May 2011

May 2-(Monday)  7-9 Bread and Pastry for the community;  10-12   Feeding the hungry in San Francisco.

May 4-(Wednesday)     6-9 PM Asian Commission Working Group Meeting at HCSM;

May 8-(Sunday)     Mother’s Day

May 14-(Saturday)  7 am- 4 PM Bus trip to Feather Falls   

May 15 (Sunday) 10:30 AM   Feast of San Isidro

May 22(Sunday)   1 PM Bishop Committee Meeting

May 29(Sunday) Memorial Day

June 10-11    Asian Commission Consultation at Christ Church Alameda

June 12-  The Rev. Dr. Fred Vergara Preaching at Holy Child and St. Martin Daly City

Easter Sunday A April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday A April 24, 2011

The Rev. Leonard B. Oakes



Happy Easter everyone!

Today’s Gospel from St. John’s concentrates on Mary Magdalene. She loved Jesus so much, was utterly downcast and grief stricken, crying her eyes out as she stumbled into the tomb and found it empty. She had seen Jesus die, really die, cruelly, on the cross. She came to be close to him just as some of us have wanted a last look at a loved one in the funeral home. Even that is taken from her. She turns and senses someone close, probably a gardener up early. “Where have they put him?” She blurts out. She is sure that the religious leaders have removed him so that his tomb won’t become a site of pilgrimage. It is only when the gardener says her name, “Mary,” that she knows it is the Lord. When someone who loves you speaks your name, there is something special, something wonderful about the way it sounds. Jesus tells Mary not to cling to him, but rather to go and tell his followers that he is alive.

In the Gospel, there’s something important for us to grasp about Easter. Jesus warns Mary not to hang on to him but to tell the good news. So much of our religion is about us. We want Jesus to live in order that he may give us what we want, or keep us safe, or heal us, in this life. Even if we believe in an after life, our belief is vague. We are rather like the people in Jesus’ day who go through the actions of religion with some hope of being rewarded now.

Jesus tells Mary to go “Tell” that something extraordinary has happened. Jesus is risen. Jesus tells Mary that he has not completed the action yet. The resurrection is not primarily about eternal life. The Ascension completes that part of the whole. The Resurrection is about new life, a new world, a new country. This new country isn’t geographical. It is made up of the dead, the living and those who are not yet born, who in their lives “Tell” that Jesus lives.

The resurrection is about God’s Love to humanity. It is about our redemption from sin, from death to eternal life. It is about victory and about glory being human. It is about hope, hope when we are at the end of our rope, hope when we exhausted our bag of tricks.

Our victory is this, that we are not hated or abandoned. Our faith is not an argument, it is a love affair. It introduces us in a whole new way of being human. The resurrection changed everything. It changed the lives and doubts of the disciples. It changed our lives and gave us hope. Easter is about us. About who we really are in God, it is about the transformation of our being. Easter is not about finding the eggs or where they have hidden the chocolates. Easter is beyond those symbols, it is about our transformation into the Being of Christ. It is about our turning point of sadness into joy, pain into happiness, grief into hope, hate into love, selfishness into humility in doing God’s will. Easter wipes away our burden of tears, of fears, our disappointments and failures. All of those have been raised up in the resurrection of Christ. We’ve got to retract our boat right to where we are supposed to be bound. Somehow we’ve lost our way to the busy-ness of life, forgetting the real purpose of our being, that is; to Love God, Love our neighbor, love our selves and follow Christ’s way. For in Him, we find victory.

Resurrection is our story to tell. When The Episcopal Diocese of California through the leadership of Bishop Karl Block started the plans for the foundation of St. Martin at this top of the hill of Daly City in July 21, 1955. The Rev. Henry A. Dick was chosen vicar and the church was a start to an entire community that was looking for a better life as well as housing after world war II. St. Martin became the beacon of hope in this community, welcoming others in setting a great example of her patron saint Martin who spread his cloak to give care to the needy and wounded hearts.

St. Martin continued to resurrect when in May 1993, through the leadership of Bishop William Swing, members of St. Martin’s welcome the congregation  of St. Barnabas of San Francisco with the leadership of The Rev. Vito Villalon. This union gave birth to what is now “Holy Child and St. Martin Episcopal Church” It’s formation was an affirmation and recognition of the growing Filipino American community in Daly City and in the greater bay area.

Today, we continue to emerge as the product of the resurrection as we are transformed to a more diverse multi ethnic community in this God’s Vineyard. We become a witness to the knocking on our doors of families in different backgrounds who were seeking for love and compassion and we wholeheartedly welcome them and opened the doors just as St. Martin congregation did to St. Barnabas members. God has planted and watered us to grow and now that we continue to bear fruit, it is our calling to spread those seeds of love and hope by uplifting them up back to God. We all have tasks to do as witnesses of the resurrection story of Christ in this community. We must be blessed to “Tell” others of this wonderful acts of the most loving God.

Like Mary whom Jesus asked to “Go tell the others”, we too need to tell our story among others from this forth forward, to our children and our children’s children. From this place to every community, that God continues to be alive here in our midst. That if God indeed is with us, no one can be against us. Let us continue to promote respect in each other, aware of the rich culture in our midst and ever walking in the ways of Christ. Let us continue to uphold the spirit of compassion to the less fortunate, to the needy, the hungry, those who seek God’s love.

So I pray that we leave this morning with delight, proud to be human, blessed to live, capable of what we can embrace in action, in our capacity to enjoy one another.

know that God is here with us this Easter day and everyday.

(May we listen to Joshua Oakes sing the song “Where is love”) from the movie Oliver.

The Asian Commission in the Diocese of California Invites you

The Asian Commission In the Diocese of California

in collaborations with  Clergy of the Lutheran Sierra Pacific Synod


Invite you to come

Be Educated, Be Equipped and Be Empowered


At the Asian Commission Consultation

On June 10-11, 2011

At Christ Episcopal Church

1700 Santa Clara Avenue

Alameda, CA 94501-2515


The purpose of the Asian Commission Consultation is to educate, equip and empower individuals from Asian and Asian American ministries and especially non-Asian communities interested in reaching out to the people of Asian ancestry in their communities. The hope of the Asian Commission Consultation is to expand the network of ministries reaching and serving people of Asian ancestry with the Gospel.


Keynote Speaker:

The Rev. Dr. Fred Vergara

Asiamerica Ministry Missioner, Episcopal Church

Workshop Presenters:

Dr. Boyung Lee

Associate Professor of Educational Ministries, Pacific School of Religion

Rev. Deborah Lee

Director of Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights

Dr. Russell Jeung and Dr. Joan Jeung

New Hope Covenant Church

Rev. Michael Yoshii

Pastor, Buena Vista Methodist Church

Rev. David Ota

Rector, St. Ambrose Episcopal Church


Workshop Topics:

Urban Ministry/Changing the Neighborhood; Clergy and Laity Team Building

Multigenerational Ministry; Planning for Mission in Multi-ethnic Context

Immigration; Developing Leaders for Youth Ministry


Cost $20


Registration is now open at: and click on events to find Asian Consultation registration link. Or email Tom Wong at

or call him at (510) 852-3274 if you are paying at the day of the conference.

Or you may send your registration by check through the Treasurer of Asian Commission

C/O Episcopal Church of Our Saviour, 1011 Harrison St. Oakland, CA 94607


For more information please contact The Rev. Connie Ng Lam at or call her at (510) 520-3755


Fifth Sunday in Lent A John 11:1-42

Fifth Sunday in Lent A 201

John 11:1-45                                                                                                                                       The Rev. Leonard Oakes                                                                                                                  HCSM April 10, 2011

 Good morning!! Would you kindly look at the person next to you, share a smile and say, “Whatever happens, know that I love you and I care.”

 The reason I asked you that is because there is so much anxiety going on in the world today. There is suffering in every corner of God’s world, and people suffer for different reasons. People suffer because of natural calamities, such as tsunamis or earthquakes. But the ones that have caused massive suffering are of human making, particularly the making of those who lord over others. In many countries with long time leaders, people are demonstrating in the streets for freedom and good government.  In spite of the euphoria of the evangelists of the global market over the past years, the promised economic prosperity of the global market has not benefited the largest and poorest segment of the population. Metaphorically speaking, contrary to the expectation that a rising tide raises all boats, the rising tide raises all yachts. Worse, the world’s poor do not even have boats, and they are drowning in the tsunami of corporate profits.

Deep inside us we are grieving and crying. We are crying because we see the pervasiveness of the forces of reaction and death, and it seems that we are not making significant progress after years of struggle. We are crying for the world we love so dearly, yet often serve so poorly. We are crying because we are growing weary. We are crying because we may succumb to compassion fatigue and may lose hope.

We cry like the little girl who was late getting home from school. Her mother became more and more worried as the afternoon wore on. When she finally arrived, the mother said,  “Where have you been? I’ve been worried sick!” The little girl responded, “Well, I   was almost home, but then I saw Suzie sitting on the curb crying. Her dolly was broken.” Her mother, relieved, said, “Oh! So you stopped to help her fix her dolly?”   The little girl with the wisdom of the universe said, “No [mom], I sat down on the curb, and I helped Suzie cry.”

We cry because of the seeming absence of answers to our prayers.

 Just the other night, the eyes of the world was focused at the United States of America, the land of the free, the land of hope and the land of milk and honey. Not as a promise of a future and or a blessing of a day but a political gridlock over whether our leaders would agree to pass a budget or end up going home leaving the government to shutdown. After so much anxiety felt by millions of American people and thousands of the families of our men and women in uniform and those who work in federal government and those who depend from them, the brain of the government agreed to pass the budget and called it “We chose to make history” I wondered if someone shouted, “God, if only you are here, this would not happen!!!” To which God waited until the last minute to prove His love and finally redemption and celebration.

Martha, in the Gospel read this morning, displayed the same feeling we and the world had been having for these past days. She grieved over the loss of her brother Lazarus. She said to Jesus, “Lord had you been here earlier, my brother wound not have died.” She had been praying that Jesus would be there when her brother was yet sick. There is no question that Jesus loved Martha and her sisters and Lazarus. But when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Two miles away from Bethany!This is hard for us to understand and hard to handle. Here’s Jesus who is known to have loved this family but when he heard his friend was sick, what does he do? It is difficult to understand that Jesus deliberately waited. We are so used to critical illness being a signal for immediate action. And the first thing that comes to mind is God. We pray, “Please Lord spare my brother from death” Or “please Lord save my child from the doom of cancer” God’s presence is very much needed in that very moment. We needed comfort. We needed answer, but there was none.

 My little girl Hailey came to me one time showing me her hurt finger saying, “Daddy, I have a boboo” I just looked at the finger and said, “Ah, that will be all right.” and sent her on out. She ran to her mother, weeping and crying, and her mother said, “Oh, dear, does it hurt so much?” My little girl said, “No, mommy, it’s just that daddy didn’t even say, “Oh.” That is what she wanted, somebody to say “Oh” with her.

When we don’t get that “Oh” we say, “Why?” That is the question we all ask, “Why Lord, Why would innocent children and people suffer from destructions? Why my sister, she didn’t deserve to suffer and die? She is so young. Why don’t you answer my petitions?

When you have gone to God for help which you feel so desperately need and nothing happens, when your heart is breaking over something and you need God to say “Oh”, but the heavens are silent, it is tough to understand, tough to accept, tough to get any kind of grip on.

But what the gospel is telling us is that a delay in answer like that is not a sign of God’s indifference or his failure to hear. It is a sign of his love. The delay will help us so that Christ may be glorified through it.

Jesus deliberately delayed going to Mary and Martha because he loved them and knew this would strengthen their faith as they learned the ultimate outcome which God would work through Him.

That is hard lesson to accept. I have struggled over this many times myself. But it works. Something we expect and long for does not occur and then, suddenly, sometime after we think that everything is lost and that there is no hope, God does something remarkable that totally reverses our view.

 We may never understand the side of heaven when our prayers are not answered. If you are always trying to figure them out, they will only bring frustration and confusion. We only have to learn to trust God and learn how to keep our heart pure before Him and we will find ourselves exactly where we are supposed to be. It may not be easy, but in the end, God is going to use it to our advantage.

 One of the most important aspects of faith is trusting God even when we don’t understand. Martha displayed that faith when she said, “Lord I believe in the resurrection in the last day.”

 There may be some of you today who is suffering from illness or a member of your family or friend is suffering from pain and cancer and you are so depressed. There are those of you who are already at the end of your rope in the hope of finding job security and almost losing your grip. Know that we are here and we love you. Even in your times of greatest difficulty, even if the bottom falls out, even when it took you months searching for jobs and you haven’t found an answer, you don’t have to be distraught and let yourself get all worked up. When you are in times of loneliness because old age or physical incapacity has strucked you and you can’t do the things you used to independently do and you are just waiting for your hours to come and be taken away. Remain at peace, be with joy, and keep a smile on your face because that is all part of fighting the good fight of faith. Be encouraged in knowing that God is still in control of your life. He created you and me and He knows our circumstance. Don’t sit down around depressed and discouraged. God has His ways. “My thoughts are not your thoughts; my ways are not your ways” says the Lord. We must wait and quietly trust, knowing that God is working out something for us.

 Our attitude should be, “God, I trust you. I know you can do what I can’t do, and I’m committing my life into your hands.” That attitude of faith pleases God. People, who have made-up minds, people who say, “God, I’m going to trust you whatever happens.  I trust you in good times and in bad times are people of good faith.

 Let us therefore quit living frustrated because our prayers weren’t answered the way we wanted it. Quit being depressed because you haven’t found a job a place to stay. Keep pressing forward, there will always be resurrection and Jesus will lift you up. Keep your joy and enthusiasm for God is in control of your life. He is guiding and directing you.

 If you are currently in a tsunami of life or facing severe difficulties, hear God speaking to your heart and rise above it. Believe that God has a plan for your life.

 My friends, if you will learn to embrace the love of God, you can rise above where you are now. You will overcome every obstacle and you can live that life of victory that God has in store for you.

 Let us not allow the beauty of the day just pass by. So once again if you may, turn around and give the people around you a big great smile and say, “Whatever happens, know that I love you and I care.”

 Let us bless the Lord Day by day. Amen.

Benefit concert for Japan raised $2,525.00


Holy Child and St. Martin Daly City

In partnership with

Christ Church Sei Ko Kai SF

And in Collaboration with

Asian Commission in the Diocese of California

 Had a successful Benefit Concert For Northern Japan

on April 2, 2011 at Holy Child and St. Martin Episcopal Church in Daly City.


The concert was well attended by different organizations, and faith communities in the bay area such as the BIBAK of Northern California, Seton Medical center staff, Freemasons of California, Doelger Senior Center, Peninsula Clergy Network, United Methodist Church, St. James Episcopal Church SF, Peninsula Episcopal Area Ministry, Daly City community and others.

 The benefit concert was able to raise $2, 525.00

 Thanks to Aurora Mandolin Orchestra, Lyle Richardson, Tommy and Amy Occhito with their New Orleans Saxophone and Interpretive dance, Leo Calahan and his trumpet crew, Native Brew of SF, Uncle experience band, Grupong Pendong, HCSM band and Choir.

 To Officer Matt Lucett Chief Planning Officer of the Fire Department North County Fire Authority who made us all aware and prepared on Emergency needs.

 To Holy Child and St. Martin members and all who made this cause possible, Thank you!!!

 You may watch a partial video of the concert by visiting and search for urmaganda then click on benefit concert for japan