First, the Diocese of Hawai'i has announced the list of candidates for Bishop of Hawai'i ... election to be held in October:
1. The Reverend Canon Howard Anderson
President and Warden
of Cathedral College of Washington National Cathedral
2. The Reverend Canon Kathleen Cullinane
Associate Dean and Canon Missioner,
Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis, Indiana
3. The Reverend Canon Robert L. Fitzpatrick
Canon to the Ordinary,
Office of the Bishop of Hawai‘i
4. The Reverend David C. Moore
Priest-in-Charge, St. Margaret’s Church,
5. The Reverend Dr. Joy Rogers
Rector, St. Thomas Episcopal Church,
Battle Creek, Michigan
Second, it is being reported that the Diocese of El Camino Real has changed the charge to its Nominating Committee from:
"At this time in our history and in view of General Convention Resolution B033, the Search Committee shall not nominate any homosexual person as a candidate for bishop of the Diocese of El Camino Real."
"The Search Committee shall be mindful of General Convention Resolution B033."
My, my, my!
Woot! Score one for the good guys and gals!
I suppose the Hawaii slate is fine from a theological perspective (its hard to tell from the little snippets on the web site), but Hawaii has a lot of racial problems.
It's disappointing to look at a slate of candidates where whites are seen by natives as outsiders who have destroyed their culture and not see a single native Hawaiian on the slate.
TEC still has a long way to go to get to true diversity.
Uh, Jeff, when was the last time you were in Hawaii and for how long? How are you defining "natives" and from where are you getting your information?
My brother lives in Hawaii and works with the indiginous population. The racial tension in the state has a direct impact on his job.
I was last there about a year ago.
Of course there are a lot of anglos who need ministry also, but the lack of diversity in TEC is still apparent, and the racial tension in Hawaii is quite obvious.
You don't need to be a native to see the signs hung up on the highways proclaiming native freedom from US rule, hear local anger at the takeover by the haole, and so on. The little-known Hawaiian island of Ni'ihau is only open to native Hawaiians and they speak native Hawaiian (not English). Of course, not every local native feels that way, but there is a definite undercurrent.
That undercurrent may be diffused in the neighborly hospitality that is shown to tourists and visitors in the effort to bring tourism dollars into the state, fuel jobs, and so forth, it is not my experience nor understanding of the general non-white population. My understanding is that it is an increasing factor in statewide politics as well - see this article for its affect on the nationwide political scene.
So- my point is the same- the anglo is not native to Hawaii, and there are no native Hawaiians on the slate. We are still primarily a white church. And that's a shame.
even though I just posted a mouthful,
Let me say that I'm very happy about the El Camino Real change!!
Jeff - As someone who is in the church every day, I can tell you you are making some gross generalizations. The whole issue of who self-identifies as Hawaiian and how various hapa people here self-identify is crucial to understanding the issues. You might see those flags and sovereinty signs, but that is a very small percentage of the general population and an even smaller percentage of the Hawaiian population, however that is defined.
When you say racial problems, who specifically are you talking about? And as I asked before, exactly how are you identifying "natives"? By a specific quantum percentage? I suspect that any self-identified Hawaiian would be quite offended by the term "native". My own parishioners who self-identify as Hawaiian are either Hawaiian or indigenous.
Ni'ihau is a privately owned island -- owned by a long-time haole family who controls the goings and comings of that island, and by Hawaiians who choose to live there. Bad example for any kind of argument you're trying to make.
Your second-hand information is really poorly biased as far as the actual environment is concerned. Based on the very little information you have gleaned from the diocesan web site and the total lack of information you have about the search process, I suggest you get more info before making your judgements.
If your brother is feeding you this information, you might suggest he call St. Clement's and come for a discussion before making these statements about TEC in Hawaii.
Your own statements are incredibly inaccurate. You look like a really nice guy and my guess is that you are. So to read what you have written is quite disturbing. As someone who has been involved intimately with the search process and at all levels of the diocese with our many different ethnic groups, I personally find what you have written very offensive. Please, please, please check with someone who acutally knows what's going on before make comdemnations like this.
Need something to lift your spirits on "Hump Day"? Check out the butterfly diary here.
I'm not trying to pick a fight here. Obviously I don't live in Hawaii, and my brother is not Episcopalian so we have not discussed TEC. But I do think that it is easy to be dismisive of racial issues.
Don't miss my point because you disagree with my observations about Hawaiian racial tension- racial tensions aren't my point. I would say the same thing about largely latino states along the border missing latino candidates, or dioceses with large african-american populations lacking that representation.
This isn't about satisfaction or dissatisfaction of pacific islanders, or of the diocese itself, or of the search committee. There just aren't any qualified non-white candidates to choose from because we, as a church, aren't reaching ethnic minorities to pull them in. My primary point is this exactly - we lack leadership in the church of non-white people. There are precious few.
I'm in a primarily non-white parish that had to call a white rector because they couldn't find a person of color to fill the position. I can imagine I would feel similarly compromised if I were an ethnic Hawaiian (see my post On Being a Racist).
That's the point here. TEC isn't diverse, and that is sad. We have a long way to go. That's all.
We see the danger here of seeing people only as classifications rather than value the individual and the compellation of his or her gifts.
A single or combination of demographic blocks checked off does not give any indication on qualification, effectiveness, or most importantly, movement by the Spirit.
Cramner49 - may your Diocese select the best candidate. I have soft spot for St. Clements in Makiki .... got married there 22 years ago, and guess what? It stuck!
Congratulations, bateaumaster! It's always good to hear of a success story out of this parish.
And thank you for your prayers. We have tried at every step to make sure that we leave room for the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit!
For Jeff -- Please try to understand that this is not the mainland. We're dealing with at least 12-15 different ethnicities and cultures. The word "racism" just doesn't work here the way it does on the mainland. It's much more complicated and multi-faceted. Haoles make up less than half the population. Of the candidates nominated, three have lived in Hawaii for a significant amount of time and understand that this place -- one has even been hanai'd by a Hawaiian family. That's a very big deal. A fourth candidate has extensive multi-cultural experience. Not "just" Latino or African-American, but multi-cultural. There is a crucial difference.
We can talk about various ethnic groups and where they are in the class system here -- that's a significant ism. If you'd like, we can talk about the efforts at raising up clergy from the local communities, including the Hawaiian community, and why they have or have not succeeded.
But please do not make the generalizations that you have about the Episcopal Church here or about the culture in Hawaii. They're not at all helpful in a process that has been continually sensitive to the culture and many different peoples we live with on a daily basis. You just don't know enough of who we are as a faith community in this diocese to make those kinds of negative and judgmental statements.
Again, I think you're missing my point. The national church doesn't have many non-white faces.
Yes, I understand Hawaii is multi-cultural and complicated. The worship experiences I've had in Hawaii have been wonderful multi-cultural experiences.
AND I don't think that a wonderful multi-cultural church means that the racial issues go away in the outside world. See the comments on the post I referenced earlier.
In my experience in talking to non-white people here and elsewhere, having non-white leadership does make a difference. BTW - is anyone on this thread non-white, just for reference?
I'm not accusing the Diocese of Hawaii of being culturally or racially insensitive. I apologize if that is what it sounds like. I am completely sure that the diocese is aware of racial and cultural sensitivity. I am sure that the slate of candidates is well-qualified and the best available candidates to serve the diocese. That's just not my point.
You came closer to it when you raised the issue of trying to get the local communities to be raised in the church and feed the clergy base. That is closer to the issue at hand.
At All Saints Pasadena, where I met Susan, we have a policy that the color of the faces at the front of the church have to reflect the color of the faces in the pews. That took me a while to get used to because it means sometimes that anglos must defer to non-anglos as LEMs.
I understand that better now because I have heard more stories about how important it is for congregations to relate to the people in leadership. That is why Gene Robinson is so important to me. Without him, we have no role model. We are marginalized, looking to dissimilar people that are being kind enough to represent our point of view instead of people who have actually lived through our experience to be able to talk to it- to relate it from the pulpit.
And Susan - I really didn't mean to hijack your post with a topic that you didn't intend! I was just making a comment that there is a lack of diversity in the leadership of TEC.
As I'm learning more about racial and cultural sensitivity, I'm drawing a lot of parallels to our experience as GLBT people. The oppressed seem to have a lot in common, I guess.
You can insert "women" in place of non-white or gay and get similar issues, of course.
Of the past four bishops of Hawaii, two were haole, one Chinese, and one Hawaiian. No women and, as far as we know, no gays. We do tend to forget that...
I suppose I've just become very sensitive to mainlanders who come here with their mainland understandings of racism and try to lay it over a very different culture, environment, and history. That's when I learned how very empty and ridiculous attempts to be "politically correct" are when there is not understanding of the local culture.
But as I said before, Jeff, I'd be happy to talk about the dynamics of raising up non-white faces for all levels of ministry. I'll be in Austin for two weeks in the fall. maybe we can have a cup of coffee in the refectory and refect on these issues....
Well now! Preach it! I hear a mild change of tune in this revision of the wording, but progress is progress.
I'm Hawaiian, attend St. Andrews (the 8AM Hawaiian service), and yes, it would've been nice to a Hawaiian candidate for Bishop. (And frankly, I don't get offended by "Native" in front of Hawaiian. I get more peeved by "Hawaiian" being the equivalent of "Californian" or "Texan."). So I actually do think what Jeff says is valid.
Hawaiians tend to be pretty polite, so even if they're not holding up signs, they do feel the stings of a culture under pressure--at least my family and friends do--even if we don't belong to Ka Lahui or Nation of Ku. Doesn't mean that we're anti-haole or anti-American. Just that it is tough to live here, be Hawaiian when at best, it is a two step forward, one step back situation. (And we're talking about a people who were sovereign for a thousand plus years).
As to a Hawaiian Bishop, first thing is we gotta get more Hawaiian Episcopalian clergy. King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma invited the Anglican Church here, gave support in land and sponsorship, and today there are only three Hawaiian clergy, all kind of old. That's it.
So, basically, Jeff, I think that you have a bunch of correct observations....just my mana'o.
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