Monday, October 4, 2010

Monks commemorate the life of St. Teresa of Avila

The monks of the Eremitic Order of Mount Carmel (EOMC) at Annunciation Monastery of Honolulu joined with local Inclusive Orthodox Church (IOC) clergy, community and friends to celebrate a special Divine Liturgy commemorating the life of Saint Teresa of Avila. Archbishop Daniel J. Dahl, Bishop Stephen Randolph Sykes and Archpriest Drew A. Kovach joined in con-celebrating “The Rite of the Americas” at the monastery this past Sunday, October 3rd, 2010.

Bishop Daniel gave a homily about Saint Teresa's life. He spoke about the Saint's famous writings (The Interior Castle) about mental prayer and interior spiritual life which had been an inspiration for the foundation of the EOMC. He quoted directly from some of the more famous of Saint Teresa’s published works;

“Let nothing disturb thee; Let nothing dismay thee; All thing pass; God never changes. Patience attains All that it strives for. He who has God Finds he lacks nothing: God alone suffices.”

It is Saint Teresa’s life as a religious reformer, mystic and for her emphasis upon living in the presence of God which motivated the EOMC monks to choose her as Co-Patroness of their Hawaii religious community in 1994.

“It is here, … that love is to be found - not hidden away in corners but in the midst of occasions of sin. And believe me, although we may more often fail and commit small lapses, our gain will be incomparably the greater.”

“I do not fear Satan half so much as I fear those who fear him,” Saint Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bishop Charleston & Bishop Sykes Meet

ECUSA Bishop Steven Charleston and IOC Hawaii Bishop Randolph Stephen Sykes met to discuss their shared vision of increased Inter-Faith activities. The meeting took place after Bishop Charleston's address at the Cathedral of St. Andrew's Margaret Kai Memorial lecture delivered by Bishop Charleston on 13 September 2010 in Honolulu.
Bishop Steven Charleston is considered one of the most erudite speakers of the Episcopal Church and is the former national Executive Director for Native American Ministries in the Epispopal Church (ECUSA). He is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and was formerly President and Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Provost of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, California.
The topic of Bishop Charleston's lecture was "The Meaning of Life: A Short Course in Why We Are Here."

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bishop Sykes news commentary Honolulu StarAdvertiser "On Faith"

The Honolulu Star Advertiser newspaper’s “On Faith” column featured an article by the Most Rev. Stephen Randolph Sykes, Orthodox Bishop of Hawai‘i of the Inclusive Orthodox Church. In the July 3, 2010, edition Bishop Stephen was commenting about a video exchange between the Brazilian theologian Leonardo Boff and the Dalai Lama.
Bishop Sykes reported that the Dalai Lama was quoted as saying, "Take care of your thoughts because they become words; words because they become actions; actions because they become habits. Habits will form your character; character will form your destiny; and your destiny will be your life. There is no religion higher than the truth."
Bishop Sykes’ wrote in his commentary that: “In Matthew's gospel, Jesus speaks about the "Golden Rule." Jesus says, "In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you." It is a message also given by the founders of all of the world's great religions, including the Buddha, Muhammad and Moses.
It is how we act, whether we are persons of integrity and authenticity, how we think about others and ourselves, that is more important than our religion and religious beliefs. To the extent it assists us successfully in leading a good life, we can say our religion is "the best."

Most Rev. Stephen Randolph Sykes is also an officer and member of the boards of directors of The Interfaith Alliance Hawai‘i and All Believers Network.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

First Hierarch meets with Hawai’i's Governor

A statement concerning support for the passage of HB 444 was given on May 25, 2010, to State of Hawai'i Governor Linda Lingle in the State Capital Executive Chambers by Most Rev. Daniel J. Dahl, DD, Archbishop and First Hierarch of the Inclusive Orthodox Church, and in association with the Interfaith Alliance Hawaii Board of Directors, of which he is Assistant Secretary, as follows:

The Inclusive Orthodox Church is proud to support HB444 on compassionate grounds to assist all the people of the State of Hawaii in the strengthening of their ‘ohana ties and the practice of aloha in our great State.

We see no threat to traditional marriage but rather the opportunity to offer ‘ohana rights to many people now deprived of them in many different kinds of union. We are pleased that HB444 discriminates against no one and is blind to gender and sexuality. We hope that it may lower the divorce rate in the State of Hawaii and serve as a step to more stable unions for all ‘ohana.

Our Church firmly upholds the separation of church and state guaranteed in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. No one’s civil rights should be limited by another’s religious beliefs or prejudices. We see HB444 as an important step in Hawaii’s pursuit of equal rights and the pursuit of happiness for everyone equally, whatever the composition of ‘ohana, and we support your endorsement of it, Governor Lingle. Let Hawaii be known as the State of Aloha.

It is noteworthy that HB 444 is the first "Civil Union" legislation in the USA proposed which does not specify sexual orientation or the gender of "Partners," and specifically defines itself as "not being a substitute for traditional marriage." By including heterosexual couples in HB 444, the Archbishop elaborated that, "civil unions" may lower the divorce rate among traditional married couples, which was at 41% in the USA during 2009. A preponderance of first divorces take place among traditional married couples ages 20 to 25 years of age.

['ohana is a Hawaiian word for "family" and is used in Hawai'i even today with local English dialect.]

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar & Bishop Stephen meet to promote a "Violence-Free" America

[Photo L to R] Sri Sri Ravi Shankar & Bishop Stephen

His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and His Grace Bishop Stephen Randolph Sykes, IOC Orthodox Bishop of Hawaii met for tea on April 9, 2010, to discuss shared spiritual values and the further fostering of a "Violence-Free" America. It is reported that by age four years old, the young Ravi Shankar could spontaneously recite verses of the "Bhagavad Gita." He graduated from Bangalore University at age seventeen. A Bal Brahmachari (a celibate renunciate from birth), Shankar joined the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of Transcendental Meditation, in 1973, after graduation and was taught by Vedic pundits under the Maharishi's tutelage at Rishikesh, India. [Of note, IOC's First Hierarch, Archbishop Daniel J. Dahl had been a member of the Maharishi's USA staff in 1972, and also a student of Vedanta, who stayed in 1973, at the same Himalayan ashram at Rishikesh in Northern Uttar Pradesh, India].

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is an exponent of Advaita Vedanta and is currently spiritual leader of the Art of Living Foundation, a United Nations NGO. He introduced to the world the Sudarshan Kriya yoga practices. The President of India in 1986, awarded Sri Sri Ravi Shankar the title of Yoga Shiromani ("Supreme Jewel of Yoga"). His Holiness established in 1997, a Geneva-based charity, the International Association for Human Values, an NGO aimed at fostering shared global values. He has also served on the advisory board of Yale University School of Divinity and is currently on a twelve-city tour of the United States.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

First Hierarch concelebrates Solemn Paschal Divine Liturgy at Annunciaton Monastery

[Photo left to right] Archpriest Drew Kovach, First Hierarch
Archbishop Daniel of Mount Carmel & Deacon Stephen Tschudi

The monks of the Eremitic Order of Mount Carmel joined in the Solemn Paschal Divine Liturgy with IOC clergy and the Church's First Hierarch of the Holy Synod, Most Rev. Daniel J. Dahl, at the Order's Annunciation Monastery on Sunday, April 4th, 2010, in Honolulu. The First Hierarch's Paschal Letter is LINKED above.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bishop Stephen meets with Canon Naim Ateek of Sabeel

Bishop Stephen, IOC Orthodox Bishop of Hawaii (L)
with the Rev. Canon Naim Ateek (R), Director of Sabeel Ecumenical
Liberation Theology Center of Jerusalem.

Bishop Stephen with Canon Naim Ateek at the All Believers Network Forum

The Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek is a Palestinian Christian who is the founder and head of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem. Canon Ateek and his brother, Saleem Ateek of Dallas, Texas, joined members of the All Believers Network’s Board of Directors for dinner and, afterward, an informal conversation at the First Unitarian Church in Honolulu on February 23, 2010. The Canon spoke about his ecumenical ministry to the Christian community, outreach to the Muslim community, and work for justice to end Israel’s colonization of the Palestinian territories. He is in Honolulu as the keynote speaker for a Sabeel conference being held on February 26th and 27th at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew. The All Believers Network’s monthly forum, of which Bishop Stephen is Secretary of the Board of Directors, meets on the last Tuesday of the month and features speakers from various faith traditions and discussions of topics pertinent to Honolulu’s inter-faith family.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hawaii Catholics & Orthodox honor Blessed Marianne Cope, OSF

Catholic Bishop C. L. Silva & IOC Bishop Stephen R. Sykes attend statue blessing
The statue of Blessed Marianne Cope, who served Hansen's patients as a successor to Saint Damien on Molokai for 35 years, was blessed by Hawaii's Catholic Bishop Clarence L. Silva and attended by Bishop Stephen Randolph Sykes, Orthodox Bishop of Hawaii.

[Photo L-R] Sister Patricia Burkard, OSF
Most Rev. Clarence L. (Larry) Silva
Most Rev. Stephen Randolph Sykes, EOMC
Sister Rosaire Kopczenski, OSF, Statue Artist

Blessed Statue - A bronze image of Blessed Mother Marianne Cope at Honolulu's Kewalo Basin honors her selfless service - Source: HONOLULU STAR BULLETIN by Mary Adamski, Jan, 23, 2010.

Ed. Summary: The Sisters of Saint Francis of the Neumann Communities (Headquartered at Syracuse, New York) installed the bronze image of "Blessed Mother Marianne Cope." Sister Cope was among the first Sisters of Saint Francis who responded to the call of King David Kalakaua I, for help in caring for leprosy victims. Blessed Marianne continued the work of Saint Damien after his death on the Island of Molokai where she, too, passed away in 1918.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

IOC Bishops attend Hawaii Ecumenical Service

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity - Ecumenical Vespers

Episcopal Cathedral of Saint Andrew
Honolulu, Hawaii
January 20, 2010, Wed, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
(L) The Right Reverend Robert L. Fitzpatrick
Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Hawaii
(R) The Most Reverend Clarence (Larry) Silva
Bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Honolulu

IOC First Hierarch, Most Rev. Daniel J. Dahl and Most Rev. Stephen Randolph Sykes, IOC Orthodox Bishop of Hawaii attended an ecumenical service celebrating the "Week of Prayer for Christian Unity" at the invitation of Bishop Robert L. Fitzpatrick of the Episcopal Church in Hawaii. The event was held in the Episcopal Cathedral of Saint Andrew where an Ecumenical Vespers and Evensong were conducted with many Oahu Christian leaders, numerous clergy and several hundred persons in attendance. The theme for this year's ecumenical week was "You are Witnesses of These Things," (Luke 24:48) and was celebrated with prayer in most Christian churches throughout Hawaii.
The Rev. Charles Buck, Conference Minister of the United Church of Christ in Hawaii gave a thought provoking sermon based on the year's theme of "Witness." There were also prayers for and a special collection taken up among all the attending clergy and faithfull to benefit the Haitian people who are suffering from the recent Great Haiti Earthquake.
Immediately following vespers a paina reception was held in the Cathedral's annex hall. IOC Archbishop Daniel was honored to meet and speak with the Most Rev. Clarence (Larry) Silva, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu. Their cordial conversation centered around ecumenical relations between the Honolulu Roman Catholic Diocese and the Inclusive Orthodox Church in Hawaii.
The IOC Bishops were also pleased to meet with the Rev. Murray D. Finck, Bishop of the Pacifica Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Rev. Dr. Woong-Min Kim, Hawaii Superintendent for the Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church's Very Rev. Timothy W. Sexton, Saint Andrew's Cathedral Provost, the Rev. Canon Liz Beasley, Episcopal Diocese Canon for Ministry Development, and the Rev. William Kunisch, Ecumenical and Interfaith Officer of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu. Father Kunisch kindly extended invitations to the IOC Bishops to attend the Annual "Red Mass" for the opening of the 2010 State of Hawaii Legislative Session.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

5 from Isles at Religious Congress - Parliament of the World's Religions

December 5, 2009
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Religion Section
For Saturday, December 5, 2009
By Star-Bulletin Staff and News Services
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Dec 05, 2009

“5 from isles at religious congress”
Five Oahu residents active in local interfaith events are attending the Parliament of the World's Religions, which opened today in Melbourne, Australia. Saleem Ahmed, who writes and lectures on Islam, and Maryknoll Sister Joan Chatfield are participating in a panel discussion about similarities shared by most religions.
Other local Honolulu attendees in Melbourne are Cecilia Fordham, Ecumenical Officer of the Hawaii Episcopal Diocese; Bishop Stephen Randolph Sykes of the Inclusive Orthodox Church; and Patti Hildeth of the Center for Spiritual Living Windward Oahu.
About 6,000 people were expected to attend the Parliament, which is held every five years. The Dalai Lama is among the many speakers at the event.

“Parliament of the World's Religions: Three Perspectives”

[Photo L-R] Parliament Delegates: Dr Mona R. Bomgaars, MD
Rev Norma Kehrberg - United Methodist Hawaii
IOC Bishop Stephen Randolph Sykes
Ms Cecilia Fordham, Hawaii Episcopal Diocese
Hawaii Catholic Sister Joan Chatfield, MM

January 4, 2010: Interfaith Conversations Windward, A chapter of All Believers Network. Monday, January 4, 2010, 1:00-2:00PM, Pohai Nani Blue Room – 14th Floor, 45-090 Namoku Street, Kane‘ohe, Oahu, Hawai’i

"Parliament of the World's Religions: Three Perspectives" by Sister Joan Chatfield, M.M., Executive Director, Institute of Religion and Social Change, Ms Cecilia Fordham, Ecumenical Officer for the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii and Most Rev. Stephen Randolph Sykes, E.O.M.C., Orthodox Bishop of Hawaii of the Inclusive Orthodox Church.

The first Parliament of the World's Religions was held in 1893. Since 1993, it has met every five years and brings together faith leaders, spiritual practitioners, and seekers of the entire human family. Sister Joan, Cecilia, and Bishop Sykes have just returned from the Parliament held this December in Melbourne. This presentation focused on their impressions and perspectives of their experiences at the Parliament's many discussion forums, liturgical celebrations, and plenary sessions.

Bishop Stephen at the World's Parliament of Religions

Bishop Stephen raises issue of “Patriarchal Attitudes” at the World's Parliament of Religions with Sister Joan Chittister
Reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation

January, 2010
Margaret Coffey at the Parliament of the World's Religions, Melbourne 2009. The Parliament of the World's Religions (PWR) has opened in Melbourne: follow Margaret Coffey’s commentary, or join the conversation in the Talking of Faith blog.

“Patriarchy at the Parliament”

"Those same old questions didn't help either. You know those questions that deliver a mutual pat on the back? And most of them came out of that 'Catholic pack' described in the previous post. However, one of the funniest moments came with the first question, from the Parliament's one ostentatiously Orthodox participant. (The Greek Orthodox Church in effect boycotted the Parliament.) This was Bishop Stephen Randolph Sykes, bishop in the breakaway Inclusive Orthodox Church based in Hawaii, who appeared daily and unmistakably in tall black kamilafki and black cassock.

"Sister Joan," Bishop Stephen asked, "how can we males do a better job?" "My dear Father....," came Sr Joan's rich tones. It could have been Hollywood circa 1945." [from Margaret Coffey's Blog "Talking of Faith,January 14, 2010:"]