Kawaiahaʻo Church Celebration for 200th Birthday

COMMUNITY

Honolulu (KHON2)- Kawaiahaʻo Church is celebrating its 200th Birthday or Bicentennial of the Church and Christianity in Hawaiʻi with a series of events including a  “Tea on the Lawn,” “Celebration Luau” and speaker series.

There will be two ticketed events- a Tea on Kawaiaha’o Church’s Lawn on April 24th and also a Celebration Luau at the Hilton on April 25th. And of course, we have our Kawaiahaʻo Church Bicentennial Service on April 26th at 9am.  You can check out our website at http://kawaiahao.org for more info, or to buy tickets-or just come by a church service any Sunday at 9am!

Kawaiahaʻo Church is the first Christian on Oahu and has played an important role in the establishment of Christianity in the Hawaiian Islands. 

Kawaiahaʻo Church Bicentennial Committee Chair  Malia Kaai- Barrett shared about the Church’s rich Island roots on Living808, saying, “For 200 years, the Church has stood as a beacon of faith, played a vital role in the history of Hawaii, and continues to represent a place where God’s work continues.  In honor of this landmark anniversary- we have events planned throughout the year, most are free and open to the public.”

A Bicentennial Speaker Series will feature renown speakers such as Professor Kapali Lyons, who teaches Biblical Literature and Hawaiian Religion and Literature at UH Manoa.

Professor Lyons will be speaking on the topic “Why Did Hawaii Become Christian” at Kawaiahaʻo Church at 4pm on Sunday January 19th. 

“The story of the coming of Christianity to Hawaiʻi usually focuses on the work of missionaries, for good or for bad,” adds Kaai-Barrett. “In some narratives, missionary preachers labored tirelessly and, eventually, succeeded in turning Hawaiʻi from an ʻāina naʻaupō, a dark-hearted land, into an ʻāina naʻauao, an enlightened, civilized nation. A different version of the story tells of missionaries who, as agents of colonialism, browbeat and badgered reluctant Hawaiians into giving up their traditional beliefs and culture.”

Dr Kapali Lyons lecture proposes that the Hawaiian Aliʻi (Chiefs), not missionaries, decided the future of both religion and culture in the Hawaiian Kingdom.   Through historical research and archives, he believes the Hawaiians chose to follow God.

There will be additional lecture series and concerts coming up that are also free and open to the public.

Visit http://kawaiahao.org to find out more about the events or to buy tickets to the tea and/or luau.

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