The E-Newspaper of the Episcopal Diocese of Hawai'i

Reporting on the events & activities in our Diocese and beyond... 


Friday, October 23
Checking in...

"'Iolani School was a much brighter, more cheerful venue."

"Stephanie Spellers was awesome!"

"Education Day was excellent and the afternoon session with scenarios was great and engaged the participants."
Saturday, October 24

Bishop's Address to the Convention
The following is Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick's Address given at the 47th Annual Meeting of Convention on Saturday, October 24, 2015. 

"You're The First, The Last, My Everything"

Recently, Peter Pereira, Kerith Harding, Wilma Namumnart, David Geirlach, Keane Akao and I attended a conference entitled "Project Resource." The goal of the conference was to build a diocesan team and online resources to help congregations with stewardship, fundraising, major gift solicitation - you know, money.

Now, it was good stuff and we will be sharing it over the next year. I'll be working to expand the Legacy Society and planned giving, I want to help congregations and ministries - schools and the Camp - ask for bucks. I might be calling on some of you. Just as others built the building and provided for the ministries, it will be our gifts and bequests that will carry the mission of the Church for the next century.

What really kept me up was a TED talk by Simon Sinek (click on image above to go to the website). I have ordered his book for the diocesan leadership. Heck, I even ordered his book: Start with Why!

As a Diocese we do the "what" and "how" of Church pretty well.

Dent Davidson from the Diocese of Chicago will be coming for two days - January 22 and 23 - to share about different ways to enliven our music in congregations. Dent has family times here - he even attended Holy Nativity School.

On February 26 and 27, the Rev. Robert S. Heaney will be with us. He serves as the Director of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies and Assistant Professor of Christian Mission at Virginia Theological Seminary.

In early April, it will be time for Stewardship University again.

We have wonderful outreach into the community serving the houseless and hurt.

All that is good stuff. It helps us to figure out how to do what we do as church.

Sinek challenges us to ask "why" do we do what we do. 

Why are we here? Why are we giving up a Saturday? Why do we even keep coming to Church week after week?

Why am I here?

Folk who hang around the office will tell you I whistle and I sing. I really do think all of life deserves a soundtrack.

When I feel my "why" - why I keep doing this, a song plays in my head:

[The music, "You're the First, the Last, My Everything" by Barry White, rises over through the sound system -- and the song repeats for remainder of the Address.]

My first, my last, my everything
And the answer to all my dreams
You're my sun, my moon, my guiding star
My kind of wonderful, that's what you are

We are each going to have our own soundtrack. We all need a love song.

I might have chosen Adele's "Love Song" or "At Last" by Etta James or even Leela James's "Fall for You."

The first movie Bea and I saw together was "Saturday Night Fever" -- The Bee Gees's "How Deep Is Your Love" is a love song of my life.

Now, whenever I'm with you and with God, it is Barry White singing - it really is "My first, my last, my everything".

Our "why" has to be that God is in love with us and we're in love with God, and with life and with all of creation.

My aha! was when I realized that "I was good, I was whole and I was beautiful" because that is how God saw me. That's when I fell in love with Jesus and with life. I could choose to see you - all of you together, the church - or one at a time as "good and whole and beautiful."

So, when Barry sings,

I know there's only, only one like you
There's no way they could have made two
You're all I'm living for, your love I'll keep forevermore
First, you're the last, my everything

I hear it as the song of the Church. We are each unique and loved and valued. That is the love.

The 17th century Bishop, Francis de Sales, speaks of the journey of life as moving to make our hearts beat with the rhythm of God's heart. "May God live in my heart for that is what it is made for."

We're singing our songs in our own ways. Everyone doesn't have to be the same. For us there are many ways to be Episcopalian - heck, I don't always sing the same song, but the rhythm is still the beat of God's heart in a love song.

We're after the rhythm of God's heart - a love song. The intrinsic, dynamic, physical reality of love that spills over into all creation.

We have to share with one another. Can we sing our own love songs? 

In you I've found so many things
A love so new, only you could bring
Can't you see it's you? You make me feel this way
You're like a first morning dew on a brand new day

The brand new day is that we have to go out into the world. We are God's beloved. To care and to feed, but above all to welcome. It is our job to change to make room for all those folk loved by God who don't know it or for whom no one has made room.

When we care for the hungry and rejected, we are making room for God.

I'm very fond of Matthew 11:28-30 - Jesus says, "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, 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."

I used to think I was weary and burdened - it may have been true. But I'm loved. I have been allowed to lay my head on Jesus's chest and listen to the heartbeat of God. I know the rhythm of love.

We beat with the heart of God. A gentle and heart overturns the accepted order. Love of God and of others - all others, everyone, all creation - is exercised through intimate relational virtues of gentleness and humility.

We are not the burdened and the weary. We are the lovers of God. We are the ones who have learned. The yoke is not heavy because it is fitted for the labor of love.

I see so many ways that I can love you 'til the day I die
You're my reality, yet I'm lost in a dream
You're the first, the last, my everything

We get caught up in God's dream.

A world of Peace, Wholeness, Health and Reconciliation.

There's the struggle. We keep turning around and there is war, brokenness, illness, estrangement. I get so caught up in the doing -- in the "what" and the "how" -- that I forget to listen to the love song.

That's when I need you to remind me! I need you to sing me the love song again. That's why we're here together.

You can't sing a love song to yourself or by yourself - there's no one to sing back. 
I know there's only, only one like you
There's no way they could have made two
You're my reality, but I'm lost in a dream
You're the first, you're the last, my everything

There is only like you and you and you and you and me too!

Find your love song and sing it to God, to those you love and to the world around you.

That's why we exist. To sing our love songs, to dance to the rhythm of God's beating heart. To change the world with love.

You're the first, you're the last, my everything. God says so!

Editor's Note: The selection of 'Iolani School for this year's Annual Meeting was explained in a letter by Bishop Fitzpatrick to the students and faculty of 'Iolani, and can be viewed in a previous E-News HERE. The letter shared the history and strong ties of The Episcopal Church (and his own personal ties) to 'Iolani School, and appeared in the school's magazine publication. 

The Bishop's Annual Report was not verbally presented to the Convention, but is available to view and download HERE.

All quotes appearing in black strips throughout this issue are anonymous comments taken
 from a follow-up survey that was sent to all participants.

The 47th Annual Meeting of Convention
October 23 & 24, 2015, 'Iolani School

Education Day

In conjunction with the Annual Meeting of Convention, an Education Day was held on Friday, October 23, that was open to all in the Diocese. The morning session featured guest speaker, the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, Director of Mission & Formation and Adjunct Professor of Church & Society at the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church. The Chaplain to the House of Bishops, she worked as Canon for Missional Vitality in the Diocese of Long Island and as founding priest at The Crossing, an emergent Christian community rooted at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral in Boston. An alumna of Harvard Divinity School and Episcopal Divinity School, Canon Spellers is a popular teacher and speaker nationwide. 

Canon Spellers is also the author of several books including Radical Welcome: Embracing God, which served as the theme for her presentation, "Remixing Anglicanism". Dynamic, insightful, compassionate and uplifting, Spellers captured her audience with bold truths and the stark reality of the challenges that many churches face today with declining numbers. She calls on all of us to take a hard look at our own church homes and to ask the tough questions -- and then consider embracing "radical welcome" and mixing it up!
"Stephanie Spellers brought a message the Diocese was hungry to hear."
But just what is Radical Welcome? In a handout to participants, it states: Radical welcome is first and foremost a spiritual practice. It combines the Christian ministry of welcome and hospitality with a faithful commitment to doing the theological, spiritual and systemic work to eliminate historic, systemic barriers that deny the genuine embrace of groups often oppressed and marginalized in mainline churches (especially young people, the poor, poor seniors, varying sexual orientations and gender identities, people of color, people with disabilities).

So we ask the tough questions-- Do we really welcome all? Do we embrace "The Other" or only people like ourselves? Do we wait for them to come to us, or do we go out to meet them? Are we focusing on ourselves or on God?  As we go out and radically welcome "The Other" and let go of the assumption of knowledge and control, we instead allow ourselves to be transformed by "The Other" through vulnerability and humility.
"Rev. Spellers 'walked the talk' and was not a 'sage on stage'.  She valued input from us."

Speller's message was inspirational and filled with promise. Change is never easy, but if we are to grow and thrive, change is necessary. Using the modern-day musical term "remix" she called for us to mix it up and put a new spin on some old traditions! With a voice that rivals the best, she led the audience in song and prayer... and even a dance or two! She was like a breath of fresh air --- the oxygen needed to get the blood flowing and the heart pumping -- and to bring a new attitude and new life into our churches.

In her handout, it further states: As you practice radical welcome, you join Jesus in stretching your arms and embracing The Other. You share the gifts of your tradition and culture, even as you allow your heart and your congregation's life - its ministries, its identity, its worship, its relationships, its leadership - to be transformed by The Other's presence, gifts and power among you.

Lunch was a time for folks to meet others from around the Diocese or catch up with friends. Sandwiches, wraps and salads were offered up on a beautiful Friday afternoon.

After lunch, the afternoon session was led by the Rev. Malcolm Naea Chun who led a workshop on gathering for purposeful discussion, a way for dealing with conflict and encouraging reconciliation in a congregation. Pictured above, Chun and Fane Lino, Pacific Islanders Missioner, join in song to open the session.  Recently retired, the Rev. Alison Dingley  addressed the audience.  The Rev. Kaleo Patterson and Dr. Ha'aheo Guanson were invited  up to talk about their project Maka Moku (Moku meaning boat and also floating island) based on the Scripture Mark 6:32. They are seeking grants for this Hawaiian "remix" with Anglican roots. 

Mentors and students of the Waiolaihui'ia priest formation program were introduced. Pictured above, the Rev. Austin Murray, who heads the program, spoke about the program and the training involved to become a priest. Participants broke up into groups to discuss actual scenarios of conflict that have come up in Hawai'i congregations; some were familiar challenges that churches face, and others, a bit more surprising. Each group was led and facilitated by a mentor or student in Waiolaihui'ia. 

"The team discussion brought different perspectives on issues we deal with."

After the Education Day sessions Clergy and Candidates for Ordination headed off to get dressed for a very special Convention Eucharist. Pictured above, ordinands Paul, Malcolm, Mahi and Hau'oli all get a helping hand from the "experts"!
Convention Eucharist & Ordinations

The weekend coincided with the 60th Anniversary Celebration of the Consecration of St. Alban's Chapel on the 'Iolani campus, where the Convention Eucharist and ordination of four into the transitional diaconate took place. The Chapel, which was consecrated on October 3, 1954, was also host to the General Convention in 1955. With this celebration, we remembered with fondness the Episcopal Church's deep and abiding relationship with ʻIolani School and, especially, St. Alban's Chapel. (Pictured above, Clergy gather for the start of the service.)

The Convention Eucharist was also a historic event in the life of the Diocese and The Episcopal Church, as the first graduates of Waiolaihui'ia, the local program for the formation for the Priesthood and Diaconate, were ordained into the transitional diaconate. 

Those ordained were Phyllis Mahilani Beimes, Malcolm Keleawe Hee, Paul Nahoa Lucas and John Anson Hauʻoli Tomoso. All four candidates are of native Hawaiian ancestry, and Beimes is the first female of Hawaiian ancestry to be ordained into The Episcopal Church. The Diocese of Hawai'i began this 3-year program in January 2013, and is especially intended for people who have families and/or occupational commitments in these Islands.

Parts of the service were spoken in Hawaiian, Tongan and Cantonese, reflecting the diversity of the Diocese. Beautiful music was performed by the Diocesan Choir led by Cn. John Renke and Katherine Crosier. 

Along with clergy and church members, family and friends of the ordained were on hand to celebrate this special occasion, presenting lei and congratulations after the service. The new deacons were smothered in leis that were piled high as is the tradition for graduations in Hawai'i. 

Congratulations to our new clergy!
Pupu Hour & Presentation of Bishop's Cross

Immediately following the celebratory Eucharist and historic ordinations, a lavish pupu hour was held in the neighboring student center. Food stations featured an array of delicious pupus and desserts that left no one hungry. Sushi, Spring rolls, pasta, short ribs, chicken yakitori, tartlets and macarons were just a few of the decadent items being served up.  Music was provided by the Hawaiian trio of Naluhoe.

Pictured above, members of the Hoike Ulu Legacy Society on O'ahu were also invited to attend the gathering, and wore kukui nut leis, including Jane Tonokawa, Chair, at far left with Art Kusumoto. Anyone who has remembered an Episcopal ministry (church or program) in their estate plans is considered a member. A gathering is held on each island annually. 

Along with the newly ordained, a highlight of the pupu hour was the presentation of the Bishop's Cross. Four persons received the Bishop's Cross (which is actually a Koa box engraved with the cross) for their dedicated service to the Diocese. The recipients (pictured above and below with the Bishop) are Stuart Ching, the Diocesan Archivist and Historiographer and member of St. Elizabeth's; Lynne Reynolds from St. Jude's; Cecilia Fordham from St. Clement's; and Martha Im, Chancellor Emerita and member of St. Luke's.  Click on their linked names to read their bios.
It was a joyous event with lots to celebrate!

47th Annual Meeting of Convention

The 47th Annual Meeting of Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Hawai'i took place on Saturday, October 24, 2015, in Seto Hall at 'Iolani School, Honolulu.  It was a big change in venue from Tenney Theatre at The Cathedral of St. Andrew, but the overwhelming response was positive, with many commenting that more diocesan meetings and gatherings should be held there. The campus was immaculate and inviting, parking was plentiful, the hall roomy and brightly lit with chairs that could be moved, and restrooms designed to handle a crowd. Special thanks to 'Iolani School Chaplains the Rev. David Leatherman and the Rev. Nicole Simopoulos (right) for their support and role in providing an exceptional venue.

Check-in began at 8:00 AM with a spread of pastries, fruit, juice and lots of Starbucks coffee! (All food and beverage services for the meeting and related events were supplied by Sodexo, the company that the school uses.) Delegates that were unfamiliar with this venue made sure to get an early start and arrived well before the meeting time of 8:45 AM. Volunteers were ready and waiting to check-in clergy and delegates, and issue the meeting packets. Thanks to Rev. Leatherman, attendees also received a chair pad emblazoned with the 'Iolani logo to cushion their seats.  

"Thanks for having those cushions on the chairs. I would not have been able to sit all those hours if I didn't have that cushion for my back."

Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick introduced the Convention Chaplain, the Rev. Cn. Stephanie Spellers, to offer the opening prayer, and officially called the meeting to order. Spellers offered reflection, song and prayer throughout the meeting that was a welcome break from the business at hand. 

Guests and honored attendees were introduced and presented with leis, along with the panel on stage,(pictured below from left) the Rev. Moki Hino, Secretary; Jane Tonokawa, Dispatch of Business Chair, Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick and Martha Im, Chancellor).

The Bishop gave his address (shown at top of the page) utilizing music and memories.  With his "love song" by Barry White playing in the background as he spoke, the Bishop shared a message centered on love: spousal love, the moment he fell in love with Jesus, and the unfailing love of God and how we are all called to share our love with others. He asked us to ask "why" we do what we do and to find our own "love song and sing it to God, to those you love and to the world around you."

"Hearing the Bishop's Love Song and Stephanie Spellers... inspiriing!"

The regular order of business commenced including the report of the credentials, the report on the resolutions and nominations, and voting which went smoothly and quickly. Last year's very successful voting procedure was implemented once again, where ballots are cast all at once. Pictured above, Keane Akao, Credentials Committee Chair; the Rev. Robin Taylor from the Standing Committee; Pam Fern, Elections Chair, and the panel. 

The rest of the meeting was devoted to the consideration and voting on five resolutions and Special Orders of Business.  The Rev. Ryan Newman, Vice President of the Diocesan Council, presented and moved for the adoption of the 2016-2018 Budget. He noted that the budget called for the diocesan assessment to be reduced from 20% to 19%, and elaborated on a new Canon position in the Office of the Bishop.

Special Orders of Business included presentations on Camp Mokule'ia, General Convention, Homelessness in Hawai'i and the Episcopal Asiamerica Ministries. Receiving an extended ovation for his dedicated service to the Diocese was Arthur Kusumoto (above left). The Rev. David Turner (above center), Executive Director of Camp Mokule'ia, called up Kusumoto and other volunteers who have served on the Board and whose advice and vision has helped to develop the camp into a viable venue for spiritual growth and formation. Turner also introduced the young adults working at the camp through the Episcopal Church's Young Adult Service Corp (YASC), and who had t-shirts and plants to give away during the lunch break.

One special guest that was introduced during the meeting was attorney Wayne Yoshigai (above left) who has agreed to serve as the new Chancellor of the Diocese. Yoshigai steps in for Martha Im who has faithfully served the Diocese since 2007. Rounding out the morning session was Cn. Peter Ng (above center), Asia and the Pacific and Anglican Relations Officer of The Episcopal Church and our Diocesan liaison with the church-wide staff, who was called to address the Convention, and Cn. Spellers who offered a reflection and blessing before breaking for lunch.  

Bento lunches were served up under a covered patio area where delegates were able to fellowship and catch up with each other, before returning to Seto Hall for the afternoon session.

"This was an especially upbeat Convention and I credit Canon Stephanie for being the source of some of that."
Canon Spellers offered a reflection before the meeting continued. Rev. Hino made a report on the 1st Ballot and announced the newly elected members of the Diocesan Council and Standing Committee, with only one seat having to be recast. Regular orders of business continued with the remaining Resolutions and Special Orders of Business.

One of the hot topics was on homelessness and houselessness that started off with a special report by the Rev. David Gierlach and the Rev. Brian Grieves (both pictured above). After much discussion and proposed amendments, the resolution passed. It urges our Diocese and congregations to address the issue of making the homeless a primary focus of our ministries. Several suggested considerations included some of the models already being used within the Diocese to serve the needy, such as temporary housing for a homeless person or family (St. Elizabeth's and St. John's By-the-Sea), providing showers (St. Jude's), delivering supplies (Maui's A Cup of Cold Water), helping with laundry (churches on O'ahu and Kaua'i), continuing involvement with shelters, soup kitchens and other support organizations, etc.

The Rev. Moki Hino and John Decker (above left) presented a report and slideshow on General Convention that took place in Salt Lake City in July, and where the 27th Presiding Bishop was elected. That report also included discussion about support for Jerusalem and the status of Queen Emma in Lesser Feasts and Fasts. Other Special Orders of Business included a report from the Rev. Irene Tanabe and Dcn. Malcolm Hee on Episcopal Asiamerica Ministries (EAM). They were a part of a delegation with the Bishop that went on a recent trip to Seoul to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the Anglican Church in Korea. Pictured above right, the Rev. Liz Zivanov requested a Point of Personal Privilege, addressing the Convention in regard to her retirement from St. Clement, sharing her joy in serving this Diocese. 

The meeting came to a close with a reference to the Courtesy Resolutions by the Rev. Imelda Padasdao (above); announcements by Convention Secretary Hino that included next year's meeting dates of October 28-29, 2016; and closing reflections and prayer by Canon Spellers. The meeting was adjourned at 3:15 PM.

The complete Journal of Convention XLVII can be found on the Diocesan website HERE or downloaded HERE.
"This was one of the best meetings I have attended:  Well organized, voting went smoothly, great venue, and the message was a  positive one."
Behind the Scenes

We give thanks and praise to the staff and volunteers in the Bishop's Office for putting together another memorable event! Attendees experienced the result of a year-long process that began even before the end of last year's meeting. This year, the venue created logistic challenges that included transporting dozens of boxes, equipment and supplies. In the end, the extra effort paid off with attendees rating the venue and meeting with highest marks. Pictured above from left, Charmaine Bernard, Office Manager/Property Manager in the Office of the Bishop, was in charge of the overall event and a miracle worker; Administrative Assistant Katrina Luksovsky and volunteer Pam Fern take a break after setting up on Thursday afternoon; and Sharon Billingsley, the Diocese's Travel Coordinator takes a moment to pose with year-round and "all-around" office volunteer, Norma Chun, on the morning of Education Day. 
"Many thoughtful touches were incorporated (front/back badges, seat cushions, charging station, luggage check, credential process)... very well done."
Of course there couldn't be an Annual Meeting without the "numbers" and the Diocese is blessed to have Diocesan Treasurer Peter Pereira (pictured above left), who, amongst an endless list of responsibilities, prepares the necessary financial documents for the meeting, but not without the help of Bookkeeper, Athena Chan. A key figure in the planning process is the Bishop's (camera-shy) Executive Assistant, Irina Martikainen, who oversees the business of the Bishop and makes sure everything runs smoothly, even if it means lugging tables minutes before an event! Pictured above center, Dr. Ha'aheo Guanson checks the ballots before they are placed in delegate bags, and Katrina, Charmaine, and a temporary hire assemble the convention packets.
"Well run. Everything was easy-- there were even people to tell you where to go. The staff should be commended!"

Mahalo to all of the volunteers, too numerous to list, who helped at the meeting with registration, luggage check, lunches, directing traffic and set-up and break down. Special thanks to Joanna Polevia of St. Clement's, for her assistance with the technical aspects. God bless you all! 

More photos of the weekend's events can be viewed on the Diocesan website HERE or on the Episcopal Diocese of Hawai'i Facebook page HERE. After January 2016, the website slideshows will be moved to the Past Meetings of Convention page.


Sybil Nishioka, Editor & Communications Contractor

The electronic Hawaiian Church Chronicle is the official news publication of the Episcopal Diocese of Hawai'i.  All policy, editorial and administrative decisions are under the direction of the editor in consultation with the Bishop's Office.  The Chronicle welcomes suggestions, story ideas, comments and opinions from its readers.  Send articles, letters, news and photographs (electronic files preferred) to: News, Office of the Bishop, 229 Queen Emma Square, Honolulu, HI  96813
(808) 536-7776