A Message from Kahu Alan Akana



On Sunday, I talked about the many homes where I’ve lived and how often I moved. I also shared some thoughts from Diana Butler Bass’ chapter “Home” from her book Grounded. (She has moved a lot too!) The two most important things to me are:

  • Home is where we belong…and feel that we belong.
  • Home is a place where God meets us.

Fortunately, I am able to see both of these things in all of the homes where I have lived. I also see and feel both of these things at Koloa Union Church, our spiritual home. It is a place where all are welcome to meet God and have a place where we belong. I am grateful for the people at church who make me feel that I belong here. I see God in our common life: our worship, fellowship, outreach and the fun we have.

This is our home! And I hope to see you here again soon!

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou Me Aloha Nui Loa!!!


Weekly News of the Church


Party for Middle School and High Schoolers

  • Sunday (January 3) 1-3 p.m.
  • At the Parsonage: 3281 Waikomo Rd.
  • Ice Cream Sundaes
  • Fun Games: outdoors on the lawn if the weather is nice
  • Discussion on future activities for the next few months
  • Youth can bring friends!!!

Church at the Beach

Our worship service will begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, January 10, at the main pavilion at Poipu Beach Park (across the street from Nukumoi Surf Shop). Sign up to bring something to share for our potluck luncheon afterwards. Bring beach chairs too. There will be no worship service at the church that day.

Weekly News of the Church


HI Christmas

Christmas is Special at Koloa Union Church: We sing Christmas carols in English and Hawaiian on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and during the entire season; and all are welcome to join us. Whether you are fluent in Hawaiian or just want to listen to our choir and congregation sing their favorite Christmas carols, you are welcome to celebrate the birth of Jesus in a congregation where truly all are welcome, regardless of ethnicity, ability, socio-economic status, sexual orientation or any other area of modern life that sometimes separates people in our society. Come experience God’s presence and our island hospitality!

A Service of Candles & Carols: Our Christmas Eve service at Koloa Union Church will begin at 7:30 on December 24th. All are invited to join us for Christmas carols, Scripture readings, and the traditional lighting of the candles.

Christmas Day Communion Service: Our Christmas Day communion service at Koloa Union Church will begin at 10:30 a.m. All are invited to join us for a special day on which we celebrate the birth of our Savior. We will light the Christ candle, sing Christmas carols, hear a Christmas Day message from our Kahu, Alan Akana, and celebrate Holy Communion.

Special Offering: Each year at Christmastime, congregations of the United Church of Christ across the country take up a collection to provide pension and health premium supplementation to lower-income retired church workers, and emergency assistance to clergy and lay church employees in need, as well as “Thank You” gift checks to hundreds of faithful retired church workers. The fund is administered by the UCC Pension Boards. We will collect the Christmas Fund offering on December 24 & 25. Please give generously to help faithful church workers who are experiencing difficult times.

A Message from Kahu Alan Akana

Charter for Compassion


During the week of Christmas, I cannot think of a more important message than that of having compassion. On Sunday, I shared how the Gospel writer Luke set the stage for the drama of Jesus’ life with compassion. The word “mercy” showed up four times in the first chapter of Luke, which is the word for used when compassion, grace or love is demonstrated to others; and then Luke spends the rest of the Gospel showing how Jesus broke down the walls that stand between people and the compassion we have for them, making all people our neighbors and friends.

At the Parliament of the World’s Religions, which I attended in Salt Lake City in October, Karen Armstrong spoke of compassion and the Charter for Compassion, which she was instrumental in writing. It is an important document, which calls for people of all faiths to commit to living with compassion for others. I recently signed the charter and invite you to do the same.

The charter is written below in full. If you would like to see and hear it read by a group of diverse and articulate people in a powerful way, please click: CHARTER FOR COMPASSION. On that page, you can also sign the charter and commit to living with compassion.

During this season in which we celebrate God’s love, my prayer is that we will live in a world where compassion is evident everywhere.

I hope to see you on Christmas Eve for our service of candles and carols and on Christmas Day for Holy Communion.

Mele Kalikimaka me Aloha Nui!

Kahu Alan Akana



The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensable to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.