intellectual or emotional decision. I gave it a whirl, even making a Billy Graham altar call when I was fourteen, but it didn’t stick.

Neither belonging in a church community, confirmation nor a public professing of belief began my sense of belonging to Christ. Here’s what I remember that did:

  • Being comforted by a profound sense of Christ’s reality when I was alone in bed at age four listening to my parents fighting about whether God exists.

  • As a young adult, listening to the Messiah for the entirety of one rainy day when I was sick with a cold – and hearing my soul’s conviction expressed in Handal’s music.

  • As a slightly older adult, practicing the presence of God as per the writings of the kitchen monk, Brother Lawrence, which I’d found in a pamphlet on the rack in the back of a church. Discovering that moment when thought is replaced by silence and a true awareness of presence.

In my experience, deciding with my mind that I believe in Jesus is as foolish as deciding that I believe in water. I can decide to go boating or swimming, I can fish in a river, I can sit by the side of the ocean and watch the endless crash of waves, I can drink fresh water or cook with it or freeze it into ice. All those things make sense. But deciding whether or not I believe in water is a pointless exercise.

Christ is as present to the heart as is water. He is always real, all the time. My spiritual disciplines might some years be more like fishing and other years more like drinking from a tap. I can have years as dry as a baking desert and years full of abundant rain. But in all those seasons the existence of water is never in question.

My faith is simply a question about how I relate to what is.
IN BRIEF . . .

These news briefs were featured in previous issues of "The Epistle"
From The Epistle, July 30, 2021

Learn to Play Kaua`i's Only Pipe Organ
Scholarship Applications Being Accepted
Has All Saints' new organ sparked your interest in learning to play this wonderful instrument? The American Guild of Organists-Hawaii Chapter is accepting scholarship applications from August 1 to August 31, 2021 for the scholarship period October 2021 through September 2022. Auditions will be held in September 2021. Visit agohawaii.org to download an application. For details, e-mail Elizabeth Wong at ew_ago_hawaiichapter@yahoo.com

-Morris Wise
From The Epistle, July 23, 2021
Project Vision Hawaii
First Project Vision Donation Pickup
All Saints' Provides Needed Items for Portable Shower Project
project vision donations
Grace Meeks (Project Vision Community Health Coordinator), Cami Baldovino (All Saints' Administrator) and Carolyn Morinishi pose with some All Saints' donations. (Photo: Taylor Ragsac).

Project Vision Hawai`i (a 501(c)3 non-profit organization) thanks the members of All Saints' Kaua`i, as our little blue bin overflowed with donations to their ministry! For several more Sundays -- until August 15 -- the blue plastic bin will be outside All Saints church to collect donations. 

Project Vision (https://hotshowerskauai.orghelps bring free hot showers to Kaua`i's houseless community. They currently have a need for the following:
  • gently used towels, any size and color (bath towels, hand towels, washcloths)
  • boxes of gallon ziploc bags for the mobile hygiene kits
  • New, individually wrapped toiletry items (packets of wipes, bandaids, toothpaste, toothbrushes, feminine hygiene supplies, floss pics, hand sanitizer, etc)
  • unopened travel-size soaps, shampoos and lotions from hotels

For more information on this service project, please contact Carolyn Morinishi or the Church Office. 

Thank you All Saints' members for your incredible generosity!
From The Epistle, July 9, 2021

CONVENTION 53 and Education Day
Registration Now Open
  • Registration is now open for the Diocese's 53rd Annual Meeting of Convention and Education Day taking place October 22-23, 2021, at `Iolani School. (Please note recent change in dates.) Both the Annual Meeting and Education Day will be live-streamed. There is no fee to watch but online viewers must also register.

For more information, visit the Convention 53 webpage HERE. If you have questions, contact Rae Costa at (808) 536-7776, ext. 326 or email her HERE. To register, click on the button below.
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.
There is an on-going need for travel sized toiletries and canned goods so these items will be accepted every week. As always, monetary donations are gratefully accepted. Leave them in the red wagon outside the sanctuary

Any of our All Saints' kupuna who need assistance with grocery shopping can contact Carolyn Morinishi at church@allsaintskauai.org to set up a delivery.

If any ministry has an unmet need, reach out to put it in the All Saints' Virtual Swap Meet and it will be published in the Epistle. Contact Bill Caldwell at news@allsaintskauai.org.

Whenever you have a need for support, please call (650) 691-8104 and leave a voice mail. The system will immediately forward the information to the Pastoral Care Committee who will respond to each request. If you prefer, you may send an electronic pastoral care request via email to pastoralcare@allsaintskauai.org.

Individuals who want to participate in the Prayer Chain Ministry must re-enroll to continue receiving the email communications. To re-enroll, please visit the newly established Pastoral Care web page or contact the Church Office at (808) 822-4267.

Prayer requests will now be submitted online or by contacting the Church Office at (808) 822-4267.

Names can be added to the Prayers of the People petitions by using the Prayer Chain Request form or by contacting the Church Office at (808) 822-4267. Names will remain in the Prayers of the People for a maximum of four Sundays before a name must be resubmitted.