September 22, 2020
The Reverend Dr. Grant S.C. Lee graduated to glory on July 28. I and many, many others mourn the passing of a wonderful man.
I met Grant in seventh grade when my DRE (Director of Religious Education) sent me to my intermediate school chapter of Inter-School Christian Fellowship. To this day I clearly can recall a skinny Chinese boy with a cheerleader personality. I was witnessing his gift of hosting—making a group of people feel at home.
I didn’t know I was going to more or less follow in his footsteps. He became president of the IS intermediate and high school chapters. So did I.
He got his Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, and his Doctorate of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Anselmo, CA. I went to the same schools but got different degrees.
He was once an associate minister at Nu’uanu Congregational Church and ordained by the O’ahu Association. Ditto.
Grant was at one time Mike’s and my pastor and supervised my church internship. He included a small ritual in a Sunday morning worship to install that internship. That authorized church experience was pivotal in erasing my reluctance to become a minister.
Grant showed what a pack rat he was when he took a small article about me from our intermediate (middle school!) newspaper and read it aloud in the service. So embarrassing! He kept other kinds of memorabilia no one else would think of.
When I was ready to stop with an M.A., he encouraged me to go on for the M.Div. “You’ll lose momentum if you stop now.”
Grant encouraged me to apply for a particular scholarship. He was held in such high regard that one scholarship committee member told me that just having Grant refer me was enough for acceptance.
Because of Grant, I went to ‘Olelo public access television to get certified as producer, editor, and small camera operator. He couldn’t quite get me to learn more about storytelling, his passion.
Grant was s-o nice and beloved in the churches he pastored. When he in effect became the pastor of all the O’ahu churches as an associate conference minister, his horizons were broadened even more.
Grant loved certain phrases like “What is most personal is most universal” (Carl Rogers) and distinguishing chronos and kairos times. Chronos is clock time, but kairos is the biblical “fullness of time,” meaning at the right time.
When he ran for student office at Ka’imuki High School, his motto was “Remember Grant, remember Lee. Remember me, Grant Lee.“
Grant, we’ll never forget you. Deep aloha. Condolences to your children and the rest of the family.
P.S. Even at this late date, I feel a trembling sadness.