Haili Congregational Church
"Proclaiming Jesus Christ to Hawai'i and the World"
April 2 2020
Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! 2020
I pray that this letter finds you and your loved ones physically healthy and spiritually trusting in our loving Lord during this current virus pandemic. It is the Easter season and it is hard to believe how different our world is. No public gatherings, restaurants closed, streets deserted, store shelves empty and virus numbers rising. My natural hope would be to experience our traditional Easter Cantata, the Sunrise service and Easter celebrations this time of year, but life is quite different for all of us unexpectedly. What a challenging but exciting time for the Church to BE the Church!
On a positive note, I have seen people rising up to meet the needs of kupuna and keiki in many creative ways. The online presence of Christian churches has grown astronomically and reached a broader audience. Last week our church service had dozens of active participants, over 500 views and 800 people reached. God's message of hope is touching people in new ways!
The purpose of this letter is: First, I wanted to update all of you with the obvious decision of our leadership to extend our stopping of public gatherings through the month of April. We are not going to second guess the experts when it comes to protecting our kupuna. We will take the advice of our health and community leaders on when it is safe to open the church again.
Second, I encourage you to stay connected by checking our website hailichurch.org frequently and by joining our Sunday service at 10:00 am through our Haili Congregational Church Facebook page. Please “like” the page in advance. Your heart will be blessed with the music and message!
Third, we are here to meet needs and be a blessing to our community. If you or someone you know has an unmet need, please call our church line 808-935-4847 and leave a message. If the need is more urgent, please call my personal cell at 808-640-7314 and I will coordinate a response. Lastly, I am enclosing an Easter offering envelope. Normally this is for an over and above offering but we are not in a normal time. As you can expect, the inability to hold public services and take offerings has an effect on giving. Please pray and then give as generously as God enables you.
May you be blessed by our Risen Lord this Easter!
March 26 2020
Please join us LIVE!
Prepare now and plan to attend our Virtual Unity Service for Haili Church, Kuhio Chapel, and Ohana Hour this coming Sunday, March 29, 2020. It will take place LIVE at 10 a.m. on our official Haili Church Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/Haili-Congregational-Church.
We look forward to seeing and being with everyone while we social distance. Please be prepared to share your prayer requests via the comment section and we will have a time to greet each other, where you can leave virtual messages to the rest of the congregation of aloha and encouragement.
Mahalo and we look forward to sharing our Sunday experience together!
March 18, 2020
Aloha members and friends of Haili Church, Ohana Hour and Kuhio Chapel,
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious for about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7
I pray that this letter finds you and your loved one healthy and with your hearts full of faith in our loving God during this current virus pandemic. Just yesterday we see local health officials confirm that a case of Covid-19 is in Hilo with the expectation of more as testing ramps up. What a challenging but exciting time for the Church to BE the Church!
After much prayer and in consultation with church leaders, we have decided to take some recommended actions to do our part in protecting the elderly who are most vulnerable to this virus. As a kindness to our kupuna and a testimony to our community, we will heed Papa Makua Wendell Davis and our public health officials request to avoid public gatherings for a period of two weeks. We will re-evaluate after that time if an extension is necessary. Sadly, that means that the doors to Haili Church and Kuhio Chapel will be closed on the next two Sunday mornings, but our hearts will continue to be open!
To help us continue to connect with one another though, I will offer a message on Facebook Live at 10:00 am Sundays through our Haili Congregational Church Facebook page. Please “like” the page in advance to join in with the rest of the church digitally on Sunday. This is a new digital experience for all of us, so please have grace if there are any unforeseen internet issues. If you do not have the proper computer connections or equipment, please let us know how we can help minister to you in another way with mailings or phone calls. Even if we aren’t together physically, we still need to BE the Church to one another. If you have a need or know of one, please let us know. Call my cell number 808-640-7314 so I can coordinate responses to help. In particular, if kupuna runs low on food or toilet paper, let us know!
If you are able to still give your tithes and offerings to help us cover our normal expenses, please mail to our office at 211 Haili Street, Hilo 96720 or drop off in the mail slot at that address. We also want to improve our digital communications, so please share your current emails with the church office so our responses can be faster to you in this dynamic, fast changing environment.
Please be in prayer for our church and never step into fear. Don't be anxious but let God's peace flood your heart. God is greater than any virus! Lord willing we will be back together on Palm Sunday April 5. Check our website hailichurch.org or Haili Church and Kuhio Chapel Facebook pages for future updates. The phone tree will continue to work hard to communicate information also as we know it.
Blessings, Kahu Brian Welsh