August 20, 2020 - The Bishop ponders Scripture to help us during these difficult times.
SPECIAL MESSAGE ON IN-PERSON WORSHIP
August 5, 2020
My dear Siblings in Christ Jesus,
I have had several restless nights recently. The climb in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations – especially on Oʻahu and, to a lesser degree, on Maui – have me worried. I listened to the Mayor of Honolulu and health officials yesterday. I have read and reread the Orders from the Counties.
How can we best care for God’s people and witness to the community in this time of pandemic? I think we are at a point that the churches in the different Counties need to respond in different ways. READ MORE
August 3, 2020 - The Bishop addresses "politics" in religion in this timely and important reminder of how we live out our faith.
July 27, 2020 - The Bishop talks about Lectio Divina Prayer and the five steps to practice it.
SPECIAL MESSAGE: HURRICANE DOUGLAS
July 25, 2020
Aloha my dear Siblings in Christ Jesus,
With the approach of Hurricane Douglas, I know everyone in the Diocese is preparing "just in case." Be assured of my prayers, and the support of the Diocesan Support Center Staff for our churches and parishioners.
I have asked the Clergy and Wardens to keep me informed of the needs of our parishioners and the impact on our local communities in addition to any damage to church property.
I also know that some congregations and individual Episcopalians will be reaching out to the houseless and those who are homebound in this time of need. All is more complicated because of the COVID Pandemic. Thank you for your ministry.
Please stay safe! In this difficult time, please wear your mask, try to maintain social distancing, and wash your hands as often as you can.
For a prayer, I have modified this one from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer for our time and place:
ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech thee, of thy great goodness, to restrain those immoderate rains and winds, that doth afflict these Islands from time to time. And we pray thee to send us such seasonable weather, that the earth may, in due time, yield her increase for our use and benefit; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sent with my hope and prayer for the safety of everyone,
The Right Reverend Robert L. Fitzpatrick
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaiʻi
Monday, July 20, 2020 - The Bishop shares the sermon he delivered at the St. Andrew's Priory Baccalaureate on Friday, July 17, 2020.
July 13, 2020 - For his weekly Monday message, the Bishop shares the sermon he gave at the Ordination of Stephen McPeek on July 11, 2020.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE BISHOP:
WORSHIP & COVID CONCERNS
July 11, 2020
I have received requests from two diocesan leaders that I deeply respect asking me to consider closing public worship in the entire Diocese. They are rightly concerned about the recent local spike in positive COVID-19 tests. After today’s report of 42 new positive COVID-19 tests in the Islands, I too am deeply concerned.
As of right now (Saturday, July 11, 2020, at 2:30 PM), I’m not convinced that it is necessary to stop public worship in all of our congregations. This is especially true if a congregation has adequate space and airflow (ideally meeting outside), and is closely following the guidelines/recommendations in the Diocesan Customary in the time of Pandemic (the 2nd edition will be coming soon and the guidelines will even be more explicit). Many of our congregations have good plans in place and are being diligent in practice. At this time, please follow the path of caution. Everyone needs to be masked [in a cloth mask and not a face shield alone (as of now)]. During in-person worship, please no hymn singing and no congregational responses. READ MORE
July 6, 2020 - The Bishop shares insightful words from Father Kenneth Bray and Archbishop William Temple.
June 29, 2020 - In today’s weekly message, Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick talks about shame and guilt, and references the book Shame and Grace: Healing the Shame We Don't Deserve by Lewis B. Smedes (HarperCollins, 1993).
June 22, 2020 - In today’s message, Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick talks about symbols and faith, referring to the book The Dynamics of Faith by Paul Tillich.
June 15, 2020 - In today’s message, Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick reflects on the meaning of the “Common Good” as Christians, in light of Micah 6:8 and 1 Peter 2:10, and the pitfalls of individualism. He also recommends two biographies of 20th century Episcopalians: The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins by Kristen Downey (Anchor Books, 2009) and A Christian and a Democrat: A Religious Biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt by John F. Woolverton with James D. Bratt (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2019).
June 8, 2020 - With protests taking place around the nation and world, Bishop Fitzpatrick asks us to revisit our Baptismal Covenant: Will you strive for justice and peace?
A FRIDAY REFLECTION DURING A DIFFICULT TIME
June 5, 2020
Aloha my Siblings in Christ Jesus,
During the Governor’s “Stay at Home Order,” I, like many others in the Islands, worked from home. I learned to use “Zoom” and spent hours on the phone (in fact, I still am doing so). I was also given added time to pray and read. I re-read some of the writings of Soren Kierkegaard (long on my shelf from my undergraduate days). I actually did that because I had read in The Roosevelt I Knew by Frances Perkins [Penguin Classics (Reprint edition), 2011] and A Christian and a Democrat: A Religious Biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt by John F. Woolverton with James D. Bratt (Eerdmans, 2019) that during War World II a dinner conversation with an Episcopal Priest motivated President Roosevelt to read Kierkegaard. The President was pondering human nature, and especially human sin and collective depravity. READ MORE
June 1, 2020 - In his Monday message, the Bishop asks us to join the world in a day of mourning and remembrance.
PENTECOST SUNDAY, May 31, 2020 - The Bishop's sermon that was shared in churches throughout the Diocese
BISHOP'S REFLECTION ON RACISM, May 28, 2020
Aloha my Siblings in Christ Jesus,
Can the United States ever overcome its profoundly racist nature? As a society, the presenting American sin is racism. As a nation, it was founded on notions of European cultural superiority that was enshrined in ideology and theology (see "The Doctrine of Discovery"). It was created with the violent displacement of indigenous peoples of the land, and the kidnapping and enslavement of Africans. Every subsequent generation of European Americans has benefited from the inherit right to conquer and control other people. The often unconscious assumptions of white supremacy and colonialism pervade our everyday life. This is even true in Hawaiʻi.
I have personally benefited from the racism of American society. Most of my ancestors were those English and Scots-Irish settlers (and their descendants) who made their way from colonial Virginia through Kentucky, and into southern Indiana and Illinois. They were farmers, shop keepers and laborers. I am one of the first in the family to make it through college and graduate school. Through the years, I have never been questioned about my right to be any place that I have been. I have never been treated with suspicion. It was always assumed that I “earned” my place in school or American society. I was nurtured with the myth that hard work earned one respect and success. I have never had to fear the police or those in authority. Even when pulled over for a traffic violation, I was given the benefit of the doubt – and almost always given a warning and not a ticket. Yes, there have been struggles and differences in my family. The key is that they did not inhibit my education or career because of the color of my skin or where I was born (or the language my parents spoke). READ MORE
May 27, 2020 - The Bishop offers midday prayers and a concluding reflection/lesson on 1 Peter 5:1.
May 25, 2020 - Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick expresses his gratitude to all in the Diocese as churches begin a return to in-person public worship.
May 20, 2020 - The Bishop offers his weekly midday prayers and continuing reflections on 1 Peter 4:7-19.
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Earlier messages can be found on the archive page:
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