posted Feb 27, 2013, 7:14 AM by Amelia Fannin
updated Feb 27, 2013, 7:14 AM by in apropos
the last week I have had the wonderful gift of being on a cruise in the
Hawaiian islands, with my family and my brother-in-law, courtesy of my
wonderful in-laws. On the trip I learned the word "Ohana", popularized
in the movie Lilo and Stitch, and experienced it in my visit to the
Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Honolulu, Oahu. Ohana means family,
but also a community connected by love and respect, and that is what I
found there. I was enthusiastically welcomed by the members, and shared
in a worship which was completely familiar in its shape and elements,
but included some items which were not familiar. We sang a Japanese
hymn, and a setting of a prayer written by Queen Liliʻuokalani, Hawaii's
last queen, who was put under house arrest by the Americans who
overthrew the Hawaiian government in 1895. This prayer expresses her
faith in God's protection even at this terrible time in her life. Here
is the English translation of two of the verses:
While I humbly meditate within these walls imprisoned,
you are my light, my haven, your glory is my support.
For your grace I ask you; bring us under your protection. And peace will be our portion now and for evermore.
One of the ways in which the congregation of Epiphany, Honolulu was
definitely similar to Grace, Newton, is that their time of sharing the
peace was, if you can believe it, even longer, noisier, and
spirit-filled than ours!
A feature of the church that I loved were the stained glass windows,
made in the 50's, which included people of different heritages. In one,
the Angel Gabriel appearing to Mary is depicted as a Hawaiian warrior.
In another, the children crowded around Jesus are of different ethnic
Another sign of Ohana over the last week is that while I was away,
teachers stepped in to be church school teachers for not just one, but
for both Sundays of the vacation, so that families could say goodbye to
Linda on her last Sunday. When I first came to Grace, my hope was to
encourage the talent and commitment of potential church school leaders I
saw already in the congregation. I am so thankful that this has come
to be. Many thanks to those of you who taught!
Jesus with the Children - a window in
Epiphany Episcopal Church