Volume 6, Issue 28
July 9, 2021
THIS SUNDAY: July 11, 2021
Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Amos 7:7-15
The prophet Amos courageously speaks out against the King of Israel's social injustice and idolatry.

Psalm 85:8-13
God's blessings follow when a country promotes justice and peace.

Ephesians 1:3-14
The writer describes the Triune God's love for us that "signs, seals, and delivers" us to Heaven.

Mark 6:14-29
John the Baptist suffers martyrdom after confronting the corrupt lifestyle of Herod and his family.

Muriel Jackson (EM)*
Jeff Albao (U)
Dee Grigsby (AG)
Mark Cain (DM)

Dileep Bal (EM)
Mary Margaret Smith (U)
Joan Roughgarden (LR)
Faith Shiramizu (AG)
Vikki Secretario, Nelson Secretario (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

Daughters of the King
Thursday, July 22nd
Zoom meeting
Contact Mabel Antonio for login info.

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
Those affected by the pandemic, those affected by racial violence, Nestor, Wanda, 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 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.
The Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney
July 4, 2021
What Are You Hungry For? Money. Sex. Power.
The Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney

Proper 9: 1
Samuel 2:12–17, 22–25
Psalm 49:1–2, 5–9, 16–17
1 Timothy 6:6–16
Luke 16:10–13

It’s good to be back on my island home. Much mahalo to Kahu Kawika for the warm aloha welcome and invitation back to this cherished pulpit. I am also delighted to share with you A Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church, a new way of translating, reading, hearing and preaching scripture centering women’s stories, published by our Episcopal Church publishing house. Let us pray.

May the spoken word of God draw you deeper into the written word of God and kindle in you a passionate love for the Incarnate living word of God. Amen.

What are you hungry for? Money. Sex. Power. Oh my! Money, sex and power are the source of a whole lot of trouble in and out of the church, even without the visceral reminder occasioned by the news of Bill Cosby’s release – after I had finished writing this sermon. Yet money, sex and power are not inherently evil or sinful. They simply require good kuleana, stewardship and accountability and, the need to move beyond the polite politics of respectability and the various closets of shame to frank public and private conversation. Our reading gives us an opportunity to do just that, even if we squirm in our seats a bit. In just a few Sundays listening to Kahu Kawika, I know he loves a good movie quotation so I say, “Buckle up buttercups” we’re going to talk about money, sex and, power and, why we need to talk about them, especially in Church.

It’s hard to talk about money, wealth, income. It’s embarrassing. It’s private. It can be a mark of shame. It’s a signifier of class, privilege, inequity, poverty. Access to money and credit have been used as suggestive of industriousness, skill, even character or the lack thereof. It accumulates and depletes through careful stewardship, dumb luck and sometimes, in spite of our best intentional efforts.

In the ancient world bread was the “staff of life.” Some of you who were around in the seventies will remember that before we called money cheese, cheddar and gouda or stacks, we called it bread. We need money to survive in this world. But money is not easily or abundantly available to all. It’s very necessity makes it easy to covet and idolize and makes those who lack it vulnerable to pressure do what they would never ever do – out of greed and sometimes out of desperation. Money is seductive. But money and those who have wealth are not bad – or in biblical terms, evil.

Our discomfort with money means that some income-based inequities persist in silence, even in the Church. As long as it’s taboo to discuss salaries openly, some folk will find themselves underpaid in comparison with their colleagues, most often resulting in black and brown folk and women of all races being paid less for the same job. Poverty and wealth inequity disproportionately affect women and children in our world and in the world of the scriptures. Persons with power and authority always had more and always wanted more. And for some, “more” would never be enough.

The economy of ancient Israel was so different from our own that direct comparisons are not always possible. Their kahusdid not receive a salary and heath care benefits; they lived off of the donations of the people, preferably material. There was actually a surcharge for tithing cash because the Levites would have to convert it into the goods they needed. We can’t imitate that system, not even if every member diverted ten percent of their solar energy to the church or brought in ten percent of their Costco haul. Our churches and clergy have completely different needs in the digital age. Cash, currency, paper, plastic or digital is infinitely more useful than one out of every ten sheep or goats.

In in our first lesson there are women who make their way to Shiloh to make their offerings. And, there were women who ministered at the sacred tent and had a formal role stationed in the military sense at the tabernacle. There were also the wives of the men who are at the center of the story, perhaps there were daughters as well. As is so often the case, men who commit acts of corruption and abuse have families who suffer from their choices. If we were to read forward two chapters, we’d find one of these men had a heavily pregnant wife who would be left with a baby and the legacy of his mess. And isn’t that always the way? Poor choices seem to rebound to everyone else but the perpetrator sometimes. And when they do pay the price, their family pays along with them.

The material needs of the priests and their wives, daughters and sons come from the offerings the people bring to God. There is a specific formula of what goes to God and when. The first and the best go to God. That is a principle that many have adopted when translating the world of the scriptures into our world, that we give back to God before we take anything for ourselves, that we support the work of God with our best gifts. In the world of the text, that looks like a Sunday supper potluck, pupu and aloha hour, Texas barbecue or luau (except for the non-kosher pig and communally sacrificing the critters we’re going to barbecue after service today). People brought their animals and their gifts of fruit and oil and wine and grain and bread. There was a liturgy of slaughter and choice portions of meat and other offerings went to God and the house of God and, a portion of that went to the priests. The rest went back to the folks who brought the offerings; those portions were shared among the people there so that a poor person who brought only a bird might dine on lamb.

Against this background Eli, the priest at Shiloh, one of the major religious centers of ancient Israel, had sons in the priesthood who were corrupt. Imagine the ushers passing the sacred calabash and sticking their hand in it and putting some of the money directly in their pocket. Not waiting until the offering has been blessed and deposited and then running a sophisticated embezzlement scheme, but just pocketing it openly, snatching it out of your hand, and yelling at you, “I want my cut now!” And then telling female congregants, “Meet me out back, I want something else too.” It is a crass and distasteful story and, it is part of our scriptural heritage because these things occur in our world in just as they do in the scriptures.
There is much more than “money” or its livestock equivalent at stake here. Money and power are intertwined. And, with the abuse of power band financial inequity often comes the harassment and abuse of women. Eli’s sons violated the standards of the community and committed what we now call clergy sex abuse abuse against women in their congregation. We have all seen these kinds of stories in the news, stories of the abuse of women and girls and boys and men. The names of other churches might occur more often in the news but our church has its own sad stories. It was of the church that Lord Acton infamously said, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” We know that men using power and authority to force women into what they would never have agreed to is not limited to religious spaces.

I like this text because even with the patriarchy, hierarchy and biases in the text, God’s concern for the most vulnerable is always present. What the text is saying perhaps surprisingly in the Iron Age, is there was no “pass” for men of privilege and status to abuse women. The women in the text didn’t have to keep telling their story for twenty years until somebody took them seriously. The women in the text didn’t have police officers who refused to take their statements or to open investigations because the men they accused were important, father figures in the community. In the theology of the text, these transgressions against God and God’s people, against the congregation and the daughters of the congregation were unforgivable and they would not be allowed to continue. God would take the lives of the perpetrators. This matters in a world in which laws and legal systems fail, sometimes by design. There was no amount of fancy or high priced lawyering that would get those God had pronounced guilty off for their crimes.

Another lesson to take from this story is that secrecy about misconduct enables misconduct, whether fiscal or physical. That’s why it’s important that we teach and preach these stories, that the church be a safe place from violence and corruption and a safe harbor for those who have been preyed upon. And, we preach these stories because they keep happening and folk need to know that they are not alone and that God sees, hears and responds even when we can’t see how. We as Church must be worthy of the trust of those who have been wronged in and by the Church and its members and leaders and those who have been wronged outside as well. The Episcopal Church is just beginning to reckon with its participation in and profiteering from slavery and has yet to wrestle with its own history of residential schools like the ones in Canada where we have recently learned of mass graves of indigenous children; where the mission was often to strip the Indian out of native children, severing the roots of their culture along with the roots of their hair even punishing them for speaking their native languages. Hawaiians know something about that. Here in Hawaii the Church has done more to address its problematic history and legacy. Hula e mele live on because of and in spite of the Church.

Reading these texts together I use what we call in the black preaching tradition the sanctified imagination to conjure a conversation. I imagine what those women might have said or or prayed in response to their circumstances. Psalm 49 reads as though someone who was abused by one of those men asked, “Why is it that rich men can do anything they want to anybody?” And a wise kupuna speaking to rich and poor alike, the children of earth descended from Eve says, “Their wealth will not protect them; it cannot redeem them. They cannot take it to the grave. They will not live forever and the Pit, the judgement of God is waiting for them.” The promise of God in this text is that God’s justice is inescapable, as inescapable as God’s mercy.

Reading all of these texts together, I also imagine the person who wrote a letter to Timothy in Paul’s name reading the psalm and concluding, “We brought nothing into this world and can take nothing out.” The epistle is a philosophical approach to wealth and greed and the author could just as easily be reflecting on the story of Eli’s sons: The love of money is the root of all evil. Their greed led them to covetousness, theft, extortion, sexual violence and blasphemy. It wasn’t the money. It was the love of money. It wasn’t the power, it was the abuse of power.
Now some of you are probably having a sigh of relief since I’m talking about corruption among the clergy and not among the people. But the truth is many of us operate in systems where we have power and authority over someone else and the temptation to be corrupt, greedy, selfish or abusive is there for all of us. Ultimately these stories are about more than a particular salacious religious scandal. They are about the deep hungers and cravings we all have and the futility of trying to fill those voids with anything but God’s love. For some, the appetites for money, sex and power can never be satisfied because those things are not what they, we, are really hungry for. That’s what Timothy’s epistolary pen pal is addressing with, “take hold of the eternal life,” be hungry for that. Covet that. Scheme for that. There is a God-shaped space in each of us that we too often try to fill up with things that will pass away, things that will not satisfy, things that will hurt us and those around us.

Finally in this sanctified imaginary conversation between these writers and those they give voice to across time, Jesus says, “The woman or man who is faithful with little is faithful also with much; and the woman or man is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much.” Corruption doesn’t start with the scandal on the 6 o’clock news. If we are faithful in the small things no one knows about, we will be faithful when the cameras roll. And if we are faithful with whatever resources and relationships we have now, we will be faithful if and when we are blessed with the fruit of our stewardship and the gifts and graces of God.

As Church we have to talk about our secrets, the harm in the world and the harm in the Church, what others may not deem polite. On da aina you know that all kinds of nasty stuff grows in hidden and closed off spaces. Our ohana in recovery remind us that we are as sick as our secrets. Jesus preached so much about money and power and those who had little to none publicly, to model for us our kuleana our, responsibility for those in our midst and those around us in our shared world as na keiki a ke Akua, children of God. Amen.

Ed. note - Many thanks to Wil for allowing us to publish her sermon here. Go to her website: wilgafney.com to learn more about her and read more of her work.

All Saintsʻ Celebration Honoring Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney and Independence Day
July 4th
Mahalo nui loa to Wil Gafney for sharing her thoughts and passion as conveyed in her book, A Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church.

After the 9:30AM service, the `Ohana gathered to celebrate Americaʻs Independence Day. Thanks to all who contributed to the success of this celebration.

Please enjoy the slideshow below.
Project Vision Hawaii
All Saints' to Assist Project Vision Hawai`i
Please Donate to the Mobile Shower Station: We depend on You!
In April 2021, Project Vision Hawai`i (a 501(c)3 non-profit organization) shipped a mobile shower station to Kaua`i to provide free hot showers to houseless people on Kaua`i. They also provide grab-and-go hygiene kits. All Saints' Church will help the Project Vision ministry by collecting items they currently need. For several Sundays (July 4 - August 15) there will be a blue plastic bin placed outside the church to collect donations. 

They currently have a need for the following:
  • gently used towels, any size (bath towels, hand towels, washcloths) and any color. Project Vision will sanitize towels for the houseless guests to use at the mobile shower station (sometimes the houseless people take the towels with them).
  • boxes of gallon ziploc bags for the mobile hygiene kits

For the contents of the mobile hygiene kits, they need unopened, individually-wrapped items like:
  • packets of wipes
  • bandaids
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrushes
  • feminine hygiene supplies
  • floss pics
  • unopened travel-size soaps, shampoos and lotions from hotels
  • hand sanitizers
  • any other unopened individually wrapped travel-size toiletries

For more information on this service project, please contact Carolyn Morinishi or the church office. Thank you!

For more information about Project Vision Hawai`i, please see https://hotshowerskauai.org

Sloggett Center Solar and Roofing Project
An Environmental Initiative
All Saints’ Church and Preschool has reached its initial goal of $310,000 to purchase a new roof and solar panel system to improve our current physical plant and provide for All Saints’ future in an environmentally sustainable way. The entire solar panel system has been funded by a private donation from a church `Ohana family. The re-roofing project has been funded by generous donations from our church `Ohana and a grant from the National Philanthropic Trust (NPT). 

As is often the case, the cost between the re-roofing estimate and the current cost has changed. The cost of lumber skyrocketed 150% and our roofing costs increased by almost $40,000. Due to the uncertainty of the costs associated with the project, we have raised the fund raising goal to $350,000. Despite this increase, the NPT grant has gotten us very close to our our updated fund raising goal. We are still gathering donations for system installation and maintenance so please click the button below to donate. 
The re-roofing project is scheduled to begin on July 5th and will be finished before the preschool teachers return to prepare for the school year. The old roofing tiles will be stored on campus until machinery can be brought in to crush the tile for graveling church parking spaces. Nathan Wood is awaiting KIUC permits to begin the solar installation. He is looking at working late afternoons and weekends to avoid disruption of preschool classes. 

The Vestry and the Environmental Ministry are grateful to all the donors who have contributed to make this project possible. 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!

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. Before registering, please note some important information:


Education Day is open to all in the Diocese. Those interested in attending, whether in-person or online, must register. Individuals attending in-person will have the option to pre-purchase lunch when they register (please have payment information available), or you may bring your own lunch. Attendees will not be able to purchase a lunch on-site and there are no eating establishments nearby. Although the final line-up of speakers and sessions are still being finalized, one of the main topics will be on Reconciliation.


Due to possible restrictions in the number of people allowed in the hall, only voting clergy, lay delegates, lay members of Diocesan Council and Standing Committee, invited guests, and volunteers will be allowed to attend in person. All others may watch a live-stream. However, both in-person and virtual attendees must register.

  • All voting clergy and lay delegates MUST ATTEND IN PERSON ON SATURDAY in order to cast votes and have voice on the floor. There is a registration fee of $30. (Delegates, be sure to check with your church for how payment will be covered and if they will be registering for you.)
  • Each voting member must have their own email address. (Two or more attendees cannot share an email address.)

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.
All Saintsʻ Environmental Ministry is pleased to share information about caring for Godʻs creation and creating healthy and safe communities for our families. We will be working through "Blessed Tomorrow", a faith-based ecumenical organization devoted to Creation Care, to find materials to guide you on this spiritual journey. Below you will find the Inaugural Letter, co-signed by Michael Curry, and important guidance as we work together to find climate solutions for our homes and neighborhoods.

The Environmental Ministry will bring you additional information over the coming months.
Thomas Cranmer
First Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury

Thomas Cranmer (July 2, 1489-Mar. 21, 1556) was the first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the Anglican Reformation. He was born in Aslockton, Nottinghamshire, England. Cranmer received his B.A. from Jesus College, Cambridge University, in 1511. In 1520 he was ordained priest and selected as one of the university preachers. Around 1521 he began to be influenced by Lutheran ideas and became antipapal. When King Henry VIII was seeking the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, Cranmer suggested that the king refer the issue to the professors at the universities. Henry was impressed with this idea. In 1531 Cranmer was named ambassador to the imperial court of Charles V with the task of making contact with the German Lutherans and getting their support for the annulment. While in Germany he met the Lutheran theologian Andreas Osiander and married Osiander's niece, Margaret. Henry named Cranmer Archbishop of Canterbury, and Pope Clement VII consented. Cranmer was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury on Mar. 30, 1533. One of Cranmer's first official acts came on May 25, 1533, when he formally stated that Henry's marriage to Catherine was null and void. As archbishop he was the author of the first Anglican Prayer Book (1549). He was the leader in moderate doctrinal reform as expressed in the Ten Articles of 1536 and the Bishops' Book of 1537. Under King Edward VI (1547-1553), he continued as a leader of the Reformation. With the accession of Queen Mary in 1553, Cranmer's Protestant policies fell into disfavor. On Nov. 13, 1553, he was deprived of his office as archbishop. In 1556 he was accused of high treason and handed over to the state for execution. He recanted, but the prospect of death restored both his faith and his dignity. He renounced his recantation and reaffirmed his opposition to papal power and the doctrine of transubstantiation. At the stake he steadfastly held his right hand in the fire until it was consumed. He did this because his right hand “had offended” by signing the recantation. The BCP of 1549, revised in 1552, stands as the greatest achievement of his genius. Cranmer is commemorated along with Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on Oct. 16.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
VTS Reparations Fund Makes First Cash Payments to Descendants of Seminary’s Black Laborers

David Paulsen
July 8, 2021
Virginia Theological Seminary has identified 32 of the oldest living direct descendants of Black laborers at the seminary during the slavery and Jim Crow eras and has begun making cash payments to them as part of a reparations program. Photo: VTS

[Episcopal News Service] Virginia Theological Seminary has no precise number. By its best estimate, hundreds of Black laborers toiled at the seminary in Alexandria as slaves in the decades before the Civil War and under later forms of economic exploitation in the era of Jim Crow segregation.

In 2019, nearly two centuries after its founding, the Episcopal seminary announced that it planned to repay the debt it owed those past laborers by creating a $1.7 million reparations fund. It launched an effort to identify their oldest living direct descendants, and in February 2021, it began issuing cash payments to eligible relatives, whom it calls “shareholders.” The initial payments are about $2,100 each, and shareholders are offered access to on-campus amenities that were off-limits to their ancestors.

“It’s just unbelievable,” the Rev. Linda Thomas, a Baptist pastor in Maryland, told Episcopal News Service. Her grandfather, John Samuel Thomas, worked at VTS as a general laborer and janitor in the first half of the 20th century, and she and her two sisters are among the first shareholders to receive reparations payments from VTS.
John Samuel Thomas worked at Virginia Theological Seminary in the first half of the 20th century.
Photo courtesy of Linda Thomas

The VTS program is getting off the ground at a time when other American academic institutions, as well as Episcopal dioceses and the federal government, are considering various forms of reparations for their historic complicity in racist systems. The seminary, founded in 1823, was considered a trailblazer when it first announced its reparations fund. Now it is said to be one of the first American institutions making direct cash payments to the descendants of Black people who were exploited for their labor.

Some families whose ancestors worked at the seminary have welcomed the payments, saying the seminary’s acknowledgment is long overdue. Others say the modest monetary gesture is too little and too late. “It’s a measly amount for the injustices our elders suffered, but for many families, it’s a significant payout as they continue to cope with a legacy of huge racial wealth inequities,” Judy Belk wrote in the Los Angeles Times. She is an Alexandria native whose relatives are among the earlier generations of Black workers at VTS.

The VTS program is getting off the ground at a time when other American academic institutions, as well as Episcopal dioceses and the federal government, are considering various forms of reparations for their historic complicity in racist systems. The seminary, founded in 1823, was considered a trailblazer when it first announced its reparations fund. Now it is said to be one of the first American institutions making direct cash payments to the descendants of Black people who were exploited for their labor.

Some families whose ancestors worked at the seminary have welcomed the payments, saying the seminary’s acknowledgment is long overdue. Others say the modest monetary gesture is too little and too late. “It’s a measly amount for the injustices our elders suffered, but for many families, it’s a significant payout as they continue to cope with a legacy of huge racial wealth inequities,” Judy Belk wrote in the Los Angeles Times. She is an Alexandria native whose relatives are among the earlier generations of Black workers at VTS.

Thomas sees it as a positive step in the broader push to confront the historic roots of racial injustice. “When you look at the word ‘reparation,’ it’s the making of amends. It’s to put right a wrong that was done. Isn’t that what the Lord has done for us?” Thomas said. She is one of 32 shareholders that VTS has identified so far. “I know that this is the beginning. I pray for a much larger focus in terms of making amends for the atrocity of slavery.”

Ebonee Davis, who administers the VTS reparations program, interviews the shareholders and their relatives in the process of confirming their genealogy, recording their family stories and finalizing plans for the payments. She told ENS she respects their varying views of the reparations, from appreciation to skepticism. Their conversations are personal and go well beyond financial considerations.

“This money, even if it was millions of dollars, cannot change the past,” Davis said. “The primary goal is to build a new relationship with the local Black community in Alexandria, and that’s why it is such a personal process.”

VTS was founded in 1823, and at least one building, Aspinwall Hall in 1841, was built with slave labor. Three of the four founding faculty were slaveowners, Davis said, and in the early years, white students were permitted to bring enslaved people on campus as servants. Those Black laborers were denied access to dining halls and other campus facilities when not working, and such conditions continued under Reconstruction and segregation, Davis said. Black students also were excluded from attending the seminary until the 1950s.
Aspinwall Hall, now used as an administrative building at Virginia Theological Seminary, was at least partly built with slave labor. Photo: Mathew Brady, via Library of Congress

In September 2019, VTS announced its reparations fund, committing the money broadly to a variety of racial reconciliation goals, including helping local Black congregations meet community needs, supporting Black alums, encouraging more Black clergy in The Episcopal Church and promoting social justice. Since then, VTS has used separate funds to support those other goals, and the reparations fund will be used solely to make annual payments to the shareholders in perpetuity.

“The argument, in my view, is simple: labor should be compensated,” the Very Rev. Ian Markham, the seminary’s dean, said in a written statement to ENS. “People who were not compensated, or were undercompensated, were deprived of the opportunity to choose how to use the fruit of their labors. They could neither spend during their lifetimes nor make provision for their descendants.”

VTS doesn’t expect the payments will fully compensate families for its “heinous sins,” Markham said, but the seminary stands by the principle that cash reparations are an appropriate response to a historic injustice.

Available proceeds from the endowment are calculated annually for distribution during the fiscal year, which starts July 1, and the seminary divides that amount by the number of shareholders. In the first round of distributions, 16 shareholders had received the payments by the end of June. Checks are due for distribution to two more shareholders on July 8. Future payments will fluctuate as more shareholders are added and new contributions are made to the endowment.

“This represents the fact that finally, finally, someone is willing to recognize what we did back in the day, back in the Civil War and after the Civil War,” Frances Terrell, a 78-year-old shareholder whose grandparents worked at the seminary in the 1920s, told the Alexandria Times. “It’s wonderful that they are respecting us enough to want to recognize us.”

For decades, The Episcopal Church, too, has emphasized fighting racism and fostering racial reconciliation while shining a light on the church’s own past involvement with slavery and segregation. Last month it announced the formation of a churchwide truth and reconciliation working group. In 2006, General Convention passed a resolution supporting federal legislation that would confront the country’s legacy of slavery and take a step toward “monetary and non-monetary reparations to the descendants of the victims of slavery.”
In April, a U.S. House of Representatives committee endorsed a plan to create a commission to research and consider federal reparations for slavery, though the measure faces dim prospects of clearing both the House and the Senate.

Davis joined the seminary four years ago as an archivist for its African American Episcopal Historical Collection. In January 2021, she took on the new role of associate for programming and historical research for reparations, which entails coordinating the reparations research team and working with the families.

So far, they’ve only confirmed shareholders on the Jim Crow side of the research. For the ancestors who worked at the seminary during those years, “we had the benefit of living memory,” Davis said. Many of these first shareholders are from families whose connections to VTS are well known in the Alexandria community.

“There are sad stories, but there are really heartwarming stories,” Davis said. She and her team sometimes present genealogical findings that weren’t previously known to the families, though the stories belong to the families, who already feel connected to those that have gone before. “There’s a pride there that I don’t want to be understated.”

The 32 initial shareholders come from six families that trace their ancestry to Black laborers at the seminary. One family has 12 shareholders. The descendants are invited to meet with Markham to discuss the goals of the reparations program. Before receiving the payments, they sign letters of agreement confirming how they wish the money to be distributed, including to their beneficiaries after their deaths.

The cash payments aren’t life-changing amounts, and VTS doesn’t force this on anyone who is reluctant to participate, Davis said. It has been an exciting process, though, for some of the families, she said. Shareholders can get their own VTS ID cards, allowing them on-campus access equivalent to retired faculty. They can eat for free at the dining facilities, borrow library books and attend seminary events and programs. One of the shareholders, Gerald Wanzer, celebrated his 77th birthday at the seminary in March.

Identifying the descendants of enslaved laborers will require more extensive research. “We have found 20 or so names of people who were enslaved or were free Black people who worked at the seminary during the antebellum period. We just haven’t connected with any of their descendants yet,” Davis said.

Thomas, the shareholder in Maryland, hasn’t yet requested a campus ID card, though she chose to meet with Markham and is considering an offer to attend a doctoral program at the seminary free of charge. She tells the story of her grandfather’s desire to be a minister and how seminarians would lend him their books, but he wasn’t able to attend VTS himself. He only became a Baptist pastor after leaving VTS and moving to Washington, D.C.

“There’s no amount of money that could pay for the suffering that people have encountered,” Thomas said, but she is pleased to see an institution like VTS is choosing to “put money where their mouth is.”

Thomas is personally grateful for the “small” payments. She is putting them in an account to help support the education of her family’s youngest generation, her two grandsons.

– David Paulsen is an editor and reporter for Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at dpaulsen@episcopalchurch.org.
Presiding Bishop Offers Pastoral Word to all Haitians, Episcopalians in the Diocese of Haiti Following the President’s Assassination

July 7, 2021
People pray against an epidemic of kidnappings sweeping Haiti amid deepening political unrest and economic misery during an April 15 Mass in Port-au-Prince. Photo: Valerie Baeriswyl/REUTERS

[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Michael Curry issued a pastoral word to all Haitians and Episcopalians in the Diocese of Haiti following the July 7 early morning assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in his home. The president’s wife, Martine, was wounded and survived the attack, according to news reports. Haiti has been undergoing a long period of violence and political unrest exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In February, protesters took to the streets to dispute the legitimacy of Moïse’s presidency.

My brothers and sisters, I greet you in the ancient apostolic words: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” As followers of Jesus, we stand fast and believe firmly in the power of prayer to help and to heal—to console and to strengthen—in this time of uncertainty.

As it says in the Epistle of James, “The prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective.” My brothers and sisters, we are praying for you. We are mindful of those simply trying to live their lives in peace and wholeness and to raise their children in safety. We are mindful of the needs of all the people in Haiti. My brothers and sisters, we are praying for you.

To all the people of The Episcopal Church, I beseech you, by the mercies of God, to continue to lift up the Haitian people in your prayers, both now and in the days to come.

I leave you with the words of the Psalmist:

“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved,
and though the mountains be toppled into the depths of the sea;

Though its waters rage and foam,
and though the mountains tremble at its tumult.”

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Keep the faith,

The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
RIP: Archbishop Fereimi Cama, Primate of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Dies at 66

July 2, 2021
The Bishop of Polynesia, Archbishop Fereimi Cama, 66, died July 2. Photo: Alex Baker/ACNS

[Anglican Communion News Service] Archbishop Fereimi Cama, one of the three primates of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, has died. A communiqué today from the Diocese of Polynesia, which he served as diocesan bishop, said that Archbishop Fereimi died on the morning of July 2 at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva. He was 66.

Cama had served as archbishop since March 2019, when he was consecrated bishop of Polynesia, becoming the first Fijian to serve as an archbishop in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. He has been a strong leader on climate justice advocacy and natural disaster preparedness.

The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has a unique three-person primacy, reflecting the three Tikangas, or cultural streams (Pākehā, Māori and Polynesia), within the church. Archbishops Don Tamihere (Māori) Philip Richardson (Pākehā), paid tribute to their co-primate, saying: “our hearts echo softly with the ancient laments of our people, sung for you Archbishop Fereimi; our shepherd who has departed from us, gone beyond the veil, taken to the place of eternal rest.”

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby also paid tribute, described Cama’s death as “a great shock to the whole Anglican Communion.”

“On behalf of the whole Church of England and myself, deep condolences to Archbishop Fereimi’s family, to Archbishop Don and Archbishop Philip, and the Province of Polynesia, Aotearoa and New Zealand. Our prayers for you all,” Welby said.

Read the entire article here.

Click here for in-depth coverage by Anglican Taonga, the news service of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

Coming Soon… An Episcopal Opportunity!

Tom Sine
July 5, 2021
Image: Melanie Lim via unsplash.com
An Unprecedented Housing Crisis

President Biden extended housing eviction for more than 7 million households in the United States until the end of July 2021.

Brandon Moore and his wife lost their jobs and they have six kids. They have received at least three eviction notices. Come August 1, 2021, the Moores will be among an unprecedented 7 million households that will be evicted from their homes.

Many of us have gotten vaccinated to protect us from the pandemic. We are also joining a huge number of Americans who are moving from languishing to flourishing. Many of our churches are also beginning to shift from Zoom worship to returning to our sanctuaries. While many of us have the pandemic behind us, millions of our neighbors are still struggling with the pandemic recession. Starting August 1, 2021, we could witness unprecedented housing evictions, unlike anything we have seen in the United States before.

It is doubtful that federal, state, and local initiatives will be able to fully address this emerging crisis. All of our churches need to join congregations that are already addressing this growing homeless crisis in the US.

Saint Timothy’s Discovered An Episcopal Opportunity

St. Timothy’s is located in the small town of Brookings, Oregon that has had a chronic problem of inadequate housing. In 1985, the church opened a food bank. In 2009, they joined other congregations in starting a revolving soup kitchen to provide for the homeless in their community.

Rev. Bernie Lindley, Vicar of St. Timothy’s, reported, “The COVID-19 took a toll on people’s financial and mental health, he said, and houses that were once rented to year-round residents are now second homes for the wealthy or short-term rentals through Airbnb. A recent count found 121 homeless living in the ZIP code that covers Brookings…”. St. Timothy’s allows the homeless people to park their cars in their parking lots and use church bathrooms and showers.

“With more people living in cars and tents, unable to access basic necessities, St. Timothy’s stepped up its ministry to the homeless, starting an advocacy team called Brookings CORE Response about three years ago. Team members help homeless people sign up for affordable housing with lists, get identification cards, obtain benefits (including COVD-19 stimulus checks), do laundry… the church has also hosted COVID-19 vaccine clinics.”

In spite of some community resistance to their efforts, St. Timothy views this as an Episcopal opportunity. People ask, why does St. Timothy’s care for the homeless? Rev. Lindley, reading from Mathew 25, said,“‘Whatever you do for the least of these’ – of course, that’s our guiding passage in Scripture… When you look at the life of Jesus Christ, it all involved healing, feeding, and teaching. And we want to emulate our Savior.”

As your Episcopal Church joins others in returning to your sanctuary, could you also join other congregations, like St. Timothy’s, in responding to the opportunity to be the compassion of Christ to the huge number of families that are likely to be evicted in all our communities as we race into August 2021? Share how you and your church plan to respond to this opportunity for compassionate response with your local and Episcopal news outlets to encourage others also to respond with creative compassion.
IN BRIEF . . .

These news briefs were featured in previous issues of "The Epistle"
From The Epistle, June 4, 2021

Listen to the Inaugural Concert
The Sloggett/Wilcox `Ohana Organ
If you missed the inaugural organ concert, here is your chance to listen to this marvelous performance with introductions by our Rector, Kahu Kawika; Kevin Cartwright, Rosales Organ Workshop President, co-owner and voicer; and Morris Wise, our project leader and in-house organ expert.

To enjoy the entire concert, please CLICK HERE
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.

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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.