Honolulu Marshallese UCC Partners With Central Union Church
On Sunday, May 29, the Rev. Stanton Netwan and leadership from Honolulu Marshallese UCC and Rev. Mary Herbig, Vice-Council Chair Greg Sato, Sam Failla, and Janice Wakamatsu of Central Union Church, along with church members, celebrated their new partnership with a combined worship service.
Rev. Lauren Buck Medeiros initiated the partnership and was integral to planning the combined worship service.
Honolulu Marshallese UCC, a church that has been part of the Hawai‘i Conference UCC since 1996, will use the Central Union Windward campus for worship services and as a meeting space for their church activities.
Rev. Brandon Duran of Central Union Church shares,
"I hope in the future it leads to joint service projects and more combined worship services."
Litany of Partnership Celebration
Janice Wakamatsu (CUW Ministry Chair): The Central Union Windward Ministry welcomes all gathered here today! Grace and peace be with you on this day of celebration! Rev. Mary Herbig (CUC Minister of Congregational Life): It is good to give thanks for the many blessings that bring us together today and to welcome our new friends in the Honolulu Marshallese United Church of Christ. Iakwe im Jerammon! (meaning: Aloha and Blessings) Deacon Joshua Langrine (HMUCC Chairman): Kim ej kobatok kin burowon monono, nebar Anij kin ien in eman. Iakwe im Jerammon! (English translation: We come with thankful hearts, praising God for this good occasion. Aloha and Blessings) ALL: We celebrate the Good News that brings us together! Iakwe im Jerammon! Rev. Lauren Buck Medeiros (Chaplain Punahou School, O‘ahu Association Board of Directors representative): Let us remember that the relationship we acknowledge today began before any of us were born. In 1852, Hawaiian Christians set sail across the Pacific Ocean, excited to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with their island cousins in Micronesia! Charity Rakin (Vice President, Women's Fellowship): Aolep December, ro ilo Majol im ro rej ajeeded im bed overseas rej kememij im monono ilo Gospel Sunday eo! Rainin, ro uwaan Honolulu Marshallese United Church of Christ kim ej bok jenkwan neen ro jibid im jimaad ro im rar bok Gospel eo im komman bwe en mwier. (English translation: Every December, Marshallese living at home and those scattered overseas remember and celebrate Gospel Sunday! Today, the members of the Honolulu Marshallese United Church of Christ are the legacy of our ancestors who received the Gospel and made it their own. Rev. Mary Herbig: The faith we affirm today may have traveled from Hawaii to Micronesia many years ago, but today we declare that it comes back in new and dynamic ways to bless and grow and find expression in the joys and challenges of our time. ALL: We celebrate the Good News that brings us together! Iakwe im Jerammon! Deacon Rodney Lewis (HMUCC Vice Chairman): Eklejia in am ej kijon koman ien kabuñ ko ilo park im mon mona an jikuul ko kab mon jokwe ko. Kim ar ruwamāejet ilo aelõñ in kim jaje kake, im kabbok jikin am kabuñ ilo kajin eo am make im ilo wawein manit ko am. (English translation) Our congregation was meeting in parks and in schools and in homes. We were strangers in a strange land, looking for a place to worship in our own language and with our own customs. Sam Failla (CUW Buildings and Grounds Chair): Our ministry has gone through changes and challenges too, and we have felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit to share this beautiful church facility with our sisters and brothers in Christ. Greg Sato (Central Union Council Vice Chair): So with prayers for our ongoing process of friendship and trust, we enter this partnership between Central Union and the Honolulu Marshallese United Church of Christ. Together we serve one gracious and loving God. ALL: We celebrate the Good News that brings us together! Iakwe im Jerammon! Prayer of Celebration: Rev. Dr. David Popham, Conference Minister
Rev. Lauren Buck Medeiros shares, "Dr. Popham's prayer was followed by the hymn, "Etal Wot Wonlōñlok," an invitation to move forward and upward together, following Jesus, our Guide!
What a blessing to participate in this celebration of gratitude and community, which concluded with the traditional practice of joyful marching, singing and gift-giving as the Marshallese do so beautifully."
Photos and video courtesy of Lauren Buck Medeiros and David Popham