Life is back in full swing after being away for four days in California where I had the chance to have dinner with two of my kid brothers (I have three) and my niece and nephew. For me, that was the highlight of my trip as well as just having the chance to unplug for a few days. I return rejuvenated and excited about moving into the fall.
Prince Albert Commemoration
This coming Sunday we will remember the baptism of Crown Prince Albert at all three services and will have the Societies in attendance at the 8:00 service. I am very much looking forward to the day and to seeing you all at worship.
I’m also excited about the talent show (“An Evening of Song,” see Announcements) in the Von Holt Room on Friday at 7:30. I’ve heard some of the rehearsing from my office and it’s sure to be a great evening. I will be there and hope to see as many of you as are able to attend.
Your Stewardship Committee met this week and I am looking forward to implementing the plan we came up with for the fall. It will include two listening sessions on Wednesday, September 13th and Saturday, September 16th, both at 6:15PM in the Von Holt Room with a light supper. We plan to break into small groups of three (listener, responder, and recorder) to elicit from you how the community would like to move forward as we look to the future. I will sum up the findings in a sermon on September 24th at all three services. At that time I will inform the congregation what my financial commitment to the Cathedral will be for 2018. We also have a series of five contemporary epistles planned for the month of October as well as a pre-Feast Day dinner party in Davies Hall at 6:15 PM on Saturday, November 25th.
I returned to Honolulu late Thursday night and came to the office early Friday morning to catch up on deskwork and emails. I had 60 messages in my Inbox. Deskwork, of course, includes approving invoices, making phone calls, writing correspondence and talking with people who pop in (which I love). Then I went to the Pacific Club for a luncheon with Todd and Karen Mukai who is a go-between for us and Kuraudia USA (the wedding re-enactment company that uses the Cathedral during the week). On Saturday I preached and presided at the 5:30 Eucharist, then preached and presided at all three services on Sunday, after which I responded to voice messages by making phone calls. In addition, I began work on this Sunday’s sermon. In seminary I was told that the average prep time for a Sunday sermon should be 15 hours, but I’m not able to dedicate that much time to it. When I served as your Canon Pastor I often spent 20 hours on my sermon prep, but I did not preach every week back then. On Monday I came in to engage in more deskwork and had meetings with the Facilities Manager and Junior Warden as well as a meeting with the Stewardship Committee. I also spent more time working on my sermon as I elected to go to a jazz ukulele concert on Sunday evening and ran out of time. I also took a couple of pastoral phone calls. On Tuesday I spent the day at home answering email messages, working on my sermon, taking phone calls, and answering text messages. I came into the office in the afternoon to do some simple filing, approve invoices, check in with the staff, and then attend a meeting of the Executive Committee to prepare for next week Tuesday’s meeting of the Chapter. Today I am writing you this letter and then I have a staff meeting, a Eucharist, a meeting for baptism preparation, a meeting with Todd, and a meeting in Kaimuki before I hop on the plane to go to Hilo. I will use the travel time to write my weekly report to the Bishop and I will be back on Friday in time for the talent show.
We had a lively and interesting discussion during our Stewardship Committee meeting and during our time together we talked about how we are more than members of churches. Instead, we are disciples of Jesus Christ. I think that’s a good distinction to make as we move into the fall and I invite you to join me in times of silence during the day to feel the presence of God and listen for the still voice of God to guide and lead us into God’s will and to giving God glory in all that we do.
Until we see each other at worship this weekend, please take care.