Volunteer Work with Micronesian Ministries: Pacific Island Working Group

The purpose of the Pacific Island Working Group was to increase friendship between the Central Pacific Conference (CPC-UCC) and Micronesian groups in the Pacific Northwest. Historical roots – An off shoot of the Congregational church, now the UCC, has had contact with Micronesia since the middle of the 19th century. One of the reasons to gather together is to greet one another and renew the ties of friendship that began 150 years ago.

Songfest – We have organized five spring Song Festivals for Micronesians in Oregon. The event was organized by Micronesians and was directed to Pacific Islanders to gather and celebrate a shared enthusiasm for music.
Song Festival Photos  These Song Festivals have been in hiatus since the last Micronesian SongFest in 2011.

Shared Heritage

The earliest Pilgrims and Puritans were known in New England as “people of the Congregational Way.” They were a democratic group relying solely upon the Bible to order their worship. The early denomination known as the Congregational Church grew and changed over the next centuries until it merged with other church groups to become the United Church of Christ. Today’s UCC is a 50-year-old denomination comprised of many Christian traditions.

In 1820, missionaries from new England began their work in Hawaii. After just 30 years, the young Congregational churches in Hawaii decided to bring God’s word to Micronesia. In 1852, 10 Missionaries set sail from Honolulu, united by their common desire to serve God by carrying the message of hope to a foreign field. The Congregational mission ministered to the islands of Micronesia for 65 years. After Work War I, the Germans and then the Japanese dominated the islands. After World War II ended and the American held the area as a Trust Territory, Congregational missionaries once again came to Pohnpei to teach. Today the branches that grew from the original roots planted in 1852 spread all over Micronesia to Pohnpei, Chuuk, the Marshall Islands, Palau, and more.

Missionaries came to Oregon as early as 1836 to bring the Gospel to American Indian tribes. By 1842, a Congregational church had been formed among white immigrants, and by 1848 a Congregational missionaries came to work within the increasing population. Missionaries started Sunday Schools, academies (high schools), colleges and church camps in Oregon, Idaho and Washington. They worked for public education for all, and opposed discrimination again Native American, Chinese and Japanese immigrants and “freedmen” (African Americans emancipated from slavery). 48 congregations now compose the Central Pacific Conference, one of the 39 regional conferences of the UCC.

PLEASE CONTACT Michael Terpstra if you are interested in Micronesian Song Festivals and/or Micronesian Coral Church Music (SEE E-Mail address BELOW



Created on ... November 29, 2006 and Revised on 09/03/2014

E-Mail: Mike Terpstra