The Fall Season Arrives in Hawaii
Dearest Spiritual Ohana,,
Wow, it has really been a hot Summer! From May to September, we experienced temperatures, a vast majority of days each month, soaring over 90 degrees, not to mention the added high humidity levels. Even though it is now Fall, the temperatures have continued to remain pretty high. I don’t know about all of you, but it has been rough enduring the discomforts of the weather for longer than I can remember, this year! Hopefully, we will get some relief soon, as we approach the Winter solstice!
It is wonderful to see that many of our Ministries have started up, again, especially our Philoptochos, Sunday School, Greek School, Dance Groups, Aloha Choir and Strategic Planning who took a break over the Summer months. Our adult choir has been working very hard, non-stop, bringing us continuous inspiration in our worship along with our tireless chanters and readers who also faithfully serve and help lead us in worship throughout the entire year. Our Men’s Book Club has brought some wonderful fellowship and sharing as we read several books which were entertaining, inspirational and offered interesting insights and perspectives.
I am very joyful that we have started our Young Adult Fellowship, which began in September, and meets every Monday evening. The Young Adults who have attended, so far, bring about a “breath of fresh air” as I continually witness their youthful energy, enthusiasm and genuineness, as I listen to what they have to say and share, and as I attempt to answer questions they have for me. I know many of our young adults live very busy lives and have to fulfill very demanding schedules. I pray more of them will have opportunities to join, attend and participate in our gatherings.
I look forward to an opportunity to share, this Fall, a wonderful Adult Religious Education Series from the Archdiocese, namely “A Journey to Fullness: An Introduction to the Fullness of the Original Christian Faith” by Fr. Barnabas Powell. I plan to have our gatherings on Sundays from 1 to 2 p.m. I will announce in our upcoming Weekly Bulletins when we will begin and what dates we will meet. The goal, here, is for us to have participatory discussions which lead each participant in a journey towards fulfillment in his/ her personal life in Christ, a step closer and closer, each day, to experience, genuinely, an intimate and intentional communal relationship with Him. As Christians, we are pilgrims journeying through this world, temporarily, on our way toward our True Homeland, which is the Kingdom of Heaven.
My desire is for each one of you in our Cathedral here in Hawaii to have a continually deepening relationship with Lord which is meaningful and fulfilling. It is not enough to be called “Christian” in name alone, but to give our Christianity flesh by walking daily in our lives with the Light of Christ, through the Grace of the Holy Spirit shining in them. Without His Presence, our lives are empty and we will always be seeking for that something that will bring meaning in our lives. Being created in God’s Image and Likeness, there is an instinctive and natural longing for Him. When we deny or leave out His Presence and seek any other means for fulfillment, joy and happiness, we will, without a shadow of a doubt, be left with a void and an emptiness that cannot ever be filled. I have a few quotes from a few Saints to back up what I just said. Here is what they have to say, with much greater authority than I am able to speak:
“The aim of all those who live in God is to please our Lord Jesus Christ and become reconciled with God the Father through receiving the Holy Spirit, thus securing their salvation, for in this consists the salvation of every soul. If this aim and this activity is lacking, all other labor is useless and all other striving is in vain. Every path of life which does not lead to this is without profit.” + St. Simeon the New Theologian
“Think nothing and do nothing without a purpose directed to God. For to journey without direction is wasted effort.” + St. Mark the Ascetic
These actions are left up to each of us, to choose and respond to, as we please, in our own free will.
With Love in Christ,