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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, June 2, 2001

Where We Worship
Mission will train disciples of 21st century

By Zenaida Serrano Espanol
Advertiser Staff Writer

Barbara Grace Ripple, Hawaiëi District superintendent of the California-Pacific Annual Conference, United Methodist Church, commissioned the Rev. Alex Vergara as the organizing pastor of Kapolei United Methodist Mission at its first service last year at Kapolei Regional Park.

Kapolei United Methodist Mission photos

Name of church: Kapolei United Methodist Mission.

Our denomination or affiliation: United Methodist Church, California-Pacific Annual Conference based in California.

Where we are: The headquarters of the church is at 91-896 '–aniani St. in Kapolei. Members gather to worship at various locations in the Kapolei area.

Our numbers: 125.

Our pastor: The Rev. Alex R. Vergara.

What we believe (our mission statement): "The mission of the Kapolei United Methodist Mission is to gather, develop and send people to become disciples of Jesus Christ in the 21st century."

Vergara said the mission's vision is to become a regional training center for discipleship development in Hawai'i and the Pacific.

Our history: Kapolei United Methodist Mission, less than a year old, is a startup ministry of the Hawai'i District of the California-Pacific Annual Conference, United Methodist Church. Bishop Roy I. Sano of the California-Pacific Annual Conference appointed Vergara, also a commissioned police chaplain of the Honolulu Police Department, as the organizing pastor of the church on July 1 of last year. The first church service was held a day later at Kapolei Regional Park.

Since then, the congregation has met at different locations but has yet to find a permanent church facility. They're searching for the right piece of land now. Until they find such a location, Vergara said small groups will continue to gather temporarily in "house churches" at various members' residences in the Kapolei area.

What we're excited about: Church members are looking forward to the upcoming "Launch Event," 2-6 p.m. July 8 at Airplane Hangar No. 110 in Kalaeloa (formerly Barbers Point Naval Air Station).

About 500 people are expected to attend the event, which will officially pronounce the church's presence in the community.

"We are excited about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in the Kapolei region," Vergara said. "Everyone is welcome."

What's special about us: "Kapolei United Methodist Mission is a community of Christians of all ages," Vergara said. "We are bound by common faith in Jesus Christ and dedicated to working together to fulfill our Christian commitments to God, the church and the world."

Vergara said the new church has great potential. "We look at ourselves as pioneers here in this community," he said. "Everything is just breaking forth."

Among their main objectives: to establish a multicultural church in order to meet the needs of the diverse worshipping community, to develop areas and forms of ministry not being reached by other churches in the community and to provide educational workshops, classes and small groups that will enhance the quality of life.

Vergara added that members also make the church special: "Most (important) are the people who have come forward to say, 'I would like to be a part of this congregation, (to help) this congregation to grow.' "

Contact: Call 674-1625, e-mail alver@hawaii.rr.com or alex@kapoleimission.org, or visit www.kapoleimission.org.

If you would like to recommend your church, temple or faith organization for a Where We Worship profile, e-mail faith@honoluluadvertiser.com, call 535-8174 or write: Where We Worship, Faith Page, The Honolulu Advertiser, P.O. Box 3110, Honolulu, HI 96802.