A Message From Our Kahu
“A Time To Blossom”
There are some things that have gone really well this year and I’d like to begin by pointing them out.
- Under the leadership of Tiffany Marrotte, our youth ministry to middle and high school students continues to go well. Young people attend youth group meetings and activities, as well as show up on Sunday mornings and serve as lay readers, musicians and sometimes even dancers! Seven youth attended our confirmation retreat last month and learned all about the Christian faith, the Bible, church history, and the benefits and responsibilities of membership.
- We had an amazing Centennial celebration in July! Our entry in the Koloa Plantation Days parade was “over the top,” and our celebration at church the next day was well-attended and celebratory.
- A handful of generous donors chipped in to pay for a brand new certified commercial kitchen in its entirety. Dan Giovanni, who serves as chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, announced at our last Church Council meeting that we are waiting on a permit from the county in order to move forward, which should be any day now. In the meantime, the kitchen has been almost completely gutted so that work can begin as soon as we have a permit in hand.
- After successful fundraising efforts in 2021 and 2022, we completed most of the projects at the parsonage that were tagged “urgent” or “important,” including roof repair, fixing and replacing most of the areas caused by termite and water damage, termite tenting, repairing and/or replacing every movable window, replacement of all movable screens, mold removal, full exterior painting, and most of the landscaping projects on our list.
There are actually many other good things that have happened this past year, and I could probably fill up pages talking about them all. As I consider all that we have accomplished and also think of the possibilities for the future, I believe that Koloa Union Church is on the cusp of blossoming! We are ready to grow like never before! Here is what that looks like to me:
- A sanctuary filled on Sunday mornings with people worshiping God and connecting with one another—and people on the patio and in Moore Hall as well!
- An attractive space on the west end of our property with a large permanent covering, which serves as an overflow seating area for worship services, an outdoor space to enjoy meals and fellowship out of the elements, and a place for our growing youth group to gather.
- An increase in outreach to those less fortunate, including those who are lacking adequate healthcare and basic resources in life.
- Generosity that allows us to thrive without dependence on borrowing from our permanent funds to cover our normal expenses.
Those who have been around for awhile and paying attention know that I am not pulling these thoughts from “off the top of my head.” They are all part of the vision statement we created and adopted as a congregation in 2018 and revised in 2020 (due to the pandemic).
Our theme for 2024 is “A Time to Blossom.” I’ve mentioned above how we have been blossoming so far, as well as what further blossoming looks like. In order to truly blossom as a congregation, I invite you to consider two things:
- Ask yourself: “How would YOU like to see our church blossom in 2024?” Then let us know. Our Church Council will take your answers into consideration as we create next year’s budget and decide how we can focus our commitments. We’ve made it easy by creating a large board with stickers for you to write your answers on during the month of October. You can see pictures below of how we are already collecting answers from all ages—from middle school students to kupuna. Please add your suggestion in a word or brief phrase to the board on Sunday mornings or drop by the church during the week.
- Pray our Prayer for 2024 and allow your prayers to inform how you will commit to our vision in terms of your time, talent and treasures. Once you have determined a financial amount as your commitment to the church, please fill out a commitment card and bring it to church with you on Sunday, October 22, when we will bless all of our commitments for the coming year. Commitment cards will be mailed to our members this week. There will also be extras on the 22nd. You may also get one at any time by contacting the church office. We will also give thanks on October 22 for the past 100 years of our church’s history!
I hope to see you then!
Aloha Nui Loa!