by admin | Jan 30, 2015 | News
GAME NIGHT AT THE CHURCH
Join us at 6:30 on Saturday, Feb. 7, in Moore Hall for fun games for all ages. Refreshments will be provided, but feel free to bring an appetizer or dessert to share.
A DINNER FOR SNOWBIRDS
Kahu (Pastor) Alan Akana is hosting a potluck dinner at the parsonage at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 8, for Kaua’i snowbirds (those people who flock to our warm climate in the winter time to escape the cold weather on the mainland!). Come and enjoy a fun time together with other snowbirds! The parsonage is located at 3281 Waikomo Road. Parking is available in the driveway, yard and on the street. Please let us know if you are coming by signing up at the church or contacting Penny Osuga: firstname.lastname@example.org or 808-742-6622.
WEEKLY UPDATES FOR YOU!
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THIS WEEK AT KOLOA UNION CHURCH
We will celebrate Holy Communion and welcome new members in our worship service on Sunday, Feb 1. Come and join us!
by admin | Jan 30, 2015 | Message from Kahu
LETTING GO AND FOLLOWING JESUS
On Sunday, I shared with the congregation about a time I was sitting in a coffee shop with a great cup of coffee and a good book. I watched a man exit the bicycle shop next door with his bike and receipt in one hand and his cellphone (held up to his ear) in his other hand. He was apparently engaged in a lively conversation. He walked to his car, leaned the bike against the back and opened the trunk. For the next 10-15 minutes he tried to get the bike into the trunk while holding onto his receipt and phone. For most of the time, he held the phone between his ear and shoulder, but he needed the full range of his arm to lift the bike high enough to get it into his trunk. He was getting more and more frustrated by the minute. Finally, the conversation ended, he put the phone in his pocket, and effortlessly placed the bike into his trunk.
As I watched, I wondered why he didn’t just put the phone down (for 3 seconds!) in the first place. That would have saved him a lot of time and frustration! I reflected upon how difficult it often is for people to let go of things and to put them down even for a short while. Then I wondered what things I might be holding onto in life that were keeping me from doing things with less effort and greater joy. Most of the things I came up with were not physical things (like bikes), but beliefs, daily patterns and routines, and ways of being in the world.
In our Scripture lesson (Mark 1), Jesus’ disciples became disciples when they dropped what they were holding onto and followed Jesus. They dropped their fishing nets and walked away from those nets (and their boat, their careers, their families, their sense of financial security….). Letting go of the things that keep us from fully following Jesus is the beginning of discipleship for us. I think if we are being honest, we would have to say that it’s also the middle and end of discipleship; for we all have the propensity to hold on tightly to whatever it is that happens to be in our hands at the moment (physically and metaphorically speaking)–and we tend to grab onto a lot of things along the way!
Consider this question: “What are you holding onto in your life that keeps you from wholeheartedly following Jesus?” Then try this question: “Why not let go…and experience more joy, peace and love?”
I hope to see you in church on Sunday as we celebrate Holy Communion!
Kahu Alan Akana
by admin | Jan 22, 2015 | Message from Kahu
God Thinks We Could Not Be One Bit Better!
On Sunday, I told the story of a young man named Willy who lived in Los Angeles. He was a gang member who liked to brag about his exploits. He was befriended by a priest named Father Gregory Boyle, who knew all about his life in the gangs. One day around 8 p.m., Willy paid Fr. Greg a visit and asked for $20 because he was hungry. Fr. Greg didn’t have $20 but told Willy he would drive him to a local grocery store where there was an ATM and get him some money. Fr. Greg didn’t want to take any chances that the 2 of them might run into any rival gang members in the parking lot or in the store, so he told Willy to wait in the car. About 10 yards away, Fr. Greg heard Willy call out to him. He wanted the keys to the car so he could listen to the radio. Fr. Greg said no way and invited Willy to pray instead. When he got back to the car, he found that something had changed. Willy was quiet, reflective, humble; and Fr. Greg couldn’t help but notice a sense of peace. He looked at Willy and said, “You prayed, didn’t you?” Willy responded without looking at Fr. Greg: “Yeah, I did.” Fr. Greg asked Willy a simple but very profound question: “How does God see you?” Willy replied: “God thinks I’m firme.” Fr. Greg translates that to mean: “[God thinks I] could not be one bit better.”
I read this story last week in Fr. Greg’s book, Tattoos on the Heart, in which he tells the story of his ministry to gang members in L.A. and people affected by the gangs. This theme that God thinks people could not be one bit better seems to be the heart of his message…and it changed the lives of people who heard it. I wondered (out loud) on Sunday if this might be the message we all need to let “marinate” in our hearts: that God thinks we could not be one bit better. Imagine how we might live differently if we truly believed that about ourselves and everyone else!
Have a great week, and I hope to see you on Sunday!
Kahu Alan Akana
by admin | Jan 14, 2015 | Message from Kahu
I got back to the office yesterday after being on vacation since Christmas. I’ve had a lot of time to reflect upon my blessings over the past year and thought I would share some of them with you:
- Spending time with family and friends in California in January and February, especially time with my mom after learning she had cancer.
- Moving to Kaua’i in February to be the kahu of Koloa Union Church.
- Moving into the beautifully-restored historic parsonage in March (and enjoying it every day since then!).
- Spending a week with my mom in March and talking nearly every day on the phone until 3 days before she died.
- Spending a week with my son Palani on Kaua’i in March…and a month over the summer…and a week and a half in December.
- The publication of my book, The Volcano Is Our Home: Nine Generations of a Hawaiian Family on Kilauea Volcano, several book events in the following months, and very good sales.
- A successful art show at Art House in Koloa, where many people bought my watercolors.
- New and renewed friendships in Hawaii.
- Spending time with the wonderful people of Koloa Union Church.
These are some of the highlights of the past year, and there are many more blessings for which I am truly grateful. I feel that I am starting the new year off well by entering it with a grateful heart. I hope you will do the same. I also hope you will come to church and share the blessings of your life with the rest of us as we look forward to many more blessings in the year ahead!
Happy New Year!!!
Kahu Alan Akana