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No. 2019 -47


WHEREAS, the year 2020 marks the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the coming of Christian Gospel Mission from New England to Hawai‘i; and

WHEREAS, Queen Ka‘ahumanu the favorite wife of Kamehameha I, Kuhina Nui and co-ruler of the kingdom, who was the most influential and powerful political leaders of the Hawaiian Kingdom, who helped abolish the traditional religious and kapu system of the times and set the stage for the arrival of the missionaries in 1820; and

WHEREAS, Queen Ka‘ahumanu publicly embraced Christianity, and through her influence, the first Protestant missionaries were able to establish their roots in the islands; and

WHEREAS, Queen Kaahumanu was baptized at Kawaiaha‘o Church on December 5, 1825; and

WHEREAS, King Kamehameha III, also known as Kauikeaouli, ruled the Hawaiian Kingdom together with Kuhina Nui Queen Ka‘ahumanu, and saw the good work that the missionaries were doing and he wanted to them to continue building a godly literate nation; and

WHEREAS, King Kamehameha III in a Thanksgiving service at Kawaiaha‘o Church in 1843, spoke the words, “Ua mau ke ea o ka ‘āina i ka pono – The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness” which is the State of Hawai‘i motto; and

WHEREAS, Kamehameha III deeded the land upon which the church now stands because of his love for Ke Akua; and

WHEREAS, Queen Lili‘uokalani was Hawai‘i’s last sovereign ruling monarch, and was well-travelled and also a gifted musician and composer, knowledgeable in both western music and composition, and traditional Hawaiian mele and oli; and

WHEREAS, Lili‘uokalani composed over 150 songs with “Aloha ‘Oe” as one of her best known compositions; and

WHEREAS, her composition of the “Queen’s Prayer – Ke Aloha o ka Haku” reflects her deep love for Ke Akua and her faith that Godly justice would prevail, that she shared her musical gifts with the congregation of Kawaiaha‘o Church; and

WHEREAS, Henry ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia and other young Hawaiians are credited with the inspiration of bringing the Gospel to the Hawaiian Kingdom; and

WHEREAS, his journey from the island of Hawai‘i took him to the east coast of the United States where he and fellow Hawaiians studied the gospel with the intention of returning to preach the gospel in the islands, but Henry ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia died of typhus fever in Cornwell, Connecticut at the age of 26 before he was able to return to Hawai`i; and

WHEREAS, Henry ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia’s dream was the catalyst for the first American protestant missionaries to journey to the islands, landing in Hawai‘i’s shores in 1820; and

WHEREAS, on October 23, 1819, there were seven American couples in the Pioneer Company sent by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM), including two ordained preachers and their wives: Hiram Bingham and his wife Sybil, and Asa Thurston and his wife Lucy; and

WHEREAS, they led the first group of seven Protestant missionaries and their wives that departed New England to Hawai‘i to fulfill the vision of Hawaiian Henry ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia to preach the gospel in the Hawaiian Kingdom; and

WHEREAS, travelling with them were two teachers and their wives, Samuel Whitney and his wife Mercy, and Samuel Ruggles and his wife Mary; a doctor, Thomas Holman and his wife Lucia; a printer, Elisha Loomis and his wife Maria; a Farmer, Daniel Chamberlain and his wife Jerusha and their five children; and four young Hawaiians, Hopu; Kanui; Honoli‘i and Humehume (son of Kaua‘i King Kaumuali‘i); and

WHEREAS, after about 60 days at sea, on March 30, 1820, the Pioneer Company of American Protestant missionaries first saw the islands and landed at Kawaihae, and upon landingthey learned Kamehameha I was dead, Liholiho was king, and the kapu was abolished; and

WHEREAS, the group finally anchored at Kailua-Kona on April 4, 1820; and

WHEREAS, within the first month of arrival, the Hawaiian Mission was established on three separate islands beginning with Hawai‘i Island on April 4 1820, with the formation of Kailua-Kona Mission Station and Moku‘aikaua Church (with its present structure completed in 1837); and

WHEREAS, on O‘ahu with the formation of the Honolulu Mission Station and Kawaiaha‘o Church (with its present structure completed in 1842), where Hiram Bingham preached the first Christian message to the people of Honolulu on April 23, 1820; and

WHEREAS, on Kaua‘i the formation of the Waimea Mission Station on May 3, 1820, (with its present structure completed in 1854); and

WHEREAS, 2020 marks the 200th anniversary of the founding of the mission headquarters at Hawaiian Mission Houses, established by the Kingdom of Hawai‘i with the arrival of the Pioneer Company of American Protestant missionaries; and

WHEREAS, one of the earliest efforts of the missionaries was the identification and selection of important communities (generally near ports and ali‘i residences) as “atations” for the regional church and school centers on Hawai‘i Island, Maui, Moloka‘i, O‘ahu and Kaua‘i; and

WHEREAS, from 1820 to 1863, men and women in twelve companies of missionaries served across Hawai‘i to carry out the mission of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) in the Hawaiian Islands; and

WHEREAS, this bicentennial celebration is an important milestone and an appropriate time to reflect on and better understand the relationship between the Hawaiian ali‘i (chiefs), maka‘āinana (the people) and the missionaries during the mission period; and

WHEREAS, collaboration between Native Hawaiians and the missionaries resulted in, among other things, the introduction of Christianity and the translation of the Bible into Hawaiian resulted in the Baibala; and

WHEREAS, the development of a written Hawaiian language and the establishment of schools that resulted in the widespread literacy; and

WHEREAS, the promulgation of the concept of constitutional government, the combination of Hawaiian medicine with the Western medicine; and

WHEREAS, the evolution of a new and distinctive musical tradition with harmony and choral singing; and

WHEREAS, Hiram Bingham was instrumental in translating the Christian Bible to the Hawaiian language, and oversaw the building of Kawaiaha‘o Church on land that was granted to the missionaries by King Kamehameha III.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVE, by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs at its 60th Annual Convention in Lahaina, Maui, in the malama of Welehu and the rising of Lā‘au Pau, this 16th day of November 2019, urging the Hawai‘i State Legislature and all counties of Hawai‘i to recognize Moku‘aikaua Church (Hawai‘i Island), Kawaiaha‘o Church and the Mission Houses (O‘ahu Island), and Waimea Mission Church (Kaua‘i Island) and the year 2020 as the bicentennial of the founding of these mission and celebration of Christianity arriving on our island shores; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the members of these mission churches proclaim 2020 as the year of the Bicentennial Celebration; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that certified copies of this resolution be transmitted to the General Minister and President United Church of Christ, Hawai‘i Conference United Church of Christ, Mokuaikaua Church, Kawaiaha‘o Church, The Mission House Sociey, Waimea Mission Church, and Pearl Harbor Hawaiian Civic Club, as well as the Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, President of the State Senate, Chair of the State Senate subject matter committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chair of the State House of Representatives subject committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and all county mayors.

The undersigned hereby certifies that the foregoing Resolution was duly adopted in the malama of Welehu and the rising of Lāʻau Pau on the 16th day of November 2019, at the 60th Annual Convention of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs in Lahaina, Maui.

Hailama V. K. K. Farden, President