Religion Briefs
Saturday, June 9, 2001

Kamehameha's legacy honored in yearly service

The weekend celebration of Kamehameha's legacy did not end with the parade today.

The Big Island king who united the islands will be memorialized at Kawaiahao Church tomorrow in the church's tradition of Alii Sunday.

The Royal Order of Kamehameha will lead more than a dozen Hawaiian organizations into the church in a reprise of the parade. Members of the organization will present a short program at the beginning of the 10:30 a.m. service.

Unlike the other Hawaiian royalty who became members of the church and are remembered on their birth dates, Kamehameha died before Christian missionaries arrived in Hawaii in 1820. He is remembered "because of the vision and leadership he had in leading a Stone Age culture through the beginnings of great social, economic and cultural change," said church historian Malia Ka'ai. "Kamehameha's ability to merge the Hawaiian traditions and those of the Western world and society helped synthesize Hawaii's ability to move into the future."

United Church of Christ to hold annual meeting

Delegates from the 120 congregations of the United Church of Christ will be discussing changes in the organization and "missional strategy" of the denomination's Hawaii conference at the annual meeting beginning next weekend.

More than 200 people are expected to attend the week-long Aha Pae'aina at Nuuanu Congregational Church which begins June 17 with meetings of the Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches, the Women's Board of Missions and other branches of the conference.

The Rev. Tony Robinson, formerly of Church of the Crossroads and now pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church in Seattle, will speak at the opening session of the Aha Makua (business meeting) at 7 p.m. June 20. Ana Gobledale of the denomination's national Wider Church Ministries office will also speak at the conference, which will continue through June 23. The sessions are open to observers.

Church members are midway into a five-year New Creation Initiative, which conference chairman the Rev. Wayne Ibara described as "an organizational change process with a theological heart."

Korean War POW priest memorialized

PILSEN, Kan.--Associated Press >> A priest from Kansas who died while ministering to soldiers in a Korean prisoner of war camp has been memorialized with a life-size statue.

The dedication at St. John Nepomucene Church is part of an effort by the Wichita Roman Catholic Diocese and the Archdiocese for Military Services to have the Rev. Emil J. Kapaun canonized. The statue depicts Kapaun helping a soldier.

"There has to be a groundswell of interest, a grass-roots attraction for what he stood for," said Archbishop Edwin O'Brien of the Archdiocese for Military Services in Washington, D.C., which provides pastoral services for military personnel and others.

Kapaun was a Pilsen native and the most highly decorated chaplain in the military, receiving the Bronze Star and other honors.

After being taken as a prisoner of war in 1950, Kapaun nursed the sick and wounded until he developed a blood clot in his leg. He died May 23, 1951.


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