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

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Alan Akana Gallery

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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

The Quilt of Belonging

Reflections on the

Parliament of the World’s Religions

On Sunday I shared with the congregation about my experience at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto, Canada, where I was last week. I spent an entire week attending plenary sessions, workshops, movies, exhibits and concerts—all having to do with the various religions represented—which numbered right around 200—and the importance of religious people gathering, welcoming one another, and working together to address some of the world’s greatest challenges, including racism, intolerance, violence, hunger, global warming and environmental destruction.

One of my favorite exhibits was called the Quilt of Belonging—definitely the largest and perhaps the most striking quilt I have ever seen. It is 120 feet long and consists of 263 blocks, representing all of Canada’s aboriginal groups and every nation in the world. I met the lady who came up with the idea and oversaw the entire project. Her name is Esther Bryan. She started the project in 1998 after a trip to Slovenia with her parents. Her father had left that country after World War II, and they went back to find the home and family he had left behind. During that trip she recognized that everyone has a story to tell and each person has a past and a place that forms who they are today. As she thought about all of the indigenous and immigrant people of Canada, she began wondering about an art project that would truly represent everyone in the country and give each person the opportunity to find a place and sense of belonging in the overall design. Esther was there at the exhibit and I visited with her for awhile. She told me that every square in the quilt was designed and created by someone living in Canada who was either a member of their aboriginal group or a person who came from another country. She asked each participant to make a square that represents their country and tell the story of their home! She finally finished the quilt seven years after she started it, along with a book of all the stories!

Esther created the quilt as an expression of hope—a vision of how the world can live in harmony, as it recognizes diversity while celebrating a common humanity, demonstrating that there is a place for all to belong. I tell you about the quilt because it was, for me, a symbol of the entire Parliament. All 7,500 of us came from different places in the world—including a number of us from Hawai`i. After seeing the quilt and hearing all about it from its creator, it occurred to me that every single one of us has a place we came from and a story to tell about it.

Every day, I listened to dozens of speakers talk about where they were from, the faith they learned in those places, their convictions and their concerns. One of my favorite speakers was Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish. He was born and raised in a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. From elementary school through high school, his entire education was in refugee camp schools, while living in poverty. He overcame seemingly unsurmountable odds during his childhood and early adult year and he studied hard enough to receive a scholarship to study medicine in Egypt and then got his MD in London, as well as a master’s degree in public health at Harvard. He was the first Palestinian physician to receive an appointment in medicine at an Israeli hospital. He has dedicated his life to promote healing and peace throughout the Middle East and the world. Part of this mission was to tell the stories of war and violence between Israel and Palestine.

During the 2009 Gaza war, an Israeli tank fired on his home and killed 3 of his daughters and his niece. This was just 4 months after his wife died of cancer, and he and his daughters were still grieving her death. Immediately after the shelling, Dr. Abuelaish went into the room where his daughters and niece had been just moments before, he saw their body parts all over the room, and he knew they were all dead. He was scheduled to speak live by phone on Israeli television just a few minutes later. He decided to keep his appointment, and he told the story of what had just happened. In tears, he described the horrific scene and cried for help.

After moving to Canada, he wrote a book called I Shall Not Hate. In the book, he writes about dedicating his life to peace and conflict resolution in the Middle East, in memory of his daughters. Also in their memory, he founded Daughters for Life Foundation, which provides scholarships for young women studying in the Middle East, regardless of ethnicity or religious affiliation. Dr. Abuelaish is a Muslim, and he attributes his positive attitude and commitment to peace, forgiveness and reconciliation to his Muslim faith.

This is just one of the many stories I heard at the Parliament. I will be sure to share more of them with you in the coming months. In the meantime, I invite you to listen to my sermon from Sunday, order Dr. Abuelaish’s book I Shall Not Hate, and check out the Quilt of Belonging.

Aloha nui!

Kahu Alan Akana

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

OFFICE CLOSED  Thursday, November 22, in observance of Thanksgiving Day

 

“SUPER SUNDAY SALE”

Alan Akana Gallery

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2018, 1 to 5 p.m.

All Items on Sale at Least 20%

(Some up to 40% off!)

Come early for best selection of holiday gifts!

Enjoy our holiday decorations and refreshments!

 

THE LATEST COCONUT WIRELESS  The Hawai`i Conference of the United Church of Christ shares news on the Coconut Wireless, the regular weekly newsletter of the HCUCC. If you would like to keep abreast on news, opportunities and events, please click HERE for the latest 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 2 Samuel 23:1-7; Psalm 132:1-18; Revelation 1:4-8; John 18:33-37.

COMING UP. . . .

CHURCH BREAKFAST  Tuesday, November 27 at Kalapaki Joe’s Poipu. Everyone is invited, bring a friend. Please contact Michael Horning or Penny Osuga if you plan to attend.

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“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!