Monday, August 29, 2005

Mililani Congregregation Celebrates Its 35th Anniversary

Today the church I serve as Pastor celebrated its 35th Anniversary.

Nine ordained PCUSA pastors (three of whom have served as pastor of this congregation and two of whom became ordained while members of this congregation) participated in the morning worship.
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Seven of the Nine Pastors

There was so much sharing and talking story and worship and special music and the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper and a Children's sermon and the introduction of special guests (including our State Senator) and a farewell to one of our dear church families and a wonderful retrospective "slide show" and two sermons went for almost 3 hours! Now that's more like an Assembly of God or a Baptist type of worship.....Presbyterians are supposed to worship by the clock, aren't they? Well, today our clock broke! But God was praised and we all had a good time, too!

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Hungry.....and waiting to be fed!

In the afternoon we had our Anniversary Luau. Kalua Pork (I said I wouldn't come if they didn't serve Kalua pork!), white rice (there's always white rice in Hawaii), fried rice, frozen fruit, fish, teryaki chicken and haupia dessert!

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The Luau Line

There were anniversary shell/kukui nut leis for everybody and enough fresh pineapples for every family to take one home! Fresh tropical flowers from our members' homes and gardens decorated the tables and a small stage provided a focus for the entertainment.

Special guests included our original architect, two current and one former State Representatives plus a personal, handwritten letter of congratulations from President George Bush (actually, I made the last one up......sorry).
In good local fashion we all sang our State Song/Former Hawaii National Anthem "Hawaii Ponoi" and "Hawaii Aloha." (I was proud of Rick, who spotted a typo in the last song. Three letters were missing. You grow up here and you KNOW these songs by heart! Rick helped out with the singing by adding his ukulele to Tony's and my guitars.)

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Not "Sister Act" but Mom & Daughter!

Mom and daughter sang and left us all with "chicken skin," and then the daughter sang "Hero," which she had also sung at our 25th Anniversary when she was only 13.

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Grace Being full of grace!

Grace shared her beautiful hula and then Randy and Gay Hongo, wonderful local Island Christian entertainers (with at least six Na Hoku awards) shared their music along with three dancers from a Christian hula halau.

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Randy & Gay Hongo.......................................and friend

After the closing benediction we ended things with a "bang" as John and Mike set off a string of "10,000" firecrackers (a string that really only has 2,500 of them.....but that's still plenty to make a lot of noise for a very long time!)

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The grand finale

It was hot, and rainy, and humid and sunny and wonderful. As always, we gave thanked God for bringing us all together in this final corner of his know, the place he made after he had practiced trial and error on all the rest! We don't call Hawaii "paradise" for nothing!

In fact, you could say that, at least in our little spot in Mililani, the Kingdom of God was alive and very, very well indeed! Amen....BANG!