Reopening the Church
The Mayor is now allowing churches to carefully reopen beginning this week. Our Kahu, Church Council and Deacons have been anticipating this announcement and preparing to reopen the church by creating a Reopening Committee. They have been meeting for two weeks on Zoom, gathering pertinent information, going over rules, recommendations and requirements for reopening the church by the CDC, governor, mayor, the Hawai`i Conference of the United Church of Christ leadership and Insurance Board. Although there have been no active cases of COVID-19 on Kaua`i for a number of weeks, it is likely that the virus will return to the island and will easily spread if we do not have some new guidelines for how we gather.
Our goal is to remain a church of welcome and hospitality and at the same time assure the safety of all who visit.
A Phased Reopening
The Hawaii Conference (UCC) encourages pastors and church leaders to have compassion for its members and visitors by assuring the safety of everyone who is physically present on church grounds. For the sake of safety and liability (in case anyone might become ill after a worship service and believes that the church did not take the proper requirements to assure safety), the Conference recommends that churches open in phases, beginning with Phase 1: the opening of the church office:
Phase 1: Church Offices
Beginning this week, the church office and Kahu’s office will be open for visitors for church business. We will open the church office this week, Tuesday and Thursday 8 a.m. to noon. Kahu will be available Tuesday through Thursday by appointment.
Please adhere to the following guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff (Kahu and Penny):
- When visiting the church office, call Penny (808-742-6622) first whenever possible to let her know you plan to visit.
- When visiting Kahu, call the church office or his cell (808-855-8806) first whenever possible.
- Do not enter the church office but remain at the threshold in order to comply with the 6′ social distancing rule.
- Do not enter Kahu’s office until you are invited in.
- Please approach with a face mask. If you don’t have a face mask, a disposable mask will be offered. Please keep your face mask on at all times while standing in the doorway. Please ask staff before removing your face mask.
- Leave anything you are dropping off for Penny on the bench outside the office. There will be a clipboard for papers that blow away in the wind.
- Restrooms and the kitchen will be closed until further notice.
- Do not ask the staff to keep or store any items for you or your ministry/group until further notice.
- Please stay home if you are sick, if you have a fever or any other symptoms of COVID-19, or have had any known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the prior 14 days.
Over the next few weeks we will be opening the church up to small groups and classes (with no food or refreshments served), as well as restroom facilities (Phase 2: by early June). We will then open the sanctuary on Sunday mornings in order to resume worship services (Phase 3: by mid-June). Finally, when things are a lot safer, we will share communion and meals as we begin to look like we did before the pandemic entered our lives (Phase 4: date TBD).
Staying in Touch
Staying connected with our church community is as important as ever these days!
Here are some suggestions:
- Online Worship Services: Join us online every Sunday until we meet back at church for worship in the sanctuary. Everyone on our church email list will receive a link each Saturday to the YouTube video of the worship service.
- Weekly E-news: We will be sending out our weekly news now on Saturdays along with the link for our Sunday worship service. Please contact Penny in the church office if you would like a hardcopy mailed to you.
- Lectionary: Read through the Scripture verses for the week, knowing that Kahu and others are reading those same passages, which are often included in the Sunday messages. (Scroll to the bottom of this email to see the Scriptures for this Sunday and next.)
- Mail from the Church: The church office will occasionally send out postcards, letters, quarterly giving statements, etc. Just let Penny Osuga know if you would like to be added to our mailing list. Penny also checks our P.O. box weekly.
- Monthly Newsletter: We will likely not send out another church newsletter until sometime this summer, which you can choose to receive in hard copy format or click on the “News” tab at the top of the screen on our website and then click “Newsletter.” Just let Penny Osuga know if you would like to be added to our monthly newsletter mailing list.
- Phone Calling: Please call members and friends of the church to check in and see how they are doing! Also call a Deacon or Kahu Alan Akana if you have concerns or need prayer or just need to talk.
Monday, May 25, 2020
Kahu Akana and Penny will take the day off on Monday, as they observe Memorial Day.
Let us give thanks for the women and men who died serving our country in the military.Let us pray for the families of those who have died in recent days.
Congratulations to Kahu!
The Hawaii Conference, United Church of Christ, publishes The Friend, six times each year. It is the oldest newspaper west of the Rocky Mountains. This month’s “Hawaiian Mission Bicentennial: 200 Years in 2020” was a very special issue, and the opening feature article was written by our Kahu, “Missionaries and Epidemics.” The article was based on his message to our church on March 29, 2020, and can be read in full online.
Sharing aloha with everyone…
Congratulations to Cathy Evans!
KITV’s Nā Mea Pono Recognition
On May 19 for Overseeing the Making
Of Over 1,000 Face Masks Donated So Far!
KITV Channel 4 “Na Mea Pono” celebrates the people on Kauai who are serving our community and supporting others throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. Bonnie and Penny nominated Cathy Evans. Go to https://www.kitv.com/namea#/gallery and click on Tuesday, May 19, to see Cathy’s recognition.
Thank you to Cathy Evans and all of the volunteers who have made face masks: You have made such a difference on our island!
Members and friends of Kōloa Union Church continue to make face masks for organizations on the island who provide important services to the community. We have delivered masks to the following groups: Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital, Wilcox Hospital, Garden Isle Health Care, YWCA Women’s Shelter, Women in Need Shelter (rehabilitation, domestic abuse and transitional housing), St. Raphael’s Food Distribution, Ohana Healthcare, Salvation Army (for the homeless), Kauai Economic Opportunity (for the homeless shelter), Nana’s House, Kauai Food Bank, Honolulu eldercare facility.
Need a Face Mask? Got Questions? Please contact Cathy Evans (volunteer project coordinator): email@example.com; 858-231-6894.
Food for Hungry Neighbors
If you or someone you know on the south shore is hungry, please provide a name and contact information HERE. There may be someone who can no longer afford food. Perhaps someone is unable to leave their home to buy groceries. Our Outreach Committee is coordinating safe pickup and drop off of groceries to make sure none of our neighbors goes hungry during this time.
St. Raphael Food Pantry
Koloa Union Church continues to partner with St. Raphael Catholic Church in distributing food to hungry families. If you are younger than 65-years-old (a new rule) and you are available on Thursday, June 4 and June 18, to help pack food, please contact Amber Strong at 907-227-9045 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You must wear a face mask in order to volunteer. Let Amber know if you need a mask.
During challenging times, reading the Bible on a daily basis is a great source of inspiration and hope. I encourage you to read and meditate upon the Scriptures of the Revised Common Lectionary and ask yourself how God might be showing up in the Scriptures for you, what God might be saying to you, and what guidance you might find as you share God’s love in creative and meaningful ways.
—Kahu Alan Akana
Each week, Christians throughout the world read biblical passages from the Revised Common Lectionary, including the Old Testament, Psalms, New Testament, and Gospels. After three years, a good portion of the Bible is included and the cycle begins again. RCL passages are often read in church worship services, and Kahu Akana usually includes at least one reading each Sunday.
Readings for May 24 are Acts 1:6-14; Psalm 68:1-35; 1 Peter 4:12-5:11; John 17:1-11
Readings for May 31 are Acts 2:1-21; Numbers 11:24-30; Psalm 104:24-36; 1 Corinthians 12:3-13; John 20:19-23; John 7:37-39.
“Weekly News of the Church” is provided by Koloa Union Church, an Open and Affirming (ONA) Congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC), a member of the Kauai Association and Hawaii Conference. Please contact the church office if you would like to have our weekly news sent directly to your inbox. Join us at 3289 Poipu Road in Koloa!