POSTED: Saturday, May 02, 2009


May is a month of music for various Oahu churches

Great music is on the menu for May as several churches plan springtime concerts.

» Tomorrow, 5:30 p.m., St. Andrew's Cathedral, Queen Emma Square. The cathedral choir will perform music for the Easter season, including “;Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem,”; by Charles Villiers Stanford. The monthly Choral Evensong is free, but offerings are accepted.

» Tomorrow, 7:30 p.m., Central Union Church, 1660 S. Beretania St. Works by local composers John Starr Alexander and John McCreary will be featured in the Spring Oratorio concert. Nola Nahulu will direct the Oratorio Choir and Chamber Ensemble, in which singers from Kawaiaha'o Church, Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus, Windward Choral Society and the community will join the Central Union Chancel Choir. Donations will be accepted.

» May 17, 4 p.m., Lutheran Church of Honolulu, 1730 Punahou St. Two choirs, two orchestras and two organists will perform music by Johann Sebastian Bach in the sixth concert of the “;Bach Pilgrimage”; series. This session focuses on works from his first year at Leipzig, 1723. Tickets: $20 general admission, $15 seniors, $12 full-time students. Free parking at 1817 Poki St. Call 941-2566 for information.


Sacred Hearts celebrates contributions of women

A celebration of 150 years of service in Hawaii schools and parishes by women in the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary will begin with a 3 p.m. Mass tomorrow at Our Lady of Peace Cathedral.

Hawaii Bishop Larry Silva will preside at the service, which will be followed by a reception in the parish hall on Fort Street Mall.

Hundreds of island women joined the Catholic religious order after the first 10 missionary nuns arrived on May 4, 1859, after a long ship's journey from France.

They were members of the same religious organization that sent the first Catholic priests to Hawaii in 1827. The best known of the Sacred Hearts missionaries was Father Damien DeVeuster, who served leprosy patients at Kalaupapa in the 19th century.

Sacred Hearts sisters have taught at Catholic schools on the major islands. They founded Sacred Hearts Academy, a school for girls in Kaimuki which is now operated by lay people on the board of directors and administrative staff.

The number of members in the religious community has dwindled to about 30 women.



Methodist council rules against same-sex unions

DENVER » United Methodist clergy cannot perform same-sex marriages or gay civil unions, even if their regional church district supports the idea, the denomination's high court ruled.

The Judicial Council said that a church district, or annual conference, cannot “;negate, ignore or violate”; churchwide discipline, even if it disagrees with the policy.

Last year the top church legislative body, or General Conference, voted to retain its ban on same-sex marriages and bar clergy from performing the ceremonies or consecrating same-gender unions in the church. Pastors who violate the discipline risk losing their clergy credentials.

The council decision, released Monday after a court meeting in Denver, came in the case of two regional Methodist groups that had issued resolutions supporting clergy who perform same-gender marriages.

The California-Nevada Annual Conference had backed retired pastors who perform the ceremonies. The California-Pacific Conference had recognized “;the pastoral need and prophetic authority of our clergy and congregations to offer the ministry of marriage ceremonies for same-gender couples.”;

The state Supreme Court in California had approved gay marriage last year, but voters reinstated a ban on same-gender marriage in November through the Proposition 8 ballot measure.


Prisoner fails to get name legally changed to 'Sinner'

LINCOLN, Neb. » A judge has rejected a request from a prison inmate who, for religious reasons, sought to change his name to “;Sinner Lawrence Bilskirnir.”;

Jonathan L. Thomas cited his Norse religion in seeking the new name, saying he “;is a heathen and Thor is his 'High God.'”;

But Lancaster County District Judge Steve Burns said Thomas' reasons do not satisfy the legal requirements. Government agencies need to closely track Thomas because of his criminal record and because there are three child-support cases against him, Burns said.

In his ruling, Burns wrote, “;Simply because a person is a Christian, a Jew or a Muslim, they do not change their name to Moses.”;