Volume 6, Issue 20
May 14, 2021
THIS SUNDAY: May 16, 2021
Seventh Sunday of Easter

Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
Following Jesus' ascension, Peter and the other apostles go about choosing a new 12th apostle to replace Judas Iscariot.

Psalm 4
Those who delight in the Law of the Lord will prosper and thrive.

1 John 5:9-13
God's testimony to us is that we are given eternal life through Jesus Christ, God's Son.

John 17:6-19
Jesus prays on Maundy Thursday for God to prepare and protect his disciples.

Muriel Jackson (EM)*
Jeff Albao (U)
Marge Akana (AG)
Mark Cain (DM)

David Crocker (EM)
Mary Margaret Smith U)
Rachel Secretario (LR)
Faith Shiramizu (AG)
Mabel Antonio, Nelson Secretario (HP)
Joan Roughgarden, 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

Saturday Workday
Saturday, May 15th
Church Campus

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

Champagne and Cake Reception
Church Members and Donors
Saturday, May 15th
6:00 - 7:00PM

Baptism, Confirmation, and Reception Services
Bishop Bob Fitzpatrick, presiding
Sunday, May 16th
8:00AM and 9:30AM

Commissioning of the Organ
Bishop Bob Fitzpatrick
Sunday, May 16th

Pot Luck Celebration
Sunday, May 16th
Church Lawn

EAM/ACAM Youth/Young Adult Meeting
Sunday, May 16th
Contact Carolyn Morinishi for login information.

Ke Akua Youth Group Meeting
Wednesday, May 19th
5:00 - 6:00PM
Contact Cami for login information.
Recurring Events
Sunday School
First Sunday of the month, 9:30 - 10:15AM
Memorial Hall

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

Monday/Friday Crew
Every Monday/Friday, 8:00AM 
Church Office
Ke Akua Youth Group Meeting
1st and 3rd Wednesday, 5:00 - 6:00PM

Laundry Love
1st & 3rd Wednesday, 5:00PM
Kapa`a Laundromat

Daughters of the King
2nd & 4th Thursday, 7:00 - 8:00PM
Saturday Workday, May 15th, 8:00AM
Help Beautify the Campus for Our Celebratory Weekend
Saturday morning we will be cleaning the All Saints' sanctuary and campus in preparation for our organ recitals and our visit from the Bishop for baptisms, confirmations, and reception. Jobs will be available for all volunteers, as well as coffee and pastries. Come join us in beautifying All Saints' for this momentous weekend.
All Saints' Rosales Opus 41 Pipe Organ
A Day of Celebration

All Saints' Episcopal Church May 16th
Commissioning of Rosales Opus 41 Pipe Organ
On May 16th we will celebrate the commissioning of our newly-rebuilt pipe organ in conjunction with a service that will include Baptisms, Confirmations, and a Reception to the Episcopal Church. It is a day for celebration as the All Saints’ `Ohana grows and develops new ways to serve our community. We are pleased to welcome Bishop Bob for the commissioning of the Rosales Opus 41 as well as the baptisms, confirmations, and reception. Please join us in-person or on-line on May 16, 2021 to celebrate this very special day.

What is happening

"First Look" Organ Concert
(Private Donor and Church Member Event)
Saturday, May 15th at 7:00PM
Limited Seating!
Please RSVP now at:
(808) 822-4267

Sunday Service and Commissioning Ceremony
(Public Event - Blessing of the Organ) 
Sunday, May 16th at 9:30AM

First Public Organ Concert
(Public event - all are welcome)
Sunday, May 16th at 2:00PM
Limited Seating!
Please RSVP now at:
(808) 822-4267

World Renowned Organist Performs at First Rosales Opus 41 Organ Concerts
Welcome Adam Pajan to All Saints'
Adam Pajan is spending this week practicing on our newly completed Rosales Opus 41. If you are on the All Saints' campus, you can hear the outstanding music Adam produces with our remarkable new instrument. We are blessed to have such talent at All Saints' for our inaugural concerts and services. To learn more about Adam, visit his website: adampajan.com
In the lead-up to the commissioning of our Rosales Opus 41 Pipe Organ, All Saints’ reached out to nine different media outlets to help us publicize the concerts scheduled around this joyous event. We contacted Kaua`i Community Radio (KKCR, 91.9 FM), KONG FM (KQNG, 93.5 FM), Hawai`i Public Radio (HPR-1, KIPL, 89.9 FM), The Garden Island, The Star Advertiser, The Midweek, The Episcopal News Service, The Episcopal Café, and The Living Church. All nine responded to our cold-contact and six committed to interviews and feature coverage. You may have already read the wonderful story by Dennis Fujimoto in The Garden Island. Since then, there have been interviews with KKCR, KONG, HPR-1, The Cafè, and The Living Church
Throughout this harried and high-pressure public relations effort David Murray and Morris Wise stepped up and represented All Saints’ in the best possible light. This stuff is hard and they did an outstanding job. Please thank them
The Episcopal Café story was a collaboration between David and Morris Wise. It appears below. Your Epistle will bring you all upcoming print features and audio recordings of the interviews and performances as they become available. 

In the mean time, don’t forget to livestream the services and concerts this weekend at http://www.allsaintskauai.org

New Pipe Organ on Kaua’i

Amy Spagna
May 13, 2021

When the newly renovated and expanded pipe organ at All Saints, Kapa’a, Kaua’i (Diocese of Hawai’i) is rededicated and played in public for the first time on May 16, it won’t be any ordinary organ. It is the only one on the island of Kaua’i, and represents a five-year commitment on the part of the parish to preserve a key component of its, and the island’s, musical history.

The project’s homepage describes a little of the instrument’s history:

In 1925, Mrs. S. W. Wilcox generously donated an Austin Pipe Organ to Kaua’i’s first Episcopal mission, All Saints’. It was the first pipe organ on Kaua’i. Ninety years later, the historic instrument is still Kauai’i’s only pipe organ.

The pipe organ is an integral part of the Church’s worship services and community music outreach programs in service to All Saints’ vision to be a gathering place for the people of Kaua’i. Unfortunately, age and the tropical environment have taken their toll on this beautiful and historic instrument.

The organ was decommissioned in 2016, and All Saints embarked on a five-year project to raise the funds and build a replacement instrument.

The project has turned out to be far more than simply restoring and expanding the organ after extensive damage caused by the combination of tropical humidity, salt air, and insects. It represents All Saints’ commitment to what the previous rector, the Rev. Ryan Newman, called pono, or good: “At its core pono is about a profound, deeply spiritual reality that everything that is truly good must be a gift from God. To rebuild the organ at All Saints’ is truly pono: good for the church, good for the island of Kaua’i, good for future generations and good for the glory of God… The pipe organ at All Saints’ is not just an instrument. It is a link to our history, our ancestors, and our sacred traditions.”

David Murray, a former Senior Warden of the church, and Morris Wise, leading the work on the instrument for the parish, write:

As we embarked on the project we were faced with an old building with outdated electrical wiring (knob and tube or K&T) which needed to be brought up to code. This required us to remove and replace the existing wiring which ran behind the walls passing through joist and stud drill-holes throughout the building. Once the wiring was replaced we had to resurface the walls with thin sheets of drywall to cover up the numerous holes which had been cut into the walls. New lighting and speakers were installed on the north and south lanais thus expanding the seating capacity of the church and making those areas feel more a part of the church. In addition, the new organ is designed to be heard on the outside lanais so that those worshippers feel included in the service.

Acknowledging our Hawaiian history has been a focal point of our outreach efforts at All Saints’ since we first held a Hawaiian language service celebrating the Holy Sovereigns in 2005. From small beginnings the “Holy Sovereigns’ Service” has grown to be one of our major annual celebrations featuring Hawaiian language readings, hymns and hula, and offering an opportunity for Royal Societies, Hawaiian organizations and others to offer ho`okupu (gifts) to King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma. In true Hawaiian style the service is followed by an opportunity to enjoy a lunch of good food and beverages, and an opportunity to talk story with friends old and new.

The church is now truly a wonderful worship space that makes us all appreciate God and each other more, and the new organ will create a dynamic worship experience for all.

The whole endeavor has not been without its challenges, beginning with fundraising and required changes to the church building, and ending with delays in receiving parts due to pandemic-related supply chain issues. The team writes:

One hurdle to overcome right up front was to convince the County Government that the changes we proposed to make would not have a negative impact on this historic building. Building the organ chamber required us to cover (actually, remove) windows on the side of the building and an entry door at the rear…

As we worked on the interior changes we also came to the realization that we needed to ensure that the building – and, most specifically, the organ chamber – was waterproof! So, in addition to an Organ Replacement project and a Sanctuary Enhancement project we now found ourselves also involved in a Roof Replacement project!

Putting all new electrical wiring in place throughout the building was not without its challenges. But if you did not see the sanctuary at the peak of this part of the project when there were holes cut into all the walls and wires hanging everywhere, you would never know how extensive this effort was.

The instrument itself is an amalgamation of the original pipe- and casework, a used Schlicker organ purchased from a church in Maryland, and other material which has been refurbished, reworked, or created from scratch specifically for this instrument by Rosales Organ Builders of Los Angeles (whose most prominent work is the organ at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles). The organ features unique Hawaiian sounds such as coconut castanets, chirping birds, a train whistle from Hawai’i’s plantation era, and `ili `ili (small pebbles used in the same manner as castanets in hula), `uli `uli (a gourd rattle also used in hula). The instrument also features Hawaiian-language nomenclature on the stop knobs.

The organ will be used not just as part of worship at All Saints’, but also as a community resource. It will allow the parish to bring in outside performers and choral groups, as well as to use the organ as a teaching tool:

As we move on to our centennial year, 2025, under the leadership of our current minister, Kahu Kawika (Rev. David) Jackson, the new organ and the renovated sanctuary space will contribute significantly to the worship experience for our congregation. Our Music Director, Hank Curtis, is an outstanding musician and keyboard virtuoso and we are all anxious to hear the new organ and, when finally permitted, to raise our voices – and sing out loud!

… Our Outreach and Arts programs will be enhanced as we implement a series of organ concerts and, post-pandemic, return to a situation where the church hosts live performances by local artists and groups. We are also partnering with the Hawaii chapter of the American Guild of Organists to participate in a recital with a nationally known performer each March when they do the recitals on Oahu.

The dedicatory recital will be performed by Adam Pajan, a member of the organ faculty at the University of Oklahoma, at 2:00 pm local time (8:00 pm Eastern) on May 16. The livestream can be viewed on the All Saints’ website.
photo credit: All Saints’, Kaua`i 
Welcome Our New Siblings in Christ
Bishop Bob Fitzpatrick will be here on May 16th for a much anticipated service that will include Baptisms, Confirmations, and a Reception to the Episcopal Church. It is a day for celebration as the All Saints’ `Ohana welcomes our beloved new members in Christ.

Those to be baptized:
Neva Leung
Nora Leung
Tony Leung

Those to be confirmed:

Enrico Curtis
Soloman Curtis
Marcus Punua
Herenui Punua
Leimomi Punua
Edward Punua, Jr.
Victoria Punua-Beckett (from O'ahu)
Kamakao Punua-Beckett (from O'ahu)
Those to be received:
Mark Cain

Please join us in welcoming our sisters and brothers in Christ!
For the sick and suffering in body, mind, and spirit, especially Those affected by the Pandemic,Those affected by racial violence, Willy, Donna, Bob, Heather, Glen, 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, Paul, Donald, Uncle Fran, Donna B. 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+
The Greatest Thing in the World

1 John 5:1-6
1 John 4:7-21
Acts 10:44-48
Easter 6B
9 May 2021

I like reading about the lives of the saints. One of the ways Muriel and I learn more about the saints is when we participate in the yearly “Lent Madness,” similar to the college basketball playoffs known as “March Madness,” when people across the country can vote on matchups of two saints at a time, until the voting comes down to the winner of the “Golden Halo” by Maundy Thursday of Holy Week, just prior to Good Friday and Easter. In Lent Madness 2012, our very own Queen Emma was in the running, and kept defeating rival after rival with comeback votes from our diocese, beating the likes of St. Paul and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In the last round, however, Emma had to succumb to stiff competition in the likes of Mary Magdalene. But the great thing about learning about the saints is to see how very human they were – you’d expect them to be almost superhuman and semi-divine, but time and time again we learn of their flaws and failings, and yet how God used them to affect the growth of the Reign of God in our world.

One such saint was Gregory of Nyssa, who lived in the 300s in modern-day Turkey. His start into sainthood was not very remarkable – like many of us, in his youth he was a reluctant Christian who struggled with his faith in Jesus. Later on when he got ordained as bishop, he described it as “the most miserable day in my life,” seeing himself as unfit and not ready for such a high calling. Finally, he lived under the shadow of his more famous older brother Basil the Great, the renown theologian and Bishop who also had a heart for the poor and dispossessed. Gregory resented for most of his life the notoriety of Basil. Talk about sibling rivalry – when you have a brother nicknamed “the Great,” that has to be hard to take! However, after Basil’s death and soon thereafter the death of their sister Macrina, Gregory developed a profound sense of God’s presence in his life. He became enchanted with the person of Jesus and delighted in God’s created order.

Gregory of Nyssa also came up with some rather amazing quotes. Here are a few:

  • The One who gives you the day will also give you the things necessary for the day.
  • Sin is the failure to grow.
  • Concepts create idols; only wonder comprehends anything. People kill one another over idols, but a sense of wonder makes us fall to our knees.
  • (In a nod to Buddhism) That we may merge into the deep and dazzling darkness, vanish into it, dissolve in it forever in an unbelievable bliss beyond imagination, for absolute nothingness represents absolute bliss.

However, there is a special quote from Gregory of Nyssa that has stuck with me and has been a guiding principle in my own faith development: “The greatest thing in the whole world is to be God’s friend.” Maybe Gregory is speaking from his former experience of having a dry and reluctant faith, but he finally gets to a point in his life to embrace and affirm a joy-filled, lively relationship with Christ in his life. For Gregory, everything in life falls into line when we put friendship with God as our number one priority and as our North Star.

In our Gospel reading this morning from John 15:15, Jesus makes a rather startling statement to his followers: that God wants an enhanced vibrant relationship with each of them! Rather than being regarded as servants of God, they are from now on friends of God. Rather than having a master-slave relationship, Jesus wants them to embrace a more mutual friendship with the God of the universe. Rather than obeying God because one has to, Jesus calls for following God because one wants to out of friendship with God. For Jewish people in Jesus’ time used to considering God in grandiose and distant terms, Jesus’ remark would come across as very radical and even eye-popping. This implies that each of them matters in God’s view, that no one is insignificant to the Lord of Creation.

In this talk that Jesus is having with his followers, he lays out four ways that they can live into being true friends with God. The initials of each of these four ways spells the acronym ACTS: Abiding, Compassion, Thankfulness, and Serving.

Abiding: In John 15:9b-10, Jesus urges his friends to “abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” Like the word implies, “abide” means to live with or in something. Abiding is different than merely being momentarily somewhere in that abiding means to take time out and even to enjoy somewhere, something, or someone. As we all know, good friendships and good relationships take time in order to share moments with each other and to show quality attention to one another. God wants to spend time with us – to sit at God’s feet as Mary of Bethany did when Jesus came over for dinner at her and her sister Martha’s home, to hang out with one another. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, clearheaded and getting a sense that God wants to spend some concentrated and uninterrupted time with me – quite often not only do I feel a palpable sense of God’s presence, but also some answers suddenly appear to knotty problems that I had been wrestling with. This resonates with a line from the Westminster Catechism, used in some churches to prepare candidates for confirmation: “What is the chief purpose of humans? It is to glorify God and to enjoy God forever.” 

This reminds me of when I went off to college and away from home – I had a faith in Jesus as a teenager and even had seen some amazing answers to specific prayers, but my love for God was on the level of what God could do for me rather than for loving God for God’s own sake. God used my first year of college to re-orient me such that I would want my greatest joy in life to be God, rather than things from God; who God is, rather than merely what God can do for me. Up to that point, I got to know quite a bit about God, but now God wanted me to go deeper to know and appreciate God more directly, to fall in love with God’s person and to enjoy a lively, ongoing, daily relationship despite any outward circumstances going on in my life. God wants more than a passing acquaintance with each of us. Let’s abide in God’s love.

Compassion: Just like for Gregory of Nyssa the greatest thing in the world is to be friends with God, also for Jesus in John 15:13 the greatest love in the world is to lay down one’s life for one’s friends: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” To have the moral courage to lay down one’s life for someone else, it takes a great deal of humility and empathetic compassion. It also needs an awareness of our own sense of brokenness, in order to be able to come alongside others with authenticity in their time of need.

Thankfully, not many of us have been in positions in life where we had to do this in the literal sense. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who lay down their lives for us in the armed forces and the uniformed services, as well as those more recently during the pandemic working as medical staff. There’s one story in particular of a nursery school worker at an Anglican preschool in Britain 25 years ago in 1996 named Lisa Potts, who was on hand when a man with paranoid schizophrenia came on the school grounds and attached with a machete. Lisa intentionally put her own body between the man and the keiki in her charge, resulting in severe injuries to her own person. Thank God they were not life-threatening, eventually healing and award the George Medal for heroism by Queen Elizabeth the following year. But it goes to show that Lisa had the spiritual, emotional, and mental preparation for God to use her to save the lives of her schoolkids.

Perhaps Lisa had a clearer appreciation more than most of us of the kind of self-giving love Jesus gave for us in his life and on the Cross. Her compassion certainly put her in greater alignment to the very heart of God, and thus expanded her capacity to be a true friend of God.

Thankfulness: Also from within this chapter, from John 15:11, Jesus gives us a motivation for wanting to become a friend of God: “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” Whenever we find ourselves in the difficult position to choose “the harder right over the easier wrong,” it helps if we have a sense of heartfelt thankfulness to God for all God is in our lives and for all God does for us. A sense of sheer gratitude to God fuels our desire to also want to be friends with God, and not just to settle for a distant “God on the shelf” posture in our lives. A favorite quote I have cited in other sermons is from the 16th-Century abbess and mystic St. Teresa of Ávila from Spain, who was not known for her tact but well-known for frank expression of her feelings: “God, save me from thankless Christians!” Maybe she had in mind some of the nuns in her charge. But I take this to mean that even though we may do good deeds, if we come across as lacking a sense of gratitude and thankfulness to God, then that will taint and mar what we may have to offer other people. But when we know we are true friends of God, then that propels what we do for God and for others. And this leads me to my final point.

Serving: Finally, the last ingredient in Jesus’ potpourri for friendship with God is serving, found in John 15:16: “You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.” Jesus seems to be saying that serving God out of a motivation of friendship gives us a purpose in life – namely, that we know God has chosen us specifically. Moreover, we also know that God will produce good fruit from such service arising from our friendship with God – now it may or may not be according to what we might think of a fruitfulness, but we can know for a fact that nothing from good effort and a holy motivation goes to waste in God’s economy.

We also have evidence of that promise from our first reading from Acts 10:44-48, in which Peter and the other church leaders are finally open to God doing a new thing among non-Jewish Gentile folks and, as a result, they witness the giving of the Holy Spirit to them and thus an expanding of God’s circle of friendship beyond the initial converts from Judaism. God produces fruit, and sometimes in unexpected and startling ways – if only we have the eyes to see it and the openness to welcome it.

Jesus thus gives us the ACTS of having the greatest thing in the world, true friendship with God: Abiding with God, Compassion from God, Thankfulness to God, and Serving unto God. All this, though, requires in many of us a mental and willful realignment to what God deems as good, successful, and fruitful. I close with a quote from Dewitt Jones, world-class photographer for National Geographic, in his inspiration short video “Celebrating What Is Right with the World”: Don’t spend your life striving to be the best in the world. Strive instead to be the best for the world.” By wanting to be God’s friends rather than mere servants, we have the right purpose and motivation to fulfill this call. Let’s strive to receive “the greatest thing in the whole world.” Amen.
All Saints' day camp 2021
The Role of Youth and Young People in Stewardship

September 24, 2020
What’s at stake for young people in church budgets? Why should they care? How do we form our young people in the ideas and values of money and meaning? How do our youth lead us in visioning for the future? Join the Very Reverend Matthew Woodward, Dean of Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento, California and the Reverend Chris Harris, Associate Rector at Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan as they explore the topic of the roles of youth in Stewardship.
Thy Kingdom Come Annual Global Prayer Movement Gears Up

May 12, 2021
[Anglican Taonga] Hundreds of thousands of Christians worldwide are gearing up to take part in the sixth Thy Kingdom Come event – a global ecumenical prayer movement for evangelization that occurs annually from Ascension to Pentecost, and this year runs from May 13 – 23.

Founded by former Archbishop of York John Sentamu and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, Thy Kingdom Come has expanded to include many denominations in its call for each Christian to pray for the world and for five people close to them to come to know Jesus.

Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell believes the wave of prayer is urgently needed in this time of global pandemic.

“When I think of all those who have struggled [from stress and loss during the pandemic]… I long for them to know the gift of abundant life Jesus offers, to have their burdens carried by him, and to discover the deep and trustworthy peace he pours out,” he said.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Statement on the Violence in the Land of the Holy One

May 13, 2021
One more time we awake to the news of violence. Reports come in, even as you read this, about violence that has caused death, life-changing injury and destruction of property and lives. Violence which is borne of frustration, rooted in injustice and the violation of international law and in truth, the violation of human rights and human decency. In the Name of the God of all creation, the violence must stop, regardless of where it comes from and to whom it is directed.

One more time The Episcopal Church stands to say that violence is not the way forward. We say the expansion of Israeli settlements at the expense of Palestinian families must end. We say incitement which encourages violence must end. We say enough is enough.

One more time The Episcopal Church encourages the government of the United States and others who have influence, who are of goodwill and who genuinely seek peace to be partners in peacemaking, to bring about a negotiated settlement to the long-standing conflict which has consumed both Israelis and Palestinians.

One more time we find ourselves full of sorrow and sadness. We find ourselves grieving over the loss of life, destruction of homes and the fear that lives in the hearts of tens of thousands of innocent people. We join all people of faith to offer up prayers for healing, wholeness, restoration and reconciliation.

And we pray God to grant wisdom and courage to all those in authority to seek peace and pursue it without delay, without excuses, without confusion and with only one agenda: a negotiated and equitable agreement for peace between Israelis and Palestinians — once and for all.

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
Children’s Choir Steals Hearts – and Packs a Punch – in Bid to Focus G7 Leaders’ Minds on the Poor

May 13, 2021
[Church of England] Leaders of the G7 are being reminded to keep the poor and marginalized at the top of their agenda via a heartwarming – and witty – song at the center of an ambitious volunteer-led initiative: Sing2G7.

The leaders of the seven largest economies will be meeting in Cornwall in June for the 2021 G7 Summit.

Written by Tim Rice and Peter Hobbs for Sing2G7, “Gee Seven” has been recorded by 35 children from the Truro Cathedral choir who feature in a dramatic video released on YouTube.

It has also been released as a single and is now already being sung across the world.
First ELCA Transgender Bishop, Megan Rohrer, Hopes to ‘Translate Good News’ for the Curious

Emily McFarlan Miller
May 12, 2021
The Rev. Megan Rohrer was elected bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Sierra Pacific Synod on May 8, 2021, becoming the first transgender person to serve as bishop in any of the major Christian denominations in the United States. Photo courtesy of Meghan Rohrer via RNS

[Religion News Service] This isn’t the first time the Rev. Megan Rohrer has been made bishop.

Rohrer, who uses the pronouns they/them, was erroneously labeled a bishop several years ago in a Norwegian news report while speaking at a celebration of St. Olaf in the country.

That mistake led the Lutheran pastor on a pilgrimage to Switzerland to visit the home of their ancestor, Nicholas von Flüe, the patron saint of Switzerland.

It also led Rohrer to believe it might be possible for a transgender person to become bishop.

“So much of my life is spent talking about people wondering if I’m a sinner, and so I wanted to take intentional pilgrimage time and dwell with this idea: If I’m related to a saint, let’s think of how would my life be different if I imagined myself in this saintly bloodline, like, as my call,” Rohrer told Religion News Service.

On May 8, the Sierra Pacific Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America made it official, electing Rohrer as the fifth bishop of its nearly 200 congregations in California and Nevada.

That makes Rohrer the first openly transgender bishop in the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States — or any major denomination in the country, for that matter.

“Two and a half days later, I think I believe it now because of the overwhelming accolades that I’ve received from people — the number of people who are so proud to have me as a leader — and so I’m excited to step into that role with confidence now, but it’s confidence I’ve borrowed from these people who have lifted me up,” Rohrer said on May 11.
Recent Instagram posts by the Rev. Megan Rohrer. Screengrab via @mmrohrer

Ellen Armour, chair in religion, gender and sexuality at Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, Tennessee, called Rohrer’s election “groundbreaking” after decades of debate over LGBTQ inclusion in mainline Protestant churches. That debate currently is threatening to split the United Methodist Church, which is in full communion with the ELCA.

“To me, this is really a huge signal; it’s not just, ‘OK, we’re going to include you. We’re going to open the door just a crack enough to let you in because you fit enough norms of what we’re expecting,’ but it’s actually a celebration of the gifts that trans people, LGBTQ people, bring to the church,” Armour said. “That’s a new day.”

Read the entire article here.

Prayer for Ascension Day

Leslie Scoopmire
May 13, 2021
Blessed Jesus, we praise you
and lift our hearts to be filled by your Spirit.
May we be ever-joyful witnesses of your truth
and embody your wisdom and healing
in the world always.
May we know you as our companion,
our brother, our teacher, our guide,
our Savior who dwells in us, and we in you.

You draw our eyes heavenward

to call our hearts into assurance,

knowing you are never far from us.

Draw our hearts instead toward each other:

let salvation reach to the ends of the earth

and to the full blooming 

of our lives in Christ.

May we work with You, O Loving Creator,

enlightened by your Holy Spirit,

to share the good news

of renewal and hope.

Holy One of Blessing,
God of Mercy and Faithfulness,
sustain us by your grace
and grant strength and comfort
to all those in anxiety or pain,
we humbly pray,
resting in the assurance of your care.
Peace be upon us,
and upon all 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.
IN BRIEF . . .

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

Please submit your story ideas to the Epistle Staff at news@allsaintskauai.org.
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.