an online publication of the
Church of the Holy Nativity, Aina Haina
April 8, 2020
Do you receive the Banyan Tree and find the content is missing?  Do you close this email, open it again, and still no content?  
Here is what you do: open the email and scroll to the bottom of it and click on "View Entire Message".  What a relief! It works!

at Holy Nativity:

(A copy of the services and the usual information about how to join us in worship online will come to you in special 
Banyan Tree editions on Wednesday - Friday, Apr 8-10)

Thursday, April 9
Maundy Thursday
online service at 6:30pm

Friday, April 10
Good Friday 
online service at 12noon

April 12, 2020
Easter Sunday
"Finding the Alleluias" & Celebration with Morning Prayer -- 9am

April 19, 2020
T he Second Sunday
of Easter
Morning Prayer -- 9am


Thursday Centering Prayer
(Thursday afternoons, 4-5pm)
Join us online using "Zoom." Go to and click on the phrase,"Join a Meeting."  When prompted, type in the Meeting ID, which is 330990103.

(Please note that our Wednesday 10am Eucharist
postponed until further notice; please pray for one another during this time!) 

Serving this Sunday 
(April 12)  
Easter Sunday

9am Morning Prayer
     The Rev. Libby Berman
     The Rev. Robert Steele

Lectors: Barbara Abe & Alison Kittle

Prayers of the People: Frank Condello, Student in Formation for Ordination

Serving next Sunday 
(April 19)   
The Second Sunday 
of Easter

9am Morning Prayer 
     The Rev. Libby Berman
     The Rev. Robert Steele

Student in Formation: Frank Condello
Lectors: Lila Johnson & Kathy Otani
Prayers of the People: Jean Steele
The Sunday Readings

The Rev. Libby Berman

The Vestry
Sr. Warden: Austin Nakoa
Jr. Warden: Joe Kindrich
Treasurer: Jean Steele
Clerk: Nancy Thomas
Members at Large: Justin Donahue, Rich Miller, Lila Johnson, Jeff Taylor, Ed Moore, Wyn Aubrey-Child, Nina Livingston, Tusi Mayer, Gretchen Yamaguchi

Office Hours-Staff may be working from home; please call ahead to make sure someone is in the office; thank you!
Monday-Thursday, 9am-1pm
(808) 373-2131
Parish Bookkeeper
Kathy Kia
Parish Administrator
Punahele Coldwell
Prayer List

In our parish, we pray for Lora V.,  Frank, Dorie, Rita, Wayne, Victoria, Sandee, Ronny, Donna, Sylvia, Blake, Bruce, Helen, Wes, Terri, Kendall, Bob, Yoko, Lola, Robert Y., Bobby Y., Lois C., The King Family, June A., Diane M., Pamela F., Heather, Richard P., Guthrie, Teri, and for those who have contracted the Corona virus. 


We are posting a day by day meditation from Forward Movement.  This is a great way to start your day with prayer.  Please consider clicking on the website above. 
Interim Head of School 
Jeanne Wilks

Rooted in the Episcopal tradition, Holy Nativity School is dedicated to excellence in education within a small and personalized environment. Built upon principles of respect and inclusion, Holy Nativity School values each child's individuality as it develops principled citizens who recognize their role in the local and global community.  

Holy Nativity Thrift Shop
(808) 373-3744

Our Thrift Store currently is closed until at least April 13, given the COVID-19 outbreak.  Please check here or on the website for more information.  Take care; we hope to see you soon!

Click here to visit the Thrift Shop webpage.


Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do"

I stared at a blank computer screen for awhile earlier this week, wondering what inspiration would come for an article for this week's Banyan Tree.  Our recent days have been such an emotional time and these last days of Holy Week add a layer of emotional challenge, as we ask, "Who is this Jesus? What does his death mean for us?"  As I read the various scripture passages assigned for us this week, it was the behavior of the crowds that particularly struck me. At his trial, the crowds derided Jesus, the authorities sentenced him and the guards taunted him.  All of these individuals sinned, as they abandoned, punished, and mocked one whose every act had stood for justice. What was going on in the minds of those in these people? Why did they do these things?

A closer look reveals many possible answers.  The people in the crowd abandoned Jesus when they realized that he was not, after all, the "earthly king" they had expected would defeat their oppressors and bring justice in Palestine.  They acted out their rage in the streets and at the trial. Pilate bowed to the will of this crowd by sentencing Jesus, fearful of the crowd's reaction to a different decision and concerned for his own position.  The guards, it seems to me, had a whole other set of challenges; they were responsible to carry out brutal orders. Like others we read about in history and in the news, we know that those who have the responsibility to wage war or mete out punishment often lose perspective and do far worse to other people than they mean to, or are meant to.

Yet Jesus says, in response to all of this behavior, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."  How wise and compassionate Jesus is, to recognize that people often act out of self-interest when they are disappointed, afraid, or mistreated and that, under those circumstances, they can act without even realizing what they are doing. These behaviors continue today.  Do we not see, in ourselves and in others, an abandonment of leaders who strive for justice, the passing of responsibility for justice onto "someone else" in order to protect ourselves, and an angry acting out towards those who are not the cause of our distress? In all of these cases, we realize that we behave in such ways, and yet sometimes are not fully aware of what we have done until much later.  (How many times have we, even without thinking, done something to put another person at risk during this time of COVID-19?)

Yet Jesus says, in response to all of this behavior, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."  How wise and compassionate Jesus is. People will do what they will do and sometimes they do bad things. But Jesus knows that the Father loves all of these people, despite even their most flagrant failings and intends to forgive all who repent and return.  That's the lesson I take away.  You and I will sin, sometimes without even knowing it far after the fact. But then, instead of sitting with guilt, we can remember that, again and again, God invites us to repent and return. St. Francis and Jesus both took comfort from the psalms, many of which affirm the care and protection of God.  As we confront our own sin as we walk through this Holy Week, let us also remember that we are deeply loved and that we always are invited return from our sin and live.
--Rev. Libby

Psalm 121    

I lift up my eyes to the hills; 
  from where is my help to come?

My help comes from the Lord, 
  the maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved 
  and he who watches over you will not fall asleep.

Behold, he who keeps watch over Israel
  shall neither slumber nor sleep;

The Lord himself watches over you;
  the Lord is your shade at your right hand,

So that the sun shall not strike you by day,
  nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
  it is he who shall keep you safe.

The Lord shall watch over your going out and
your coming in,
  from this time forth for evermore.


Last week, at our Palm Sunday service, we enjoyed the fellowship and prayer of an even larger number of households--almost twice the number who joined us the week before!  We offer gratitude to the several musicians who made beautiful contributions and to the several readers who offered a dramatic reading of the Passion Gospel.  Behind the scenes, our technical team has done wonders for us.  Thanks to everyone who has helped create our worship services and those of you who have worshipped with us.  

To join us in these last days of Holy Week and in coming weeks, please go to the front page of the Holy Nativity Church website
( ) and press the "CLICK HERE" button that is located on the front page under "Worship Services."  If you do not have a computer or if you wish to call in using your phone, dial +1 669 900 9128 and, when you receive a verbal prompt, type in our "meeting ID," which is 537 938 292 .   We look forward to "seeing you" in church!


The readings for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday are on the "Lectionary Page" located in the left column of the Banyan Tree.


We hope to be able to celebrate Eastertide and/or Pentecost in person, on an upcoming Sunday when it is deemed safe for us to gather together in community, once again!

Our HNC Treasurer and Mission Possible team member, Jean Steele, has written several short pieces she calls "Mission Bites" to help us all learn a bit more about the partnership Holy Nativity School and we are enjoying, particularly as our board and vestry have recently adopted new and helpful agreements between us.  Today, we bring the last of these four "Mission Possible Bites" to you : "Our Church and School Mission Statements," "Exploring our Church's Mission," "Exploring our School's Mission,"and " The Episcopal Identity of Holy Nativity School ."      --Rev. Libby

Mission Bite D: The Episcopal Identity of 
Holy Nativity School

The Episcopal Identity of our school is reflected in four aspects:

The first is W orship , where the divine is honored as the ground of all things through regular prayer and reflection.  The community gathers weekly for creative, inclusive, age appropriate worship in the Episcopal tradition and celebrates the church's seasons and feasts at monthly all-school liturgies.

The second is Religious Formation & Study .  Our school aims to nurture students' spiritual growth through demonstrating and proclaiming the unique worth and beauty of all human beings as creations of a loving, empowering God.  It commits itself to meaningful, academically substantive and age-appropriate religious instruction. Our school values other faith traditions, fostering dialogue among all faiths.

The third is Community Life .  Our school lives into the reality of God's inclusive love and grace in which all people of every background, faith tradition and way of life are welcome and valued.  It embodies the central truth of the Incarnation that honors life's material and spiritual dimensions, supporting and nurturing the physical, mental and emotional health of all.

The final aspect is Social Awareness .  Holy Nativity School integrates the ideals and concepts of equity, justice and an inclusive society through its common life.  Our school includes community service and service learning as an integral part of the school's life and students' education.

Do you see yourself as part of the "Episcopal Identity"?  In what ways?  And how not? 


Participants in the Contemplative Prayer group that meets at Holy Nativity on Thursday afternoon from 4-5pm invite folks to join them on Zoom for their continuing meetings.  At each gathering (online now, just as in person before) our facilitator will read a prayer and then invite viewers into 20 minutes of silence together.  After the silence, the facilitator often will continue by reading a few verses from scripture three times, inviting viewers to pray with those verses or use colored pencils to "draw their prayer."  At the end, those who would like to share their drawing or whatever came to them in prayer are welcomed to do so.  Participants may join and leave the group at any time during the hour.  If you are new to contemplative prayer, or if you have questions, please email me at  I have found this group to be a source of great comfort, joy,  and strength during this time!


The brothers of Saint John the Evangelist (from whom our Lenten Study series came) are offering Evening Services of Compline at They welcome folks to join them.  The text is provided.
For ongoing encouragement from our bishop and diocesan staff , go to


Please spend a few minutes to fill out this short survey to help us best serve you, keep in touch and keep our spirits up and faith strong during this challenging time.  How wonderful it is to be able to spend more time at home with our loved ones, and in our captivity, get all the things done around the house that we have been meaning to do for the longest time!!   


PLEASE circle YES OR NO,   so that when you call or e-mail, you will remember your answers!

YES.          NO.        (LEADER TO BE DECIDED)

YES.       NO.   



THANK YOU EVERYONE.  PLEASE EITHER E-MAIL ME WITH YOUR ANSWERS,  or feel free to call with your answers at: 808-366-1386.

P.S.  If anyone has any other ideas or suggestions of how to  keep in touch, feel free to let me or any member of the Vestry know.
Applications Now Open for the Holy Nativity School Board
I f interested, please be in touch with Rich Miller for more information and the timetable.