UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST

In the Heart of Hanalei

   

  •     Type you“Just Jesus” – HIM 2018

  •     Haunani Pacheco’s Reflections:  This is my third time attending the HIM Conference and I appreciate the opportunity to take time away from the  business of my daily life to spend some time with fellow Christians who focus on worshipping God.  The testimonies of how God is working through them to bring more people to Christ is proof that God is alive and wants a relationship with each of us to accomplish his purpose.

  • Honolulu Convention Ctr.

  • One of the most dynamic speakers was Mike Pilavachi from Watford, England who spoke at two of the General Sessions and a break-out session which I attended entitled “Lessons from the Life of Samuel.”  Mike has a gift of reading scripture and explaining it in a way that is humorous and understandable. 

  • The break-out session that was an eye opener for me was “Can Christians Really Help Prisoners in Hawaii?” which was facilitated by Michael Town, a retired Circuit Court Judge, adjunct law professor.  The staggering statistic is that Hawaiians make up 40% of the prison system and that the cost of a new prison will cost $650 million.  The feeling is that the whole system needs a reformation from a punitive to a rehabilitative correctional system that would include prisoner education, mental health facility, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, compassionate release for elderly and debilitated prisoners, and Hospice care outside of the prison.  The feeling is that instead of building new buildings for 1/2 billion dollars it would be cheaper to reduce the jail population.  How can churches help?  1.  Have a Heart, 2.  Receiving and Re-entry programs, 3.  Pu’u Honua – Safe Haven Sanctuaries, 4.  Visitation, and 5.  Pressure legislature to act on Task Force Report. An “ Ah Hah” moment for me was when it was pointed out that many of our Biblical characters were prisoners, like Jesus and Paul. Ah Huh!!!!

  • Susan Ferrell’s Reflections:  What an inspiration to be praising God at this year’s HIM Conference at the Honolulu Convention Center, along with several thousand men, women and youth.  I felt the Holy Spirit present in the prayers and praise music, and it amazes me every year to hear a ballroom full of people sing along with the praise musicians to a modern interpretation of some of the age-old hymns, like “Amazing Grace.” Here are a couple of snippets of inspiration I received during this year’s Conference:

  • - Jim Burns (Speaker) – “If the Devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy!”  I really took this statement to heart; how many times have I been too busy to spend time with a friend, or call a relative?  Jim pointed out that healthy relationships don’t work at a constantly fast pace.  If we’re over-committed/under-connected, we live in crisis mode.  We need to take breaks – take a Sabbath (Exodus 31:17).  Rest, Refresh, Restore, Recreation!

  • - Carey Nieuwhof (Speaker) – Carey was a new speaker to HIM this year. I especially enjoyed his session on barriers to growth in churches:  “The size of the church has nothing to do with the faithfulness of the people in the church.” After hearing several of his barriers to growth, I felt really good about Wai`oli Hui`ia!  We may be small in numbers, but we care for each other! Carey said that 98% of pastoral care is having someone who cares!

  • I am grateful for the opportunity to have attended the Conference this year and especially enjoyed the fellowship with Naomi and Haunani while exploring the variety of restaurants near the Convention Center for our daily meals.  As one speaker, David Choi said, “The greatest reward of the Gospel is Jesus!” Aloha!

  • Naomi Yokotake Summarizes: 

  • Churches "Growing Young" are attracting young people who are looking for churches that focus on teaching about JESUS. 
  • Worship gatherings that are welcoming, accepting, authentic, hospitable, caring, and family oriented give young people a sense of belonging, identity, and purpose.  
  • Just Jesus!r paragraph here.