I don’t know whether it’s the fact that we live on an island, or whether it’s a sign of modern life, but it seems like we are always saying ‘goodbye’ to someone. Certainly over the years, the personnel in the choir has changed greatly, as well as the people in the congregation. Some of those people do return occasionally, and this week, we have been privileged to host Joan Ishibashi prior to her move to London, England.
You may remember that Joan was a United Church of Christ minister who frequently attended musical events and services at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu when she lived here from 1986 to 2000, and then from 2005-2006. For a time, she was also the Executive Assistant in the LCH office during Pastor Johnson’s years. She officiated at Japanese weddings at LCH in the 90s (yes! going to Japanese language school as a child paid off!) She even joined the alto section in the LCH choir for its historic performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in 2000. Joan moved to Cleveland where she served in the national office of the United Church of Christ in addition to taking up massage therapy.
Now she will be moving to London in November to join her fiancé. The wedding is scheduled for next March in Los Angeles, CA. Joan’s mom lives near our son, Stephen, so we’ve had the fortune to catch her on her occasional visits to Southern California. Seeing this picture reminds me of Joan’s work with the LCH confirmation kids — that’s when she and Stephen got to know each other.
This weekend we’ll also meet up with Pastor Ray Kringel and his wife, Norma, who are visiting Hawaii. You may recall me telling you that Ray officiated at our wedding over 35 years ago, and used to be the pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church in Ewa Beach. Ray was my former organ student — and both he and Norma came to Hawaii to attend LCH’s performances of Bach’s Mass in B Minor.
Yes, it’s hard to say goodbye. But hopefully, it’s not goodbye forever, but “until we meet again.”