Micronesian Council UCC gathers for meeting
Photo credit: Rennie Mau
(Pictured above from left to right: Front Row: Rennie Mau, Midion Neth, Lawson Matauto, Adarino Alexander, Jordan Gallen, Kachusy Silander, Dwight Edwards, Nickcantro Johnny, Shelton Neth. Back Row: Ron Fujiyoshi, Mitchell Young, Kency Conrad, David Popham, Derek Duncan. Image by Rennie Mau.)
Last week, August 1st to 3rd, the Micronesian Council United Church of Christ (MCUCC) met in Honolulu. The MCUCC is composed of the heads of the four United Church of Christ denominations in the Micronesian Islands plus two UCC-USA entities: Kency Conrad, General Secretary, Namoneas Congregational Churches Association in Chuuk; Palukne Johnny, President, Jarin Rarik Dron (JRD) in the Marshall Islands (represented by Lawson Matauto, Vice President); Midion Neth, General Secretary United Church of Christ Pohnpei (UCCP); and Rev. Nena Kilafwasru, General Sectary, Kosrae Congregational Christian Church (absent due to health concerns); as well as, Derek Duncan, Global Ministries Area Executive for East Asia and the Pacific; and David Popham, Conference Minister, Hawai‘i Conference UCC.
We renewed our relationships with a reminder that the Pacific Ocean is not what separates us, but what ties us together. We talked about the pressing issues faced across the Micronesian islands and clarified roles and boundaries. The UCC-USA works with ecumenical partners in other countries and does not seek to plant UCC-USA churches in those nations. However, the Micronesian denominations’ church plants in Hawai‘i hold the expectations that they are Namoneas, JRD, UCCP, or Kosraean. We affirmed a document adopted by the Conference in the Spring of 2020 which outlines a model of shared culture to establish expectations of working with these close ecumenical partners in Hawai’i, which may or may not pursue recognition as a UCC-USA congregation.
The spirit of Pentecost was with us as church leaders speaking five different mother tongues and representing nuanced cultural and religious understandings sought God’s guidance for common ministry in the north Pacific.