A Message From Kahu: March 23rd, 2023

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A Message From Our Kahu

“Looking Ahead”

Every year brings new changes—and 2023 is no different! In fact, new changes at Koloa Union Church are already happening…and there are more changes down the road. One of the things I am most excited about are the opportunities for growth. A healthy church is a growing church, and a growing church brings in new ideas and new energy! As you learn about the changes that are happening in the days ahead of us, please think about the opportunities for you to invite friends and neighbors to our wonderful church!

  • Easter Picnic: After 3 years of no gathering together for meals, we will be having our first Easter picnic since 2019! Be sure to join us on April 9 for an inspiring worship service at the church and then gather afterwards at the parsonage for some great food!
  • Church on the Beach: We will gather at the large pavilion at Poipu Beach across from Nukumoi Surf Shop for an informal and fun worship service at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 30! We’ll have more details in the April Newsletter.
  • Church Kitchen: We will begin demolition soon and plan to have a brand new church kitchen by the end of summer. We have applied for a grant and have been receiving some large donations from generous donors to cover most of the costs. If we still need to raise some money to complete the project, we will be letting you know about opportunities for giving later in the spring.
  • Centennial Celebration: Koloa Union Church will be the GRAND MARSHAL in this year’s Koloa Plantation Days Parade on Saturday, July 29! We hope to have a HUGE turnout of members and friends to walk and ride in the parade with us this year. We are planning a delicious and fun-filled luncheon after church on Sunday, July 30.
  • New Patio Roof: We have been talking about covering the patio area to the west of the church kitchen for a number of years now, and we have some great plans in store for that space! Since we are focussing on our new kitchen and Centennial in 2023, you’ll be hearing all about our patio plans in 2024.
  • The Loosening of Pandemic Restrictions: As we learn more about coronavirus and how to protect ourselves from infection and serious illness, we continue to loosen restrictions. Be sure to read about our new guidelines below.

Thank you so much for making all of these things possible through your prayers, involvement and gifts. Because of our wonderful and gifted leaders, members and friends, I see a very bright future for our beloved church!

Aloha Nui Loa!
Kahu Alan Akana

Will you consider inviting a friend or two to a

worship service or church activity during the next month?

A Message From Kahu: Feb 16th, 2023

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A Message From Our Kahu

“Welcoming Our Centennial Year!”

“Kia Ora!” is how people greet one another in New Zealand. It’s their way of saying “good morning,” “hello,” and “farewell.” It is also a phrase used to express appreciation or blessing.

After just returning from the land of the kiwi, I am filled with appreciation in countless ways:

  • For over a week and a half hiking in some of the most beautiful places on earth, such as Tikitapu (Blue Lake) high in the mountains of the North Island (in the photo above)
  • For the stunning and rugged coastline of NZ
  • For the abundance of waterfalls
  • For the beautiful and interesting birds everywhere I traveled
  • For time spent with my colleague in ministry, John Carr, his wife Abigail, and their two sons Hosea and Moses
  • For learning about Maori culture, language and art
  • For the opportunity to visit two new botanical gardens
  • For coming home to a loving and affirming church family

As the season of Lent approaches—beginning one week from today on Ash Wednesday—we typically spend time in the Christian Church in reflection. We usually reflect on God’s love and Christ’s sacrifice, on the important words of Jesus and especially on those during his final week of his life on earth, and on our mortality and hope in the afterlife.

I would also invite you this Lent to reflect on appreciation. Consider the following questions:

  • What are some things in life you really appreciate?
  • Who is someone to whom you might express appreciation?
  • How might you live in such a way that your life is an expression of appreciation to God for your blessings?

As you reflect on appreciation during these days leading up to Easter Sunday, please know how much I appreciate each and every one of you!

Kia Ora!
Kahu Alan Akana

A Message From Kahu: Jan 13th, 2023

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A Message From Our Kahu

“Welcoming Our Centennial Year!”

On Sunday, I challenged the congregation to consider Jesus’ call for his followers to change their hearts and minds. That is the true meaning of repentance. It might involve ending hurtful behavior (or even less helpful behavior), but repentance goes much deeper than that. At least, it did for Jesus. It’s really all about facing God and looking at God as God is; and whenever we are not doing that, it means turning in that direction. This call is not just for individuals but for communities of faith and even nations.

As Koloa Union Church begins its Centennial Year, I am imagining a time for us to celebrate all of those faithful members of the past who have faced God and continued to turn toward God whenever they were tempted to look away—however slightly the turning may have been. They are our examples and continue to be part of who we are today.

As we begin this year of celebrating our past, we also consider the present and know that who we are today will impact who the Church will be in the future. One major focus for the year will be the remodeling of our church kitchen. You will soon be hearing a lot more about this, see the renderings from our architect, and hear about how you can support this space that needs some serious updating for the 21st century.

I also encourage you to mark July 29 & 30 on your calendar right now. On the 29th Koloa Union Church will be the Grand Marshal of the Koloa Plantation Days Parade, and on the 30th we will have grand celebration during our morning worship service, followed by a delicious meal with live entertainment.

I would also invite you to consider doing three things this year for the health and vitality of our church:

  1. Invite someone to church. It might be someone who has never been here before or perhaps a person who attended a long time ago. One of the top reasons someone attends church is because someone invited them.
  2. Look around for new people who have been attending and invite them to something. It could be a church breakfast, another activity, or a meal at your home. People are more likely to continue attending if they feel connected to others.
  3. Consider participating in one new spiritual practice this year so that you can see God more clearly as God really is. It might be attending Lectio Divina, which is held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month; maybe devoting 5 additional minutes of your day to pray; perhaps reading the Bible for 10 minutes a day or finding a daily devotional guide that suits you.

Thank you for all the ways you already take care of yourself and those around you. My prayer for each of you is that 2023 will be a year in which you see God more clearly, feel God’s love more deeply, and share God’s love more generously!

Aloha nui loa!
Kahu Alan Akana

A Message From Kahu: Dec 14th, 2022

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A Message From Our Kahu

“Are You Ready for Christmas?”

People often ask, “Are you ready for Christmas?” That’s kind of a tricky question to answer during this rather busy time of the year! We rarely feel ready when we measure “readiness” in terms of all of the extra tasks we take on during this time of the year—as fun as they may be.

For me, being ready for Christmas primarily means being able to see however God shows up in my life and all around me—even when God appears in disguise. When Jesus was born, most people would never have guessed that God would come to the world in the form of a poor, helpless baby to parents who didn’t have a bed for themselves or a crib for their newborn child.

Today, God continues to show up incognito—as a person who challenges our perceptions and tests our patience…as an opportunity to love someone in brand new way…as an invitation to try something new and life-giving…as a “disappointment” that helps us to focus on something we never even noticed before.

When “readiness” is defined in these terms, I think I am ready, yet I continue to learn to be more ready with each passing year. I pray that you too will be ready for Christmas…and continue to learn to be even more ready!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Aloha nui loa!
Kahu Alan Akana

A Message From Kahu: Dec 1st, 2022

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A Message From Our Kahu

“Just Enough Hope”

“Your prayer has been heard.” —Luke 1:13—

I am pretty sure there are times in all of our lives when we wish we had more hope. As I read the story of Zechariah in Luke’s Gospel to prepare for Sunday’s message, it occurred to me that we usually have enough hope—sometimes just enough.

I doubt if Zechariah had much hope at all in having children by the time the angel Gabriel came to him to let him know that his prayer had been heard by God. He was praying for a son, even though he was an old man and his wife Elizabeth was an old woman. They were much too old and way past the age to bear children. Nevertheless, he had enough hope to pray…and barely enough hope to trust in the words of Gabriel.

There is a lesson there, I believe, for all of us. We have enough hope to pray and to keep moving forward in the direction of our prayers. May the Season of Advent increase your hope. More important, may you have the faith and courage to act on your hope—regardless of how great or small it may be.

Aloha nui loa!
Kahu Alan Akana

A Message From Kahu: Nov 17th, 2022

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A Message From Our Kahu

“Dreaming of a Brand New World”

“The greatest among you must become like the youngest
and the leader like one who serves.”
—Luke 22:26—

Throughout the Bible, we find God’s people proclaiming God’s dreams for the world. Here is a part of the dream which we heard on Sunday find in Isaiah 65:

No more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it or the cry of distress. No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days or an old person who does not live out a lifetime. Like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain or bear children for calamity. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together; the lion shall eat straw like the ox, but the serpent—its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Lord.

As unrealistic and unattainable as this dream may be, Isaiah nevertheless invites people to commit to it. I believe he does so because he knows that deep down inside, this dream has to do with what we all want: less weeping, less infant mortality, more of our loved ones living to old age, more of us reaping the rich rewards of our labor, less of us being attacked by wild animals and bitten by snakes. Yet, Isaiah is inviting his hearers to think beyond their fences, walls and borders. He is inviting us all to want these things for everyone, rather than just ourselves and those we love. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus shares God’s dream of leaders to think of leadership as humble servanthood. Again, as unrealistic and unattainable as this might be in today’s world, Jesus invites his followers to become such leaders and to choose such leaders. I invite you to commit yourselves to these dreams of God. After all, some dreams really do come true—even the unrealistic and unattainable ones!

Aloha nui loa!
Kahu Alan Akana