Volume 5, Issue 37
September 18, 2020
THIS SUNDAY: September 20, 2020
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

ON-SITE CHURCH SERVICES WITH COMMUNION

8:00AM
Chris Neumann (EM)*
Jeff Albao (U)
Lorna Nishi (AG)

9:30AM
Mary Margaret Smith (EM)
Mario Antonio (U)
Joan Roughgarden (LR)
Jan Hashizume (AG)
Vikki Secretario, Nelson Secretario (HP)

* EM - Eucharisitic Minister; U - Usher; LR - Lay Reader; AG - Altar Guild; HP - Healing Prayers
UPCOMING EVENTS
ON-SITE CHURCH SERVICES WITH COMMUNION
8:00AM and 9:30AM
Sanctuary and Side Lanai

Aloha Hour
Every Sunday
10:45AM - 12:00PM
Side Lanai and Tent

Monday Crew
Every Monday
8:00AM
Church Office

Ministry Council Meeting
Saturday, September 19th
9:00AM
Zoom meeting
Those who are interested in the Ministry Council meeting may contact Cami at Cami@allsaintskauai.org for login information.

Episcopal AsianAmerican Ministry/Anglican Candian Asian Ministry Youth and Young Adult meeting
Sunday, September 20th
12:00 - 1:00PM
Zoom meeting
Those who are interested in the EAM/ACAM meeting may contact Cami at Cami@allsaintskauai.org for login information.

Daughters of the King
Thursday, September 24th
7:00 - 8:00PM
Rectory

Neumann Garage Sale
-Friday, September 25th
8:30 - 10:00PM
-Saturday, September 26th
6:00AM - 10:00PM
Front Lawn
RECURRING EVENTS
ALL RECURRING EVENTS SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Sunday School
Every Sunday, 9:30 - 10:15AM
Memorial Hall

Laundry Love
1st & 3rd Wednesday, 5:00PM
Kapa`a Laundromat
McMaster Slack Key Guitar and Ukulele Concert
Every Wednesday, 6:00PM
Church

Choir Practice
Every Thursday, 6:00PM
Choir Room
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

The editor-in-chief of your Epistle will be taking a few weeks off for another surgery on Oahu. In the mean time, we will be publishing a very abbreviated issue each week. These issues will detail the weekly scripture readings, service schedules, duty rosters, All Saints' news, upcoming and recurring events. Once recovered, the editor-in-chief will resume his duties.

Mahalo for your support.
Weekly Sermon from Kahu Kawika
Cut Each Other Some Slack
Proper 19A: “Cut Each Other Some Slack”
Matthew 18:21-35
Genesis 50:15-21
Romans 14:1-12

Once there was a family business of homebuilders, consisting of a father and his two sons. One of the sons felt unappreciated and taken for granted by his father, and was resentful at what seemed like the father’s more favorable treatment of the other son. One day the father came up to the son and told him to take charge of building a new home on a piece of land. The son agreed to do it, but in his heart resolved to put in the minimal amount of effort in order to get back at the father. So he bought the cheapest and flimsiest materials possible that he could get away with, and instructed his workers to take many shortcuts and skip certain steps in order to rush the job. When the house was completed, the father came by to take a look. “Well done, Son – the house looks good. And to show you how much I appreciate your work and you as my son …” – the father put his hands in his front pocket and pulled out a set of house keys – “I’m giving you this brand new home!!” No doubt, the son felt hacked off with himself and chagrined at the generous impulse of his father.

Have you ever heard this warning: Be careful what you pray for – you might get it? Watch out – you just might get what you are after. Here’s a prayer many of us pray at least once a week – forgive us our trespasses AS we forgive those who trespass against us. That small word “as” carries a lot of weight on its shoulders, and implies a significant obligation to extend God’s forgiveness to those who may have hurt us in some way.

Is that what we really want? We know we want the first part of the petition, God’s forgiveness. However, we are not so sure about the second part, about the way we forgive others. We know that we are not nearly so quick to forgive others as we hope and pray that God forgives us. The Psalmist says, “The Lord is full of compassion and mercy, slow to anger and of great kindness.” Great news. We mess up. We ask God for forgiveness. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy, and so God forgives us. But… when someone does us wrong, when someone does us dirty, we say, “not so fast.” We are not so full of compassion and mercy. We are not so slow to anger and of great kindness. We may be quick to anger and full of… colorful language.

There is an expression in the English language that stems from the time of the great navies of the late 1700s – cutting each other some slack. It means that where a ship’s rope is too tight, we need to loosen it in order for the rope to fulfill its function and serve its purpose at that time. However, we confess that at times we find it hard to cut each other some slack.
And yet, this is how Our Lord taught us to pray – forgive us our trespasses, AS we forgive those who trespass against us. Be careful what you pray for – you just might get it.

In our Gospel lesson, Peter comes to Jesus and asks, “Lord, if someone sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times? Peter always asks the questions that we would like to ask. He is so earnest and so eager to do the right thing. But Peter also always seems to be getting it wrong. Maybe it’s this fallible humanity that makes Peter an exemplar for us. He had heard Jesus talk about forgiveness, so he wants to know more.
And Peter must have done his homework, too. There is an ancient rabbinic tradition that says a person should forgive another who has sinned against him as many as four times. So, Peter, earnest and eager, tries to be even more extravagant than the rabbis, and he adds three more times. He asks, “Should I forgive a person even up to seven times?”
Seven times is a lot. It’s three more than the rabbis. It is a lot of times to turn and forgive someone who has sinned against you. Perhaps Peter was expecting Jesus to praise him for even suggesting such extravagant forgiveness. Perhaps Peter was hoping for a pat on the back, an “Atta Boy,” for an A+ on his forgiveness exam.

This doesn’t happen. Rather, Jesus turns and shockingly says, “No, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” New Testament scholars debate whether the Greek text means “seventy-seven times” or “seventy times seven times.” But that is beside the point, because either way, Jesus is holding up an enormous number, a number so big that we can’t begin to calculate it in terms of forgiveness.

Like so many of us, Peter wants a limit, a measurement, so he holds wide his hands and says, “This much, Lord? Should I forgive even this much?” And Jesus says, “No, much more than that. You’re not even using the right scale. As far as the east is from the west, that’s how much you should forgive.” It’s such an enormous amount of forgiveness, it would be senseless to try to calculate how much or how often.

You share something embarrassing about yourself to a friend who promises to keep the information confidential. However, the friend breaks his promise and proceeds to tell several people. What is the likelihood that you would choose to forgive your friend? Or a family member humiliates you in front of others by sharing a story about you that you did not want anyone to know. What is the likelihood that you would choose to forgive the family member?
How are we doing so far? What’s our limit?

In our first reading from Genesis 50, we hear about our old friend Joseph, of “the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” fame. A few weeks earlier we read how Joseph had been a kind of a brat, being the favorite of the 12 sons of Jacob, and often giving a bad report of the other brothers’ work in the fields. They decide to throw him into a deep dry desert cistern, later to kill him and to tell their father Jacob that a wild animal attacked Joseph, but before they could do a group of Midian slavetraders find Joseph, kidnap him, and sell him into slavery in Egypt. He then gets falsely accused of the crime of the attempted rape of his boss’ wife and thrown into jail for many years. Eventually the Pharaoh hears of Joseph’s ability to know people dreams and to interpret them, foretelling the future. Joseph rises up to become nothing less than the Prime Minister of Egypt, only second in power to the Pharaoh himself.
So when Joseph’s brothers travel down to Egypt from Canaan because their large family needed food to ride out the severe famine in the land, they have to come before the “Prime Minister,” not recognizing Joseph after 20 years and presuming he was dead. Now at this point Joseph has a choice – he could use his power to avenge himself for his brothers’ previous cruelty, or he could be magnanimous, forgive them, and help them in their hour of need. He chooses the latter, revealing himself to them and saying to them, “What you intended for harm, God intended for good, to be a blessing to you and to many others.” In short, Joseph decides to take a “God’s-Eye View” of the situation, be thankful to God for having lifted him up, and using his new position to be a blessing to others, even to those who had intended his demise.

Joseph becomes an admirable model of how to forgive those who either have harmed us or have intended to do so. This leads to a definition of forgiveness that may be helpful: Forgiveness is NOT sweeping something bad under the carpet nor pretending it didn’t happen, but it is taking a posture to not allow the original hurt to dictate the rest of our lives nor to frame our attitude. We may not feel like forgiving, but we can certainly take the decision of the will to forgive and thus to help us move on in our lives. While we will have the scars as reminders of past hurts, we don’t have to nurse the original stings of them.
Similarly in our second reading from Romans 14, Paul reminds his readers that “we all will stand before the judgment seat of God,” so “why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister?” Cut each other some slack.

Perhaps that’s why Jesus tells Peter the story about the unforgiving servant, a story where the numbers don’t add up. A biblical talent was equivalent to about 4 months’ daily wages of an average day laborer, so 10,000 talents equaled nothing less than 3,000 years of working! And yet this is how much the First Worker owes the King in Jesus’ story. An impossible amount no one could possibly pay back at all. So, like Joseph, the King has a choice – take vengeance and throw the First Worker in jail for the rest of his life, or forgive the First Worker and his insurmountable debt. Thankfully, the King is kind and does the latter.
Now if you were the First Worker, what would be your reaction? I would be jumping up and down for joy, ecstatic that I got my life back. I’d want to tell everyone and practice similar kindness to everyone I meet.

And yet, when the First Worker, who has just been forgiven a debt of a bazillion dollars, runs into a Second Worker who owes him a hundred denarii – which at about 4 months of an average worker’s wages is not nothing but is tiny in comparison to what he owed the king – what does he do? Well, he grabs the guy by the throat and demands that he pay up. And when the King finds out that the First Worker whom he had just forgiven an unimaginable amount wouldn’t forgive the pittance that was owed him by another, he had the First Worker thrown into prison.

The problem with the First Worker is that he has a short memory. He has a lack of true appreciation and deep-down gratitude for all that had been forgiven. Maybe this is where many of us come up short – we’re used to being religious people who have heard the story of God’s forgiveness so much, we forget how God has blessed us in our lives – no matter who we are, where we’ve been, or what we’ve done – and so we fail to extend God’s over-the-top forgiveness to others. In short, we don’t cut others the same slack God has cut us.
Now we do serve a God who is entirely forgetful in one area only – God forgives and forgets those things we regret and rue, the things we are embarrassed about, the things we don’t want others to know and choose to bury in the past. God also does this for us each and every day going forward – when we wake up we have a new slate and can choose to live for God’s glory and to be a blessing to those around us.

We forgive, then, because God forgives. The forgiveness that we are to pass on to others is the forgiveness we have in union with Christ. Not because we are moral heroes or because we seek our own wellbeing, but because we are forgiven sinners.

Forgiveness may very well be a character strength and virtue. It probably does contribute to leading good and happy lives. But, Jesus reminds us, when it comes to our ability and need to forgive, we are, all of us, those of us who have great character strengths and those of us who do not, penitents, debtors kneeling at the foot of the cross.

“Forgive us our trespasses, AS we forgive those who trespass against us.” One comes with the other.

Be careful what you pray for – you just might get it.
For the aged and infirm, for the widowed and orphans, and for the sick and the suffering, especially The Hiyane Family, Fr. Ryan and Family, The Hoffman Family, The Hiyane Family, Bob, Keith, Bill, those affected by Hurricanes Laura and Sally, and the Beirut blast, Gemi, Mike & Barbara, Susan, Brad, and those we name silently or aloud, let us pray to the Lord. ​Lord, have mercy. 

For all who have died, especially Jonathan, George, 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.
The Ke Akua Youth Group
Relay for Life Event Is A Huge Success
Many Thanks to All Who Participated and Supported Relay for Life
The Ke Akua Youth Group held a Relay for Life satellite event at the front lawn of All Saints' Church on September 12, 2020 from 5:00PM to 7:30PM. They streamed their event on the main page of the church website to view virtually.
 
They raised $1604.93 before and during the event and another $410 during the Aloha Hour after church for a total of $2,014.93! They more than doubled their goal of $1000. A big mahalo to all who participated and contributed.

The Garden Island included an article about our youth group's Relay for Life event in the Sunday paper.
Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island
Hannah Kostka and Neva Leung of the All Saints’ Episcopal Church Ke Akua youth group take their turn on the track Saturday during the virtual Relay For Life event at the Kapa‘a church.
Excerpted from The Garden Island:

KAPA‘A — All Saints Episcopal Church Youth Minister Cami Pascua said they had a goal. Saturday during the satellite Relay For Life virtual event hosted by the church’s Ke Akua youth group, they made it.

“We were fortunate to have met our goal early,” Pascua said.

“People also made appointments to walk the labyrinth where the youth group members set up luminaria. Each family or team could walk individually so we could keep the gathering within the COVID pandemic rules.”
....

“The fight against cancer won’t be postponed,” the [American Cancer Society] website states. “Although apart, we can still shine our light to support, remember and honor every life touched by cancer by lighting up luminaria at your home and team gatherings.”
That is exactly what Ke Akua youth group members and advisers did Saturday evening following the sun setting behind the Sleeping Giant.

To read the entire article, click here: Relay for Life
A Familiar Smiling Face
Mary Schultz Sends Her Love to Her All Saints' `Ohana
While on the north shore for 2 weeks, I had lunch with Mary Schultz. She is fine, in high spirits, uses a cane and walker, and has three care givers during the day.  She says she misses everyone at All Saints', especially the choir, and hopes to return one of these days.

-Marge Akana
Carolyn Morinishi Recommends a Communication Workshop Opportunity
"Understanding the Psycho-Social Dynamics of Communication for Effective Church Ministry and Leadership"
I have been on the diocesan "'Ohana Design Team" for the past 3 years. (This is the team that does the monthly Habitat for Humanity workdays.) We haven't done much in 2020 because of COVID-19, but we are finally organizing one FREE workshop for Kaua'i residents on Zoom. This workshop is approved and supported by the Bishop's office, and we will organize future workshops for other islands. 

Ricky Melchor, the instructor, truly believes in the value of effective communication. To encourage attendance Ricky will present door prizes to every person at the end of each workshop day, gift cards value up to $10. And he is personally donating two grand prizes of $75 that he will present at the end of each workshop day. I will mail these gift cards after each workshop day.

-Carolyn Morinishi
Hale Ho`omalu Accepts Donations
All Saints' Restarts Donation Collection
All Saints’ has had a long relationship with Hale Ho`omalu, a Child and Family Service program that provides families with the tools and resources they need to create meaningful and lasting change in their lives. Over the years, our `Ohana has collected donations specific to monthly-need requests provided by Hale Ho`omalu.

COVID-19 changed our ability to collect donations since on-site church services were canceled. Now that we are open for on-site worship, our Hale Ho`omalu donations will be collected again for delivery to this worthy program. We are grateful to our wonderful Monday Crew that takes the donations to Hale Ho`omalu each week.

Hale Ho`omalu is requesting donations of school supplies. 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.
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.
KUPUNA SHOPPING ASSISTANCE MINISTRY
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.

ALL SAINTS' VIRTUAL SWAP MEET
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.

PASTORAL CARE CONTACT INFORMATION
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.

PRAYER CHAIN MINISTRY
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.

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

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
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.