by Andrew Walden
Hundreds of Hawaii church-goers are expected to join in the Transformation Hawaii conference next weekend. Starting 6PM Sunday November 8 and continuing Monday and Tuesday at the Hawaii Convention Center*, the Hawaii conference will follow an International Institute on Nation Transformation conference at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Friday and Saturday. According to organizers, five hundred delegates have already registered for the international conference.
Organizers define "Transformation" as: "PRISONS transformed, GHETTOS revitalized, CORRUPTION removed, SCHOOLS renewed, GOD-HONORING governments, KINGDOM businesses, and SYSTEMIC HUNGER stamped out." Group 70 CEO and New Life Church Honolulu Pastor Frances Oda explains, "This is not so much a conference as a radical transformation experience."
Not shy about involving church-goers in the electoral system, Hawaii conference organizers will be promoting the "I VOTE" voter registration drive which aims to register 80% of Hawaii church-goers and turn out 80% to vote at the polls.
Secular humanists are already alarmed at the prospect. Hawaii has one of the lowest rates of voter participation in the nation but the Honolulu Star-Bulletin October 13 editorialized against the voter registration drive--a positive sign that voter registration can have a profound impact on the direction of the body politic.
On Sunday, February 22, during the last legislative session 6-8,000 people came out to protest against gay civil unions--HB 444. This contrasted with fewer than 100 who participated in pro-gay-marriage rallies. Another 1,400 came to testify about the bill at hearings held the following week. Hundreds rallied against HB444 on sister islands as well.
HB444 will be on the agenda in the next legislative session starting in January. Organizers are already making plans for an anti-HB444 rally at the legislature in mid-January. On the other side, gay marriage activists are planning a Honolulu Hale rally for January 10.
In addition to Frances and Caroline Oda, Transformation Hawaii leaders include Cal and Joy Chinen of Moanalua Gardens Missionary Church, Allen and Mari Cardines of Hope Chapel Nanakuli, Ellie and Becca Kapihe of Windward Missionary Church, and others.
*Hawaii Convention Center is a newly announced location for the Sunday-Tuesday conference sessions. These had previously been scheduled for Word of Life Church.