A Tree Planted by a Stream

On Sunday, I shared with the congregation about Pando, which is the largest known single living organism on Earth. It has been growing in central Utah for some 80,000 years—around the time of the last ice age. It weighs 13 million pounds and covers over 100 acres. Pando is a cluster of aspen trees. When I moved to the mountains of Utah in 1997, I lived in a place that was surrounded by aspen groves. Someone told me that a grove is actually one living unit, connected by an amazing root system of sometimes thousands of trees, all sharing the same genetic material.

I pondered how the world would be so much better if human beings all saw that we are connected to one another like an aspen grove. Just like the individual trees, we all look different and are unique in our own special ways. Yet, we are connected in invisible ways that we will never truly comprehend in their entirety. Perhaps if we reflected on this more closely we would say, “Your happiness impacts my happiness; your health, my health; your fulfillment, my fulfillment.”

Jesus understood this when he said, “I am the vine and you are the branches.” I invite you to consider this week just how very connected we are to one another, to Jesus and to God; for an appreciation of our connectedness is what will save us and lead us to an abundant life together.

I look forward to seeing everyone this week at the beach!

Aloha nui!


P.S. If you watch this week’s video of my message…I began by talking about my great-great-great-great-grandmother Wale. I said that she was born in 1888; I MEANT to say 1788! Those who know Hawaiian history and who were paying close attention to the rest of the message probably caught that mistake, but I just wanted to point it out because 100 years makes a big difference! 😉


Our Kahu (Pastor) offers a weekly message in church most Sundays during the year. Click HERE to see a video of a recent message from Sunday morning. You may see the Koloa Union Church YouTube channel to see many of his past messages and 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.

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