News and Events
♦  January through August 2018  ♦


Cornell University Chamber Singers in Concert
Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Members of the Cornell University Chamber Singers, under the direction of Stephen Spinelli, presented an evening concert at Keawalaʻi Congregational Church as part of their Maui Summer Tour. The concert begat at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 8, 2018. John Rowehl, Director of Music, at Keawalaʻi served as the local host.

While on island the group was invited to offer music workshops at local high schools and participated in community service projects. Said John, “It was a learning tour for the group. They brought their music to us while at the same learned about the history of Hawaiʻi.”

The 34 members of the group were also a part of the Maui Chamber Orchestra & Chorus concert presentation of “Harmoniemesse,” Joseph Haydn. The concert was held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center (MACC) in Kahului on Sunday, August 12, 2018. The Keawalaʻi concert is a part of the Makana Series of the Music Ministry Program of the church.


Master Guitar Class & Concert
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Students of Benjamin Verdery‟s Master Guitar Class returned to Maui this summer. Over the years, guitarists have travelled to Maui to take a one-week master class under the tutelage of Benjamin Verdery. Verdery is the Chair of the Guitar Department at Yale University School of Music in New Haven, Connecticut.

This summer Verdery and the students of the 2018 Master Guitar Class returned once again to Mākena for a week-long gathering at Keawalaʻi Congregational Church from July 4-12, 2018. The class culminated with a concert here at Keawalaʻi on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the sanctuary.


Hospice Maui
Interfaith Celebration of Life
Monday, May 28, 2018

Keawalaʻi Congregational Church welcomed the annual Interfaith Celebration of Life, Hospice Maui back to Mākena. The celebration was held on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.

Members of the staff gathered with families who have gone through the Hospice Maui program as a result of the death of a loved one. The service included clergy from the various faith communities of Maui.


21st Annual Hoʻokūkū Kolepa
Golf Tournament
Saturday, May 26, 2018

The 21st annual golf tournament was held at the Mākena Beach & Golf Resort on Saturday, May 26, 2018. The tournament is a benefit for the Local Mission Fund of the church, a fund that provides assistance to individuals and families in need who are residents of Maui County. As host for the one-day event, the Mākena Golf & Beach Club was joined by other participating sponsors and prize donors. The 18-hole course in Mākena traverses the rugged backcountry along the leeward slopes of Haleakalā and reaches elevations of 450 feet above sea level.


37th Maui Classical Music Festival
May 7 & 11, 2018

A young guitarist lauded for “achingly beautiful” interpretations joined celebrated veterans at the Maui Classical Music Festival in May. Colin Davin‟s guitar has provided “some of the finest interpretations I've heard,” said the American Record Guide's critic. Festival violinist Benny Kim made his mark as a rising star in 1978 when, at age 15, he won the Chicago Symphony Youth Symphony Auditions.

The concert series also featured three husband-wife combinations: Cellist Edward Arron and pianist Jeewon Park; violinist Scott St. John and violist Sharon Wei; and violist Yizhak Schotten and pianist Katherine Collier, the Festival's music directors since its inception 37 years ago. The festival's history began in 1982, when the Kapalua Music Festival was founded by Colin and Margaret Cameron. More recently, it was reorganized as the Maui Classical Music Festival.


Easter Sunrise Service
April, 1, 2018

The annual Easter Sunrise Service was held on the grounds of the church beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 1, 2018. The outdoor service included the sharing of The Lord's Supper and the Easter floral cross.

Nā Leo Nahenahe, the adult choir, and special guests were a part of the time of worship. Members and friends were invited to bring single stem flowers or lei for the cross. These were placed on the cross during the sharing of The Lord's Supper.


Maundy Thursday Service
Thursday, March 29, 2018

The annual Maundy Thursday Service was held on Thursday, March 29, 2018 beginning at 7:00 p.m. under the pavilion. Nā Leo Nahenahe, the adult choir, sang an anthem. John Rowehl, Director of the Music, directed the choir and Ellen Caringer was the accompanist.


Palm/Passion Sunday
Lauhala Pāpale Sunday

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Palm/Passion Sunday marked the beginning of Holy Week. The tradition of members and friends wearing their finest lauhala pāpale or hats woven out of pandanus leaves continued.

On Palm/Passion Sunday, March 25, 2018, church members had an opportunity once more not only to commemorate the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem but to commemorate the events of the week that led to Jesus' arrest, trial and crucifixion.


27th Annual Lūʻau
“E hele mai, e ʻike: Come and see!”

Saturday, March 10, 2018

“E hele mai, e ʻike!M Come and see!” was the theme for the 27th Annual Lūʻau of Keawalaʻi Congregational Church that was held on Saturday, March 10, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the grounds of the church. Kamaʻāina and malihini were invited to enjoy a day of family, friends and food; oli, mele and hula.

Max Angel Becerra, 20, brought his music and charm to Mākena. Max started playing the ‘ukulele at the age of nine after seeing a free lesson sign at the Lāhainā Music store in 2012. Slack-key guitarist Anthony Pfluke, 18, returned to Keawalaʻi. Anthony was born and raised on Maui. He is a three- time winner of Hula Grill's Youth Ukulele Contest, making a name for himself as a singer and songwriter.

Kumu hula Hōkūlani Holt-Padilla and the haumana of Hālau Pāʻū O Hiʻiaka returned to Mākena for the second year in a row. Hōkūlani believes that hula touches all Hawaiian cultural knowledge. It is through hula that one can learn about cultural protocol, plants, chants, and stories as well as Hawaiian values and philosophies, health practices, adornments, clothing and more.


200th Anniversary & Commemoration
ʻOpūkahaʻia Sunday
Scholarship Fund Offering

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Churches throughout the Hawaiʻi Conference of the United Church of Christ received gifts for the ʻŌpūkahaʻia Scholarship Fund on Sunday, February 18, 2018. ʻŌpūkahaʻia died on February 17, 1818 of typhus fever. He was 26 years old.

ʻŌpūkahaʻia's story is familiar to many in our Hawaiian churches – a young Hawaiian boy fleeing wars between the aliʻi who finds himself in New Haven, Connecticut in the 1800s, alone and looking for a new life. His determination to return to Hawaiʻi with "good news" of Jesus Christ is what inspired the first mission to Hawaiʻi in 1820. The offering is used to support pastoral leadership, especially in smaller Hawaiian churches, and to help students with seminary costs and active ministers with continuing education needs.

Members and friends were invited to give in memory and in celebration of ʻŌpūkahaʻia's life and the lives of men and women entering the Christian ministry today.


2018 Silent Auction & Luncheon
Sunday, February 11, 2018

The 2018 Silent Auction & Luncheon was held on Sunday, February 11, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. on the grounds of the church. The annual event is a fundraiser for the Local Mission Fund of the church. Silent auction items included gift certificates from local businesses including restaurants, resorts, golf courses, and others. The fund provides support for families and persons in need who are residents of Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi.


Kalaupapa Sunday
Sunday, January 21, 2018

It was at the 191st "Aha Paeʻaina of the Hawaiʻi Conference - United Church of Christ in 2013 that delegates representing the member churches of the conference voted to establish an annual Kalaupapa Sunday. Kalaupapa Sunday was held here at Keawalaʻi Congregational Church on Sunday, January 21, 2018.

Hymns and songs, Scripture readings, poems and stories were a part of the 7:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. worship services. January 21, 2018 marked the 152nd anniversary of when the first 12 people were taken from their families and sent to the Makanalua Peninsusula in 1866. We join with the member of Ka Ohana O Kalaupapa in remembering their names: “Kaaumoana, Kahauliko, Kainaina, Kini, Kipehe, Lakapu, Liilii, Loe, Lono, Nahuina, Puha & Waipio.”


2018 Annual Meeting
Sunday, January 14, 2018

The 2018 Annual Meeting of Keawalaʻi Congregational Church was held on Sunday, January 14, 2018. The meeting began at 12:00 noon in the Hale Pule. Reports were received from the various boards and committees as well as from Bruce Burkitt, Moderator and Kahu Kealahou Alika. The agenda included action to review and approve the 2018 Proposed Budget, an amendment to the Bylaws, and the election and appointment of officers, board members and committee members.

A pot-luck luncheon preceded the meeting. The Outreach Committee coordinated the lunch for the day. Those wishing to offer their kōkua by providing a dish to share were invited to do so. Any monetary donations that were received for the day were designated to the Local Mission Fund. The fund provides grants for individuals and families in need who are residents of Maui, Molokaʻi and Lānaʻi.


ʻAha ʻAina Wai Maka/Hepedoma
Sunday, January 7-14, 2018

“ʻAha 'Aina Wai Maka” or “Feast of Tears” was traditionally celebrated in ancient Hawaiʻi to mark the first anniversary of a person's death. It was the understanding of our kūpuna that tears were initially shed because of the loss of a loved one. The “ʻAha ʻAina Wai Maka" was seen as a happy occasion, a time when death was accepted by the family and so tears of joy were shed.

On Sunday, January 7, 2018 a time of remembrance was included as a part of the morning worship services. Members and friends who died over the last year were remembered.

The service of remembrance was followed by “Hepedoma” or the “Week of Prayer.” The Greek word hebdomas means one week or seven years. In Latin, it also alludes to prayer.

Hence, hepedoma in Hawaiian refers to "a week of prayer" that continues to be practiced in churches such as Kaumakapili and Kawaiahaʻo churches on Oʻahu and other historic Hawaiian churches. Members and friends were invited to be in prayer for the various ministries of the church and for ways in which they may offer their kōkua throughout the year. A calendar of prayer was provided during both services.

The week culminated with the annual meeting set for Sunday, January 14, 2018 beginning at 12:00 noon in the Hale Pule. Both the "Feast of Tears" and the "Week of Prayer" come out of the work of the Board of Deacons and the commitment the board has made to preserve and perpetuate various aspects of Hawaiian tradition and culture.

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