Dear St Timothy’s ‘Ohana-
In Hawaiian, mālama is to “take care for” or “to serve.” Mālama lies at the heart of our community and in Christʻs teaching. We are called to care for our selves and one another, and to serve and protect our ʻohana- our family. They include the keiki and kupuna who come to our campus at Kamaʻaina Kids and Kuakini Adult Day Care and their employees.
This past Sunday, I gave the congregation and update regarding our preparations and the development of a plan for mālama at St. Timothy’s in light of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). None of the confirmed cases in Hawaii involve Episcopal Churches, but it is prudent, out of an abundance of caution, for St. Timothy’s to plan proactively for the possibility that COVID-19 will impact our community.
I have cancelled all non-essential travel for myself and will therefore not be traveling to North Carolina next week. Other gatherings in the Diocese including the planned Chrism Mass is cancelled and the Education Day and other meetings that can be held as a video chat such as Standing Committee and Diocesean Council are moving to on-line platforms.
We are communicating with our campus tenants, Kamaʻaina Kids Preschool, Kuakini Adult Day Care, and Big Brother’s Big Sisters about our plans and regularly share with them information relevant to campus secuity and safety.
There is a lot that we donʻt know about when and how it will impact our islands and us here at St. Timothyʻs and thus it is difficult to plan for what will most certainly be dynamic situation. I want to be able to provide all the information I can without being alarming or confusing, but useful and timely.
In mālama, we should all remember that each person has it in their power to control and to take measures so that they do not get the infection, nor spread it. Such measures include correct hand washing, staying home if you have flu-like symptoms, sanitize often, avoid bodily contact with others- stop shaking hands and hugging. For now, a bow or gesture with your eyes. Do not share cups, utensils, or anything else that might share bodily fluids. The good news is that COVID 19 is easy to kill or inocculate with available household cleaners.
This is an unsettling time and many will be afraid and confused. To that end, I will share with you any updates or information I receive from health officials and the Office of the Bishop. We must live out of preparation and education and not out of fear. We are Godʻs people, called to mālama. We should not run and hide, but be a light, and as we are able, help others.
Here are some helpful informational links and videos from the World Health Organization (WHO)
https://youtu.be/mOV1aBVYKGA - About the Coronavirus Disease
https://youtu.be/1APwq1df6Mw - the COVID-19 virus and how to protect yourself against it
Yes, you read that right. Beginning March 1 and the first Sunday of Lent, the worship services at both 8 and 10am will be in Rite 1. There are treasures in the BCP and Rite 1 is among them The Rite 1 service builds on classical imagery, old “thee” and “thou” language that is beautiful (IMHO) and rich in theology. As an experiment, we will also worship using the Book of Common Prayer books in the pew.
The Eucharist on Sunday of Christ the King is a special one and used both English and ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi and where used was printed in a diglot format. THe bulletin can be found at the link below:
Why Hawaiian? It is first the language of these islands and certainly the language of our aliʻi Kamehameha IV who translated the Book of Common Prayer into Hawaiian as an act of devotion. Second, in experiencing the liturgy through a new language, we open ourselves to experiencing God in a new way. Further, it is hoped that the language and culture of Hawaiʻi can and will lead us to live out our lives in service to God and to others doing what is Pono (right); to Mālama (care) for the earth and one another, with our Mana (spiritual power) drawn from the well of God; filling the world with Aloha (love).
The Kukui or Candlenut tree is our state tree, and we can thank its ubiquitous existence to the early Polynesian wayfinders who settled the Hawaiian Islands. Our kupuna teach us that this tree has many uses among them: As medicine- flowers and leaves could be used to treat sores on the skin and mouth; As a food item- the roasted nut made “inamona” and added flavor to foods, a little too much and one would discover another medicinal use in treating constipation; And as a light source- we cannot forget that it is called the Candlenut tree afterall.
The kukui thus symbolizes healing, nourishment, and light.
As we gather this morning even as our neighbor islands are recovering from Hurricane Lane and Tropical storm Olivia the East Coast of the Continental US is reeling in the devastation of Hurricane Florence. Also, marking 17 years ago this past week, the events of September 11, 2001 have left an indelible mark- not only in history, but in the psyche of people across the globe. So much is different about how we look at the world and who we are as people.
These events remind us that we are a global community- each of us a part of the human family. In the aftermath of disaster, whether caused by nature or human intervention, there is healing, nourishment, and light. There will always be- because deep down we know the human connections are the ones that matter. The word "Aloha" connects us back to the "Ha" (Hawaiian for breath) and therefore to the very breath of our being. It speaks who we are and who we are called to be in our shared humanity as servants to one another and to the communities in which we live and work. Our task as a community of faith and as individual Christians is to heal the brokenness in our communities; nourish it with aloha and compassion, and fill them with the light of goodness and hope.
Where ever we live and work, we cannot forget how connected we are and how we need to create communities of healing, nourishment, and light. May the kukui that grows from Mauka to Makai ever remind us of this call.
Our St. Timothy's Kukui are located on the Mauka (mountain) side of the church.
The Rev'd Daniel Leatherman (Fr. Dan aka Techpadre) has been Priest in Charge of St Timothy's Episcopal Church since the summer of 2018. Though curious about the intersection of faith and technology, he has an active interest in the intersection of Hawaiian values, liturgy, and faith formation.