Read an article from the UCC about the 2020 National Youth Event. A number of offerings from the United Church of Christ's 2020 National Youth Event (NYE) have been made available online over the past few months, in addition to the online service project, workshops, and worship that premiered this past weekend. Content may be accessed HERE. Hawai'i youth who gathered online as part of the NYE experience had conversations about a few of the important mottos of the UCC that were explained by UCC General Minister and President John Dorhauer in a special video made for the NYE. Watch the video below to learn more about the UCC or maybe to be reminded of some of the best parts about the UCC!
Among the preparations for Hurricane Douglas and the mixed messages on reopening public schools, it was easy to miss the spike in COVID-19 spread which occurred this past week: Out of the last six days, COVID spikes occurred in four of them. These spikes are concerning as they are happening before tourists return in large numbers. In short, these numbers indicate that COVID can spread widely just among us who make our home in Hawai'i.
For sure, the spread is not even across the islands with most of these new cases having developed on O'ahu. Still the numbers force us to ask at what time will our pastors and church leaders need to close church campuses that might have been reopened or are i
Last week I was in a meeting in which one of the participants referring to COVID-19 and times of crisis said, "I know how to live with a V, and I have even lived through a U, but I don't know about living with an L." The V refers to a time when the end of a crisis can be immediately seen, such as a hurricane. The U indicates a crisis where the end is further off, but can still be planned for, such as a volcanic eruption. The L refers to a crisis in which the end cannot be seen, and no one has a sense of its end.
What my friend said made me think of the work of those who see the spiritual journey as moving from suffering to endurance. The conundrum for this journey is the tediousness of dai
Looking ahead at the August lectionary reading, I see that one of the gospel texts is the encounter between Jesus and the Canaanite Woman. This is a fun text because it starts out with everyone playing the role society handed out. The Canaanite Woman plays the role of the unworthy foreign female, and Jesus plays the role of the Israelite male. That is, until the point of the twist in the story when both the woman and Jesus set aside those roles and create new roles which embody healing and reconciliation with one another.
Currently we remain in many conversations: reopening facilities, concerns for continuation of ministry developed around in-person presence, and pressure to produce a wor
At its April meeting the Conference Council voted to postpone the 2020 'Aha Pae'aina until October 7-10, 2020. The Council also voted to review the COVID-19 situation sixty days prior to the meeting date. That review should take place during the first week in August. However, after reviewing the COVID-19 situation in Hawai'i and elsewhere in the United States last week—rising numbers of new cases, deaths and hospitalizations—and considering plans by the State of Hawai'i to open travel to Hawai'i under modified testing conditions, the Council will be meeting on August 15, 2020 to discuss format options for holding the 'Aha in October. In its planning for the 'Aha Pae'āina the Council is depen
In mid-March we were asked to shelter in place in order to flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread. Here we are in early July discovering that COVID-19 is active in Hawai'i and is not just a threat from off-island visitors. We are frustrated that for all our staying home and following precautions we see new high numbers for COVID spread. We are upset as we had hoped to be back to some sense of normalcy by this time. We miss our daily routine and the presence of family and friends as well as coworkers. We thought returning to in-person worship would be somewhat simple, but this, too, is thwarted by risks and concerns and budget issues. We hoped that we staved off the worst prediction for the vir
June 30 marked the 51st anniversary of Kalaupapa Independence Day, the day when the Hawai'i State Legislation removed the isolation ban on Kalaupapa. For the past seven years Dr. Kerri Inglish of University of Hawai'i - Hilo has spearheaded Lei Hali'a O Kalaupapa, in celebration of this day. Sadly, Kalaupapa is once again under lockdown, this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year churches and individuals were invited to make lei and pray in memory of someone who died in Kalaupapa, and to send photos for posting online. Read one personal reflection of remembrance from Linda Kaauwai-Iwamoto and Daniel Miller, of Kapa'a First Hawaiian UCC: Tossing of flowers in memory of Mary Morita a
Conference Minister Reflects on Thinking Theologically From the July 1, 2020 Coconut Wireless Tight or Wide Spiritual Focus
I can remember being a wet-behind-the-ears student in seminary taking the first of two required systematic theology classes. I remember the professor emphasized that her class was not about teaching us what to think, but rather teaching us how to think theologically. A part of the "how" was moving the class from a tight focus to a wide focus on the way we conceived the relationship between God and creation. The professor's concern was that a tight focus on one aspect of our relationship with God would blind us to other aspects of the relationship. For example, a tigh