As I look out my window this morning, I see that there are rainclouds in the sky and that it’s going to be a wet day. I find that when the weather is like this, I take the opportunity to pause and the reflect, and as the rain falls from the sky and I look at all that water, I think about the waters of my baptism and who God calls me to be. It also gives me the opportunity to look back on the past seven months. There have, of course, been many challenges. And there have also been many rewards, the biggest reward being the expressions of appreciation and support that I get from many of you throughout the week. It affirms for me that I made the right decision in accepting the Bishop’s invitation to return to our Cathedral and again, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to work with all of you to carry out God’s mission and ministry for us as a congregation and faith community.
On Friday morning, the Cathedral will hold funeral services for Uncle Mahi Beamer. We are expecting a big crowd and I am honored that we have been asked to take part in this tribute to the life and legacy of Mahi Beamer. As a child I often heard stories of Mahi Beamer’s singing, dancing, and playing the piano. He was a legendary entertainer and I’m glad that during the course of my priestly ministry I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with him.
Last week Sunday, Roth offered training for Lay Eucharistic Ministers and this Sunday he will offer training for acolytes. I encourage anyone who feels called to this ministry to attend this training (if you can) so that you can discern whether or not God is calling you to serve in this capacity. Thank you, Roth, for offering this training and making yourself available to conduct it.
I have spent a fair amount of time in meetings over the past week and will continue to do so over the next two days. Last week Wednesday we had a staff meeting, I did the Eucharist, I had a meeting with Ramona, and then I had a meeting with the Beamer family. On Thursday I had an Executive Committee meeting, a meeting with Todd, a spiritual direction session, and a meeting with the pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Kailua to talk about a Reformation observation that we will be hosting in October. On Friday I had a spiritual direction session and another meeting with the Beamer family to go over the order of service for this coming Friday’s funeral. On Saturday I did my best to catch up on correspondence before 5:30 Eucharist. I also worked to finalize the program for the Beamer funeral. On Sunday, of course, I was here for our Sunday services and preached and presided at all three of them and that evening I attended a fundraiser for the Lyman House. On Monday I took a shift for my family and watched my grandmother while I worked on a sermon for this coming Sunday as well as a homily for the Beamer funeral. I took Tuesday morning off and in the afternoon, I worked on the report for the Chapter and then led the Chapter meeting itself. Today I have a staff meeting, a renewal of wedding vows, I’m meeting with an architect to get some advice on how to deal with the stained glass windows in the heat in the cathedral, an 11:30 Eucharist, a mentoring session with a priest, a meeting with the Verger, a tentative calendar planning meeting, and a counseling session. Tomorrow I have a spiritual direction session, an outreach meeting, a mentoring meeting, a meeting with Todd, another Reformation meeting, and a meeting with a parishioner that was requested of me. On Friday, of course, I will be here for the Beamer funeral and will also conduct the internment on Saturday. In the midst of this, of course, I tend to things like write weekly letters to you as well as a detailed report to the Bishop of my week’s activities. I also work on things like memorandums of understanding, identifying funding sources for various endeavors, as well as monitoring the day-to-day operations of the Cathedral and its facilities and its expenses and income.
On Sunday evening I received word that the front door of the Cathedral had been vandalized. Someone took a rock and carved graffiti into the bronze on the door. Fortunately, the culprit was identified and apprehended and the Cathedral will be pressing charges and Bryan will appear at a hearing next week to testify.
FYI: I will be away from the evening of August 6 (after church services) through the evening of Thursday, August 10. I am taking personal vacation time and this will not affect my being present for Saturday evening and Sunday morning worship at the Cathedral.
Yesterday evening I informed the chapter of my decision to discontinue my doctoral studies at Virginia Theological Seminary. In my report I said:
I have informed Bishop Fitzpatrick and the Executive Committee that I intend to withdraw from the doctoral program at Virginia Theological Seminary. The seminary has asked me to consider deferring for one year and I have agreed. I have made the decision not to continue for two reasons. The first is the time commitment required of me next summer. Including General Convention, I would be required to be away from the Cathedral for five weeks and I don’t feel that that would be a responsible course of action to take at this time. Furthermore, when I was Rector at Holy Apostles in Hilo, the parish agreed to fund the entirety of my doctoral program, including travel. I lost that funding when I accepted the position at the Cathedral and the increase in salary that I received barely covers the increase in the amount of my housing (which doubled) and it is not economically feasible for me to undertake funding of the program from personal funds.
At last night’s Chapter meeting, we also accepted the Treasurer’s Report, subject to audit. Here is a synopsis of our finances through June 2016. Because we did not have a quorum at our last meeting, I am unable to provide you with minutes of our June 2016 discussions.
Since her departure, I have received several requests for copies of Jasmine’s sermons. She sent them to me yesterday and I will ask Elizabeth Conklin to post them on the website along with my sermon from last week about the weeds and the wheat. You may view or download sermons here.
Last week during my prayer time, I read a reflection that talked about baby zebras (of all things). I learned that when a baby zebra is born, the first thing it does is run around its mother and then it lies on the ground and gazes at its mother. Evidently, every zebra has a unique pattern of stripes on its body and the baby is memorizing the configuration on its mother so that if it ever gets separated from her, it knows which zebra to go to for protection and nourishment. The selection then invited the reader to fix our gaze on Christ and to put the imprint of Christ in our minds. The reflective nature of the weather outside this morning gives me an opportunity to do that. And I realize that if I really want to take an imprint of Jesus and put it in my mind, all I need to do is look at his countenance on each of your faces. And when I do that, I realize that I am truly blessed.
Until we see one another at worship, please take care.