Saturday, August 14, 2004
Calling all Angels
An outreach mission hosts
St. Andrew's Cathedral has alternated as host for the quarterly parties, and Calvary just joined the project.
In the brief prayer service, Barbara Burke talked about gospel writer Luke's words, "Ask and it will be given to you; search and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."
It was her visual prop, a flashcard of Nike's famous check logo, that brought her message home. What does this tell us? she asked. "Just do it!"
"Are you going to sit in chairs and watch, or are you going to dance?"
"Are you going to shake someone's hand or give someone a hug?"
"The Lord wants us out there interacting with one another," said Burke, who generated an enthusiastic chorus of response, "Just do it."
"There is a lot of love and care put into today," said Burke, who subbed for her husband, the Rev. Dale Burke, who was watching their 24-year-old son play soccer in the Special Olympics regional games.
"I'm blessed to walk around and do normal things," said Dave Lutu, a staff member at the Ewa Easter Seals adult care program. "They're blessed, too, and they need help.
"For us, there's always a club where we could go to dance. For my friends, this is a chance to make life normal," said Lutu, talking at the edge of the crowded and noisy dance floor.
"We don't block ourselves off in four walls; we're like an exploring group," he said.
It was Calvary member Janey Lau's first shift as a Special Angel.
She shared her own handiwork, dozens of Hawaiian print boxes, and helped the guests add their personal touch with glue and sparkles before they filled the containers with treats and prizes to take home.
At the next table was artist Evalynn Quisenberry, who brought outlines of her sketches of flowers, sea creatures and animals for the guests to color -- inside or outside of the lines is up to each artist, she said. Quisenberry, 84, shares her talent this way at a weekly art class at the Central Union Church senior day care center. She unveils a new sketch each week.
The partygoers enjoyed the artistry of the kitchen volunteers. Whatever hot dogs, tuna sandwiches, raw vegetables and cookies weren't consumed at the party were packed up for the bus ride back to Wahiawa and Ewa.
It was a close call on who's best at the "Macarena" hand movements. Calvary youth group members Jessica Liberato, Esther Carr and Lizzie Finwere were hard pressed to match the joyous, hilarious pace set by Special Angel, guests on the dance floor.
"There's a lot of joy and satisfaction," said Louise Emery, talking about the state of mind of a volunteer. She and her husband, Dwight, coordinated the Calvary effort.
"Though they are not verbally skilled, they know what's going on," said Emery of the guests, who might not have fulfilled the Emily Post etiquette of saying "thank you" as they left.
Her brother, 57, is also a Special Olympics competitor. He has lived with the Emerys since his mother died four years ago.
"We take him everywhere we go. I find there is a public awareness and acceptance of people like Paul," she said.
The party was over too soon for the guests. The Special Angels are already planning the next one, which will be in November at the Artsplace, a studio for developing artists with and without disabilities, in Pearl City.
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