Living in Hawai‘i, where diversity is shared by the hand of traditions and experiences from myriads of characters, results in the life of a blissful community. Have you ever wondered what the youth of the island of Maui are involved with other than school activities? Religion is a form of shaping individuals which helps create an understanding of what is wrong and right. Along the lines of religious practices, Youth Ministry is an essential aspect of a church because the youth are creators of the future.
Justine Yagin, from Central Maui Church of Christ (CMCC), located at 159 S. Lehua Street in Kahului, is part of a seven-member leadership group called CORE. CMCC currently has approximately forty to fifty youth members. This Spring Break, Yagin will be attending the Hawaiian Island Ministries (HIM) Conference–a three day gathering at the Hawai‘i Convention Center—to worship, pray, and learn about the Christian faith, along with her youth leader and young adults. Yagin helps out her church by leading and planning youth nights held every Friday, called IGNITE. “We hold faith meetings every first and third Sunday of the month,” Yagin explains, “and discuss the Bible books we were assigned to read.” Aside from organizing and arranging IGNITE, Yagin also attends leadership meetings with the Sunday School teachers of her church where Sunday School activities are discussed.
Darlyn Dayoan, from Christ the King Catholic Church, located at 20 W. Wākea Avenue in Kahului, spoke about the Youth Ministry and the Christ the King Filipino Catholic Club (CTKFCC) which she is profoundly immersed in. The Youth Ministry consists of confirmation students who meet every Thursday. “I am, in fact, a peer leader for the confirmation classes that our church offers,” explained Dayoan. Like Yagin, Dayoan also helps in organizing the youth nights but at Christ the King, the youth night only happens once a month. Dayoan further describes their Youth Ministry: “We also participate in fund-raisers to earn money for retreats and religious educational trips off island.” CTKFCC is very important to Dayoan because she has been involved with this ministry since her earliest memories. “We are part of a diocese that focuses on the Filipino Catholic Community in Hawai‘i,” she explains “and we are organized to help Filipino immigrants ease their way into coming to church.” The CTKFCC participates in an annual convention to increase the knowledge of its members about the word of God and to integrate its members within each individual.
Sofia Cantos, from Sanctuary Maui Church, located at 50 S. Papa Avenue in Kahului, describes the youth ministry at her church. “The youth group of Sanctuary Maui is called ‘Ignyte’ which has midweek services on Wednesdays,” she says. This year, an annual youth camp in Waianae is organized to happen in June, Cantos explains “so, we are doing a lot of fund-raisers, like bake sales at Safeway and car washes at the Ceramic Tile Place.” Cantos is intimately involved in the Worship Team as one of the worship leaders and is also the Vice President for the Singles and Young Adult Ministry. At Maui High School’s Christian Club, Cantos also serves as the President of Project 7. “Being part of these ministries at church has taught me to be more bold and confident as a Christian teenager in today’s society,” explains Cantos. “I’ve learned how to not be ashamed with whom I am and what I believe in.” Cantos believes she is considered as a “Jesus Freak” by other teenagers because “we are different, and that’s what called us to, separate from the world.” Cantos’ involvement with the youth ministry gave her confidence to share the word of God with anyone and everyone, whether it is at school or elsewhere.
The Episcopal community is dominion to a diverse population of culture, race, and ethnicity. In 2008, I was introduced to Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, located at 2140 Main Street in Wailuku, where I gained the knowledge of love through God in Christ Jesus. I have always wanted to be part of Good Shepherd’s youth group because it contributes to the opportunity to grow personally and to develop a relationship with Jesus. At Good Shepherd, I am heavily involved in the youth activities where I currently serve as the Youth Council President and previously served as the Vice President. Being part of the Youth Council serves as my tool to lead with planning and designation of events. I am also part of the Filipino Folk Dance Troupe, which performs at church and community events, and private parties. Many of the activities I am involved include A Cup of Cold Water Volunteer, Adopt a Highway Clean Up, Barrio Fiesta fund-raiser, First Friday fund-raiser, Maui Food Bank Food Drive, and Ka‘Ohana Kitchen which provides a weekly meal to those in need. Within the church, I assist with Christmas caroling and the Christmas pageant, Easter preparations, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Lock-In, and Worship.
Good Shepherd also gave me the opportunity to travel to O‘ahu to participate in God Camp, 30 Hour Famine, and Hawaiian Island Ministries to learn about the Word of God. Last summer, I was also able to take part at the triennial Episcopal Youth Event and be one of the youth representatives for the Diocese of Hawai‘i in Oklahoma.
I am one of the sixteen selected youth among more than one hundred applicants throughout the nationwide Episcopal community who will be traveling to Austin, Texas this July 2018 to participate at the Episcopal Church’s General Convention, which is also a triennial event that focuses on the legislative business of the national church. I am filled with emotion and thrilled to meet more of the Episcopal youth but also to learn more about the Episcopal Church. I am looking forward to how the General Convention will strengthen my faith with Him.
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This month’s guest columnist is Angela Cainguitan, a senior at Maui High School. Angela is an Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) student at Maui High School and is interested in becoming a surgical technologist. She is the President of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church Youth Council. Angela is the daughter of Benny and Julita Bumanglag.