Volume 6, Issue 23
June 4, 2021
THIS SUNDAY: June 6, 2021
Second Sunday after Pentecost

Genesis 3:8-15
The man and the woman fail to admit their own sinfulness before God.

Psalm 130
Our God is full of compassion, mercy, and grace for us.

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Focus on what is eternal and long-lasting rather than on what is transitory.

Mark 3:20-35
The only "unforgivable" sin is a continual resistance to accepting God and the things of God.

Joe Adorno (EM)*
John Hanaoka (U)
Diane Sato (AG)
Mark Cain (DM)

Mary Margaret Smith (EM)
David Crocker (U)
Joan Roughgarden (LR)
Faith Shiramizu (AG)
Nelson Secretario, Mabel Antonio (HP)
Curtis Shiramizu, Ron Morinishi (DM)

Live Stream
9:00AM on our home page, YouTube, or Facebook accounts

* EM - Eucharistic Minister; U - Usher; LR - Lay Reader; AG - Altar Guild; HP - Healing Prayers; DM - Digital Ministry; SS - Sunday School

Guest Organist for June Services
Morris Wise
Sundays, 9:30AM service

Daughters of the King
Thursday, June 10th
7:00 - 8:00PM
Zoom meeting
Contact Mabel Antonio for login info.

Ministry Council Meeting
Saturday, June 12th
9:00 - 10:00AM
Zoom meeting
Contact Cami Baldovino for login info.

Camp Mokule`ia Day Camp
Monday - Friday
June 21st - June 25th
8:00AM - 4PM
Church Campus

Recurring Events
Sunday School
First Sunday of the month, 9:30 - 10:15AM
Memorial Hall

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

Monday/Friday Crew
Every Monday/Friday, 8:00AM 
Church Office
Ke Akua Youth Group Meeting
1st and 3rd Wednesday, 5:00 - 6:00PM

Laundry Love
1st & 3rd Wednesday, 5:00PM
Kapa`a Laundromat

Daughters of the King
2nd & 4th Thursday, 7:00 - 8:00PM
Those affected by the Pandemic,Those affected by rsending us an email at news @allsaintskauai.org.acial violence, Willy, Donna, Bob, Heather, Glen, Garrett and those we name silently or aloud, let us pray to the Lord. ​Lord, have mercy. 

For those saints who have gone before us in the Grander Life, especially those affected by the COVID-19 virus, Paul, Donald, Uncle Fran, Donna B., Yumi and those we name silently or aloud, in the hope of the resurrection, and for all the departed, let us pray to the Lord. ​Lord, have mercy. Amen.
Reflections from Kahu Kawika
The ʻOhana of God
Romans 8:12-17
Isaiah 6:1-8
John 3:1-17
Trinity B
30 May 2021

Today in our church calendar marks a milestone for us as a congregation: It was last year on this same Sunday, Trinity Sunday (the Sunday after Pentecost), that we left our “lockdown” status of only recorded Morning Prayer and instead got to return to in-person Holy Communion. Thanks be to God that we have been able to maintain that status ever since, with pandemic restrictions lifting more and more. I am hopeful that we can get back to choral and congregational singing in the Fall – watch this space!

So here we are again on a Trinity Sunday, when we praise our God having three persons, whom we traditionally name Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It seems appropriate to signify this the Sunday after we celebrated Pentecost, the “Birthday of the Church,” and the giving of the Holy Spirit to those early followers of Jesus who were then empowered to bring God’s love out from themselves, as Jesus had instructed them in Acts 1:8, “to Jerusalem, to Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.” Given the Spirit’s prominent role in the nurturing and spread of the faith, it is good to take a Sunday each year to appreciate the three-fold identity of the God we love and serve.

This coming July 2nd marks my 26th anniversary of ordination, from the Diocese of Oxford in the Church of England. Soon after getting ordained and being able to preach during my curacy, I noticed a given pattern every year: My boss, the Rector of St. Andrew’s Oxford, would invariably go on vacation with his family right after Pentecost Sunday, meaning it would fall to me to preach on Trinity Sunday. This happened year-on-year during my curacy! Not only that, but that parish happened to have some of the most well-known and regarded British theologians and other Oxford academicians as members of that church, such as Alistair McGrath. And here I am, a young lowly newly-minted priest, found with the task of having to preach before some of the world’s most erudite academic theologians on the most profound mystery of our faith – the Trinity of God. Talk about getting baptized by fire!

I’ve since found out that, for many priests, Trinity Sunday is their least favorite occasion to preach. After all, it’s a difficult subject – that somehow the God we believe in is both one and three, or put simply in God’s strange mathematical equation “1=3.” It seems like this view of God is somewhere between a sheer monotheistic belief in one God such as we find in Judaism and Islam, and a polytheistic belief in several gods such as in ancient Roman mythology or more modern nature religions.

What are we to make of this, and why does it matter to us anyhow? That usual sermon explanation of God being like H2O doesn’t, pardon the pun, “hold water”: Yes, water can exist either as liquid, or solid like ice, or gas like steam. But generally speaking the same molecules don’t exist in all three states at the same time – they have to transition from one to the other one at a time, whereas we claim that God is all three persons at the same time. However, when I was teaching about the Trinity with my high-school world religion class back in the Carolinas, a perceptive student piped up about something discovered in the past few years called “Triplepoint”, when molecules subjected to extremes in temperature and pressure can, in fact, exist as liquid, solid, and gas all at the same time! In other words, Triplepoint in nature attests to what Christians claim about God – that the same God can exist as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at the same time, rather than moving from one state of being to the other.

But even so, all this sounds esoteric and rather non-relevant to our everyday lives. So what’s the big deal about the Trinity? I believe we find the answer to this question in some of our Bible readings this morning: When we regard God as a Trinity, of somehow being both three persons and one God, that we have a model of God as family – the ʻOhana of God. We discover that God embodies a family unit worthy of emulation in our own church ʻohana – and that is where I think the Trinity is relevant for us in our lives.

If we think of God as like a family unit, then at least to me the idea of the Trinity starts to make more sense. After all, we have God as Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit – or the Source, the Son, and the Spirit. Without getting into gender-specific roles, we find a God who does these three things: Provides for us, Abides with us, and Guides us. Many of these roles are often traditionally attributed to certain genders like the provider of the family or the giver of new birth or the nurturer of our lives, but depending on culture, time, and space, these roles are variable while fulfilling these jobs. So instead if we think of God as two parents (The Father as Source and the Holy Spirit as Life-Giver and Nurturer) with the Son (Jesus), then it seems we have a picture of a family unit – three parts yet one living unit.

After all, the Spirit is often described in both the Old and New Testaments in traditionally-feminine terms: the Spirit, which in Hebrew is the feminine word ruach, is there brooding over the waters of creation in Genesis 1. Even in our Gospel reading today from John 3 we read that Jesus describes the need for the Spirit to give birth to each of us: “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit … The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:6,8). The Spirit, in other words, gives birth to new spiritual life and goes on to nurture our spiritual growth in God. 

And finally how can we miss that image of the Trinity together at the moment of Jesus’ baptism by his cousin John the Baptist, when Jesus emerges out of the waters of the Jordan River the Spirit descends upon him in the form of a dove and the voice of the Father from Heaven rings out, “You are my Son, whom I love, and with you I am well pleased” (Luke 3:21-22). If that doesn’t sound like a loving and proud parent, then I don’t know what does.

This concept of God as ʻohana appeals to me because it is a more personal and relevant way of thinking about the Trinity than we normally hear. When Muriel and I got married, one of our main wedding songs was “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge from the 1970s. It was appropriate because both sets of our parents had been best friends with each other even from before we were born, in addition to the fact that Muriel’s dad walked her down the aisle while my dad served as my best man – and our wedding day was on Fathers’ Day! This imperfectly points to God as ʻohana, but reminds us of the love inherent within and among the persons of the Trinity – three persons within one loving and committed family unit.

And this is where I think the idea of “Trinity as family” helps us – that our church is made up of members who are different individuals with different outlooks, skills, and personality traits to offer. When we serve each other and our wider community as an ʻohana unit, then that is when God is glorified, other people are blessed, and we are fulfilled in living into our calling. We just witnessed a great example of that a couple of weeks ago during our Organ Weekend, with its concerts and worship services. So many people gave of themselves in unique but complimentary ways, truly in the process glorifying God, blessing others, and enhancing our sense of belonging to one another.

Now no doubt that my suggestion of the Trinity of God as the Divine ʻOhana will have some holes and imperfections in it, since nothing can adequately describe the mysterious greatness of the Divine. Indeed, any manner in which we try to understand the Trinity of God with our limited minds and human experiences will fall short of the grand nature of the reality. However, while God embodies the traits commonly associated with all genders, we see a picture of two parents and a child – a family unit. Three persons, one Divine and perfectly loving family unit.

Now there is a final question – where in this family does that put us as humans made in God’s image? I think today’s reading from Romans 8 addresses this – we are the hānai, or adopted, children of God and thus are siblings to Jesus: 
All who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s children. You didn’t receive a spirit of slavery to lead you back again into fear, but you received a Spirit that shows you are adopted as God’s children. With this Spirit, we cry, “Abba, Father.” The same Spirit agrees with our spirit, that we are God’s children. But if we are children, we are also heirs. We are God’s heirs and fellow heirs with Christ, if we really suffer with him so that we can also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:14-17)

The great news from this is that God calls us to join the family! God has expanded the tent and welcomes us as hānai children of God. And if indeed God has adopted us through the Spirit, then like God’s voice affirming Jesus as God’s beloved child at his baptism, God also calls us God’s children, loved intimately and deeply by God, and God is well-pleased with us. The Trinity, in the end, is absolutely relevant and meaningful to us because it shows we belong to the Divine, stamped and imprinted in God’s very image, and that we have a God who is a proud parent, our staunchest supporter, and Jesus as our Big Hānai Brother who has given his all for us. The Trinity as the ʻOhana of God matters to us, and that is why we celebrate it today. Praise God for this incredible gift! Amen.

Sunday School is Out for the Summer

Vikki and Rachel return from summer break to nurture our keiki the first Sunday in August.

Sloggett Center Solar and Roofing Project
An Environmental Initiative
All Saints’ Church and Preschool is beginning an exciting new project that will improve our current physical plant and provide for All Saints’ future in an environmentally sustainable way. The Sloggett Center will be getting a long needed new roof and a solar panel system will be installed to meet a good deal of our church’s electrical needs. The entire solar panel system has been funded by a private donation from a church `Ohana family. The fundraising effort for the new roof is off to a good start. 

Now is the time for everyone to step up and make a contribution toward completing the funding for the roofing project. There is a donation link on the All Saints’ website for the roofing project. Follow the funding goal thermometer to see how our fundraising efforts are going.
To date we have raised over $160,00!! Only $118,242 to go. Mahalo to all our donors.

What Happened?
Truck Fire Scorches Grass and Trees
On Tuesday, June 1st, a truck’s sound system in the back seat started an electrical fire. The owner pulled into the All Saints’ parking lot to put it out. He ran to the truck of a good Samaritan who stopped to help to get a fire extinguisher. By the time he ran back, the whole truck was engulfed in flames. 911 was called. No one was hurt. Fire fighters arrived and extinguished the flames as police redirected traffic. The truck was towed a few hours later.

 “…that is why parts of our plumeria trees and grass are burnt. But the Lord definitely was watching over him. It happened within minutes. I think if he stayed in the truck a minute or so longer he would have been stuck inside from the metal melting the doors. Praise God.”

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

To enjoy the entire concert, please click on the video link below.
updated day camp flyer
All Saints' Memorial Day Remembrance
History, Prayers, Taps, and Tolling of the Bell
On Monday, May 31st, All Saints' held a remembrance to honor Memorial Day. About a dozen people attended the All Saints' Memorial Day Remembrance to honor all those brave souls who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Kahu Kawika offered prayers for those in military service and those who passed in service to their country. He prayed for our nation. At 3:00PM Ron Morinishi, accompanied by his friend, Steve Sparks, played Taps* which was followed by the Tolling of the Bells seven times for the seven commitments of military service members. 

To see this very moving ceremony, please click on the link below.
A special thanks to Ron Morinishi for organizing the event and Wayne Doliente for installing the flag pole.

*Their performance was a part of the Taps Across America performance in which tens of thousands of musicians from across the country participated.
Pentecost: The Gift of Haircuts, Hugs, and Helpers
After four months of scruffy over gelled styling, I went to get my haircut by my regular guy in February. As the cool steel of the clippers touched my scalp, and the buzz vibrated near my ear, I felt my body unclenching in ways I had not known it needed.

My haircut reminded me just how much I value someone coming alongside me. It was even more helpful that it was an old friend who knew all my stories, you know, the ones you share with the person who cuts your hair.

I was comforted.

In John 15 the word for Spirit is “Parakletos.” A literal translation is “the one who comes alongside.” That could be like a lawyer in court, or the person you call to comfort you when you are sad.

With the absence of closeness and comfort in this last year of COVID, I have realized that having friends and loved ones who hug you, comfort you and sit alongside you (closer than 6 feet) is a gift I have so often overlooked.

I have also seen so many creative ministries of “coming alongside” in the last year in church life. Phone-trees, Zoom coffee hours, online evening prayer, live- streamed Eucharists. They have all required un-budgeted investment from our churches. We may continue with some of these ministries, as fresh ways for us to “come alongside” others. I hope we will all integrate new technology, as well as good, old-fashioned hugs, into our spirit-filled ministries in the future.

I invite you to make a gift in gratitude for the ways your church has creatively come alongside you in the past year. It will be a sign of thanksgiving and an investment in hope for the future.

And thank you, David, for my haircut. It was great!

The Very Reverend Matthew T. Woodward is Dean of Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento, and serves on the TENS Board of Directors
How Does Prayer Affect Pain? This Priest is Leading a Medical Research Study to Find Out.

Heather Beasley Doyle
June 2, 2021
[Episcopal News Service] When the Rev. Dr. Marta Illueca was a child, her Roman Catholic family was traditional and powerful. Her father Jorge was elected president of Panama in between stints as president of the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly; her mother was a teacher-turned-nurse who went to graduate school in her 60s before establishing Panama’s first nursing school. Illueca’s focus was different. “I was very spiritual and very curious about the whole process of spirituality, even beyond Christianity,” she said. That interest deepened in 1971, when Illueca was 12 and her 22-year-old sister Linda died of an undiagnosed heart condition. Illueca focused her early studies on medicine — until hearing the call to ministry in her 50s.
Delaware Bishop Kevin Brown with the Rev. Dr. Marta Illueca after her ordination in 2019. Photo: Courtesy of Marta Illueca

Now 61 and an ordained Episcopal priest at Brandywine Collaborative Ministries in Delaware since 2019, Illueca is bringing her medical and religious expertise to a research project on what types of prayers are most helpful to patients with chronic pain. A 2019 survey found that chronic pain affected approximately 20% of adults in the United States and 7.4% had chronic pain so severe that it limited their activities. Officially launched last fall as the first project of the Pain and Prayer Collaborative, the study is a joint effort of the Episcopal Church in Delaware and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

“Health care is starting to open up to spirituality, but if you don’t have data, then you’re going to be kept at bay, or at a distance,” said Illueca. As clergy-medical liaison, she is co-leading the study with pain psychologist Samantha Meints. Illueca’s position is funded by a 2020 United Thank Offering grant and supported by the Episcopal Church in Delaware.

The investigation, which Illueca calls “the poster child” of a church/academia research model, aims to measure how active versus passive prayers affect chronic pain. An active type of prayer is, “Help me endure this, help me get through this,” Meints said, whereas passive prayer sounds more like, “God, please take my pain away.”

The study focuses on personal prayer, in which one prays for oneself, rather than on intercessory prayers, which are offered by one person on behalf of another. The data will come from the results of an online questionnaire of participants’ prayer practices and pain. From the results, Illueca and Meints will design a prayer tool, written as a brochure outlining the types of prayers most likely to help people cope with chronic pain and, hopefully, feel better. The brochure will be available not only to patients but also to hospital chaplains, clergy and others.

People of all faiths who believe in the power of prayer are invited to complete the questionnaire. As of early May, 140 people had completed it; Illueca and Meints hope to have 400 to 500 by early June. They’ll evaluate their findings this summer, aiming to have results in September.

The study’s connections to the academic, medical and religious worlds make this partnership unique, according to Dr. Benjamin Doolittle, who serves as director of the Yale Program for Medicine, Spirituality & Religion. “That is very unusual. Big academic medical centers partner with each other all the time,” he said. “What we don’t see is academic medical centers partnering with the church in a very intentional way.”

According to a 2018 article in the AMA Journal of Ethics, even though religion is important to their patients, doctors avoid the subject: “Believing the question is outside their expertise, worrying that they will say the wrong thing, or having discordant beliefs regarding religion, physicians are not sure what to say,” the authors wrote.

Doolittle hopes the Pain and Prayer Collaborative will further the conversation about prayer in medicine. “Our patients practice these interventions, and it can be very helpful to say, ‘Yes, these are good things to do. We have data to show it makes a difference,’” he said, adding that it’s equally important if the study shows that prayer doesn’t make a difference.

Delaware Bishop Kevin Brown expressed hope for Illueca and Meints’ work. “It would be tremendous if their thesis [that active prayers have a greater positive impact on chronic pain than other kinds of prayers] is proven true, that they’re able to create a scale that allows medical professionals to use prayer as a viable treatment for chronic pain,” he said. Doolittle agreed: “We need to do these kinds of studies because it’s a way for the medical community to give credence to this important adjunctive therapy for pain. So we need data,” he said.

Earlier in Illueca’s career, when she was practicing pediatric medicine at New York City hospitals, she traveled to sacred places and developed a reading program to further her spiritual development. “My sister’s death was pivotal in opening up my ‘spiritual’ gifts, and it was the start of a lifelong soul search that eventually led me to my priesthood,” Illueca said.

In 2003, nearly two decades into her clinical work and ready for a career change, Illueca moved to Delaware to work for AstraZeneca, eventually becoming the biopharmaceutical company’s medical affairs officer. “In that period of time, I stumbled upon The Episcopal Church,” Illueca said. Christ Church Christiana Hundred in Wilmington became her spiritual home in 2010, and Illueca learned that The Episcopal Church ordained female priests. She became active in her congregation, going on mission trips to the Dominican Republic. “That’s when the vocational calling to priesthood came alive. It just sort of unfolded,” Illueca said. “All of a sudden these new doors were opening.”

She retired early from AstraZeneca in 2014 to enroll in Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University. In her last year at AstraZeneca, she had met Dr. Daniel Carr, director and founder of Tufts University’s Pain Research, Education & Policy program, while working on a medication for pain patients. Illueca sensed an opportunity to combine medicine and spirituality through pain treatment and studied part time at Tufts while completing her master’s degree at Yale full time; upon graduating from Yale, she studied full time at Tufts.

At Tufts, Illueca did a systematic review of existing research into pain and prayer, working with Doolittle, who is also a physician and a pastor. As Illueca analyzed past studies, she realized those that found prayer had no positive effect on pain drew upon the results of one specific coping styles questionnaire. “I thought, ‘Something’s not right here,’” she said. It turned out that the questionnaire only specified prayers asking God to take the pain away.

Then she came across Meints’ research into active versus passive prayer as a tool for pain management across race, which showed that while Black patients prayed more than non-Black patients, their pain tolerance was lower.

“We know in the broader literature that prayer and religiosity are generally predictors of better health outcomes, not worse, so it was a bit perplexing,” Meints said. She found, as Illueca had, that earlier studies had only included passive prayers, as opposed to active and empowering prayers.

Compelled by Meints’ findings, Illueca sought her out, and the two finally connected in person in May 2019. Illueca proposed partnering on a study that would combine Meints’ “pioneering work” and her own theological credentials, she said. Equally compelled, Meints agreed. Their work together, Illueca stressed, continues to evolve, in part because it is so new. “This is happening as we speak,” she said.

Illueca and Meints view their study through slightly different lenses: one guided by data, one by the spirit. “In research, bias is something you want to avoid. I am a religious, spiritual person, so I am biased. There’s no way around it. I believe in prayer in a depth that others may not,” Illueca said. “Samantha [Meints], whom I consider very spiritual, is not religious at all, apparently. So, therefore, she goes strictly by the data, and I tease her because I say, ‘What you call the data, I call the Holy Spirit.’”

Illueca sees in this study the potential for pastoral care workers to “walk into the health care space and say, ‘Science has validated this, and I want my voice to be heard,’” she said. For her part, Meints hopes this will be the first of many Pain and Prayer Collaborative studies: “People pray in response to pain, and we want to be able to capitalize on that and make it the most useful for them.”

– Heather Beasley Doyle is a freelance journalist, writer and editor based in Massachusetts.
Anglican Hospital in Gaza Draws on Global Support for Healing Ministry in Aftermath of Fighting

David Paulsen
June 3, 2021
Palestinians are seen June 1 outside their homes, heavily damaged during recent Israeli strikes, in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip, more than a week after a ceasefire brought an end to 11 days of hostilities between Israel and Gaza rulers Hamas. Photo: NurPhoto via AP

[Episcopal News Service] Tensions over the evictions of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem boiled over last month into 11 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas. Before agreeing to a May 21 ceasefire, Hamas fired rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israeli cities, while Israel launched airstrikes that leveled buildings in Gaza. Those attacks, along with clashes in Jerusalem between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police, reportedly left at least 260 Palestinians and 12 Israelis dead and hundreds more injured.

One constant before, during and after the turmoil has been the ministry of Al Ahli Arab Hospital, a Diocese of Jerusalem facility in Gaza City that saw a surge in patients while sustaining minor damage during the Israeli airstrikes.

“Our ministry is a ministry of healing and love and reconciliation,” Anglican Archbishop Hosam Naoum told Episcopal News Service in a Zoom interview on June 3. His diocese operates Al Ahli as a charity hospital, catering to impoverished families in Gaza, many of them Palestinian refugees. Other public hospitals in Gaza treated most of the patients who were injured during the Israeli airstrikes, Naoum said, and Al Ahli Arab Hospital’s 65 beds filled quickly with other patients who had been diverted there for non-emergency treatment, such as surgeries.

Naoum expressed gratitude for the support his diocese has received from across the Anglican Communion, including from The Episcopal Church’s Good Friday Offering and from the fundraising of the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, or AFEDJ. “That’s the greater sense of the body of Christ,” he said.

AFEDJ updated its donors by email on June 3 with a report from the hospital’s director, Suhaila Tarazi. “There is no family that has not been affected by this war either physically, emotionally, or economically. Families have been shattered by its devastating impact, especially children,” she said. “Due to the closure of government health centers, Ahli now has an increased number of patients coming to us for treatment.”

The hospital wasn’t hit directly by last month’s airstrikes, but one explosion was close enough to shatter windows at the hospital. No one was hurt, Naoum said.

The hospital has about 120 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees. Naoum said one effect of the flareup of violence was that many of those employees camped at the hospital, some bringing their families, because travel between their homes and the hospital was limited by the attacks.

The fighting also disrupted Gaza’s power grid, and money raised by AFEDJ was used to buy fuel for generators so the hospital could remain open during outages. The hospital also was able to purchase medical supplies and increase its free community clinic from one to four days a week.

“We are grateful for your prayers and generosity,” Tarazi told AFEDJ. “Though the situation in Gaza is horrifying and grim, we at Ahli are confident that through your support we will replace despair with hope, mourning with comfort, humiliation with dignity, and injury with healing.”

The clashes across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories escalated last month just as Naoum was to be installed as archbishop. His installation ceremony was held May 13 at St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem amid tightened security in the city.

The COVID-19 pandemic was a primary reason some Anglican bishops chose to watch the installation online rather than come to Jerusalem for the ceremony, Naoum said, though the Israeli-Palestinian conflict also has disrupted some travel to the city. St. George’s College typically hosts Holy Land pilgrims in its guest house; although many pandemic restrictions are being lifted as conditions improve, one group of pilgrims from the United States that had planned to visit in May chose to postpone their trip until September because of the renewed violence, Naoum said.

In a written statement May 17 while the hostilities were still underway, Naoum praised Al Ahli Arab Hospital’s work on the “frontlines of these relief efforts,” but he warned that the conflict was overwhelming the hospital’s resources. “I therefore issue an appeal to our international partners and all people of goodwill to support this humanitarian mission through their generous contributions to Al Ahli Hospital, enabling them to show forth the compassionate love of Christ in real and tangible ways in these desperate circumstances.”

AFEDJ Executive Director John Lent emphasized those needs in a message to his organization. “The healthcare system in Gaza has been overwhelmed by the pandemic,” Lent said. “Many clinics and hospitals closed during the pandemic and never reopened. Hospitals already are at full occupancy with COVID patients. There are severe shortages of medical supplies, medicine and blood. This escalating conflict pushes Gaza’s healthcare system way past the breaking point.”

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry also offered support for the people of the Holy Land on behalf of The Episcopal Church. “We find ourselves full of sorrow and sadness,” Curry said on May 13. “We find ourselves grieving over the loss of life, destruction of homes and the fear that lives in the hearts of tens of thousands of innocent people. We join all people of faith to offer up prayers for healing, wholeness, restoration and reconciliation.”

Those prayers and the church’s support continue in the aftermath of the fighting, as all sides struggle for a lasting peace.

“The Episcopal Church continues to work in solidarity with the Diocese of Jerusalem and organizations like AFEDJ as we work for peace, advocate for human rights, seek to end the sources of violence and raise funds to benefit the ministries of the Diocese,” the Rev. Robert Edmunds, the church’s Middle East partnership officer, said in an email to ENS.

Naoum, in his June 3 interview with ENS, said his Anglican diocese is uniquely positioned to be a force for reconciliation in the area, partly because of ministries like Al Ahli Arab Hospital.

“We are known for being bridge-builders … bringing people closer together in these difficult times,” he said.

– David Paulsen is an editor and reporter for Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at dpaulsen@episcopalchurch.org.
Young Anglicans Walk to Glasgow, Scotland, for Climate Justice

June 2, 2021
[Church in Wales] Young Christians in Wales are joining a 1,000-mile relay from Cornwall, England, to Glasgow, Scotland, to campaign for climate justice.

They are taking part in a walk that begins at the G7 Summit in Cornwall next week (June 13) to the United Nations COP26 climate meeting in Glasgow in November. Their aim is to put pressure on world leaders to take action on climate change and its effects on the poorest countries.

The Welsh tributary, which is 125 miles, will start in Swansea on July 3 and will go through Margam, Blackmill, Penrhys, Llantrisant, Cardiff, Newport, Magor and Chepstow before ending in Bristol on July 12.

Bishops, church members and schoolchildren will be joining in along the way.

Church Responds to Community Needs Amidst Ongoing Volcanic Activity in Eastern Congo

May 27,2021

Church destroyed by lava flow. Credit: Anglican Diocese of Goma

On Saturday 22nd May, Mount Nyiragongo erupted near the city of Goma in Eastern DR Congo. A lake of molten lava spilled down its side and flowed towards the city. An immediate needs assessment by the Diocese of Goma development team reports that the lava flow brought destruction in its wake, burning buildings, roads, fields and even livestock. Today the BBC reports that tens of thousands have again been evacuated from the city over fears of a further volcanic eruption. The authorities state that another eruption could happen at any time with little warning. There have also been over 200 aftershocks over the past few days, destroying several buildings. The volcano last erupted in 2002 when lava flooded the city of Goma.

At the time of the eruption, families fled out of Goma and surrounding villages in fear, some crossing over the border into Rwanda. Sadly, some children were separated from their families and work is ongoing to reunite families. As the lava flow missed the heart of Goma, casualties were relatively low, just 23 deaths and 41 missing – but this is still a tragedy for each family affected. However, as the lava flow reached to within a mile of the airport runway, there was a lot of structural damage.

The Diocese of Goma assessment reports 4,545 homes were burnt, eleven schools, six churches, ten electricity poles, two health centres, one antenna, a slaughterhouse, a wine factory, as well as fields of crops and livestock. The team worked with chiefs of the damaged villages and the territory administrator to assess the situation and the needs. They have identified immediate needs for food (beans, rice, salt, oil, maize flour and sugar) as well as hygiene needs (toilets, jerry cans, buckets, soap) and household goods such as pots, pans and plates. Homes have been destroyed by the lava flow, with just a few pieces of twisted corrugated roof sheets visible in the lava flow where homes used to be.
Lava flow through a village near Goma. Photo credit: Anglican Diocese of Goma

Seismic activity continues at Mount Nyiragongo: the lava lake is refilling and earthquakes are being felt both in Goma and its surrounds, and also in Rubavu District of Rwanda, which was also reached by lava flow. The ongoing earthquakes are continuing, some affecting before people they had time to evacuate.

Henri Kyausa, acting Provincial Secretary of the Anglican Church of Congo, reports: “The earthquakes became stronger and stronger on Monday and Tuesday. There are cracks in the centre of Goma town, buildings are shaking to this day … impact will be getting bigger as the days go by. Humanitarian assistance is required.”

Please pray for the people of Goma and the surrounding region as they live each day in fear of further devastating earthquakes and lava flows and as they seek in time to rebuild their lives. Please also pray for the Church of Congo as it responds to human need in the midst of this terrifying volcanic eruption, along with the on-going traumas of conflict and the pandemic.
Fijian Anglicans Planting a Solution to Food Insecurity
Mark Michael
June 2, 2021
Fiji’s Anglicans aren’t able to gather for services after a late-April Covid outbreak of the virus’s Indian variant led to a severe lockdown across the island nation. But ministry to those in need continues, as they convert their backyards to vegetable gardens, responding to an appeal from their archbishop, the Most Rev. Fereimi Cama.

At archdeaconry meetings earlier this year, the archbishop, who is one of the Anglican Church in Ateoroa, New Zealand, and Polynesia’s three primates, called on Anglicans to plant gardens to feed the hungry, at a time when food insecurity is rising due to the collapse of the island’s tourism-based economy.

The Rev. Orisi Vuki, the Diocese of Polynesia’s vicar general told Anglican Taonga that almost every Anglican household on the island has responded to the archbishop’s plea. “In Fiji we can plant food crops that mature for harvest in only four weeks’ time,” he said. “So we have planted every kind of vegetable: cabbage, greens, beans, pumpkins and root vegetables, most of which is to share.”

“Archbishop Fereimi has led by example,” Orisi continued. “In his own yard he has dug a garden and has planted yams and kumara (sweet potato) and other vegetables that now he has been able to harvest and share.”

The Rt. Rev. Henry Bull, Bishop of Vanua Levu is using the land around his home to grow food for his family and neighbors, and has also gone hunting for wild boar and fishing, donating his catch to those in need.

“In our community and country at the moment we have started to pray and focus on farming within our context and trying to encourage others to do so. To be resilient we believe it is the way to go now.” Bull wrote.

On his Facebook page, Bull shared photos of long rows of bok choi cabbage, pumpkins and pineapples from his large garden.

He commented on the page, “First crop of cabbage to be dedicated, and we’ve decided to give it to a local pastor of another denomination to strengthen ecumenical partnership as we are really the Body of Christ and God’s church.”

Greenwood and Not Losing Heart

Leslie Scoopmire
June 3, 2021

The entire world has been hearing about the buried, hidden history of my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, this week. A century ago, one of the most self-sufficient, prosperous black communities in the United States was attacked by a white mob numbering perhaps a thousand, enabled and abetted by the police and the National Guard. 

The pretext of the attack was the alleged assault of a white woman by a black man. Even though the authorities had doubts about the story from the beginning, the young man was arrested and held in jail. When word came that a white mob was coming to seize and lynch him, armed African Americans showed up, many of them veterans of World War II. A white member of the mob tried to seize a veteran’s gun, a shot rang out, and the rampage began. Machine gun fire raked the streets. Private biplanes dropped molotov cocktails on businesses and churches. The black-owned bank was looted. The black-owned Dreamland theatre was destroyed. Bodies were dumped into mass unmarked graves—or into the Arkansas River.

Many of those who survived were rounded up by the National Guard and held for days afterward, allowing whatever was of value to be pilfered. Afterward, insurance companies refused to honor claims, and the leaders of Tulsa rapidly rezoned Greenwood from residential to industrial, decreeing that all buildings must be made of brick.

You might think all of this would have destroyed the community, but just four years later, Greenwood was back. Buildings were rebuilt in the dead of night to evade the preposterous zoning requirements. Money was pooled and neighbors pitched-in. Greenwood became prosperous again, despite attempts to prevent its rebuilding. 

Forty years after the Race Massacre had been scrubbed from the official histories, the push for gentrification and creation of the interstate highway system finally accomplished what rampaging mobs could not, and Greenwood – like so many minority communities around the United States—was taken by eminent domain as an interstate was routed around the white neighborhood and through Greenwood. 

Greenwood lingered as a shadow of its former self when I first visited it as a young teenager.

My younger siblings had been blessed to have an amazing woman as their first-grade teacher at our elementary school in east Tulsa. Mrs. Ava Gibson was a slender, regal woman, a firm believer in the power of education to transform lives—one of the first African American teachers to be transferred into what was then a mostly white working-class neighborhood. 

Our family adored her. Even though I didn’t get to have her as my teacher, she was available for any child at school. I remember one time I was having difficulty with some situation in my life and was sitting morosely, probably sniffling, on the curb outside the school by the parking lot, and she walked past me, patted me on the shoulder, and said, “Don’t ever lose heart, now.” Those words stuck with me.

When Mrs. Gibson retired, she invited us to her home church, as we all celebrated her career and the impact she had on so many families on both sides of segregated Tulsa. Vernon Chapel AME Church was the only edifice left standing after the Massacre and destruction of 1921. And yet when we walked in, we were welcomed as if we had been attending this church our entire lives. The choir and band made the most joyful noise to the Lord I had ever heard in a place of worship. The pastor that day spoke of the incredible perseverance, dedication, and strength of will of Mrs. Gibson and her fellow congregants—and I am sure they all knew exactly what that meant in ways it would take us decades to discover. The Holy Spirit didn’t just visit that congregation on that warm late summer day—it practically busted out the windows and then dragged us all into the fellowship hall for a Sunday supper that could not be beat.

This Sunday’s epistle brought all those memories flooding back. 

“Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.”

I suddenly remembered that reminder not to lose heart, even as the odds seemed great that I might do just that. I pictured Mrs. Gibson leading her charges single file through the halls at school—and never thinking about how far she had to travel to get to work each day, and how difficult and exhausting that had to be. I thought of her gorgeous brick church standing literally in the shadows of two highways, of the love of God that shone from her when she was teaching six-year-olds to love the liberating power of learning—and about how much we still have to fight to keep the full history of events like those in Slocum, Tulsa, East St. Louis, Chicago, Ocoee, Rosewood from being swept away or dismissed as “something that has nothing to do with today.” 

Mrs. Gibson embodied grace, generosity, and endurance. She had to. And so did so many of the people who refused to be driven out of Greenwood, either in the 1920s or the 1970s. Her faith, her grace, and her dignity helped us all to aspire for lives that would lift us up and widen her horizons. May we all be so inspired, so led by the spirit, to likewise persevere in faith, and dedicate ourselves to repairing the breaches that still threaten us and our pursuit of liberty and justice for all, and the honoring of the dignity of all people. And never lose heart.
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
IN BRIEF . . .

These news briefs were featured in previous issues of "The Epistle"
From The Epistle, May 28, 2021

The Gift of Sacrifice

What would you give up to make someone happy? What money or possession would you trade in to provide something meaningful or necessary to someone else? How much would you risk your own security or plans or happiness for the sake of serving your community? Your neighbor? A stranger?

One of the Christmas stories that my mother read to me as a boy was O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi. She never got through the story without shedding a tear, and now I find it the same. My annual reading of the story, now a part of my personal prayer for the feast of The Epiphany, reminds me of the sacrificial nature of giving. For Della and Jim, the gift they wanted to make was to please each other for Christmas, to give each other the one thing they imagined would make them happy. Della and Jim wanted to indulge the child-like joy of gift-giving so much, that they sold the possession most dear to them to buy it. We readers come to understand that the gifts they gave each other with the proceeds of their pawn were meant to adorn the very things with which they parted.

The author finishes his story with a lesson. The Magi gave great gifts from their wealth and status – their privilege. By contrast, our storied couple give each other gifts out of their poverty, making sacrifices to do so. And that, says O. Henry, “makes them the wisest of all, they are the Magi.”

Before we get caught up in the gift-giving of this story, let’s explore the underlying point; what makes the gifts special to begin with. Our modern use of the word sacrifice has unpleasant connotations of loss. Even if the result of the sacrifice is a greater good, the cost to the one who sacrifices is real, and it is hard. But the root of this word is something far more profound – it comes from the same place as the word sacred. To make something sacred, we set it apart, we give it meaning beyond its purpose or craftmanship or place. To make something sacred, we view it and treat it with Love.

In the end, the size of the gift, or its shininess, or its desirability may make an impact on mission or capacity but are of no less importance than the act of giving itself. Sacrificial giving, giving made through love, this makes the giver the wisest of all. When we give through love, we are the Magi. 
From The Epistle, May 21, 2021
Slide Shows from the Organ Concert Weekend
Sloggett/Wilcox `Ohana Organ Commissioning
Celebrate the Moment!
First Services with Rosales Opus 41 Pipe Organ
Confirmation, Reception, and Joyous Noise
Potluck Celebration New Pipe Organ
May 16, 2021
Who Do You Call?

Contact information for All Saints' Ministries and Outreach

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