Weekly webinars, Aug. 7–Oct. 23, delve into ‘illegal US occupation’ of Hawaii

The national governing body of the United Church of Christ last year called on the United States to admit that its presence in Hawaii is, by international law, an “illegal occupation.”

Now a 12-week webinar, open to all, is delving into the issue.

Hawaiian Kingdom History: the Kingdom, the Church, the Land” is live on Zoom Aug. 7 through Oct. 23. The sessions, all on Sundays, are from 4 to 5 p.m. HST. People can register here. It’s free. The weekly topics appear below.

The series is a joint project of the UCC’s Hawaii Conference and the Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches, which includes 31 historically Native Hawaiian congregations.

People who register here will be able to engage in Q&A with the presenters in this series, running Aug. 7 through Oct. 23.

‘128 years of war’

AHEC is the body that submitted the resolution to the 2021 General Synod, calling for an end to “128 years of war between the United States of America and the Hawaiian Kingdom.” In doing so, it spelled out the history, background and urgency of the matter.

As amended by delegates in a two-day process, the resolution:

  • Calls on “all settings of the church … to live into the 1993 apology of the United Church of Christ delivered to the Native Hawaiian people”
  • Reaffirms the Synod’s commitment “to stand alongside and in support of the efforts of Native Hawaiians to seek redress and restitution for the war crimes of the U.S. against the Hawaiian Kingdom including, but not limited to, the crime of denationalization”
  • Asks for “a written and oral update on the progress on the implementation of this resolution” at the 2023 Synod.

Expert presentations

Kalaniakea Wilson, who helped advocate the Synod resolution, said the webinar series will feature presentations by experts in each of three sections: kingdom, church and land.

He said each session will be recorded and offered later at AHEC’s website. But there’s an advantage to signing up for the series. “If you are registered and able to watch live, you will be able to ask questions from the experts for the last 30 minutes of each presentation,” he said. “We are very excited to offer this educational series.”

The webinar topics are as follows, with more details on topics and presenters here:

Part I: The Kingdom

  • Aug. 7: The importance of terminology
  • Aug. 14: The constitutional history of the Hawaiian Kingdom
  • Aug. 21: The illegal overthrow of the government of the Hawaiian Kingdom
  • Aug. 28: The road to recovery of ending the American occupation

Part II: The Church

  • Sept. 4: The Early Mission, 1820 -1863
  • Sept. 11: Hōʻeuʻeu Hou: Sons of the Mission and the Shaping of a New “Mission,” 1863-1888
  • Sept. 18: Poʻe Karitiano ʻOiaʻiʻo (True Christians)
  • Sept. 25: “I ka Wā Mamua, ka Wā Mahope” (The Future is in the Past)

Part III: The Land

  • Oct. 2: An Overview of the Great Mahele
  • Oct. 9: Government Lands
  • Oct. 16: Konohiki Lands – emphasis on the King’s (Crown) Lands
  • Oct. 23: Kuleana Lands

‘Legacy of colonialism’

The resolution has faced some resistance, both at General Synod and in Hawaii. But Hawaii Conference Minister David Popham, at a web page devoted to the issue, encouraged people to continue to learn about and discuss what is now an official position of the Synod.

“Whether you are in agreement with the resolution or not, it raised critical attention to the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy,” Popham said. “Let us through this resolution seek the voice of the Still Speaking God which calls us to hear the pain and see the wounds of historic trauma and give ourselves over to addressing the continuing legacy of colonialism.”


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Categories: United Church of Christ News

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