Greetings to all who have found their way to this webpage for Lihue Christian Church (LCC), a church of the United Church of Christ (UCC). I’m Rev. Cheri Dennis. As of October 1, 2023, I am the Interim Minister for LCC. Being a pastor is my third career and it is the one that has brought me, and continues to bring me, the most joy. I graduated from Union Presbyterian Seminary-Charlotte, a PC(USA) affiliated school, in 2019. I was called to serve as a traditional interim minister for Holy Covenant United Church of Christ (Charlotte) beginning in February 2020, shortly before the COVID lockdown. I am an ordained UCC minister, having been ordained at Holy Covenant via Zoom on Sept. 13, 2020. I then served as the associate interim minister until May 2021 and as the interim minister until August 2023 when Holy Covenant called a settled pastor.

Once Holy Covenant called a pastor, I began dreaming about the possibility of moving to a new area of the US just for a different experience. I’d been in North Carolina for two-thirds of my life and was ready for a change. As God often does, God surprised me when the new call came from 4700 miles away - Hawaiʻi and Lihue Christian Church! I am thrilled to be here, some place so different than the piedmont of North Carolina. I love my home in NC, and I am quickly making Lihue my Pacific home. It is a wonderful place to do what I love the most, preaching and teaching and talking about God. Seminary taught me that it is okay to ask questions of God and of God’s word and I love doing just that. I love asking the basic questions like who, what, when, where, why, and how about the stories in the Bible. I love imagining the characters in each story as living human beings, wondering about their personalities, their age, their likes and dislikes. My hope is to make the Bible come alive for the church because it is a living book, one that comes alive when we together talk about the stories and about God. When we do this, we are doing “theology in community” which believers have done since faith began. The UCC teaches that God is still speaking. Our God is the God of history, the one who started it all. And our God is still making history with us and for us. So, God is still speaking in the 21st century. 

On the factual side, I am a native of Illinois but have spent most of my life in Charlotte, North Carolina, a city of roughly one million folks. My husband (Keith) and I celebrated our 51st wedding anniversary in 2023. Our family includes two adult children and their respective spouses, and four grandchildren from 13 to 27 years old. The 27-year-old has a spouse too! We own a home in Charlotte, so Keith is traveling back and forth to Lihue. In my earlier life, I was a medical secretary and a controller for a small retail clothing store. One of my favorite pastimes is watching British, French, Italian, and German murder mysteries on Prime, especially those with strong-willed female detectives!

I’ve volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and lead short-term mission trips to various countries. For many years I also volunteered with Kairos Prison Ministry International at a women’s maximum-security prison. I’ve marched in Pride Parades and been called the anti-Christ. It is in these and many other experiences, that I’ve witnessed God at work. God is there in the prisons and at the Pride parades. God is there in Guatemala, Kenya, Haiti, Charlotte, and Lihue. God doesn’t give up on God’s creation and God still works miracles. 

While humanity is diverse in many ways, we are the same in this: each of us needs love and compassion to sustain us in our journey in this world. In other words, we need to be in community. For Christians, that love and compassion is found in God’s grace and community is often found with a local church community. It’s in the church community that we are reminded of our call as Christians to unconditionally share God’s grace with the world. May it be so!

Pastor Cheri

January 25, 2024

Greetings from Pastor Cheri Dennis

Greetings to all who have found their way to this webpage for Lihue Christian Church (LCC), a church of the United Church of Christ (UCC). I’m […]