Volume 6, Issue 8
February 19, 2021
THIS SUNDAY: February 21, 2021
First Sunday in Lent


Joe Adorno (EM)*
Jeff Albao (U)
Marge Akana (AG)
Muriel Jackson (DM)

Mary Margaret Smith (EM)
Mario Antonio (U)
Terry Moses (LR)
David Crocker (AG)
Vikki Secretario, Nelson Secretario (HP)
Jan Hashizume, Carolyn 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

8:00AM and 9:30AM

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

Friday/Monday Crew
Every Friday/Monday
Church Office

EAM/ACAM Youth/YA Meeting
Sunday, February 21st
Contact Carolyn Morinishi or the Church office for details.

Vestry Meeting
Tuesday, February 23rd
Contact Kahu Kawika for details.

Adult Formation Series
Revive Lent
Feb. 23, Session 1: Discovering your spiritual story
March 2, Session 2: Telling your spiritual story
March 9, Session 3: What is prayer and how do we pray?
March 16, Session 4: Making space and praying the Lectio and Visio Divina
March 23, Session 5: Praying through the hurt
March 30, Session 6: Death and dying, and praying with Jesus in the garden
T5:00PM - 6:00PM
Call the church office or email Kahu at rector@allsaintskauai.org to enroll.

Daughters of the King
Thursday, February 25th
7:00 - 8:00PM
Contact Mabel Antonio for details.
For the aged and infirm, for the widowed and orphans, and for the sick and the suffering, especially Glen, Suzanne, AJ, Rosalind, Kellie, Mike, the Fulford 'Ohana and those we name silently or aloud, let us pray to the Lord. ​Lord, have mercy. 

For all who have died, especially Linda, Milfred, Millie, and 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
Will You Be My Valentine?
Epiphany Last Sunday Year B
Mark 9:2-9
2 Kings 2:1-12
All Saints’ Kapaʻa
14 February 2021

In terms of wide observance, today is one of the “holiest” days in American society: Valentine’s Day! Normally in a year without a pandemic, many restaurants would be fully booked days in advance so that couples can celebrate their romantic evening together, bouquets of flowers sold out, and Hallmark Cards having made the most money in the year.

Certainly in the United States, the emphasis of Valentine’s Day is a praise of romantic love, which in and of itself is a very good thing. However, it can also leave out people who are either single, widowed, or in relationships that they feel don’t measure up to the lofty standards of the holiday.

Ironically, people tend to refer to the holiday as “Valentine’s Day,” rather than “St. Valentine’s Day,” forgetting or ignoring its historical and spiritual roots. The story of the original St. Valentine is actually pretty fascinating: He was a Roman bishop in the mid- to late-200’s CE who gave his life to helping Christians in trouble within the Roman Empire. This time period would see the final mass persecution of Christians for their faith, since after this the first Chrisitan Roman Emperor, Constantine, would ascend to the throne. However, during St. Valentine’s time, many Christians were being put to death for their faith. St. Valentine in particular helped Christian women and girls who were being threatened with slavery or trafficking – he would hide many of them in the underground catacombs underneath the city of Rome and its outskirts. When Roman authorites got wind of this, they martyred St. Valentine around 270 CD. His remains are still interred in a Christian cemetery just outside of Rome.

St. Valentine is indeed a worthy role model of love, but not so much the eros of romantic passion but rather the agape of self-sacrificial Christian caring. He exemplified Jesus’ whole purpose for coming to earth in that well-known verse of John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that God gave the Only-Begotten Son, ...” By the way, notice two things about this remarkable statement of purpose: (1) The Width of God’s Love: God loved the whole world – the verse doesn’t specify any exceptions to that all-inclusive statement. All people fall within the remit of God’s love and concern for them, even if we as humans tend to build walls of divisiveness and enmity; (2) The Depth of God’s Love: God withheld nothing and sent the thing of most value and that was most precious – the Only-Begotten Son – in order to reconcile all of creation back to God and to commence the long process to return us to a full, vibrant, and love-filled relationship with our Creator.

This year, it so happens that we have the fortunate juxtaposition of St. Valentine’s Day with the Last Sunday in the Epiphany Season, which always shows the Transfiguration of Jesus with the appearance of Moses and Elijah. The Transfiguration was such an important event that it explicitly appears in the first three Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and is implicit in the Gospel of John: “We have witnessed His (Jesus’) glory, the glory of the One and Only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

I believe why this story is so prevalent in the Gospels is because of the meeting of Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. These three belong together: Their “deaths” are each unusual in that Moses is buried by God and thus no human actually sees him die nor knows where his tomb is (Deut. 34:6); in today’s first reading from 2 Kings 2:1-12, Elijah never actually dies but instead God brings him up to Heaven in a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:12); and as we know, Jesus does die on the Cross but on Easter morning rises up from the dead. I guess you can’t keep a good man down! The “deaths” of Moses and Elijah are signposts to Jesus’ conquering of death.

But, these three people today also belong together because in their lives and ministries they show us “Real Love” in action, the kind of love St. Valentine practiced. I want to highlight a couple of ways they practiced “Real Love”

  • Real Love Practices ‘Pono’ (righteousness, justice): All three people of the Transfiguration, and even St. Valentine, practiced the “real love” of pono, or advocacy for the right worship of God and for those who are oppressed. Through the 10 plagues of Egypt, Moses challenges the supposed power of the Egyptian gods (each plaque went against a particular “power” of an Egyptian god) and highlights the might of the Israelite God of creation. In addition, Moses conveys God’s hatred of enslaving people and works for their liberation. Elijah, meanwhile, condemns the King and Queen of Israel not only for their idol worship but also living out a corrupt lifestyle of luxury on the backs of the poor. Jesus, in his first sermon at his hometown synagogue of Nazareth, quotes Isaiah 61 and proclaims that the Spirit of God is upon him “to proclaim good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, to release prisoners from darkness, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Isaiah 61:1-2). And again, St. Valentine protects women and girls from enslavement and abuse. In the same way, God wants us to practice the “real love” to do with working against any system in society that oppresses people – as a class or as individuals. This illustrates the full Hawaiian definition of ‘pono,’ as “to do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons.”

  • Real Love Extends Itself: Moses, Elijah, Jesus, and St. Valentine moved beyond their comfort zones and took great pains and personal risk to extend God’s love beyond themselves. Moses repeatedly risks death at the hands of the Pharaoh by coming time and again to demand the release of the Hebrew slaves, as well as later on the anger of his own people who grow impatient with his leadership through the wandering in the desert. Elijah in fact earns a death warrant issued by Queen Jezebel for his audacity to defy her authority and to prove in an embarrassing and public way the impotency of her gods. Jesus time and time again risks his life by exercising his ministry in the eyes of the jealous religious authorities, in order to bring the love of God to the everyday person, and ultimately gives up his life on the criminal’s cross. St. Valentine himself gets martyred for his refusal to go along with the demands of the Roman authorities. In a similar way, we also often have pivitol moments in our lives when we need to stand up for what is right. 

I often conclude my sermons with a question, and today is no different: “Will you be my valentine?” When understood in the context of real Christian love, I take it to mean will we have the wherewithal to live into God’s love for us as St. Valentine did? How can I be a ‘valentine” to those around me and to our society? Let’s celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day in a way worthy of the name.

Will you be my Valentine? 
Praise the Lord!
All Saints' Resumes Laundry Love
All Saints' Episcopal Church is pleased to announce that we have resumed our Laundry Love outreach ministry on the first and third Wednesdays of each month on a modified basis. Previously, volunteer teams washed, dried and folded laundry for patrons, but due to COVID restrictions, they will now pass out quarters, detergent pods, and dryer sheets to patrons so they can serve themselves to the laundry facilities free of charge. Laundry service begins at 5:00PM at the Kapa`a Laundromat. If you wish to volunteer or for more information, contact the church office HERE.
Join the All Saints' `Ohana Workplaces List
Patronize Our 'Ohana Businesses
Ohana workplaces jar
The pandemic has taken quite a toll on Kaua`i residents, including many of our church `Ohana. In the spirit of “Shop Local” we would like to compile a list of stores, restaurants, and services for whom All Saints’ parishioners and their families work. Grocery stores, plumbing companies, landscapers, resume writing…whatever you do. With this list we can support our `Ohana and Kaua`i by patronizing these businesses. Please consider contributing your work/workplace to our list. You can include your name or submit the listing anonymously. Drop your business card or written description in the `Ohana Workplaces jar outside the sanctuary on Sunday or email your submission to news@allsaintskauai.org
kauai independent food bank

Kaua`i Independent Food Bank Needs Your Help
Please Consider Lenten Donations
Aloha mai kākou,

As we remember our Lord who fasted forty days and nights in the desert in this season of Lent, we also remember those among us who are forced to fast in the form of food deprivation, especially as a fallout of the Pandemic.

During this season, I'm inviting us to join in a partnership with the Kaua`i Independent Food Bank to bring them donations of non-perishable food. Any monetary donations (made out to the Kaua`i Independent Food Bank) will assist the food bank in purchasing supplies in bulk at lower cost. At the Sunday services and other services during Lent and Holy Week, we'll have our Red Food Wagon and donation box just outside the Sanctuary entrance -- feel free to put your items in or around the Red Food Wagon and we'll make sure to get them to the Kaua`i Independent Food Bank on a regular basis. You can also drop off food items during the week at the Church Office - just let either Cami or me know ahead of time, since we have to limit the number of non-Preschool people on the Preschool grounds.

Mahalo nui loa for your prayerful consideration,

Kahu Kawika+
All Saints' Icon Mounted in the Queens' Chapel
Gifted by the family of the late Rev. Malcom Chun
Framed icon
In March of 2019 a group of All Saints’ parishioners went to Oahu to Renewal 2019 with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry as keynote speaker. At this weekend of education and inspiration the family of the late Rev. Malcom Chun offered his collection of religious icons to any congregations interested in acquiring one. The All Saints’ group chose a beautiful bronze/brass and enamel Russian Orthodox crucifix icon from the collection. 

All Saints’ parishioner Sarah Rogers engaged Steve Arnett, a local woodworking friend of hers, to design and construct a shadow box in which to display the icon. The wood is from limbs trimmed from the false kamani tree on the All Saints’ campus. Steve fashioned the box and enlisted a glass artist friend to create the glass front to the shadow box. Steve and Sarah installed the boxed icon in the Queens’ Chapel on the north east wall last week. 

Many thanks to Sarah Rogers who took on the task of enlisting artists to build and hang the shadow box for our icon.

Please take the time to view the icon as you pass through the Queens’ Chapel after communion.

If you are interested in the history of our icon, go to the All Saints’ website under the "News" tab and find articles in The Epistle archives for 7/26/2019 and 8/9/2019.
A Binding Agreement
A Covenant is a binding agreement that is freely entered into by two or more parties. The parties to this solemn agreement may be individuals or groups of people. They may be of equal or unequal status. A covenant also typically includes terms, oaths, and a ritual enactment (possibly a sacrifice, a meal, an exchange, or even a handshake). A covenant with God is a relationship initiated by God for salvation and responded to in faith. The old covenant was given by God to the Hebrew people. The story of this covenant is revealed in the OT (see BCP, pp. 846-847). It was by covenant that the Hebrew people entered into special relationship with God and became the people of God.

The OT tells many stories of God’s covenant with the people of Israel. God made a covenant with Noah and his descendants that there will never again be a flood to destroy the earth. Noah serves as mediator of this covenant between God and all that lives on the earth. God’s bow in the clouds was the sign of this covenant (Gn 9: 8-17). God also made a covenant with Abraham, in which God promised Abraham that his posterity would be as numerous as the stars and that Abraham’s descendants would have the promised land (Gn 15: 1-21). God made a covenant with Moses that the people of Israel would be God’s people, and God would be their God. God also promised to free them from the burdens of the Egyptians and to bring them to the land that God covenanted to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Ex 6: 2-8). God’s covenant with Moses and the people of Israel was to be lived out by them in terms of the Ten Commandments (see Ex 20: 1-17, Ex 34, Dt 5: 6-21).

The new covenant is the new relationship with God given by Jesus to the apostles and through them to all who believe in Jesus (see BCP, pp. 850-851). At the Last Supper, Jesus shared the cup of wine with the apostles, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Lk 22:20). We share in the new covenant as participants in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Jesus’ Summary of the Law was that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind; and we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Mt 22:37-40; see BCP, p. 851). We live out our participation in the new covenant in terms of the new commandment that we love one another as Christ loved us (Jn 13: 34-35; see BCP, p. 851). The new covenant is a life of love that we share with Christ and with each other in Christ’s name. Christian initiation takes place in terms of the baptismal covenant (BCP, pp. 304-305), which is renewed at Confirmation (BCP, pp. 416-417).

Lenten Adult Formation Series
The past year has been a very challenging time for all of us. As we make our way through the disruption and turmoil, we will be confronted with questions about how we want to rebuild our lives anew. As Christians, we know that we do not face the future alone or ill-equipped. Jesus promises always to be with us and has gifted the community with the power of the Spirit as a guide, advocate and comforter.

This Lent, I would like to invite you to participate in a six-week small group process called Revive Lent, published by Forward Movement (who also produce the daily devotional guide “Forward Day by Day”). Revive Lent will provide an opportunity to become grounded in foundational spiritual practices that will equip you for a deeper spiritual journey. In this time of uncertainty, Revive Lent helps us to talk with one another, build a deeper relationship with God and prepare to journey with Jesus through Holy Week.

Revive Lent comprises 6 sessions:
Feb. 23, Session 1: Discovering your spiritual story
March 2, Session 2: Telling your spiritual story
March 9, Session 3: What is prayer and how do we pray?
March 16, Session 4: Making space and praying the Lectio and Visio Divina
March 23, Session 5: Praying through the hurt
March 30, Session 6: Death and dying, and praying with Jesus in the garden

Our sessions will be via Zoom on Tuesdays 5:00PM - 6:00PM, starting on February 23rd and concluding on March 30th. In order to enroll, please either speak with me directly, call the church office, or email me at rector@allsaintskauai.org. I will then send you the Zoom link you will need for each of our sessions.

May God richly bless us as we grow in faith to serve God’s world,

Kahu Kawika+

All Saints' Youth Kick-Off 2021 Relay for Life Virtual Relay
Plans and Sign Up Begin for Events
Welcome to 2021! Relay for Life is starting up again and we have plans to hold another Virtual Relay.

A Team Page has been created for us to start preparing for the event and gathering donations. Join the team! Register by 2/16/21: 

All Youth Group members will need to ask their parents for permission. Once granted, you will need to create/login to your relay for life personal page to join the team. As soon as you register you can start collecting.
Last year we exceeded our goal of $1,000. I have no doubt we can double it this year again.
Note for special donation kick-off prizes:

  • Donate $21.00 by 2/16/21 and you will be entered to win Relay for Life blankets and online gift cards
  • Donate $100.00 by 2/16/21 and you will receive a Relay for Life T-shirt

Saturday, September 11th - Relay for Life Kaua`i Virtual event

Note: All Saints’ will probably be a satellite site again, same as last year.

If you have any questions or are interested in joining these events, please let me know.

-Cami Baldovino
 Youth Minister
Save the Date!
Spring Training 2021 is Coming in March
The Diocese's annual Spring Training event is coming and will be held online, Saturday, March 13, 2021. Workshops being offered will cover a variety of topics including grant writing, Safe Church, youth ministry, communication tools and much more! Participants can sign up for three sessions. Be sure to mark your calendars and save the dates for the Spring Training. Registration and details coming soon!
Join the Conversation!
Monthly Communication Gatherings Coming
Beginning in March, the Diocese's Communications Design Team will be hosting monthly online gatherings that will be open to all in the Diocese. Called CHATS (Communicate, Help, Ask, Thank, Share), these gatherings will last about an hour each, beginning with a short presentation on different topics followed by conversation and time for Q&A. Topics being considered include website design, social media, livestreaming, online chat apps, graphic design, video editing, and whatever our community would like to learn more about!

These gatherings are being designed to help all in the Diocese to keep moving forward (or catch up) in this rapidly changing world of media and technology. CHATS will take place on the last Thursday of each month at 2:00PM. Our first gathering will be on Thursday, March 25. If you are interested in participating, please register HERE to get on the list and receive online instructions.
Season of Penitence and Fasting
Early Christians observed “a season of penitence and fasting” in preparation for the Paschal feast, or Pascha (BCP, pp. 264-265). The season now known as Lent (from an Old English word meaning “spring,” the time of lengthening days) has a long history. Originally, in places where Pascha was celebrated on a Sunday, the Paschal feast followed a fast of up to two days. In the third century this fast was lengthened to six days. Eventually this fast became attached to, or overlapped, another fast of forty days, in imitation of Christ's fasting in the wilderness. The forty-day fast was especially important for converts to the faith who were preparing for baptism, and for those guilty of notorious sins who were being restored to the Christian assembly. In the western church the forty days of Lent extend from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday, omitting Sundays. The last three days of Lent are the sacred Triduum of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Today Lent has reacquired its significance as the final preparation of adult candidates for baptism. Joining with them, all Christians are invited “to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word” (BCP, p. 265).

Episcopalians Prepare for Second COVID-19-Restricted Lent with Mix of Fatigue and Perseverance
February 15, 2021

David Paulson
The Rev. Emily Garcia, assistant rector at Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, shows the space she set up for viewing the church’s Easter Vigil in April 2020. This year, churches will be entering their second Lent during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Emily Garcia, via Facebook

[Episcopal News Service] As rector of Church of the Holy Spirit in Lebanon, New Jersey, the Rev. Philip Carr-Jones has a Lenten plan unlike any in his 37 years as a priest – self-imposed ashes on Ash Wednesday, drive-by palm distribution on Palm Sunday, a Maundy Thursday service on Zoom coinciding with family dinners, online Stations of the Cross for Good Friday and an outdoor Easter Vigil.

Carr-Jones, like many Episcopal clergy and lay leaders, says he’s exhausted, with the world now nearly a year into the coronavirus pandemic, but that experience also has prepared congregations as they enter their second Lent under threat of COVID-19. Livestreaming setups are established. Hand sanitizer and face masks are routine accessories for those able to gather in person. Outdoor services are common.

And as Episcopalians say personal prayers of repentance this Lent, they also will be joining Carr-Jones in a collective prayer for perseverance, to get through “one more Easter” like this, they hope, for the last time.

“The people are saying, ‘I just want to hug,’” Carr-Jones told Episcopal News Service. “We used to spend a good five minutes greeting each other [before services].” Parishioners are desperate to connect with each other face to face, he said, but that won’t be an option again this Lent, while the virus is still spreading.

Clergy interviewed for this story spoke of the fatigue they and their congregations are carrying with them into this Lenten season. They said they never expected parish life to be upended this long, now approaching a full lectionary cycle, but they also have learned much in the past year, including how technology can connect people who need to remain physically apart. With vaccination efforts ramping up, they are both hopeful for the future and humbled this year by the solemn themes of Lent.

“In some ways, this has felt like a yearlong Lent,” said the Very Rev. Nathan LeRud, dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon. “Everybody is just so ready for this to be done.”

Ash Wednesday, in particular, feels more important and meaningful this year, LeRud said, and he is “more interested in ashes as a symbol of mortality and the honesty of facing death … rather than a symbol of penitence.”

“I think we’re in a time when mortality is confronting us,” LeRud said. COVID-19 can strike anyone at any time, he said, and thousands are dying from it each day in the United States. “Lent is designed to help us confront the reality of our death.”

The cathedral will offer ash kits on Feb. 17 for people to take home and impose themselves, or they may receive ashes from priests outside the cathedral. The celebrants will be masked and gloved and will sanitize their hands between each imposition of ashes. In a pandemic twist, the cathedral recruited retired clergy for the task. Those older clergy once were at greater risk from COVID-19, but now their age group has been the first to receive vaccinations.
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland, Oregon, has livestreamed worship services from the cathedral for the past year but has yet to allow parishioners to attend. The congregation hopes to resume limited in-person worship during Lent. Photo: Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, via Facebook

This Lent, LeRud and other clergy said they are emphasizing some of the season’s more positive themes, rather than asking their congregations to dwell solely on repenting of what they’ve done wrong. The Rev. Andy Andrews, rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Vicksburg, Mississippi, described this Lent as “a season of healing, a season of rebuilding, a season of sacrifice.”

“I feel it in my heart that this is just going to be the most meaningful Lent,” Andrews told ENS. “It seems like we’re breaking into a new beginning.”

Click HERE to read the entire story.

Sewanee Vice Chancellor Faces Abuse

February 12, 2021

Amy Spagna
[The Epistle ed. note:  Sewanee is a private Episcopal liberal arts college in Sewanee, Tennessee. It is owned by 28 southern dioceses of the Episcopal Church and its School of Theology is an official seminary of the church. The photo is an arial shot of All Saints' Chapel and bell tower.] 

The Tennessean reports that vandals have recently targeted the home of Ambassador Reuben Brigety II, who serves as Vice Chancellor of Sewanee – University of the South.

During a Sunday worship service at All Saints’ Chapel, Brigety detailed the nighttime incidents that happened outside Chen Hall, which is where he resides with his family. 

“They have trashed our lawn with beer cans and liquor bottles. They have left threatening messages on pilfered signs near our back door and they have taken measures to ensure that my family and I saw the indecent insults that they left behind,” Brigety said in a video of his Sunday address

… Brigety said during his Sunday address that he kept the indignities quiet for months until a tequila bottle was smashed near their front door on the final day of classes last semester. It happened after he led the university community in mourning the death of a sophomore Ava Hingson, who died last year in a horseback riding accident. 

… Brigety said he has forgiven the vandals just as Jesus teaches. But he also called for reform and said he will not stand for anyone being denigrated or intimidated. 

Community members attended the worship service both in person and viewed it via livestream. Afterwards, a crowd of perhaps as many as 150 people gathered at Chen Hall, lining the sidewalk and walkways in a triangle around the snowy front yard. “It felt to me like we were forming a kind of human shield,” said Sewanee resident Jim Crawford. “The mood was both solemn and loving.” Crawford and his family listened to the Vice-Chancellor’s account at home on their laptops. They left their dinner on the stove and drove to Chen Hall to take part in the community expression of solidarity.

[University Chaplain the] Rev. Peter Gray initiated a call and response, “Hate! Not in my House! Not in your House!…Fear! Not in my House! Not in your House!” A few speakers addressed the assembly. Others led songs.

Community and student groups have started petitions condemning the vandalism and calling for solidarity with Brigety and his family. In response to Brigety’s call to action, University faculty and staff held virtual gatherings Feb. 11 and Feb. 12. Students will have in-person gatherings next week.

In an email to alumni and friends, Sewanee’s Chancellor, the Rt. Rev. Robert Skirving, writes:

Such acts of violence have no place at the University of the South. No one who is a member of this community should ever feel threatened, physically, via social media, or in any other way. Today, in my role as Chancellor, I write to condemn any and all expressions of violence and hatred at Sewanee and demand that any who have participated in acts of vandalism and intimidation against Chen Hall and the Brigety family cease and desist immediately.

Please be assured that our Vice-Chancellor has the full support of the Trustees and Regents of this University. 

Brigety began his tenure as the 17th Vice Chancellor and President last June. A former ambassador, naval officer, and faculty member at The George Washington University, he is the first Black person to hold the post. Sewanee was founded in 1858, and is home to 1700+ undergraduate students, 150 seminarians and advanced theological degree students at the School of Theology, and graduate students in the School of Letters.
Intention at the Start of Lent

February 18, 2021

Leslie Scoopmire
Most Holy One,
envelop us in your love and grace today.
Abba, may we bend the knee
of our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies,
to live in joyful obedience to your will.
Make us bold to step out, Lord Christ,
upon the path of love that you have set before us,
for the way of hope is the way of blessing.
Guide us, O Holy Spirit,
into wisdom and holiness,
filled with your reconciling power.

Give us the courage, O God, to dare to work for justice and peace for all,
and work for the common good.
Give us empathy, O God, to reimagine our lives with each other,
grounded in mercy and lovingkindness.
Give us the faithfulness, O God, to see that your ways are sure and beautiful,
and work to open the closed fists of our hearts.
Give us the strength, O God, to reach out to those in need,
loving our brothers and sisters as ourselves.

Give your light to those who are lost, O Holy One,
and give your peace to those who are troubled.
For You are the God of Compassion,
and we want to be your people, your beacons, and your witnesses.
Holy Trinity, unite us by your love,
and gather within your embrace those we now name.

The Rev. Leslie Scoopmire is a writer, musician, and a priest in the Diocese of Missouri. She is rector of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Ellisville, MO. She posts daily prayers, meditations, and sermons at her blog Abiding In Hope, and collects spiritual writings and images at Poems, Psalms, and Prayers.
Dream of 3 Faiths Worshipping in one Building Meets Reality in Berlin

February 16, 2021

Ken Chitwood
An artistic rendering of the House of One design in Berlin, Germany. Design by Kuehn Malvezzi, photo by Ulruich Schwarz, courtesy House of One

[Religion News Service] Three religions. One building.

The concept could be profoundly simple or particularly complex.

For Berlin, Germany’s “House of One,” it’s turning out to be a bit of both.

Dubbed “the world’s first churmosqagogue” by one Reddit user, the House of One — “the world’s first hybrid church-mosque-synagogue” — will break ground in Berlin on May 27, 2021.

By then, it will have been a project 12 years in the making, at an expected cost of at least 47.2 million euro ($57.2).

Its designers and leaders hope it will be used by Jewish, Christian and Muslim members as a place to pray, worship, gather and, perhaps above all, host a dialogue among their respective religions and with society at large.

But while the House of One is intended to show that peace is possible among — and through — the world’s “Abrahamic traditions,” some Berliners regard it as an overwrought symbol that has little practical purpose in the heart of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities.

The idea for the House of One came to Protestant pastor Gregor Hohberg after he discovered the ruins of Berlin’s first church. The late Romanesque building, dating to the 13th century, had been destroyed and reconstructed repeatedly, most recently in World War II, before being torn down during the Cold War.

Hohberg wanted to honor the history of the place with a new building, but not just another church. “It had to be something that spoke to Berlin, to our world today.”

With the support of his parish, Hohberg sought out Jewish and Muslim partners. First came Rabbi Tovia Ben-Chorin, later replaced by Rabbi Andreas Nachama, a former rabbi for the American military synagogue in Berlin’s southwest. Then, Imam Kadir Sanci of the Forum for Intercultural Dialogue joined them.
Pastor Gregor Hohberg. Photo courtesy of House of One
Rabbi Andreas Nachama. Photo courtesy of House of One
Imam Kadir Sanci. Photo courtesy of House of One

The three began the slow process of getting to know one another and raising funds for the massive building project. “At first we were conversation partners,” said Sanci, “then we were colleagues and now we are friends.

“The focus was on togetherness, spending time together, learning together and cooperating on a major construction project,” he added. Hohberg chimed in, “and by cooperating on a major construction project, you learn a lot about people through that!”

The three have grown to become more than just friends, said Sanci, but “Seelenverwandte”— or “soul relatives,” who plan to seal their friendship at a groundbreaking ceremony at Petriplatz, in the center of Berlin, in May.

“On our way to peace in heaven, we have the chance to create that here on earth,” said Nachama, “but that’s not to be taken for granted. You have to work at it and build a place for peace on earth.”

Click HERE to read the entire story.
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.
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