Kealiiokamalu Church

Aug 28, 2019

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

Aloha Eloah,

Today was an exciting day on LaneSki’s Search for Church.

I planned everything out and was set on attending Harbor Northshore, but I ended getting there late and it was kind of hard to find parking. Actually, I tried to parallel park twice in a spot that I knew my car should fit into, drove around the neighborhood a few times wondering if I should park in front of the houses and eventually just decided that it was not meant to be so  I headed home.  I passed by New Hope Haleiwa and considered checking that out, but again, I was too late so I veered off the road into Kealiiokamalu Church because I saw someone there and the doors opened. They were just about to start the service which begins at 10am, so I went in. I have always wanted to check out this church, but never made it, so it was funny I ended up there today.

The outside of this church looks very old, but the inside is really quaint, quiet and serene. Funny, even though it’s by the road, you hear the birds echo and feel the cool breeze. Lili‘uokalani Protestant (also in Haleiwa) was like that too. When I used to attend that church, I always thought the Hawaiians must have been really akamai (smart) about the way they designed the church because of the way the wind moved so eloquently through the structure. This church has a similar feel. The plaque on the inside says HOOLAA IA 1939 which marks the year of its inception.

Kahu (pastor) Blane administered a very traditional form of Hawaiian service which calls for a series of formally prepared hymns and prayers in Hawaiian that are followed by a spirit- inspired selection of scripture. Today the passage was from Luke 7 when Jesus meets with John’s (the Baptist) disciples and asks them “What did you come to see”? This passage was a surprise to me because it is one that I treasure, and have done a lot of research on, actually, I  even wrote a term paper on it. It cross-references other literature of the time and therefore is full of deeper meanings. The congregation took turns reading it in Hawaiian and then in English before the kahu lead us in a discussion. The various interpretations mirrored the conclusion of last weeks Easter service which basically challenged the congregation not to be like the unbelievers, however, it was not fueled by the fear of condemnation, but rather more of an encouraging word to trust and have faith. I found it amazing that at the end of the discussion Kahu Blane uttered the word ho‘omanawanui which he translated as be patient, in the sense that things will come around. His final word had nothing much to do with his sermon but did kind of sum up my hours of research on the passage in Luke and ultimately spoke directly to my issues with the current state of the church.

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It’s funny where the spirit will take you, if you are willing to follow the wind.

If you want to attend Kealiiokamalu, it is certainly worthwhile. The service starts at 10am on Sunday and there are different styles of services each Sunday of the week. Kahu knows a lot of history about Hawaiian church history and speaks Hawaiian so I learned a lot from him today. He suggested Daryl Iona’s thesis on Hawaiian church history for anyone who is interested. It should be able through the University of Hawai‘i library system.

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