ʻŌpūkahaʻia Scholarship Fund Offering
Sunday, February 16, 2014
On Sunday, February 16, 2014 gifts for the ʻŌpūkahaʻia Scholarship Fund of the Hawaiʻi Conference - United Church of Christ were received. A total of $1,033.00 was received.
It was ʻŌpūkahaʻia’s desire to return to Hawaiʻi to share the “good news” of Jesus Christ that inspired the first mission to Hawaiʻi in 1820. Each year on the third Sunday of February, an offering is received to support the development of pastoral leadership, especially leadership for small Hawaiian churches, and to help students with seminary costs and active ministers with continuing education needs. Mahalo to all who gave.
Christmas Fund Offering
A total of $1,863.00 was received for the 2013 Christmas Fund Special Mission Offering. The offering is the means by which members of the United Church of Christ and its predecessor bodies, live out the mandate to be Christ's Body in the world.
The Christmas Fund is one of four Special Mission Offerings received annually by the United Church of Christ. It continues to be a ministry of compassion and care to those who have served the church. Mahalo to those who shared their gifts!
UCC National Appeal
Response to Typhoon Haiyan
As of November 24, 2013 a total of $1,070.00 has been received from members and friends of Keawalaʻi Congregational Church in response to relief and recovery efforts underway in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. The United Church of Christ (USA) issued a national appeal to member churches for an initial $250,000 to its member churches across the U.S.
In the aftermath of one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded in the Philippines, government and international humanitarian agencies were faced with the enormous task of getting aid to those in need. Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, was 370 miles wide as it surged through the Philippines with sustained winds of 195 mph and gusts reaching 235 mph.
The typhoon made landfall on November 8, 2013 over Samar, Leyte, Cebu , Iloilo and Palawan. Over 13 million people were affected by the typhoon. Thousands have been killed or injured. Over 3 million people have been displaced. More than 2.5 million people are in need of food assistance, according to United Nations estimates. More than 500,000 homes have been destroyed.
With a disaster of this magnitude, the UCC anticipates it will continue to work with partners in the region on long-term for many years to come. The initial appeal was a response to immediate and dire need of residents for food and emergency relief supplies.
Gifts may be given through Keawalaʻi Congregational Church. Checks should be made payable to “Keawalaʻi Congregational Church” with a notation on the memo portion of the check indicating that it is for: “Typhoon Haiyan.” The church will acknowledge all gifts received. Mahalo.
Thank you for your generous gift of $1,070.00 on February 5, 2014. Your donation will be used to support the Wider Church Ministries Emergency Fund for Typhoon Haiyan Relief as per your request. Your gift is enabling all United Church of Christ (UCC) partners to provide urgently needed water and food of Typhoon Haiyan survivors in hard to reach areas of Leyte, Samar and northern Cebu and to plan for longer term recovery and rehabilitation.
ACT Alliance members are also distributing shelter repair kits which include tin roof sheets, plywood, a claw hammer, nails and a saw. Cash-for-work programs enable survivors to be paid for clearing debris. The ash earned empowers families to buy needed household goods on the re-emerging local markets.
Global Ministriesʻ partner, Bishop Reuel Marigza of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) along with several UCCP staff members are regularly visiting the disaster zone to provide direct relief and assure survivors of the care, concern and support of the world-wide church.
The Rev. Mary Schaller Blaufuss
Global Sharing of Resources Team Leader
February 12, 2014
The Local Mission Fund is a part of the Outreach Committee.
The Board has two committees: Outreach Committee and Mission Committee.
Over the years the Outreach Committee of Keawalai Congregational Church has sought to provide support for those in need. Such support has been provided through a number of community organizations and social service agencies including the Maui AIDS Foundation, A Keiki's Dream Program, the Maui Food Bank, Kaunoa Senior Services Center, Women Helping Women, Hospice Maui, Maui Blood Bank, Horizons Academy, The Children's Justice Center of Maui, Maui Youth & Family Services, Maui Family YMCA, and many others.
In addition support has been provided through the combined efforts of other faith communities as well as through requests received directly from individuals and families seeking assistance with health, food, clothing, housing, transportation, counseling, and other needs. Sometimes families are faced with a member's catastrophic illness. In some cases, individuals lose their jobs and are unable to find any suitable work within a reasonable amount of time.
Some families are single parent households. Other households are faced with the turmoil of substance abuse and/or domestic violence. In each instance the committee seeks to help and encourage those in need to also help themselves.
Since 1999 the Outreach Committee began to expand its work through a network of other local faith communities in responding to those in need. Unfortunately several network partners have either curtailed or terminated their own programs.
Efforts are underway once more to rebuild the network and establish ways in which such partnerships will increase the amount of resources that may have a more effective impact on those in need.
The Local Mission Fund
Maui, Molokai, & Lānai
The Local Mission Fund provides grants to benefit individuals and families in need who reside in local communities throughout Maui County. These communities include those located on the islands of Maui, Molokai, and Lānai. The Local Mission Fund draws the bulk of its resources through the fundraising activities of the Outreach Committee of Keawalai Congregational Church. These include the annual Christmas Crafts Faire, Bake Sale, & Silent Auction and at least three other fundraising events that are held throughout the year.
How the Fund Works
Request are received from a number of different sources. First, members and friends of the church may make a request on behalf of an individual or family. Second, referrals are sometimes received from community organizations, social service agencies, and other faith communities. Third, requests are sometimes received fro the persons or families in need.
Partial or full grants are made based on the assessment of other resources that are made available to the grantee. These may include the grantee's own resources or those received from other organizations and agencies. All grants directly benefit person or persons who are in need.
Grants issued through agencies, organizations, and other faith communities are not to be used to the supportive the administrative expenses of those various groups. Grants released to and through agencies, organizations, and other faith communities and to recognized community funds established with local financial institutions located within Maui County.
Areas of Need
Grants may be issued, though not limited, to the following areas of need:
How You Can Help!
There are three ways that you can help the Outreach Committee in its work. First, include the work of the committee in your prayers. Second, if you know of individuals or families in need of assistance, please share this brochure with them.
Third, you may make both monetary and material donations to the committee, including household furniture and appliances. No clothing please.
Our Church’s Wider Mission
Cathy Hobson, a member of the Board of Mission & Outreach, made the following presentation on Our Church’s Wider Mission at the congregational meeting that was held on Sunday, November 21, 2010.
I didn’t realize how hard it would be to choose just a few words to say about Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM). We all know that our contributions to One Great Hour of Sharing help in disaster response around the world—the earthquake in Haiti, tsunami in Indonesia, etc. It’s good to know that our annual donations help to build a fund to give immediate assistance to people struck by unexpected natural events.
However, when I started investigating OCWM I found much more. For one thing our congregation has two special offerings—the Henry ʻŌpūkahaʻia Scholarship Fund in February which assists students studying for the ministry and the Christmas Fund that helps retired church workers and clergy who are in need.
Secondly, the annual budget of Keawalaʻi has, for many years, included a contribution to Basic Support for the national ministries of the United Church of Christ (UCC). These national ministries include conferences to provide support and continuing education for volunteers and staff, resources for Christian education, stewardship education, youth events and camps, and justice advocacy.
Since our Keawalaʻi Church was founded by missionaries over 180 years ago, I wondered, “What happened to old-fashioned missionary work in this new age?” This is what I found.
The organization developed by the UCC and the Disciples of Christ is called Global Ministries. The web site lists 54 individuals, some co-sponsored with the Presbyterian Church, USA, who work in Africa, Latin American and the Caribbean, the Middle East and Europe, Southern Asia and East Asia & the Pacific. The work they do ranges from a couple from Nashville who are in India as a medical director and anesthesiologist in a hospital, and a couple from Connecticut who are professors in Biblical studies and church music in Nanjing, China.
They also include a woman from Queens, New York, who works in Kenya in the “networking and advocacy program of the Greenbelt Movement” and is the coordinator of the youth volunteer program and a young woman from Los Fresnos, Texas who is listed as an environmental and Christian Education specialist in Chile.
Did You Know OCWM Changes Lives?
Listed below are just ten of the many ministries in Hawaiʻi that are supported by the gifts given to Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM) each year:
- Ministry at Kalaupapa
- Local church grants for new programs
- Communication through the Coconut Wireless, The Friend and other Conference publications
- Boundary-training for pastors and programs to promote safe churches
- Pension program for church employees
- Seminary scholarships
- Mission 4/1 Earth
- Child sponsorship
- Ecumenical and interfaith relations
- Lectionary and Sunday School resources
Source: The Friend, Hawaiʻi Conference, The Oldest Newspaper West of the Rocky Mountains, Founded 1843, Volume 29, Issue 6, OCWM Special Edition