Letters, Notes & Emails


We always enjoy going to church when we are in Maui. We look forward to future visits to Maui and to your wonderful church. We send our blessings and wished for a better world in the future.

Doug & Jackie Pawson
British Columbia, Canada


Thank you for the kind note. I hope to get back to visit in February. Miss being there and think of that dear church in Makena. Take care and stay safe.

Nancy Pinkerton
Seattle, Washington


How delightful to receive a post card from the Deacons. We appreciate being remembered a 5+ hour flight away on the mainland. Thank you so much for our Maui ‘ohana.

Tina & Bob Kirk
Belfair, Washington

Missing you

Wishing we could visit you in person. We were married there 25+ years ago and been back many times since. Stay safe and well until we meet again and thank you for your virtual services.

Carol Relihan
Houston, Texas


Grateful for the presence of Christ—its constancy and never failing. A favorite quote of mine is, “Life need not be easy to be joyful. Joy is not the absence of trou-ble, but the presence of Christ.” (Wilson Vanderhoven)

Tina & Bob Kirk
Belfair, Washington


I am enjoying your Sunday Services. Thank you for your effort! Thanks to Ellen for the wonderful music.

Sharon Pope
Port Moody, Canada


Weʼve come to Keawalaʻi consistently since 2011 . . . [to] a church that exhibits aloha in its greatest sense. Weʼve felt welcomed and have considered it our home-away-from-home church.

Drew & Amelia Snider
Victoria, British Columbia
January 26, 2020

I just wanted to say thank you

I think 2010 was when I met someone at the Pacific Whale Day festival. We started talking about music (of course!) and then on to other topics. She told me about [Keawalaʻi] and for the rest of the month that I was on Maui, I attended. I came early to listen to the music and stayed in between services for the same reason. A couple of years later, I was able to come over for another month and repeated the process. Since that time, I . . . often listen to the music (of course I purchased the CD). There was never any question of being welcomed - from day one I felt at home and at peace in your church. It truly is a place of God.

Nancy Wagner
January 22, 2020

Fresh start - Happy New Year!

Donʼt know when we will be back on Maui but when we are, we will visit a church service. Itʼs a good life!

Garland & Patti Thurman
Lone Tree, Colorado
January 20, 2020

I am a visitor

I visit a friend here once year. My highlight is always visiting here [at Keawalaʻi]. Hugs!

Susie Trees
Frankfort, Indiana
January 19, 2020


I’ve always felt “at home” when we visit your beautiful church and hear the service.

Richard & Irma Temple
Owensboro, Kentucky
January 2, 2020

From California

Thank you so much for your newsletter. My family hopes once more to come to Maui and our wonderful church.

Juliet Hooker
Indian Wells, California
January 2, 2020


Since we first attended in 1995, Keawala‘i has been a most special place for us. Over the years, our family has been privileged to participate with the church family in annual lū‘au, Christmas Candlelight Service, Easter Service, annual golf tournament, Maui Classical Music Festival and many other memorable events. In 2002, our granddaughter Hallie Pearl Leimomi Gould was baptized. On May 6, 2006 family members joined us at the church for the marriage of our daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Tony Gould. In February 2008, our grandson Jack Ray Makamae Gould was baptized in the warm waters of Mākena.

John & Lucky Hemphill
Studio City, California
December 20, 2019

From Tennessee

On July 28, 2011 my wife and I had the pleasure of being married in the beautiful Keawala‘i Congregational Church. We have been back over the years several times and have always attended your services. We will be back in the future and we will definitely visit the church.

Jeff & Pamela Humber
Memphis, Tennessee
December 10, 2019

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Time keeps on passing by. Our memories are still full of great times and people. Every time we visit Maui, we enjoy everything. So many people feel the same, so I think that there must be something special everyone can appreciate in Maui and at Keawalaʻi Church. We hope that everyone has a happy and joyous Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Colin, Ikumi & Ryusei Rothrock
Fort Lee, New Jersey
December 8, 2019

Colorado Rocky Mountain

Back in Colorado. Snow on the ground, roads clear, blue sky/sunshine. I enjoyed church several times when we were in Maui.

Chris Switzer
Estes Park, Colorado
December 3, 2019


We love attending when we are visiting on Maui. The service, people and music are wonderful.

Doug & Jackie Pawson
South Surrey, British Columbia
November 24, 2019


On behalf of board, staff and volunteers of Ebb & Flow Arts, mahalo nui loa for your tremendous support over the years! We have always felt your church to be not just a venue, but a place of compassionate gathering, good cheer and spiri-tual beauty. Our November 15, 2019 concert had good attendance. All were enthralled with the virtuosic artistry of pianist Naomi Niskala. Many were intrigued by the twentieth century program that ranged far and wide.

Robert Pollock, Executive Director
Ebb & Flow Arts, Kula, Maui
November 22, 2019

All the best

As always, when I read the newsletter, I am transported back to the beauty and tranquility of Keawala‘i which I miss very much. I always enjoy reading the news of the church. I am not going to Maui this coming year [but] I know I’ll be back . . . some day as I love it so. I send my . . . warmest re-gards and support for the commitment to share “God’s aloha.”

Brenda Johnston
North Vancouver, British Columbia
November 20, 2019

Wishing you all the best

Jennie and I thoroughly enjoyed the service on November 10, 2019. It was the highlight of our trip and Maui offers serious competition for highlights! Nathalia (Romanchencko) was awesome as well.

Bing (& Jennie) Heckman
Palo Alto, California
November 16, 2019


We so enjoyed your service and your baptism at the beach [on Sunday, November 10, 2019.] Truly wonderful! Many mahalo[s]. Much aloha and all good wishes.

Jennie Heckman
Palo Alto, California
November 16, 2019


Dear all of our Keawalaʻi family: Thank you for the lovely “send off.” We already miss you tremendously. Russ and I will be in [the] Chicago area and then in Portland, Oregon as soon as he gets his prosthesis.

Russ & Leanna Stodd
Chicago, Illinois
October 22, 2019


Sharon really appreciated the “Passing on Ceremony” at church on Sunday [October 13, 2019]. It was moving. Someone gave her a small feather lei that she is going to frame. She and the boys had a good time but were very busy for ten days. Our best regards to everyone.

Sharon & Howard Pearson
Omaha, Nebraska
October 19, 2019


I really miss the church and am sorry that my [choir] CD wore out. I enjoyed playing it on Sunday mornings.

Joyce Lebra
Boulder, Colorado
October 13, 2019

Blessings to your congregation

Our family loved your church . . . We truly felt the love of Jesus. We will definitely be back when we visit Maui again.

Bob & Laura Huffman
Concord, California
September 18, 2019

Yes, God is love

It has been almost five years since my wife Melva and I have been able to journey to Maui and worship with you due to [health issues] . . . you have been in our prayers for a long time. I thank the members of the church for your prayers. Many years ago, I was fortunate enough to purchase several copies of the choirʼs album. I play it often, and rarely a Sunday passes that it does not accompany us at breakfast, as does my sister and her husband in Phoenix for whom I made a copy when [the] originals were no longer available. What a wonderful remembrance of Keawalaʻi Congregational Church. Aloha ke Akua. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Merle & Melva Richman
Amelia Island, Florida
August 19, 2019


This donation is given to honor the May birthdays of my cousins Sandy [Farmer-Wiley] and Jean Walker. Thank you for being their family when the rest of us are far away.

Dee Ann McKinney
Jefferson City, Missouri
August 11, 2019

Returning to Maui

We once again hope to be back in Maui in 2020. At that time, I look forward to attending a service at your church.

Judy Johnson
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
August 2019

Sincerely, Grateful and Thankful

Four thank you letters were received from grant recipients from grants that were provided by the Outreach Committee through the Local Mission Fund of the church. For reasons of privacy and confidentiality, the names have been withheld.

I just wanted to let you know how thankful I am for the assistance I received a few years ago. I would not have pushed through and made progress in my life without your help. I made progress with housing, school and other opportunities that opened up for me with your help.

Name withheld
Kahului, Maui
August 1, 2019

Just a note to say how grateful we (landlord and leasee) are for this rent assistance. I know it eats away at self esteem when a person is in debt and/or living on the street. Aloha.

Name withheld
Kahului, Maui
July 11, 2019

I would like to extend my gratitude to you for assisting me in paying for my program fees here at Mālama Family Recovery Center. This helps me to be able to focus on gaining the tools needed for a sustainable sobriety.

Name withheld
Kahului, Maui
July 3, 2019

I would like to give my full gratitude to you for helping me in my recovery so I may prosper forward in my life that I may get my daughter back and stay sober. Mahalo ke Akua for your financial help for my program fees!

Name withheld
Kahului, Maui
July 3, 2019

With love

My wife and I attended service at your church while on our honeymoon 12 years ago. We were welcomed by all of the congregation. It is one of our many fond memories of our beginning as a new couple.

Kurt & Carolyn Fromme
Union, Kentucky
June 24, 2019


My husband and I were married at the Maui Prince in October 1999. We walked down to worship at your church then and many other times since. We visited there during the week last October on a day trip since the Maui Prince was being torn down. So sad to see but we have wonderful memories of being there and worshiping with you. God’s blessing!

Kathy & Don Shoffner
Colorado Springs, Colorado
June 23, 2019

Much aloha

Both our daughter Courtney and her husband Jon Mackey [were married at Keawalaʻi]. They took great joy [in returning to Maui with their sons] Hutch, 7 years, and John Benjamin (JB), 4 years old during Easter week. Your summer appeal letter came at the perfect time as we had been meaning to send a note. Enclosed is a small contribution towards the church’s summer appeal goal. Happy summer!

Ben & Patti Berry
Kīhei, Maui
June 11, 2019

Best wishes and aloha

For many summers, my parents and I have vacationed in Maui and attended Keawalaʻi Congregational Church. We are not able to get there this summer. We are hopeful that we might get back this winter or possibly even this fall. We have always enjoyed attending your services. In honor of my parents, Rex and Helen Wiant, I would like to offer some financial kōkua to Keawalaʻi [in response to your summer appeal]. Until we meet again.

Leslie Sheridan
Urbandale, Iowa
June 11, 2019


Enclosed please find a donation in response to the “Summer Appeal.” Many fond memories of my 10 winters spent at Keawalaʻi.

Susan Gilbert
Vancouver, Washington
June 10, 2019

Thank you

We so deeply appreciate Keawalai Church's extraordinary generosity and compassion. You all really make a huge difference in the lives of the women, children and families we serve. Mahalo.

Development Coordinator
Malama Family Recovery Center and Aloha House
Kahului, Maui
May 22, 2019

May our paths cross again

Don and I were thrilled to receive the January-February issue of your church newsletter when we returned home to Cincinnati. Your church has a special place in our hearts. There is something in the music and atmosphere that speaks to us in so many ways. We don’t get to Maui often, but since attending your services twice while visiting, we will always make the Keawalaʻi Congregational Church an important stop during our stay on island. We hope to visit Maui again soon and to attend another service at your wonderful church.

Margie & Don Paulsen Cincinnati, Ohio
May 19, 2019

We will return in November.

We have been coming to Maui for many years and always attend your church. The Hawaiian/English way of carrying on your Sun-day service is so unique and pure peace for the soul. We pray that will never change.

Bonnie Williams-Paquette & Don Paquette Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
May 15, 2019

Thank you for the blessings

[I am] a “return” visitor every time [I am] on Maui. Aloha for re-storing my faith with your music.

Diane Vancouver, British Columbia
May 12, 2019

Aloha from Wisconsin

Thank you very much for the newsletters and information on Reneé and Fred. We are saddened to hear about Fred and will miss them so much. Although we are unable to attend the memorial service, we will say a prayer for Fred on the 25th of May. Good blessings to your beautiful church.

Don & Carole Oker Whitewater, Wisconsin
May 11, 2019

Love and blessings

Remembering Keith Campbell and what a loving wonderful island family you all are.

Barbara Campbell & JC Campbell Indian Land, South Carolina
April 23, 2019

Joy at Easter

We think of our Keawalaʻi friends so often! Sending you much aloha as we celebrate Easter and the Risen Christ.

Janet Olson & Lee Ridgeway Carmichael, California
April 19, 2019

Happy Easter to Everyone

We wish we were there for the sunrise service. Love to all our church family.

Nick & Anita George Spruce Grove, Alberta
April 15, 2019

Wishing you a wonderful Easter

We will be thinking of you and all the special Easters we spent at Keawalaʻi Church. We certainly miss all our friends at Keawalaʻi. May the blessing of this Easter be with you all. With love and aloha . . .

Cindy & Dale Edgerle Winter Park, Florida
April 6, 2019

Thank you!

I attended [Keawalaʻi on] March 24th with my friend. [I] loved the service and hope to return some day.

Mary Bew Brigantine, New Jersey
April 5, 2019

Dear Keawala‘i Church

This letter [is] to greatfully thank you for donating the amount you’ve given to help pay my rent at Mālama Family Recovery Center. If there’s any way that I can give back to you, please let me know. God bless you.

This letter was received from a recent recipient of a grant through the Outreach Committee program of the church. For reasons of privacy and confidentiality, the name and location of the recipient is being withheld.
March 2019

Music is important

Attending church on Sunday (March 24, 2019) meant a lot to me. It opened my heart. I enjoyed hearing the choir practice. I thought of my dad and his wonderful voice. [Danette] did a good job. I was pleased that the choir sang a song during the service. Of course, the singing during the offering was a surprise - the grandson [and his grandfather] made the difference. Not a dry eye in the sanctuary.

Chris Switzer Estes Park, Colorado
March 26, 2019

Blessings to all

Thank you for the blessing [of the] obituaries in the newsletter. Most of the members were my personal friends at church. I knew Brenda Albright for about 30 years, having served on a committee together at a church in Pleasanton, California. Calvin and I became friends when he brought Kiko back from their morning walk. We had great conversations. I knew Fred and Dixie from [being the greeter] and at cof-fee hour. [Please] continue the obituaries because many members do not know the interesting background of our great members.

Judy Fox Lexington, Massachusetts
March 15, 2019


We have been visiting for many years and always feel blessed to join you in worship.

Steve & Janice Spencer Centennial, Colorado
February 10, 2019

From Ohio

We visited your church 13 years ago and wanted to attend again on this trip to Maui.

Don & Margie Paulsen Cincinnati, Ohio
February 10, 2019

Aloha and God bless!

A card was received from recipients of a recent Outreach Committee grant. For reasons of privacy and confidentiality, the names and location of the recipients are being withheld.

Thank you so much. It’s so nice to have someone to help when you really need it. Mahalo for the help with rent. I knew God would provide for our family. Thankfully there are people on this planet like you!

February 8, 2019


I have such fond memories of our winters spent there [on Maui] from 2000 to 2009. I enioy the newsletters and thank you for sending them.

Susan Gilbert Vancouver, Washington
December 26, 2018

Greetings Keawala‘i Friends

The Bauman ‘ohana continues to support the work of the Outreach Committee with an annual Christmas gift.

We appreciate the efforts of the Outreach [Committee] in locating and providing support for those on Maui who face struggles that are beyond their means. We believe your work makes a difference. Best wishes for a joyous Christmas sea-son and New Year.

Terry, Stu & Elliot Bauman Mission Hills, Kansas
December 17, 2018

With Christian love

Thank you for all the work you do through our Lord. May he bless your richly.

Ricky & Lori Benson Honokaʻa, Hawaiʻi
December 3, 2018

With our warmest aloha

We remember fondly the beauty, the historical footprints left by kūpuna, and the peace of lovely Keawalaʻi. May all be blessed this holiday season.

Elise & Allen Teagle Walnut Creek, California
December 2018

From Oʻahu

Best wishes for a joyous Christmas and New Year.

Dan & Judy White Kapolei, Oʻahu
November 28, 2018

With aloha

Mele Kalikimaka to everyone at Keawalaʻi Congregational Church. E hoʻomaikaʻi mai ke Akua iā kākou.

Richard & Matti Christensen Kahului, Maui
November 27, 2018

From Arizona

Blessings on your ministry!

Jim & Diane Scovil Green Valley, Arizona
November 24, 2018

From California

Wishing you the blessings of peace, love and joy this holiday season.

Donna Riesen & Don Plank Winnetka, California
November 22, 2018

With sincerity

My [late] husband and I always visited [Keawalaʻi] during our trips to Maui for many years. Since he passed away in February of this year, my son and I attended in August. I hope [the] church will continue in Mākena for another two hundred years or more!

Frances Gentry Moraga, California
November 2, 2018

From Kansas

We have supported the Building Fund for 30 or so years. Thanks for the newsletter.

Bill & Peggy Mills McPherson, Kansas
November 2, 2018

God bless you all

Sometime I hope we can return to you.

Julie Hooker Indian Wells, California
November 1, 2018


I sure miss seeing you [all]. I pray for the church ʻohana.

Bob Estep Seattle, Washington
October 31, 2018


I trust all is well with . . . Your very special house of worship. My son Scott Kaneshige and Linda Sasajima were married last December 13, the last wedding of the year at [Keawalaʻi]. Best wishes to you [all] as you carry on the Lord’s work.

Madeline Ishida Montebello, California
October 31, 2018

Love in Christ

Enclosed is a small donation for [the] ministry at Keawalaʻi Church. My son Scott Kaneshige and Linda (formerly Sasajima) are so blessed to have ... [had] their wedding ceremony in December [2017], the last one of the year. The service and your beautiful church have often been in my thoughts.

Madeline Ishida, Montebello, CA
May 11, 2018

Me ke aloha pumehana

(Members of the State Board of Hawaiian Congregational Churches met on Maui on April 27-28, 2018. The weekend included a huakaʻi or visit to historic Native Hawaiian churches in Wailuku, Mākena, Kīhei, Olowalu, Honokowai, Lāhainā, Waiheʻe, Kahakuloa and Pāʻia. Among those attending were Uncle Frank Mulec, Council Treasurer, and his wife Elouise Mulec.)

Being on the island of Maui [in mid-April] ... Brought back memories of living on Maui for five years and aiding the Christian Endeavor movement at Pāʻia Hawaiian [Protestant] Church. My grandfather William K. Keliʻihoʻomalu was [the] Licentiate . . . and served the mokupuni of Maui [nui]. Visiting our churches was a blessing [for] me. Please accept our donation to [Keawalaʻi].

Elouise (& Frank) Mulec
'Opihikao Congregational Church, Pāhoa, Hawai'i
May 24, 2018

2018 Annual Appeal

Enclosed please find a contribution to [the] annual budget appeal. Although I have not returned to Maui and Keawalaʻi in four years, I do cherish the memories and time spent there with my late husband, Ralph, for ten winters. Working on the Golf committee, [the annual] lūʻau and other church events including washing windows with Pat Dawson were just some of the highlights of our winter stay. Thank you for your welcoming aloha spirit.

Susan Gilbert, Vancouver, WA
June 8, 2018

2018 Annual Appeal

We recently returned from our spring/summer trip to Tokyo and recently received the monthly church bulletin which reminded us of [the] kōkua letter. Please find enclosed our modest kōkua to support the operating budget of the church.

Frank & Noriko Stiene, Irvine, CA
July 7, 2018

May You All Be Blessed

I received your [newsletter] ... today and was thrilled to even be included in your mail out. We will be coming back to Maui, I hope, this coming winter and will be sure [to see you all] again.

Bonnie Williams-Paquette, Nanaimo, BC
July 9, 2018