Celebrations Honor Henry ‘Opukaha‘ia
To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the death of Henry 'Opukaha'ia, the young Hawaiian credited with inspiring the Sandwich Islands Mission that brought Christianity to Hawai'i, events are being planned for February 17 and 18 in Hawai‘i and on the mainland. Resources have also been compiled to help with observances.
Saturday, February 17
Churches statewide are invited to ring their bells 26 times (presumably ‘Opukaha‘ia’s age when he died) starting at 10 a.m.
A special worship service will be held at Haili Congregational Church (211 Haili Street, Hilo) at 10 a.m.
Kawaiaha‘o Church (957 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu) will conduct a 10 a.m. service followed by special activities at the Hawaiian Mission Houses.
An ‘Opukaha‘ia Memorial Plaque Dedication will take place at Mokuaikaua Church at 10 a.m., followed by a memorial concert. The church will also honor ‘Opukaha‘ia during services at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
A remembrance of ‘Opukaha‘ia will take place at his original gravesite in Cornwall, Connecticut, at 3 p.m.
Sunday, February 18
A commemoration service will be held at 9:30 a.m. at Kahikolu Congregational Church (Napo'opo'o Road) on Hawai‘i Island, where ‘Opukaha‘ia is now buried.
Henry ‘Opukaha‘ia/Hokuloa Chapel on Hawai‘i Island will hold a memorial service at 10 a.m.
A service will take place at United Church of Christ in Cornwall (Cornwall, Connecticut, where ‘Opukaha‘ia died in 1818) at 10 a.m.
To help churches honor the 200th anniversary of Henry ‘Opukaha‘ia’s death, the State Council of Hawaiian Congregational Churches has compiled a resource packet of suggested hymns, scripture readings, prayers and other materials for use on February 17.
A new, six-hour documentary about the life of Henry ‘Opukaha‘ia and early Christianity in Hawai‘i will be broken into three two-hour showings on consecutive Sundays at Ewa Community Church (91-1258 Renton Road, Ewa Beach): March 4, 11 and 18 starting at 5:45 p.m. The church's Acting Pastor, Rennie Mau, worked as a consultant for the film.