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
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.