Dear Cathedral Ohana:
The past week has been not only busy, but also deeply spiritual in many ways. As you know, we had The Rev. Dcn. James Moore with us for two Sundays at our 8:00 and 10:30 services. James and I go way back. He was my kid brother’s kindergarten teacher in 1975 and I used to play with his oldest son. When James and I were confirmed together in 1996, I don’t think that either one of us would’ve imagined serving together at a cathedral altar 23 years later. It just goes to show that if we manage to stay open, life can offer us twists and turns that keep life full, engaging, and interesting.
I would also like to share that Thursday afternoon and I drove from my grandmother’s house back to Hilo on the Saddle Road. Because I had a chapter meeting, I was not able to attend the Clergy Retreat and join my colleagues when they made their trip to Mauna Kea to present hoʻokupu to the Protectors with Bishop Fitzpatrick. Driving through the encampment gave me the opportunity say prayers for a calm and peaceful resolution to what I know is a difficult situation. As I said in my sermon this Sunday, I think the challenge in situations like this is to understand that we are one body, one spirit. Whatever side or stance anyone takes on the TMT, I hope we can keep that in mind as we strive to do God’s will.
And while I talk about Hawai‘i Island in this weekly letter to you, I would ask for your prayers for a young man by the name of Kyle Brittain. Kyle is the son of my friend Steve at whose wedding I officiated on August 17. Kyle went missing on a trek to Waipio Valley on Friday morning and Steve and his friends are frantically trying to find him.
In the midst of all these things going on back home, I realize that life is fragile, constantly evolving and changing and that I need God to help me navigate it all with hope and faith in good things to come. That can be hard to do in the midst of challenges and change. The Cathedral is no stranger to that notion. At our last chapter meeting we prayed together and then rolled up our sleeves to think about our future in the midst of attempting to reorganize the staff to better serve the Cathedral, and at the same time face day to day transitions like retirements, new hires, new calls, and ends of contracts. As you know, my three-year Letter of Agreement ends on December 31st and we are working together to discern what God’s will is in terms of next steps for both the Cathedral congregation and me. I never dreamed I’d be a clergy leader in a cathedral and always felt a pull to neighbor island ministry. God had other plans and I was surprised. But that’s what keeps life interesting, doesn’t it? I look forward to seeing how things will unfold for me and for the Cathedral in the coming years.
In the midst of all these questions and concerns, life goes on. This week I’m preparing a stewardship letter that will go out later in the month for our annual pledge drive. We will have the ingathering in late November and, of course, commitments can be turned in at any time.
I am also heading out to Manila for nine days on Sunday and will conduct a retreat for seminarians and faculty at St. Andrews Theological Seminary in Quezon City. I will be back in the office on September 18.
I have also learned of the deaths of two of my mother’s first cousins back home on Hawai‘i island. The time in my life cycle has come where my grandparents’ generation is mostly gone and now my mother’s generation is joining them. I ask for prayers for my cousins’ families and friends.
That is all I have for this week. I do not plan to write while I am in the Philippines and will look forward to seeing you this Sunday and after I return. Please take care until then.