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First United Protestant Church of Hilo!

Letter From Pastor Chris

"Because even though I am absent physically, I’m with you in spirit.
I’m happy to see the discipline and stability of your faith in Christ."

- Colossians 2:5 (CEB)

It is good to be back from vacation.  My time off was not only renewing, but it was nice to spend more dedicated quality time with my wife and children.  When I left earlier this month the church had just entered into Epiphany, and as I return from vacation we are only two weeks away from Transfiguration Sunday and the beginning of Lent.  Lent is my favorite season of the church, and I am saddened we will not be able to share this Lenten season together in-person.

When Paul wrote his letter to the church in Colossae he had never met the congregation before.  Although he had never met them, he told his listeners that he was with them in spirit and he would continue to minister to them through the power of prayer.  The church he was writing to was a church community that was struggling with their identity in Christ.  He wanted them to resist the things that he believed would hinder them from growing in their faith.

As we approach this season of Lent, now is the time to begin thinking of the things over this past year that have kept us from growing in our faith.  What has hindered us from embracing our identity in Christ?  What has kept us feeling distanced from the sense of faith that empowers us and makes us feel alive?  What has prevented us from staying connected to the church we call home?  If the answer to those questions is COVID-19, I want you to try digging a litter deeper. 

I believe Lent is a great opportunity for creating a deeper intimacy with God.  It is a time of letting go of what is hindering that relationship from growing into its full potential.  Being able to name what is under the surface, whether it be frustration, anger, or not prioritizing our spiritual life like we used to, gives us the power to start reclaiming the sense of faith we know is possible and that we deserve.  Our relationship with God is something that needs to be nurtured and the church community is one of the best places to do that.

Although I have been physically absent and have not able to see many of you, I'm with you in spirit.  I am still praying for you and still affirming your identity in Christ.  We are a few weeks away, but I'm looking forward to making this upcoming season of Lent a meaningful one, even if we can't be together.  I hope you stay connected with us and if you have not been, I hope you'll reconnect.  We are more with you than without you.


Rev. Christopher Czarnecki
First United Protestant Church of Hilo

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
January 31, 2021
"Who Speaks for God?"
Scripture: Deuteronomy 18:15-20 (CEB)
Preacher: Rev. Christopher Czarnecki
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

*February 7, 2021
"Meeting Others Where They Are"
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:16-23 (CEB)
Preacher: Rev. Christopher Czarnecki
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
*Communion Sunday

February 14, 2021
"Make Mine a Double!"
Scripture: 2 Kings 2:1-12 (CEB)
Preacher: Rev. Christopher Czarnecki
Transfiguration Sunday
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.  Last week the church received tithes and donations totaling $580.00.  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.
Notice of Staffing Change 
Chris Oda is no longer working as the administrative assistant for First United Protestant Church.  A volunteer is temporarily serving in the church office for a limited number of hours during the week until a new administrative assistant is hired.  The church council is in the process of rehiring and will announce to the congregation when a candidate has been selected and hired.
An Added Layer of Protection
If you have not heard the church has experienced a few incidents over the last few weeks where the police had to be called due to break-ins, theft, and damaged property on our church campus.  We want to extend a special thank you to Marlo Fontanilla and Froilan Queja for the new security gate that was installed near the back of the church campus.  The church council is also discussing further security measures to protect the campus from unwanted activity.
Annual Congregational Meeting
Our end of the year annual congregational meeting will be held on February 14th at 10:00am via Zoom.  The purpose of this meeting is to give previous year reports from the pastor, church officers and committees of the church, and discuss any business that might come before the congregation.  At this time the Annual Reports for 2020 are being put together and will be available soon via email or for pick-up.  If you would like to participate in this meeting or receive a copy of the annual report please contact the church office or register by filling out the form below.
Annual Meeting Registration
Ash Wednesday Drive Thru
February 17th from 10:00am to 4:00pm
On Wednesday February 17th the church will be open from 10:00am to 4:00pm for people to drive thru to receive ashes from Pastor Chris.  Both traditional and glitter ashes will be available.  Due to COVID-19 ashes will be applied with a Q-tip to forehead or forearm, or we can apply the ashes to a mask that is given to you.
Lent in a Bag - Devotional Kits
Volunteers are putting together "Lent in a Bag" devotional kits that will be distributed and available for pick-up on Ash Wednesday at the church from 10:00am to 4:00pm.  Along with a devotional booklet and instructions, the bag will consist of items that will help people reflect on the season of Lent.  The items can be used individually for reflection or meditation, or for conversation with your family.  Only one bag per family will be distributed. 
Register for Church Leader's Event
The Church Leaders Event is next month!  Not only is it next month but we were able to obtain an amazing keynote speaker.  One of the foremost authorities on the practice and teaching of leadership, Ronald Heifetz.  Similar to this past 'Aha Pae'āina, the Church Leaders Event will be held virtually on February 13, 15, 18, and 20, 2021.  There will be two workshops offered on each of the days—view the workshop schedule HERE.  You won't want to miss it, so be sure to save the dates! Registration materials have been mailed out.  Look for up-to-date information on the Conference website.  Download the registration form or register online HERE.  The cost of the Leader's Event is $30.00 and the registration deadline is Monday, February 8.
In this short video five faith leaders, including the United Church of Christ's own Rev. Traci Blackmon, shares what American people can to help heal the country’s deep political divisions.
Faith Based Articles Worth Reading
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  If you have any questions about how to access ChurchTrac or its features please contact Pastor Chris at
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.
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.

  • If you need to reach Pastor Chris during this time you can email him at 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.
  • 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.
February 14th - Valentine's Day
February 14th - Transfiguration Sunday
February 14th - Annual Congregational Meeting at 10:00am via Zoom
February 15th - President's Day - Church Office Closed
February 17th - Ash Wednesday Drive Thru 10:00am-4:00pm
February 21st - First Sunday in Lent
February 21st - Church Council Meeting at 9:00am via Zoom
March 5th - World Day of Prayer
March 14th - One Great Hour of Sharing
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.
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First United Protestant Church
1350 Waianuenue Ave.
Hilo, HI 96720

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First United Protestant Church of Hilo · 1350 Waianuenue Ave · Hilo, HI 96720-1230 · USA

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