an online publication of the
Church of the Holy Nativity, Aina Haina
June 10, 2020
In this Issue of the Banyan Tree:

HNC members participate in downtown demonstration June 6 in support of the 
Black Lives Matter movement

In-person and online worship continues on June 14, with adjustments designed to improve quality of worship

Who's in the Pews?  
Our Indefatigable Bob Steele!

Episcopal Camp Mokule'ia does a different kind of good work this summer; requests our support


Do you receive the Banyan Tree and find the content is missing?  Do you close this email, open it again, and still find no content?  
Here is what you do: open the email, scroll to the bottom of it and click on "View Entire Message." What a relief! It works!

Upcoming Services
at Holy Nativity
(Go to the front page of our website, "" 
and click "Sunday Banyan")

June 14, 2020
Second Sunday
after Pentecost
Morning Prayer with Music-- 9am
In-person & ONLINE

June 21, 2020
Third Sunday
after Pentecost
Morning Prayer with Music -- 9am
In-person & ONLINE


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 
(June 14)  
Second Sunday
after Pentecost

9am Morning Prayer
Officiant:  The Rev. Libby Berman
Deacon: The Rev. Bob Steele
Preacher: Frank Condello, Student in formation for Ordination
Reader:   Barbara Abe
Acolyte: Sandra Braham
Prayers of the People:  Ed Moore
Usher: Rich Miller
Delia Moore's Altar Guild Team

Serving next Sunday 
(June 21)   
Third Sunday
after Pentecost

9am Morning Prayer 
Officiant:  The Rev. Libby Berman
Deacon: The Rev. Bob Steele
Readers: Wyn Aubrey-Child & 
   Kathy Otani
Acolyte: Lila Johnson
Prayers of the People: 
  John Verghese
Usher: Bob Steele
Nina Livingston's Altar Guild Team
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 Sylvia, Lois, Heather, Rico, and Chris J., for those who have contracted the Corona virus and those caring for them and/or seeking a vaccine or other measures of relief.

We also pray for the repose of the soul of George Floyd and for all victims of violence around the world.

To add a name to our prayer list, please contact Punahele Coldwell in the church office at (808) 373-2131 or 


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

Wednesday & Friday: 10am - 2pm
Saturday: 9am - 12pm

Click here to visit the Thrift Shop webpage.


 The Church will be open on Sunday morning in advance of our regular, 9am worship.  Please read article below for more information.   We also will offer this service on Zoom, as we have been doing.  To find information about how to join us online , go to  the front page of our website (  OR look for your email copy of our Thursday "Banyan Tree."



Several HNC members participated in the large, peaceful march in downtown Honolulu on Saturday, June 6 in support of the "Black Lives Matter" movement.  The march, which paralleled many other such events across the United States, began at Ala Moana Park.  It ended at the state capitol building, where an organized program of speakers and musicians encouraged participants to work toward positive change and greater racial justice in our communities.  Estimates of the crowd size varied from five to ten thousand; people from all walks of life participated in the march.  If you are interested to help HNC choose a project or initiative in this area, please let Rev. Libby know (at and we can lend our talents and voices to this important work.




Approximately seventy souls joined us at HNC this past Sunday, for our first offering of concurrent in-person and continuing online worship.  In the church, ushers distributed service bulletins and encouraged parishioners to wear masks and sit six feet apart in marked pews.  Worship leaders sat in the choir pews at the front of the nave and took turns standing on the "X" in front of the camera and altar as they shared their readings or prayers.  The service began quietly, as our diocesan task force urged us to use lower voices in the people's responses to the prayers.  But at "Peace," which we were able to bring back for the first time since late March, folks were very joyful.  They shared wide waves and air kisses with those around them, bowing or offering shakas.  Though there was no formal coffee hour or socializing, it was very clear how happy folks were to be able to be in the church together.

The experience for those continuing to worship from home for now was somewhat different, of course.  Parishioners were able to hear the live and recorded music very well and they heard the second lesson clearly, as it had been recording by a reader at home.  But they had great difficulty hearing the audio that came through speakers' microphones in the nave.  Rev. Libby joined the online community for "virtual coffee hour" after the service, which allowed folks at home to share their experience.  Many at home expressed a deep desire to have us continue our efforts to maintain concurrent worship, so that everyone can continue to feel included.

As we invited feedback from everyone, we received several excellent suggestions.  First, of course, it will be important for our technical team to experiment with different approaches to audio, so that those at home can hear what is spoken through microphones much more clearly.  We will continue to work at this challenge, week by week.  In addition, suggestions were made that would help the two parts of our community actually see each other, either by pointing a camera into the in-person congregation in the nave for the folks at home to see and/or by showing a gallery view of the faces of those worshipping at home on a big screen in the nave.  Finally, we were encouraged to work on the "traffic flow," so that folks are coming IN the main door at the back of the church, but always going OUT through the front side doors onto the lanai or memorial garden.

In coming weeks, as we improve some of these more basic parts of our combined service, we will be able to begin celebrating the Eucharist together and having refreshments at coffee hour.  We give thanks to God that our islands' health has allowed some of us to return to in-person worship.  We'll take it one step at a time, now, with the Holy Spirit to guide us.  Please continue to keep the planning team in your prayers!          --Rev. Libby+


Trinity Sunday marked the beginning of what we call "Ordinary Time" in the church calendar.  We turn the colors to green as we walk together through this long season that includes all of the summer and fall.  Our lessons each Sunday during this season invite us to consider Jesus' teaching and miracles.  



Bob Steele was born in Mobile, Alabama, where he attended segregated schools; he was the third of five children.  From fourth grade through high school, he had a paper route after school and at dawn on Sunday.  With his income, he paid for his clothing and school supplies.  His father always had several jobs and his mother was a domestic worker.  

Bob attended Morehouse College, MLK's alma mater, during the Civil Rights Movement, in which he participated.  He met Stokely Carmichael during demonstrations to desegregate restaurants and hotels in Atlanta.  Bob then entered The Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he met and married Jean.  When they looked for jobs in the Episcopal Church at that time, they found little opportunity in Bob's home diocese of Atlanta.  So Bob was ordained deacon in Newark, NJ, and spent a year in hospital chaplaincy.  Ultimately, Bob earned a Masters in Public Health and a Ph.D. in Psychology at Yale and was appointed Assistant and then Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland.  He was promoted to Associate Dean and managed the graduate programs in the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences.   Bob has served on the White House Council on Mental Health, the Yale Art Gallery Board, The Episcopal Divinity School Board of Trustees, the Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys Board of Directors, the Experimental Printmaking Workshop Board of Directors, and he has chaired the Yale School of Public Health Alumni.

Meanwhile, Bob and Jean have collected African American art on paper (etchings, silkscreens, etc.). "My avocation" Bob says, "became my vocation."  Bob was named the Executive Director of the David C. Driskell Center for African American Art at the University of Maryland.  Over the next eight years, Bob took the Center from an idea to a building, the endowment of programs and the amassing of a large collection.   Jean and Bob have lent pieces from their own collection for exhibits that have traveled across the U.S.  They have donated art to several universities and museums and they welcome opportunities to do more.

Bob and Jean live in the same condo building with their daughter Elisabeth's family.  During the pandemic they have wave to each other through windows and on Zoom.  Their 3-year old granddaughter says that when the virus is gone, she is "going to go in" [to their apartment].

Bob Steele, you are a blessing to our HNC community.  We are so glad you are with us!


The Rt. Rev. Robert Fitzpatrick continues to offer reflection and questions on the diocesan website on Wednesdays of each week.  The next sessions will focus on the letter of James.  For more information, please go to:


Our Episcopal summer camp, Camp Mokule'ia (on the north shore of Oahu), traditionally asked our congregations for a special offering for its ministries on Trinity Sunday, just as its season is about to begin.  This year, given COVID-19, the camp had to suspend its camping session for children and youth.  Camp Mokule'ia  has partnered with Family Promise HawaiĘ»i in this season, however, to housing and meals for families in need, from July 1-Dec 31, 2020.  If you are interested/able to offer a contribution, please go to