Volume 4, Issue 49
December 13, 2019
THIS SUNDAY: December 15, 2019
Third Sunday of Advent

Joe Adorna (EM)
Judy Saronitman (U)
Diane Sato (AG)

David Murray (EM)
Daileen Barton, Enrico Levi (R)
Linda Crocker, Mario Antonio (U)
Jan Hashizumi (AG)
Daileen, Paxton (A)
Mabel Antonio, Vikki Secretario (HP)
A Romp Through The Bible
Bible Study
Led by Fr. David Englund
Tuesday, December 17 th
7:00 - 8:30PM

All Saints' Preschool Christmas Program
Friday, December 20 th
6:30 - 8:30PM

Christmas Caroling at Mahelona
Saturday, December 21 st
5:00 - 6:00PM
Mahelona Hospital
carpool from All Saints'

Youth Group Christmas Party
Saturday, December 21 st
7:00 - 8:00PM
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

Daughters of the King
2 nd & 4 th Thursday, 7:00 - 8:00PM
Memorial Hall

Choir Practice
Every Thursday, 6:00PM
Choir Room
Christmas schedule 2019
So Many From Which To Choose

  Bible study…yes, I’m on board but which Bible will we be studying? I have the King James Version gifted to me at my confirmation decades ago but I was completely ignorant as to what is considered a good modern version. A little research has shown me there are quite a few good ones from which to choose, and a variety of reasons to choose one over another. I have gotten input from several knowledgable people to help guide me through my research. I’ll try to cite the source that mentioned/recommended the different versions. The descriptions are often from websites selling the Bible mentioned.
The Complete Parallel Bible (Fr. David Englund)
A Bible including translations from four different sources:

1) The accurate, readable, and clear New International Version (NIV)
2) The beautiful, trustworthy, and poetic New King James Version (NKJV)
3) The readability of the New Living Translation (NLT)
4) The contemporary and conversational style of The Message
Common English Bible (Bishop Bob)

The Common English Bible is perfectly suited for use in public worship and reading aloud. This bold new version avoids obscure words and outdated phrases, removing language barriers to ensure an enjoyable, natural reading experience for young and old, believers and seekers. The result is a completely accurate translation of the original texts that’s relevant, readable, reliable, and easily understood today.
Common English Women’s Bible (Rev. Wil Gafney)
Commentary by Rev. Wil Gafney, Professor of Hebrew Bible at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas and frequent visitor to All Saints’ Kaua`i, and her colleagues.
The CEB Women’s Bible is a full-featured, readable, and reliable women’s Bible for women’s groups and daily private devotion. It includes articles, reflections, and profiles on topics and biblical characters from women’s studies and women’s religious experience that are not typically found in Bibles for a non-academic audience. The goal was to produce a guide to help women grow in their understanding of and engagement with the Bible, and the life of a congregation.

The CEB Women’s Bible is intended for women in church leadership, women in the pews, and women who value spiritual practice in their lives. It is ideal for women who value equality and discussions related to issues of gender and justice and how those ideas are lived out through their faith.
The People’s Bible (Rev. Wil Gafney)
The Peoples' Bible highlights the role of cultures in shaping the Bible and the way people read the Bible today. Relying on the best insights of historical-critical, liberationist, postmodern, and postcolonial interpretation the contributors include the editors of the volume (including the Rev. Wil Gafney) plus Kosuke Koyama, Randall C. Bailey, Fernando F. Segovia, Elsa Tamez, Clarice Martin, Hee An Choi, Gale A. Yee, Daniel L. Smith-Christopher, and many more.
New Revised Standard Version (Fr. David Englund, Kahu Kawika)
Noted for inclusive language, The NRSV was meant to be a more literal translation so it is preferred for doing more intensive bible study and is often used by scholars. The NRSV is a mainly word-for-word translation of the Bible that is the most commonly used translation in university level Biblical studies. One of its distinctive features are the fact that it was translated by a group of scholars that included Protestant, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians, which makes it largely free of bias towards any one Christian tradition. It also makes use of gender neutral language where the translators felt that the original text referred to both men and women (ie. when New Testament uses the word ‘brothers’ as a general term for Christians, the NRSV translates this as “brothers and sisters”)
New International Version (Fr. David Englund, Kahu Kawika)
The NIV is by far the most popular English Bible Translation in use today. It generally favors the thought-for-thought translation approach and tends to be a fairly easy Bible to read (though in many places it’s actually quite word-for-word). The original version of the NIV was completed in 1984, and this is the version many people think of as the NIV. But in 2011 the NIV was significantly revised to reflect the latest scholarship and changes in the English language. 
The Message Version (Fr. David Englund)
The Message is a reading Bible translated from the original Greek and Hebrew Scriptures by scholar, pastor, author, and poet Eugene Peterson. Thoroughly reviewed and approved by 20 biblical scholars, The Message combines the authority of God’s Word with the cadence and energy of conversational English.
The Inclusive Bible (Rev. Wil Gafney, Kahu Kawika)
While this new Bible is certainly an inclusive-language translation, it is much more: it is a re-imagining of the scriptures and our relationship to them. Not merely replacing male pronouns, the translators have rethought what kind of language has built barriers between the text and its readers. Seeking to be faithful to the original languages, they have sought new and non-sexist ways to express the same ancient truths. The Inclusive Bible is a fresh, dynamic translation into modern English, carefully crafted to let the power and poetry of the language shine forth—particularly when read aloud—giving it an immediacy and intimacy rarely found in traditional translations of the Bible. The Inclusive Bible contains both the Old and the New Testaments.
King James Version  
The King James Version (KJV) was the most popular Bible in English for almost four centuries, but unless you’re reading it for its poetic language (which is quite beautiful and unmatched in most modern translations) [The author] wouldn’t use it as your personal Bible. There are two main reasons for this. First, English language has changed so much that the KJV is now very difficult for most people to understand (even with the many updates since it was first published there are still over 300 words in today’s KJV that don’t mean the same thing they did in 1611). The second is that while the KJV was translated from the best ancient Greek and Hebrew manuscripts available at the time, in the past 400 years a number of older and more accurate manuscripts have become widely available to Biblical scholars.
Ka Baibala Hemolele : The Holy Bible
This edition is based on the original Hawaiian Bible produced in the 19 th century. Each word, phrase, sentence and passage was considered in its Biblical context and respelled to include contemporary Hawaiian spelling using the `okina (glottal stop) and kahakō (macron). The editors of this work carefully considered the source languages - Hebrew and Greek - and various English translations in respelling the Hawaiian. Faithfulness to the original text and accurate scholarship were of the utmost importance. English translation uses the New American Standard Version (NASB).
Personal notes from our new Rector, Kahu Kawika :

In terms of Bible versions, I somewhat toggle between the following: 

(1) The Inclusive Bible (TIB): Put together by progressive priests and biblical scholars to bring out the gender-inclusivity inherent in the original languages and often lost in many English translations.

(2) The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV): One of most accurate translations of the Scriptures with a good sense of style in language as well.

(3) The New International Version (NIV): A little less literal translation than the NRSV, but a smoother flow of language.
Da Hawai`i Pidgin Gospel - Da Jesus Book
Shortly before he passed in January of 2019, Fr. Malcom Chun officiated at a service at All Saints’. He treated us to a Gospel reading from Da Hawai`i Pidgin Gospel , which he and his colleagues (Pidgen Bible Translation Group) spent many years putting together. The following passage is from this version of the Gospel.

Da Boss Above, he take care me,
Jalike da sheep farma take care his sheeps.
He goin give me everyting I need.
He let me lie down wea da sweet an soft grass stay.
He lead me by da water wea I can rest.
He give me new kine life.
He lead me in da road dat stay right,
Cuz I his guy.

No matter which version(s) of Holy Scripture you choose, you will find strength, courage, and love in the teachings of our God.

-CeCe Caldwell
Helping Bring the Reason for the Season
On December 6, All Saints’ participated in the Lights on Ric e Christmas parade. The Pohaku Towing Service provided us with great truck, drove our float in the parade, and had their employees join All Saints’ in handing out candy on the parade route. 

The float was decorated with the manger scene props used in past Christmas pageants. Cami Pascua, Fr. David and Susan Englund, Mary Margaret Smith, Colin Darrell, and CeCe Caldwell decorated the float. For the parade the float had angels (Kirstin and Skylaya Darrell, Carla and Neva Leung), shepherds (Laurel, Elizabeth, and CeCe Caldwell), wise men (Paxton and Harper Darrell), Mary (Nora Leung), Joseph (Tristan Caldwell), and baby Jesus. Fr. David as a shepherd and Wayne Doliente as the third wise man led the float with the All Saints’ banner while Cami Pascua and Jan Hashizume followed the float to give out candy.
We hope you will enjoy this slideshow of the festivities.
To see the final preparations for the parade, please click on the video link below.
All the participants had a great time. It was wonderful to participate in this holiday tradition and have such a receptive crowd. Our float was announced with a brief description of All Saints’ Church and Preschool that ended with an invitation to join the All Saints’ `Ohana to worship.

Priests are ordained to be “faithful pastors, patient teachers, and wise councilors” (BCP, p. 534). These Reflections will be offered over the next few months in the e-News and on the Diocesan website HERE .
Our second Teachings by Clergy piece is by Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick

"Maker of Heaven and Earth"

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen. 

Sunday in and Sunday out in this Diocese, these words are the first we recite together immediately following the sermon at the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Christians around the world will do the same thing. We are making an audacious claim about life and creation. Without this first statement, all else is meaningless. We begin by asserting that this world that we can see or touch is not all there is to existence and that we – human beings – are not the center of it all. The mystery of everything and of nothing are all beyond us – beyond me!  

In my youth, I first dared to speak of God as Schleiermacher’s “feeling of absolute dependence” or Tillich’s focus of “being of ultimately concern.” Yes, my search for God began as an intellectual undertaking in the undergraduate classroom. Through the years the language of those heady German theologians lost for a time its luster and then with age has returned with a critical delight. Why? How do you explain the unexplainable? So, I appreciate (and I am suspicious) of the reality of “feeling” as the pre-cognitive awareness of an immediate existence-relationship -- God. It is the joy in great wonder of existence. Tillich taught me that we human beings can be too concerned for false gods and illusions of our own making. When Tillich suggests that “[t]he being of God is being-itself,” he is pushing to Creator beyond our limited reality.  

My own struggle with theology and this first clause of the Creed is that it still makes human beings – make me – somehow the center of it all. It is my “feeling” and my “concern” – or at least that of humanity. READ MORE

Photo Opportunities Available This Sunday

Please remember to check the binders at the front of the church and update your directory information, and note if you need a new picture. Marge Akana will be at church this Sunday to take new pictures at the 8:00AM service and as people arrive for the 9:30AM service. You can also bring or send a new photo, or request a new photo at another time.
Updated information and photos will be a tremendous help for our new priest. Please participate in this effort.
We will be accepting paper requests (available at the table outside church on Sundays) and also online:

For the sixth year in a row, #AdventWord will gather prayers via its global, online Advent Calendar. Virginia Theological Seminary is offering 24 meditations and images during this holy season beginning Sunday, December 1. Images and meditations can be experienced via www.AdventWord.org , through direct daily emails, and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Join an international, ecumenical community in prayer to explore the mystery and wonder of Advent. You’re invited to help create this global, online Advent Calendar by participating in any of the following ways:

The words for 2019 are listed below. Please share them with friends and family who would enjoy participating – #AdventWord is an ecumenical project! We welcome posts that resonate with #AdventWord from all persons. You can find the words in various formats as well as other resources to share at www.AdventWord.org .
  • 1 December - #Unexpected 
  • 2 December - #Visit
  • 3 December - #Time
  • 4 December - #Humble
  • 5 December - #Raise
  • 6 December - #House
  • 7 December - #Unity
  • 8 December - #Worthy
  • 9 December - #Root
  • 10 December - #Grace
  • 11 December - #Confess
  • 12 December - #Harmony
  • 13 December - #Water
  • 14 December - #Gather
  • 15 December - #Turn
  • 16 December - #Learn
  • 17 December - #Pray
  • 18 December - #Worship
  • 19 December - #Bless
  • 20 December - #Go
  • 21 December - #Rest
  • 22 December - #Restore 
  • 23 December - #Message 
  • 24 December - #Beloved
This Advent, participants will deepen their understanding of the coming of Jesus into the world through practices of meditation and prayer. Come pray with us!

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.


By Egan Millard
Posted Dec 6, 2019

A group from the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth at the Tarrant County Gay Pride Parade in Fort Worth, Texas, on Oct. 5. Photo: Diocese of Fort Worth

[Episcopal News Service] Slogans like “All are welcome!” and “God loves you – no exceptions!” are a common sight at Episcopal churches, but one diocese is expanding on those messages and making them more specific, targeting those who need to hear them most.

In October, the Diocese of Fort Worth in Texas launched an evangelism initiative “aimed at the unchurched, the dechurched, those wounded by the church, those who sometimes are told that God hates them,” with a website as its centerpiece: godlovesall.info .

“God doesn’t hate. God loves all,” it proclaims on its homepage, and its pages focus on topics associated with division and exclusion in American Christianity, with headings like “LGBT,” “Racial Justice” and “(Re)Marriage.” The pages explain The Episcopal Church’s views on these topics and what the church – especially the Diocese of Fort Worth – is doing to address them. The site also features video testimonials from clergy and parishioners with titles like “Women priests? Yes, women priests” and “Will God love me if I’m gay? Yes.”

“Come in. Sit awhile. Explore. It’s safe here,” the homepage concludes.

The website is the brainchild of the Rev. Kevin Johnson, priest-in-charge at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Arlington, Texas. Disappointed by the negative and exclusionary forms of Christianity that garner so much of the public’s attention – especially in his region – Johnson decided to counter those messages with the Episcopal message of unconditional love and acceptance.

“I have become convinced, especially during my time in this particular parish, that The Episcopal Church has gifts that a lot of people in the world yearn to receive, but they don’t even know they exist, especially in our cultural context in north central Texas, which is very conservative,” Johnson told Episcopal News Service.

Some of the most influential Christian ministers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area preach messages of hatred, claiming that “God hates you because you’re gay or God hates you because you’re a woman in power,” Johnson said.

“There are too many people in our world who are being told right now that God sees them as an abomination or is ashamed of them in some way, that they have to change a core part of their being to be loved by God. … There are lots of people we’re talking to who have been chased out of their home by their parents because they’re gay or they’re transgender. Those are the people who desperately yearn to hear the good news that we carry. And that means having the courage to stand up and risk being vulnerable with that message.”

That message – “God doesn’t hate” – might seem innocuous, but it’s more controversial than one might expect, and that’s precisely why it was chosen as the theme of the website.

“We had to wrestle back and forth with this phrase a lot,” Johnson said. “But we finally decided to risk using the phrase ‘God does not hate you,’ which is really in your face for good-mannered Episcopalians.”

“We got a lot of pushback at that,” said Katie Sherrod, the diocese’s communications coordinator. “Episcopalians don’t say things like that, that bluntly. ‘God doesn’t hate!’ And rightly so, we all recoil from the word ‘hate.’ … But when that’s been actually said to you – ‘God hates you, God hates who and what you are’ – you hear that phrase, ‘God doesn’t hate,’ in a whole different way.”

“We’re all comfortable talking about God’s love,” Johnson added. “I mean, that’s just our cultural norm. But pointedly saying ‘God does not hate’ carries tangential messaging that directly counters a lot of the public messaging that gets put out over the airwaves in our region.”

And it seems hatred is increasingly less of an abstract concept and more of an action, making it all the more necessary to counter it with a message of love. Sherrod and Johnson have seen it firsthand.

“Texas has the highest rate of murdered transgender [people of any state], and Dallas is the epicenter of that ,” Sherrod told ENS. “So we were seeing real life-and-death consequences to that message that God hates you. And then you have a man who drove from Dallas to El Paso to shoot immigrants , Hispanic people in a Walmart. We were being hit in the face with murderous results of that message that God hates you. And it just became more and more urgent for us to get this message there.”

Johnson wanted to reach people directly, especially people who might not want to walk into a church, so Johnson asked the diocese for funding to do marketing and outreach.

“At the local parish level, we’ve kind of test-driven the practice of raising community awareness about our values, practices and gifts in very purposeful, straight-up marketing ways. We’re really not afraid to say we have a good product that people want,” Johnson said.

Bishop J. Scott Mayer got on board, and it developed into a broader evangelism campaign, but “our main goal is not to get people in our pews,” Sherrod explained. “Our main goal is to show people how to have a closer relationship with God – hopefully in and through The Episcopal Church, but if that doesn’t happen, we’re fine with that. If they find God through anything we tell them, that’s fine with us.”

The website was completed in time for the Fort Worth Pride parade, at which a group from the diocese passed out cards with the URL.
Members of the Diocese of Fort Worth hold up banners at the Tarrant County Gay Pride Parade on Oct. 5. Photo: Diocese of Fort Worth

“As a road test, it was astonishingly successful,” Sherrod said. “People were very moved by that message.”

“We all got matching T-shirts that say ‘God doesn’t hate’ with the URL on it. We had banners, and then at the booth, we interacted with people … and that gave us the opportunity to talk and look people in the eye directly and give them a business card with the URL on it and just say, ‘Hey, you might want to go check this out,’” Johnson said.

Johnson and Sherrod said they’ve gotten vitriolic responses to the website from other Christians and some criticism from within their own diocese, although the diocese’s painful history has given its members some crucial perspective. Even its most traditional, conservative members know what it feels like to be rejected and excluded by the church. In 2008, a majority of clergy and lay leaders in the Diocese of Fort Worth voted to leave The Episcopal Church and join the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone over doctrinal differences on topics like same-sex marriage and the ordination of women. Now there are two entities calling themselves the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth: the original diocese associated with The Episcopal Church and the breakaway group that is now part of the Anglican Church in North America .

That breakaway group claimed some of the Episcopal diocese’s properties, including the original building of St. Alban’s, the parish in which Johnson grew up and which he now leads. The congregation has been worshipping in a theater ever since.

“The folks got kicked out of their church because they were, as I like to gently say, they were too spiritually generous,” Johnson said. “So we’re in this crazy context, which allows for risk and vulnerability.”

“A lot of people here know what the phrase ‘wounded by the church’ means because of the split we went through. So even very privileged white people in our pews have some sense of what that means,” Sherrod added.

For Johnson, the risk and vulnerability the diocese has experienced lend themselves well to evangelism and have made this campaign stand out.

“This was different because it really started out with a question that I’ve never seen [being asked], which is, What is God asking us to risk in order to better communicate our unique share of the good news to the community in which we live?”

One thing the diocese has risked by undertaking this campaign is discomfort among its more conservative members, but the bonds forged in the aftermath of the split have proven able to withstand that discomfort.

“There are still people uncomfortable with it,” Sherrod told ENS. “But they’re willing to live in that zone of discomfort. Because they get it. … We’ve had a lot of people here who’ve learned to be uncomfortable with stuff for the last 10 years. We have conservatives in our pews who have stayed with us even though they’re a little uncomfortable with some of the stuff the church is doing. But they feel loved in their parishes, and so they’re hanging in there.”

Aside from the kind of in-person advertising they did at the Pride parade, the diocese has been promoting the website through targeted Facebook ads and hopes to reach even further into the community with grant funding.

“As we move toward 2020, we’re thinking bigger,” Sherrod said. “I mean, why not? We’re hoping for billboards, for banners in downtown Fort Worth, … with movie screen ads, things like that, because we’re becoming increasingly confident that the place we’re sending them is a place that they will feel safe and comfortable being.”

– Egan Millard is an assistant editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at  emillard@episcopalchurch.org .
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated on December 12, when people from across Mexico and other countries make a pilgrimage to see an image of Mary (Virgen Morena), believed to be authentic, in the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City.

According to legend, a man named Juan Diego encountered the Virgin Mary twice in Mexico City, on December 9 and December 12 in 1531. Mary told Juan to ask the bishop to build a church on Tepeyac Hill. The bishop however, needed proof of Juan’s encounter and asked for a miracle. When Juan returned to the hill, there were roses in a spot where cacti previously grew. He showed the roses to the archbishop and revealed an image on his cloak of the Lady of Guadalupe. The bishop was convinced of the miracle and built a church in honor of the event.

The popularity of this feast has grown particularly in the southwestern United States, particularly among Americans of Mexican descent. Dancers, drummer, banners, and parades are all a part of the feast day. Children dress in traditional costumes and are blessed in churches. Many Episcopal Churches, especially those with Latino parishioners, celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Celebrations as Angola Becomes a New Anglican Diocese

Posted on: December 5, 2019
Bishop André with Provincial and partner clergy at the cathedral site.
Photo Credit: Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Facebook
[ACNS, by Rachel Farmer] Angola was officially inaugurated as a new Anglican Diocese this week, following 16 years as a missionary diocese and after more than 40 years of war.

The Primate of Southern Africa, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba led the special service of inauguration and also installed Bishop André Soares as the Bishop of Angola.

The Archbishop said it was an inspiring event: “What an experience and enriching time.
What a joy! We inaugurated a fully-fledged diocese and installed Bishop André as diocesan.”

Supporters from partner dioceses and organisations joined in the ceremony, which included a blessing of the church land in Luanda, where the new Anglican Cathedral will be built. The Archbishop blessed the boundary, laid the foundation stone and named the Cathedral St Andrew the Apostle on St Andrew’s day. Soil from the site will be taken back to Angola's partner Diocese of London.

After years of civil war in Angola, which started in 1975, the fighting eventually ended in 2002 and the Anglican church has been a key player in helping re-build the country’s shattered infrastructure.

The Church of the Province of Southern Africa (CPSA) began plans to establish a new diocese in the war-torn country in 1995 when the Church's provincial synod adopted a resolution to create a missionary diocese in Angola. 

The CPSA and other partners including USPG, Manna and the Diocese of London’s Angola London Mozambique Association, supported the development through backing church projects to tackle HIV, train clergy, and rebuild churches, clinics and schools.

The new Bishop of Angola, Andre Soares, said: “The Anglican Church is working in all areas of Angola and we are thankful that God has given us the opportunity to develop the country.”

André Soares was born in Angola in 1956, but had to flee with his family to the Democratic Republic of the Congo when war broke out in 1962. After studying under Alexandre Luís Domingos, who later became the first Episcopal Delegate of the Anglican Church in Angola, André Soares was eventually ordained priest in 1991. At 35, he was the youngest priest and the Bishop nicknamed him ‘cassula’, which means ‘smallest in the family’. He is married to Janete João and they have six sons and two daughters.

He said: “I have carried on the work, determined to overcome the problems of a country torn apart by 40 years of war ... Thanks be to God the church is now a diocese in its own right.”

One member of the clergy, Maria Domingos, whose ordination training was supported by USPG, said the Province of Southern Africa has helped them with training on church growth.

She said: “This is a significant challenge that has required hard work and dedication, both on the part of local priests and local evangelism groups, often working in remote areas without transportation. But we have seen growth, with the creation of many new congregations.”

Despite hardships, poverty and many health challenges including malaria, HIV/AIDS and TB, she said the church is maintaining its focus. She said: “we now have congregations in areas where the church did not exist before. There is hope.”


By Leslie Scoopmire
Posted December 3, 2019
When I was a kid visiting my grandfather’s house, one of the ways I would entertain myself was to read his copy of the Old Farmer’s Almanac. There was all kinds of folklore and practical advice, including the mundane. For instance, within its pages were the answers to questions I never thought anyone would ask, such as “What is the best day this month to get a haircut?” My hand to God, friends, apparently people wonder about this. I suspect that the trove of trivia that rattles around my brain comes from reading weird stuff like this at elderly relatives’ houses, which is a reminder to me of the lengths to which some of us will go to avoid being bored. 
I was thinking about reading the Almanac a couple of weeks ago, because it was especially a Thanksgiving memory—as the men in our family played dominoes and I sought to escape being herded into my step-grandmother’s tiny kitchen to do the “wimmin’s work” as Grandma Leona called it, I would grab an Almanac and a Reader’s Digest and skedaddle over to the park across the street, no matter how cold it was.
So a few days ago, I was looking through the online version of the Old Farmer’s Almanac—and this confirms that yes, absolutely everything is online now. Nonetheless, I learned something fascinating: at 12:12 am this morning, on this 12th day of the 12th month, according to the almanac, the moon was in what is called “peak fullness” in its cycle. December’s full moon was traditionally called “the Full Cold Moon” or the “Long Nights Moon” by our indigenous forebears, due to the coldness of December, ushering in the winter months officially, and its proximity to the longest night of the year—the winter solstice on December 21. This moon also shines above the horizon for a longer-than-average time. December’s full moon also takes place during the Geminid meteor shower. It’s almost like nature decides to put on a full show starting from the earliest minutes of this day, in an attempt to make up for how cold it is for most of us.
The mention of moon and stars also is a reminder that today is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. For several years now, I have had a figurine of the Virgin of Guadalupe on my desk– her blue mantle spangled with stars, the sun’s rays a corona around her, and her feet balancing on a crescent moon. To my mind, it’s a perfect feast for Advent, for as the moon waxes and wanes throughout each month, so too often is the life of faith. I’ve spent many hours in prayer, “admiring the Virgin as she stands upon the moon,” as singer-songwriter Caroline Herring describes it in her song “Abuelita,” one of her beautiful songs of everyday faith.
In the depiction of the Virgin of Guadalupe, we see the strength of her beautiful, radiant brown face as, humble yet alert, she gazes down toward her right with her hands clasped in prayer. Her pregnant belly beneath her dawn-colored gown calls to mind the already-but-not-yet aspect of this season of expectation, of waiting and watchfulness, of being willing to say yes to God and embrace the life to which God calls us and Jesus exemplifies and enfleshes for us.
Mary willingly, boldly assented to be the handmaid of the Lord, not meekly, but with a victory song that wove a dream of justice and liberation—a song that described the kingdom of God her son came to birth into being. And the Virgin of Guadalupe herself has been claimed by the oppressed throughout the Americas, particularly indigenous peoples, as a testament to her proclamation of a God who pulls down the mighty and fills the need of the hungry—filled like that distended orb hanging like a promise in the night sky. Her vision is a vision of the people—a vision built on the hope of the not-yet that we proclaim in Advent.
During this season in particular, as we wait for the light of Christ to illumine us, and as we light candles on our Advent wreath, I look at that moon under Mary’s feet and think about what a perfect symbol the moon is for what Mary teaches us as a faithful servant of God. Just as the moon itself reflects the light of the sun, Mary’s boldness, agency, and compassion reflects the light of Christ, her son, who was associated with the sun in medieval Christian iconography. The moon with its monthly cycle of birth, growth, death, and rebirth reminds me of the hope we have in resurrection and new life through Christ. 
And indeed, what if we saw our waiting during this Advent season as being pregnant with possibility—burgeoning like that beautiful moon overhead, calling us to reflect Christ’s light ourselves into the place most longing for the gifts of justice, peace, and light?
Collect for the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe (from United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)
O God, Father of mercies, who placed your people under the singular protection of your Son’s most holy Mother, grant that all who invoke the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe may seek with ever more lively faith the progress of peoples in the ways of justice and of peace; through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen .
The Rev. Leslie Scoopmire is a retired teacher and a priest in the Diocese of Missouri. She is priest-in-charge of  St. Martin’s Episcopal Church  in Ellisville, MO. She posts daily prayers at her blog  Abiding In Hope , and collects spiritual writings and images at  Poems, Psalms, and Prayers .


Canned Ham
Gift Cards from Safeway and Foodland
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.
Christmas Break
IN BRIEF . . .
These news briefs were featured in previous issues of "The Epistle"

Please submit your story ideas to the Epistle Staff at news@allsaintskauai.org .
If you need a ride to and from church call Chris Wataya at 808-652-0230.

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

For more information go to Laundry Love Kaua`i or contact Geoff Shields at gshields2334@gmail.com or 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.

All Saints' Eucharistic Visitors are available each Sunday (pending availability) to bring Communion to those who are sick or shut-in. Requests for a Eucharistic visitation can be made by calling the Church Office at (808) 822-4267 or emailing homecommunion@allsaintskauai.org .