A Word of Hope from Lahaina UMC, Hawaii, USA


Pastor John Crewe provides a hopeful update from the congregation of Lahaina UMC in Hawaii.

Note: In August 2023, the church building of Lahaina UMC in Maui, Hawaii, USA, was destroyed in a devastating wildfire. This congregation is close to the heart of our own Marilyn Brandl, whose sister is a member of the church; over the decades, Marilyn has regularly visited the congregation and worshipped in this historic church. Late last year, ESUMC members and friends collected €2,500 in support for Lahaina UMC, which was sent to the congregation to assist in relief, recovery, and rebuilding.

Below please find a recent letter to Marilyn from Pastor John Crewe of Lahaina UMC.


Aloha, Marilyn:

I would like to thank you and ESUMC Vienna for the wonderful support that you have provided to our church. In the wake of the devastation, we were heartened by the love and support you shared for our church and community.

Our mission extends beyond mere reconstruction; it is a commitment to rebuilding lives, restoring faith, and nurturing a sense of belonging for all who seek refuge in our faith community. The resilience we cultivate together today will be of great value to our community as we all face the daunting economic, political, moral, and spiritual challenges that threaten to rob us of hope, love, and solidarity.  

We have already taken significant steps to support our members and neighbors who lost their homes and/or their jobs in the fire by providing direct financial assistance to these victims.

The money that your church graciously donated will be used to restore our property. We will rebuild our church, and we hope to do much more with the 3.2 acres of property our church has in downtown Lahaina.

We will rebuild our preschool and would like to add additional rental units to our property to provide more affordable housing in our community. 

To kickstart our efforts, we will establish a temporary meeting space on the church campus, providing a place for our community to gather and find strength in unity. We will also repair the parsonage and convert the duplex, which sustained minimal damage, into a fourplex, expanding our capacity to offer housing to those in need.

In June, we will receive a donated temporary pavilion on our property where we can hold our worship services, a portable building that we will use as an office, and three tiny homes to help those in urgent need of housing. We plan to restart our worship services on our property by the end of the year and begin the process of rebuilding our sanctuary.

While it is taking longer than expected to return to our property as the Army Corps of Engineers clears out harmful debris and clean water and power are restored to our area, we know that God is with us during this period of temporary exile.

Below is a link to a video I put together that discusses our progress and plans. 


Thank you, again, for your support as we embark on this journey of renewal and transformation. May our collective efforts sow the seeds of hope and healing in Maui and beyond.

With heartfelt gratitude,

Pastor John Crewe

Lahaina United Methodist Church

PO Box 10253, Lahaina, HI 96761



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