THE DIOCESE OF HAWAI'I
The Episcopal Church in Hawai'i began in 1862 when King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma — a lifelong Anglican — invited the Church of England to Hawai‘i. The King and Queen supported the Church’s establishment throughout the islands with gifts of land, and by founding the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Honolulu.
THE CHURCHES AND PEOPLE
Today, the Episcopal Diocese of Hawai‘i consists of 37 worshiping communities on five islands. About half of these are on the island of O‘ahu, where Honolulu, the capital of Hawai‘i, is located, while the others are distributed among Kaua‘i, Maui, Moloka‘i, and Hawai‘i (“the Big Island”). We are on islands in the middle of the Pacific living in completely multicultural surroundings. Some congregations were founded to serve a particular ethnic group, but have since evolved to include a mix of people of, perhaps, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Samoan, Hawaiian, Filipino, Mexican, and European descent. Though small and rural with miles of open spaces, we also reflect urban life.
Approximately 80 percent of Hawai‘i’s Episcopalians live in the metro area of Honolulu. As such, with more than 800,000 people, urban ministry is a major factor for many congregations in this missionary setting. Throughout the islands, Episcopalians gather together to worship in churches that may be grand and those that are tiny and quaint; in school cafeterias, at beaches, or under a giant banyan tree. The music is just as diverse, with pipe organs, ukuleles, electric guitars and different ethnic instruments in the mix, depending on where you are and which service you attend.
With over 120 clergy in the Diocese, 31 are canonically resident clergy who live/serve outside the Hawaiian Islands (including Guam, Samoa, and Jerusalem).