“Suddenly Last Sunday” – A report on the school supplies ministry

As we have done for more than a decade, Elizabeth Conklin and I started composing notices and adding photos to announcements in late June about the school supplies drive. When I found black and white composition books for 48 cents each at Fisher Hawaii, I bought a whole stack. I put them into the plastic bins at the back of the church to hopefully “seed” more donations.

But as the Sundays in July ticked by, the set of supplies did not grow much.  People asked me questions, but all was pretty quiet. I knew that one donor (an educator) had written a significant check so school staff could pick out what they needed most. I had resigned myself to “oh well, each year is different.”

Last Sunday, Casey helped wheel the cart with two half-filled bins into the Cathedral.  I arranged a dainty display of supplies by the lectern against wall to the choir loft.  In between the 8:00 and the 10:30 service, Reverend Moki got busy and rearranged the display in front of the altar. He explained:  “These should be visible!  These are people’s donations they should be in front of the altar.”  Then Euphemia showed me supplies they had at home and Susan Anderson came over with a couple bags.  She added those items to the display, extending it down another stair.  Suddenly more bags appeared on the cart.

Fr. Moki blessing the school supplies for Kalihi Waena School, July 28, 2019

There was a great variety, from camouflage slippers to a dozen bottles of glue, to a large set of composition books with different colored covers.  It was exuberant.  This became a display of true abundance.  After the services, people excitedly told me about the deals they got at Walmart, Long’s and Fisher Hawaii, and why they chose what they did.  They had been thinking about this for a couple weeks and were truly into the experience of finding, choosing, buying, and giving supplies to students to equip them for the approaching school year. It was a joyous celebration of our members excitedly helping in their own way.

Ann Hansen