Obamas attend holiday services at St. Michael’s church Sunday in Hawaii.
Pool report 1a
POTUS left his vacation residence @ 11:05 a.m. local time to go to church on Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The name of the church is St. Michael’s and it is the base chapel, according to White House press officer.
About 100 people will be in attendance. The whole family is there and some friends. No word yet on what friends. Several poolers will go into the church for the whole mass. “Joy To The World” was being sung by a full band and clapping parishioners as pool reporters were ushered in.
POTUS and family were in a front row and the celebrant said he was especially thankful to have the Obamas in attendance.
This is POTUS’s second trip to the Marine base. See earlier report.
Should’ve added in first pool report: When POTUS left rental home there was a faint but noticeable Hawaiian rainbow in the distance. It had been raining steadily until the moment we left toward the base but stopped as we were leaving. There was no actual POTUS sighting, however.
POTUS, with pool in tow, left Marine Corps Base Hawaii at 9:06 a.m. after his morning workout. Few onlookers on the ride back as the rain was falling quickly in big droplets. Weather stations forcase rain for the next few days in Honolulu.
Pool is holding @ pool house for word of what POTUS and family are doing next.
P.S. Malia, the name of POTUS’s eldest daughter, means Mary when translated from Hawaiian, according to the pool bus driver and another Hawaiian native.
Pool report 1b
–SERVICE STILL GOING ON–
Celebrant number 1 (the second person who spoke was Chaplain Moses- will get full name) started the service by asking if any audience members had family deployed at war. About a half dozen parishioners raised there hands.
Celebrant said at the beginning of service, “we are thankful for the joy” that the Lord brought into the world.
(Here on out is Chaplain Moses)
Chaplain told a story of the day after Christ’s birth. “There’s Mary and Joseph looking at their baby…” and thinking “Now what?”
Chaplain also told of how he went for a routine physical and was told he might have a heart problem. He was told he needed to go to go for surgery and testing in Bethesda. While at the hospital he said he asked “Why doesn’t God just heal me?” His heart surgery was intensive but he came out healthy. He said maybe the reason God put him through that surgery was so that if he were ever preaching to a president, he wouldn’t have a heart attack. (Parishioners laughed.)
He quoted Matthew (Chap 10, vs 29:31)- a story about two sparrows. “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not ye therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.”
He said this passage shows “that God knows all, that he really is watching.” The moral he said is that God cares about the insignificant things in life, even the people who may seem insignificant in the world.
Other take aways: God is either protecting me from something “far worse” or preparing me “for something greater,” the chaplain said.
“Joy To The World”
“Angels We Have Heard On High” (Obama was seen at this point singing and turning toward Sasha and Malia with a smile on his face. The kids were sandwiched between POTUS and FLOTUS).
“O Holy Night”
-band included: acoustic guitar, two electric guitars-one teal, the other candy apple red- a keyboard, drummer, piano and at least 7 singers (including some who were also playing instruments.)
-there were a few parishioners in uniform and the rest were dressed in khakis, summer dresses of varying colors, polo shirts and -of course- Hawaiian button-ups.
-view from the inside: the chapel was of the new style of churches, more circular than rectangular, with stadium-seating like rows. The “stage” had a manger, two Christmas trees, an American flag just off to the left, and a 4-foot high cross in the back that was silver colored and set on a wooden backdrop cross.
Pool report 1c-Chapel service over, GOLF coming
Family (and pool) left chapel and returned to vacation spot @ 12:16 local time.
Obama is playing golf. We left the Obama vacation home @ 12:46 p.m. Not sure where yet or who is playing with him.
Notes: first person, whom I described in earlier reports as celebrant, is named Greg Cates. Full name of Chaplain: Steve Moses.
Full name of chapel is St. Michael’s Chapel, White House press officers say. However, that name was no where on the chapel.
Chaplain Moses ended sermon by asking parishioners to recommit themselves in the new year to God.
Obamas received communion. POTUS, wearing dark brown slacks and a Navy blue polo shirt, went first. FLOTUS, wearing a long aqua and sky blue patterned dress, was last in family to receive communion.
Malia wore a pearl necklace and sandy pink sweater. Sasha wore what looked like a white and grey striped summer dress.
Other songs sung (adds to list from pool report 1b)