It all began with a friend's baptism

Censing of the Baptismal Font at the Easter Vigil

Censing of the Baptismal Font at the Easter Vigil

Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser shares her first experience at St. Mark's of a friend's baptism. Years later she is now the co-chair of our Stewardship Team. When you hear her story, you will see how the Holy Spirit has been working in one of our parishioners.

My first visit to the Episcopal Church was at St Mark's for Wayne Yoshigai's baptism over 25 years ago. I remember sitting in the pew watching my friend Wayne dressed in a white robe, standing in a cast iron tub and having water poured over him. Wow! I did not expect that experience. I thought he would have a few ounces of water poured over his head. Little did I know years later I would be married and baptized in the Episcopal church and later become a member of St. Mark's.

Around 1993 I began visiting St Mark's while searching for "more spirituality" in my life. I think I chose to do so because my friends Wayne and John were parishioners here and at St. Mark's, Father Darrow Aiona included the hawaiian language in the Eucharist. Father Darrow noticed my occasional visits and made me feel so welcomed. He recognized my journey for spiritual growth. He took an interest in me and expressed his concern for my family business. In his own way, he encouraged me to transfer to St. Mark's as my parish home. Father Darrow also extended lots of aloha to my husband Andy whenever Andy attended mass and church functions. I think Father Darrow thought he could woo Andy with kindness to increase Andy's attendance at St. Mark's.

I decided to worship and become a pledging member here because I felt the "goodness" at St Mark's and its ohana. Six years ago I encountered a major health issue and again two years ago was diagnosed with a second medical condition which can be treated but not cured. I was told to lower my stress and to decrease my activities and responsibilities - not an easy thing to do when you manage a family business.

I believe a significant part of my comfort and well-being has been my worship at St Mark's and learning about the power of prayer. I have learned so much from Father Paul about the liturgy. I love the how our parish is evolving under Father Paul 's guidance. The blessings from pledging, volunteering my time and offering in-kind contributions makes me feel good, even better. I serve on the Stewardship Committee and assist with parish social functions besides my pledge commitment. It is my way of expressing my gratitude and love for St Mark's and the good works our church does for our community and others.

Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser