Within a matter of two weeks, we will be gathering online for the 'Aha Pae'āina. On the one hand, our annual gathering is a meeting of the congregation—the members of the church—to direct the business of the church and to assess how we are living into our vision of unity in relationships. From the Conference perspective, this is the most important business meeting of the year. From the 'Aha Pae'āina flows emphasis, tasks, and directions that guide our Council, missional teams, and where the Conference staff spends its time and talents. On the other hand, the 'Aha Pae'āina is much more than just a business meeting. It is a family reunion—that space in which we talk story and come to recognize
On Monday, September 14, 2020, authorized ministers and members in discernment from UCC churches across the islands gathered for the Hawai'i Conference Pastoral Leaders Retreat, "Come to the Living Waters." This hybrid event, with online workshops and worship with preaching by Rev. John Dorhauer, and in-person gatherings (following safety protocols) on each island, encouraged all pastoral leaders to set aside the day to relax, as well as be renewed and encouraged in their ministry. Find resources from the retreat below! RETREAT RESOURCES Suggestions for Individual Retreat Experiences
Especially for those pastors and leaders who were unable to gather in person with their colleagues but are st
Heather Kimmel, General Counsel for the United Church of Christ, shared the following update on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): The Department of Labor recently released additional guidance on the leave available to employees caring for school-aged children under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. These questions and answers relate to schools and remote learning. Briefly: If the school is closed and the only option is remote learning, the employee is eligible for paid leave under the FFCRA. If the school offers the option of attending in person or attending remotely, the employee is not eligible for leave under the FFCRA because the school is not closed due to
Back in March when we all headed to our homes for the first shelter-in-place order, my question was, "When do we get back to normal?" Then later, around June, I asked, "How can we take what we are learning and create the new normal we want?" Now, as new projections and scenarios arise as to the implication of COVID-19, I no longer ask questions. Instead, I sigh and think, "It's time to settle in for the long haul."
I have given up on the hype that we can outsmart COVID. Let me be clear: I do believe that at some point a vaccination will be made available. I do believe that we will return to some semblance of what was. But COVID-19 is with us and probably will be with us for the next year
Churches, clergy, and lay leaders have been invited to weekly virtual gatherings hosted by Conference Minister David Popham to discuss relevant topics and share ideas. The gathering on Wednesday, September 2, 2020, featured a presentation by Kelly Musselman, Training & Technical Assistance Director with the Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Kelly shared about intimate partner violence and how our faith communities can help understand and support victims and survivors of domestic violence. View the presentation slides HERE. What is intimate partner violence? An ongoing, often escalating, pattern of behavior intended to obtain and maintain power and control in an intimate relat
The United Church of Christ Cornerstone Fund, an affiliated ministry of the United Church of Christ, has partnered with participating Conferences and the National Setting of the denomination to offer a low-cost financing program, specifically designed for churches. While the Cornerstone Fund offers other financing options (secured and unsecured lines of credit and mortgage loans), the Pandemic Relief Program is specifically designed to meet the immediate cash flow needs that congregations have as congregants face unemployment and ministries face virtual environments – all leading to a potential reduction in giving and cash flow. Learn more about the Pandemic Relief Program. Download an appli
Your pastor is under a lot of stress. This bears repeating, your pastor is under a lot of stress. By "a lot," I mean unlike any other amount of stress your kahu faced before. The debate (or is it a fight in your church?) over in-person worship services or not, singing or not, finances and staffing, the curve to understand online platforms that address security and accessibility, limits on the numbers of people at weddings and funerals, and the myriad needs for pastoral care, and spiritual guidance called upon at this time. And, your pastor also has personal responsibilities and issues, as we all do. Your pastor is under a lot of stress.
Your pastor has probably said very little to you abo