Hawaiian Identity

 

Island Hospitality

A United Church of Christ Serving Kauai Since 1835

United Church of Christ

Come Worship with Us

Sundays at 10:30 AM

 

E Komo Mai! (Welcome!) to Koloa Union Church

We are followers of Jesus with a distinctly Hawaiian identity. Some of us are descendants of the native people of these islands and we celebrate with the language and customs of our ancestors. As an inclusive community of faith, reflecting the diversity of the people of Hawai‘i, we respect all cultures and backgrounds.

Our mission is to embrace, enhance and nurture God’s diverse and unique faith community, all to the glory of God.

Whoever you are and wherever you have been on life’s journey, you are welcome here!

Church Location:
3289  Poipu Road, Koloa, HI

We are located in the heart of Koloa on Poipu Road between Old Koloa Town and Koloa School and Library. As you are driving along Poipu Road, you’ll see our church set back from the road between the large monkey pod trees. It is a lava rock church with a large white cross in the window. Parking is available in the front and south side of the church.

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 536, Koloa, HI 96756

Directions from Old Koloa Town:
From Koloa Road, turn onto Poipu Road by the Texaco Gas Station. As you drive on Poipu Road, look to your right in about a block and a half.

Directions from Kukuiula (The roundabout where Poipu Road runs into the Shops at Kukuiula):
Exit the roundabout onto Poipu Road towards Old Koloa Town. As you drive on Poipu Road, look to your left just past Koloa School and Library (& Snorkel Bob’s).

Phone: 808-742-6622

IMG_3746

Alan Akana Gallery

______________________________

Koloa Union Church hosts a gallery featuring the works of Kahu (Pastor) Alan Akana. The gallery is just around the corner from the church at 3281 Waikomo Road in the historic Smith Memorial Parsonage, a beautiful building on the grounds formerly owned by Congregationalist missionaries. Proceeds from sales at the gallery support the maintenance, upgrades and repairs of the parsonage. Dr. Akana has been watercoloring the flowers of Hawaii since 1993 and features his work of nearly a quarter of a century. Gallery hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. See www.alanakanagallery.com to learn more about the gallery and Dr. Akana’s art.

A Message from Kahu Alan Akana

“Who Is Wise and Understanding?”

Who is wise and understanding among you?

Show by your good life that your works are done

with gentleness born of wisdom.

The wisdom from above is first pure,

then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield,

full of mercy and good fruits,

without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.

(James 3:13,17)

 

On Sunday morning, I reflected with the congregation upon one of my favorite movies of all time: Forrest Gump. I’ve watched it more times than I can count, and each time I find myself thinking very, very deep thoughts about some of life’s simplest and most important things. Forrest was given the label “stupid” as a child. He also had a badly curved spine, which caused him to wear metal leg braces, and so he couldn’t walk like the other children at school. To say that he was teased and tormented would be a gross understatement. Fortunately, Forrest had a mother who loved him unconditionally and saw the potential in him. She made sure he stayed in his regular school and she constantly encouraged him to be and do his best.

For me, one of the most profound scenes was when Forrest’s mother was at home on her deathbed. Forrest first asks, “What’s the matter, Momma?”

She replies: “I’m dying Forrest.”

“Why are you dying, momma?”

“It’s my time; it’s just my time…. Don’t you be afraid sweetheart. Death is just a part of life, something we are all destined to do…. I happen to believe that you make your own destiny. You have to do your best with what God gave you.”

“What’s my destiny, momma?”

“You’re gonna have to figure that out for yourself…. Life is a box of chocolates, Forrest. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Forrest then says, “Momma always had a way of explaining things so I could understand them.”

Another character in the story who had a profound influence on Forrest’s life is his friend Dan, who was his lieutenant in Vietnam. Dan’s philosophy on life is a bit more grim than Momma Gump. At first, he thinks his destiny is to die as a soldier in the war. He came from a proud military family and had ancestors who died in every previous US war; he considers them heroes and plans to join them. This would be a noble and courageous death; and his family would be so proud of him. Yet, thanks to Forrest, he doesn’t die; he is severely injured and it looks as if he will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. His idea of destiny develops into this: we all just kind of float through life and land accidentally in different places beyond our control.

Perhaps my favorite quote of the entire movie was when Forrest was at his wife Jenny’s graveside just after she died. Jenny was Forrest’s childhood friend and his life-long love. Here is what Forrest said to Jenny as she lay buried below his feet: “I don’t know if momma put it right or it’s Lieutenant Dan; I don’t know if we each have a destiny or if we’re all just floating around accidental like on a breeze; but I think maybe it’s both; maybe both are happening at the same time.”

Listening to such deep wisdom made me ponder the truth of that statement. On the one hand, there is so much that seems outside of our control as we move along our journeys through life:

  • We don’t get to choose what our IQ will be.
  • We don’t get to choose if we are born with athletic or awkward bodies.
  • We don’t get to choose if our families love and support us or are constantly trying to change us into being something we are not and doing thing with our lives that we have no inclination in doing.
  • We don’t get to choose if we are born into wealth or poverty.

On the other hand, there are so many things in our lives that we do get to choose, especially what we do with the hand we are dealt.

  • We all get to choose whether we live with gratitude for our blessings or with complaining that there are others who have more than us.
  • We all get to choose whether we allow compassion and kindness to fill our hearts or fear and judgment.
  • We all get to choose whether we will overcome our challenges or let them define us and become in our minds larger than they really are.
  • We all get to choose whether we place our trust in God or in things that will constantly disappoint us.

The beauty of the movie is that Forrest seemed to understand the things he couldn’t change and the things he could, and because of that he created a beautiful life for himself and for the people around him.

All three of Sunday’s Scriptures reflected on wisdom (Proverbs 2: 1-10, James 1: 5-8 and 3:13, 17; Matthew 13:54-58). I invite you to take a look at my message and reflect on those Scriptures for yourself.

Aloha nui!

Kahu Alan Akana

__________________________________________

Our Kahu (Pastor) offers a weekly message in church most Sundays during the year. Click HERE to see a video of his message from this past Sunday. 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.

Weekly News of the Church

SUMMER BOOK GROUP  The group will have its final gathering for the summer at the parsonage on Wednesday, August 15. The evening begins at 6 o’clock for dinner, followed by a discussion based on the book Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living, by Krista Tippet. The group will discuss chapter 6, “Hope Reimagined.” Please contact Kahu if you wish to attend.

ISLAND-WIDE YOUTH EVENT  Our church will be hosting the youth of the Kauai Association of the United Church of Christ at the parsonage on Sunday, August 19, from 3-6 p.m. The young people (entering grades 6 through 12), their parents and family members, church youth advisors and volunteers, and pastors are all invited for a fun afternoon of games, activities, planning events for the upcoming school year, and a delicious meal. Main dishes and drinks will be provided. Attendees are asked to bring an appetizer, side dish or dessert to share. Any people who are interested in attending or volunteering are asked to contact Kahu or Tiffany.

PICK-A-PARTY “FUN”-RAISERS  Koloa Union Church members and friends are hosting a variety of parties. Hosts choose the party theme, food selections and number of guests. Hosts also provide the meals and pay for all expenses, and also sell tickets for a chosen amount. All of the tickets sales income will be donated to the church’s general fund. Look for the Pick-a-Party folder on Sundays for available parties. If you have any questions, please contact Bonnie Kakinami. Click HERE to email Bonnie or call her at 639-7765. Our upcoming party is a pool party on September 8, from noon to 4:00 p.m. There are only 2 spaces left.

THE LATEST COCONUT WIRELESS  The Council of the Hawaii Conference of the United Church of Christ shares news on the Coconut Wireless, the regular newsletter of the HCUCC. If you would like to keep abreast on news, opportunities and events, please click HERE for this past week’s news. If you like what you see, you may subscribe and get every issue of the Coconut Wireless automatically and get the very latest news hot off the press.

LECTIONARY READINGS  (Old & New Testament Readings for the Week) Each week, Christians throughout the world read biblical passages from the Revised Common Lectionary, including the Old Testament, Psalms, New Testament, and Gospels. After three years, a good portion of the Bible is included and the cycle begins again. RCL passages are often read in church worship services, and Kahu Akana usually includes at least one of them on the following Sunday. This week’s readings are 1 Kings 2:10-12, 3:13-14; Psalm 34:9-14 & 111, Proverbs 9:1-6, Ephesians 5:15-20; John 6:51-58.

_________________________

COMING UP….

CHURCH BREAKFAST  Tuesday, August 28 at Kalapaki Joe’s Poipu, 7:30 a.m. Everyone is invited, bring a friend.

SALVATION ARMY LUNCH  August 29 Koloa Union Church serves lunch at the Hanapepe Salvation Army whenever there is a 5th Wednesday in a month. We are looking for 4-5 volunteers to serve, leaving the church at 9:30 a.m.

CHURCH ON THE BEACH  Sunday, September 2, beginning at 11 a.m. Join us for an outdoor worship service at the Pavilion across from Nukumoi Surf Shop at Poipu Beach. Come early if you want to hang out. Worship will begin at 11:00, followed by a potluck luncheon, followed by bingo and games for kids. Bring something to eat for the potluck and your lawn chairs if you have any. There will be no worship service at the church on this day, and it is Kauai Marathon Day, so check the paper for road closures and give yourself extra time to get there.

________________________________

“Weekly News of the Church” is provided by Koloa Union Church, a congregation of the United Church of Christ (UCC), a member of the Kauai Association and Hawaii Conference. Join us at 3289 Poipu Road in Koloa!