On Sunday, I shared with the congregation about an inspiring story I heard on NPR regarding the thousands of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa pouring into Hungary. Initially, the Hungarian government allowed the refugees to purchase train tickets to countries to the north, namely Austria and Germany, where they would be welcomed to begin a new life. After many of the refugees arrived in Hungary, the government decided to no longer allow them to board trains for the north; so the refugees decided to walk hundreds of miles to their final destinations.

The part of the story that really touched me was hearing how the Hungarian people responded: they gathered together food, blankets, shoes and clothing and brought them to the refugees. One Hungarian woman gave some of her personal belongings to a woman and looked down to see that she was wearing flip-flops. She immediately took off her shoes and gave them to the woman because she needed them for the long journey ahead.

I mentioned on Sunday that this inspiring story was one of “faith in action,” of people “rich in faith.” It also occurred to me that this is story full of hope: hope in humanity, hope for the Church, and hope for our world. During the next four Sundays, our theme in our worship services will be “A FUTURE WITH HOPE.” On October 4th, we will celebrate our hope as a church by giving members and friends the opportunity to make a financial commitment to our church’s general fund for 2016 during the worship service…and then enjoy a great time of food and fellowship at our Oktoberfest Celebration right after church.

I hope you will join us during the next four Sundays as we prepare for “A FUTURE WITH HOPE.”

Aloha nui!

Kahu Alan Akana