For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
—Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4

A Message from Our Kahu
“A Time To Mourn…and To Dance”
When I returned to work on Tuesday morning after a 2-week vacation, I felt very grateful for the time spent resting, reading, hiking, watercoloring, working on some projects at the parsonage, and spending time on the phone and Zoom with family and friends on the mainland.

During this time, I also made some space to grieve. Since the end of October, three of my colleagues passed away, as well as my cousin, a close friend, Toyo Nishida (who was our oldest church member) and a number of acquaintances. It became obvious that grief was suppressed in the midst the busy-ness of daily life, as well as the inability to travel and be with people as they passed on to eternity and as loved ones would normally gather to celebrate life and hold grief together in community. The past two weeks gave me some space to reflect and grieve my own losses. It also allowed me to lift up in prayer every member and friend of the church, for we have all experienced loss during this past year and have had to grieve in a very different kind of way.

A couple of days ago, I was walking along the south shore while I was thinking about the losses I have experienced and giving thanks for the lives I have loved, when I saw a whale breach and cause the usual huge splash on the surface of the water. Within a minute, there was another breach…and then another…and another. The whales were engaging in their ongoing jumping, twirling, splashing, and playing. They reminded me that the world goes on through the cycles of mourning and dancing. They reminded me that there is still joy and praise. They reminded me that God is still present in love, often just below the surface, waiting to surprise us.

May you be surprised by God’s loving presence this week!

Aloha nui!
Kahu Alan Akana