An aloha baptism on Avalon’s Pebbly Beach

The Molling family Back Row: Bishop and Sharon Sawyer,, Lynette, Sariah, Adam, Tyiss, Brianna, Elizabeth, Jennifer, Daniel Front Row: Makanalani, Iosepa, La’ilani, Haven

Island hosts socially distanced outdoor service

Members of the Avalon Group of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have not held in-person meetings on Sundays at the US Bank conference room since the pandemic began in March.

Worship services have taken place the last few months on Zoom, led by Bishop Tom Sawyer who lives in Long Beach. The Molling family was visiting Catalina Island from Utah, and spoke to Bishop Sawyer about their son Iosepa’s baptism.

Before moving to Utah, they lived in Hawaii and they wanted to hold the baptism near the ocean.

They chose Catalina Island because of it’s “abundant sea life, beautiful scenery, crystal clear water, the warmth of the sunlight and the friendly atmosphere.”

On Oct. 10, Iosepa was baptized in the ocean at Pebbly Beach by his father Adam, with 10 family members in attendance and other family members attending via Zoom.

Bishop Sawyer, his wife Sharon, and several local members from the Avalon group, including Haleema Saber and Daniel Quevedo, were able to witness the baptism from a socially distanced location at Pebbly Beach.

As many churches long to find ways to worship, this was a great lift for all involved.