Ministry hopes to hula in Hawaii

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By Jennifer Garcia

Every ministry has its own way of spreading its message, whether it’s through preaching on Sunday morning, or by hosting community events that the public is invited to attend. One group, however, is taking a different approach to ministering. They do hula dancing.
The Hula Mai Ka Lani group is a non-denominational christian ministry out of Santa Fe that has been together for about 10 years and is led by their Kumu, or leader, Kalani Hawn. Though the group is based in Santa Fe, families from Rio Rancho, Pojoaque and Los Alamos are members. Michael, Michele, Morgan, Patrick and Dylan Irish are a Los Alamos family that is part of the ministry.
“It started out as a religious praise thing and morphed into entertainment,” Michele Irish said of the group. “We use a hands-on form of ministry and praise.”
The group meets on Thursday and Sunday for two hours, so they can dance hula. Irish said the members all come from different churches, but meet at the Vineyard Church in Santa Fe. She said the group starts off by having a prayer circle for each other, or for things that are going on. The last hour to hour-and-a-half is devoted to worship.
“That’s when we dance,” Irish said.
Anyone is invited to join in the dance, but when it comes to ministering, Irish said that usually only people who have been “called” to the ministry will minister, because oftentimes people go to them for help with various problems.
“We get called to minister all over the place,” Irish said. “We do all sorts of different things.”
One of the things that the group is preparing for is a trip to Hawaii. The dancers will minister at Share Da Aloha in Oahu. In an effort to raise money for the trip, a luau will be on April 16 at Crossroads Bible Church, 97 East Road. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and the event will feature a traditional pre-show at 5 p.m., followed by a dinner featuring teriyaki chicken, prepared by Polynesian members of the congregation, drinks and desserts. The event will conclude with dancing and worship from 6:15-7:15 p.m.
The ministry was invited to Hawaii in December. Hawn’s cousin has a church in Oahu and the group was asked to dance at a convent there.
“We did fasting and praying to see if this is where we needed to be,” Irish said of the trip to Hawaii. “We have been fundraising every weekend since.” The group has held various events since January, in an effort to raise funds for the trip.
Tickets for the luau are $15 for adults (13 and older), $10 for children ages 6-12; and free for children five and younger. Tickets may be purchased at Crossroads Church, Brownell’s Hallmark, or by emailing Irish at shelirish@comcast.net.