Message from our Minister
It’s hard to believe that, by the time you read this, it will be a little over a month till my eighth anniversary as the Senior Pastor to The Community Church of Honolulu. When I started, the average attendance for the first three months was somewhere around 88 people and that included 6 children in Sunday school.
Yesterday October 25, at the celebration of the rededication of our Organ and the service of aloha to Helen Lee, as choir director, and Young Pak, as our organist, there were over 200 people here to celebrate. And what a wonderful day of celebration it was! On average, we now have around 160 in worship and that’s with 20 or more children and youth.
I have had the privilege of watching our youth and children’s ministry grow into a healthy functioning lifelong learning ministry. It has grown under the care of youth workers - Chad Williams, Manu Nae`ole, and our present team of Eli Buckland, and Pat Brown. They along with Christian Education Committee leaders - Sandy Nishimura, Marti Taba, and Bobbi Mew, have developed our youth and children’s ministry into a wonderful team it is today. We’ve sent our youth on life changing mission trips and they are involved sharing their gifts and talents during our Sunday worship and are also engaged in many other aspects of our community life together.
I have had the privilege of watching our Mission Committee take on the ministry of Family Promise under the supervision of Lorraine Lunow-Luke, and now reaching out in service to many other local charitable agencies. Thanks to Evelyn Chong, and Carol Gunn’s faithful leadership.
I could go on through every committee, if space would allow, celebrating the wonderful ministries that are accomplished through the life of this congregation. All of you serve and contribute in very meaningful ways in this community of faith. It is an honor and privilege to serve as your minister.
We are an older congregation with more than one-third of our congregation over 80 years of age. This means each year significant long term members pass into eternity. Having said that, this reflects in the loss of spiritual resources and revenue these members contribute. Even with such loss, thankfully each year of my tenure we have had significant resources placed within our General Budget’s reserve for the future. With an aging campus those reserves will be needed in the near future for facilities maintenance.
As we look to the future there is still much to accomplish. We will continue to celebrate the wonderful history of this church and at the same time realize that those who laid the foundation upon which we stand saw the ministry of this church reaching perpetually into the future. They envisioned a church that would be ac-accepting of all individuals based upon the principles democracy lived out empowered by God’s love. They didn’t simply talk about their faith - they lived their faith!
In order to be living and vital into the future we need to continue to care for our elderly and thank them for their faithfulness. But we also must become aggressive in inviting new people to church where new members are embraced and given room to serve and celebrate the grace and love of God.
We can celebrate old friendships and the longevity of people who have stood by us through thick and thin. But we also need to develop new ways of interaction, opening ourselves to new groups and new possibilities of growth and development.
We have been blessed with outstanding music leadership in the past. Some wonder how we will function with-out the capable direction from Helen Lee. She has promised to share her wisdom as we move into the future but we need to pray that God will lead us to the right individuals to serve in our music ministry and that we will be open to God’s Spirit to discern who they might be.
Many churches associated with main line denominations are decreasing. Only the ones who have clearly identified who they are and how they fit into their denominational structure are thriving. I believe we need to clearly identify with the United Church of Christ and to be full participants in the extended community of our Association and Conference.
As we look to the future and celebrate the past, it is my honor to serve as your Pastor.