BISHOP CHANG: What's a weaver? A narrator, an observer, a busybody, a
spy? I'm all of those. (Laughter) In fact, it's such a confusing
role that the staff gave me three name tags.
(Laughter) And the latest is pink.
(Laughter) I'd like to remind you that your journey began before you got
here this evening. Your journey began
when you made a commitment to be present, and I would like to remind you that
that commitment needs to be fulfilled and honored. This past summer I went to Lego
Land. (Laughter) And while at Lego
Land, I observed, I spied a five
year-old trying to get a piece of gum through a wrought-iron fence. (Laughter) First, he reached with his left
arm and discovered it was too short. He
turned around and used his right arm and discovered it was too short. In the meantime his parents had left him and
people began to stare at him. He then
put his left foot through the wrought-iron fence and tried to reach the gum
with his heel. Too short. He turned around, put his right foot through,
using his toe, affixed the gum to the toe of the shoe, pulled it back, picked
the gum off his foot, popped it into his mouth (Laughter), started chewing and
continued on his way. (Laughter) That's
So I invite
all of you who come to this gathering, this community of outrageous
hospitality, to be committed, to be vulnerable as that little boy was
vulnerable, to risk. He could have
gotten stuck in that wrought-iron fence.
Not be embarrassed, but be open to the possibilities. On your tables this evening you have five
pieces of candy. (Laughter) At least it started off with five. (Laughter) It is a custom in Hawaii
among several of the cultures that you never go open-handed to an event. And so the diocesan team from Hawaii
came to this gathering with these little gifts, and we share them with you to invite you to share your gifts with each
other as you gather at meals, in conversation, in clusters, in tracks. Each of you is a gift bearer. You are the recipient of God's abundance, and
I would hope that we would think of our theology of abundance during our time
together these few days rather than worrying about the scarcity that we've been
abundantly blessed by God. Each of you
brings a unique gift that will contribute to the whole. Finally, let us respect and appreciate the
diversity of people and experiences. Be
open to experience the wisdom of others.
Accept and appreciate the gifts.
And, more importantly, be authentic and faithful in your proclamation of
the good news in Jesus Christ. I'll be
out and about, here and there. You won't
see me with a collar on after this.
(Laughter) My wife says I look like a walking rummage sale. (Laughter) So I got dressed up for
tonight. But the trousers don't match
the jacket. (Laughter) We are a community, a community that invites
conversation. We're learners on a
journey, a pilgrimage. We know where we
want to go, but like a pilgrimage, there may be pitfalls and pay-offs along the
way. Care for one another and care for
yourself as we journey forth in the name of Christ. Amen.