Volume 6, Issue 16
April 16, 2021
THIS SUNDAY: April 18, 2021
Third Sunday of Easter

Acts 3:12-19
After healing a man unable to walk, Peter addresses the crowd that the power to heal comes from Jesus, risen from the dead, and they can have forgiveness of their sins in his Name.

Psalm 4
The Lord does wonders for the faithful.

1 John 3:1-7
God loved us first so that we can be considered God's children.

Luke 24:36b-48
The Risen Jesus appears to his disciples, convincing them that he is not a ghost by allowing them to touch his hands and side, as well as joining them in eating fish.

Muriel Jackson (EM)*
Jeff Albao (U)
Marge Akana (AG)
Carolyn and Ron Morinishi (DM)

David Crocker (EM)
Linda Crocker (U)
Rachel Secretario (LR)
Rachel Secretario (AG)
Nelson Secretario, Mabel Antonio (HP)
Carolyn and 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

Sunday, March 7th
8:00AM and 9:30AM

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

Friday/Monday Crew
Every Friday/Monday
Church Office

Ke Akua Youth Group Meeting
Wednesday, April 21st
5:00 - 6:00PM
Contact Cami for login information.

Daughters of the King
Thursday, April 22nd
7:00 - 8:00PM
Contact Mabel Antonio for login information

EAM/ACAM Youth & Young Adult Meeting
Sunday, April 18th
Contact Carolyn Morinishi for login information.

Inaugural Organ Concerts
Adam Pajan, organist
Church Members and Donors
Saturday, May 15th
General Public
Sunday, May 16th

For the sick and suffering in body, mind, and spirit, especially Those affected by the Pandemic, Those affected by the island flooding, Todd, Patsy & the Tabura 'Ohana, Bracy, Suzanne & Harold, RuAnn, Seth, Mickey, Rosalind, Glen, Willy, Donna, 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, 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 Organ Crew Needs Your Help!!
The Organ Crew is here to voice (fine tune) the new organ. They will be working long hours, 6 days a week to complete the voicing of the organ within the next few weeks. Our congregation will be donating meals for the crew while they’re here. You can sign up to donate lunches or dinners by clicking here: Feed the Crew and filling out the meal donation form to select the meal and your preferred date.

Email news@allsaintskauai.org for dietary restrictions for the organ crew.

Meal Instructions:
  • Meals may be dropped off at the Church and placed on the table outside the sanctuary.
  • Meals may be dropped off at the Church earlier than the time slot indicated but packaged so they can be refrigerated and eaten at their leisure.
  • PLEASE DO NOT interact with the organ crew. They need absolute silence to listen for every note. 

Crew #2: 4/8/21 - 5/7/21
  • Please prepare and drop off 2 meals per time slot
Reflections from Kahu Kawika
Believing Is Seeing

John 20:19-31
1 John 1:1-2:2
Easter 2B
11 April 2021

It’s striking how certain names of personalities from history evoke strong emotions in us:

  • Benedict Arnold: The general from the American Continental Army who plotted to surrender the military stronghold of West Point, NY, to the enemy British. His full name to this day is synonymous with being a traitor.
  • Mother Teresa: The “Angel of Calcutta” who set up a chain of convents to help the poor in the streets of Calcutta and other major cities around the world. Her name is now a description of someone known for exceeding kindness.
  • Adolph Hitler: No explanation necessary here! His name implies someone who is notorious and despotic.

Another case in point is a character from our Gospel reading this morning from John 20, named Thomas. Throughout history for 2,000 years, he is more known by his adjectival name “Doubting Thomas.” Other than Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the authorities, Thomas has historically been the least-liked disciple of Jesus. Even calling someone today a “Doubting Thomas” implies that they lack the faith or confidence to do anything.

But is this really a fair description of Thomas? This is an appropriate question to ask today, given that the second Sunday after Easter is known in the church as “Thomas Sunday.” It doesn’t really help Thomas’ cause at all that his day happens to fall on what for many churches is a “low” Sunday, that is, the immediate Sunday following a major religious holiday like Easter or Christmas, when church attendance and giving may be lower than on Easter or Christmas – even many clergy who had just worked hard over Holy Week and Easter are feeling run down, tired, and “low” in the aftermath of the excitement and busyness of the previous week.

The story from John 20 is that, after Jesus had appeared to Mary Magdalene and some of the other female disciples at the tomb, later that Easter night he also appears in the upper room to the other disciples. The only problem is that, for some reason, Thomas is not there to witness the Risen Jesus himself – what a time to skip a committee meeting! Maybe Thomas is still so bummed and dejected at the death of his leader that he just wants time to himself to lick his wounds. In any event, Thomas unfortunately misses out on the special blessing Jesus gives the disciples that Easter evening – the authority to offer God’s forgiveness and love to others.

When Thomas hears from the other disciples that Jesus did, in fact, rise from the dead and appeared to them, Thomas doesn’t believe what they say. The only way he would believe is if he gets to see Jesus for himself and even touches his hands and side (where Jesus’ wounds would be from crucifixion) as proof that Jesus is not a figment of the imagination or appearing as some kind of hallucinogenic ghost. But to his credit, Thomas rejoins the other disciples a week later in the same upper room, and Jesus appears again to them. Thomas then touches Jesus and subsequently believes. And then, to add insult to injury to Thomas’ reputation, Jesus makes what appears to be a dismissive statement to him: “Thomas, do you have faith because you have seen me? The people who are really blessed are the ones who have faith in me without having seen me!” (John 20:29) This sounds like nothing else than a rebuke by Jesus of Thomas’ lack of faith. All this, of course, leads us back to that term “Doubting Thomas.”

Elaine Pagels, celebrated Professor of Religion at Princeton University, wrote a bestselling book nearly 20 years ago called Beyond Belief. In it, she argues that two communities of the Early Church in the first century were at odds with each other: one centered on devotion to the apostle John, and the other to the apostle Thomas. Each community also had its own version of the Gospel witness of Jesus written, of course, decades after when Jesus actually walked this earth. These versions were called the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Thomas, respectively. Pagels’ argument is that each of these books painted a bad picture of the representative of the other Christian community: thus the Gospel of John paints Thomas in a bad light, and the Gospel of Thomas depicts John in unflattering terms. However, the Gospel out of the two that survived and got included in the New Testament was the Gospel of John – hence sealing the negative fate of Thomas’ reputation ever since.

Pagels seems to have a point: John’s Gospel is the only one in the Bible that gives more details of Thomas than the other ones, who only mention his name in passing. And every time John shows Thomas beyond his name, it appears to be in a negative light:

  • John 11:16 = After Jesus tells his disciples the bad news that they have to travel to Jerusalem where Jesus would get rejected, betrayed, tortured, and put to death as a criminal, Thomas seems to sarcastically say to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go with Jesus to Jerusalem, so that we may die with him there as well!”
  • John 14:5 = After Jesus assures his disciples that he goes ahead of them to Heaven to prepare a place for them and that he is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” Thomas pipes up and asks, “Lord we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
  • And, of course, our passage today from John 20:19-31, when out of seemingly willful disbelief Thomas misses out when Jesus makes his first grand appearance and then doesn’t trust the word of his friends who claim they did see their Risen Lord in the flesh.

However, at the risk of disputing such an eminent biblical scholar as Elaine Pagels, I want to suggest today that John’s Gospel is not trying to put down Thomas, but rather show us someone whose faith is grounded in reality and who was there as our first-century witness when we couldn’t be. Thomas’ doubt is not, in fact, the opposite of having faith in God, and whenever we have doubts that doesn’t mean we are faithless, which is good news indeed! In facat, we can learn from Thomas’ faith in three ways:

  • Thomas Seeks the Truth: Although Thomas doubts at first, he does make the effort to be present in the upper room the Sunday after Easter and see if the testimony of the other disciples is true. Thomas, in fact, represent many people in the Bible who had doubts at first and even sinned in their lives but end up trusting in God – many of whom are listed in that great “Chapter of Faith” in Hebrews 11, such as Abraham, Rahab, and David.

To Thomas’ credit, we can understand his initial doubts – after all, how many of us have seen people come back from the dead? This is not how things normally work in our reality. But at least Thomas goes beyond many people in that he doesn’t get mired in his doubts to the point of inaction nor fixated with blinders on and refuses to accept new facts, but rather is open enough to make the effort to see if the claims of the other disciples are true. Remember, on Easter day itself even the male disciples refused at first to accept the eyewitness accounts of their female counterparts until they see Jesus for themselves that night. Thomas thus speaks for us, who were not around yet when these things took place, and thus his pushing of the envelope helps us to accept his testimony. Which leads me to the second thing we can learn from Thomas’ doubting faith:

  • Thomas Wants Only the Best: Even though there is an abundance of proof that Jesus really existed, many people deny Jesus lived, let alone that he may have risen from the dead. A strong argument today is that the disciples were so grief-stricken at Jesus’ suffering and death and thus mourned the loss of their movement, that they imagined Jesus rising from the dead out of wish fulfillment. Even if this were the case with the other disciples, the Gospel of John shows us Thomas as someone who does not settle for less nor blindly and naively take someone else’s word for it. 

Thomas demands proof positive, as someone back in time to act on our behalf, to actually see and touch Jesus for himself to prove that Jesus was not a figment of the imagination. Thomas gives Jesus a litmus test in our stead 2,000 years ago, thus fulfilling John’s words at the end of our reading: “Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down in this book. These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal life in the way he personally revealed it” (John 20:30-31).

  • Thomas Wants to Meet the Real Jesus: It is noteworthy that part of Thomas’ litmus test for the reality of Jesus is for Thomas to be able to actually touch Jesus’ wounds from the Cross in his hands and side. This tells me that Thomas is not looking for a souped-up version of a super-glorious Messiah who is larger than life, but instead knows that the “real deal” is a Jesus showing us his battle scars, and that the Jesus worth believing in is the one who gave his very life for ours. This Jesus has the battle scars of his victory on the Cross, against the temptations to save himself or to seek revenge against his enemies. Thomas doesn’t go for a popular version of Jesus, but one who seems defeated at first but really is victorious in his suffering and death.

This really challenges my own faith in God: Is my faith only built on a God who makes things go real good in my life, or is it built on a God who walks with me and works through life’s difficulties with me? And am I willing to stand up for this picture of Jesus in a world that looks for success in how popular you are, in what you own, or in how much power you wield? Thomas, to his amazing credit, wants only to meet the real Jesus-with-the-wounds.

So after all that, let’s go back to the reply Jesus gives to Thomas when he starts to believe: “Thomas, do you have faith because you have seen me? The people who are really blessed are the ones who have faith in me without having seen me!” (John 20:29) I don’t really think this is a rebuke of Thomas after all, but rather Jesus saying that thanks to Thomas’ tenacious style of faith – who seeks out the truth at all costs, who wants the best without settling for less, and who wants the real authentic Jesus over a popular caricature who wins all the time – others, including we in Thomas’ future, can come to believe because Thomas pushed the envelope of his faith. 

For Thomas, believing is seeing, or exercising seeking faith leads to a fresh encounter with his Lord. In this season of Easter, in the springtime of new life and new beginnings, let us join “Tenacious Thomas” and rejoice in growing deeper in love with the Jesus-with-the-wounds, who has the battle scars of his victory over sin and death. Amen.
phishing image

The Phisher Strikes Again
Beware of Purported Kahu Kawika and Bishop Bob Emails
From the office of the Bishop:

To: The Diocese
Please be aware that someone has created a fake g-mail account for the Bishop and is sending out e-mails soliciting your help in getting gift cards. Please do not respond to or act upon this request. It did not come from the Bishop.  
He has not been hacked. We will report it to g-mail and we ask that you report it too.
From Kahu Kawika+:

Aloha friends,

Please do not respond nor reply to any emails from the following email address pretending to be me:


Hank Curtis got this and wisely checked with me first before replying. Either delete if you get one and/or consign it to your "spam" folder.

Wow - we have to be diligent at all times from the ways of the world!
Preschool Class Makes David Murray's Day
Blessed Are the Little Children
They made my day!

A little background. Our dog, Maka, has been a “member” of All Saints’ Church for the past 13 years. If you stand right in front of the church and look down to the side of one of the pillars to the left of the main entrance you will see the imprint of a dog’s paw in the concrete. That is Maka’s front paw. She only has one front leg following an accident when she was less than one year old. Maka was tied into the bed of the truck but somehow fell over the side as we were going about 30mph. After an operation and overnight stay with Dr. Ahana at Kapa`a Animal Clinic she came home with one back leg bandaged up in a splint and one front leg which was paralyzed. But she was alive! Dr. Ahana called her the miracle dog.

That paw print in front of the church was put there when we poured the concrete to make the front entrance “handicapped accessible” so that people in wheelchairs could enter the church without too much difficulty. Just seemed appropriate that a handicapped dog should leave her mark on a ramp to make the church more handicapped accessible.

On to the main reason for this article - we bring Maka down to the beach or the church every morning for a walk. It’s actually easier for us to bring her to church because most people know us and we don’t have to worry about putting her on a leash because she’s not going to run off and she’s not aggressive.

This particular morning I brought her to church, parked next to the deck under the big False Kamani tree and helped her out of the truck. She sniffed around for a while and we soon found ourselves at the side of the labyrinth next to the path up to the front door of the church. It was then that two of the Preschool teachers brought their class over to play at the labyrinth. Once some of the children saw Maka it was quite obvious that she was going to be the center of attention for that particular educational period!

I soon found myself facing a group of young children who were peppering me with questions about Maka and telling me stories about their own pets, their personal experiences with injuries and a myriad other things! They were all talking at the same time so it was difficult to focus and follow a conversation or even make out what a particular child was asking or telling me! And - they were all so polite when they spoke to me! Perhaps they could teach some adults...!

The children followed Maka around, trying to stroke her and make contact but she finds it hard to deal with multiple people at the same time - especially a group of people about the same size and weight as her!  So the children followed us over to our truck asking questions about her accident- “Where was she when she fell?” “Was she on a rope?” “Did she fall under the wheel?” “What’s this thing on the side of the truck for?” “How old are you?!” and on and on.

Unfortunately that experience came to an end all too soon as the children had to head back to class. The meeting of a group of children and a three-legged dog and her owner was totally unplanned and spontaneous. But what a wonderful experience it was, especially for me. Maka was a bit freaked out by all the attention but she soon got over it. Amazing what a dog snack can do!

That unplanned meeting was absolutely the highlight of my day even though it all took place before 10:00am! And it was so nice to hear one of the children ask if we would be coming back tomorrow. Well, yes, I think Maka and I would like to do that. So, see you tomorrow!

-David Murray
Below is a summary of the vestry meeting minutes from March 23rd

  • Church Finances in February 2021:Expenses of $45,413 over Income of $29, 711. This is due to the usual lower levels of giving in the early part of the year than later on, as well as that the offerings from February 28th were counted within the month of March.

  • The Finance Committee is being brought back to oversee programs like the Solar Panel Project as well as to manage investments.

  • Solar Project: We have the financing for the panels themselves and are now looking at three bids for the new Preschool roof. Work will start on June 7th.

  • Adult Formation: People seemed to appreciate the personal nature of the Revive Lenten series.

  • Laundry Love: Has been operating since February on a more limited basis, providing clients with quarters and packets of supplies.

  • Organ Project: The second crew arrived April 6th. A concert for donors and All Saints members will be on Saturday May 15th at 7:00PM, and one for the general public will be on Sunday May 16th at 2:00PM. The organ will also be consecrated and played at the 9:30AM service on Sunday May 16th.
Laundry Love is Back in Action
Volunteers are Always Welcome
Geoff Shields manning the table for Laundry Love
Laundry Love is back. Due to the pandemic, the tasks for volunteers has been reduced to set up and manning the table to dispense quarters, detergent, and dryer sheets. Contact Geoff Shields or David Crocker if you'd like to help. They are always looking for smiling faces.
Christ Memorial Church, Kilauea
Seeking Part-Time Administrative Professional
Christ Memorial Church in Kilauea is seeking a part-time administrative professional to support the Church's mission. Computer skills are necessary. Work time is flexible. Please call Rebecca at (808) 634-4667 or email christmemorialkilauea@gmail.com if you or someone you know has an interest in this position.

Thank you,

-The Church Family at Christ Memorial, Kilauea
Aloha From Camp Mokule`ia!
Camp Mokule`ia will be offering Summer Camp Programming this summer! We will be taking our COVID protocols very seriously and doing everything possible to keep our campers and staff safe and healthy.
At summer camp campers make new friends, learn new skills, become more independent, make life-long memories, have fun, grow in their faith, and much more. Summer Camp changes lives every summer and we want every child and youth in your parish to have this experience!
We are counting on you to help us recruit campers from your parish!
Thank you for your continued support, and for helping us to share the magic of Camp Mokule`ia with your congregation.

Darrell Whitaker
Executive Director

If you have questions about Summer Camp programming, please contact James.
If you have questions about Summer Camp registration or scholarships, please contact Tara.

Click on the links below for more information:

Early Bird rates end April 30, 2021
Summer Camp Open House April 25, 2021!
Camp Mokule`ia is again offering each parish in the Diocese of Hawai`i $1,000.00 in summer camp scholarships!
Important Scholarship Information:
Parents need to register their children online so they can complete health information and sign waivers during the registration process. Parents should be prepared to pay the $100 deposit at the time of registration. If your parish is paying the deposit then parents can skip this part and we will bill the parish.

Campers can receive $200 scholarships for Residential Camps or $100 scholarships for Day Camps & Mini Camp.

"Parent Registration Information" handouts to give directly to the parents were in Summer Camp Packet that was mailed to your church. These handouts include promo codes specific to your church. If you need handouts or promo codes please call the camp office (808-637-6241).

Only one promo code can be used per camper. Please contact Camp Office (808-637-6241) if you would like to request additional scholarship funds.

This summer we will be expanding on the Family Stay-Cay Weekends we have been providing the last several months and having our first Family Camp (4 day/3 night program). This camp will have more programming and Spiritual Formation opportunities (more like summer camp but for whole families).
Family Camp Chaplain
Camp Mokule`ia is excited to welcome Kahu Kawika (Rev. David Jackson) as our Chaplain for Family Camp. Kahu Kawika has served in a variety of church and academic settings and enjoys swimming, exercising, learning, ukulele, and spending time with his family.

Click on the links below for more information:

If you are interested in serving as a Chaplain for a week of camp this summer please email Darrell Whitaker. We still have several openings available!
We still have a couple of Summer Camp Counselor spots available. Would love to fill these positions locally with college students who love children and youth and have a strong faith. If you know of anyone please encourage them to apply ASAP!

Click on the link below for more information:

Episcopal Youth Event
Research Project
Early Spring 2021
Easter greetings,
We invite you to help us explore the story and legacy of EYE/EJE as we begin to research and understand more deeply what these events mean to The Episcopal Church. The Office of Youth Ministries for The Episcopal Church has contracted with Ministry Architects to conduct a professional and objective evaluation of the almost 40-year-old international triennial Episcopal Youth Event and the more recently added Evento de Jóvenes Episcopales. Since EYE2020 was cancelled due to pandemic, we sought to take advantage of the pause and engage in a research project while we have the capacity to give it the attention it deserves. Now is the time, and we humbly request your help. 
Our goal is to reach as many former EYE/EJE participants (both youth and adults) to help tell the story and determine the future of this legacy event. We have created a participation form on our website HERE. By using this link to our website, anyone can sign up to participate in the research project. We will share the essential information gathered with the Ministry Architects and Episcopal Youth Ministry Team. Over the course of the next few months potential participants in the research project may receive invitations to surveys, listening sessions, or other methods of gaining information about EYE/EJE. We cannot do this without you, and we need help sharing the link far and wide.


We will post updates for research participants as we begin to learn from the data, and a full report with a recommended plan will be reported to Executive Council and the wider church by years’ end. We thank you for your prayerful consideration in this endeavor as we pray for your cooperation and participation.
Bronwyn Clark Skov
Officer for Youth Ministries
Department of Faith Formation

To read the entire article, click here: EYE/EJE.
Coming Up: Online Retreat Opportunity

St. Michael and All Angels in conjunction with ReSource for Christian Spirituality, is offering an online directed retreat event, May 17-20, 2021. The retreat will take place through Zoom sessions daily at 10:00AM and 5:00PM, and will include individual spiritual direction, worship, community nurture, and personal times with God for prayer, sacred reading, art, music, journaling and walking.

Participation is limited, so sign up early.

Suggested donation: $200.

For more information, click on the flyer below.
Meet Our Religious Communities: What’s in It for Me?
April 18, 2021
How can a religious order help me in my spiritual journey?

Connection with a religious order can include spiritual guidance and friendship, resources, connection with other friends of the community, and retreat opportunities. Religious communities offer prayers for the world and individuals as requested.

How can I learn about a religious order?

Religious orders are listed on the CAROA website (www.caroa.net) and The Episcopal Church website, with a short description of each community and link to each community’s website. You might consider which community is most convenient for you to visit and which seems to speak to you. You could ask to be added to their mailing list for email and newsletters and also check out their social media presence.
Attending a retreat or a short visit or watching a video could be first steps in getting to know the community and to see if it is a good fit for you. Retreats may include a speaker, spiritual direction, periods of silence, or may be a self- directed retreat in which you decide how to spend your time. It is a good idea to check out what is offered and consider what will best meet your needs at this time. Some retreatants find that they need a lot of rest and sleep; some want opportunities to talk with members of the religious order and other retreatants; some yearn for extended periods of silence, prayer, reflection, and journaling.

How can I engage with a religious order?

After the pandemic, taking retreats on a regular basis can be nourishing and supportive, and can offer opportunity to build your relationship with a community. Some religious orders offer on-going spiritual direction, usually for a donation. Communities sometimes have volunteer opportunities and welcome financial support.

Once you have made a connection with a community, you might want to develop a closer relationship and establish a deeper commitment. Most communities have associate and/or oblate programs which usually begin with a discernment process and preparation, followed by formal service of commitment. Associates and oblates usually promise to pray for the members of the community and other associates and oblates, to offer financial and other support, to commit to a rule of life, and to attend retreats for associates and oblates on a regular basis.
It may make sense to become an associate first before considering becoming an oblate. Oblates usually have a more extensive period of discernment and preparation, and may take vows. Some oblates receive a habit. Often oblates promise to attend regular meetings or programs specifically for them at the convent or monastery and to support the community in specific ways.

While contacting a religious order may seem daunting at first, you will likely receive a warm welcome and gain spiritual friendship which can sustain you and nourish your soul for years to come. We look forward to hearing from you!

Published by the Office of Formation of The Episcopal Church, 815 Second Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10017
© 2021 The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America. All rights reserved.
Anglican, Episcopal Leaders Call for Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccines Worldwide

By Egan Millard
April 14, 2021
[Episcopal News Service] Anglican Communion leaders discussed the challenges of global access to COVID-19 vaccines and urged churches and governments to work beyond their borders during a virtual panel discussion hosted by The Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations on April 14.
Click the image above to see the webinar.

The discussion, moderated by the Rev. Charles Robertson, canon to the presiding bishop for ministry beyond The Episcopal Church, brought together a diverse group of voices, each with a different perspective on the pandemic and the vaccine rollout: the Most Rev. Thabo Makgoba, primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and archbishop of Cape Town; the Most Rev. Linda Nicholls, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada; the Rt. Rev. Michael Beasley, bishop of Hertford in the Church of England; and Rebecca Linder Blachly, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Office of Government Relations.

The discussion centered on unequal access to COVID-19 vaccines caused by “vaccine nationalism,” which occurs when wealthier countries hoard vaccines that often have been purchased at lower costs. This presents problems from moral and epidemiological perspectives, panelists said; not only does it worsen existing inequality in health care around the world, but it also threatens to delay global herd immunity and risks the emergence of variants that could evade vaccines.
“We’ve heard from the World Health Organization that none of us are safe and protected until we’re all safe and protected,” [Beasley] said. “Even where populations have been vaccinated, such as they have been in Britain, they will be vulnerable to different variants, springing up in different parts of the world.”

Some of the barriers to reaching global vaccination of adults are related to government policies and funding. Blachly said that even though the United States and other Western countries invested massive amounts of money into vaccine development, it is “time to realize that not only is there a moral obligation to look globally … and that the inequity we’re already seeing is unjust, but also that it’s actually not in anyone’s national interest to just vaccinate their own population.”

Churches can respond to these problems by calling on their governments to make vaccines more easily accessible to other countries, particularly in the Global South. There are existing international campaigns to increase vaccine access – like the WHO’s COVAX program – but panelists agreed that much more needs to be done. The Episcopal Church, for example, has signed on to a letter encouraging the Biden administration to waive vaccine patents, making it easier for other countries to produce vaccines.

Churches can also use their position as sources of trustworthy information to encourage vaccination for those who do have access to it, since vaccine hesitancy is another barrier to reaching global herd immunity. The Episcopal Church has joined the U.S. government’s new COVID-19 Community Corps program to encourage Americans to get COVID-19 vaccines and build confidence in their safety and efficacy, and the Office of Government Relations has developed a toolkit for individuals, congregations and ministries to facilitate and promote COVID-19 vaccination.

“We are seeing now how our voices as partners for the common good are still essential and powerful,” said Nicholls, adding that the Canadian government has enlisted the Anglican Church of Canada’s help and advice in encouraging vaccinations – an unusual step for a very secular nation, she said.

Nicholls said she was doing her part by getting her vaccine later today, and “now we must engage in ensuring that others have the same [access]. As Christians, it is no less than a mandate of our baptism.”

Makgoba challenged the other Anglican Communion member provinces to live up to their status as a family of churches. Families, he said, look out for each other.

“There is some degree of anxiety [in] the whole family if one family member is worried about the crumbs that fall from the table that are too small and another family member is really eating loaves and loaves of bread,” he said. “We need to advocate that all of us should get the bread and not the crumbs.”

Excerpted from the Episcopal News Service. To read the entire article, click here.

Egan Millard is an assistant editor and reporter for Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at emillard@episcopalchurch.org.
Meet the Episcopal Priest Moonlighting as a Mars Rover Mission Scientist

By Egan Millard
April 12, 2021
Pamela Conrad poses with the Mars Curiosity rover. Photo: NASA

[Episcopal News Service] When Episcopal News Service recently spoke to the Rev. Pamela Conrad, rector of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Glen Burnie, Maryland, she was exhausted – but not only from the liturgical marathon of Holy Week or the weary slog of daily life during the COVID-19 pandemic. On top of that, Conrad is a member of the tactical operations team for NASA’s Mars rover mission, often working through the night, analyzing feedback from the Perseverance rover as it searches for signs of potential life.

From her living room in Maryland, Conrad connects virtually with scientists around the country and at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California for several shifts a week, monitoring sensors that she helped design as they transmit data about the Martian environment. Among the instruments she works with are the cameras that have sent back over 25,000 photos, including Perseverance’s first selfie, which shows the rover and the small helicopter that is expected to take the first-ever powered flight on another planet later this week.
The Perseverance rover took these photos of itself and the Ingenuity helicopter on April 6. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

“Every time we get new images, it is such an amazing sense of awe,” Conrad said.

Conrad, 68, has been working for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration since 1999 on projects including the Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars in 2012. Priesthood is a more recent vocation; she was ordained in 2017 and has continued her scientific work on the side since becoming a rector.

“My full-time job – and I’m very clear about this – is as a priest. And my second thing that I do is the science because the science informs my ministry as a priest,” Conrad said.

She told ENS that the scientific and spiritual worlds have always been intertwined for her, united by a sense of wonder. From an early age, she remembers “being very in touch with the general concept of nature and God.”

“I think that the evolution of me as an explorer with respect to this world as well as other worlds, and also as an explorer of the vast spiritual landscape that’s internal, have both been present, always,” she said.

Conrad traces her interest in space exploration back to the night when she was a toddler and her father pointed out Sputnik – the first satellite launched into orbit – passing overhead, but she took a roundabout route through other professions before arriving at NASA. After training as a musician and working as a video producer, she pursued a graduate degree in geology, focusing on geobiology – the study of how life arises from planetary landscapes. That led to a job at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she applied her knowledge of geobiology to the search for life on Mars.
Pamela Conrad tests rover technology. Photo courtesy Pamela Conrad

Conrad is a firm believer in the harmony of science and faith – which she advocates through her leadership role in the North American province of the Society of Ordained Scientists – and sees the search for life on Mars as an affirmation of a God who exceeds human understanding.

“People often regard humans as the pinnacle of creation. We don’t want to consider the possibility that Mom doesn’t like us best,” she told ENS. “As Christians, what we have to ask ourselves is, If God can create life here, is God big enough to create life elsewhere? Of course, the answer is yes.”

Conrad also sees a role for The Episcopal Church in dispelling the myth that science and religion are incompatible, given its roots in the Anglican concept of faith informed by reason.

“In a time when people are discarding reason in favor of conspiracy theories, or suspicion of science, we can help,” she said. “And I believe that we are called to this moment to help reconcile those two perspectives so that we can ask ourselves, Why wouldn’t we use all the gifts in our disposal, all the processes of learning and knowing? And science is one of those processes.”

She also thinks the church is called to take a proactive approach to the ethics of interplanetary travel and colonization. Given the tragedies brought about by exploration and colonization on Earth, Conrad wants Christians to start thinking carefully about how the human race can ethically expand beyond Earth.

“How can we as a culture do a respectful job of exploring so that we can explore without exploiting?” she asked. “As we become poised to be an interplanetary species – and we will, because exploration is a biological imperative – will we take our Christian selves into that exploration? … And we as beloved community can play a role in that by articulating it now before we lift off for Mars.”

Excerpted from the Episcopal News Service. To read the entire article, click here.

Egan Millard is an assistant editor and reporter for Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at emillard@episcopalchurch.org.
Anglican Convert and Pacific Island Deity: 5 Faith Facts About Prince Philip

By Paul O'Donnell
April 12, 2021
[Religion News Service] Prince Philip, who died April 9 at age 99, was married for 73 years to the head of the Church of England, and it’s no surprise he identified for most of his life as an Anglican. But his religious profile was somewhat more complicated. Here are five faith facts to know about Britain’s longest-serving consort.

He was baptized in the Greek Orthodox Church

Before Philip and Elizabeth’s 1947 wedding, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote to Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, discreetly suggesting Philip be formally received into the Church of England. Though related to Queen Victoria, Philip was the scion of the royal house of Greece, where he was born, baptized and lived for the first 18 months of his life.

By the time of his engagement to Elizabeth, Philip considered himself an Anglican and had attended Church of England services during his tenure as a lieutenant in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. However, he was still formally a Greek Orthodox.

“In the Church of England we are always ready to minister to members of the Orthodox Church and to admit to the Sacrament,” wrote then-Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher. “At the same time, unless he is officially received into the Church of England, he remains a member of the Greek Orthodox Church, which, though on the closest and most friendly terms with us, is not able to enter full communion with us.”

Decades later, British journalist Giles Milton wrote in The Spectator in 1992 that Philip, then 70, had revived his interest in Orthodox Christianity and held meetings with several Orthodox prelates, including the Russian Orthodox bishop for Great Britain and Ireland, Metropolitan Anthony Bloom (also known as Anthony of Sourozh).

After Philip’s father died, his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, became a nun, and in official family appearances can be spotted in her habit. A private chapel installed in Buckingham Palace for her “was hastily dismantled following her death in 1969,” Milton wrote. Her remains were buried at a Russian Orthodox convent in Jerusalem, as she had wished.

Buried beside Princess Alice is her aunt, a Russian Orthodox saint.

Born to a noble family in Germany in 1864, Philip’s mother’s aunt Elisabeth married Tsar Alexander II’s son, Sergei Alexandrovich, and converted to Russian Orthodoxy from her childhood Lutheran faith. After Sergei was assassinated by a socialist agitator in 1905, Elisabeth publicly forgave him, asked he be pardoned and visited him in prison to convert him to Christianity.

In 1909, Elisabeth sold her jewelry and with the proceeds founded a convent and named herself abbess, but in the year following the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Vladimir Lenin ordered Elisabeth’s arrest, and along with several other relatives of the tsar, she was thrown into an iron mine. According to contemporary accounts, Elisabeth and her fellow victims spent their dying moments singing hymns.

She was canonized by the semi-autonomous Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in 1981 and by the Moscow Patriarchate in 1992.

His “late-life religious awakening” resulted in a religious study center at Windsor Castle

One of the most Philip-centric episodes of the Netflix series “The Crown” concerns Philip’s supposed midlife crisis, which he resolves by sitting in on a therapy group for burned-out Church of England ministers and taking part in the creation of a spiritual think tank at the royal family’s Windsor Castle estate.

The episode, while broadly rejected as fiction by knowledgeable royal watchers, has some basis in fact: Philip was involved in the creation of St. George’s House, though reportedly the conference center was chiefly the brainchild of the Rev. Robert Woods, whom the royals had invited to become the dean of Windsor Chapel in 1962, and whom Philip regarded as a friend.

One royal source has said that the center, which gathered prominent Britons from industry, science and other sectors to discuss religious and social issues, was instrumental to what he terms Philip’s “late-life religious awakening.” In an excerpt of a historical companion to “The Crown,” Robert Lacey wrote, “St George’s House clearly provided the long-needed dimension for which Philip had been searching in his spiritual life.”

His environmental work was a faith-based effort

Sometimes described as Philip’s “religious adviser” and his “guru,” Martin Palmer is officially the Secretary General of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, a nonprofit founded by Philip in 1995. The two met a decade earlier, when both were working with the World Wildlife Fund, and Philip asked Palmer to host a meeting in Italy of representatives of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism.

Philip’s partnership with Palmer has prompted some of the prince consort’s more controversial statements on faith. In 1990 he claimed the “ecological pragmatism of the so-called pagan religions” was “a great deal more realistic, in terms of conservation ethics, than the more intellectual monotheistic philosophies of the revealed religions.”

And though Philip is known for his more-than-awkward comments on race, Palmer describes ARC as an avenue for Philip to acquaint himself with beliefs from around the world, telling the BBC in 2017 that the prince consort has “a great affection for Daoists.”

He is worshipped by a small sect in the Pacific Islands as a god

In a tiny village in the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu, the locals have long revered Prince Philip as a divine being, based on a prophecy that a mountain spirit’s peripatetic son would one day return to the island in the company of his powerful wife.

One of several “cargo cults” in Micronesia and elsewhere in the Pacific that honor off-island visitors as deities, the islanders’ convictions about Philip’s divinity apparently grew in the first decade after he became consort, based on British colonial officials’ regard for the former Royal Navy officer. Their beliefs were bolstered when Queen Elizabeth and Philip arrived on Vanuatu in 1974.

A supporter of Jewish causes, he was the first British royal to visit Israel

Until 2018, the British royals were banned from visiting Israel, due to the United Kingdom’s long memory of Zionist violence against Britain’s governance leading up to the Jewish state’s declaration of independence in 1948. But in 1994, Philip broke with the ban, traveling as a private citizen to attend a ceremony honoring his mother as “righteous among the nations” by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust museum, for her efforts on Jews’ behalf in Greece during the Second World War.

With his death, leaders in Israel have remembered Philip as someone who took risks on their behalf for decades, citing his support for the Jewish National Fund and his willingness to speak to pro-Israel groups as far back as the 1960s, despite criticism.
The Episcopal Church in the Philippines Elects Bishop Brent Alawas as Next Prime Bishop

April 9, 2021 4:17 PM
Bishop Brent Harry W Alawas will become Prime Bishop (Primate) of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines in June. Photo Credit: ECP

The Bishop of Northern Philippines, Brent Alawas, has been elected as the next Primate of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines.

The Episcopal Church in the Philippines’ 11th Synod have elected the Bishop of Northern Philippines as their next Prime Bishop and Primate. Bishop Brent Harry W Alawas will succeed Prime Bishop Joel Pachao, who will retire in June.

The Synod met on 7 and 8 April in a hybrid format. Most delegates were physically gathered in diocesan venues, and were connected nationally through an online conference service. Bishop Brent, the only nominee, was elected on the first ballot.

The theme of the Synod was “Recovering our Prophetic Ministry”. It approved a resolution expressing opposition to an anti-terror law. It also called for a more vigorous and compassionate approach to combat Covid-19. The synod also agreed that the Visayas Mission Area will be elevated into a missionary diocese within the next triennium.

The Prayer of the Dog in Time of Pandemic

April 15, 2021
Leslie Scoopmire
O Loving Creator, I bow before your generous gifts:
a warm house and comfortable sofas,
food for my belly and cool water to drink,
and days unending with those I love.

My sigh of peace
as I lay my head
on the feet of those I love
or in the lap
of those who stroke my brow
and rub my ears
is my prayer to You, O Guardian of Life.

May I help share your comfort

with those in need of respite

as a sign of your grace.

May tasty scraps fall plenteously
from the tables of your abundance, O God.

Make me ever joyful and merciful
even if children pull my tail.
Help me be ever watchful
that I may protect my home
as you have protected me, O Steadfast One.

Help me to offer my fur

to absorb the tear of those who mourn,

a look deeply into the eyes of the anxious

that they may see your light within them.

In the morning
in the noonday
in the evening
may I ever rest in your presence,
and be grateful for the smallest delight
with a generous heart and steadfast faith.

Place your soothing hand, O Master,
upon all who look to You in hope.


The Rev. Leslie Scoopmire is rector of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Ellisville, MO in the diocese of Missouri.
IN BRIEF . . .

These news briefs were featured in previous issues of "The Epistle"

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