1. Where do I park?
We have a spacious parking lot. Feel free to park anywhere. And don’t worry about the white lines … we haven’t seen them for a while! Also, on major church holidays, like Christmas Eve and Easter, we have overflow parking in the grass lawn, next to the parking lot.
2. What should I wear?
We have no dress code. It’s Hawaii! Many people wear comfortable aloha attire – shorts or skirts, slippers or sandals, and a comfortable shirt or blouse. Rarely, do we see suits, ties and long-sleeve shirts. Nor Sunday go-to-meetin’ dresses. Haven’t seen a pill-box hat in years. So, whatever makes you feel comfortable in worship is fine by us.
3. Is it “air-conditioned”?
Well, sorta. We have some great ceiling fans that do a good job. On top of that, we have walls that roll back, letting the trade winds, sunshine and the occasional giant moth and bird in. You won’t find “walls” like ours on the mainland! This is what we call real air-conditioning.
4. How are guest greeted/identified?
Warmly, but not over-warmly. Name tags and shell lei are offered at our guest table, along with some information about our congregation. You can wear them or not. If you would like to leave your name and contact information so that the pastor can contact you, you may. But you don’t have to.
If you don’t want anyone to know who you are, we’re good with that, too. During the service we DON’T make you stand up, introduce yourself and tell us where you’re from. For some people that’s just too much and we don’t want to embarrass or overwhelm you. People, including the pastor, will probably greet you personally before, during and after the service – most greet you quite modestly.
5. What time is worship?
Worship services are at 7:00a.m. and 10:45a.m. Holy Communion is celebrated at both services.
The 7:00a.m. service is a Contemplative Communion Service; the liturgy is abbreviated, accompanied by intervals of silence for quiet reflection; there is no singing at this service.
The 10:45a.m. service is a more traditional-contemporary blend of Lutheran worship … as one person once put it: “It’s an ancient ritual of worship in a contemporary context.” There’s plenty of congregational singing and even a little chanting of the psalms at this service.
In between, our pastor zips down to Joy of Christ Lutheran Church (www.joyofchristhawaii.org) for a 9:00a.m. traditional-contemporary service of Holy Communion, where there is also plenty of great congregational singing. You are most welcome to join us for worship at our partner congregation!
6. What if I’m late?
“No worries!” as we say in Hawaii. With walls that roll back, it’s easy to slide into worship a few minutes late, without anyone noticing. Happens all the time. Sometimes even the pastor is late (especially if he gets to talking too much after the previous service has ended – or if he gets caught in traffic!)
7. Where should I sit?
Anywhere you want! There are no “reserved” seats. If you’re a back-bencher type and the back seats are all taken (it is a Lutheran church, after all!), the ushers will be glad to set out a few chairs for you. That’s the beauty of moveable chairs – you can literally sit anywhere you want.
8. What should I expect in worship?
Singing, scripture reading, preaching, keiki stories, prayer, communion, some silence and reflection, and a time for sharing peace and aloha. Occasionally, a baptism, farewell and godspeed to departing members, reception of new members and a liturgy of healing happen. And then, there’s our handbell choir! Oh, and the puppet group – Powered By Jesus! We love our choir and puppeteers!
We stand up and sit down in about the same places that Episcopalians and Catholics do, but with a casual Protestant flavor. So, if you’re into what is often called High Church, Low Church or No Church, there’s something for everyone!
9. Can I take communion?
Of course! E kipa mai, e komo mai – All are welcome! There is wheat bread or gluten-free wafers; wine for drinking or wine and grape juice for intincting (an ancient Christian ritual where communicants dip the bread into the wine or grape juice before eating it). Whether you are confident in your faith, doubting your faith or just plain searching for faith, we all need to eat, both physically and spiritually. Like Jesus did, so do we – we feed anyone who is hungry.
10. What if I have kids with me?
Great! Jesus said, “Bring on the kids and forbid them not!” What is a congregation without children? We try to have a Keiki (Kid’s) Story on a regular basis with the pastor, right before the sermon. There is a nursery provided during the 10:45 service if you, as parents, need a break. The rest of us consider energetic keiki as a joy and delight from God.
11. Do I need to put money in the offering?
No, not at all. This is your first visit with us. Worship is on the house. So, is the second, third and fourth visit – unless you have personally decided otherwise. We don’t decide for you. Arm-twisting and guilt have no place on our community of faith, and that especially includes making an offering.
12. How will I know what to do during worship?
The pastor or assisting minister will usually indicate when to stand or sit or most anything else. Just keep an eye open and an ear up! Ushers will indicate when you can come forward for communion. As for anything else, people are generally pretty helpful in a friendly unobtrusive sort of way.
13. How do I become a member?
There is a place on our welcome card for you to indicate what your needs and wishes are. You can check boxes, write a short note to the pastor and/or leave contact information. As you please, of course.
14. Will someone knock on my door?
Only with cookies in hand. And only if you ask them to. If you do leave some contact info, we send out cards or letters of greeting with a short personal greeting from the pastor. Usually the office manager and pastor are the only ones who see your info. The pastor will be happy to shoot you an email or text message and/or call you. Sometimes. When. You. Ask.
15. Anything else?
Feel free to contact us at 808.623.9229 if you have any further questions. We would be happy to respond.
You can also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
We hope this has helped.
Let us know!