Skip to content

UCC RESOLUTION – APOLOGY

United Church of Christ Resolution (June 1991-Norfolk, Virgina)

UCCSYNOD

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Eighteenth General Synod designates as PAAM Sunday the last Sunday of April each year.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Eighteenth General Synod directs the Executive Council to work with the various instrumentalities to develop appropriate resources in consultation with PAAM to recognized, celebrate and use the contributions and gifts of Pacific Island Asian American peoples. Subject to the availability of funds. 16. RESOLUTION “SELF-GOVERNNACE OF NATIVE HAWAIIANS”

Ms. Mazery presented the Resolution “Self-Governance of Native Hawaiians” and moved its adoption. She asked for a suspension of the rules to allow the Rev. Kaleo Patterson (HI) to speak for the resolution. The Moderator suspended the rules upon consensus of the delegates. 91-GS-28 VOTED:

The Eighteenth General Synod adopts the Resolution “Self –Governance of Native Hawaiians.”

SELF-GOVERNACE OF NATIVE HAWAIIANS Theological and Biblical Basis:

The belief that God delivers the oppressed is clear in Exodus 3:7-8, which asserts “… I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry… and I have come to deliver them…and bring them…to a good and broad land, a land flowing with mild and honey.” Likewise, the Psalmist declares, the Lord”…has pity on the weak and the need…and…from oppression and violence he redeems their life…” (Psalm 72:13-14) By divine imperative, the prophets preached justice; and, by his unselfish life and sacrificial death on the Cross, Jesus Christ showed that God loves the oppressed. Thus, as the body of Christ, the Church engages in the struggle for justice and deliverance of the oppressed. Rational for Synod Action In response to God’s World, and in obedience to Jesus Christ and affirming its Statement of Faith, the United Church of Christ, a Just Peace Church, works to free the oppressed. The General Synod, our governing body, is a commendable example for the Untied Church of Christ members and others. Its instrumentalities side with today’s oppressed; and, we trust it to do the same tomorrow as an expression of faithfulness to Jesus Christ. References to Previous General Synod Policy on This Issue: Whereas, the Seventeenth General Synod, which adopted a “Hawaiian Homelands” Resolution, heard a pronouncement about the Westernizing and destruction of Pacific Island ways before Euro-American contact. It stated, “Hawaii was owned by God and the People were steward of the land. Then, the Great Mahele (land distribution), a foreign idea of private land ownership, was introduced. The Kingdom of Hawaii enacted this system by Euro-American design and pressure. The same was true with the dethroning of Hawaii’s last monarch Queen Lili’oukalani. In both instances, American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions missionary descendants were involved. Unable to relate to this land system, native Hawaiian became dislocated strangers at home; and many still ache with pain stemming from the tragic overthrow. “Previous General Synods have passed resolutions and a pronouncement in support of Native Americans whose experiences are similar to Native Hawaiians. Background and Discussion Whereas, the Congregational Church, a historic member of the united Church has yet to acknowledge that some of its missionary descendant were party to an illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy in 1893. In fact, U.S. President Grover Cleveland, on December 18, 1893 said to Congress,”…The military occupation of Honolulu by the United States on the day mentioned was wholly without justification , either as an occupation by consent or an occupation necessitated by dangers threatening American life and property.” WHEREAS, there is a rising consciousness to reevaluate the circumstances surrounding the overthrow. And, with the coming of the hundredth anniversary of that said historic even for Hawaiians, an honest appraisal and acknowledgment of the Congregational missionaries descendants role in it should be made, because our Church needs to bring that matter to some appropriate closure;

WHEREAS, the Hawaii Conference UCC, at its 1990 annual meeting, enacted Resolution “Recognizing the Right to Self-Governance of Native Hawaiians. “Through his means, the Hawaii Conference UCC is supporting the movement to correct injustice to native Hawaiians;

WHEREAS, in 1970 President Richard Nixon changed the existing U.S. policy toward America’s native peoples by rejecting all past policies which had kept Native Americans wards of the government. He announced a national policy of self determination of Indian tribes; and Whereas, the United States has a has history of granting Indigenous people including American Indian, Eskimos, and Aleuts the inherent right of a self-determined governance and management of resources; and the Native A Hawaiian has yet to be included among these.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Eighteenth General Synod recognized the inherent right of Native Hawaiians to self governance; and, pledges it support and solidarity in the name of Christ.

BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED, the Eighteenth General Synod urges the Hawaii State Legislature and the U.S. Congress to recognize the right of self-governance of native Hawaiians; and we urge these governments to make available resources to support grassroots initiatives towards self-governance.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Eighteenth General Synod in recognition of our denomination’s historical complicities in the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893, directs the office of the President of the U.C.C. to offer a public apology to the native Hawaiian people, and to initiate a process if reconciliation between the United Church of Christ and native Hawaiians.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Eighteenth General Synod directs the Office for Church in Society to develop resources in collaboration with the Hawaii Conference UCC to enable churches and conferences to engage in study about the substance of this resolution.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Eighteenth General Synod also directs the Office for Church in Society to monitor and to follow up on this resolution, to report progress in UCC publications, and in collaboration with the Hawaii conference UCC, to report to the Nineteenth general Synod.

AND FINALLY, BE IT RESLOVED, the Eighteenth General Synod shares this resolution and follow up study and report with other denominations in order to encourage their support of this initiative of Native Hawaiian self-governance. Subject to the availability of funds.

17. DEBATE EXTENDED The Moderator asked the delegates fro permission to extend debate for five minutes in order to hear the next Resolution. Permission was granted.

18. RESOLUTION “FOR A 21ST CENTURY STATEMENT OF FAITH” Ms. Maxey moved that the Eighteenth General Synod take no action on this resolution at this time. 19. RESPONSE TO MR. EDELMAN’S ADDRESS FROM PAUL SHERRY The Moderator granted President Paul Sherry the privilege of speaking in response to Ms. Marian Edelman’s address. Mr. Sherry challenged all present to do everything possible to create a world fit for all God’s children. He promised to mobilize the instrumentalities, conferences, and local churches to respond to his challenge. 20. ANNOUCEMENT AND RECESS Moderator Gosselink asked Ms. Bernice Powell for announcements and then declared the Eighteenth General Synod to be in recess until 2:00 p.m. Monday afternoon. MONDAY AFTERNOON, JULY 1, 1991 1. CALL TO ORDER Assistance Moderator Thomas called General Synod to order and recognized Ms. Bernice Powell for announcements. Mr. Thomas called for the recognition of the Rev. Ray Berry (SD) for his 20 years in Social Service to Native American, eight years as an Association Minister, and 14 years serving Native American churches. His spouses Ms. Shirley Berry served as an administrative assistance. The delegates responded with a round of applause. 2. RESOLUTION “PARTNERSHIIP REAFFRIAMTION BETWEEN THE EVANGELICAL PRESBYTEREIAN CHRUCH OF GHANA AND THE UNITED CHRUCH OF CHRIST” WHEREAS, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana, and the United Church of Christ (USA) have a partnership in mission based on our mutual acceptance of membership in the Body of Christ; WHEREAS, these churches are united by our belief in the scriptures and our affirmation that we are sisters and brothers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; WHEREAS, we believe that this partnership has provided for and will provide for the mutual free expression of our Christian love; WHEREAS, both churches have declared themselves to be truly desirous of strengthening this relationship in the love of Christ; WHEREAS, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana is a member church of the All African Council of Churches, the World Alliance of Reformed Church, and World Council of Churches, demonstrating its interest and commitment in ecumenical relationships; WHEREAS, the United Church of Christ (USA) seeks to celebrates, reaffirm and strengthen its dialogue and ecumenical relationship through the world; and WHEREAS, we believe that this particular partnership in mission will shard in Christian solidarity, and provide a means for strengthening our common implementation of the mission of the church in the world. THEREFORE, BE IT RESLOVED, the Eighteenth General Synod of the UCC (USA) celebrates an authorized the ongoing partnership between he Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ohana and the United Church of Christ (USA) in June 1991 and reaffirms the partnership agreement. Subject to the availability of funds

CHURCH APOLOGY TO NATIVE HAWAIIANS APOLOGY TO NA KANAKA MAOLI AN APOLOGY TO NA KANAKA MAOLI – UNITED CHURCHES OF CHRIST (Dr. Paul Sherry, President to The Indigenous Hawaiian People) After attending services at Kawaiahao Church, and processing to the grounds of Iolani Palace where thousands of people had gathered, the Apology to Na Kanaka Maoli was given by Dr. Paul Sherry, President, of the United Church of Christ on January 17, 1993. With tear-filled eyes and deep emotion his historic words were heard by the young and old, and many were touched with the hope of a new day. Latter in the day Dr. Sherry delivered the same Apology address, on the grounds of Kaumakapili Church under a large luau tent, Instead of sharing in the planned reception and meal after the Kaumakapili event, Dr. Paul Sherry, Dr. Kaleo Patterson, and Dr. Haaheo Guanson, returned to Iolani Palace to participate in a religious ceremony consecrating the newly constructed ahu – altar. As the group of Hawaiian leaders gathered, the manuscript of the Apology was placed on the altar being blessed by Parly Kanakaole. The ahu – altar was made of stones – pohaku that were brought from all the islands to commemorate the day, and the hope of unity. This date Janaury 17th, 1993 was the 100th Anniversary of the Overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy. by Dr. Kaleo Patterson January 17th, 2000 We are gathered in this place at the request of the 18th General Synod of the United Church of Christ, to recall with sorrow the unprovoked invasion of the Hawaiian nation on January 17, 1893, by forces of the United States. We are gathered here so that, as President of the United Church of Christ, I can apologize for the support given that act by ancestors of ours in the church not known as the United Church of Christ. We do so in order to begin a process of repentance, redress and reconciliation for wrongs done. We are here to commit ourselves to work alongside our na Kanaka Maoli sisters and brothers-both those in the United Church of Christ and those beyond-in the hope that a society of justice and mercy for them and for all people everywhere, may yet emerge. We remember that in 1820 the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, now known as the United Church Board for World Ministries, sent missionaries to Hawaii to preach the good news of Jesus Christ. These women and men, often at great personal sacrifice, witnessed to the Gospel in compelling ways. Their lives of Christian commitment and generosity are an inspiration, and their contributions endure. We thank God for them. Some of these men and women, however, sometimes confused the ways of the West with the ways of the Christ. Assumptions of cultural and racial superiority and alien economic understanding led some of them and those who followed them to discounts or undervalue the strengths of the mature society they encountered. Therefore, the rich indigenous values of na Kanaka Maoli, their language, their spirituality, and their regard for the land, were denigrated. The resulting social, political, and economic implications of these harmful attitudes contributed to the suffering of na Kanaka Maoli in that time and into the present. Justice will be pursued and reconciliation achieved as, together, we recognized both the strengths and the weakness of those who preceded us, as we celebrate that which is good, and as we make right that which is wrong. Through the years na Kanaka Maoli have experience virtually the total loss of their pae’aina (land base). Their mechanism for sovereignty, their government, ahs been taken from them. Many suffer from severe poverty, lack of education opportunity and decent health care, and their cultural heritage is under severe threat. Justice and mercy demand rectification of these wrongs, so that we may be reconciled with each other and walk, together, toward a common future. We recognize that, in collaboration with others from the United States and elsewhere, a number of descendants of the missionaries helped from the so-called “Provisional Government,” which conspired with armed forces of the United States in the invasion of 1893. With the involvement and public support of members of the Hawaiian Evangelical Association (the predecessor body for the Hawaii Conference United Church of Christ, the Provisional Government appropriated all Crown and government lands for eventual forfeiture to the United States. On January 17, 1893, Queen Lili’oukalani, temporarily and under “solemn protest,” yielded to the superior force of the United States “until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon face being presented to it, unto the action of its representatives and reinstate me…” Queen Lili’oukalani rejected not only the legality of the overthrow but also its morality. She appealed direct to the American people. Oh, honest Americans, as Christians hear me for my downtrodden people! Their form of government is as dear to them as yours is precious to you. Quite as warmly as you love your country, so they love theirs…With all your goodly possessions, covering a territory so immense that there yet remain past unexplored, possessing island that, although near at hand, had to be neutral ground in time of war, do not cover the little vineyard of Naboth’s, so far from your shores, lest the punishment of Ahab fall upon you. If not in your day, in that of your children, for “be not deceived God is not mocked.” The children to whom our fathers told of the living God, and taught to call “Father, “and whom the sons now seek to despoil and destroy, are crying aloud to Him in their time of trouble; and He will keep His promise, and will listen to the voices of His Hawaiians children, lamenting for their homes. Sadly, the Queens’ appeal was ignored. A long century later, the 18th General Synod of the United Church of Christ, while celebrating the good fruit of the mission enterprise, recognizes also, far too late, the wrongs perpetrated upon na Kanaka Maoli. Therefore, the General Synod has instructed me, its President, to begin a process of reconciliation, beginning with a formal apology to you, na Kanaka Maoli. We acknowledge and confess our sins against you and your forebears, na Kanaka Maoli,. We formally apologize to you for “our denomination’s historical complicities in the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy in 1893,” by unduly identifying the ways of the West with the ways of the Christ, and thereby, undervaluing the strengths of the mature society that was native Hawaii. We commit ourselves to help right the wrongs inflicted upon you. We promise respect for the religious traditions and practices, the spirituality and culture tat are distinctly yours. We promise solidarity with you in common concern, action and support. We will seek to be present and vulnerable with you and the Hawaii Conference of the United Church of Christ in the struggle for justice, peace and reconciliation. Our General Synod resolution promises advocacy for state and national legislation in support of “grass root initiatives toward self-government.” We commit ourselves this day to establish a task force to work in partnership with you and the Hawaii Conference as you seek self-determination and justice. We make these promises in the hope that redress may be achieved. May God’s Spirit guide and God’s Grace empower us in this new day of reconciliation. Amen

 

@font-face { font-family: “Times New Roman”; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }

 

APOLOGY TO NA KANAKA MAOLI

AN APOLOGY TO NA KANAKA MAOLI – UNITED CHURCHES OF CHRIST

(Dr. Paul Sherry, President to The Indigenous Hawaiian People)

 

After attending services at Kawaiahao Church,  and processing to the grounds of Iolani Palace where thousands of people had gathered, the Apology to Na Kanaka Maoli was given by Dr. Paul Sherry, President, of the United Church of Christ on January 17, 1993. With tear-filled eyes and deep emotion his historic words were heard by the young and old, and many were touched with the hope of a new day. Latter in the day Dr. Sherry delivered the same Apology address, on the grounds of Kaumakapili Church under a large luau tent, Instead of sharing in the planned reception and meal after the Kaumakapili event, Dr. Paul Sherry, Dr. Kaleo Patterson, and Dr. Haaheo Guanson, returned to Iolani Palace to participate in a religious ceremony consecrating the newly constructed ahu – altar.  As the group of Hawaiian leaders gathered, the manuscript of the Apology was placed on the altar being blessed by Parly Kanakaole. The ahu – altar was made of stones – pohaku that were brought from all the islands to commemorate the day, and the hope of unity.  This date Janaury 17th, 1993 was the 100th Anniversary of the Overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy.

                                                        by Dr. Kaleo Patterson

 

                                                 January 17th, 2000

We are gathered in this place at the request of the 18th General Synod of the United Church of Christ, to recall with sorrow the unprovoked invasion of the Hawaiian nation on January 17, 1893, by forces of the United States.  We are gathered here so that, as President of the United Church of Christ, I can apologize for the support given that act by ancestors of ours in the church not known as the United Church of Christ.  We do so in order to begin a process of repentance, redress and reconciliation for wrongs done.  We are here to commit ourselves to work alongside our na Kanaka Maoli sisters and brothers-both those in the United Church of Christ and those beyond-in the hope that a  society of justice and mercy for them and for all people everywhere, may yet emerge.

 

 

We remember that in 1820 the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, now known as the United Church Board for World Ministries, sent missionaries to Hawaii to preach the good news of Jesus Christ.  These women and men, often at great personal sacrifice, witnessed to the Gospel in compelling ways.  Their lives of Christian commitment and generosity are an inspiration, and their contributions endure.  We thank God for them.

 

 

Some of these men and women, however, sometimes confused the ways of the West with the ways of the Christ.  Assumptions of cultural and racial superiority and alien economic understanding led some of them and those who followed them to discounts or undervalue the strengths of the mature society they encountered.  Therefore, the rich indigenous values of na Kanaka Maoli, their language, their spirituality, and their regard for the land, were denigrated.  The resulting social, political, and economic implications of these harmful attitudes contributed to the suffering of na Kanaka Maoli in that time and into the present.  Justice will be pursued and reconciliation achieved as, together, we recognized both the strengths and the weakness of those who preceded us, as we celebrate that which is good, and as we make right that which is wrong.

 

 

Through the years na Kanaka Maoli have experience virtually the total loss of their pae’aina (land base).  Their mechanism for sovereignty, their government, ahs been taken from them.  Many suffer from severe poverty, lack of education opportunity and decent health care, and their cultural heritage is under severe threat.  Justice and mercy demand rectification of these wrongs, so that we may be reconciled with each other and walk, together, toward a common future.

 

 

We recognize that, in collaboration with others from the United States and elsewhere, a number of descendants of the missionaries helped from the so-called “Provisional Government,” which conspired with armed forces of the United States in the invasion of 1893.  With the involvement and public support of members of the Hawaiian Evangelical Association (the predecessor body for the Hawaii Conference United Church of Christ, the Provisional Government appropriated all Crown and government lands for eventual forfeiture to the United States.  On January 17, 1893, Queen Lili’oukalani, temporarily and under “solemn protest,” yielded to the superior force of the United States “until such time as the Government of the United States shall, upon face being presented to it, unto the action of its representatives and reinstate me…”

 

 

Queen Lili’oukalani rejected not only the legality of the overthrow but also its morality. She appealed direct to the American people.

 

 

Oh, honest Americans, as Christians hear me for my downtrodden people! Their form of government is as dear to them as yours is precious to you.  Quite as warmly as you love your country, so they love theirs…With all your goodly possessions, covering a territory so immense that there yet remain past unexplored, possessing island that, although near at hand, had to be neutral ground in time of war, do not cover the little vineyard of Naboth’s, so far from your shores, lest the punishment of Ahab fall upon you.  If not in your day, in that of your children, for “be not deceived God is not mocked.”  The children to whom our fathers told of the living God, and taught to call “Father, “and whom the sons now seek to despoil and destroy, are crying aloud to Him in their time of trouble; and He will keep His promise, and will listen to the voices of His Hawaiians children, lamenting for their homes.

 

 

Sadly, the Queens’ appeal was ignored.

 

 

A long century later, the 18th General Synod of the United Church of Christ, while celebrating the good fruit of the mission enterprise, recognizes also, far too late, the wrongs perpetrated upon na Kanaka Maoli.  Therefore, the General Synod has instructed me, its President, to begin a process of reconciliation, beginning with a formal apology to you, na Kanaka Maoli.

 

 

We acknowledge and confess our sins against you and your forebears, na Kanaka Maoli,.  We formally apologize to you for “our denomination’s historical complicities in the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy in 1893,” by unduly identifying the ways of the West with the ways of the Christ, and thereby, undervaluing the strengths of the mature society that was native Hawaii.  We commit ourselves to help right the wrongs inflicted upon you.  We promise respect for the religious traditions and practices, the spirituality and culture tat are distinctly yours.  We promise solidarity with you in common concern, action and support.  We will seek to be present and vulnerable with you and the Hawaii Conference of the United Church of Christ in the struggle for justice, peace and reconciliation.

 

 

Our General Synod resolution promises advocacy for state and national legislation in support of “grass root initiatives toward self-government.”  We commit ourselves this day to establish a task force to work in partnership with you and the Hawaii Conference as you seek self-determination and justice.  We make these promises in the hope that redress may be achieved.

 

 

May God’s Spirit guide and God’s Grace empower us in this new day of reconciliation.

 

 

Amen

 

 

 

Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

Here are some suggestions for your first post.

  1. You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post.
  2. Add PressThis to your browser. It creates a new blog post for you about any interesting  page you read on the web.
  3. Make some changes to this page, and then hit preview on the right. You can always preview any post or edit it before you share it to the world.