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Kahu Keoki Preaches At Mokupuni

The Hawaiʻi Island Association of the United Church of Christ met at First United Protestant Church in Hilo for its Fall ʻAha Mokupuni (or, Annual Meeting) on Saturday, November 4, 2023. Delegates to the ʻAha Mokupuni are made up of both lay delegates elected by the member churches of the HIAUCC, and all clergy with standing in the Association (including those who are retired and those serving in settings other than local churches).


With a new kahu, Pukaʻana now has four delegates who were present: Sharon Matsuyama, Delegate, Boyd Matsuyama, Alternate, Taven Losalio, Youth Delegate, and Kahu Keoki Kiwaha, Minister.


The current leadership of the Hawaiʻi Island Association UCC includes:


  • Kahu Debbie Wong Yuen, President

  • Mrs. Karen Welsh, Vice President

  • Kahu Keoki Kiwaha, Secretary

  • Mr. Frank Mulec, Treasurer

  • The Rev. Larry Walter, Chairperson, Committee on Ministry

  • Mr. Elwood Kita, Chairperson, Nominating Committee

  • Ms. Patricia Dunham, West Hawaiʻi Representative

  • Ms. Wahineaukai Mercado, East Hawaiʻi Representative

  • The Rev. Eric S. Anderson, Chairperson, Hawaiʻi Conference UCC Council, Ex-officio

  • The Rev. Dr. Jonathan C. Roach, Association Conference Minister, Ex-officio


The theme for worship was taken from Isaiah 43:18-19,

I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

It customary for the newest clergy-person in the Hawaiʻi Island Association UCC to have the kuleana of putting together the worship service at the ʻAha Mokupuni. And, in this case, it was our very own Kahu Keoki Kiwaha, with assistance and support from his mentor, the Rev. Eric Anderson (Pastor, Church of the Holy Cross). Kahu Keoki also preached the sermon based on the scriptural text: reminding us all that despite all that we have been through in the past few years, God is doing a new thing in the life of the church and still has purpose for us in the world.


After the business of the Association was completed, the delegates spent time actively participating in a workshop presented by Julie Mitchell, executive director of Kuʻikahi Mediation Center. Following the workshop, delegates and guests were treated to a bento lunch by First United Protestant Church - and also a delicious breakfast earlier in the morning prepared by the Kosraean Congregational Church which worships at FUPC.


Photo courtesy of the Rev. Dr. Jonathan C. Roach


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