Dear All Saints’ Ohana,
Since arriving over five years ago to serve as Rector and Head of School at All Saints’, the most significant lesson I have learned is the importance of ‘Ohana. This month, Erin and I will be blessed with a new member of our ‘Ohana—a beautiful daughter. We are overjoyed by all that awaits us in parenthood—and a little nervous. Our daughter’s birth is a life changing event in so many wonderful ways. Her arrival also means our priorities and needs will dramatically shift literally overnight.
As we prepared for this next chapter in our lives, Erin and I identified that our number one long-term priority is for our daughter to grow up surrounded by her immediate ‘Ohana. We also realized that we will want and need the support of our families. Therefore, we concluded that God’s call for our family could eventually include a return home to California to raise our daughter and continue our careers.
Following a series of conversations this summer with The Right Reverend David Rice, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin (Central California), we recognized that God’s call for us was materializing much sooner than we ever imagined. Bishop Rice has called me to serve as the Dean of St. James Cathedral in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. This is an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity both professionally and personally. Professionally, this call will allow me to serve a Cathedral and Diocese in a significant leadership role amid a period of unprecedented rebuilding and resurrection. Personally, our new home will be in the Fresno/Clovis area—centrally locating us to most of our family spread throughout the state of California. Thus, Erin and I have embraced the call and opportunity to return to California later this fall.
We imagine this news will be received with mixed emotions. Erin and I share those same feelings. We have been so blessed by the All Saints’ ‘Ohana—it has been an honor and privilege to serve All Saints’ and the people of Kaua‘i. You have shared so much love and support for which we will always be grateful. Mahalo nui loa!
We hope you will join Erin and me on Sunday, November 4th (All Saints’ Day) to celebrate the conclusion of our ministry together. Most importantly, on that day, our daughter will be baptized into the household of God surrounded by her All Saints’ ‘Ohana. Erin and I cannot imagine a more appropriate setting for our daughter to begin her life in Christ. It is by the grace of God and through the love, support, and joy of the All Saints’ ‘Ohana that Erin and I have been able to embark on our journey to parenthood.
In the coming weeks, the Vestry, with Bishop Bob Fitzpatrick and Canon Sandy Graham, will begin to chart a vision for the transition period and the search process. They are committed to making the whole process collaborative, transparent, and spirit-filled. As one chapter concludes and a new one begins, our call to serve God and those in need is unchanged. May God continue to bless our All Saints’ ‘Ohana.
Faithfully in Christ,
The Reverend Ryan D. Newman
Rector and Head of school