Today I’m grateful for life, for ministry, for travel, for aloha, for kokua, for grace, for the search for humility, for the abundance of God in the mystery of a simple midweek Eucharist, for a new visa, for ministry, for Julia my wife, partner, friend, biggest fan and advocate, a strong life-giving, life embracing mother, musician, and so much more… For Phoebe and James and their smiling faces over video chat and the technology that supports that and the amazing people who make it possible, for time spent with my dad and stepmom this birthday, for birthday messages, cards, support, prayers, patience, wisdom, love. Abundance in Glory may Christ be seen, above all made all supreme. Delightful abundance all suffice, to come among us, not once, but thrice.
Today I’m grateful for safe travel to Australia, for great conversations with two wonderful strangers, for a great person next to me who shared deeply and intentionally, for a great impromptu conversation in the bulkhead of the plane, for the way people come together when they travel, for the mysterious connection we share as human beings – the Spirit that binds us together in a common purpose. For those who are able to step out of the brokenness of their past and present and discover a new future for themselves, their family, their community, and our world, and for those who encourage us to do the same.
Today I’m grateful for things that can’t adequately be expressed in words. For the joy of Advent 3 – Gaudete Sunday – for the mystery of joy in tears and laughter, in bread and wine, in Scripture and music, in procession and dance, in people’s stories, deep rivers of emotion and trees of wisdom and knowledge. I’m grateful for the Parish of St. Clement, for people seeing beauty in brokenness, and hope in and through challenge, for people seeing dreams and life in and through complexity. And for Christmas lights, babies, tourists, traffic, movement, sounds and sights of people in the city together for a common purpose of family, friendship, wonder and imagination.
Today I’m grateful for the Episcopal Church in Hawaii’s Enculturation Day, for Lei-making, hula, song, history, culture, Mana, Aina, Aloha, Kokua, new learning, great salads, kind words, down-to-earth realism, grappling with difficult topics, revealing of unspoken truths, discoveries of self and other, the names, language, and spirit of the Hawaiian people and others in the Pacific. And for the Parish of St. Clement Annual Christmas Movie Night (Elf!), for wonderful conversation, great Christmas Spirit, honest sharing, committed volunteers (with great smiles and senses of humor), for families as a larger ‘ohana, for dialogue memorized, of childhood imagination and Holiday Dreaminess, and for the prayers of the committed, kind, and faithful.
Today I’m grateful for a full Friday! More goodbyes with the children of St. Clement’s School (last chapel), for joyous singing, smiles, innocent delight and wonder, praying, staff aloha, parent support and enthusiasm. For lunch with Australian friends visiting and a (recently unusual) trip to Waikiki for me, for tourists from everywhere, for people on vacation, for aloha on the streets and on the roads, for food and beverage, and for waitstaff and hosts at restaurants. For my vegan Doc Martin’s on a rainy day, and for kindness, patience and professionalism from strangers and colleagues.
Today I’m grateful for the start of significant goodbyes from the Parish of St. Clement (more to come!) For an individual pastoral visit (and handover) in the parish, for lunch with the Adult Formation Group at Kahala Nui, for their love and support, their kindness and generosity. And I’m grateful for the gift it is in being a dad, for my own kids and babysitting friends kids, for pizza and milk, plastic plates and booster seats, for smiles and bubbles in baths, for bedtime books, and PJs, for the glow of downlights and Christmas Trees, and for the indulgence of a frozen vegan meal.
Today I’m grateful for the weekly Hearing Eucharist at St. Clement’s, for the faithfulness of that small but intentional group, for the opportunity to preach the word and administer the sacraments, and for an early birthday lunch with St. Clement’s staff at my favorite restaurant, for the beautiful and hospitable service of the staff there, for vegetarian Gau Gee and mock-Kung-Pao chicken (vegan!) And I’m thankful to those who in our lives who intentionally listen and truly trust and understand where we are at, those guides in life that we are given to confide in, and for the beauty and love found in this simple but complicated act of supporting the other.
Today I’m grateful for the Family Ministries Team of St. Clement’s: for their faithfulness and generosity, for their wisdom and creativity. And for James’s 4 year old physical and immunizations, for the gift of modern medicine, for the attentiveness of doctors and nurses, for the wonders of preventative healthcare, for all who give their lives to others as healers.
Today I’m grateful for a Sabbath day off, for running kids and Julia to school, for Holy Communion at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, for the blessings of the community there (both parish and parish school), for their support of Julia, for their faithfulness with Phoebe and James, for an effective and diverse curriculum, and for faith based education (complete with the sign of the cross!) And I’m grateful for ducks and geese in a morning stream, the smells of: fresh cut grass, freshly printed paper, eucalyptus oil, spaghetti sauce, and my children’s clean hair.
Today, the Second Sunday of Advent, I’m grateful for the Holy Eucharist at St. Clement’s, for the beautiful music of Advent Carols, for a new family who joined us today, for old friends from Australia visiting, for smiles, hugs, and much aloha at the cookie slam to follow the service, for our Advent Discussion Group, for playing children, for walking sticks and wheelchairs, for broken bread and pungent wine, for new grown beards and freshly made faces, for angel earings and aloha shirts. And I’m thankful for our fresh smelling Christmas Tree, for time with friends and locally made Manoa pizza, and theology read before bedtime.