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  • Hawai‘i Conference

General Synod delegates walk, pray, learn, reflect

Saturday afternoon offered a variety of workshops and an opportunity to be a witness for justice! Six of us from Hawai‘i participated in a prayer walk to the Indiana State Capitol joining dozens of others in chanting and singing on the way, “We’re gonna make a way out of no way… somehow!”

Above: Kenneth Makuakāne, Wendell Davis, Heather Barfield, Wryen "Keoki" Kiwaha, Danielle White, and Kristen Young from the Hawai‘i Conference were present at the prayer walk.

Below: Kenneth Makuakāne (Kawaiaha‘o Church), who sits on the UCC Climate Justice Committee, reminds us why climate justice is important and urgent! He is accompanied by Wendell Davis, Papa Makua of the Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches.

From the foot of the Capitol building, different leaders (including our very own Ken Makuakāne) led the people gathered in prayer, first acknowledging our realities and raising awareness of multiple issues affecting creation—us, our neighbors, the environment—then praying for action from leaders and ourselves to work for a just world for all.

Heather felt a sense of unity and was reminded that we’re better when we’re together; and change can and will happen.

Danielle witnessed the Holy Spirit work through the crowd.

Keoki felt God in our midst through the wind that started to blow, creating a "Pentecost moment" and reminding him that God has work for us to do.

Wendell shared that the prayer vigil was a celebration of who we are, an opportunity to pray over heartfelt issues.

Kristen felt grateful to be part of a church that shows up and speaks out on a variety of real-world issues. What some people might get from attending a worship service, Kristen gets at gatherings like this.

While marching and protesting may not bring the solutions we need, UCC Associate General Minister of Justice and Local Church Ministries Traci Blackmon reminded us that we do this so we know we are not alone. We could look around us and see our church visibly standing alongside us. And we could stand with our siblings in Christ who have experienced exclusion. Blackmon proclaimed, “Nowhere in scripture is it the empire that transforms; it is always the people that have been counted out.”

As our keynote speaker, Nadia Bolz-Weber, assured us earlier in the day, “Dominant powers are not ultimate powers.”

There is hope for a better world, especially when we show up together.

Turn prayers into action with the UCC!

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