“Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!” (Luke 6:23)
In the book, Joy and Human Flourishing, which he co-edits, the theologian, Justin Crisp, asks the question: “Why joy—and why now?” When he considers all that is wrong with the world and views human behavior “in the shadow cast by the towering wreckage of history,” he understands that joy is not the most obvious choice when it comes to theological topics. As I thought about his words, it almost seems that focusing on joy in a world filled with so much pain is almost scandalous.
He then answers his question by pointing to the pages of the Old and New Testaments: they are filled with joy! There is joy in the midst of celebrations, and there is joy when people are struggling from the effects of injustice. In fact, joy seems to be one of the strongest threads that are woven throughout all of the stories of the Holy Bible—a thread that holds them all together.
Jurgen Moltmann, one of the essayists in the book, defines joy in this way: “Joy is the power to live, to love, to have creative initiative.” He sees that God created everything in the universe as an expression of God’s joy, as recipients of God’s joy, and as creatures that participate in God’s joy—simply by being alive, receiving and giving love, and being just as God created each and everything in its own beautiful and unique way, whether tree or flower, whale or human. That’s our job as creatures! Just imagine living this day fully open to life, to love, and to being fully who you are just the way God made you—and encouraging others to do the same! When put in this way, it seems that not living with joy would be the actual scandal! May you have a week filled with joy!
Each year we collect a special offering in memory of Henry Opukahaia, the first Native Hawaiian known to become a Christian. Henry O. is credited with motivating the early New England missionaries to sail to Hawaii. The money collected supports the training of current and future clergy for Christian ministry by providing financial aid for students from Hawaii. The Hawaii Conference of the United Church of Christ manages the scholarship fund. Please consider a generous donation on Sunday. Offering envelopes will be available on that day. Please write checks to “Koloa Union Church” and write “Henry O” in the note section. When giving online, please write “Henry O” in the comments section.
Hookipa Wellness Class
A Free Exercise/Stretching Class for Seniors
—NEXT CLASS WILL BE FEBRUARY 27—
Led by RoseTatiana Warken Ceballos Classes are normally on the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Sundays of each month 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
We mark Ash Wednesday as the first day of Lent. It follows Shrove Tuesday. It is traditionally a time of fasting and prayer in preparation for receiving or reaffirming baptism at Easter. We will have a service of the ashes.
Sunday, March 6th, 10:30 am
In the sacrament of Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist, meaning “thanksgiving,” Christians hear, taste, touch, and receive the grace of God revealed through Jesus Christ in a unique way.*
After two years of foregoing Holy Communion in person, we will begin serving communion again on March 6 as part of our worship service on the first Sunday of the month. In order to keep us as safe as possible during the pandemic, the Deacons have instituted the following temporary changes:
You will be offered a ziplock bag when you arrive on Communion Sunday. It will include a container with a small wafer on the top and a small amount of grape juice on the bottom (just like in the photo below). There will be a sanitized wipe in your packet as well.
Please do not open the bag or container until instructed. Kahu will provide instructions before Holy Communion.
You will be asked to wipe the container and your hands with the sanitized wipe, and then place the wipe in the ziplock bag.
After you partake of communion, please place the used container back in the ziplock bag and securely close it. As you exit the sanctuary, you can drop the bag and its contents in the trash container. This will help keep us from spilling a small amount of juice onto chairs and clothing, and therefore avoid stains, as well as ants and other critters.
What About the Keiki? As soon as Kahu offers the benediction, he will head over to the Sunday school class and offer Holy Communion to the children, youth, teachers, and volunteers. If a child or youth attends the worship service, he/she/they may participate with the rest of the congregation in the worship service.
*The statement above is taken from the page “About Communion” from the United Church of Christ website. To learn more about the sacrament of Holy Communion and what the UCC teaches, click the link below:
Here are some of the important decisions that were made:
Kahu’s Report: Kahu Akana gave a very affirming report based upon the Vision Statement adopted by the Congregation in 2018. He pointed to all of the things we accomplished, even in the midst of the pandemic, and thanked the congregation for prayers, service, and generosity. He also drew our attention to the future and talked about what it will take to complete everything in our vision statement that remains to be accomplished. Youth Director: The congregation voted to hire a youth director to begin on July 1, 2022. Kitchen Remodel: The church kitchen is in desperate need of an overhaul, which will include a service window to the patio area, new appliances, cupboards, drawers, countertops, and floor. Once we have the drawings and cost, we will be asking for our members and friends to help pay for our new kitchen. Covered Patio Area: By the end of the year, we will have a plan in place for a nice covered patio, to include lighting, fans, audio-visual system upgrades, and storage. This large-scale project will require a multi-year capital campaign, which we plan to begin in 2023.
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 February 13 are Jeremiah 17:5-10; Psalm 1; 1 Corinthians 15:12-20; Luke 6:17-26. Readings for February 20 are Genesis 45:2-15; Psalm 37:1-40; 1 Corinthians 15:35-50; Luke 6:27-38. Readings for February 27 are Exodus 34:29-35; Psalm 99; 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2; Luke 9:28-44.