Finally Found

I moved to the island of Maui from the Big Island of Hawai’i two years ago. I think one of the things I missed the most was my church. Kuhio Chapel is located in the Hawaiian Homesteads and has a large congregation of mostly those that live in the area. It was my idea of what a Hawaiian church should be. Kahu Brian gave sermons from the heart. He never used notes as he knew and lived his material.

On Maui I felt I needed a church again. I first went to Keawela’i. It’s a huge church with a huge congregation. However, most of those there were visitors and there was no feeling of local camaraderie. Although it is purported to be a Hawaiian church, it didn’t, to me, seem to be very Hawaiian. It is located in Makena which is pretty long hike from Kula. Later I went to Keolahou in Kihei. Again, quite a drive but a sweet church. There was a nice feel to it, lots of opportunity to play my ukulele. However, the kahu fractured the Hawaiian language. It too was quite a drive and when my days off changed and I now work on Sunday afternoon, it was difficult to drive all the way there, then home again to get ready for work and then drive down the mountain again.

I tried Ka’ahumanu, but the congregation was terribly small. I do so enjoy going to Ka’ahumanu for the monthly Picnic for Poki which is a Hawaiian musical series on the grounds under the Monkeypod tree. I heard there was a Hawaiian church in Waiehu (another drive) and another very small congregation–five including myself. However, I did enjoy Kahu Roy. He also spoke from the heart. However, it didn’t feel like a community and was another long drive.

I was then told of a Hawaiian church in Paia. Paia is a small Hippie/New Age town right down the mountain from where I live. I would have never thought of Paia when looking for a Hawaiian church. But, when I pulled into the parking lot, it reminded me so much of Kuhio Chapel. It’s a cozy church with an active congregation of about 35. There is a piano and ukulele. The Lord’s Prayer is in Hawaiian, the Doxology is in Hawaiian, the hymns are in Hawaiian. I felt so at home. Their Kahu passed away a couple of years ago so they have an interim kahu–Kahu Roy!  He is fluent in Hawaiian. I felt so comfortable singing (well making a joyful noise). I was moved to tears, so, I think I’ve finally found my Maui church.

Paia Hawaiian Church
Paia Hawaiian Church

6 thoughts on “Finally Found

  1. Sharon Martin

    I am glad you found your “home” in your new church. I know how hard it is to finally find a church that really speaks to your heart. In Florida there are many mega church’s. Being raised catholic, it was hard to find a place that made me feel welcome. I finally did, in a Baptist church! A a mega one at that! I joined a women’s Bible class and go to the services. It feels like home to me, even though there are 6,000 members in the church. It has to do with the Pastor. I love our Pastor, David Uth. He really makes everyone feel special. Glad to hear your good news!

    1. Thanks Sharon. It’s been a long time coming. I agree the pastor is the one who sets the tone of the church. I tend to like smaller churches. Maybe that’s why Keawala’i felt so impersonal. It’s really big!

  2. So happy to hear you found a church to call home. Looks like a great building for only 35 members. We lived in S FL for 7 years and watched internet churches including our home church in Tucson. So now being back in Tucson, it’s nice to be able to worship “in person.”

    1. Aloha Mary, I was told there are a lot more members, but 35 are really active. It’s a little bigger than my church in Keaukaha. We only held about 75 but it was packed every Sunday. But, this church has the same “feeling”.

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