Volume 6, Issue 42
October 15, 2021
THIS SUNDAY: October 17, 2021
Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost

Wisdom 3:1-6
The writer assures us that we do not die in vain if we die in the Lord.

Psalm 130
Wait for the Lord, who is abundant in mercy and redemption.

1 Corinthians 15:50-58
Death doesnʻt have the final say, so our labor and love for God in this life is not for nought.

John 5:19-30
Jesus promises that he has the keys of life and death -- he himself will conquer death and, as a result, so will we.

Mark Cain (EM)*
Jeff Albao (U)
Lorna Nishi (AG)
Muriel Jackson (DM)

Linda Crocker (EM)
CeCe Caldwell (U)
Chris Wataya (LR)
David Crocker (AG)
Mabel Antonio, Nelson Secretario (HP)
Ron Morinishi, Jan Hashizume (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

All Saints' Preschool Fall Break
Monday, October 11th through
Friday, October 15th
Sloggett Center

Solar Roof System Installation
Monday, October 11th through
Friday, October 15th
Sloggett Center

Ke Akua Youth Group Meeting
Wednesday, October 20th
5:00 - 6:00PM
Zoom Meeting
Contact Cami for login info.

Project Vision Hi`ehi`e Mobile Showers
Thursday, October 21st
11:00AM - 4:00PM
Church Lawn

NOTE: Day and Time Change
Daughters of the King
Wednesday, October 27th
6:00 - 7:00PM
Zoom Meeting
Contact Mabel Antonio for login info.

Recurring Events
Aloha Hour
Every Sunday, 10:45AM - 12:00PM
Under lanai tent

Monday/Friday Crew
Every Monday/Friday, 8:00AM 
Church Office

Project Vision Hi`ehi`e Mobile Showers
1st and 3rd Thursday, 11:00AM - 4:00PM
Church Campus
Laundry Love
1st Wednesday, 5:00PM
Kapa`a Laundromat

Daughters of the King
2nd & 4th Wednesday, 6:00 - 7:00PM
For the sick and suffering in body, mind, and spirit, especially Those affected by the Pandemic,Those affected by racial violence, Noah, Patsy, Susan, Maddy, Lori, Peggy, Laurie, 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.
Reflections from Kahu Kawika
Famous Like Amos

Amos 5:6-7, 10-15
Mark 10:17-31
Psalm 90:12-17
Hebrews 4:12-16
10 October 2021
Proper 23B

A local personality who has since become a worldwide celebrity is Wally “Famous” Amos – cookie innovator, business entrepreneur, self-help author, and adult-literacy advocate and instructor. Based in Kailua, Oʻahu, his cookies became a national and international phenomenon. But not everything went easily for him – he had made a fortune in the 1970s and 1980s, lost much of it through bad investments in the 1990s, and then recouped it again by developing fat-free and nutritious muffins and cookies. While “Famous Amos” is more known for his cookies and bakery skills, his self-help and inspirational books have opened him up to a bigger influence over a wider audience. Here are a few of his quotes:

  • “It’s vital to be growing through your life rather than going through your life.” 

  • “The object is not to change other people or situations; it’s to do the inner work they stimulate.”

  • “We are so focused on the material aspects of life that we lose sight of everything else.”

It is especially that last quote that points us to our readings today, specifically from Amos 5 in the Hebrew Bible and from Mark 10 in our Gospel. The words of the prophet Amos are among the earliest writings of the Old Testament, dating back to the 700s BCE and predating the writing of Genesis and other books appearing earlier in the Bible. Which means that Amos had no Bible to refer to – indeed, some Old Testament scholars believe he and a few other prophets from that time were innovating God’s message in Judaism.

And what a message it is! It really is language ripped from today’s headlines – condemnation of the widespread bribing of judges, corruption rife in government, and the voracious accumulation of wealth on the backs of the poor and needy. And think of the gall of this man Amos – originally minding his own business as a rather humble sheep herder and sycamore fig farmer in the more arid southern kingdom of Judah, Amos gets a call from God to travel up north to the more fertile and wealthier Israel, and condemn the harmful practices of the ruling elites there. Who is this guy to travel about a 100 miles away from his home in order to pass judgment on people he had never met and in a somewhat different culture than his own? If nothing else, Amos has a lot of chutzpah!

We read this morning that Amos points out the powerful’s desire to get rid of judges who cannot be bribed, who charge high taxes on grain crops the poor have grown, and who feather their own nests as a result by expanding their houses and planting wine vineyards for their own enjoyment. 

What makes this message even more radical is that it challenges the assumption of the time that if life is easy for some people, then that means they must have done something right to earn God’s favor – and conversely, if people are suffering, poor, and down-and-out, then they must have done something to deserve God’s wrath, and thus are not worthy of any pity or compassion from anyone else.

A common view of the prophet Amos is that his message is full of gloom and doom. Indeed, as we see, he doesn’t mince words at all. However, they are merely penultimate to his message – his real end is for such corrupt people to turn around, treat others as they would like to be treated, change their lifestyles accordingly, and thereby to be able to enjoy God’s true presence and blessing for themselves. Amos applies the stick, but he also offers the carrot: “Seek good and not evil, so that you may live, and so that Adonai God Omnipotent may truly be with you as you have been claiming. Hate evil and love good; maintain justice at the city gate, and it may be that Adonai God Omnipotent will take pity on the remnant of Joseph (i.e., Israel – Amos 5:14-15). Amos thus concerns himself not only about the poor and vulnerable in society, but also even the rulers and wealthy elite who can know God’s blessings for themselves. God’s love is for everyone – no exceptions.

We find the same message in our Gospel reading from Mark 10. Jesus and his disciples are on the road to Jerusalem, the place where Jesus earlier had told his followers that he would be betrayed, put on trial, be rejected by nearly everyone, and suffer a criminal’s execution. On his way there, a man runs up to him with a burning question: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” As the account unfolds, we find out that this man is among the few in that society who are rather rich – so again the assumption in Jesus’ time would be like that in Amos’ 700 years earlier, that this man must already be favored by God since he is so rich. 

So why would he ask Jesus what else he needs to do to inherit eternal life? People would have thought he had it made already. Added to that assumption is what the man says about his own worthy lifestyle – he has been keeping the 10 Commandments, so he leads an exemplary life. I think one of two things is going on with the man’s request of Jesus: either he knows he himself is already good and is looking for a further pat on the back from Jesus, or this man has the sensitivity to realize that something is still lacking in his life, no matter how good his conduct.

But notice which of the 10 Commandments Jesus reels off – they all have to do with how we treat other people (no murder, no adultery, no stealing, no defrauding, no bearing false witness, honoring your parents). What Jesus leaves off the list are the parts of the 10 Commandments to do with loving and honoring God – no other gods, no idols, not using God’s name in vain, and keeping the Sabbath day as holy and for resting. This tells me that what is still lacking in the man is a full-hearted devotion and love for God.

And what is the cause of this lack? Jesus points to the man’s wealth and many possessions, or rather his inordinate love of them. He does this through a penetrating gaze and a motivation of love: “Jesus, looking at him clearly, loved him” (Mark 10:21). By the way, this is important – believe it or not, this is the only time in all four Gospels that it says that Jesus loves an individual! (He says it to the disciples as a group, and elsewhere it says he has compassion for the crowds, but not to an individual person) So the gospel writer Mark wants us to know that Jesus’ intention is only for his love for the man’s plight.

When Jesus tells him to give his wealth and possessions away to the poor and to follow Jesus, the man “is shocked and goes away grieving, for he had many possessions” (Mark 10:22). With surgical precision, Jesus wants to excise the love of things from the man’s life, in order to get him to love God and to put God in first place. Again, we see the man is very nice, decent, and does many of the right things in life and even would have been seen by others as a role model to emulate – but one big thing still stands in the way of him knowing God’s love for himself.

This matches what we saw earlier in this chapter when Jesus uses rather gory and graphic language for us to cut out the offending eye or cut off the sinful hand that would otherwise lead us astray from full devotion to God – not in a literal sense, but Jesus uses hyperbolic over-the-top language to make the point to jettison ANYTHING in our lives that stands in the way of God’s intended love and purpose for us! In that same earnestness, Jesus wants this otherwise worthy man to give up the thing he loves the most, in order to get what he needs the most.

Wally “Famous” Amos also said this: “Life truly is a journey, and the less baggage we carry the easier the ride.” This certainly resonates with the prophet he is named after as well as the Lord that he loves and worships. Both the prophet Amos and Jesus the Son of God is telling us how to be “famous” in a spiritual sense – live detached from the things of life. Treat what we have lightly, and share what we have extravagantly and joyfully.

Maybe it is no accident that this set of Bible readings comes up when many churches are starting to think about Stewardship for the coming year! The appeal from these texts is striking – that we can get the true treasures and joys of heaven when we regard our earthly treasures lightly. Conversely, we often get in our own way of truly knowing the full extent of God’s peace when we try to hang onto to the “stuff” we accumulate around us, dimming our true vision and devotion to God and the things of God. By regularly and repeatedly offering back our time, talents, and treasure, we demonstrate our reliance on God alone to have our backs and for true fulfillment in our lives.

Dare we become “famous” like Amos, “famous” in the spiritual sense that people would know us for our willingness to offer our very selves up to Jesus? All this reminds me of the words of the African-American hymn that I shared with you in a service from last year – “Give Me Jesus”:

In the morning, when I rise, in the morning when I rise, in the morning when I rise, give me Jesus.

Give me Jesus, give me Jesus! You can have all this world, but give me Jesus!

Let’s be eager to give up lesser things and attractions that otherwise occupy our attention and devotion, and instead focus our lives on the one thing that matters most. Give me Jesus. Amen.
Sloggett Center Solar Panel Installation Complete
Mahalo Nui Loa to All to Donated to This Project
Anchoring Solar Panel Clips, Monday, October 11th
East and West Facing Solar Panels Installed, Tuesday, October 12th
South Facing Solar Panels Installed, Tuesday, October 12th
Nathan Wood's crew started our solar installation Monday and completed the solar panel installation part of our solar project way ahead of schedule. The electrical connection is being completed. The last step is an inspection by the county and our solar project will be complete.

This project has been fully funded by generous donations from the All Saints' `Ohana and a grant from the National Philanthropic Trust. We began this project in May and a mere five months later have raised $316,00+, installed the solar panels, and are nearing project completion. This is a huge step in acknowledging that we, as a church `Ohana, are committed to helping protect God's creation. This project also creates an ongoing financial gift to All Saints' by reducing our electrical bill substantially.

Many thanks to Nathan's efficient crew and to Ron Morinishi for documenting their work with the photos.
“a sense of God taking care of us

We often speak of aloha and a welcoming spirit when describing All Saints' and it is a pleasure to share a text received by Kahu Kawika from recent visitors Fr. Jim and Liz Seipel who joined our 9:30AM service on October 10. Their recent visit to All Saints' sparked them to write this heartfelt expression of thanks.
This is a message from father Jim Seipel:

I attended your service of worship at All Saints' yesterday morning, October 10th. After the service, I was talking on the phone with Rev. Heather Mueller and raving about the service, your sermon, the music, and just about everything.

I want to make sure that you really comprehend that we came into your church yesterday morning emotionally and physically tired. The music and the words of that service of worship really lifted us and we were so so much better off when the service was over.

I really can’t thank you enough for all the work that you, Hank, Nelson, Dileep, and Suzanne put into that service!!!

I plan to look up the service again on the Internet this morning and literally go through the whole service again because it was so wonderful the first time and it has made our time so much better being back in a sense of God taking care of us!! Thank you again so very much for your efforts yesterday morning!!!!

-Rev. James Seipel
Mahalo nui loa to all of you who play a part in making our services uplifting and worshipful!

Welcome Suzanne Kobayashi!
Suzanne Joins All Saints' as Our Priest Intern
Below is a message from Suzanne to the All Saints' `Ohana

I am Suzanne Kobayashi. I have been warmly welcomed by your church on my first month worshipping with you and I thank you.

I am originally from Santa Monica California. I was raised Catholic. Religion, other cultures, and people have always fascinated me though. After graduating from UCSD with a BA in Biology, I married a surfer and moved to Kauai in 1978. Most of the time since then, I have attended Christ Memorial Church in Kilauea. I attended some evangelical churches when I first moved to Kauai and Kalaheo Missionary when I lived on the south side for a couple of years. I enjoyed and learned from all the churches I attended. 

At Christ Memorial I taught religious education to the Kilauea school when my kids were little for about 9 years. Later, I was on search committees, the Bishop’s Committee, and played music at church. My Mom lived with us for her last 7 years. My mom and some of my fellow church members thought I might be a good priest and encouraged me to think about it. When my mom passed, I felt the Holy Spirit was saying it was time I gave back. 

The Episcopal Church has always been a good fit for me, with my Catholic roots and inclusive beliefs. I wanted to be an altar boy when I was little. (Clearly, I didn’t understand the requirements. I was very young.) I guess God may be gifting me my childhood desire to serve in his Sanctuary after all. Since studying for the priesthood, I have fallen more deeply in love with the Episcopal Church, the scriptures, and how God’s spirit works through us fallible people to bring His Kingdom here. I have much more appreciation for how our church has grown and changed, as indeed the whole body of Christ grows and changes, with so many different and distinctive parts all interconnected by God’s love. 

In the secular world, I’ve worked in restaurants, a dental office, painted murals, helped build houses, sold art, and taught art to children. The surfer and I divorced after 18 years and have 2 beautiful children from that marriage. I’ve been married to my husband Joe and had a small property management business for the last 20+ years. We have a beloved son, Ryan, and I gained a step daughter. I am a grandma. I currently facilitate a Compassionate (Non-Violent) Communication Practice group and am in 2 book clubs. I love my friends, art, plants, music and… I used to like to travel too :o) 

I am so happy to be able to worship and grow with you over the next two years. I enjoy teaching and art, which I hope I will have a chance to share with you. I look forward to seeing what God will do. I feel very blessed. Mahalo!

Thanks so much for your patience and reaching out to me.

God's blessing on us this week and always.

Aloha All Saints O’hana,

Thanksgiving is next month and the Free Community Dinner and Service will again be hosted by the Kapa`a Interfaith Association. All Saintsʻ will be an active participant again this year by hosting both the Interfaith Service and the “Pick-Up” Meals from the north side of the gym.

Sign up sheets for drivers for Home Delivery and for Gym Clean-Up will be available outside the church sanctuary in the next couple of weeks. Home Delivery will be distributed from the Kapa`a Hongwanji like last year.

If you can assist in this worthy community effort by either donating time or money, we would greatly appreciate your kokua!

Mahalo nui loa.

-Sarah Rogers
Thanksgiving Chair 2021
Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2021
October 11th
In honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which includes kanaka Native Hawaiians, I offer this prayer from the Anglican Church in Canada:

O Great Spirit, God of every people and every tribe, we come to you as your many children, to ask for your forgiveness and guidance. Forgive us for the colonialism that stains our past, the ignorance that allowed us to think that we could claim another’s home for our own. Heal us of this history. Remind us that none of us were discovered since none of us were lost, but that we are all gathered within the sacred circle of your community. Guide us through your wisdom to restore the truth of our heritage. Help us to confront the racism that divides us as we confess the pain it has caused to the human family. Amen.

-Kahu Kawika+
A Message from the Bishop

The following message from the Bishop was emailed on September 24 to church leadership in the Diocese, and is related to the article further below from the Episcopal Church on "My Way of Love for Small Groups":
Presiding Bishop Curry's Invitation:
A Church That Looks and Acts Like Jesus

My dear Siblings in Christ Jesus,

Please see the video message from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry HERE. In it, the Presiding Bishop is setting a challenge for the Episcopal Church.

This continues his call to all Episcopalians to walk “My Way of Love” (the seven practices to grow into a Jesus-centered life: turn, learn, pray, worship, bless, go, and rest). I also call your attention to the small group resources for congregations now available HERE.

It is very important for each leader – lay and ordained – to read the following (and the attached), to look at the material in the links (and watch the videos noted), to incorporate “My Way of Love” into our practice as individuals and as the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaiʻi, and to accept the Presiding Bishop’s invitation.

I think his call provides the theological and spiritual basis for our own Diocesan priorities and re-formation:

  • The Diocese is committed to developing and sustaining spiritual growth, vitality, curiosity, and well-being within our churches. 
  • The Diocese seeks to strengthen our identity as one 'ohana and the relationships within our 'ohana among clergy, lay leaders and congregations.
  • The Diocese is focused on improving the capacity for communication within our congregations, across the Diocese, and into our communities as we engage in evangelism.
  • The Diocese is committed to the reconciliation of God’s people within our Islands and our Church.
  • The Diocese is committed to the care of God’s creation and environmental justice for God’s people.

The priorities grow out of the Strategic Initiatives work of the Diocese undertaken four years ago and the commitments of the Episcopal Church for racial and environmental justice as established by General Convention.

More will be coming on this in the near future, but as the leaders of the Diocese, it must begin with you.

Yours faithfully,

The Right Reverend Robert L. Fitzpatrick
 (Pronouns: he, him, his)
Feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist
October 18
St. Luke was a Gentile, and the traditional author of the Gospel According to Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. He was a physician and is identified with the church's ministry of healing. In Col 4:14, he is described as “the beloved physician.” Many Episcopal hospitals have the name of St. Luke because he is the patron saint of healing and the healing professions. His uniqueness is seen in his detailed description of the birth of Jesus, possibly deriving from information given him by Mary, the Lord's mother. It is in the Gospel According to Luke that we have the texts of the earliest Christian hymns, Magnificat, Benedictus, and Nunc dimittis . Only this gospel has the parables about the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son. Luke gives special emphasis to the worth and status of women. He stresses the inclusivity of the compassion and love of God. Luke is often symbolized as a winged sacrificial ox holding a gospel book. This symbolism is taken from the Gospel According to Luke, which begins with Zechariah sacrificing in the temple and which describes the sacrifice of Christ. Luke is sometimes pictured as a painter making Christ known through art. Luke accompanied Paul on his second missionary trip from Troas to Philippi, and on the third missionary trip from Philippi to Jerusalem. He also went with Paul to Rome. Luke's life and work as a physician, historian, and evangelist is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on Oct. 18.

Last summer, I ran out of gas at a gas station. The car stopped moving a few yards from the pump. To my great relief, another customer came over and offered to push my car to the pump.

Before this kind, young person drove away, I shouted “Wait!” and hurried toward him.

He shook his head from side to side. “I don’t want anything for helping you,” he declared.

“Not even homemade chocolate chip cookies?” I countered.

He laughed, took the bag of cookies, and thanked me.

When we share the gift of being human beings together, especially in difficult moments, we slip into an awareness of abundance. We feel full. We know goodness given and received. Travels continue. Cookies and laughter are enjoyed. Every good gift comes from God, and in sharing our gifts we become even more gifted, whether or not we are recognized or rewarded for sharing.

Sometimes we step up to help from a desire for recognition. We offer our
gifts, like James and John in today’s Gospel text, out of loyalty to Jesus
and a desire to be useful. Our egos may be attached in healthy, or unhealthy, ways.

Sometimes we share a gift without expectations. We give without needing recognition. We push a car for a stranger and get a tired priest, her daughter and two dogs back on the road to Vacationland.

Making an annual financial commitment to a congregation is like offering to push a stranger’s car to a gas pump. It gets ministry moving. We seek no recognition, yet are rewarded in surprising ways. We offer our gifts because doing so creates the type of world we want to inhabit — a world where strangers collaborate and laugh together during a frustrating and embarrassing experience, sharing every good gift along the way.

The Rev’d. Dina Van Klaveren is Rector of St. Andrew’s in Glenwood, Maryland and a member of the TENS Board of Directors.

"Take Me To Your Leader!"
"Who's That?"
The following was first published in The Epistle, 4, June 21, 2019
Recently, I was engaged in a lively discussion of the Episcopal Church and its Leadership. You know the conversation. 

“Did you hear what they are going to do?”
“Don’t worry about them . I think they are doing fine.”
“Yah well, they don’t get it.”
“Do you ever talk to them ?”
“Who are they ?”

This last question really got me thinking. Who are “ They ”?
This week we will focus on The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, the legal entity that is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Episcopal Church. I bet you didn’t even know you were a member of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, did you?

The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society is the missionary organization and corporate body of the Episcopal Church. The constitution of the missionary society was first adopted by the special General Convention of 1821 and incorporated by the New York State legislature. In 1835 the General Convention adopted a new constitution which made membership in the society no longer voluntary but inclusive of all the baptized in the Episcopal Church. The constitution further declared the world to be the missionary field of the church and entrusted general missionary work to a reorganized board of missions. In 1877 the constitution of the society was enacted as a canon of the General Convention. This canon was amended in 1919 to provide for the Presiding Bishop and Council (now Executive Council) to be the directors of the society and to administer its work. (https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/glossary/domestic-and-foreign-missionary-society)

According to Bloomberg:

The Domestic And Foreign Missionary Society of The Protestant Episcopal Church In The USA was founded in 1820. The company's line of business includes religious organizations operated for worship, religious training or study, government or administration of an organized religion, or for promotion of religious activities. (https://www.bloomberg.com/profile/company/1215740D:US)

According to the Episcopal News Service:

The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society is the name under which The Episcopal Church is incorporated, conducts business, and carries out mission. (https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/2015/03/24/domestic-and-foreign-missionary-society-reports-2-4-million-annual-surplus/)

So, what does all this mean for you? 

The church needs a legal entity under which to do business. The day-to-day operations of the church are just like those of many other big non-profit companies and must be managed within a corporate structure. The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society (DFMS) provides that corporate structure for the Episcopal Church.

Like any company, DFMS has a board of directors and corporate officers charged with specific responsibilities. In the case of DFMS, the board of directors is the Executive Council. Corporate officers include a President, two Vice Presidents, a Treasurer, and a Secretary. (See the figure above for details.) Every member of the Episcopal Church is automatically a member of DFMS.

While the day-to-day operations of the Episcopal Church depend on the corporate entity that is DFMS, your day-to-day lives as members of the Episcopal Church are not impacted by the fact that you are legally a member of DFMS. 

In my personal opinion, as long as I trust the General Convention, I trust DFMS and have confidence that the business of the Episcopal Church is being well managed. I never lose sleep over the DFMS.

I hope this information is helpful the next time someone says, “Take me to your leader”. 

If you have any questions about Episcopal Church Leadership, please feel free to contact Kahu Kawika, Bill Caldwell, or any member of the Vestry.

Bill Caldwell
The Epistle

Explore the Way of Love: REST
When the scriptures tell us that we should love others as we love ourselves, there is an underlying message that we are allowed to love ourselves. The Way of Love recognizes that one way to love ourselves and to maintain ourselves as useful instruments of God is through the practice of rest.

As Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Matthew, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Part of the work of a Christian is to take time to put the work aside and be restored. After God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them, God rested. In doing so, God created a sacred pattern of work and rest, realizing that making dedicated time – to allow our minds to unwind, for our souls to be comforted and healed, for our bodies to be rejuvenated – ensures we can continue in this divine stream.

Rest is a gift and we are allowed to take it.

Rest gives rhythm to our lives; just as it is the end of one endeavor, so it is the beginning of another. There is no greater reward for those whose labor never ceases than for those who do what they can and rest to come back refreshed to do the work another day.

Rest is not only a blessing to us but a blessing to God, as we demonstrate our faith that God is the primary actor, maker of heaven and earth. And as children of God, we are encouraged to trust that all of creation is held in God’s hand.

Are you willing to submit to the practices that will restore your body, mind, and soul? Will you join with others to encourage one another to observe the regular practice of rest?

Learn more about the Way of Love at episcopalchurch.org/wayoflove. You can find suggestions on getting started and going deeper with Resting at iam.ec/explore.

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.
Meet Our Religious Communities
The Order of St. Mary
Presiding Bishop visits Community of St. Mary’s Southern Province to ‘affirm’ their place in Episcopal Church

October 14, 2021
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry visits the Community of St. Mary’s Southern Province convent in Sewanee, Tennessee, on Oct. 7, 2021. Photo: Sharon Jones

[Episcopal News Service] When Presiding Bishop Michael Curry talks about the sisters of the Southern Province of the Community of St. Mary, the oldest American Anglican religious order, his voice brightens with enthusiasm.

“These women are small in number, but boy, they are awesome,” Curry told Episcopal News Service after a recent visit.

And since the order’s Eastern Province, based in upstate New York, left The Episcopal Church in April, there’s something Curry wants Episcopalians to know about the women of the Sewanee, Tennessee-based Southern Province.

“I really want the church to know that the Southern Province of the Community of St. Mary is a part of The Episcopal Church, committed to it and loyal to it,” he said.

The Community of St. Mary is one of 32 religious orders and communities recognized by The Episcopal Church. Founded in 1865 in New York, the community sent sisters to establish a school and work with poor people in Memphis, Tennessee, five years before the 1878 yellow fever epidemic that decimated the city. Four of the five sisters died treating the sick; today the “Martyrs of Memphis” are honored in the church’s liturgical calendar on Sept. 9.

The sole surviving sister established the Southern Province in Sewanee, where the order ran a school until the 1960s. Today, there are four sisters at the Sewanee convent, where they live in the Benedictine monastic tradition, which emphasizes work, prayer and community. The sisters’ ministries include preaching, providing spiritual direction, leading retreats and growing produce in their garden. The community also includes one sister in the Philippines and a network of oblates and associates – laypeople who live elsewhere but follow the order’s rules to varying degrees and receive spiritual guidance from the sisters.

Until April, the community also included the larger Eastern Province, which has convents and farms in New York and Malawi. That province voted to leave The Episcopal Church and join the Anglican Church in North America, following the departure of the Rt. Rev. William Love, the former bishop of Albany who oversaw the province. In response, members of the Southern Province released a statement emphatically declaring their loyalty to The Episcopal Church, saying they were “going through some initial stages of grief” over the Eastern Province’s departure, but were “not totally surprised by their decision.”

“This house has always been more liberal than the Eastern Province,” Sister Madeleine Mary, prioress of the Southern Province, told ENS. “We knew that they were unhappy in The Episcopal Church, and so I was not surprised that they decided to leave. The surprise was how they told us. … All we got was a simple email.”

Still, the Southern Province received some negative feedback from people in the church who mistakenly thought they also had left. Curry visited the Sewanee convent on Oct. 7 “to affirm them by showing up,” he said.

Curry was impressed by the combination of their ancient Benedictine spirituality and their progressive views on topics such as LGBTQ+ acceptance, as well as the fact that two of the sisters are millennials. Curry even confirmed one of them when he was bishop of North Carolina.

He was especially interested in their Organic Prayer Program, in which young adults stay at the convent for up to 10 months, working in the garden and living in the rhythms of daily prayer. So far, 25 people have participated in the program, Sister Madeleine Mary said.

“We help them learn that care for creation is a religious and spiritual matter,” she told ENS, “and we also help them learn how to apply the Benedictine rule to their lives. They often use it for discernment for the next step in their life.”

As world leaders (as well as Episcopalian and Anglican representatives) prepare to attend the United Nations COP26 conference to discuss the climate crisis in the coming weeks, Curry said the sisters’ example is more relevant than ever.

“They really go deep in the soil,” Curry said. “They represent an important way of understanding and engaging with creation. … These people are praying about it and actually tilling the soil.”

– Egan Millard is an assistant editor and reporter for Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at emillard@episcopalchurch.org.

A Prayer of Praise for Creation

Leslie Scoopmire
October 14, 2021
A Prayer of Praise for Creation

God of the Honey Bee,
God of the Lark,
God of the Aspen Grove,
we join with all your creatures
in a chorus of praise and worship.
We are upheld by your almighty hand;
all that we have and are is yours,
and we bow in gratitude before you.

May we echo the humble thanksgiving
sung out by cicada and tree frog,
who praise You and your provision without ceasing.

May we find delight in the labor you set before us,
as the hummingbird does.

May we lift our arms to you in praise
like the oak as it stretches skyward.
May we constantly sing your praises
like the wind that weaves through pine-needle
and sets them to resonating in joy.

May we open our hearts to your guidance
for our own sake and the sake of the world,
led by wisdom of the Spirit of Truth,
enlightened by the example of the Prince of Peace,
rooted deep in the verdant garden of the God of Life.

Holy Trinity, One God,
envelop us in your mercy and grace this day,
and place the kiss of your blessing
upon those for whom we pray.

The Rev. Leslie Scoopmire is a writer, musician, 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.
Wyoming Episcopalians Look to Welcome Afghans in State with no Prior History of Refugee Resettlement

October 13, 2021
Afghan refugee girls watch a soccer match near where they are staying in the Village at the U.S. Army base in Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, on Sept. 30, 2021. Photo: Barbara Davidson/REUTERS

[Episcopal News Service] As churches across the United States consider ways to welcome Afghan families who fled the Taliban in their home country, Episcopalians in Wyoming are making headlines for countering the state’s reputation as the only one in the nation never to have a formal refugee resettlement program.

The vestry at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Casper voted unanimously on Sept. 20 to begin researching the process for sponsoring an Afghan family. The church formed a committee to work with Episcopal Migration Ministries on a plan to provide for such needs as housing and job placements, as well as to offer fellowship and other support to these potential new neighbors.

“Most Afghan families want to go where there’s an Afghan community. There’s no community here,” said the Rev. Jim Shumard, rector at St. Mark’s, but he told Episcopal News Service that he and his congregation hope to change that. “We pray other local churches will sponsor other families so that we can build community together.”

Last week, St. Mark’s efforts were profiled in a Washington Post article that highlighted residents’ past reluctance to welcome refugees to this strongly conservative and mostly white state. In 2020, 70% of Wyoming voted in favor of President Donald Trump, who made opposition to legal and illegal immigration a cornerstone of his campaigns and who, as president, reduced the number of refugees allowed into the United States to a historic low of 15,000.

On Friday, Oct. 8, President Joe Biden raised the refugee ceiling to 125,000 for the 2022 fiscal year.

All of these refugees will need to find places to live, and as they settle in new communities, many will receive help from one of the nine agencies that are part of the federal refugee resettlement program, including Episcopal Migration Ministries, or EMM.

“EMM continues to work through our network of 11 affiliates to provide services to arriving Afghans,” Kendall Martin, EMM’s senior communications manager, told ENS by email. “The greatest need continues to be housing.” Donations can be made online to EMM’s Neighbors Welcome: Afghan Allies Fund, and congregations and individuals interested in offering housing or volunteering can complete EMM’s online form.

“We are aware that there are Episcopal congregations and leaders in Wyoming who care about this issue and wish for Wyoming to be a welcoming state,” Martin added.
Wyoming Bishop Paul-Gordon Chandler would also like to see his state open its door to refugees.

“As the Episcopal Church in Wyoming, we desire to be a faith community that welcomes the stranger and embraces the ‘other,’ following the example of Abraham, who is not just our ancestor, but the ancestor of all Afghan refugees,” Chandler said in an email message to ENS. “As Wyoming doesn’t have a federally funded resettlement program, it will require extra creativity and commitment to make this happen. We are currently exploring together all that this will entail and look forward to what God may have in store as we journey down this road toward sacred hospitality.”

After the 20-year U.S. war in Afghanistan ended in August with the final withdrawal of American troops, an AP-NORC poll showed most Americans support welcoming Afghans who worked for the U.S. government and are open to welcoming others fleeing persecution from this country at the crossroads of Central and South Asia. About 50,000 Afghans were allowed into the U.S. under what is known as humanitarian parole. Some may be able to apply for special immigrant visas, while others will apply for asylum.

Wyoming State Rep. Landon Brown, a Republican, told NPR this week that he supports welcoming Afghans but expects some resistance. “It’s a very difficult conversation to have here in Wyoming, strictly because of our small population and the fear of what that influx of immigrants may look like to our small population,” Brown said.

Wyoming, with 580,000 residents, is the least populous state in the country. It is nearly 84% white, not including Hispanic residents, compared to 60% of the United States population, according to the U.S. census. Of all U.S. residents, 14% were born in another country; in Wyoming that number is 3.4%.

While several neighboring Western states have offered to receive Afghan families, a spokesman for Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon said in August that he “has no interest” in doing the same. Gordon’s office told the Washington Post more recently that the governor was open to developing a process for faith groups to host evacuees.

Shumard said he has not received any negative response from parishioners or the local community to his congregation’s interest in sponsoring an Afghan family. The only “hate mail” he said he received was an email from an anti-Muslim critic from out of state who reacted to the Post article.

Shumard’s first experience with welcoming refugees dates back more than two decades to when he was serving at Grace Episcopal Church in Gainesville, Georgia. That congregation helped settle and support families from Bosnia. Shumard is confident that families from Afghanistan will feel just as welcomed by Wyoming residents. “I think there are enough voices that want it to happen, that it’s a great opportunity,” he said.

For Christians, that spirit of welcome is biblical, he said, citing Jesus’ command in Matthew 25 to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and welcome the stranger. “It’s not only what Jesus would do,” he added. “It’s also a way to honor the work that our soldiers did. … They said they couldn’t do their job without these [Afghan] interpreters and allies. So few of us fought in Afghanistan or worked in Afghanistan. I feel this is a way for us to do our part.”

The committee at St. Mark’s is working with members of a missionary community called The Table to recruit enough volunteers to establish a viable welcoming team. Some already have started looking into options for housing and jobs, if and when they are able to introduce an Afghan family to Casper, a city of about 58,000.

As the congregation takes the process one step at a time, “I’m just sort of trusting the Spirit is working in this,” Shumard said.

– David Paulsen is an editor and reporter for Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at dpaulsen@episcopalchurch.org.
Archbishop Of Canterbury: Egypt Is The Land Of Refugees And Embraced Joseph And Jesus
Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual leader of the Episcopal/Anglican community in the world, said that the new province that he inaugurates for the Episcopal/Anglican Church today bears the name of Alexandria, as it had a great place in the ancient world and covered a very large area from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, as it is in North Africa, southern Europe, and western Holy Land Adding: Alexandria preserved the Christian faith for us in times of hardship and turmoil.

He continued, during the inaugural prayers of the Alexandria region at the Cathedral of All Saints in Zamalek that Egypt was a land of refugees, as it had saved the Holy Family and had received Joseph and Jacob before that.

Welby affirmed that the new province would be self-administered because it was responsible for itself. We are in an independent partnership and are united together by love and not by law. I came here not by compulsion but by the invitation of the Archbishop here.

Welby pointed out: There are no orders coming to the new province from Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop of Canterbury is the first among the brothers, adding: We are in an independent province that makes its own decisions, and the Episcopal/Anglican Church is a mixture between Catholicism and the Protestant Reformation, but it is different from both.

Welby called on everyone to become peacemakers together, emphasizing: We must be a moving and active church, because Christ said, “Go to all nations.”

He added: I met a monk yesterday in the monastery of Anba Makari, and he told me that every church has its own beauty, and when we pray together, we go to an honest God who accepts us with everything in us because He is a God of love and we allow God to change us.

Welby recommended: We should not leave the church in the same way we came to it, but we should love God more and each other more with all our weaknesses and failures.
IN BRIEF . . .

These news briefs were featured in previous issues of "The Epistle"
From The Epistle, September 24, 2021
Project Vision Hi'ehi'e Showers Inaugural Event
First Event was a Great Success
Project Vision brought their mobile shower trailer to All Saints on Thursday, September 16th to offer hot showers to houseless guests. Their trailer is beautiful and brand new, and includes two enclosed private stalls with a toilet and hot shower (one is ADA compliant). Between the guest showers, the Project Vision crew sanitizes each area. They can handle up to 20 showers per visit.

Project Vision will bring their trailer to All Saints the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, with showers open from 12PM to 3PM, parking in front of Memorial Hall during future visits.

All Saints members can contribute sack lunches so that guests who use the shower facilities can take a meal with them. At our Sept 16th event, Wayne Doliente and Ron and Carolyn Morinishi set up a table and tent to keep everything cool. Here is the schedule of people providing lunches so far:

  • Sept 16th: Carolyn Morinishi
  • Oct 7th: Mabel Antonio
  • Oct 21st: Wayne Doliente
If any other person or organization would like to sign up to contribute sack lunches, please contact Carolyn for more information. Thank you!
Give Your Closets a "Fall Cleaning"
Family Life Center Clothing Collection
In conjunction with the Project Vision Mobile Showers, an organization called Family Life Center collects donated clothing and offers the houseless guests some clean clothing to wear after their shower.

There will be a plastic bin at the door of All Saints church services on Sundays for the months of October and November. If you have any clothing you would like to donate, please leave them in the plastic bin. For more information, please contact Carolyn Morinishi. Family Life Center appreciates your donations!

-Carolyn Morinishi
Who Do You Call?

Contact information for All Saints' Ministries and Outreach

Please submit your story ideas to the Epistle Staff at news@allsaintskauai.org.
If you would like to serve as an All Saints' usher, please contact Cami at church@allsaintskauai.org.

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. Leave them in the red wagon outside the sanctuary

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.