Dear Cathedral Ohana:
As many of you know, I was in Oregon last week to visit with family and friends, including my kid brother Graham. I learned some interesting things about my family while I was there, including that my great grandmother was from Scotland. I had no clue. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but my great grandfather was an Anglican priest from Cornwall, England.
First of all, funeral services for our beloved Kilani Ventura will be at the Cathedral on Saturday, February 17th at 10:00 AM with visitation beginning at 9:00 AM. A reception will follow under the Diamond Head tent. If you were at 8:00 AM service this past Sunday, you probably saw a beautiful hala lei on the processional cross. The lei was placed there in honor of Kilani and was especially poignant as hala symbolizes transitions. Kilani will be dearly missed by many of us and I ask that you keep Paul and the rest of Kilani’s family in your prayers.
With summertime less than six months away, I am worried about the heat in the Cathedral that will undoubtedly ensue. I have been struggling with how to get more of the stained glass windows open in order to get some ventilation in the sanctuary. As such, we got a consultant in and he indicated that several of the windows needed only frames (not the glass itself) replaced and that could be done without shipping the windows off to the Mainland. There are other windows where if we did that, the glass would break because it’s warped, and we want to work on the windows that can be addressed easily before we move onto those that might be more challenging (and costly). I have a quote for $40,000 to fix six window frames, but I also need to get a quote for someone to come in and remove the glass first. Bryan will be working on that in the next month and I will keep you posted.
Yesterday morning we launched a new Cathedral website. Please go online and take a look at it at. I am very pleased with the new look and I send out special thanks to Elizabeth Conklin for her tireless work on making this happen for us.
Many of you have expressed concerns to me about the sound system in the Cathedral and difficulty hearing. At last night’s meeting of the Cathedral Chapter, they endorsed exploring the possibility of a procuring a new system. The current sound system is old and it was here when I was Canon Pastor. It was old then and now it’s ancient. The Presiding Bishop will be here for a special service for the Episcopal Asiamerica Ministries Consultation in September and when he preaches, we want to make sure that he can be heard. I will keep you posted as things progress.
Last night the Chapter also approved funding for a quarter time Pastoral Associate position. This will greatly help to meet the need of people who are homebound and wanting pastoral care. At the current time I am able to do pastoral care in my office, but find it challenging to go out into the field for extended periods of time. The Bishop has endorsed my reaching out to Father Keleawe Hee to fill this position and Father Keleawe has indicated great interest in accepting. In the next couple of weeks I will be working on a Letter of Agreement so that we can bring him on board. Please understand that quarter time means that Father Keleawe will be with us for only a quarter of the Sundays in any given month and will also be available to do some teaching as well as representing the Cathedral in the community at gatherings like those that are held at Mauna Ala to honor various ali`i.
I am attaching the minutes of the December 2016 meeting of the Cathedral Chapter to this letter. They were approved last night. I do not have financial statements available at this time as we are trying to close out the fiscal year and that takes more time than normal. I should have financials for you next month. Please rest assured that our finances are sound at the current time.
Please note that we will have an Evensong this coming Sunday, February 4th at 5:30PM in the Cathedral sanctuary for Candlemas. The Orvis Choral Scholars will be there for the service and this is something to which I very much look forward. Please consider joining us for what is sure to be a wonderful evening of music and worship.
We also have an Ali`i Sunday coming up on Sunday, February 11th at the 8:00 AM service to honor King Kamehameha IV and the anniversary of his birth.
Lent will begin on Wednesday, February 14th, which as you know is Ash Wednesday. We will have three services in the Cathedral that day. The first service will be at 7:00 AM in the choir stalls. The second service will be at 11:30 AM in the choir stalls. The last service will be at 5:30 PM in the nave with music.
Since my return from Oregon, I have hit the ground running and did three services on Sunday morning, then went home and wrote a funeral sermon for Kilani as well as a sermon for this coming Sunday. On Monday I spent the morning in the office catching up on correspondence, which was quite voluminous due to my absence. I also tended to matters for the meeting of the Cathedral Chapter. On Monday evening I attended Session 2 of an eight-session seminar on compassionate communication, which I think will be greatly helpful in my role as Cathedral priest.
On Tuesday morning I drove out to Camp Mokuleia to cut branches to be placed on our altar in lieu of floral arrangements during Lent. It was a nice break from my normal routine and I appreciated being able to stand at the ocean for a couple of minutes after I got all the branches in my car. My grandparents had a home in Mokuleia and my grandfather’s ashes are scattered off the beach to the right of the camp and so it is always very meaningful for me to go and spend time there. When I got back to the office, I made phone calls, had a brief meeting with the Bishop, proofed bulletins, and did my best to clear out my email inbox.
Then at 5:30 we had the Chapter meeting in the Manger with new members present. At that time the Chapter confirmed the appointment of Roth Puahala as Senior Warden, Dixie Kaetsu as Treasurer, and Melvia Kawashima as Clerk. It was very productive and engaging meeting. Today I have a staff meeting followed by a Eucharist, then a luncheon with a clergy colleague. After that I have a meeting with the organ consultant and Todd, followed by counseling session. In the midst of my daily routine, I am also preparing for a clergy retreat that I am going to lead in the Philippines in March. Tomorrow I have my weekly meeting with Todd, as well as a Worship Committee meeting. I will also write my weekly report to Bishop Fitzpatrick as well as providing the two wardens with a written report of the past week. After the Worship Committee meeting tomorrow, I will fly to Hilo to so that I can spend Friday with my grandmother. I will be back on Saturday in time for the 5:30PM service in the Cathedral and will, of course, be here for all three services on Sunday as well as the Evensong.
I look forward to seeing you all at worship sometime this weekend. Please take care until then.