The Honolulu Advertiser from Honolulu, Hawaii on May 12, 2001 · 12
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The Honolulu Advertiser from Honolulu, Hawaii · 12

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Saturday, May 12, 2001
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-The Honolulu Advertiser MIL!) THOUGHTS Our human happiness depends upon our ability to be grateful. You can be happy'ha hovel if you appreciate all the things of value that surround you. Or you may be extremely unhappy, even though you live in a palace with all the comforts and luxuries; The capacity for gratitude is the foundation of our happiness. Thoughts by the late Rev. Paul Osumi are selected weekly by his family. LAJUUU PAGE B3 SATURDAY May 12, 2001 honoluluadvertiser.comlocalnews 525-8090 FynrfHHtinira OTOpe Hums its back on Christianity of Faith muter I.Mwn. 1 G 11 Enjoying worship of God When I was a youth, Sunday morning church services were redeemed only by the guilty pleasure of sitting with my friends and scribbling our "conversations" on the bulletin during the sermon while my father watched disapprovingly from the choir loft. Worship, as it was called, carried very little of a sense of the sacred for me, and even less of a sense of connecting with the Almighty. Deep down, I thought it was mostly a waste of time. Little did I knowthat I was right, in a sense. When we use the word "worship" in other, nonreligious contexts, it has a much different connotatioa A classic-car fiend will go to great lengths to acquire an Aston Martin, then spend many a weekend tinker-ing, polishing, upgrading and maintaining it. A fan who worships Brad Pitt will scour the celebrity pages for the most trivial mentions, establish pictorial shrines and faithfully attend his worst flops. To worship something or someone in that sense means expending, even exhausting, energy and resources on it. Those who do not share the same passion may deem these expenditures a waste of time. But true" worship is not about "doing things." It is actually about being. Worship is giving our most precious commodity: time. For fans and enthusiasts, the greatest joy springs from spending time with the object or person at the center of their worship. The acts are secondary, the relationship is primary. A couple years ago I began to discover what this meant. In a seminary class, I was assigned to go on a spiritual retreat, but had no directions as to what that entailed. So I mapped out a spiritual to-do list: hike and pray, stop at the lake and do Bible study; sing worship songs; journal; repeat. When I arrived at my mountain retreat, I eagerly began my "Five Easy Steps to Worshipping God." About halfway through, I finally realized what was happening Instead of actually en-gaging God and communing with Him, I was hiding behind my to-do list. I heard God say to me, "Be still ... and know that I am God!" (Psalms 46: 10) Actually, I heard mostly the "Be still!" part. At that point, I put everything away. I lay down on the dock, dangled my legs in the lake and let go. I said, "OK, God, here I am." I felt a small, still impression in my heart that said, "Finally." I thought, "I feel like I'm wasting time. I'm not doing anything." God answered, "That's the point. You're supposed to waste time with me. Remember when you used to scribble notes in church? That was a waste of time, but you and your friends loved just hanging out, being together. That's what I want for you and me." So for the rest of the afternoon, I hung out with God. Yolanda Miller is directorof junior high and young adults at First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu. Expressions of Faith is a column written by pastors, priests, lay workers and other leaders in faith and spirituality. E-mail faith&honolulu advertiser, com or call 525-8036 to contribute. Empty pews of Canterbury-sign of faith lost By T.R. Reid Washington Post CANTERBURY, England For more than nine centuries, pilgrims wended their way in multitudes to the majestic cathedral in this ancient town, trekking from all over Europe, as Geoffrey Chaucer put it in the first great book printed in English, "the holy blisful martir for to seke." But the faith that drove those pilgrims is severely diminished today. At Morning Prayer last Sunday, the great vaulted ceiling of Canterbury Cathedral looked down upon a grand total of 13 worshippers. A midday communion service did better, with about 300 people on hand, counting the choirboys in their white ruffled collars and a phalanx of tourists with video cameras. But that still left 80 percent of the seats unused. Canterbury, mother church of the global AnglicanEpiscopalian faith, is hardly the only European church that is largely empty most Sundays. Western Europe, home of the world's biggest religious denomination, the Roman Catholic Church, and the birthplace of most major ; Name of church: Religious Science Church of Honolulu, also known as the Center for Positive Living Our denomination or affiliation: Religious Science International, based in Spokane, Wash Where we are: The center's administrative office, Hale Aloha is at 2926 Wood-lawn Drive in Manoa Members gather for services, called Celebrations of Life, on Sundays at the Ala Moana Hotel. Our numbers: 300-400 Our leader The Rev. Frank White, director and senior minister What we believe (our mission statement): This church exists solely to teach and promote a healthier, happier, more prosperous and loving approach to living based on a recognition of the Oneness of all things and an understanding of spiritual law." "We're generally in the category that is called New Thought," White said. The teaching of religious science is called science of mind and was developed in the 1920s by an American philosopher named Ernest Holmes. The religion calendar appears on the Faith page each Saturday. Send your listing to Island LiteFaith, P.O. Box 3110, Honolulu, HI 96802. Include date, time, place, who's involved and cost, if any, of events, along with a daytime contact number. TOMORROW "NO OTHER UKE MOTHER," healing service, 8 and 10:15 a.m. in English; 9 a.m. in Japanese. Nu'uanu Congregational Church, 2651 Pali Highway. 595-3935. MOTHER'S DAY SERVICE, 8:30 and 11 a.m., Grace Bible Church Honolulu, 1052 'llima Religion ' Protestant faiths, has largely turned its back on religioa It now has "one of the least religious populations in the . world," noted the Dutch sociologist Nan Kirk de Graaf. In Britain and France, less than 10 percent of the population attends church as often as once a month. In Scandinavia, the handsome high-steepled churches that mark every city and village attract less than 3 percent of the people In Amsterdam, the Dutch Reformed hierarchy is converting churches into luxury apartments to pay its bills. "It's a secular age," said Canon Michael Chandler, vice dean of the cathedral here. "We're breeding a whole generation without much spiritual perceptioa" , At the same time that Christianity is waning in Europe, it is being observed by more people in Europe's former colonies in Africa and Latin America An estimated 106 million Roman Catholics lived in Africa in 1988; that number soared to 117 million a decade later. The number of Catholics in Latin America grew from 378 million in 1988 to 454 million in 1999. While the pews tend to be empty in Europe's Christian houses of worship, other religions seem to be healthy. Hindu and Muslim denomi- nations, brought to Europe by s Sdence Very welcoming' Where We Worship ByZenaida Serrc.no Espanol AAA "If I were to try to sum our philosophy up in a single sentence, it would be, 'It is done unto you as you believe,'" White said. "That's our basic premise, is that we create our experience through our belief system how we think and what we do. And so we really work on the power of the mind in determuiing one's experience. "We see God as a principle, not a personality, and we believe that God is all there is. So regardless of how we may be living our lives or how our lives may appear that, too, is God if if s not something we like very much, then we can change it by changing our thinking. Ernest Holmes used to say, 'Change your thinking, change your life,' and that's what we endeavor to do, is help people change their thinking in order to create a better experience." White added that they believe strongly in "the power of what most people call prayer; we call it spiritual Dr., 'Alewa Heights. 59S6381. "WORDS TO SAY WHEN THE TIME IS SHORT," 8:30 and 10:30 a.m., Waipahu United Church of Christ 94-330 Mokuola St. 677-3317. "THE TRUE GIFT FOR MOTHERS," 9 a.m., Honolulu Church of Light. 1539 Kapi'olani Blvd. 952-0880. FALUN DAFA DAY, Qi Gong, 9:30 a.m., Ala Moana Park Magic Island; free. 741-7786. "MIS FOR THE MANY THINGS," Center for Positive Living, 10 a.m., Ala Moana Hotel, garden lanai. 9886907. jj' s Despite the attraction of places such as Lourdes, France, where pilgrims still flock, Christianity is declining in Europe. a wave of immigration, are viously unnecessary, about expanding rapidly, so much "religious affiliation." The so that this year's British cen- continent's Jewish population sus has added a question, pre- is holding steady. But in most f " s. The Rev. Frank White of the Religious Science Church of Honolulu leads a weekly service at the Ala Moana Hotel. mind treatment." Our history: The center was founded in 1978 as the Community Church of the Islands. Its founding minister was the Rev. Marlene Oakes, and it was originally affiliated with Divine Science. The Rev. Helen Street became its minister in 1981, at which time it became affiliated with Religious Science International. We're excited about: "We're pleased that in June we'll have the Rev. Dr. Jay Scott Neale, who is one of the outstanding ministers in cnLonnnn "THE REALITY OF LOVE," Eckankar worship, 11 a.m., 3840 Paki Ave. 735-7719. PRODIGAL CHILDREN, lecture on sibling rivalry, by Gary Augustin of Samaritan Counseling Center, 11 a.m., Central Union Church, 1660 S. Bereta-nia St 941-0957. "THE HIDDEN SYMBOLISM OF LOVE," 11 a.m., Aquarian Foundation, 2440 KuhiS Ave. 926-8134. OPEN TABLE PILGRIMAGE visiting Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, 3 p.m., Kalihi Ward, 1723 Beckley St IT F! 'I t I ' Vff' Washington Post JEFF WIDENER The Honolulu Advertiser Religious Science International," White said. Neale, a minister of the Religious Science Church in Fremont, Calif., will be a guest speaker June 10 at the church's Celebration of Life. The center is also working on plans for its 20th anniversary celebration in July when, White said, the church will be recognized for its 20 years of service to Religious Science International at an annual conference in Asilomar, Calif. What's special about us: The Religious Science Church of Honolulu is the "WE LOVE YOU," Mother s Day choral extravaganza, 4 p.m., Kawaiaha'o Church, 957 Punchbowl St 532-1258. SPIRITUAL FUND-RAISER by Samba Axe dancers 6-10 p.m., Anna Bananas, 2440 S. Beretania St, to help Brazilian healer Maria Mulambo attend Hawai'l Healing Symposium; 21 and oven $10 admission includes vegetarian buffet MONDAY COMPARATIVE YOGAS AND SPIRITUAL MASTERS OF EGYPT AND TIBET, 6:30 p.m. Golden Phoenix Bookstore, 1251-B S. King St 593-1249. Ml m iiriMMiiMii iii of Europe, non-Christians represent only a tiny share of thepopulatioa While the great mass of European Christians have been turning away from Sunday services, there are signs that some have maintained a modicum of faith outside organized religion. The number of people who say they believe in God is considerably higher than the number of people who go to church with some regularity. In one sense, Europe's loss of religious faith poses a striking contrast to the situation in the United States. Depending on how the question is asked, up to 95 percent of Americans say they believe in God; in much of Western Europe, the figure is closer to 50 percent. The public religiosity that is part and parcel of American life is rarely seen here; the only televangelists on European screens are piped in via cable from Newport News, Va, and Houstoa Europeans tend to be surprised, or amused, when U.S. politicians end a speech with the words "God bless America" "When they hear that, the intellectuals break out in a little smug smile," said Jonathan Freedland, a columnist with London's Guardian newspaper. "It's al- only Religious Science Church on O'ahu and is one of four Religious Science Churches in the state. The other churches are in Kona, Hilo and Kihei. White said he is proud that Religious Science churches are inclusive. He said, for example, that a majority of their ministers are women, and that its members are multicultural and multiracial "If everybody is an expression of God, how can you (discriminate)?" White said. "So we're very welcoming." Contact 988-6907, e-mail infoHonoluluReligious Science.org or visit www .HonoluluReligiouscience .org. The church also has a 24-hour "Dial an Inspiration" number, which White calls a "a mini-lesson in spiritual mind treatment." Call 988-1587. If you would like to recommend your church, temple or faith organization for a Wliere We Worship profile, e-mail faithhonolulu advertiser.com, call 535-81 74 or write: Where We Worship, Faith Page, The Honolulu Advertiser, P.O. Box 3110, Honolulu, HI 96802. TUESDAY HAWAIIAN ISLAND MINISTRIES RADIO MAGAZINE, 1- 2 p.m., KAIM Radio, AM 870. 95&8411. WEDNESDAY HEALING MESSAGE SERVICE, 6:30 p.m., Honolulu Church of Light, 1539 Kapi'olani Blvd. 952-0880. "AWAKEN TOWARD THE LIGHT," 7 p.m., Aquarian Foundation, 2440 KuhiS Ave., Waikiki. 9263134. "TANISHO," Dharma class, 7 p.m., Honpa Hongwanji most impossible to imagine a prime rninister saying 'God bless Britain' or 'God bless Sweden.' " Does this difference in faith make a difference in life? It is hard to argue that Europe is a less moral or caring society than the churchgoing United States. Americans put up huge billboards reading "Love Thy Neighbor," but they murder and rape their neighbors at rates that would shock Europeans. Corruption in business and government seems to occur at similar rates on both sides of the Atlantic. Norwegians don't go to church much, but their government gives aid to poor countries at a per capita rate that is 10 times that of the U.S. government. Indeed, every West European government devotes a considerably higher share of its budget to foreign aid than the United States does. Some people here warn, though, that the current decline in formal religion which scholars say can be traced back to the 1960s could eventually undermine the shared basis of public morality. "In terms of moral guidance, we are living on the strength of a legacy," said Chandler, the Canter-1 bury canoa "And it may run out" Send us your list of events forO-bon One of those things that make living in Hawaii special is the annual series of O-bon festivals held by temples and community organizations around the Islands. The Advertiser will publish its bon dance calendar on May 31, in advance of the season that begins in June and continues through August. Then, each week, that week's bon dances will be listed in the TGIF and Faith calendars, as well. If your religious or community organization is planning an O-bon observance, we would like to hear from you. Include time, date, place and events planned. Write Bon Dance Calendar, Island Life, P.O. Box 31 10, Honolulu, HI 96802. Fax: 525-8055. E-mail: islandlife (a honoluluadvertiser .com. Hawai'i Betsuin, 1727 Pali Highway; free. 536-7044. THURSDAY "A HEALING JOURNEY," 8- 10 p.m., KWAI-AM 1080. 952-0880. FRIDAY DR. KENNETH HANSON, expert on Dead Sea Scrolls, 7 p.m.. Temple Emanu-EI, 2550 Pali Highway; free. 595-7521. CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC, by Jason and Dani, 7-9 p.m., The Giving Tree. Pearl Highlands Shopping Center, free. 4558733.

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