Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral

Article | August 11, 2023

Congregation Update: Lahaina Maui Fires

Blog|The Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm Clemens Young

Dear Friends,

So many of you have reached out to us about the fires that destroyed Lahaina Maui this week. I am deeply grateful for your concern and that we have this shared life together which is such a support in times of tragedy. God is so good to give us to each other!

My wife Heidi’s family has lived in Maui since before Captain Cook first arrived in the eighteenth century, so we do have a lot of relatives. So far, none of them seem to have been killed. At the same time, they appear to be traumatized by these horrifying events. Communications systems broke down, and for a while, we were unable to reach some loved ones.

We also have many family members who are firefighters. We are grateful for them. They bravely bear such terrible burdens to be sure that someone is always available to help in times of disaster. So much of value was destroyed. At one time, Lahaina was the capitol of the Kingdom of Hawaii. In particular, Holy Innocent’s Episcopal Church, Waiola Church, and the Lahaina Jodo Mission were such important places in our family life.

Every time I pass the site of the old Grace Church on California Street, where the Ritz Carlton Hotel now stands, I wonder what the inside of that church building looked like, what was depicted in the stained glass windows, and how the organ sounded. In April 1906, the congregation worshiped there without knowing it was the last time they would gather there. The building was destroyed by the Earthquake and Great Fire.

Only a couple of years later, our forebears laid the foundation for Grace Cathedral. Every day we benefit from their vision and dedication. We also make our own contribution to this ongoing sign of God’s mercy and love. We too, for our time, are reimagining church with courage, joy, and wonder.

May God bless and keep you this week and always!


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