Skip links

Bishop Escobedo-Frank Visits Hawai‘i for Reconciliation

From January 19 to January 21, Bishop Escobedo-Frank and Rev. Dr. Denyse Barnes visited Honolulu for several events recognizing history and community work in Hawai‘i. Friday, January 19, included a visit to the Royal Mausoleum, final resting place of Queen Lili‘uokalani, and participation in an interfaith reconciliation service. Bishop Escobedo-Frank and the Hawai‘i District Acts of Repentance Task Force collaborated with faith groups across the island to recognize, repent, and remake themselves toward a future of reconciliation.

The Queen Lili‘uokalani Ho‘oku‘ikahi Reconciliation Service was held on Friday, January 19, at 6:30 pm in the main temple at Honpa Hongwanji Hawai‘i Betsuin in Honolulu. The interfaith service included prayers for reconciliation from Kahu Heather Barfield, Kaumakapili Church of the Hawai‘i Conference UCC, Mary Carpenter from the Reconciliation Committee of The Episcopal Church of Hawai‘i, Raj Kumar from the Gandhi International Institute for Peace, and Rev. Amy Wake from the Hawai‘i District Acts of Repentance Task Force.

Queen Lili‘uokalani was illegally overthrown in 1893, an act of violence instigated by non-indigenous businessmen and leaders, supported by US military, and aided by Rev. Dr. Harcourt W. Peck, a pastor in the Methodist Episcopal Church. The California-Pacific Conference voted to approve an apology resolution for this illegal overthrow and the participation of The United Methodist Church at our 2018 annual conference. This resolution will come before the General Conference this year thanks to the work of our Acts of Repentance Task Force. The resolution calls for The United Methodist 2020 General Conference to issue a formal acknowledgment and public apology to Native Hawaiians for the church’s complicity in the illegal overthrow.

The service recognized Queen Lili‘uokalani’s non-violent resistance to the overthrow and her ongoing advocacy on behalf of her people.  She was also recognized for her support of the Buddhist faith and protection of multi-ethnic plantation workers.

Before the service, Bishop Escobedo-Frank and Rev. Dr. Barnes were joined by Hawai‘i District Superintendent Rev. Dr. Tom Choi and the Acts of Repentance Task Force to pay their respects to Queen Liliʻuokalani at her final resting place in the Royal Mausoleum by attending a ceremony and placing lei at the Queen’s tomb.  Bishop Escobedo-Frank is the first Bishop of The United Methodist Church to be part of a formal ceremony at the Mausoleum honoring Queen Lili‘uokalani and the other Hawaiian ali’i (royalty).