Our hearts are hurting with the news of the devastation caused by wildfires on the islands of Maui and Hawai'i ("the Big Island").
Bishop Robert Fitzpatrick of Hawai'i issued the below update on their communities and offers ways in which we can give our support for their immediate needs.
I bid you include in your prayers a petition for those whose lives have been lost and devastated and for those who are working towards relief and recovery in the wake of such destruction.
My dear Siblings in Christ Jesus,
With the news of the fires on the islands of Maui and Hawaiʻi (“the Big Island”), I ask your prayers.
Lahaina was devastated. Historic Holy Innocents Church is on Front Street where the fire very quickly swept into old Lahaina town. Those old buildings made out of wood, went up in flames quickly. Some of the buildings destroyed date back to the days of whaling and when the town was the seat of the monarchy (early 1800s). Likely, this includes our church, Holy Innocents, based on an aerial photo sent to the office. The Sanctuary, vicarage, preschool and office appear to be completely gone (as does the public elementary school next door). Whole Lahaina neighborhoods are gone. Because of evacuations, downed landlines and cell towers, and the chaos of the situation, no one other than first responders are allowed into Lahaina, and we have had no first hand confirmation of the losses.
The clergy have reported in as safe.
What can you do? Many have asked how you can help through the Diocese with immediate response for relief efforts on Maui. The Episcopal Diocese of Hawaiʻi is coordinating immediate diocesan relief efforts to the Lahaina fire disaster through the Diocese’s A Cup of Cold Water (ACCW) (a separately incorporated subsidiary of the Diocese that serves the houseless on Maui).
You may also mail checks directly to: A Cup of Cold Water, 2140 Main St., Wailuku, HI 96793
This is to help with immediate needs. The recovery efforts will take a very long time.
We have been in touch with Episcopal Relief and Development and with the Church Insurance Company.
I urge you to pray: A Prayer for Those Facing Wildfires.
We will share more as information becomes available.
The Right Reverend Robert L. Fitzpatrick
The Episcopal Diocese of Hawai'i