September 22, 2021 - In his weekly video message, the Bishop talks about COVID-19, Job, and Love.
Release of Corona Virus Vaccination Policy!
September 21, 2021
The ongoing reality of COVID-19 has presented many challenges to the Church as we try to engage the governmental guidelines and the instruction from health care professionals. In the Episcopal Church, we have listened closely and tried to follow the direction of the best that medical science and civil authority can offer.
With the Delta Variant and other possible variants extant in the world today, what should we do? First and foremost, we must continue to encourage every member of the Episcopal Church who is medically eligible to be vaccinated. There is no reasonable reason whatsoever for someone in the Episcopal Church to seek a religious exemption from being vaccinated based on the teaching, practice, or spirituality of the Episcopal Church. An individual may claim such an exemption for a personal reason, but we need to be clear that this is not because one is a member of the Episcopal Church. READ MORE
September 8. 2021 - This week's video message is on sin, will and love, in light of the upcoming anniversary of 9-11.
Special Announcement: September 6, 2021
I distinctly remember the feeling of deep sadness as these words were sung in the Cathedral during the first public liturgy immediately after the tragedy of September 11, 2001. The years following have been marked by wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. We have had to adapt to increased security in our everyday lives. Our sense of personal security was shaken. We have mourned lives lost. Life was changed.
It has now been twenty years since that fateful day. I hope everyone will take the time to reflect this week on our call to be servants of God’s peace (Matthew 5:9): “Happy are people who make peace, because they will be called God’s children.” As we remember those died and the changes that day have brought to our lives, we can hold fast to the vision of Isaiah 2:4: “God will judge between the nations, and settle disputes of mighty nations. Then they will beat their swords into iron plows and their spears into pruning tools. Nation will not take up sword against nation; they will no longer learn how to make war.” READ MORE
Time to give generously to Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD)
Special Announcement: September 3, 2021
In this time when people have been devastated by hurricanes, fires and earthquakes, we are called upon to give generously to Episcopal Relief & Development. Episcopal Relief & Development is the compassionate response of The Episcopal Church to human suffering in the world. Hearing God’s call to seek and serve Christ in all persons and to respect the dignity of every human being, Episcopal Relief & Development serves to bring together the generosity of Episcopalians and others with the needs of the world.
Episcopal Relief & Development faithfully administers the funds that it receives from the church and raises from other sources. It provides relief in times of disaster and promotes sustainable development by identifying and addressing the root causes of suffering. READ MORE
September 1, 2021 - The Bishop resumes his weekly video messages. This week he talks about our faith especially during these difficult times.
THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH, THE DELTA SURGE, AND THE GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 21-05 (Statewide Limits for Social Gatherings, Restaurants, Bars, and Social Establishments)
Special Announcement: August 11, 2021
I have received some questions about the Governor’s newest directive regarding the pandemic [see THE GOVERNOR’S EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 21-05 (Statewide Limits for Social Gatherings, Restaurants, Bars, and Social Establishments)].
If each congregation is following the Diocesan Customary in the time of Pandemic, we should be in compliance and no major adjustments are needed (please review the Customary). I direct that Episcopal Churches should reasonably be considered under the category of “Restaurants, Bars, and Social Establishments” in the Executive Order (there are exceptions for churches and special events). In this Diocese of Hawaiʻi, we must ensure no more than 50% capacity in our worship spaces. READ FULL ANNOUNCEMENT
SURGE IN POSITIVE DELTA VARIANT COVID-19 CASES
Special Announcement: August 4, 2021
Aloha my dear Siblings in Christ Jesus,
I returned from visiting my Grandchildren in Rhode Island late Sunday to the new surge in positive COVID-19 cases here in the Islands. We are again faced with a difficult situation.
As with the broader community, there has a been a general relaxation of practices in our congregations over the past couple of months. The Customary in the time of Pandemic Updated 5 February 2021 is still the “official” word, but we are faced with a new situation. As the Episcopal Church in Hawaiʻi, we must renew our vigilance.
As we consider the current situation, I assume all clergy, lay leaders (wardens, vestry/bishop’s committee members, members of Standing Committee and Diocesan Council, etc.) and lay church employees who can be vaccinated, have been vaccinated against COVID-19. I am aware that some individuals have not been vaccinated for medical reasons and that children under 12 are not yet eligible to be vaccinated. Otherwise, I certainly hope all other Episcopalians in this Diocese have been vaccinated. I consider it imperative for our community and our moral responsibility to be vaccinated.
A REFLECTION ON JULY 4, 2021
(Chronicle July 9, 2021)
Today, Sunday, July 4, is Independence Day in the United States. If it were a weekday, there could even be a lesser commemoration in the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church. It is a commemoration that was only adopted into the Church’s calendar with the 1929 Book of Common Prayer. Frankly, it is not a liturgical observance with which I am comfortable. It certainly ought not replace the normal Sunday liturgy. Perhaps it is time to be removed from the Church’s calendar altogether.
Why? The holiday is too “patriotic” and even “nationalistic” to my mind for an observance in a Christian church during worship. We ought not confuse our faith and identity as disciples of Jesus Christ with our temporal citizenship. For the same reason, I do not think national (or denominational) flags belong in sanctuaries – especially near the altar. I do not believe Christians can or should identify temporal civil authority or any leader with God or “God’s will.” Even having “In God We Trust” as national motto (adopted by Congress only in 1959) is suspect to my mind. “E pluribus unum” ("Out of many, one") is much closer to our national ideal without confusing the nation for God. READ FULL MESSAGE HERE
March 31, 2021 - Bishop Bob shares his Easter message 2021. In it, he connects our Baptismal life (as expressed in the Baptismal Covenant) with the joy expressed in a sermon, long attributed to St. John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople.
March 29, 2021 - Bishop Bob concludes his reflections on the hymns of Charles Wesley, with hymns #188 and #493.
SPECIAL MESSAGE: ATLANTA, BOULDER, SIN AND HOPE
March 24, 2021
My dear Siblings in Christ Jesus,
“Sin is the seeking of our own will instead of the will of God, thus distorting our relationship with God, with other people, and with all creation.” – “The Catechism” in The Book of Common Prayer, page 848.
The reality of human sin has been brought home again with the murders in Atlanta and Boulder. These are horrific acts. With anti-Asian rhetoric and violence, the riots last year in some cities, and the insurrection at the Capitol Building in January, we have been given stark reminders of the human sin. It seems that the language of hate and acts of violence are now just part of living in the United States. The murder of innocent people by individuals with assault weapons has become common place. Such sin is both corporate and individual. READ MORE
March 22, 2021 - The Bishop continues his series on praying the words to the hymns by Charles Wesley, with Hymn #352 and others.
SPECIAL MESSAGE: ADDRESSING ANTI-ASIAN RHETORIC
March 19, 2021
My dear Siblings in Christ Jesus,
The continental United States has recently experienced a surge in anti-Asian rhetoric, bullying in schools, racist incidents, scapegoating and hate crimes impacting Asian and Asian American people. It has been reported that: "Anti-Asian hate crime in 16 of America’s largest cities increased 149% in 2020 according to an analysis of official preliminary police data by the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, with the first spike occurring in March and April amidst a rise in COVID cases and negative stereotyping of Asians relating to the pandemic." While we often feel a disconnect from the harsh reality of the North American States, the inappropriate Anti-Asian remarks by the Police Chief on Kauaʻi brings the crisis home to the Islands.
READ FULL MESSAGE
To view more of the Bishop's video messages, visit the Diocesan YouTube channel:
Earlier messages can be found on the archive page: