Local Religion/In Brief

Backpack blessing on Sunday

Makawao Union Church will hold its annual “Blessing of the Backpacks” during its 10:30 a.m. Sunday worship service, according to an announcement.

The blessing marks the beginning of the new school year and reminds the church’s children and youth that “they continue their journey in education with God’s care and our support,” the announcement said.

Students are asked to bring their backpacks or book bags for a blessing. Also, the church will honor teachers, honoring their ministry in educating young people.

Makawao Union is an interdenominational community church located at 1445 Baldwin Ave. For more information, call 579-9261.


New class cycle to begin

Transformation School of Ministries is starting its third cycle of classes in August.

The classes will be taught by the Rev. John Youell of Oklahoma City.

The class is “Spiritual Disciplines of a Leader.” Youell will share the principles of hearing God, meditation, prayer journaling and more.

Classes will be held 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Aug. 6 and 7 and 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Aug. 9. Tuition for an associate’s degree is $150 per quarter and $50 per quarter for students auditing the course. The cost for graduate students is $30 per quarter.

The classes will be held at 432 Waiehu Beach Road. For information, call 244-1286.


* The Religion page is published every Friday. This page welcomes news releases and announcements from churches and religious organizations in Maui County that wish to publicize guest speakers, special events and programs, and news items. The deadline for submitting releases is 10 a.m. Tuesday in order to be considered for publication the following Friday.

To submit material, go to The Maui News Web site at Look for Local News in the left margin, click on Submit News: Virtual Newsroom, then the Religion link. For information, call 242-6343 or send e-mail to

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Local Religion / In Brief

Vacation Bible School scheduled

Grace Baptist Church will be holding Vacation Bible School from 9 a.m. to noon July 21 to 25.

There will be a closing program at 7 p.m. July 25.

The theme of the Bible school will be a trip to “Arrow Island” with Bible stories, puppets, songs, crafts and snacks.

The program is for youths ages 4 to high school.

Grace Baptist Church is located at 164 Fleming Road in Lahaina. For a free ride or more information, call 661-4017 or 870-1494.


Missionaries will discuss their work

Missionaries Andy and Junko Meeko from World Ventures in Japan, and formerly of Maui, will give a public presentation at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at Pookela Church.

The church’s regular Sunday service, at 9 a.m., and a free lunch will precede the Meekos’ talk.

Andy Meeko’s focus is on helping people in Japan with depression and other ailments as they rebuild from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit that country in 2011. He and wife Junko also are teaching people to raise food using aquaponics.

The couple has two daughters and an adult son.

Pookela Church is located at 200 Olinda Road in Makawao.

Local Religion / In Brief

‘Made In Hope’ founder to speak at Wailuku church

Michelle Tolentino of Manila will be speaking at Wailuku Door of Faith Church at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Tolentino was a Compassion International child, who went from living in the slums of Manila to graduating from Moody Bible Institute with a master’s degree. After graduating from the institute, Tolentino returned to her childhood neighborhood to give other children hope.

She has founded the ministry, “Made In Hope,” that helps young girls recover from abuse and is helping to establish a similar program in Colombia.

Tolentino also has been a featured speaker at the annual Hawaiian Island Ministries Conference.

For more information, call 244-1286.


Free lecture on resolving problems offered July 24

The Rev. Marvin Harada of Orange County Buddhist Temple in California will discuss “Resolving Life’s Problems through Buddhism” from 6 to 8:30 p.m. July 24 at Kahului Hongwanji Mission.

The lecture is free and part of the Buddhist Study Center of Hawaii’s Summer Session 2014 – Maui Session.

Through the Dharma or teachings, Buddhists over many centuries have been able to transcend and be liberated from life’s problems, a news release said. Harada will explore how the ordinary problems of life, both big and small, can be overcome through Buddhism.

Kahului Hongwanji Mission is located at 291 S. Puunene Ave. For more information, call 871-4732.


Key figure in South African apartheid fight to lead services

The Rev. Allan Boesak, a key figure in the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa, will be the guest preacher at Keawala’i Congregational Church in Makena for four Sundays this month, beginning Sunday, the Board of Deacons of the church said.

He will speak at the 7:30 and 10 a.m. worship services.

Boesak is recognized as a humanitarian involved in global struggles for human rights; social, economic and ecological justice; and gender and sexual justice, a news release said. He is an ordained minister with a doctoral degree in theology from the Protestant Theological University in Kampen, the Netherlands.

He is the author of 17 books and has been honored wth the Robert Kennedy Human Rights Award, Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Award and the King Hintsa Bravery Award from the Royal Xhosa House.

He, his wife, Elna, and daughter, Andrea, are being hosted by the deacons of the church, located at 5300 Makena Road.

For more information, call 879-5557.