Lighting the Way to Justice
In our Spring green "Boldly Growing" T-shirts, Unitarian Universalists made a great showing at the Marriage Equality "Lighting the Way to Justice" Vigil on Tuesday, 3/26/13. We were witnessing the historic occasion of the Supreme Court hearing on Prop. 8 in California and the Defense of Marriage Act and the turn of the tide of public opinion now favoring it. We gathered at Iolani Palace for an inspiring talk by Rev. Jonipher, followed by a march through downtown Honolulu with our signs held high, walking by each of the courthouses and the Federal Building until we returned to the Palace for a closing talk by Dr. Saleem Ahmed.
Celebrating the Life of Dr. King
MLK, Jr. Day was a good day for First Unitarian Church of Honolulu! We had between 45-50 strollers, rollers, and balcony wavers show up wearing our boldly growing green T-shirts for the first time. Dr. King would be proud of us, and no doubt our bold affirmation of the inherent worth and dignity of every person and of a world community of peace, liberty, and justice for all was clearly visible from neighboring galaxies. As Kumu Glen Kila says, "E nunulu ika lani," "Let your work resonate through the heavens!"
Rev. Jonipher interviewed on Hawaii Public Radio
Lay Minister Lisa Wong Jacobs interviewed on 'Olelo
The Interfaith Alliance Hawai'i Advisory Board
On May 18, 2012, The Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kupono Kwong officially became an Advisory Board Member of the Interfaith Alliance of Hawai'i (TIAH). This multi-faith group has been on the leading edge of progressive spirituality and has been countering religious extremism in Hawaii for almost a decade. It has championed issues such as Civil Unions, reproductive justice, and the separation of Church and State. Participants range from Quaker to Humanist, Episcopal to Buddhist.
Honored by Governor Abercrombie
On April 3, 2012, Governor Abercrombie and twelve clergy stood in front of the great seal of the State of Hawaii--a seal that reminded us of what pōno, or right relationship means. It doesn't mean self-righteousness, as Governor Neil A. Abercrombie pointed out, but that there is justice and equality throughout the land. These 12 disciples of justice who were Christian and Jewish, Buddhist and Unitarian Universalist, were gathered to take a picture with the Governor to represent the historic struggle for marriage equality that drew national attention during the mid 1990s as the world focused its attention on whether or not aloha extended to all. Sadly, because of the religious influences that valued dogma and teachings more than 'ohana and a genuine sense of family, a restrictive constitutional amendment was passed over a decade ago. Civil Unions, though not an equal substitute for marriage, was introduced to afford some rights to protect LGBT families. It was Gov. Abercrombie who passed it and signed it into law. I was proud to stand with the Governor and even prouder to stand on the shoulders of other people of faith and people of courage and goodwill who fought with us over the years. While the struggle may be far from pau, we are hopeful that history once again will be on the side of true aloha and pono, honoring all 'ohana throughout our 'āina.
Installation of the Reverend Dr. Jonipher Kūpono Kwong
Ordination of Deborah Bond-Upson
First Ordination in 59 years at First Unitarian Church of Honolulu