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  Po‘ipu Road, Koloa, HI

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

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

Directions from Old Koloa Town:
Turn onto Po‘ipu Road by the Chevron Gas Station. As you drive on Po‘ipu Road, look to your right in about a block and a half.

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

Phone: 808-742-6622

A Message from Kahu Akana

 

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On Sunday, I shared in my sermon the story of Maria. She was a young woman running a soup kitchen for children in her village in El Salvador. According to her government, she was helping people who should be helping themselves, so they labeled her a communist and placed her on its notorious “hit list.” When friends warned her that she would be shot in the very near future, she left her village in the dark of night. For weeks on end, she traveled at night and hid during the day as she traveled north. After nearly 3,000 miles, she arrived at the U.S. border and applied for legal entrance via the 1980 Refugee Act, which guarantees admission to refugees who have a “well-founded fear of persecution” because of their religious or political convictions. Like 97% of the people in her shoes, Maria was denied admission into the United States. She knew if she returned to El Salvador, she would be killed the minute she arrived, so she entered the U.S. as an illegal immigrant. Fortunately, there were churches here who helped her.

I also shared the story of Ahmed. He fled his country of Syria with his family because he knew they would likely all be shot if they remained. He led his eight family members out of Syria to Libya where they were told they could catch a boat to Malta. When they arrived in Libya, they were locked in a stable on a farm for weeks, while their guides waited for more refugees to arrive. Eventually, the guides told Ahmed that there were enough refugees to make it “worth their while,” but it would cost an extra $3,000 per person for rent and food for their “unexpected” stay. Even though that money was about all his family had left, they forked over their life savings and climbed aboard a boat that was hardly seaworthy. While drifting toward Malta, the refugees realized that their guides were following them. They soon opened fire on the refugees, killing most of them and causing their boat to sink. Miraculously, Ahmed lived through the ordeal and made it to Malta. All of his family members died at sea. Fortunately, there were people in Malta who helped him.

Today’s refugees are certainly among those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for justice, for making things right. Jesus said that they are blessed and that their hunger and thirst would be filled. He also said that when we feed the hungry, give water to those who are thirsty, and welcome the stranger, we are doing those things for Jesus himself. I can only wonder if Jesus was thinking of his early years as a refugee with Mary and Joseph when they fled the Middle East and traveled to North Africa as strangers.

There are millions of refugees in the world who hunger and thirst for righteousness—some 5 million from Syria alone. The numbers are so big, I often have a feeling like there is very little I can do to make a difference. I suggested that there are four things that we can do:

  1. We can learn about refugees and listen to their stories. The U.N. Refugee Agency website always has stories about the experiences of refugees and what they have been through before, during and after fleeing their countries. Seeing the world through their perspectives has helped me to want to do something to help.
  2. We can pray for refugees. Once we have a name and a face, it is easier to pray for someone’s wellbeing. It is also easier to pray about our own involvement in being part of the solution.
  3. We can talk about possibilities and options regarding engagement and action. On Wednesday nights during Lent our congregation meets to talk about the Scripture, theme and sermon of the previous Sunday. Please join us this week if you want to be part of the conversation about refugees.
  4. We can give generously to the United Church of Christ’s annual offering called One Great Hour of Sharing. Every year, UCC congregations give millions of dollars to help refugees, people displaced by natural disasters, the homeless and hungry. Please consider a generous gift this year on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and/or Easter Sunday.

Whatever it is you decide to do, remember the words of Jesus from Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 25: “Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” May we show compassion to all, just as Jesus did.

Aloha nui!

Kahu Alan Akana

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Click HERE to see a video of Sunday’s sermon. Videos of Kahu’s sermons are available most weeks. Please share these videos with friends and invite them to church. You can also subscribe on YouTube anytime you watch a sermon; that way you can easily watch any past sermon and even receive a notification when a new sermon is posted.

News of the Week

LENTEN SOUP SUPPERS  On Wednesday evenings through April 5, Koloa Union Church will host soup suppers in Moore Hall at 6 p.m. Kahu Akana will lead a discussion on the beatitudes, based upon the previous Sunday’s theme, scriptures and sermon. This week we will be focusing on “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,” with attention on the world’s refugee crisis. Kahu volunteered to be in charge of the meal this week. Please contact Kahu or sign up on the bulletin board if you are able to bring soup, salad and/or bread on any Wednesday evening.
MOVIE NIGHT  This Saturday, March 25, 6 pm., we will begin with dinner, serving hot dogs and popcorn, and then show a fun family movie. The movie will be outside, so bring warm clothes and/or a blanket. We will move into the sanctuary if it rains.
SUNDAY SCHOOL & YOUTH  The children are currently practicing during Sunday School for their Easter play (“You Can’t Have Easter Without….”) to be performed on Palm Sunday, April 9. Our annual decorating Easter eggs & pizza lunch will be Friday, April 14, 11 a.m.  Please sign up if you plan on attending. Our next youth retreat will be at Waineke in Kokee June 9 – 13, 2017; details to follow.
ALAN AKANA GALLERY  The watercolors of the beautiful flowers of Hawaii which are painted by our Kahu are on display at Alan Akana Gallery, located in the Smith Memorial Parsonage at 3281 Waikomo Road in Koloa. The gallery is open on Sundays 1-5 p.m. and Mondays through Thursday 1 p.m..-5 p.m. (closed Fridays and Saturdays). A majority of the net profits from the gallery goes directly to the ministry of Koloa Union Church! For more information, click HERE.
AND COMING UP….
SUNDAY SCHOOL DAY IN HANALEI  Join the Sunday school children, youth and their families on Monday, March 27. Spend the day at the beach near the Hanalei Pier.  Tiffany and ohana will be there from 8 am.  Any questions, call Tiffany 651-1397.
MEN’S BREAKFAST  There is only one more Men’s Breakfast for this winter season, March 28, at 7:30 a.m. The men of the church gather at the Olympic Café in the Poipu Village Shopping Center. (The Café is right across from Keoki’s Paradise.)
MEMBERSHIP GATHERING  Interested in learning more about Koloa Union Church? Sunday, April 2, in Moore Hall: Kahu Akana and the Deacons will meet with people who are interested in learning more about Koloa Union Church and what is involved in becoming a member of our congregation. The gathering will take place after Aloha Hour, approximately 12:30 to 3:00. There is a signup sheet posted on the bulletin board.  Childcare will be provided.
PRAYERS & SQUARES  Contact Angela Dressel if you would like to get involved in praying for people in crisis or helping to make quilt squares for those in crisis.