Aloha and Mahalo! Hello and gratitude from Hawai’i! What an amazing Western Regional Youth Event (WRYE) we attended last week in Honolulu. Seven of our youth (and 2 chaperones) joined over 400 participants from the western states of the UCC. Despite sun-burn and sleep-deprivation, we had a marvelous time!
Each day of the conference, we gathered in the University of Hawaii ballroom to hear inspiring speakers, celebrate youth-lead worship, and learn traditional music and dance.
Tuesday along with the 65 participants from the Pacific Northwest Conference of the UCC, we helped to lead a worship service around the theme of “Pacific Northwest Rain Storms” and how to navigate the storms in our lives. Here the youth are leading the sing-a-long.
Wednesday was our morning of service-learning. A few of us were sent to a Taro Farm. Out in the distance, knee deep in mud, the youth are pulling weeds out of the taro patches. Taro plays a much larger role in Hawaiian agricultural society beyond dietary staple, as it has economic, political and spiritual significance.
Thursday, we spent the day at the Polynesian Cultural Center on the North Shore, a living museum of island history and culture. The Tonga Fire Dancers were the biggest hit at the Luau.
Friday we finally had some time to explore Honolulu and Wakiki beach. We made a stop at Leonard’s, a famous bakery known for malasadas (donut-like delights).
We are so grateful for our congregation’s support of our youth and the connections they were able to make meeting up with other UCC youth!
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