On Sunday morning, I was sitting on an airplane to Oakland in order to attend the spring meeting of the Board of Trustees at Pacific School of Religion (PSR) in Berkeley. I have been serving on the board for a year and a half and now feel more strongly than ever about the importance of theological education and training for ministry for our future pastors and other servants of the church.
On Tuesday afternoon, I had the privilege of attending a reception for two of PSR’s longtime faculty who are leaving: one due to a new job as dean at another theological school and the other due to retirement after 26 years at the school. As students, faculty and staff expressed their appreciation for these two beloved professors, I was touched by their commitment not only to quality education but to the students they taught over many years. PSR is not only a place to learn theology, but a place to experience community as well. It is a place where theology happens as people experience community. In other words, it is a training ground for future church and community leaders.
As you probably know, I have also been serving for the past two years in various capacities on the Hawaii Conference Council and Board of Trustees. One of the things I hear on all of our islands is the need for more well trained local church leaders. We need places like PSR to provide the education and training. I want to thank the people of Koloa Union Church for allowing me to serve the wider church in the ways that I do. I am convinced that my time spent serving in these ways benefits all of our churches, including our own. Perhaps some day, a current or future student of PSR will be a pastor of Koloa Union Church because of the work we are doing today.
In the meantime, I am grateful for the opportunities to make a difference in the church and in the world.
Kahu Alan Akana
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“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.