Volume 4, Issue 21
May 24, 2019
THIS SUNDAY: MAY 26, 2019
Sixth Sunday of Easter

8:00AM
Joe Adorno (EM)
Jeff Albao (U)
Marge Akana (AG)

9:30AM
David Crocker (EM)
Daileen Barton, Nelson Secretario (R)
Bara Sargent, Mario Antonio (U)
Janis Wright (AG)
Daileen, Harper (A)
Nelson Secretario, Vikki Secretario (HP)
UPCOMING EVENTS
No Sunday School This Week!
Sunday, May 26 th

Hank Curtis' Students
Piano Recital
Saturday, May 25 th
Church
4:00PM - 5:00PM

Youth Group Bible Study
Sunday, May 26 th
Youth Room
11:00AM - 12:00PM

NOTE: DATE CORRECTION
All Saints' Preschool Graduation
Friday, May 31 st
All Saints' Gym
6:30PM - 8:00PM

Laundry Love - Team B
Wednesday, June 5 th
Kapa'a Laundromat
5:00PM - 8:30PM
Adult Bible Study on Weekly Gospel
Every Sunday, 9:00 - 9:30AM
Under the big tree

Sunday School
Every Sunday, 9:30 - 10:15AM
Memorial Hall

Aloha Hour
Every Sunday, 10:45AM - 12:00PM
Under the big tree

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

McMaster Slack Key Guitar and Ukulele Concert
Every Wednesday, 6:00PM
Church

Choir Practice
Every Thursday, 6:00PM
Choir Room

Daughters of the King
2 nd & 4 th Thursday, 7:00 - 8:00PM
Memorial Hall
CELEBRATING THE LAST RULER OF HAWAI`I
Lydia Lil`uokalani Kamaka`eha Dominis
On May 18, 1896, in a private ceremony at the Cathedral of St. Andrew’s, Lydia Lili`uokalani Kamaka`eha Dominis, the last ruler of the Kingdom of Hawai`i, was baptized and confirmed by the Right Reverend Alfred Willis, the Second Bishop of the Anglican Church in Hawai`i.

On May 19, 2019 the Congregation of All Saints’ Church gathered to celebrate the anniversary of that historic day.

To enjoy a slideshow of the celebration, please click the link below.
As we remember the baptism and confirmation of Queen Lili`uokalani, let us not forget her love for her people and her struggle to keep the Hawaiian kingdom an independent nation. Let us remind ourselves that the stalwart queen did what she thought was right but was forced to give up the throne for what others thought was wrong.

Not many accounts are available of the actual baptism and confirmation, except that Queen Kapi`olani, David Kawānanakoa, Willis’s wife, and the Sisters of St. Andrew’s Priory served as witnesses to the ceremony. According to newspaper accounts of the day, the “font was beautifully decorated with masses of white flowers.”

Our celebration was graced by the attendance of many Hawaiian societies including The Royal Order of Kamehameha, Na Wahine Hui O Kamehameha, Aha Hui O Kaahumanu, Hale O Na Ali`i, Daughters of Hawai`i, `Iolani Guild, Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, Queen Lili`uokalani Trust, and other organizations and individuals. They processed to the portrait of the Queen for the Presentation of the Ho`okupu. Mahalo nui loa to all who helped make this celebration so special. The Pu was sounded by Ron Morinishi. The Oli was chanted by Chucky Boy Chock. A lovely hula was led by Kumu Hula Leihi`ilani Kirkpatrick. And Father David Englund stepped up and tackled the `Olelo Hawai`i in his first Hawaiian service.

To watch the pageantry of the procession into All Saints' church on May 19 th , please follow the video link below.
Mahalo nui loa to Maka Herrod who blessed us by reading the Lessons in Hawaiian. To hear the Second Lesson, Revelation 21:1-6, please click on the video link below
You can read along using the translation below.
1 `Ike akula au i ka lani hou a me ka honua hou; no ka mea, ua lilo ka lani mua a me ka honua mua; `a`ole ho`i he kai hou aku.


2 `O wau nō `o Ioane, `ike akula au i ka iho `ana mai o ke kūlanakauhale ho`āno `o Ierusalema hou, mai ke Akua, mai ka lani mai, ua mākaukau, e like me ka wahine mare i kāhiko `ia no kāna kāne.

3 A lohe akula au i ka leo nui, mai ka lani mai, i ka `ī `ana, Aia ka halelewa o ke Akua me kānaka, a e noho ana `o ia me lākou, a e lilo lākou i kānaka nona, a e noho pū ke Akua me lākou i Akua no lākou.

4 A na ke Akua nō e holoi i nā waimaka a pau, mai ko lākou maka aku; `a`ole he make hou aku, `a`ole kaumaha, `a`ole uwē, `a`ole ho`i he mea e `eha ai; no ka mea, ua pau nā mea kahiko i ka lilo aku.

5 `Ī maila ka mea i noho ma ka noho ali`i, Aia ho`i, ke hana hou nei au i nā mea a pau. `Ī maila kēlā ia`u, E palapala `oe; no ka mea, he pono kēia mau `ōlelo, he `oia`i`o.

6 `Ī hou mai ia ia`u, Ua pau; `o wau nō ka `Alepa a me ka `Omega, ke kumu a me ka wēlau. `O ka mea make wai, e hā`awi wale aku au nāna i ka wai puna o ke ola.

Ka `Ōlelo a ka Haku.

E ho`omaika`i i ke Akua.
1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.


3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.

4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”


5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.

The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.
MAHALO VOLUNTEERS
Preparation for the Big Celebration
Many thanks to the industrious work crew that showed up last Saturday to prepare the church campus for the Queen Liliu`okulani celebration. Father David, his brother-in-law David, David Crocker, David Murray, and several people not named David, including Susan Englund, Bill Brown, Ron Morinishi, Nora Takenouchi, CeCe Caldwell, and (not pictured) Cami Pascua, Linda Crocker, and Chris Wataya were on hand to spruce things up for the big celebration.

CeCe Caldwell
for the Hospitality Ministry
MEL MINISTRY GROWS
Cami Wasa Joins the Team!
MEL (the Medical Equipment Loan Ministry) has a new volunteer! Cami Wasa is an in-home caregiver for patients on Kaua`i. Cami has borrowed equipment from MEL for her clients in the past and wants to give back to our ministry as a volunteer. Last week she met CeCe Caldwell in Kalaheo to help pick up equipment that was too heavy for one person to lift. Then Cami came to All Saints’ to help CeCe wash and disinfect equipment to be entered into the MEL inventory. If you see Cami at All Saints’, please give her a big thank you for her willingness to help with this popular ministry.

CeCe Caldwell
for the Medical Equipment Loan Ministry
FEAST OF THE ASCENSION OF JESUS CHRIST
May 26, 2019
The Feast of the Ascension of Jesus Christ is celebrated 40 days after Easter Day, marking the conclusion of Jesus’ postresurrection appearances and his ascension into heaven.

Celebration of this holy day dates back at least to the late fourth century, and scriptural references to Jesus’ ascension occur in both The Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of Mark:

“So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven’” (Acts 1: 6-11, NRSV).

“So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19, NRSV).

The Ascension of Jesus is also professed in the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed: “He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father” (Book of Common Prayer, pp.120, 358).

Collect for Ascension Day

Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen (Book of Common Prayer, p. 226).

Published by the Office of Communication of The Episcopal Church, 815 Second Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10017

© 2019 The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
A SPECIAL PIANO RECITAL AT ALL SAINTS'
Brought to You by Hank Curtis
May, 25, 2019
Music Director Hank Curtis will be holding a piano recital featuring all his students on Saturday, May 25 th , from 4:00PM to 5:00PM in the Church. All friends and family are invited!

Performers will be:

Asher Griffith, Mary Kopitzke, Dasha Allyn, Jalene Horner, Bill Brown, Selah Johnston, Daryl Dobashi, Soloman Levi, Enrico Levi, and Hank Curtis.

Hope to see you there!
PRAYER FOR THE SEARCH COMMITTEE

Almighty and everliving God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth, hear our prayers for our All Saints’ Parish Family. Strengthen the faithful, arouse the careless and restore the penitent. Grant us all things necessary in our search for a new rector, and bring us all to be of one heart and mind, within your holy Church, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

This prayer was adapted from St. Mary’s Episcopal Church , Dade City, Florida 

Mahalo nui loa to the All Saints’ Search Committee

  • Linda Crocker
  • Collin Darrell 
  • Victor Punua Jr. 
  • Diane Sato
  • Vikki Secretario
  • Curtis Shiramizu
  • Dianne Tabura
EPISCOPAL CHURCH GOVERNANCE
"Take Me To Your Leader!"
"Who's That?"
Recently, I was engaged in a lively discussion of the Episcopal Church and its Leadership. You know the conversation. 

“Did you hear what they are going to do?”
“Don’t worry about them . I think they are doing fine.”
“Yah well, they don’t get it.”
“Do you ever talk to them ?”
“Who are they ?”

This last question really got me thinking. Who are “ They ”? If you go to the website of the Episcopal Church you will find that “ The General Convention is the governing body of The Episcopal Church”. ( https://www.episcopalchurch.org/church-governance ) Does that mean that a "once-every-three-years " get-together of a bunch of Episcopalians is in charge? 
Of course not. We’re Episcopalians so it is far more complicated than that. In fact, the Episcopal Church provides a flow-chart to help explain Church Governance. Here it is.
If you’re like me, you take one look at a chart like this and throw up your hands. Enough! How can I make sense of this mess?

In an effort to understand this chart, I decided to break it down into manageable pieces and tackle them one at a time. Over the coming weeks, I will present my understanding of Episcopal Church Governance and how it impacts us as members of the All Saints’ `Ohana.

This week we will focus on that part of Church Governance that is closest to home. In fact, this is what most of us think about first when the topic of Episcopal Leadership comes up: Parishes .
Parish

As we learned in the Epistle , 4 , 14, April 5, 2019, a parish is a self-supporting congregation under a rector. All Saints’ was founded as a mission in 1924 and has been a parish since 1962. Each parish is served by a Rector and a Vestry.

Rector 

Typically, a rector is the priest in charge of a self-supporting parish, and a vicar is the priest in charge of a supported mission. The rector is the ecclesiastical authority of the parish. The term is derived from the Latin for "rule." The rector has authority and responsibility for worship and the spiritual jurisdiction of the parish, subject to the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer, the constitution and canons of the church, and the pastoral direction of the bishop. The rector is responsible for selection of all assistant clergy, and they serve at the discretion of the rector. The church and parish buildings and furnishings are under the rector's control. The rector or a member of the vestry designated by the rector presides at all vestry meetings. ( https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/glossary/rector )

Vestry

The vestry is the legal representative of the parish with regard to all matters pertaining to its corporate property. The number of vestry members and the term of office varies from parish to parish. Vestry members are usually elected at the annual parish meeting. The presiding officer of the vestry is the rector. There are usually two wardens. The senior warden leads the parish between rectors and is a support person for the rector. The junior warden often has responsibility for church property and buildings. A treasurer and a secretary or clerk may be chosen. These officers may or may not be vestry members. The basic responsibilities of the vestry are to help define and articulate the mission of the congregation; to support the church's mission by word and deed, to select the rector, to ensure effective organization and planning, and to manage resources and finances. ( https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/glossary/vestry )

Ministry Council

At All Saints’, ministries are overseen by the Ministry Council. All Ministry Leaders and Ministry Members are a part of this Council. It meets periodically to review the state of the All Saints' ministries, gather support and advice from members on how to improve their groups, and plan special events and promotions.

Ministries

Ministries are responsible for much of the work of our church and they exist to fill unmet needs in our church and community. Each Ministry is managed by Leaders at the grass roots level and depends on the support of loyal volunteer members to accomplish their goals.

To see an updated list of all the Ministries and their Leaders, please follow the link below.



I hope this information is helpful the next time someone says, “Take me to your leader”. 

If you have any questions about Leadership at our Parish, please feel free to contact Bill Caldwell , David Murray , Mary Margaret Smith , or any member of the Vestry .

Bill Caldwell
The Epistle
The children of All Saints’ Preschool will be hosting their Preschool Graduation on Friday, May 31 st at the All Saints’ Gym from 6:30 - 8:00PM. Please join us in support of our keiki. They have been practicing hard on all their songs just for you! Hope to see you there. 
ANNOUNCING THE LAUNCH OF THE DIOCESE'S DEDICATED NEWS WEBSITE
The Diocese of Hawai`i has launched a separate news website dedicated to the stories and events taking place in our Diocese and the broader Episcopal Church. The website comes after months of discerning more effective ways to communicate stories in a timely manner, without overburdening the main website.

Over the next few months, we welcome your feedback and input so that adjustments can be made. Please e-mail Sybil Nishioka at news@episcopalhawaii.org . Click on the News image above or on the link below to see the new Diocesan website.

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF KAPI`OLANI
Mark Your Calendars
June 24, 2019
On Monday, June 24 th , starting at approximately 6:00PM, Colette Higgins, Dean of Academic Affairs, Division I and Academic Support at Windward Community College, will present "Following in the Footsteps of Queen Kapi`olani" in the sanctuary of the church. 
Information from the Office of Government Relations: Summary of General Convention Policy on Abortion and Women’s Reproductive Health

[May 17, 2019] In response to questions related to The Episcopal Church’s position on abortion, the Office of Government Relations offers this summary of General Convention Policy on Abortion and Women’s Reproductive Health. Additional information, including the text of the official policies and statements of the General Convention and Executive Council of The Episcopal Church may be found here
 
Clergy throughout The Episcopal Church counsel women, men, and families who must make decisions relating to pregnancy and childbirth, adoption, family planning, and who face infertility. Our ordained and lay leaders walk alongside Episcopalians and others who struggle with this intimate and challenging aspect of human life. Over the past several decades, the General Convention has addressed the topic of abortion from a position informed by this ministry and personal lived experience of clergy and laity within their own families. As a result, the General Convention of The Episcopal Church recognizes the moral, legal, personal, and societal complexity of the issue. The diversity of views within the Church represents our common struggle to understand and discern this issue.

The Episcopal Church  teaches  that “all human life is sacred. Hence, it is sacred from its inception until death. The Church takes seriously its obligation to help form the consciences of its members concerning this sacredness. Human life, therefore, should be initiated only advisedly and in full accord with this understanding of the power to conceive and give birth which is bestowed by God.” Our liturgical text Enriching Our Worship calls for great pastoral sensitivity to the needs of the woman and others involved in decisions relating to “abortion, or mishaps of pregnancy and infertility.” This ministry is particularly important in situations that result in the loss of a pregnancy or inability to become pregnant and as a Church, we have experienced that all of these have “a tragic dimension.”

In a series of statements over the past decades, the Church has declared that “we emphatically oppose abortion as a means of birth control, family planning, sex selection, or any reason of mere convenience.” At the same time, since 1967, The Episcopal Church has maintained its “unequivocal opposition to any legislation on the part of the national or state governments which would abridge or deny the right of individuals to reach informed decisions [about the termination of pregnancy] and to act upon them.”

The Church  urges  dioceses and congregations “to give necessary aid and support to all pregnant women.”  General Convention  “commends the work and mission of pregnancy care centers which stress unconditional love and acceptance, for women and their unborn children.” We have urged support of “local pregnancy care centers” that “develop an outreach of love to pregnant women and to mothers and their children.”

At the General Convention in  2018 , The Episcopal Church called for “women’s reproductive health and reproductive health procedures to be treated as all other medical procedures.” The Convention declared “that equitable access to women’s health care, including women’s reproductive health care, is an integral part of a woman’s struggle to assert her dignity and worth as a human being.”

We continue to advocate that “legislating abortions will not address the root of the problem. We therefore express our deep conviction that any proposed legislation on the part of national or state governments regarding abortions must take special care to see that the individual conscience is respected, and that the responsibility of individuals to reach informed decisions in this matter is acknowledged and honored as the position of this Church.”

The Church also sees education as an essential component of engaging with issues relating to family planning, child spacing, adoption, infertility and abortion. The global Anglican Communion, of which The Episcopal Church is a member, first supported the use of contraceptives in 1930, and as Christians we affirm responsible family planning. General Convention policy  states “it is the responsibility of our congregations to assist their members in becoming informed concerning the spiritual, physiological and psychological aspects of sex and sexuality.” The Book of Common Prayer affirms that “the birth of a child is a joyous and solemn occasion in the life of a family. It is also an occasion for rejoicing in the Christian community” (p 440).

On the web:
 
FOR MORE INFO CONTACT:
Nancy Davidge
Public Affairs Officer, The Episcopal Church
Tel.: 212-716-6080 Cel.: 646-908-0643
FROM THE EPISCOPAL NEWS SERVICE
Parishioner Turns Missouri Church’s Unused Lot Into Apple Orchard in Twist on Garden Ministries

By David Paulsen
Posted May 22, 2019
Children help apply mulch to one of the apple trees planted on unused space next to Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Webster Groves, Missouri. Photo: Dale Penrose

[Episcopal News Service] Dale Penrose is no Johnny Appleseed, though he’s played that role before, on the church lawn last fall for preschoolers. The lawn, a grassy wedge just east of the parking lot at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Webster Groves, Missouri, isn’t much of a lawn anymore, but rather a budding apple orchard. It’s a fitting addition to a neighborhood known as Old Orchard, where apple cultivation once was prevalent, and the congregation hopes someday to reap the full fruits of what Penrose has sown.

“This year we might get a bushel or two,” Penrose said when Episcopal News Service caught up with him by phone to ask about the orchard he planted for Emmanuel in spring 2016 .

A church with an apple orchard? Feeding ministries (Emmanuel has one of those, too) aren’t unusual. Many churches have gardens, though an orchard is a unique twist. This one has more trees – 15 – than Jesus had apostles. So far, no serpents have tempted young couples here with forbidden fruit.

More troublesome were the snacking deer that prematurely trimmed several of the trees, and some others were inadvertently felled by lawnmowers. After several replantings, the orchard at Emmanuel is back to full strength. As it grows, the congregation is touting the orchard as an opportunity to beautify a prominent city corner, to provide produce for its food pantry, to teach lessons in environmental stewardship and simply to enjoy one of God’s tastiest creations.

“They’re a durable food,” the Rev. Jennifer Hulen, rector at Emmanuel, told ENS. “I’m a hiker and a camper, so apples are good trail food. And we’re all kind of on a trail in life.”

Emmanuel Episcopal Church was built in 1886 on property given to the congregation by the Lockwoods, a family that owned 80 acres in the Old Orchard neighborhood. The Lockwoods and other families had long maintained orchards in the area. “In the spring the blossoms transformed the orchards into fairyland, and in the fall the orchards smelled like cider,” the Webster Groves Historical Society describes in its guide for a walking tour of the neighborhood .

Penrose, 58, has attended Emmanuel since 2001, and around the time the church was getting ready to celebrate its 150th anniversary, he had church-based agriculture on his mind.

“We had a large space of unused land at Emmanuel, but it was way too visible to put in a garden,” he said. If you fall behind on the weeding, Penrose explained, suddenly your street-side garden becomes an eyesore. “So, I thought, well, you know putting an orchard in there would look really pretty. It would fit the community, and it would provide just as much food as a garden would.”

He brought his idea to the rector, Hulen’s predecessor – whose name, no fooling, was the Rev. Dan Appleyard – and after discussions with the senior warden and church committees about cost and upkeep, Penrose won approval to begin planting.
Dale Penrose planted 15 apple trees at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in 2016, though he had to replant some of them after run-ins with deer and lawnmowers. Photo: Dale Penrose

Each tree cost $40 to $50. Appleyard bought one with money from his discretionary fund, and the senior warden chipped in for a second. Penrose covered the cost of the rest, selecting them from a nursery north of St. Louis. At full size, they will grow up to 20 feet tall, he said, and a full harvest after all 15 trees mature will yield an estimated 100 to 150 bushels of apples a year, or about 3 tons.

“Not bad for an unused green space,” Penrose said.

The orchard at Emmanuel has become a personal passion for Penrose, who enjoys involving children of the congregation in his work. Each year, students of Emmanuel’s vacation Bible school have helped with mulching around the trees.
Dale Penrose prunes the trees at Emmanuel Episcopal Church every winter and spends about $30 to $40 on organic pesticides and mulch, but he said the apple orchard doesn’t require much else to maintain. Photo: Emmanuel Episcopal Church

And for a congregation that tops 200 worshippers on a typical Sunday, the orchard offers a tangible example of faith in action and a spiritual connection to the land, Hulen said. “To know God through creation and to be able to know we’re partners in taking care of the Earth and we’re partners in providing out of our abundance to our brothers and sisters who have a struggle.”

– David Paulsen is an editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at dpaulsen@episcopalchurch.org .

Excerpted from The Episcopal News Service, May 22, 2019.

To read the entire article, please click here .
HALE HO`OMALU
MAY COLLECTION 

Canned Items: soups, chili, pork & beans, spam, Vienna sausage


Place your donations in the red wagon by the door to the sanctuary on Sundays. Hale Ho`omalu also needs and appreciates monetary donations as well as gift-in-kind items.
Please note, we do not accept food items that are not mentioned on the monthly list and we do not accept clothing, toys or similar items unless a specific plea for such items is published in the Epistle. Your Epistle Staff will inform you of any special requests for donations.
FROM THE EPISCOPAL CAFÉ
Hide and Seek 
Posted May 21, 2019
With a smile on her face and the full force of her 4-year-old voice she yells, “Hide and seek!” She runs to the dining room while covering her eyes and sitting down in one fell swoop. “One, two, three, four….Hide and seek!” Her brother stands in place, his happy feet stomping up and down, while she counts. “Ready?! Hide and seek,” she yells again.
 
For now, hide and seek is my daughter’s new favorite game. She runs down the hallway and bursts into rooms. Her younger brother always trailing behind her happy to be by her side. They make up their own rules running back and forth and counting to ten every few minutes. “One, two, three! Hide and seek!” It’s as much about this declaration as it is the actual finding.
 
Most Sundays after church, it’s a free-for-all for my children. After the hour or so of wrangling, snack-providing, and all around juggling of kids, crayons, books, and toys, I’m ready for a few minutes to relax. They usually find their friends and chase one another around and between the pews. They know where to find the extra communion bread. They love to be held by their daddy as he greets the members of the church. This past week when it was time to head home, I caught sight of my daughter as she turned to me, “Hide and seek, Mama?”
 
A laugh comes out of my mouth, “No, we’re not playing hide and seek. Let’s go!”
 
I might think it’d be silly or inappropriate to play hide and seek at church. But that wouldn’t be the truth of my experience. Hide and seek, or sardines more accurately, was a big part of church for me growing up, even through college, and in my first church serving as pastor. It was the youth group overnights at our pastor’s house where I remember finding secret nooks in his basement as we played sardines and waited with muffled laughs for everyone to find us. In college the massive chapel at night equally scared and inspired me while hiding curled in the pulpit overlooking the pews. And finally as a pastor I picture myself tucked behind choir robes in a small room off the sanctuary.
 
A flood of memories comes to me with my daughter’s simple, joy-full request, “hide and seek, Mama?” But for this day, it’s too late. We’re already on our way home.
 
What is it in the game of hiding and seeking that brings such joy? What is it in loud voices counting, quiet breaths hiding, and the cheers of finding friends that delights at so many ages?
 
Could it be that our whole faith life feel like a game of hide and seek? We desire to know God and to have a relationship, we want to find that spark of hope, and find the overwhelming gift of grace that is ours for the taking. We want to be found and known by friends and family, really known in all our brokenness, insecurities, and fears. We want to be sought out by the One who first breathed life into this world and us. And we want to help others find this amazing grace and love that transcends time and place.   
 
So perhaps the church is precisely the place where we should be playing hide and seek. Maybe the church teaches us over and over again what it means to be found in Christ – fully known, fully loved, fully claimed as God’s beloved child. Maybe we need the help of others to find this joy and this love in God, inviting our friends to play with us and dive into relationship.
 
My daughter asks, “Hide and seek, Mama?” 

Yes, my love, go and hide. For you are always found in God.
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO.

You can read more at her website: http://kimberlyknowlezeller.com or follow her work on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KimberlyKnowleZeller/ .
NO SUNDAY SCHOOL THIS WEEK
Memorial Day Holiday
IN BRIEF . . .
These news briefs were featured in previous issues of "The Epistle"

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