Two hundred years prior to the current Asbury College Revival the monthly Concert of Prayer for Missions service, usually held the first Monday of the month, drew a circle of global prayer. In Hawai‘i the American missionaries along with Native Hawaiian and Tahitian Christian joined together to pray for missions and the spead of the Gospel to all peoples, for God’s blessing on the Hawaiian Islands, and for their Christian endeavors in Hawai‘i and mission fields in the South Pacific and Central Pacific.
Find out more in this 29-page booklet provided for free by Pa‘a Studios. Print copies will be available at the upcoming Hawaiian Islands Ministries Conference 2023 at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu March 16-17-18 and at the Mo‘olelo Kūʻiʻo Seminar set for Sunday March 19 at the Kailua Nazarene Church.
The Hawaiian Mission Houses in Honolulu is commemorating from April 26-April 30, 2022 the 1822 arrival in Hawai‘i of Tahitian and London Missionary Society Protestant missionaries. A full schedule of events will be poste soon.
A highlight of the Tahitian commemoration is a concert at Kawaiaha‘o Church honoring Na Himeni Hawaii, the first hymnal printed in the Hawaiian language, as well as the first book printed in the Hawaiian language. The public is invited to the concert in person, and a webcast will be available online.
I will be speaking during a Tahitian mission bicentennial web seminar to be presented on Tuesday, April 26 by the Hawaiian Mission Houses at noon HST. I will update this notice once the web seminar link is listed online. I am scheduled to give a background to the foreign missions movement behind the sending of Protestant missionaries to Tahiti and Hawai‘i during the Second Great Awakening of the late eighteenth century, and the early nineteenth century.
The American Antiquarian Society has accepted for inclusion of its collection a copy of my new book Preparing the Way – A Pictorial History for the Hawai‘i Mission Bicentennial 1820-2020. This pictorial history provides an illustrated narrative of the formation and sending of the pioneer Protestant missionary company sent to Hawai‘i from Boston by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in 1819.
The American Antiquarian Society library located in Worcester, Massachusetts dates back to the Early Republic days of the United States. The Society describes itself as: “Founded in 1812 by Revolutionary War patriot and printer Isaiah Thomas, the American Antiquarian Society is both a learned society and a major independent research library. The AAS library today houses the largest and most accessible collection of books, pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers, periodicals, music, and graphic arts material printed through 1876 in what is now the United States, as well as manuscripts and a substantial collection of secondary texts, bibliographies, and digital resources and reference works related to all aspects of American history and culture before the twentieth century.”
During a research visit in 2018 I discovered a book with perhaps the first mention of plans for an American Protestant mission to evangelize the Hawaiian Islands. In searching for unknown, obscure details about the Christian History of Hawai‘i, I will often begin with a general term like the key word “Obookiah” and see what publications show up. Through a search for “Samuel Mills” in the digital card catalog available within the AAS library an 1810 book titled A Collection of Letters on Missions turned up. A note within the card catalog notation showed the book was self-published at the Andover Theological Seminary by American Foreign Missions founder Samuel Mills Jr. and Adoniram Judson, who sailed from Salem, Massachusetts in 1812 as the leader of the first foreign Protestant mission sent from the shores of the young United States. In the rear section of the book the Sandwich Islands is mentioned. Henry ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia was in Andover with Samuel Mills at the time of the distribution of the book. One wonders if Henry helped his friend with the packing and shipping of the books, which were sold in advance by subscription to church congregations in New England to promote foreign missions. The book also gave one of the first notices of the formation of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, inspired in spring 1810 by a request from Mills, Judson and two other Andover students. That took place at Bradford, Massachusetts, about eight miles north of Andover.
The Rev. Samuel Damon (February 15, 1815 – February 7, 1885) of Hawai‘i joined the American Antiquarian Society in 1869. His ancestor Samuel Damon of Holden, Massachusetts in 1836 donated a corner of the property where the AAS is today located. The Rev. Damon served as the pastor of the American Seaman’s Friend Society chapel in Honolulu from 1841 to 1869 during the height of the American whaling ship era. He founded and published The Friend, a monthly newspaper He was the editor and publisher of The Friend, a monthly newspaper printed in Honolulu. The Friend was an outreach to the thousands of sailors who arrived in Hawai‘i each year during his life in Hawai‘i and included news of ship arrivals and departures and a wide variety of news about the Hawaiian Islands.
Albert Schütz photo courtesy Puanani Anderson-Fung
Albert Schütz, professor emeritus of linguistics at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa died early in the morning of Sunday, August 23, 2020, at his home in Mānoa.
Al provided insights for me into the pioneering Hawaiian language efforts of Henry ‘Ōpūkaha‘ia, enlightening me on this subject which appears in Voices of Eden, his comprehensive and interesting history of the creation of a written Hawaiian language.
In his recently published book Hawaiian Language Past, Present, Future Al “presents aspects of Hawaiian [language] and its history that are rarely treated in language classes.”
I can hear Al’s voice as I read Hawaiian Language Past, Present, Future. The book takes readers from the origins of the Polynesian language group into futuristic looks at how digital technolgy is allowing users worldwide to better study and understand the Hawaiian language. Though a considerable amount of scholarly material on the Hawaiian language is presented in this book, the book features a very readable narrative with a flavor of storytelling running throughout. Many informative color and black and white images add to this interesting account of the Hawaiian language.