The Diocese of Hawai`i

The Cathedral is located on Queen Emma Square along with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and St. Andrew’s Priory School for Girls, an Episcopal day school founded by Queen Emma. Adjacent to Queen Emma Square is St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. The three congregations on the Queen Emma Square represent about 20% of all Episcopalians worshiping in Hawai‘i on any given Sunday. Governed individually these entities strive to be in close relationship to achieve efficiencies of operations, maximize resources, and minimize costs.

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 St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Honolulu. Queen Emma also founded Queen’s Hospital (now Queen’s Medical Center) and St. Andrew’s Priory School for Girls in Honolulu.

Today, the Episcopal Diocese of Hawai‘i consists of 39 worshiping communities on five islands. About half of these are on the island of O‘ahu, where Honolulu is located, while the others are distributed among Kaua‘i, Maui, Moloka‘i, and Hawai‘i (the “Big Island”).

The Right Reverend Robert L. Fitzpatrick became Diocesan Bishop on March 10, 2007, after serving as the Bishop’s Canon to the Ordinary since 2000. Bishop Fitzpatrick emphasizes that the congregations of the Diocese must cooperate with one another to accomplish the ministry and mission to which God calls us. Our common mission, he says, is summarized in three passages from the Gospel according to Matthew: the Great Commandment (Matt. 22:37-40); the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matt. 25:31-46); and the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20).

Ministry in Hawai‘i is a special call.  Any location has its challenges but serving in Hawai‘i brings an additional set of advantages and tradeoffs that must be given serious consideration. 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 with approximately 80% of Hawaii’s Episcopalians living in the metropolitan area of Honolulu.  As such, urban ministry is a major factor for many congregations.   The metropolitan area Deanery consists of the churches on Cathedral Square, St. Elizabeth’s, and St. Luke’s, and St. Clement’s parishes.

For more information about the Episcopal Diocese of Hawai‘i, go to the diocesan web page at http://www.episcopalhawaii.org.

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