Hawai‘i Mission Bicentennial in New England

A month-long commemoration is underway across New England commemorating the departure of the Sandwich Islands Mission for Hawai‘i from the Park Street Church and the Long Wharf in Boston in October 1819.

A group from the Hawaiian Mission Houses is presenting across New England the one-man play My Name is ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia with top Hawai‘i actor Moses Goods in the title roll.

moses at AAS
Moses Goods performing My Name is ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts on Tuesday, October 8, 2019.

At the Congregational Library on Beacon Street in Boston, on Wednesday, October 9, 2019, I joined Moses Goods and Noelani Arista, author of The Kingdom and the Republic – Sovereign Hawai’i and the Early United States, in discussing the impact of ‘Ōpukaha‘ia on Hawai‘i and New England. This followed Moses’ performance.

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Photo courtesy Carin Sommers
Christopher Cook speaking at the Congregational Library in Boston on Wednesday, October 9, 2019.

I am scheduled to speak at the Park Street Church in Boston on Sunday, October 20, between the morning services in the community hall at the church. I will be joinning Kahu Ken Makuakane of the Kawaiaha‘o Church.

The Hana Hou tour also starts on Sunday, October 20. I am serving as the interpretive guide for this week-long tour of historical sites linked to the Christian history of Hawai‘i and of New England.

Go to missionhouses.org for information on activities coming up during Hawai‘i Week in Boston October 17-23, 2019.

Watch for updates at www.obookiah.com on the exciting Hawai‘i Mission Bicentennial events coming up in Boston and beyond.


When Revival Swept Hawaii

Ulukukui Grove Pilaa Kauai 1830s
Image: Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Library
The Rev. William P. Alexander of the Waioli Mission Station, Hanalei, Kauai preaching to a native Hawaiian congregation in 1840 during the Great Revival

My article on the Great Revival in Hawai‘i led by the Rev. Titus Coan in the late 1830s has been published by Christianity Today magazine on their website, in the Christian History section. I am honored to have been given this opportunity. Mahalo to my friend Leon Siu for opening the door to this assignment. The famous Ulukukui grove at Pila‘a on Kaua‘i is pictured in the article. This site served as an open air church during the Great Revival with ministers from the Wai‘oli mission station traveling to Pila‘a to hold services amidst the largest kukui tree grove in the all the Hawaiian Islands.

Commemoration of the Life of Henry ‘Opukaha‘ia

Go to MissionHouses.org for more information.

I am scheduled to speak at the Hawaiian Mission Houses 200th commemorative anniversary of the death of Henry ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia on February 17, 2018. Here is information from Mission Houses website:

On February 17, 2018, Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives will celebrate the life of Henry ‘Opukaha‘ia marking the day he died two hundred years ago. This important celebration honors the man who inspired the Sandwich Island Mission and is the first event in the bicentennial of the arrival of the American Protestant mission to Hawai‘i in 2020.

From 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 17, 2018, the houses and grounds of Hawaiian Mission Houses will be open to the public free of charge. As with our 2 other open houses, historic house tours will be conducted every half-hour, with the first tour at 11 a.m. and the last tour at 3 p.m. The printing press will be continuously operated and interpreted with either the “Ho‘onani,” (Doxology) or the Hawaiian Primer, the first print struck in Hawai‘i, being printed all day for participants to take home. Activities on site will include some of those used in the HMH school program. For example one will emphasize the distance between Hawai‘i and the Eastern U.S. Another will offer the opportunity to create one’s own work on an individual mini printing press, and another will allow users to experience writing with a quill pen while copying a letter from one of the ali‘i from the HMH archives.

At 10 a.m. historic Kawaiaha‘o Church will conduct a special commemorative service and be joined by Royal Societies, Hawaiian Civic Clubs, and other organizations. Concurrent church services in Hilo and on the East Coast will also celebrate the life of ‘Opukaha‘ia and those who attend will learn about his role in inspiring the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) to send missionaries to Hawai‘i to bring Christianity. Audience may or may not choose to attend this service.