The end of the year holds a lot for us. Many of us are overburdened and overscheduled. I am creating this for us as a guide to some of the ways of celebrating, the ways of remembering, and the ways of communing at this time of year, both here in our walls and together with our neighbors and siblings in faith. Of course, there are many ways to experience all of these things among the rich offerings of this season on this island, but I am offering here those events that members of our community are taking a role in organizing and events taking place at our church.
Regular Sunday worship will continue uninterrupted, and please note that our community’s celebration of the Christmas holiday will be the all-generations, no-rehearse Christmas pageant on December 24 at 4 pm. There will be no Christmas morning service at First Unitarian.
We hope to see you at some of these wonderful and creative celebrations.
57th Annual Nu’uanu Valley Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
Tuesday, November 20
Honpa Hongwanji Mission
727 Pali Highway
6:00 pm for service opportunity fair
7:00 pm for service in the temple
More info: Mr. Young 808.223.6343
This is a wonderful opportunity to be with our neighbors and share in this year’s theme of “Giving Thanks in Community.” You will recognize many parts of this wonderful event, including songs led by The Spirits and members taking a leading role in the service. Truly, this is a heartwarming and uplifting event. Rabbi Ken, our neighbor will lead the procession. Marie Ann will lead the responsive reading. And Vern Lamb, the speaker and director of the recipient of the offertory, is truly, truly an inspiration.
Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance
Tuesday, November 20
Hālau ʻo Haumea at the Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies
2645 Dole Street
5:30 pm blessing of the food and dinner line open
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Ceremony of Remembrance and Community Outreach
This is a solemn and powerful occasion and ceremony. Leaders from all the islands are being flown in to participate in this affirming, welcoming, and powerful event. We will learn more about resources and care available to all of our Transgender siblings. And we will remember those whose lives were taken in violence against Transgender bodies in the past year. Rev. T. J. will provide the closing message of love for this important event.
Thanksgiving Potluck at First Unitarian Church
Thursday, November 22
2500 Pali Highway
Our wonderful, annual Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner provides great food and warm welcome to all. There is a sign-up sheet on the wall just outside the Gallery on the Pali. You can also email Catherine Graham (firstname.lastname@example.org) and indicate 1) how many in your party, 2) What you would like to bring that serves 8 people, and 3) your contact information.
Holiday Party, Music, and Decorations at First Unitarian Church
Saturday, December 1
2500 Pali Highway
Come and express yourself with us! If you care to play some ukulele music, make some ornaments for our Art Tree, talk story about holidays you’ve taken part in, eat some snacks, or just check out others who are doing these things, c’mon over. Childcare is provided and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone. And don’t miss the wonderful ukulele group who will share their talents with us!
Blue Christmas: A Service of Remembrance for the Longest Night
Friday, December 21
Central Union Church
Atherton Memorial Chapel
Presented by the joint collaboration of Church of the Crossroads (UCC), First Unitarian Church of Honolulu, Institute for Human Services (IHS), Kailua United Methodist Church, Manoa Valley Church (UCC) and Central Union Church, this service, held on the longest night of the year, recognizes that not everyone is merry at Christmastime. It may be the first Christmas without a loved one; it may be a time that has always been difficult. It may just be that you are feeling frazzled and not feeling the “Christmas spirit.” The anguish of broken relationships, the insecurity of unemployment, the “blah” of life, the weariness of ill health, the pain of isolation—all these can make us feel very alone in the midst of the celebrating. We need the space and time to acknowledge our sadness and concern; we need to know that we are not alone. Through music, silent meditation, inspired writings, and healing prayer, we reach out to acknowledge sadness with comfort and quiet remembrance, to reflect on the losses we have experienced and to remember together, whatever our spiritual path, the real reason for the season: that we are not alone, and that light will come again.
First Unitarian NO-REHEARSE Christmas Pageant
Monday, December 24
First Unitarian Church
Don’t miss it, my friends. Once a year we gather to see what wonders are in store in the retelling of the story so dear to so many. Come and jump right into the action. We’ll watch and give new life to this story that began one of the rich strands of our tapestry of faith. Children of all ages—ALL ages—are encouraged to make use of the wonderful costumes that will be on hand or to bring/wear a costume they think might fit well into our story and we will sing, and learn, and experience this wonderful event together again. We hope to see you there.