A Message from Kahu Alan Akana

“Make a Joyful Noise”

O come, let us sing to the Lord;

     let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!

Let us come into God’s presence with thanksgiving;

     let us make a joyful noise to God with songs of praise!

(Psalm 95)

On Sunday morning, I told the congregation about a special song that comes from a special place. “Mokuhulu” is a song about four beautiful villages along the Puna Coast on Hawai`i Island—the home of my ancestors and a place I have visited many times. When I first read the English translation of the song, I felt like I was there, for I could not only see the place in my mind; I could also smell the seaweed…and taste the coconut…and feel the rain and the water on my skin…and hear the music! Here is an English translation of the song:

Mokuhulu in the shade of the breadfruit

And coconut trees / This verdant home

Of rain-rustled lehua–of the lehua flower

Kaimu in the fragrance of delicious seaweed

In the sweet song of the sea–

This ocean home on the hilled-up sand

Kalapana, the coconut trees

Bent low for Queen Emma

This place well-known to visitors

Kapa`ahu, this pool for swimming

This tingling-cold water

So thrilling to the touch

To sing the summary refrain from Puna

Comes the fragrance

That is carried here to me

I have visited all of the places that are mentioned in the song as a child and a young adult. Except for just a small part of Kaimu, all of the rest of these villages are buried under lava. Yet, all of those places remain in my memory and they remain in the song; and because of memory and song, all of those places still remain for me.

Music has always played an important part in Hawaiian culture; it has also played a huge part in the Judeo-Christian heritage, mentioned in both testaments. It is music that keeps us close to God, one another and the rest of the world. May we open our hearts and our very lives to the music all around us.

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.