A Message from Kahu Alan Akana


Kahu Alan Akana and Rev. Susumu Yamane

On Sunday, June 7, 2015, I celebrated the 25th anniversary of my ordination into Christian ministry. It was an honor to have Rev. Susumu Yamane give the benediction at our worship service at the parsonage. He was the pastor of our church in 1960, the year I was born and our current church building was built! I met Rev. Yamane several years ago in Hilo and he encouraged me to come back to Hawai’i and serve a church. Little did either of us know at the time that his daughter Naomi Giovanni would be calling me from Kōloa and inviting me to consider becoming the kahu at Kōloa Union Church!

I was also thrilled to announce on Sunday that our church raised $276,360 for our capital campaign, Maika’i Hana Hou! (Creating Goodness and Beauty Once Again!). We want to build upon what Rev. Yamane and the people of Kōloa Union Church began over 50 years ago to have a beautiful place where people could come and experience the goodness of God through worship, prayer, education, fellowship and reaching out to the community! Today, our church provides all of these things, including space for community groups five days a week. We decided last year to make our church building and grounds more welcoming and inviting, not just for us but for so many more people in our community. The congregation voted to conduct a capital campaign for this purpose (with a minimum goal of $150,000!)…and they blew right over the top of that goal! I am so pleased to be the kahu of such a generous and compassionate congregation!

Aloha nui loa!

Kahu Alan Akana

Editor’s Note: Kahu Akana will be taking a break, so the next “Weekly Pastor’s Message” will be in July.


A Successful Capital Campaign!

CC numbers

$276,360! Goal Exceeded!

We celebrated a successful “Maika’i Hana Hou” Capital Campaign on Sunday, June, 7, 2015.  Mahalo nui to everyone who made a gift or commitment, because YOU helped us exceed our goal by $76,360! We also had over 90% volunteer involvement from the congregation! A special thanks to the Capital Campaign Leadership Team (pictured, plus Sharon McCoubrey!), who worked for months to inform, inspire and challenge our congregation to do something big for our community and for the future of our church!

You will begin to see improvements over the summer, including a new and improved entryway, parking area and landscaping! The church leadership will keep you informed along the way.

Mahalo nui loa to everyone!!!

A Message from Kahu Alan Akana

Alan Akana Portrait 3-28-15-5057



On Sunday, I shared with the congregation about one of my favorite quotes, which comes from the character Emily in Thornton Wilder’s well know play Our Town. Emily dies as a young woman while giving birth to her child. In the afterlife, she has plenty of time to reflect on the meaning of life and the importance of her family and friends; she misses them all immensely. And so she asks permission to go back home, to return from the dead and spend just one more day with her family. Her permission is granted, and she is able to be with her family for just one day, although they will not be able to see her or know she is there. She shows up back home with high hopes…but she is deeply disappointed. As she observes her family, she realizes that they are all just going through the motions, hardly taking the time to even look at one another, much less connect with each other in meaningful ways.

And she asks this question: “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it—every, every minute?”

“Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?” Or do we spend most of our lives just going through the motions? Hardly ever taking the time to even look at each other? Hardly ever connecting on a deeper level?

I thought about that question as I read Sunday’s Gospel lesson, that people might have eternal life if they believe in Jesus. John’s Gospel tells us that this is why Jesus came to the world: that people might have eternal life.

“Eternal life” I thought! As I read that this week, I thought, “What about quality of life?” “What about life here on earth while we live it?” (The only life we really know!) “What about life with more love…more joy…more meaning?” “What about ‘realizing life while we live it,’” in the words of Emily in the play Our Town?

As I was thinking about these questions, there was another question that kept popping into my head: When do I feel most alive?

Here are some of the things I came up with:

  • I feel most alive when I have a sense of my connectedness.
  • I feel most alive when I feel loved and appreciated.
  • I feel most alive when I am surrounded by beauty…and paying attention to beauty.
  • I feel most alive when I am watercoloring.
  • I feel most alive when I am sharing love and appreciation.
  • I feel most alive when I am eating really good, fresh food.
  • I feel most alive when I am aware of God.
  • I feel most alive when I do something that helps others feel more alive.

Since the Gospel of John portrays Jesus as the one who brought not just eternal but also abundant life to the world, perhaps we ought to all ask ourselves what makes us feel most alive…and then go out and do it!

I hope you experience life to the fullest this week…and share your abundance with others!

Kahu Alan Akana

This Week’s News


The Parsonage – 3281 Waikomo Road


June 7, 2015

Join us at the parsonage at 10:30 a.m. on June 7 for an informal worship service which will include:

  • The celebration of Kahu Alan Akana’s 25th anniversary of his ordination into Christian ministry
  • The honoring of our graduates
  • The recognition of our Sunday School teachers and choir
  • Songs from our two keiki co-ops
  • Dedication of a brand new lanai, walkway and fence at the parsonage
  • A successful capital campaign!!!!  We will announce the grand total for Maika’i Hana Hou

Then join us for a barbecue picnic on the parsonage lawn!!!

Pono Nero is our guest musician and will provide music throughout the day!

There will be a water slide, so keiki (and keiki at heart) are encouraged to bring sunscreen, towel and a change of clothes!



Our summer book group will be reading and discussing “Christianity After Religion” by Diana Butler Bass.  The book study will be on Wednesdays beginning July 8; dinner at 6:00 p.m., discussion to begin at 6:45 p.m. If you have ordered a book, you can pick it up at the church and pay Kahu $14.