Radical Hospitality and the Aloha Spirit

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March 2014 A Monthly Newsletter from CB&LF

Radical Hospitality and the Aloha Spirit
The Rev. Dr. Patrick Duggan
Executive Director, Church Building & Loan Fund

Welcome CBLF My recent visit to Hawaii taught me something about radical hospitality.

Perhaps it was the view of Diamond Head Mountain from the beach outside our hotel in Waikiki, completely hidden in the dark of night yet green, majestic, and alluring during the day.

Or perhaps it was the tiny United Church of Christ church on the bluff in Maui, with its oddly out-of-place New England style and its amazing view of the Pacific Ocean on three sides.

Certainly it was the "aloha" spirit with a warm embrace by the people of the churches we met; the Samoan people of Kanana Fou Church who embraced us and adorned us with flowery leis; the Maui Marshallese congregation that celebrated our visit with the dancing and singing of the youth; and, the 30+ leaders of UCC congregations who participated in the Saturday workshop on church building projects (at a gathering of almost 200 church leaders from all throughout the Hawaii Conference).

  Yes, it was a pleasant 80 degrees each day.  And indeed, church leaders with building ideas are always nice to the people who can help with financing!  But surely, that was beside the point (well, maybe not entirely). What I learned in my recent six days there, is that the Hawaii Conference, in its remarkable diversity, is a powerful witness to the extravagant welcome of the United Church of Christ.

All of the Mainline challenges of our day are present in the churches of Hawaii. There are churches that are struggling to survive or straining to cope with the 21st century forces of social and economic transformation. Some pundits, politicians, and social commentators argue that diversity, economic uncertainty, and societal upheaval are forces of destruction in American society.  Yet, Hawaii is home to a number of vibrant, growing UCC congregations that are proud of the history of our progressive tradition, that reflect the range of stances on the important issues of today’s UCC, and face the future with the hope and expectation that God is still speaking.  Hawaii is a shining example that a dynamic church life is possible even in our times.  And perhaps an extravagant welcome is exactly what these times call for.

Hawaii, this place of islands that people call "paradise" is a cultural crossroads where East meets West, and race, ethnicity, and language from every continent can be found.  With over 130 congregations and 20,000 members, the United Church of Christ in Hawaii exemplifies our identity as a united and uniting church, teaching us that "no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here" is far more than a good slogan.  The "aloha" spirit, unconditional love, or what we UCCers like to call "radical hospitality," is not just a nice thing.  For the United Church of Christ, it is the main thing.

Patrick Duggan Stillspeaking Weekly Author The Rev. Dr. Patrick G. Duggan is a local UCC church pastor and serves as Executive Director of the United Church of Christ Church Building and Loan Fund (CB&LF). CB&LF provides financing and technical assistance for church building projects to new and renewing churches (several in Hawaii). Church leaders enlisted into the Partners in Building program learn how to prepare for church building projects in the near future.

Kanana Fou 120x90 CB&LF and Kanana Fou UCC
On Sunday February 23rd, CB&LF Executive Director Patrick Duggan, Associate Director Sheila Kinzer, and Capital Fundraising Executive Priscilla Bizer were special guests for worship at Kanana Fou United Church of Christ in Waipahu, Hawaii.  Celebrating the assistance of the national setting in the growth of the church, Elder Falelua Lafitaga preached on grace, giving and God’s abundance.

Following worship, Elder Lafitaga led us on a tour of the $1.57 million church fellowship hall, now under construction. When it is completed this spring, this building will be Kanana Fou’s fourth successful project financed by CB&LF

Featured CB&LF Service: Gifted Capital Campaign Service
CB&LF now offers Gifted Capital Campaign Services. Instead of a 12% fee, congregations can make a gift of 10% of their annual giving in exchange for capital campaign services. For example, a church with tithes and offerings of $100,000 in the year prior to the capital campaign would make a $10,000 gift designated as follows:

  • $3,000 (or 30%) to CB&LF
  • $3,500 (or 35%) to Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM), and
  • $3,500 (or 35%) to any UCC or other worthy cause

Click here for a no cost, no obligation meeting to learn how Capital Campaign Services can help your church raise dollars for your future plans.

CB&LF Current Rates & Terms - March 2014
Rates subject to change without notice

Building Purchase (20% down, 4.0% fixed, 20-30 years)
Site-Purchase (30% down, 4.5% fixed, 20-30 years)
Construction (30% down, 4.5% fixed, 20-30 years)
Refinance (negotiable)
Church Building Disaster Recovery Program (special rates & terms)
Church Building Energy and Environmental Program (up to $100K, 4.25% - 5.375%, 5-7 years)

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