Samoan luau benefits Our Church's Wider Mission
October 2002

The Northern California Northern Nevada Conference luau for OCWM included traditional dances from Hawaii, Tonga, Fiji and Samoa along with traditionally prepared food.

Dancing in front of nearly 600 people while they throw money at you was not part of the call agreement when the Rev. Mary Susan Gast became the UCC's Northern California Northern Nevada Conference Minister. Nevertheless, she did so joyously as part of the Conference's first luau fund raiser. Hosted by Samoan UCC churches on Aug. 31 in Daly City, Calif., the event raised more than $11,000 for the Our Church's Wider Mission (OCWM) offering.

Asked if she would do anything for money, Gast replied, "I'll do anything for the church."

Luau organizers the Rev. Tauoa Head, pastor of Kalaveri Samoan Church of San Mateo, Calif., and the Rev. Attileia Tuaofono of Bayview Samoan UCC in San Francisco, say they wanted to share their exuberant method of fund raising with the entire Conference: throw a party, eat well, sing and dance, and out of grateful abundance, throw money at the stage.