All the Latest News from
First United Protestant Church of Hilo!

Mele Kalikimaka

Christmas was not formally introduced to Hawaii until after 1820, the year Protestant missionaries came to Hawaii from New England.  However, the holiday coincided with a traditional Hawaiian festival that was called Makahiki.  This celebration lasted for four months and included great feasts and games.  During this time, wars and conflicts were strictly forbidden.  As far as the early Hawaiians were concerned, the Makahiki was their time for "peace on earth and goodwill toward men."

The first Christmas celebration in Hawaii is believed to have occurred in the year 1786, when Captain George Dixon, docked aboard the Queen Charlotte in Waimea Bay on Kauai, and commanded his crew to prepare a Christmas dinner that included roasted pig, pie and grog mixed with coconut milk.  The English navigator then led his men in toasts to their families and friends back home.

Decades later King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma Kalanikaumakaʻamano Kaleleonālani Naʻea Rooke of Hawaii officially celebrated Christmas in 1856 as a day of Thanksgiving.  On the Christmas Eve of 1858 Mary Dominis threw a party at Washington Place in Honolulu featuring the first instance of a Christmas tree and Santa Claus in Hawaii.  King Kamehameha IV later declared it an official holiday in 1862.

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:

December 20, 2020
"With God All Things Are Possible"
Scripture: Luke 1:26-38 (NRSV)
Preacher: Rev. Christopher Czarnecki
Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 24, 2020
"Christmas Eve Candlelight Service"
Scriptures: Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96;
Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14
5:00pm via Zoom

December 27, 2020
"Praise the Lord!"
Scripture: Psalm 148 (CEB)
Preacher: Rev. Christopher Czarnecki

January 3, 2020
"Thank God For Our Talents"
Scripture: Matthew 25:14-30 (NRSV)
Preacher: Council of Conference Ministers
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 12/12/2020 the church received tithes and donations totaling $2,890.00.  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.
Volunteer Needed On Worship Team
The worship team at First United Protestant Church is looking for a volunteer to help with the new video and audio components that are going to used soon during the recording of our worship services on Fridays.  The job entails learning to operate the camcorder and listening to the recording through a set of headphones to make sure you can hear the sound.  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
Latest Issue of The Friend Available 
The December issue of the Hawaii Conference newsletter The Friend is now available.  To view it online click here.
Youth & Young Adults at General Synod
At General Synod is coming Summer there will be daily conversations about life and faith, theme-based workshops, creative, arts-based projects, and time to process what’s going on in the main sessions of General Synod.  Those opportunities and more await youth and young adults who register for the United Church of Christ’s 33rd biennial General Synod, to be held online July 11-18, 2021.  All this and, a t-shirt design contest is underway!  To find out more click here.
Christmas Message
from the UCC Officers
2020 is a year that most of us hope we can just through with our health intact. Many Christmas traditions will have to be bypassed due to this year of pandemic. Yet, Christmas is still Holy, still magical, pandemic or not. It is the season of receiving the Christ child. It is the season of hope. The officers of the United Church of Christ have recorded this special Christmas message for you that they hope will put some joy and perspective into this particular Holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, from the United Church of Christ!
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
5:00pm December 24th
On Thursday December 24th we will have our annual Christmas Eve Service on Zoom at 5:00pm.  Join us for a time of singing, listening, prayer, and solace.  If you would like to participate in this year's Christmas Eve Service or provide a gift of music please contact Pastor Chris at   We are in need of liturgy readers for this evening!

So far we have the following gifts of music as part of our worship service that evening:
Richard & Bonnie Alger:  Christmas medley of
O Tannenbaum, Mele Kalikimaka, and Angels We Have Heard on High.
Joanne Pocsidio:  In the Bleak Midwinter
Phoebe Wyatt:  Christmas Poem
Michael Springer:  Silent Night

Join Us On Zoom:

Meeting ID: 825 9212 9814
Passcode: 558642
By Phone: 1-253-215-8782
UCC Blue Christmas Service
December 17th 9:30am-10:30am HST
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year—or is it? For many, it echoes old griefs and illuminates the new. When so many things have changed this year, we’ve lost people important to us, and so many hold their hardest parts in isolation, This Christmas will be so difficult for so many people. Blue Christmas is a service that holds the tension of the grief and difficulty of the season for many, in tension and awareness of the societal messages that Christmas is a season of ONLY JOY—at the expense of all other feelings and circumstances. Jesus’ mother Mary will be our guide for this journey as she reminds us of God’s presence in the midst of our suffering. Join us for a worship service “Mary’s Blue Christmas” hosted by the National Setting’s Thursday’s for the Soul in partnership with the Overdose and Drug Use Ministries as well as the UCC Mental Health Network.  To join register here.
Children's Christmas Pageant
This year Old South Church in Boston's had Children's Christmas Pageant on Sunday, December 13, 2020 and shared it with the wider United Church of Christ family.
The Christmas Fund for
Veterans of the Cross
and Emergency Fund

Special Offering, collected on Sunday December 20, 2020

The Christmas Fund has been caring for active and retired clergy and lay employees of the United Church of Christ for over 100 years, providing emergency grants, supplementation of small annuities and health premiums, and Christmas "Thank You" gift checks each December to our lower-income retirees.  Over the past nine months, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the emergency financial needs of many who serve the church have increased dramatically.  In such a time as this, the need for the Christmas Fund is more urgent than ever.  United Church of Christ congregations and members have blessed the Christmas Fund with their generosity for many years.  This year, your care and compassion will be especially appreciated by those servants of the church who are facing a time of need.  Thank you!
Faith Based Articles Worth Reading
Giving While We Are Apart
We offer four 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.
Sunday December 20th - Church Council Meeting at 9:00am via Zoom
Sunday December 20th - Fourth Sunday of Advent & UCC Christmas Fund Offering
Thursday December 24th - Christmas Eve Candlelight Service 5:00pm via Zoom
Friday December 25th - Christmas Day - Church Office Closed
Thursday December 31st - New Year's Eve
Friday January 1st - New Year's Day - Church Office Closed
Wed. January 6th-10th - Pastor Chris attending NGLI Conference
Mon. January 11th-24th - Pastor Chris is on vacation
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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