A Message from Our Kahu

“My Spirit Rejoices”

And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord, 

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”

(Luke 1:46-47)

On Sunday, we lit the candle of joy in the Advent wreath, reminding ourselves of the joy that we feel as we anticipate the birth of Jesus. During my message, I reminded the congregation that joy does not wait until all is right with the world. It is easy to forget that Jesus was born during a time of horrible oppression and injustice. Life was really hard for Mary and her relative Elizabeth. Life was filled with fear and anxiety for the Jewish people living under both Caesar Augustus and King Herod. Nevertheless, we read in Luke, chapter 1, that Elizabeth and all who knew her experienced joy. Mary was so filled with joy that she burst out in song and claimed, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!”

In the same way, we too can experience joy without having to wait until all oppression and injustice disappear from the face of the earth. In Mary’s song, she identified the reason for this: it is because God loves the oppressed and those who are considered to have very little value in the eyes of society. God looks upon them with favor, has mercy upon them, blesses them. It is important to recognize God’s immense love for all of us—even those who feel like their lives are the least valuable of all. It is in this acknowledgement that the greatest joy can be found.

May you feel deep and lasting joy this week!

Aloha nui loa!

Kahu Alan Akana

“I am a beloved child of God,

who loves me unconditionally,

cherishes and adores me.”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Alan-Akana-Portrait-3-28-15-5057-819x1024.jpg

“A Message from Our Kahu” is provided by Rev. Dr. Alan Akana of Koloa Union Church, an Open & Affirming (ONA) congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC), a member of the Kauai Association and Hawaii Conference. Rev. Dr. Akana is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and has been the kahu (pastor) of Koloa Union Church since 2014. Click HERE to learn more about him.

To see a video of this week’s worship service, including the message, click HERE. You may see the Koloa Union Church YouTube channel to see previous worship services and many of Kahu’s past messages. You can subscribe in order be notified when a new message is posted. Please share these videos with friends and invite them to church. Please feel free to “Like” any of the videos you see and share them on social media, such as Facebook, so that others will notice them.

You are welcome to join us on Sunday mornings! To learn about our Sunday morning worship service, click HERE.

Kahu Akana is also an accomplished artist! He specializes in creating vibrant watercolors of the flowers of Hawaii and hosts a Sunday afternoon reception in a gallery at his home, the Smith Memorial Parsonage. He also meets visitors by appointment. Most of the profit from the sales go for the maintenance and upkeep of the parsonage. To see a video about his art and gallery, click HERE. To see the gallery website, click HERE.

News of the Church

THE SEASON OF ADVENT

On December 19, we will light the Candle of Love as we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ. Come and join us as we worship God and focus on the love that Christ brought into the world!

Please consider coming to church a bit earlier during the season, as attendance is often higher this time of the year, especially if you want to sit in a particular area. Keep in mind that during the pandemic, we have limited capacity in the sanctuary and once the space fills up you will be directed to either Moore Hall, where you can watch the service on a large T.V. screen, or the patio.

We ask everyone to be seated when the worship service begins and remain in their seats until the service is over.

Thank you for your patience and commitment to safety during the pandemic.

The Office Will Be Closed…

The church office will be closed on the following days:

December 23

December 30

January 3

We are also taking a brief break from updating our website until 2022.

Normal office hours are Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to noon.

Mahalo nui loa to our staff and office volunteers for your service this past year and making sure that everything is functioning smoothly and communication is effective throughout our church community!

Christmas Eve Service

A Special Online Service this Year

Available at NOON on December 24

On December 24, we will be uploading a special Christmas Eve service for our members and friends to watch! There will be lots of music, provided by members and friends of the church, and you can sing along to all the Christmas carols and hear a little bit of the Christmas story in between each song! We are blessed to have so many talented musicians and lay readers in our midst, and we all love to sing Christmas carols! So click the link below on Christmas Eve for the Christmas Eve service and all of our worship services:


A Note from Kahu

“Covid Fatigue”

As I write these words, I have just finished listening to the latest pandemic report on National Public Radio. We have just passed the grim marker of 800,000 Covid-related deaths in the United States. For some perspective, that’s more than all American soldiers who died in World War I and II combined, and nearly double the number of American soldiers who died during World War II alone. There are currently 1,100 Covid-related deaths per day in the U.S., which is up 5%. Infections and hospitalizations are also on the rise nationally.

After nearly two years of living with Covid-19, it is easy to get tired of the inconveniences, changes in travel plans, not gathering for large holiday parties, and so forth. We are sometimes tempted to let our guard down and even ignore guidance from physicians and guidelines from the CDC, Health Department, FDA, and other organizations. However, it is important that we stay as healthy as possible as individuals and do what we can to keep the people around us safe as well.

On a personal level, I encourage you to follow the recommendations of physicians and professionals who have devoted their lives to medical science and the health of people for whom they are responsible. This includes avoiding large gatherings and activities where guidelines, such as mask wearing and social distancing, are not being followed.

In terms of church, I thank you for your patience as the Committee for the Assurance of Pandemic Safety, our Board of Deacons, and the Church Council, continue to do their best to provide for and encourage an active and meaningful church community while keeping everyone safe. Following is some of the key information that has guided us:

  • The main way the virus spreads is through droplets and aerosols which can linger in the air.
  • Droplets and aerosols are increased through speaking, singing, and playing wind instruments.
  • The virus also spreads by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching one’s mouth, nose, or eyes.
  • The virus has been found up to 2 days on fabric, 5 days on paper, and up to 7 days on plastic and metal.
  • People who are infected with Covid-19 are most contagious 1-2 days before symptoms appear.

As we all make final preparations for celebrating the birth of our Savior, may we all be healthy, knowing the peace of Christ, and being full of Christmas joy!

Mele Kalikimaka!

Kahu Alan Akana

______________________________

Thanks for your patience and for following our guidelines during the pandemic!

Please let us know if you have any concerns or questions about our health and safety during the pandemic.

Please do not hesitate to contact the church office if you have questions, concerns or need clarification on any matters regarding pandemic safety.


LECTIO DIVINA

Wednesday, January 12, 2022, 7 p.m.

Lectio Divina is a traditional monastic practice of scriptural reading, meditation, prayer, and contemplation, intended to promote communion with God and to increase knowledge of God’s word. It does not treat scripture as texts to be studied, but as living word. As we gather in a small group, we allow a biblical passage to speak to us individually; after hearing the text read several times, there is an opportunity for participants to share their experience.

We will gather again for Lectio Divina, led by Karen Johnson, at 7 p.m. on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. Location will be determined by the number of participants.

Please RSVP to the church office by Sunday, January 9, and you will be notified of the location for that week.


An Evening WithDavid Vasquez-Levy

Wisdom-Based Leadership:
Preparing a New Generation of
Spiritually-Rooted Leaders to
Create a World Where All Can Thrive

Wednesday, January 19, 7 p.m.

Koloa Union Church

This event is open to the public.

All pandemic guidelines apply.



Rev. Dr. David Vasquez-Levy serves as President of Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California–a progressive, multi-denominational seminary and center for social justice that prepares theologically and spiritually rooted leaders to work for the well-being of all. A committed pastor, a nationally recognized higher education and immigration leader, and a sought after speaker, Vasquez-Levy leads at the intersection of faith, higher education, and social change.Vasquez-Levy is committed to innovation and access in theological education and leadership formation.  Vasquez-Levy has lived in four countries, including working on refugee resettlement in Canada, and taught courses and led international study and service trips across the globe. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Texas Lutheran University and a Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, including studies at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany.

LECTIONARY READINGS

Weekly Readings from the Bible

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 December 12 are Zephaniah 3:14-20; Isaiah 12:2-6; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18.
  • Readings for December 19 are Micah 5:2-6; Luke 1:46-55; Psalm 80:1-7; Hebrew 10:5-10; Luke 1:39-55.
  • Reading for December 26 are 1 Samuel 2:18-26; Psalm 148; Colossians3:12-17; Luke 2:41-52.
  • Readings for January 2 are Jeremiah 31:7-14; Psalm 147:12-20; Ephesians 1:3-14; John 1:1-18.
  • Epiphany (January 6) readings are Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-14; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12.
  • Readings for January 9 are Isaiah 43:1-7; Psalm 29; Acts 8:14-17; Luke 3:15-22.

“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 news sent directly to your inbox. Join us at 3289 Poipu Road in Koloa!

A Message from Our Kahu

“Hope”

“Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.”

(Psalm 33:22)

First of all, I want to offer my heartfelt and deep gratitude to Doug Duvauchelle for providing an inspirational message on the theme of “hope” this past Sunday morning! In his message, Doug pointed out that hope is something we choose. We can choose it with confidence and trust, not because we are so clever that things always work out the way we want, but because God is so faithful and always present, even in the darkest hours of our lives.

I encourage you to choose hope and live with hope! I also invite you to look around this week and see if you might offer some hope to someone who might not be feeling much hope these days.

May we all be open to they ways that hope shows up during this season leading up to Christmas Day!

Aloha nui loa!

Kahu Alan Akana


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Alan-Akana-Portrait-3-28-15-5057-819x1024.jpg

“A Message from Kahu Alan Akana” is provided most weeks by Koloa Union Church, an Open & Affirming (ONA) congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC), a member of the Kauai Association and Hawaii Conference.

To see a video of this week’s worship service, including the message, click HERE. You may see the Koloa Union Church YouTube channel to see previous worship services and many of Kahu’s past messages. You can subscribe in order be notified when a new message is posted. Please share these videos with friends and invite them to church. Please feel free to “Like” any of the videos you see and share them on social media, such as Facebook, so that others will notice them.

You are welcome to join us on Sunday mornings! To learn about our Sunday morning worship service, click HERE.

Kahu Akana is also an accomplished artist! He specializes in creating vibrant watercolors of the flowers of Hawaii and hosts a Sunday afternoon reception in a gallery at his home, the Smith Memorial Parsonage. He also meets visitors by appointment. Most of the profit from the sales go for the maintenance and upkeep of the parsonage. To see a video about his art and gallery, click HERE. To see the gallery website, click HERE.

News of the Church

THE SEASON OF ADVENT

On December 5, we will light the Candle of Peace as we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ, who is called the “Prince of Peace.” Please consider coming to church a bit earlier during the season, as attendance is often higher this time of the year, especially if you want to sit in a particular area. Keep in mind that during the pandemic, we have limited capacity in the sanctuary and once the space fills up you will be directed to either Moore Hall, where you can watch the service on a large T.V. screen, or the patio.

We ask everyone to be seated when the worship service begins and remain in their seats until the service is over.

Thank you for your patience and commitment to safety during the pandemic.


The Committee for the Assurance of Pandemic Safety (CAPS) will be keeping an eye on the new omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus. In the meantime, please follow Kahu’s example and stay home if you are feeling sick, especially if you have any coronavirus symptoms. Thanks for your patience and for following our guidelines during the pandemic!
Please let us know if you have any concerns or questions about our health and safety during the pandemic.

Please do not hesitate to contact the church office if you have questions, concerns or need clarification on any matters regarding pandemic safety.


Annual Holiday Outreach

Thanksgiving Food Boxes & Christmas Stockings

Thanksgiving Food Boxes: The Outreach Team sends a huge mahalo to everyone who donated the our annual Thanksgiving Share Aloha. They delivered meals to 11 local families. The church keiki helped fill the boxes. All the recipient families were so grateful!

Christmas Stockings: December 5 is the deadline for donations. We will be delivering stockings with gift cards to local families early in December. All donations are greatly appreciated!We pay for this outreach through the change jar, to which people contribute throughout the year, and from personal donations. So be sure to look for spare change lying around at home or in your car. If you are able, please consider a monetary donation.


LECTIO DIVINA

Wednesday, December 8, 7 p.m.

Lectio Divina is a traditional monastic practice of scriptural reading, meditation, prayer, and contemplation, intended to promote communion with God and to increase knowledge of God’s word. It does not treat scripture as texts to be studied, but as living word. As we gather in a small group, we allow a biblical passage to speak to us individually; after hearing the text read several times, there is an opportunity for participants to share their experience.

We will gather again for Lectio Divina, led by Karen Johnson, at 7 p.m. on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. Location will be determined by the number of participants.

Please RSVP to the church office by Sunday, December 5, and you will be notified of the location for that week.


LECTIONARY READINGS

Weekly Readings from the Bible

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 November 28 are Jeremiah 33:14-16; Psalm 25:1-10; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21:25-36.
Readings for December 5 are Malachi 3:1-4; Luke 1:68-79; Philippians 1:3-11; Luke 3:1-6.


“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 news sent directly to your inbox. Join us at 3289 Poipu Road in Koloa!