CLERGY EDUCATION DAY WITH BISHOP JIM MATHES: Feeding and Being Fed: 21st Century Ministry as Eucharist
[December 2019, Honolulu] The Diocese welcomed Bishop Jim Mathes to lead an Education Day for our Clergy, and spoke on the topic "Feeding and Being Fed: 21st Century Ministry as Eucharist." The event took place on Saturday, December 7, 2019, at The Cathedral of St. Andrew. Bishop Mathes is the Associate Dean of Students and Director of Anglican Studies at Virginia Theological Seminary, and his areas of expertise are congregational development and clergy mentoring. Before heading to VTS, he was the Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego.
Pictured above left is Bishop Mathes with former students of VTS that were at the event and are now clergy in the Diocese: The Rev. Dcn. Andrew Arakawa, the Rev. Ernesto "JaR" Pasalo and the Rev. Annalise Pasalo.
Below are thoughts and reflections from participants about the day spent with Bishop Mathes:
THE REV. CHRISTOPHER BRIDGES, Holy Nativity, Honolulu I was delighted to participate in the Clergy Education Day with Bishop Mathes and my fellow clergy friends. His presentation "Feeding and Being Fed: 21st Century Ministry as Eucharist" came at at good time for me in my vocation. Bishop Mathes reminded me once again that the priest points the people of God toward Jesus Christ. The Church and the world need Jesus and the priest proclaims Christ in his word and Christ in the Eucharist.
THE REV. DCN. ANDREW ARAKAWA, St. Mark's & 'Iolani School, Honolulu
As the end of the first semester of my curacy at ʻIolani School draws near, one of my fondest memories so far is a time after school when my two fellow chaplains and I met for a meeting. It had been a busy day for all of us. We sat in a classroom together, each of us taking off our clerical collars, enjoying a moment of silence together. We were three human beings ready to talk, share, and support one another. I cherish these moments of relationship and collegiality.
At the start of our Clergy Education Day, our presenter, Bishop Mathes, asked the clergy in attendance to offer some expectations for the day. The first item put forward did not concern the content of Bishop Mathes’ presentation, but rather, hope for time to connect with clergy colleagues in the Diocese. I was grateful for this request. Bishop Mathes agreed in happy acknowledgment, noting this receptivity towards connection and fellowship was foundational for the day’s work. He made it clear that time to be with each other was much more critical to our development as a clerical community than remembering any content he had to share.
The day’s talk was framed around Dom Gregory Dix’s four parts of the Eucharistic Liturgy—Take, Pray (Bless), Break, and Give. I found the section on "Break,” to be especially moving. In that section, we discussed being open and vulnerable in our vocation. This experience made clear that the ability to acknowledge our brokenness provides the kind of open place where God’s grace has the room to move and enliven our lives.
The 2019 Clergy Education Day was a day set aside for conversations, reflections, and prayers amongst clergy in the diocese. Bishop Mathes was right; I do not remember many of the finer details of his presentation. However, under his gentle guidance, the day offered the opportunity for us to be in fellowship. We shared a meal, we talked and prayed together, and we supported one another in our shared mission to serve the Diocese of Hawaiʻi – a day well spent.