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First United Protestant Church of Hilo!

Letter From Pastor Chris

As this year finally comes to an end, I wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year!  As vaccinations begin to roll out, I am sure that all our friends and members are looking forward to what we hope is a return to some sense of normalcy and to a better 2021.  However before this year does come to an end, I want to express my gratitude to our church council, our worship team, and all of you who have stayed connected with us through these many months of this pandemic that we have endured together. 

During the month of January I will be away for a few weeks.  From the January 6th-10th I will be attending an online conference with the Next Generation Leadership Initiative (NGLI).  You might recall this is a leadership program I am part of that is sponsored by the greater United Church of Christ to develop new pastors who demonstration significant potential and have a commitment to congregational ministry.  I am required to attend two of these conferences each year, and this session will center around the subject of adaptive leadership.

This coming Sunday we will not be meeting on Zoom for worship as we would normally do.  The worship service will be brought to you by the Council of Conference Ministers and our General Minister and President, John C. Dorhauer.  You will have the opportunity to hear from some our denomination's brightest conference leaders, including our own Conference Minister, Rev. David Popham. 

From January 11th-24th I will be on vacation.  Our family will not be going anywhere, but staying right here in Hilo.  I am looking forward to the time away to clear my head, spend more time with Akeera and the kids, and get out to sight see a little bit around the Island to see a few things we probably should have seen after being here for nearly two years.  But hey, we did have a baby rather recently and were trying to revitalize a church, so I guess we have an excuse.

While I am on vacation I have prepared two guest speakers who will be providing worship.  The first is Rev. Jonathan Roach, who will be preaching on January 10th.  The other is Rev. Eric Page, who will be preaching on January 17th and 24th.  You may notice that both pastors happen to be preaching on the same text, 1 Samuel 3:1-10.  It is the text were Samuel receives and hears a call from God, and is encouraged by his mentor Eli to respond to the call.  Some may see them preaching on the same text as being problematic, but I think it is a great opportunity to see how Scripture can be interpreted and provide meaning in multiple ways. 

If there is a Pastoral Care need or emergency while I am away please contact Pastor Nixon Jack.  He can be reached by phone at (808)990-5118 or via email at kosrae0609papa@yahoo.com.  Pastor Nixon is not only incredibly dependable, but he is a dear and trusted friend to our church community.  Should a pastoral care need arise while I am away I know he will be there to listen and support you however he can.

When I return in January we will be in the last three weeks of Epiphany and soon be entering the season of Lent.  I will be offering a book study this Lent on a book by Amy Jill Levin titled "Entering the Passion of Jesus".  The book dives into some of the biblical texts that center around the Passion story, and lifts up ethical and spiritual questions that might arise in our own experience today as people of faith.  I will look to coordinate the time and way we meet depending on the level of participation we have.  If you are interested in participating I have put more information about the book study below. 

You might recall that in 2019 we went through a visioning process to develop a vision and mission statement which we believed would guide our church toward its future.  In the beginning of 2020 the vision and mission statement that was drafted was accepted by the congregation.  As we head into 2021 I would like our church to begin thinking about where our vision and mission statement is taking us.  What is our vision and mission statement asking us to explore, have conversations about, or take action on? 

I put the vision and mission statements below to give us a reminder of where we hope to go.  What do we need to do or who do we need to become to get there?  When I return I hope to start exploring this with you. 


Vision: Our vision is to welcome and love the diversity of all God’s People. To serve and support others through action and social justice. To be a community of faith which encourages spiritual growth through the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Mission: Our mission is to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ by working together to overcome the barriers that exclude and divide people, so that God’s inclusive love may be known. To commit ourselves to where faithful action and outreach is needed both locally and around the world, so that others may experience peace and healing. To share in meaningful worship through uplifting music and fellowship. To offer Christian education through study, meditation, and prayer. It is our desire to walk with others on their spiritual journey as they are inspired and empowered to live as Jesus did: full of faith, hope, possibility, and love.


Love,

Rev. Christopher Czarnecki

Sunday Worship Services
The first Sunday of every month, which is our Communion Sunday, we have worship together on Zoom at 10:00am.  Every other Sunday during the month we offer a prerecorded worship service that is shared on our church's website and YouTube Channel.  If you are receiving the weekly e-newsletter updates, on Sunday morning you will receive an email with the video of our worship service.  Our previous worship services can be viewed online anytime at our YouTube Channel by clicking on the button below.
Printable Order of Worship
Hymns & Music Inserts
YouTube Channel
Upcoming Sermons
Here is a list of upcoming sermon titles and scriptures:

January 3, 2021
"Thank God For Our Talents"
Scripture: Matthew 25:14-30 (NRSV)
Preacher: Council of Conference Ministers
Second Sunday after Christmas

January 10, 2021

"Here I Am: The Story of Sojourner Truth"
Scripture: 1 Samuel 3:1-10 (MSG)
Preacher: Rev. Jonathan Roach
The First Sunday after Epiphany


January 17, 2021
"Here I Am: I Am Listening"
Scripture: 1 Samuel 3:1-10 (NRSV)
Preacher: Rev. Eric Page
Second Sunday after Epiphany

January 24, 2021
"To Follow Jesus"
Scripture: Mark 1:14-20 (NRSV)
Preacher: Rev. Eric Page
Third Sunday after Epiphany

January 31, 2021
"Who Speaks for God?"
Scripture: Deuteronomy 18:15-20 (CEB)
Preacher: Rev. Christopher Czarnecki
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
Weekly Giving Report
As part of our commitment to stewardship we want to share the level of giving that is happening each week to support the work and ministry of the church.  For the week ending 12/26/2020 the church received tithes and donations totaling $445.00.  If you would like more information about how to give during this time or how to begin making an ongoing stewardship pledge, please contact the church office.
Guest Preacher January 10th
Jonathan Roach is an ordained UCC pastor, theologian, author, and librarian.  He grew-up across the Midwest in Terre Haute, Indiana, the twin cities of Dennison and Uhrichsville, Ohio, and Alpena, Michigan, which is literally halfway between the equator and the North Pole.  After earning his BA in English Education, he earned  graduate degrees from Wayne State University (MLIS), Ecumenical Theological Seminary (MDiv), and St. Thomas University (PhD). 

He served on the faculty of Ecumenical Theological Seminary from 2002-2009 and was ordained in 2008 at his home church, First Congregational Church of Detroit, Michigan. For his Ph.D. in practical theology, he worked with a group of United Church of Christ clergy to develop a theology of work for clergy who had suffered burnout.  He has over 40 publications including his first book “Expressing Theology: A Guide to Writing Theology that Readers Want to Read,” which was published in 2015. 

After serving at St. Thomas University from 2009-2016, he was called to the role of pastor and teacher of Stratham Community Church, United Church of Christ in New Hampshire.  In July of 2019, he moved with his family to Hilo, Hawai‘i  when his wife, Rev. Jihey Roach, accepted the call to serve Hawai‘i Care Choices.  He currently works as the Branch Manger at the Honokaa Public Library.
Guest Preacher January 10th & 17th
Rev. Eric E. Page delights in sharing stories of sacred transformations and the idea that “we live and move and have our being in God.” He speaks and teaches about principles, scripture, meditation, and religious history. Most recently he has served as temporary minister at Unity of Kona, Kailua-Kona.
 
Eric’s background with community organizations includes work in administrative and educational positions. He preserves documents of Hawaii Island as Archivist at the Lyman Museum and Mission House. Prior he served as Archivist and an adjunct faculty member at Unity World Headquarters at Unity Village, Missouri providing access to documents of the international Unity religious movement. 
 
Eric holds a Master of Divinity from Unity Institute and Seminary. He also earned a M.A. in Museum Studies from the University of Kansas and a B.A. in History from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. 
 
Eric and his husband, Keith, live in Honokaa with their sociable Scottish Terrier, Max. Eric appreciates gardening, painting, and reading as well as hiking, swimming, and traveling with friends.
Entering the Passion of Jesus
Lenten Book Study:
 
Starting on Wednesday February 24, 2021 we will begin a 6-week Lenten study on the book “Entering the Passion of Jesus” by Amy Jill Levin. Jesus’ final days were full of risk. Every move he made was filled with anticipation, danger, and the potential for great loss or great reward.  Jesus risked his reputation when he entered Jerusalem in a victory parade. He risked his life when he dared to teach in the Temple. His followers risked everything when they left behind their homes, or anointed him with costly perfume. We take risks as we read and re-read these stories, finding new meanings and new challenges.

In Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week, author, professor, and biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine explores the biblical texts surrounding the Passion story. She shows us how the text raises ethical and spiritual questions for the reader, and how we all face risk in our Christian experience.

The group will meet on Wednesdays from 6:00pm to 7:30pm.  Depending the level of participation, we may meet in-person or through Zoom or a combination of both.  The book study will involve time for group sharing, encourage active discussion, and challenge the interpretation of the Lenten stories we have heard.  The book is available for purchase on Amazon in either Kindle or paperback versions.  If you would like to purchase the book from the church the cost is $10.00.  If you would like to participate, please fill out the google form (or let Pastor Chris know) and submit payment for the book by Friday January 22nd.  We will notify you when the books have arrived.
 
Book Study Schedule
Book Study Sign-Up Form
Annual Reports Due
We wanted to send out a friendly reminder that all Annual Reports are due to the church office by January 15th.
Our Worship Team Needs Help!
The worship team at First United Protestant Church is looking for a dedicated volunteer to help with the new video and audio components that are going to start being used during the recording of our worship services.  The job entails learning to operate the camcorder and listening through a set of headphones to make sure you can hear the sound of the recording.  We normally record worship on Fridays from 9:00am to 11:00am on Friday mornings.  If you would be interested in serving the church in this way please contact Pastor Chris at revchrisfupc@gmail.com
Rewatch Christmas Eve
Candlelight Service
If you missed the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service you can rewatch it on our Facebook page at https://fb.watch/2HfCNPoSom/.
ChurchTrac Can Do That?
Yes it Can!
Did you know there are a number of features in ChurchTrac that are available to the members and friends of our church?  Within ChurchTrac you can do some of the following:
  • Update your church profile (address, phone number, picture, etc.)
  • Check out dates of upcoming events
  • Access our updated church directory
  • Manage your giving through ACH, debit/credit card, or mobile giving
  • Review your giving history (starting in 2021!)
To sign-in to ChurchTrac visit https://fupchilo.churchtrac.com.  If you have any questions about how to access ChurchTrac or its features please contact Pastor Chris at revchrisfupc@gmail.com
Have You Heard of AlohaSafe Alert?
AlohaSafe Alert is a free, voluntary new service that helps slow the spread of COVID-19. It is the State of Hawaii’s official exposure notification app and has been developed in partnership with the Hawaii State Department of Health.  Download the AlohaSafe Alert app to get COVID-19 exposure notifications and help keep Hawaii safe and healthy – all while maintaining your privacy.  Check out their website to find out how it works and to download the app on your electronic device.
Faith Based Articles Worth Reading
Giving While We Are Apart
 
We offer five ways you can donate or tithe to the church during this time:

1. You can mail in a donation directly to the church office at:

           First United Protestant Church of Hilo
           1350 Waianuenue Ave.
           Hilo, Hi 96720

2. By setting up First United Protestant Church as a payee through your online banking bill pay.  When you make a payment we will receive your donation as a check through the mail.

3. Making a one-time or reoccurring donation using a debit or credit card through our Facebook Page by clicking the "Donate" button.  The donate button on our Facebook Page also allows you to raise money for the church by creating a fundraiser on holidays, birthdays, or during special times of the year such as Giving Tuesday.

4. Making a one-time or reoccurring donation using a debit or credit card at our secure PayPal site.  A small 2.2% + $0.30 fee is taken out of each donation we receive that is made through PayPal.  Our secure PayPal site also allows you to choose what ministry you would like your donation to go to.  Click on the donate button below to go to our PayPal site.

5.  Our new ChurchTrac program offers multiple ways to give online.  You can set up a one-time or re-occurring automatic deduction from your checking account.  You can make a one-time or reoccurring donation using a debit or credit card.  Or you can setup text giving through your mobile phone.  If you are using ChurchTrac for the first time you will have to set up a User ID and Password.

Announcements:
  • If you need to reach Pastor Chris during this time you can email him at revchrisfupc@gmail.com or contact him by cell at (314)402-8167.  He will return messages according to their urgency at the earliest possible time.  His days off have transitioned to Saturdays and Sundays during this time.  Please reserve any phone calls on these days to matters that are urgent.  Non-urgent matters may be sent by email.
  • Pastor Chris will be attending a Next Generation Leadership Initiative Conference from January 6th-10th.  If you you have a pastoral care need during this time please reach out to Pastor Nixon Jack at (808)990-5118 or kosrae0609papa@yahoo.com.
  • Pastor Chris will be on vacation from January 11th-24th.  If you have a pastoral care need during this time please reach out to Pastor Nixon Jack (808)990-5118 or kosrae0609papa@yahoo.com.
  • Due to the health risks Covid-19 presents and the complexities in providing a safe space for people to gather at the church, our in-person public worship services held each Sunday will continue to be suspended until further notice.  Please contract the church office or visit our website if you need additional information on how to worship with us during this time.
  • If you would like a hard copy of the Pastor Chris’s sermon mailed to you, please contact Pastor Chris or the church office.
December 31st - New Year's Eve
January 1st - New Year's Day - Church Office Closed

January 6th - Epiphany begins
January 6th-10th - Pastor Chris attending NGLI Conference
January 11th-24th - Pastor Chris is on vacation
January 17th - Church Council meeting at 9:00am via Zoom
January 18th - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 22nd - Last day to order book for Lenten Study
First United Protestant Church of Hilo is a Congregationalist Church that was founded in 1868 and is part of the greater United Church of Christ.

Vision: Our vision is to welcome and love the diversity of all God’s People. To serve and support others through action and social justice. To be a community of faith which encourages spiritual growth through the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Mission: Our mission is to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ by working together to overcome the barriers that exclude and divide people, so that God’s inclusive love may be known. To commit ourselves to where faithful action and outreach is needed both locally and around the world, so that others may experience peace and healing. To share in meaningful worship through uplifting music and fellowship. To offer Christian education through study, meditation, and prayer. It is our desire to walk with others on their spiritual journey as they are inspired and empowered to live as Jesus did: full of faith, hope, possibility, and love.
https://www.facebook.com/FUPCHiloHawaii/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA1yVuDdFJrhYsmJ0TyI8UA/videos
Email
https://www.fupchurch.org/
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First United Protestant Church of Hilo · 1350 Waianuenue Ave · Hilo, HI 96720-1230 · USA

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