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Hawaiian Mission Trip

September 10, 2018

They call it a sabbatical interim. I was invited to lead worship and preach at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View, Hawaii in August.  Lutherans and Episcopalians have altar and pulpit fellowship, so after the necessary paperwork, I was approved by the bishop of the diocese of Hawaii to serve at St. Jude.

Carmen and I flew to Kona on August 8 and were met by Cordelia Burt, the warden of the parish.  She placed leis around our neck and greeted us warmly, then drove us to McKinney Place, where visiting priests and pastors stay during their sabbatical.  It was a lovely home, secure and well-furnished.  The small open-air church was just a short walk away, where each Saturday, people from the community line up for a free shower. Water is in short supply, and the outdoor shower stalls are in great demand.  Twenty-five to forty-five people sign in and wait their turn to get a nice hot shower.  While waiting they are offered a free lunch.  Children are entertained and learn in the Computer Lab, a small room with eight laptop computers. This is only one of the many services St. Jude provides to people of this impoverished development area, sometimes called “the Appalachia of Hawaii.”

Episcopalian worship is liturgical, but relaxed and unhurried.  A potluck dinner is served after every Sunday service where members and neighbors are engaged in conversation dedicated to getting to know each other, and honest caring. Everyone is welcome, no one turned away. St. Jude is The Little Church with a Big Heart.

We were provided use of a car for touring the island. We enjoyed malasadas at the Punalu’u bake shop in Ka’alehu, and snorkeling with the Weavers at Ho’okena beach. Hurricane Lane passed by while we were there, dumping torrential rains on Hilo, only strong winds and rain at Ocean View.  We didn’t go to Kilauea to see molten lava, but saw massive barren lava flows which form the South Point of the island.

Joel joined us for our final five days and treated us to a luau for our 52nd anniversary on August 27th at the Royal Kona Resort.  We returned home August 29th, grateful for a relaxing time on the big island.  The people of St. Jude were wonderful hosts and true servants of Christ. Thank you, Cindy Cutts, for the invitation to preach and serve.

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