Volume 5, Issue 2
January 10, 2020
THIS SUNDAY: January 12, 2020
First Sunday after Epiphany

Chris Neumann (EM)
Jeff Albao (U)
Diane Sato (AG)

Mario Antonio (EM)
Chris Kostka, Micah Kostka (R)
David Crocker, Linda Crocker (U)
Faith Shiramizu (AG)
Noah, Daileen (A)
Nelson Secretario, Mabel Antonio (HP)
Youth Group Meeting and Party
Sunday, January 12 th
Meeting: 11:00AM - 12:00PM
Party: 12:00PM
Youth Room

Ministry Council Meeting
Saturday, January 11 th
9:00 - 10:00AM
Memorial Hall

IWC Meeting
Saturday, January 11 th
10:00 - 11:00AM
Memorial Hall

Sermon on the Mount Bible Study
Tuesday, January 14 th
7:00 - 8:30PM

Laundry Love - Team A
Wednesday, January 15 th
5:00 - 8:30PM
Kapa`a Laundromat

One Ohana Habitat Build
Saturday, January 18 th
7:30AM - Carpool from All Saints'
7:45AM - Jobsite
Holoikalapa St, Anahola

Annual Meeting
Sunday, January 26 th
8:00AM Service
9:00AM Annual Meeting*
*continental breakfast will be provided
10:00AM service
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

Expanding Choir and a New Practice Instrument
The All Saints’ Music Ministry has seen a lot of activity these past few months, with the addition of new choir members, Terry and Tracy Liu, and Max Richardson. Plus, the Music Ministry has acquired an organ that Music Director Hank Curtis can use to practice in anticipation of the arrival of the Rosales organ that will be installed in the sanctuary.
Please welcome new choir members, Terry, Tracy and Max. Terry has a Bachelor’s of Music Violin from Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music, and MA and PhD in Ethnomusicology from UH Manoa and Kent State University. Before coming to Kaua’i he worked for the National Endowment for the Arts and played with Mariachi Los Amigos in Washington, DC for 26 years. Tracy Liu grew up in the United Kingdom and Germany. She is the mother of three children and is a professional massage therapist.

All Saints’ now has a father/son duo in the choir. Max Richardson, the son of Larry Richardson, is a new tenor in the All Saints’ choir. Max is retired from the United States Coast Guard and recently returned from overseas. Both Max and Larry enjoy singing as well as theatre. Some of you may recognize Max from his recent role as the Russian mobster in the Hawaii Children’s Theatre presentation of “Mathilda the Musical.” Max will also be appearing in Kauai Community Player’s presentation of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (January 17—February 2, 2020).
In addition to new choir members, the All Saints’ Music Ministry has acquired a new instrument—a Baldwin Organ which is now located in the Music Room. Last October it was reported in The Epistle that a grant from the Sloggett Fund has enabled Hank to receive organ lessons to refresh and supplement his organ playing expertise. Lessons have been provided by Katherine Crozier, Dean of the American Guild of Organists Hawaii Chapter, and described as “the world’s first lady of classical organists.” Recently, Katherine informed All Saints’ that an organ was available to All Saints’ in exchange for a few hundred dollars of repair plus a few hundred dollars for shipping from Oahu. All Saints’ accepted the offer and Hank can now receive lessons at All Saints’ instead of traveling to Lihue and paying an hourly rental fee for using the organ at another church to practice.

The All Saints’ choir will be in recess on January 19 and 26, while Hank Curtis is on leave. Choir practice will resume on Saturday, February 1 at 11:00 am to practice for the Sunday service on February 2. During Hank’s absence, we are pleased to announce the return of Chanterelle Chantara, who will replace Hank at the piano during the 9:30 services. 

The All Saints’ choir also extends a warm welcome to those who would like to sing with the choir—and that includes new members, amateur and professional—as well as visitors. If anyone is visiting Kaua’i and looking for something unique to do during your stay, consider singing with the choir—we would love to have you join us. Make this number 102 on the list of “101 Things to Do on Kaua’i.”

If anyone would like to “in-choir” about the All Saints’ choir, please contact Hank Curtis, our Music Director. Practice occurs each Thursday at 6:00 p.m., in the Music Room (south entrance of the All Saints’ Gym). Sunday call times are generally 8:45 p.m.
Blessings from the All Saints' Music Ministry 
William H. Brown
All Saints' Annual Parish Meeting, January 26 th
On Sunday January 26 th  we will gather for our Annual Parish Meeting. A continental breakfast will be provided. The schedule for the morning:

  • 8AM service
  • 9AM Annual Meeting
  • 10AM service

During the Annual Parish Meeting we will elect new Vestry members and 2019 Diocese Convention Delegates.


We will elect the following to the Vestry:

  • Four "at-large" member of Vestry; three-year term
  • A Junior Warden; one-year term.

Nominations for Vestry members and Junior Warden are now being accepted. Candidates and/or a person nominating a candidate are required to complete and submit a   Vestry Nomination Form. Nomination Forms are available in the Church Office and will also be available during both services this Sunday as well as in a link in the following Vestry article.

The 52nd Annual Meeting of Convention
October 23-24, 2020
'Iolani School, Honolulu, O'ahu

We will elect five delegates (and alternates) to attend the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii's Annual Convention October 23 and 24, 2019, on the island of O`ahu. Candidates and/or a person nominating a candidate are required to complete and submit a Diocese Convention Delegate Nomination Form. Nomination Forms are available in the Church Office and will also be available during both services this Sunday.

The Diocesan Convention is the primary representative governing body of the diocese. It convenes annually in October to conduct diocesan business, including election of various leadership bodies; approval of a budget for the upcoming year; setting mission strategy; and establishing diocesan policy and procedure by considering and voting on resolutions and approving changes to the diocesan constitution and canons. It is also an occasion for communication and teaching from the Bishop. The Convention allows delegates to connect with other Church leaders, share ministry ideas, and to gather for a celebration of the Holy Eucharist together as a diocesan community.

From Your Senior Warden, David Murray
Aloha to my All Saints’ `Ohana:
Since becoming a member of All Saints’ back in 2003, I have served on the vestry in one capacity or another just about every year. It is my belief that vestry service needs to be personally fulfilling, life-giving, and fun. It is an awesome responsibility to help lead a congregation, especially in times of change such as these when we are anticipating a new life, new challenges and new directions with a new minister. 
Amid this period of change in our leadership we also seek to help our congregation grow and thrive. Many people find change exciting and invigorating; however, for others, it can be challenging. New ideas, new approaches, and new people can create anxiety and stress. Yet, with new vitality comes incredible opportunities for innovation and new ways of being the Body of Christ in the world. 
To serve on the Vestry is both an amazing opportunity and a significant privilege. While it is an honor to be elected to serve on Vestry, the role is not an honorary position—it comes with expectations and responsibilities. 
Those who serve on the Vestry of All Saints’ are expected to participate in the broad life of our church. Regular attendance at worship services and Vestry meetings is the cornerstone of a Vestry member’s duties. In addition, vestry members will be called upon to exercise servant leadership by example and by participating in both the business and spiritual life of the church.
A simplified Vestry member job description might look like the following:
  • Offering your Time, Talents, and Treasure to support the ministries of All Saints’.
  • Maintain an active prayer life which includes praying daily for the clergy, staff, lay leaders, and members of our ‘Ohana.
  • Continually engage with members of the congregation—being attentive to their concerns, needs, hopes, and visions for the Church.
  • Participate in and promote the annual financial stewardship campaign of the Church.
  • Provide sound stewardship and oversight of All Saints’ finances and facilities.
  • Be an active minister of the Gospel in daily life and work.
  • Bring one’s whole self to the table; being present in mind, body and spirit.
  • Identify and recruit individuals to serve in leadership roles and committees as needed.
  • Embody and promote love, accountability, authenticity, healthy habits, and spiritual well-being. 
  • Share openly one’s ideas, beliefs, and desires.
The Vestry welcomes and thrives on diversity in background, skills, and experience and there is no one set of qualifications that make a person an excellent candidate. It is important for us to have new ideas, new perspectives, and new views as we discuss issues and make decisions. 
The work of the Vestry is for everyone and anyone - young and young at heart. Whether you have been at All Saints’ a lifetime or just a little while, you might be called by God to serve on the Vestry. All of us have very busy lives and lots of demands on our time and energy, but if you can bring a sense of joy and wonder to your work on the Vestry, you will be doing a great service for yourself, your family, and the entire All Saints’ ‘Ohana.
We invite you to submit your name for consideration to be on Vestry.
We have five positions open for next year – four 3-year terms as regular Vestry members and one 1-year term as Junior Warden which comes with additional responsibilities such as taking direct charge of the Buildings and Grounds ministry. Applications will be available at the entrance of the Church. They are also available through the link below. You see - we try to make it as easy as possible to run for Vestry!
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to speak to me or any of our current Vestry members.
Mau loa me ke maluhia aloha – always with loving peace.
David Murray
Senior Warden
To access the Vestry Nomination Form, please click here .
DHHL Anahola Jobsite
One Ohana team,
Happy New year! The Habitat team is making a big push to complete the Anahola homes, and get started on some new ones. They are still committed to building a record number of homes this year. We are very close to finishing the three Anahola homes that we started last year. Please join us in Anahola on Jan 18th (on Holoikalapa St).  
For those that want to carpool, we plan on leaving All Saint’s parking lot at 7:30am. Otherwise just meet us at the job site at 7:45am. Please let me know if you can join us, so Habitat can plan accordingly, 
Ron Morinishi

A New Year’s Reflection for the Diocese of Hawai‘i

by The Rt. Rev. Robert L. Fitzpatrick
My Dear Siblings in Christ Jesus,

The new year is upon us and it is shaping up to be quite a ride. Nationally, we are facing an impeachment trial of the President and a major election. Here in the Islands, disagreements will arise about Mauna Kea and other land use, the rising incidents of gun violence and what to do, and how to address the high cost of living. There are many other points of conflict.

I have been ruminating on how we as Christians are called to engage others in times of disagreement. Though this has been provoked by differing political and community perspectives within congregations and families, I think the principles apply to life. My thoughts below were shaped by a rereading of the Letter of James with some side comments from Paul (Romans 12). In the Biblical quotes below, I have used the translation found in the Common English Bible.

Source of Wisdom

“But anyone who needs wisdom should ask God, whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought, without keeping score. Wisdom will certainly be given to those who ask. Whoever asks shouldn’t hesitate. They should ask in faith, without doubting.” James 1:5-6

I hope we all agree that, as followers of Jesus Christ, we start with God. As the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, we use Scripture, Tradition and Reason to engage questions facing the world. We do not start with our own desires, appetites or presuppositions. We are open to being challenged by Scripture, the Church (past, present and future) and the reasoned persuasion of others. We seek the wisdom of God knowing that human wisdom is transitory and limited.

“Are any of you wise and understanding? Show that your actions are good with a humble lifestyle that comes from wisdom. However, if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, then stop bragging and living in ways that deny the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above. Instead, it is from the earth, natural and demonic. Wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and everything that is evil. What of the wisdom from above? First, it is pure, and then peaceful, gentle, obedient, filled with mercy and good actions, fair, and genuine. Those who make peace sow the seeds of justice by their peaceful acts.” James 3:13-18

“But he gives us more grace. This is why it says, God stands against the proud, but favors the humble.” James 4:6

“Consider everyone as equal, and don’t think that you’re better than anyone else. Instead, associate with people who have no status. Don’t think that you’re so smart. Don’t pay back anyone for their evil actions with evil actions, but show respect for what everyone else believes is good.” Roman 12:16-17

This may seem to be basic, but humility is a profoundly Christian virtue. We ought not assume we are better or smarter than the person with whom we disagree. We have to begin by giving the other the benefit of the doubt. We don’t begin by questioning their motives, their character or their identity. We don’t argue to puff ourselves up or to put others down. In our words and actions, we do not contribute to hate and violence.


“Know this, my dear brothers and sisters: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to grow angry. This is because an angry person doesn’t produce God’s righteousness. Therefore, with humility, set aside all moral filth and the growth of wickedness, and welcome the word planted deep inside you—the very word that is able to save you.” James 1:19-21

I am increasingly convinced that anger is too often the product of stunted emotional development, self-loathing and/or a biological condition (that hopefully can be treated). Angry outbursts are a mark of failure or illness. Most deeply, anger arises from a place of fear. Is it any wonder that Jesus so often reminds us: “don’t be afraid?” I’m not saying there is no place for righteous indignation in the face of injustice, but that is not the same as “anger.” One can face evil and injustice with calm and love. Yes, the price may be high, but it is the way of Christ Jesus.

Watch Your Tongue

“We all make mistakes often, but those who don’t make mistakes with their words have reached full maturity. Like a bridled horse, they can control themselves entirely. When we bridle horses and put bits in their mouths to lead them wherever we want, we can control their whole bodies. Consider ships: They are so large that strong winds are needed to drive them. But pilots direct their ships wherever they want with a little rudder. In the same way, even though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts wildly. Think about this: A small flame can set a whole forest on fire. The tongue is a small flame of fire, a world of evil at work in us. It contaminates our entire lives. Because of it, the circle of life is set on fire. The tongue itself is set on fire by the flames of hell.” James 3:2-6

Yes, this was something we were supposed to have learned in kindergarten but is worth a reminder. In local terms, you don’t talk stink. While we shouldn’t respond in anger, we shouldn’t demonize or judge others. We can disagree about policy or events, but that can be done without attacking. As Christians, we know all other people as created in the image of God.

 Boasting and Favoritism

“But now you boast and brag, and all such boasting is evil. It is a sin when someone knows the right thing to do and doesn’t do it. Pay attention, you wealthy people! Weep and moan over the miseries coming upon you. Your riches have rotted. Moths have destroyed your clothes. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you. It will eat your flesh like fire.” James 4:16-5:3

“You do well when you really fulfill the royal law found in scripture, Love your neighbor as yourself. But when you show favoritism, you are committing a sin, and by that same law you are exposed as a lawbreaker.” James 2:8-9

More broadly, I think the issue with boasting and favoritism is that they put others down. We must be careful to not puff ourselves up and, by doing so, put others down. No one is perfect.


“True devotion, the kind that is pure and faultless before God the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their difficulties and to keep the world from contaminating us.” James 1:27

“There will be no mercy in judgment for anyone who hasn’t shown mercy. Mercy overrules judgment.” James 2:13

“Contribute to the needs of God’s people, and welcome strangers into your home. Bless people who harass you—bless and don’t curse them. Be happy with those who are happy, and cry with those who are crying.” Romans 12:13-15

I find the sense of mercy to be core to our life in Christ. Mercy is the compassionate treatment of those in distress. It is best described in Matthew 25:31-44. During times of disagreement, we must treat others with the same level of mercy.

Live at Peace

“If possible, to the best of your ability, live at peace with all people. Don’t try to get revenge for yourselves, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath. It is written, Revenge belongs to me; I will pay it back, says the Lord. Instead, If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. By doing this, you will pile burning coals of fire upon his head. Don’t be defeated by evil, but defeat evil with good.” Romans 12:18-21

In the end, we are to witness, as the followers of the Prince of Peace, to the possibility of peace even in the face of disagreement and conflict.

In the end, I know others will not live by these principles. In an age of soundbites and Tweets, it is easy to stray onto the way of anger and, even hate. It is not the Way of Love. I hope that we will keep to the Way of Love even in disagreement.

As Paul urges us in 2nd Corinthians 5:17-20: “So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived! All of these new things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and who gave us the ministry of reconciliation. In other words, God was reconciling the world to himself through Christ, by not counting people’s sins against them. He has trusted us with this message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors who represent Christ. God is negotiating with you through us.” We are free to act in love, even when we disagree.

Your servant in Christ Jesus, +Bob

The Right Reverend Robert L. Fitzpatrick, Bishop The Episcopal Diocese of Hawai'i
The Episcopal Church in Micronesia

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 third Teachings by Clergy piece is by the Rev. Dcn. Andrew Arakawa, Assistant Upper School Chaplain, `Iolani School & Deacon Associate, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Honolulu.

"For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried."

Significantly, the above statement ends with a period. It is not the first period we come across in the Nicene Creed, nor is it the last. It comes in the middle of our communal declaration of faith and holds the tremendous weight of a full stop. The pause that the period brings to the end of the statement above is our Holy Saturday.  

Holy Saturday is meant to be a time when we fully live into the pain, suffering, and rawness of Good Friday. Holy Saturday, however, is often overlooked in our practices as Christians. The narrative usually follows that we recognize the passion, crucifixion, and death of Jesus on Good Friday. Then the next morning, the altar guild shows up to prepare for the Easter Vigil. We move from death to life without taking the essential pause needed at that moment for reflection. Boston University Assistant Professor of Theology, Shelly Rambo, in her book Spirit and Trauma: A Theology of Remaining , writes that “Religious scholars across a range of theological perspectives –from Walter Bruggemann to Alan Lewis to Cornel West—recognize the dangers in reading death (cross) and life (resurrection) in this particular configuration. This thrust towards life can foster Christian triumphalism and supersessionism.”  Rambo goes on to say, “such a depiction runs the risk of glossing over a more mixed experience of death and life.”  READ MORE
Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ's Body, the church. God establishes an indissoluble bond with each person in baptism. God adopts us, making us members of the church and inheritors of the Kingdom of God (BCP, pp. 298, 858). In baptism we are made sharers in the new life of the Holy Spirit and the forgiveness of sins. Baptism is the foundation for all future church participation and ministry. Each candidate for baptism in the Episcopal Church is to be sponsored by one or more baptized persons.

Sponsors (godparents) speak on behalf of candidates for baptism who are infants or younger children and cannot speak for themselves at the Presentation and Examination of the Candidates. During the baptismal rite the members of the congregation promise to do all they can to support the candidates for baptism in their life in Christ. They join with the candidates by renewing the baptismal covenant. The water of baptism may be administered by immersion or affusin (pouring) (BCP, p. 307). Candidates are baptized "in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," and then marked on the forehead with the sign of the cross. Chrism may be used for this marking. The newly baptized is "sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ's own for ever." When all baptisms have been completed, the celebrant and congregation welcome the newly administered within the eucharist as the chief service on a Sunday or another feast.

The Catechism notes that "Infants are baptized so that they can share citizenship in the Covenant, membership in Christ, and redemption by God." The baptismal promises are made for infants by their parents or sponsors, "who guarantee that the infants will be brought up within the Church, to know Christ and be able to follow him" (BCP, pp. 858-859). Baptism is especially appropriate at the Easter Vigil, the Day of Pentecost, All Saint's Day or the Sunday following, and the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (the First Sunday after the Epiphany).


January 12, 2020
The Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord is celebrated each year on the Sunday following the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6. The event of Christ’s baptism is recorded in all four gospel accounts:

“In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased’” (Mark 1:9-11).

“Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased’” (Luke 3:21-22).

“The next day he saw Jesus coming towards him and declared, ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, “After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.’ And John testified, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God’” (John 1:29-34).

“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:13-17).

Published by the Office of Formation of The Episcopal Church, 815 Second Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10017
© 2020 The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America. All rights reserved.

The Episcopal Church Urges Peaceful Solution to U.S. - Iran conflict

Posted Jan 8, 2020
[Episcopal News Service] The military conflict between the United States and Iran that began when President Donald Trump ordered the assassination of a top Iranian general on Jan. 3 escalated on Jan. 7, as Iran retaliated with missile strikes on military bases housing American troops in Iraq. On Jan. 7, The Episcopal Church released the statement below in response:

“Amid escalating tensions between Iran and the United States following the strike that killed Qasem Soleimani, The Episcopal Church continues to be guided by the teaching of Jesus Christ, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers.’ We affirm that ‘It is crucial in this time of instability and threat of violence that our government and our neighbors seek diplomatic and humanitarian solutions rather than violence.’ We pray for wisdom, restraint, and divine guidance for our leaders and decision makers, that they can move us away from violence and conflict and towards mutual understanding.”

The statement updates one issued in July 2019 at a time of heightened tension over over attacks on shipping vessels and the shooting down of a U.S. surveillance drone.

Puerto Rico Earthquakes Deverely damage Churches

By Egan Millard
Posted Jan 8, 20 20
An earthquake severely damaged this shop in Guánica, Puerto Rico, on Jan. 7, 2020. Photo: Ricardo Ortiz/Reuters

[Episcopal News Service] Several churches in the Diocese of Puerto Rico have suffered severe damage from the series of earthquakes that have struck the island in recent days, killing at least one person and injuring at least eight.

Hundreds of minor earthquakes have hit Puerto Rico’s southwest coast since Dec. 28, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, but a 5.8-magnitude quake on Jan. 6 and a 6.4-magnitude one on Jan. 7 destroyed buildings and shut down the island’s power grid, leading to a state of emergency declaration.

Two of the diocese’s churches – Santa Cecilia in Guánica and San Juan Apóstol in Yauco – appear to be in danger of collapsing, according to the Very Rev. Mario Rodríguez, dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in San Juan and the diocese’s canon to the ordinary. Santo Nombre in Ponce and the Quinta Tranquila retreat center in Yauco also suffered major structural damage, Rodríguez told Episcopal News Service. Other church buildings had minor damage.

“We have been monitoring the situation closely and tomorrow (Wednesday) a team from the Diocesan Center, including a structural engineer, will go to the affected areas to carry out a formal damage assessment and to coordinate relief efforts,” Rodríguez said by email. “Today, local teams began to distribute water and meals in affected areas. These efforts will be reinforced tomorrow by the team from the Diocesan Center.”

Puerto Rico has endured a string of crises in recent years, from the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017 to a massive political scandal in 2019.

“Today our Puerto Rico faces again the challenge of keeping calm and moving forward with faith and hope,” Rodríguez posted on the cathedral’s Facebook page. “Certainly, we are not newbies in this, but yes, vulnerable sons and daughters of God. We face with faith this expression of our nature and trust in the God who loves us and who we call father.”

– Egan Millard is an assistant editor and reporter for the Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at emillard@episcopalchurch.org.
A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

03 January 2020
By Peter Kenny
Red and smoky skies at night and in the morning* looming in four Australian states indicate a catastrophe of biblical proportions as killer fires engulf towns and communities, leaving tens of thousands of people stranded.

Churches have been at the forefront among the responders in both their prayers and deeds as Australians in four states including New South Wales and Victoria reel under flames, with thousands fleeing in the first days of a new decade.

The general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, has said (in a pastoral letter) to Australian churches, "Together with you, WCC member churches around the world are praying for respite from the heat and the flames, for the protection and encouragement of all those fighting the advancing fires, for the preservation of peoples' lives and properties, and of the unique wildlife and environment threatened with destruction.”

Tveit notes, "Australia has, since time immemorial, been accustomed to fire and drought.”
The fires had killed 20 people by Friday, destroyed almost 6 million hectares (15 million acres), and gutted more than 2,500 buildings. Some clerics have sharply criticized the Australian government's stance on fighting climate change.

The Anglican Diocese of Melbourne has a 'graphic' prayer on its front webpage.

Bishop Philip Huggins is president of the National Council of Churches in Australia and director of the Centre for Ecumenical Studies at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, said in a message to the WCC that many people of faith are involved in helping in all kinds of practical ways.

Hotter dryer summers

"Harder to discuss yet is the anger. Hotter, dryer summers are exactly what have been expected. Political ineptitude has left us more vulnerable than might have been the case," rued Huggins.

In 2019, Australia topped its charts for average and maximum temperatures as well as the lowest annual rainfall across the country. The conditions contributed to the unprecedented fires impacting many corners of the country.

Emily Evans of the Uniting Church in Australia and a member of the WCC Executive Committee said Australia is in a national crisis.

"A state of emergency has been declared in New South Wales, a state of disaster in place in Victoria as both states brace for a weekend of continued bushfires and the largest peacetime evacuation in the nation's history is underway," Evans told the WCC.
Australian churches and members through front-line ecumenical organizations, like the Victorian Council of Churches Emergency Ministries and the New South Wales Disaster Recovery Chaplaincy Network, are on the ground.

"Chaplains are offering personal care, psychological first aid, and emotional and spiritual support at relief and recovery centres in the impacted areas to those affected by the ongoing situation," said Evans.

Churches are also encouraging their members to provide direct financial support to official appeals.

Archbishop Glenn Davies, of the Anglican church in Sydney and New South Wales, appealed for Christians to be in fervent prayer.

"Our hearts cry out to you for those who have lost loved ones, and those who have lost properties in the wake of these ravaging fires. Father, we pray, in your mercy, restrain the forces of nature from creating catastrophic damage; in your mercy protect human life,” the archbishop's prayer reads.

‘Guard the volunteers’

"Guard those volunteers, rural fire service personnel and emergency services who selflessly step into the breach to fight these fires. Guide police and authorities who help evacuate and shelter those who are displaced. Bring comfort and healing to all who suffer loss," said the Anglican leader.

Davies praised the work of Anglican Aid, which continued its drought and bushfire appeal, and the work of Anglicare's Disaster Recovery Response.
Teams of trained Anglicare volunteers are giving practical aid such as helping prepare meals, providing clothing, bedding and towels for showers, and helping with displaced pets.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference extended its national prayer campaign for drought as historically dry conditions continue to affect most parts of Australia.

"We can't forget the many suffering through these catastrophic drought conditions, which are very much part of the bushfire crisis we are seeing in large parts of the country," Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge said.

The Bishops Conference initiated the prayer campaign held during November 2019 but decided it should run indefinitely until drought conditions ease.

"Many parishes and dioceses had local initiatives before the national campaign began and many have continued to focus on the drought and the ongoing bushfires in the weeks since the end of November," Coleridge said.

‘Difficult days”

Rev. Simon Hansford, moderator of the Uniting Church in Australia, had released a pastoral letter at the turn of the year "in the midst of the bushfires," cautioning, "These are difficult days, and there are more difficult days to come.”

Hansford said he had been talking with Rev. Dr Stephen Robinson, who coordinates Disaster Response for the whole Uniting Church.
"We have chaplains at each evacuation centre, the numbers of which are growing, as people flee their holidays and their homes to comparative safety," said the moderator.

He issued a special prayer saying, "God of life and death, our prayers today are where our hearts and minds have been during these last days and where they have been drawn so early in this season; with those communities and individuals whose lives have been damaged in differing ways by the bushfires.”

God is asked to intervene for all those fighting the fires, Hansford said.
"We pray for those who have lost their home and property or are facing such loss: for those who have been forced to leave their memories and belongings; for the fear and disorientation of all involved; Heal them from their nightmare memories," he prayed.

Global news media has shown scenes of Australia ravaged by the worst wildfires seen in decades, with large swathes of the country destroyed since the annual fire season began in September.

The old saying, "red sky at night, shepherd's delight. Red sky in the morning, shepherd's warning" is said to have its origins in Matthew's gospel (16:2b–3) in a confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees.

Peter Kenny is a freelance journalist based in Geneva.


By Leslie Scoopmire
Posted January 9, 2020
Photo: The Nativity Side of La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona.
Blessed Savior, we come to you in wonder, 
and lay our hearts before You: 
fill them with wisdom and courage
that we may love You boldly
and show forth your glory in our lives.
May we persevere in reflecting your light, Lord Jesus, 
in all we do and say,
by embodying compassion and integrity,
resisting the forces of evil and injustice, 
and serving each other and You in humility and hope.

May both our words and our silences
be ever aligned with building true justice and peace, O Holy One.

May we ever be mindful
as the Body of Christ in the world,
bearing your name
as a sign of our devotion to your gospel, Blessed Jesus,
that we stand with the lost and forgotten as You did, 
and never acquiesce to fear, exploitation, or hatred. 
May we remember
that we are the children of your Light, O God, 
and called to holiness and love.
May we be forces for healing and reconciliation,
and embrace each other in charity and empathy 
in the name of Our Shepherd and King.
Lord, we ask for your blessing and your grace,
and ask your peace and light to rest upon those 
whose needs we lift before You.
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 .


Stock up for next month when we will need toiletries like toothpaste, toothbrushes, and deodorant
Jesus’ Teachings (The Sermon on the Mount)
Jesus preaches his first sermon, which we know as the Sermon on the Mount. He covers many themes, but we will focus on just a few.

Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-11): Beatitudes means blessings. Each beatitude begins with “Blessed are...” followed by blessings from God for all those who stand before God with humility and openness.

Contrasts (Matthew 5:21-48): Jesus contrasts the conventional OK way to behave among other people with a new and higher way. He begins with “You have heard...” or “It was said...” and then follows with “but I say to you...” Here he talks about killing and hatred, adultery and divorce, swearing and revenge.

Against Showing Off (Matthew 6:1-18): Jesus talks about the need for a right relationship with God as opposed to showing off our piety. Here he shows us how to pray with the Lord’s Prayer.

Anxiety and Trust (Matthew 6:25-34): God will provide and protect. Our first priority should be God, not such things as what to wear and what to eat.
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 .
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