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

Follow-Me

FOLLOWING JESUS: A NEW KIND OF EMPIRE

On Sunday, I asked the congregation to imagine what it would be like growing up in utter poverty in Antioch, the capital city of  Syria—a Roman province—in the first century. You eat one small meal a day if you are lucky and when you are finished eating your very small meal, there is no more food left in the house. You have to wait until your father comes home from work the next day with more food. There is a little bit of money left, but that is for taxes, and no one would dare not pay their taxes. When you get sick with a cold or the flu, your parents pray that you don’t die, because most children die; they die from colds, flus and all kinds of other diseases. Your family cannot afford a doctor or medicine or any kind of healthcare; so everyone learns to pray really hard. Getting sick and dying from illness happens a lot in every family. Death is a constant topic of conversation. When the tax collector comes around on one of his regular rounds, he demands the tiny bit that your parents have saved up; and this is the reason you can only afford one small meal a day; but your family give him whatever he asks for. If they don’t, the tax collectors will have Roman soldiers sent to your house; and they will drag one or both of your parents off to prison. Speaking of Roman soldiers, there were some 20,000 in your little city. To get an idea of the huge military presence in Antioch, imagine 500-1,000 soldiers patrolling Koloa and Poipu. They would be everywhere! You would see dozens or maybe even hundreds of them every single day. Back in Antioch, if you didn’t pay your taxes, they might kick the entire family out of your home; then all of the children are likely to be orphaned and the likelihood of illness and death increases even more. 

You are told during your childhood that the reason you live in these conditions is because of your sins. You are told that your ancestor—the people of Israel—were unfaithful to God, and therefore God delivered them to the Roman Empire. And this is why your family now lives the way they do—under Roman oppression. And every day your family prays for a Messiah—the Anointed One—who will deliver your family and all of the other people of Israel from their sins…along with all of the consequences of their sins…most importantly the economic, physical and spiritual conditions under the oppression of the Roman Empire. And so, when you pray, “Forgive us our sins,” what you are really saying is, “Deliver us from the injustice of the Roman Empire.”

I shared about life in Syria for the average person because scholars believe that Antioch of Syria was the audience to which Matthew was addressing his Gospel. So, when Jesus showed up on the scene and began talking about an altogether different kind of “empire” (the same word as used in Roman “empire” and often translated “kingdom” in most Bible translations), it was in the context of people longing to be delivered from the Roman Empire. Jesus called this new empire the “Empire of the Heavens.” When Jesus spoke about “good news of the empire,” they knew that it must be a completely different way of doing things because the only empire they knew was bad for them—all bad in every way. This news was so good that people found it irresistible. In Matthew 4, while walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus approached two brothers who were fishermen, Simon Peter and Andrew, and said to them “Follow me.” They left their nets and followed Jesus.  Then Jesus said to two other brothers who were also fishermen, James and John, “Follow me.” They too left their nets, boat and father in order to follow Jesus. The next thing you know, great crowds were following Jesus. The scenario that Matthew was creating is that the good news of Jesus and his altogether new kind of empire was irresistible.

The good news is still irresistible today! Just imagine a world where there is no hunger, poverty, needless suffering or fear of violence. Imagine a world where compassion and abundance are truly experienced by everyone. May God grant us the imagination to dream of such a world and the courage to create it.

Aloha nui!

Kahu Alan Akana

Click HERE to see a video of Sunday’s sermon. Videos of Kahu’s sermons are available most weeks. You can find them on our  church website <www.koloaunionchurch.org> and on our weekly e-news. 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.

 

Weekly News of the Church

YOUTH CAMP                                                                                                                                                                             Our church youth will be spending 4 nights in Kokee, Waineke cabins, February 16 – 20. Youth in middle and high school are invited to attend. We are asking for help with prepared foods and/or donations for all meals. Please see Penny for the food list.

MEN’S BREAKFAST                                                                                                                                                                   The men of the church are invited to breakfast on Tuesday mornings at 7:30 during the winter months, beginning January 24, at the Olympic Café in the Poipu Village Shopping Center. (The Café is right across from Keoki’s.)

PRAYERS & SQUARES.
Future gatherings will be held at the church, 3rd Saturdays, 4th Tuesdays. The first one will be on Saturday, February 18, 10am – 2pm, the 2nd will be Tuesday, February 28, 2 – 5 pm. Please come when you can, stay as long as you wish. Bring your sewing machines and associated tools and any fabric you can gather.

VILLAGE HARVEST. Have leftover produce or fruit tree droppings? Don’t waste it, get a tax deduction. They will pick up or harvest your unwanted still-fresh produce and deliver it to those who need it most, through schools, afterschool programs and food banks. You will receive a donation receipt. Call 828-0685 x20 or VillageHarvest@malamakauai.org.