Volume 5, Issue 51
December 25, 2020
CHRISTMAS EVE: December 24, 2020
CHRISTMAS DAY: December 25, 2020

Scripture Readings

THIS SUNDAY: December 27, 2020
First Sunday after Christmas


Joe Adorno (EM)*
Bob Terao (U)
Dee Grigsby (AG)
Muriel Jackson (DM)

Mario Antonio (EM)
Mary Margaret Smith (U)
Joan Roughgarden (LR)
Jan Hashizume (AG)
Mabel Antonio, Vikki Secretario (HP)
Jan Hashizume, Ron Morinishi (DM)

Live Stream
9:30AM 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
8:00AM and 9:30AM
Memorial Hall

Aloha Hour
Every Sunday
10:45AM - 12:00PM

Monday Crew
Every Monday
Church Office

Sunday School
Every Sunday
9:30 - 10:00AM
Deck under the false kamani tree
For the aged and infirm, for the widowed and orphans, and for the sick and the suffering, especially Renee, Donavan, Kul, Uncle Nathan, Ken, and those we name silently or aloud, let us pray to the Lord. ​Lord, have mercy. 

For all who have died, especially those affected by the COVID-19 virus, 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.
Upcoming Christmas Events
Mark Your Calendars and Celebrate!
December 25th

  • 9:30AM Eucharist: in-person and livestreamed

The livestreaming services are available via links on the All Saints' website: allsaintskauai.org
Kaua`i's Only Pipe Organ Is Nearing Completion!
Major Milestone Achieved on Monday, December 14th
Our pipe organ installation crew achieved a major milestone on Monday, December 14th with the installation of the pipes (See the timelapse video below taken over the course of the workday). All of their effort up to this point was installation of the air flow system, electrical system and facade screen with louvers for volume control. Some of the bigger pipes (actually rectangular boxes) were installed earlier, but because of the tight space the 1250 pipes couldn't be installed until everything else was in place. One of our workers, Tobey, left the 14th. The other two, Aaron and Morgan, completed the Pipe installation and performed final checkout by the weekend. They left Kauai on last Monday.
The Next Organ Crew Arrives January 4th
Please Donate a Meal for the Organ Crew
Please remember not to enter the sanctuary when delivering meals. 
Leave them on the table provided outside the front door. The crew is working in a COVID restriction bubble which we should not enter. We will have to wait until they are out of quarantine to see the progress they've made and talk story with them. 

The Organ Crew will arrive January 4th to voice (fine tune) the new organ. They will be working long hours, 6 days a week to complete the voicing of the organ. Our congregation will be donating meals for the crew while they’re here. You can sign up to donate lunches or dinners by clicking here: Feed the Crew and filling out the meal donation form to select the meal and your preferred date.

Meal Instructions:
  • Meals may be dropped off at the Church and placed on the table outside the sanctuary.
  • Meals may be dropped off at the Church earlier than the time slot indicated but packaged so they can be refrigerated and eaten later.

Crew #2: 1/4/20 - 1/16/21
  • Please prepare and drop off 2 meals per time slot
Reflections from Kahu Kawika
Choosing Life in a ‘Blue’ Christmas
Luke 1:26-38
2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
20 December 2020
All Saints’ Kapa`a

One of the highlights of any pilgrimage or trip to the Holy Land is a visit to the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, the hometown of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. This of course is the site where the Archangel Gabriel made his visit to Mary in our Gospel reading for today, to announce that she would be the mother of the Son of God, the Messiah. This Church is very beautifully laid-out, with the contributions from most countries of the world of artistic depictions of Mary adorning the walls inside and outside the Church. The contribution of the US even has a three-dimensional aspect to it, with Mary’s image actually extending physically outward beyond the painted backdrop.

But another unique feature of the Church of the Annunciation is that it was built over Mary’s Grotto, the site where Gabriel met Mary. Most of the Church is at modern-day street level, with the Grotto part below our street level but would have been at the level at which people in Mary’s day had lived (In fact, I got to take a tour of the underground streets through an entrance that the Sisters of Nazareth maintained under the property of their hostel, at which I was staying at the time).

While the beauty and intricacies of the Church of the Annunciation do a lot to promote the glorious encounter of Gabriel and Mary and the amazing news that she would introduce God’s own Messiah into the world, they also belie the fact that this “good” news was also very confusing to Mary. The text says that she was perplexed, and for good reason: As a teenager, she was engaged to marry Joseph, yet had not slept with any man. So her confusion at the angel’s message is understandable, as well as her subsequent question, “How can this be, since I am still a virgin?”

Again, Mary meets this “good” news from the Archangel Gabriel with a mixture of surprise and alarm. You can imagine why: How would she explain her pregnancy to Joseph that wouldn’t sound like she was either lying or crazy? And what would her family and townspeople think – would they accept her, reject her, or even harm her? In an age and culture in which it was not unusual for a woman to have received the punishment of stoning for betraying her husband or even her fiancé, this “good news” may not have such a good impact on Mary’s life, at least in the short term.

And yet, Mary’s ultimate reaction to the angel’s message is startling: “Here I am, the servant of the Lord – let it be with me according to your word.” Amazingly, Mary works through her own sense of confusion and apprehension to arrive at a rather brave and noble space – it is no wonder that she has been celebrated as a holy saint for these past 2,000 years.

From this, we can see Mary as a symbol and role-model for how we can handle our own lives in the times in which we now live. What’s the good word for us this year, during these seasons of Advent and Christmas? Our lives have been so eclipsed by this pandemic and the necessary limitations it places on us for the sake of health. It is so easy to get focused on what we are unable to do during this holy time of year. It is also challenging for us to celebrate the season in meaningful ways without pretending that everything is alright. Things really aren’t okay on many different fronts, with dealing with the pandemic fallout of health concerns, loss of finances, and social isolation.

Indeed, this year, perhaps more than any other in our lifetime, most resembles the world into which Jesus was born. Jesus was born into the chaos of the Roman occupation of his country and into circumstances when resources of food, shelter, health, and protection were not given. It was a terrifying time. I imagine the people of Israel were hard-pressed to find hope. Yet, somewhere near Bethlehem, a baby was born, beneath a sky made brilliant with stars, among smelly farm animals. And even in the midst of all the terror and chaos with that new life, came a new sense of hope.

We can certainly understand Mary’s sense of feeling “blue” in the midst of the good news of Jesus’ imminent birth. Similarly, many of us may in one degree or another also feel blue in the run-up to Christmas. Even in the best of times and even aside from the ongoing effects of the pandemic, the Christmas and winter holiday season can in fact exacerbate feelings of sadness, loneliness, and deprivation. The contrast of ubiquitous reveling, merry-making can understandably magnify one’s own sense of personal loss. It is no wonder that many Christians have decided to call December 21st “Blue Christmas,” in recognition that many of us need extra love and care in the days running up to Christmas. December 21st also happens to be the darkest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, with the shortest amount of daylight hours – hence designating December 21st as “Blue Christmas.”

We also get a glimpse of this dynamic in the life of King David in our first reading from 2 Samuel. He has finally been crowned king and has conquered his enemies, achieving peace for the first time in decades. He now wants to put his attention to building a Temple for the worship of God – he puts it as “God’s house.” However, David’s advisor and prophet Nathan gets a word from God that God doesn’t want David to build God a “house” (that task would go to David’s son and heir, Solomon). Instead, God makes David a promise that God would build David’s “house,” that it, his royal dynasty, to be one that would have a great name and would last forever. From a Christian perspective, this certainly comes true with the birth of Jesus as the heir to the throne of David, born in the city of David (Bethlehem), having a name that is known worldwide and throughout the ages, and ensuring that David’s throne would last for eternity, given that Jesus as the Son of God is alive and has conquered sin and death forever. But in the short term for King David, what a disappointment and shock to the system that he would not be allowed to fulfill his ultimate dream!

So here is a question: Where is the new life and sense of hope for you and for me at this time in our lives? I’ve found in life that God can and does bring light in surprising and unexpected ways to shine into our darkness. It is interesting that also from December 21st, we will witness a once-in-a-lifetime conjunction of two largest planets in our solar system – Jupiter and Saturn – to form what will look like a bright star in the night sky. Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions happen every 20 years; the last one was in the year 2000. But these conjunctions aren’t all created equal. The 2020 great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will be the closest since 1623 and the closest observable since 1226, or nearly 800 years ago! 2020’s extra-close Jupiter-Saturn conjunction won’t be matched again until the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction of March 15, 2080. God’s amazing bright light shining in the midst of our darkness.

Did the same thing happen when Jesus was born? Did God arrange the alignment of the planets in such a way as to signal the birth of God’s heavenly light to shine into the world’s sinful and oppressive darkness? Whether it was exactly the same thing or not, the fact is that we can join Mary in lifting up the reality of God’s light into our chaos, confusion, and in the dim view of present difficulties.

When Moses was leading the people through the desert for 40 years and they were about to realize their collective dream of finally entering into the Promised Land, Moses tells them that they have a choice before them of either looking to God for their hope or of breaking from God to achieve what they think will make them happy. Moses urges them to “Choose life!” (Deuteronomy 30:19) God is always about choosing life, and that is the option Mary opted for and that we can decide to take, as well. This truth is so central to our faith: life born in a manger near Bethlehem, under that brilliant sky; life resurrected on Easter Sunday; life breathed into us by the Holy Spirit at our baptism, and life eternal waiting for us as our earthly pilgrimage comes to an end. 

From the way we pray, to the way we see the world, to the ways we relate with one another and all those we encounter, life should be at the center of what we do and characterize Whose we are. This Christmas is going to be different, but because of who we are, because of who God is, because of love, I know that our celebration will be full of new life and joy. It’s who we are as God’s children.

Blessings to you these Advent and Christmas seasons. May the God of Mary & Joseph, the shepherds, the angels, and the Magi fill us all with joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may abound in hope.
It's Never Too Late to Pledge
Bring In Your Pledges of Time, Talent, and Treasure to the Honor and Glory of God
You may still bring in your pledge cards on Sundays to place in the offertory calabash, bring them to the church office, or mail them in. Prayerfully consider what you would like to give back from the wonderful gifts given to you by a loving God.
2021 Pledge Envelopes Now Available
The boxes of pledge envelopes for 2021 will be available before and after services on the table outside Memorial Hall. If you want to pick up your envelopes at the church office during the work week, please call Cami at 808-822-4267 ext 3204 and she will hold them in the office for you. If you need to have the envelopes mailed to you, please contact Cami .
Mahalo Nui Loa to Our Altar Guild
Sanctuary Beautifully Decorated for Christmas
Merry Christmas Everyone:  

We are almost ready for the arrival of baby Jesus!

The Altar Guid has completed the decoration of the Sanctuary in preparation for our celebration of Christmas. Please join me in thanking them for the wonderful arrangements that were created and for bringing in the flowers, foliage, and most of all their creative talent.

It will be so nice to be back in the sanctuary. I am truly grateful for all of you on the Altar Guild!

Let’s have a joyful Christmas. 

Diane Sato
-for the Altar Guild
Sign Up for 2021 Altar Flower Donations Now
Donation Forms Available Online or at Church 
Ever wonder where all our beautiful altar flowers come from each Sunday? 

Our flowers are lovingly arranged by Mrs.Tanaka or by JC Flowers. These flowers were all donated by members of the congregation. To participate with a donation in 2021 and for more information, click here: Altar flowers, or sign up on the form outside Memorial Hall before or after services.
Below is a summary of the salient points from the vestry meeting on Nov. 24th.
Financial Reports:
  • Month of Oct. 2020: Income of $29,915.78 and expenses of $33,064.44. 
  • YTD 2020: Net difference YTD is $8,314.03, which is not bad given that some of our members “pay up” their pledges in the month of December and that catches us up. 
  • Organ Project: We actually achieved an excess of +$4,535, so we are all paid up! From this we can pay for the accomodation cost for the organ workers of roughly $1,910 total, to stay at Plantation Hale as well as at Adam and Wendy Ayersʻ condo. 
  • Jan is working on Budget 2021. 
Preschool: Prospect of a balanced account by school-year end, thanks to a grant from the Hawaiʻi Community Foundationʻs “Child Care Stimulus” for $78,000.
Organ Project: We have covered our total cost for the Organ Project, and is now being installed.

Stewardship 2021: $160,593.80 has been pledged for 2021 as of our meeting on Nov. 24th, which is great given the goal is $175,000. 

Bishop's Visitation: Now moved to Sunday May 16th, due to current travel restrictions to Kaua`i.

Hōkūala Kaua`i (Timbers Resort)
Gift Cards Available
Golf in the New Year
Our organ installers each received two gift cards from Hōkūala Kaua`i when they paid for their $150 post-arrival COVID test. All Saints’ is reimbursing them for the COVID test costs and the crew has generously donated the gift cards to All Saints’. Each envelop includes a $150 card for the golf club store (not including food and beverages) and a $75 card for free golf club rentals. We are offering each gift card package ($225 value) for $150. Kahu Kawika (contact: rector@allsaintskauai.org) has the envelopes in his office if you are interested.
May God fill your life with love, joy and peace this Holiday Season and throughout the New Year.

Camp is happy to announce that we have our dates for our 2021 Summer Camp! In addition to the day camps offered on Oahu, we will also be offering day camps on 3 of our neighboring islands, as well as our first summer Family Camp experience.

June 6-11
Elementary #1
Middle School #1
Senior High #1

June 14-18
Day Camp #1 St. Andrews Cathedral (Oahu)
Day Camp #2 Church of the Holy Apostles (Big Island) 

June 21-25
Day Camp #3 Epiphany Episcopal Church (Oahu) 
Day Camp #4 All Saints' Episcopal Church (Kaua`i)

July 5-9
Day Camp #5 TBD (Oahu)
Day Camp #6 Good Shepherd Episcopal Church (Maui)

July 11-13
Mini-Camp #1
Elementary #2 

July 15-18
Family Camp #1

July 18-23
Elementary #3
Middle School #2


Click HERE to learn more about Camp Mokule`ia.
Bishop's Christmas Message 2020
Reflections on 2020 with Sister Ilia Delio & Christina Rossetti
In his annual Christmas message, Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick reflects on 2020 with Sister Ilia Delio's Christmas letter and Christina Rosetti's poem Christmastide. To view the video message, click on the image shown or go to the Diocesan website HERE.

What Christmas is All About

December 24, 2020

Leslie Scoopmire
It usually happened every year of my childhood at the end of November or the first week of December. No matter what else was going on in our lives, we kids would demand that nothing interfere with our ability to take part in this cherished ritual. I’m not talking about Black Friday — I’m talking about the Charlie Brown Christmas special, which first aired in 1965.

The opening scene shows Charlie Brown and Linus walking through town and toward a pond to go ice skating with their friends. Charlie Brown suddenly stops and leans against a snow covered wall, which was a common backdrop in the Charlie Brown comic strip for when Charlie Brown would have a philosophical conversation with Linus, always wise beyond his years. Charlie Brown stares out over the wall and says to his friend, “I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel. I just don’t understand Christmas, I guess.” 

And even all these years later, we know that Charlie Brown is not alone, and many of us may find Christmas to be an experience of struggle as much as gift. 

Over the course of the show, we see that Charlie Brown knows what Christmas is not about: it’s not about commercialism, or Christmas decorations, or asking for a bunch of gifts. After Charlie Brown brings home a scraggly pitiful little Christmas tree to be the centerpiece of the play, laughed and mocked by the other kids, Linus steps in to remind everyone what Christmas is really all about.

Standing in the center of a single spotlight Linus recites from memory the King James version of the gospel we will hear tonight from the second chapter of Luke, in all its simplicity and beauty. Linus then leaves the spotlight, walks over to Charlie Brown, and says “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

We need a gentle insistence. Christmas has become a holiday that begins at Labor Day and occupies 25% of the calendar. It is easy to go all the way through Christmas season forgetting about the miracle that, as our reading from Isaiah reminds us, “a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; And he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” 

What lies underneath Linus’ gentle reminder to Charlie Brown and his friends is that Christmas tells us once again that God is active and engaged in the world. The sending of God’s only son to live and heal and teach and care for us as one of us is itself a reminder that God takes the initiative in reaching out to creation. Today’s readings reinforce this point. We do not approach God without God approaching us first. 

The reading from Isaiah reminds us that God brings about justice and righteousness — this does not depend upon our own human abilities alone but trusts us enough to call for our discipleship in helping to bring it about, just as the incarnation could not have happened without Mary’s willingness to be the servant of the Lord. In Isaiah, the required human action comes in seeing: seeing a great light, which also means seeing the world’s cruelties and corruption, and yet nonetheless insistently perceiving God at work within this world. Even in the smallest things.

The psalm picks up this thread, observing and noting what God has done and is doing in the world - seeing God’s works and blessings, ascribing and naming them specifically as being God’s gifts to us, and then being glad - or being grateful - for what God has done. Even more importantly, our Psalm reminds us that worship is, over everything else, a call to action. 

One does not passively worship God by sitting in pews or by singing praise songs, no matter how catchy the tune. That’s entertainment. Worship goes beyond that - to carrying the meaning and glory God out into the world and making it visible for all to see in how each Christians live their lives.

God is working in the world. Now, those who expected a great warrior king like the thrilling stories of David with his slingshot are going to be profoundly disappointed with the kind of king Jesus truly is - one who builds up rather than destroys, one who heals rather than wounds, one who comes not to overturn the Law, but to fulfill it, in Jesus’s own words. 

This child who is born to us will grow to be a man who shows us what it is to be fully human - fully made in the image of God. One who will call us out of our own narrow view to a compassionate, passionate engagement with the world and especially with those who are suffering or oppressed in mind, body, or spirit.

Christmas is about hope. Christmas is about faith - faith in God and in each other. Christmas is about love. Love in action. Love found sleeping in a manger, leading us to the way of life we were meant to live from the beginning.

At the end of the Charlie Brown Christmas show, Linus wraps his special blanket around the poor pitiful little stick pretending to be a tree, and the other kids gather around it and decorate it. When they step back, it has been transformed from a scraggly stick to a beautiful, sparkling tree. The gift of love and care has taken something that was ragged and frail and turned it into a delight and a blessing. Just as Jesus taking on our flesh as a human who is also the son of God transforms us and challenges us to ourselves be a delight and a blessing to all whom we meet: all nations, all races, all creeds, all people.

That’s what Christmas is all about. 

The Rev. Leslie Scoopmire is a writer, musician, and a priest in the Diocese of Missouri. She is rector of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Ellisville, MO. She posts daily prayers, meditations, and sermons at her blog Abiding In Hope, and collects spiritual writings and images at Poems, Psalms, and Prayers.
A Christmas Message from the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Anglican Communion

Posted Dec 21, 2020
[Anglican Communion News Service] Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has issued a short video-based Christmas message to the Anglican Communion. The message is available with subtitles in 14 languages here.
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.
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.

ZONTA OF KAUAI FOUNDATION CHRISTMAS FUND is accepting donations for Christmas 2020. To donate, click here: Zonta Christmas Donation.

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

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

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

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

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

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