It was so good to be back in church after spending three months in Europe! I shared with the congregation about worship services I attended in France, Portugal, Italy, and Switzerland. Although I enjoyed each place, I understood almost nothing of the sermons because they were spoken in languages I did not understand. Sunday was Pentecost, the day we celebrate the Holy Spirit in our world and the Spirit’s desire for everyone to clearly hear in their own language the good things that Jesus did and taught.
Throughout the history of the Christian Church, there have been people on the margins of society who have been kept from hearing and knowing God’s all-embracing love for everyone. On Sunday, we celebrated our unanimous decision to become an official “Open & Affirming” (ONA) congregation of the United Church of Christ. I cannot think of a better day to celebrate our new status, for Pentecost is about making sure that all people are able to hear about and experience God’s love. Our ONA celebration was featured in The Garden Island Newspaper last week. I was overjoyed to see people in church for the first time who learned about us through the article and by personal invitations! Click HERE if you want to see the article. I wanted to offer a special thanks to Penny O. and Penny J. for the fantastic decorations; Rose and Shellee for the amazing dances; Kathleen, Doug, Nancy Murphy and Eric Yoder, for beautiful and meaningful music; Chris for the nice photograph of our congregation (above); the entire Open & Affirming Team for such a great celebration and for leading us through the process of becoming ONA (Michael, Lee, Penny O, Tiffany, and Becky); and for everyone who showed up on Sunday and who participated in any way for us to become Open & Affirming and hold such a wonderful celebration!
I invite you to join me this coming Sunday morning for “Trinity Sunday” as I share more about my sabbatical and some of the more important things I learned, experienced and focused on during my three months in Europe. I will be talking about my favorite piece of art which I saw in a church in Paris that affected me so deeply that I found it difficult to leave! A little hint: It had to do with the Trinity! After church, we will have a special Aloha Hour honoring Father’s Day!
Also this Sunday, June 16, after church I will be hosting a reception at the parsonage from 2 to 5 p.m. to share more about my sabbatical. I will have my brand new photo book Beauty, Art & Spirituality (the theme of my sabbatical) available for sale on Sunday. There will be a talk and slideshow at 3 p.m. Please see the announcement below for the details.
As a follow-up to becoming Open & Affirming, Koloa Union Church has the opportunity to participate in Kauai’s Pride Parade and Festival on Saturday, June 22, in Lihue. I hope you will consider walking in the parade or sitting at our table to hand out information about our church and answer questions about our church. Please see the announcement below for more information.
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.