The traditions we at Central Union Church have held dear for many generations have been put on hold indefinitely or substantially revised to accommodate safety precautions and concerns. Our annual White Gifts program has been impacted by COVID 19, but we are determined to find a way to carry out our mission of providing much-needed Christmas gifts for the social services and ministries we have faithfully partnered with for decades, so that they can offer Christmas gifts to the people they serve. The majority of White Gifts go to adults and youth who are homeless or in transition due to domestic violence, injustice, and/or circumstances beyond their control. Now, more than ever, the importance of these gifts cannot be overstated. We will not let a pandemic interfere with our mission to provide gifts for those in dire need.

Community Ministries has decided to do White Gifts the same way we did it in 2020. The social service agencies were thrilled with the way White Gifts was implemented last year. Because each agency was contacted ahead of time to discuss their specific needs and the needs of the people they serve, our savvy shoppers were able to shop specifically for the gifts that were requested and most needed. Here is how YOU can participate:

Instead of purchasing and wrapping gifts, those who wish to participate may donate by cash or check, made payable to Central Union Church. IMPORTANT: On the memo line, write White Gifts. Submit your monetary donation anytime between now and December 12. Mail it to:

Central Union Church

Accounting Office

1660 S. Beretania Street

Honolulu, Hawaii 96826

Several savvy shoppers will purchase suitable gifts with the available funds. The agencies submit a gift request form, so we know what their needs are. In years past we have given 800-1200 gifts, shared between 8-10 agencies. Please note: Only monetary donations will be accepted. We cannot accept gift items, for safety reasons and because it becomes a storage and security issue.

On December 19, White Gifts Sunday, instead of our much-loved pageant we will have a drive-through gift pick-up in front of the Women’s Building. Representatives from the agencies will drive through to pick up their gifts. This would probably take place between  and 11:30a.m. and 12:30p.m. The agencies have been very timely in recent years; last year all gifts were picked up within a 45-minute time frame.

We (Community Ministries and White Gifts coordinators) believe that this is an efficient, safe, workable solution that will enable Central Union Church to continue its long-held tradition of providing gifts to help the most vulnerable in our own community during this time of unprecedented need. I will contact the agencies to learn their current needs and gift requests,  and inform them of the drive-through details.

People are looking for safe, meaningful ways to make a difference. Our online resources ~ e-blast, Spire, Zoom Aloha Lanais, etc. will be the best way to broadcast this opportunity to most of the congregation. Again, only monetary donations can be accepted. Be sure to write “White Gifts” on the memo line of your check, made payable to Central Union Church. Help us bring Christmas joy to our struggling community!

Blessings,

Rebecca R. Woodland

White Gifts Chair

Aloha Congregation,

Thank you again for your kind participation in the Senior Minister Search Committee Survey!

We are writing to share the results of the Survey. Please see the attached. In summary, several major opinions from the Congregation came out of the Survey:

Ideal Minister Quality – #1 A compassionate leader…good listener…

(91% of Respondents, top ranked among 11 choices)

I love Central Union for its – #1 Ministers…

(73% of Respondents, top ranked among 6 choices)

Senior Minister should be – #1 Inspirational…

(78% of Respondents, top ranked among 11 choices)

Spiritual nourishment is heightened by – #1 Ministers and their messages…

(95% of Respondents, top ranked among 8 choices)

If you have any questions, please email the SMSC at CUC-SMSC@outlook.com.

We’re in His grip!

Don Clifford, Chair

Senior Minister Search Committee

Click here to view the full report.

“A hui hou,” Rev. Jessica Kawamura! 

By Ashleigh Loa, Faith Action Executive Director

Please join me in sending Rev. Jessica Kawamura of Wahiawa UMC a huge mahalo! Rev. Kawamura has stepped down from her role as Faith Action Vice President of Clery, effective December 31, 2021.

In her role as VP of Clergy, Rev. Kawamura has provided Faith Action with immense value through her one-on-one’s with Faith Action clergy and outreach to other faith leaders in our community. We are eternally grateful for what she has done (and continues to do!) for Faith Action, her church, and the broader community.

On a personal note, I humbly thank Jessica for her fellowship, guidance, and support for me over the past year and a half. I have grown fond of Jessica, and I will remember her in the exact way that she is pictured above – fiercely defending social justice and equity on behalf of working families in Hawaiʻi.

Mahalo nui loa, Rev. Kawamura, and a hui hou!