“Remember this, keep it in mind, take it to heart…Remember the former things, those of long ago” – Isaiah 46:8-9 

Written by Rev. Brandon Durán

My bookcase has a special shelf with a menagerie of mementos.  Anyone who asks me about my random collection will learn very quickly that I am sentimental.  I have my grandfather’s slide rule.  I have a baseball signed by my college friends.  I have the Father’s Day cards my kids have made for me.

I believe my sentimentality is a product of three factors:

I have a terrible memory.  I am tactile.  I believe it’s important to remember.

I keep mementos because I want to remember the past.  I need to touch artifacts to stir memories of people, feelings, and wonders.  I fear that without such symbols I may forget the blessings God has allowed me to share with others.

As I was packing up my office, I moved a bit slower when it came time to box up the many mementos given to me by you, the members of the church:

  • A jade turtle from a member’s collection
  • A metronome that reminds me to move with the rhythm of the spirit (not the frantic tyranny of the urgent)
  • A wood tray engraved with the Lord’s Prayer written in English and ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i
  • A Christmas ornament commemorating Serving Aloha
  • A valve meant to remind me to maintain good boundaries (you can’t always be on)
  • Numerous, beautiful paintings, drawings, and photos of the campus, of the people of the church, of my family, and of our shared ministry
  • A teddy bear from a member’s collection
  • A Diaconate home communion set so that I can share the Central Union table with members beyond the sanctuary walls
  • A Youth on the Move graduation pen
  • A pink stole in honor of my favorite liturgical color
  • Several gorgeous handmade lei and dried flower lei
  • Many mementos from member’s travels letting me know that they were thinking of Central Union even when thousands of miles away
  • Candles and cloths from the Thrift Shop
  • A lovely book of the Kumulipo
  • Handmade Pohnpeian shell decorations
  • And on, and on, and on…

I will always cherish these memories and these wonders will not stay in the past.  The joy and love each artifact embodies will become the aloha that will shape me as a minister for the rest of my days.  Central Union will be a blessing to people who may never have the pleasure of sitting in the grand sanctuary.

In the scriptures, the ancient Hebrews remembered the work of God by creating festivals and special laws.  They knew it was important to remember what God had done.  I will remember what God has done through you these last seven years through the mementos you gave that will adorn my next sentimental shelf.  Thank you for allowing me to serve as your pastor.  Central Union has been God’s good blessing in my life.  May our God find delightful ways to remind you of the good things the Holy Spirit has done in and through you.