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Welcome to Calvary by the Sea!
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Calvary by the Sea is a Jesus-centered community pursuing holy and poetic promises:
Calvary by the Sea is a group of people called by God to a life of service, sacrifice and worship. We are located on the Eastside of O’ahu, in the community of Aina Haina, in the city of Honolulu, Hawaii.
We seek to embody God’s diversity of humanity in age, race, ethnicity, gender, ability, language, family makeup, color, birthplace and tax bracket. Seeking to be little Christs to our ‘ohana.
We are a congregation with a Lutheran theological imagination that practices the sacraments of baptism and communion as Jesus did.
We are a Reconciling in Christ congregation that fosters inclusion of our LGBTQIA+ siblings in Christ.
Head of School
School Ministry Director
ABOUT OUR PASTOR AND HIS FAMILY
The Rev. Dr. Moses D. Barrios is the Senior Pastor of Calvary by the Sea Lutheran Church. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California with more than 20 years of ministry, serving throughout Northern and Southern California. He is married to Brenda, the Parish Administrator at Lutheran Church of Honolulu, and they have three awesome kids; Penelope who is attending the University of Hawaii, Amelie and Hansel who are students at Kaiser High School.
Pastor Moses received both his Master of Arts (MAT) in Theology and Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. His doctoral project titled, “Confronting the Lack of Racial Unity in the American Christian Church,” is the spirit behind his ministry work.
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His other theological studies derive from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California, Hispanic Center for Theological Studies (CHET) in Compton, California and Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is an Ordained Roster Minister of Word and Sacrament with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
Additionally, Pastor Moses has extensive experience and training as a church planter and interfaith chaplain. Most notably with the skid-row homeless community in downtown Los Angeles and the LGBTQIA+ community of Alegria in Silverlake. Moreover, he has served on large church staffs with various denominations such as the United Methodist Church (UMC), the American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA), the Reformed Church in America (RCA), the Foursquare Church, the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) and his current home of the ELCA. This diverse theological and liturgical background has created a passion to see healing and reconciliation in the local parish and the world.
Moses loves to teach and speak on race, ethnicity, diversity, multiculturalism, church planting and urban ministry. Furthermore, he advocates for the inclusion of our LGBTQIA+ siblings in Christ, seeks racial reconciliation and unity, and strongly believes the church should be a sanctuary for all people. Enjoys musicianship, reading, traveling, going to the beach, snorkeling, preaching, teaching and is an avid fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Dodgers. Mostly though, he loves spending time with his wife and three children who reside in Hawaii Kai.
OUR CONGREGATIONAL COUNCIL
The Congregational Council is made up of a group of people who are called by God and the local parish to provide spiritual support and missional leadership. A member of the council cares for the spiritual well-being of the congregation, regularly attends worship services, is involved in the congregational life, financially supports the church and its ministries and prays for discernment about what is best for the congregation. Currently our congregational council consists of the following members: Moderator: Cheryl Tuitele, Co-Moderator: Jennifer Welch, Treasurer: Kelly Holden, Members: Paul Jones, Lea Del Castillo, Lisa May and Bill Bekemeier, Parliamentarian: Rafael Del Castillo and Senior Pastor: The Rev. Dr. Moses D. Barrios.
Please be in prayer for your council in such a season as this.
If you would like to contact the Congregational Council, please send us an email, CLICK HERE
ABOUT OUR COMMUNICATION
The Calvary Caller is our weekly email communication that includes our upcoming events and gatherings, a note from the desk of the Senior Pastor and other announcements for the congregation. Our desire to keep you informed of all the happenings at Calvary by the Sea Lutheran Church.
If you would like to subscribe, please send us an email, click here
ABOUT OUR HISTORY
The idea of a new Lutheran Church in Hawaii came from Dr. Phillip Dybvig, Director of Home Missions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Dr. Gaylord Falde, Bishop of the South pacific District of the ELC. The funding of the new church was handled by the Churches of the Austin Circuit in Southern Minnesota in late 1953. On the day that the Austin circuit decided to sponsor the mission by providing loan money, Dr. Falde and Dr. Dybvig gave Stan Gjervik the Letter of Call to become the mission pastor in Honolulu.
Stan and Doris Gjervik arrived in Honolulu on July 26,1954. They were ready to work the afternoon they arrived. First, they met with real estate agents to scout the Aina Haina area for possible church sites. Sven Anderson at M’s Ranch House offered the use of his banquet facility for a place of Worship and Sunday School. The first service was scheduled for October 17,1954. The big day came. Dr. Phil Dybvig was a guest. Forty-two people were present at the first service. Attendance was down a little the next two Sundays, but it climbed gradually until there were about 95 by Christmas and 120 by Easter.
While Dr. Dybvig was here, the congregation began negotiating for property. A realtor by the name of Mr. Wright found the present site. For four days we worked with a Mrs. Wild and her advisors at the Hawaiian Trust Building. The bank was wonderful. We explained that we had $90,000 to invest, but that this would have to include the purchase price of the land and the first unit of the church (now Ohana Lani). The result was that the church purchased 63,000 square feet of land for $60,000. Later, the church received a gift of 10,000 square feet where Hale Aloha is located. An additional 10,000 square feet of land on the highway end of the property was a gift in 1955.
In 1956, a pledge of $10,000 covered a promissory note to Mrs. Wild. Plans for the parsonage (now Hale Aloha) were started. Harold Hicks was the builder but was assisted by Nolan Wold, a volunteer who came in January, 1955. Paul Jones of Wimberly and Cook was engaged as the architect. Plans were soon ready, and the church accepted a bid from C. W. Winstedt for under $24,000. By the end of September, 1955, we were in our new building. Special gifts came for the finishing touches.
We continued to meet at the Hind Company Office Building behind M’s Ranch House. Sunday School started on October 24, 1954. Children’s programming began on Thursday afternoons in November when we moved to the new church site. Women of the church began meeting once a month. Later we started a regular weekly Wednesday morning Bible Study. Everybody seemed to take hold of the work, and to support the congregation seemed to be a natural thing to do. In fourteen months, we began carrying our own weight, and no longer needed the monthly Home Mission Grant in Aid.
The church was active from the beginning. Visitors were abundant during those years. Participation in Kiwanis and P.T.A. became an important community service. In 1958, we began broadcasting our worship service on KAIM FM. Additions were built to both sides of the sanctuary in 1953. The church had taken its place in the community
The spirit of the first congregation still exists. Words of early pastors continue to describe Calvary by the Sea Lutheran: From our first pastor Stan Gjervik (1954-1961): “Every car that drove up was a miracle.” From James Bergquist (1961-1964): “Calvary Lutheran has always been a unique and wonderful congregation.” From Obed Sunde (1964-1967): “Thanks to God for the blessings He has showered on the congregation.”
In 1967, Doug Olson became the senior pastor at Calvary, ushering in a period of strong growth in membership, church programs and community service. This included a unique program called Clown Sunday, which used theatre to reach out to members of the church and community at large who were burdened by emotional and spiritual problems. This fruitful ministry continued for 20 years. Pastor Olson’s wife Ivy launched Angel Network Charities (ANC), which was dedicated to helping those in need with housing, counseling, and food assistance.
In 1978, Calvary by the Sea membership voted to affiliate with the new Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, or ELCA. Then in 1979, planning began for a new sanctuary to be situated where those attending worship services can look out over the beautiful seascape of Moanalua Bay. The facility opened in 1982.
In 1991, the parsonage (now Hale Aloha) was renovated to provide space for ANC’s program. Today, Angel Network Charities focuses exclusively on feeding and nourishing our ‘Ohana in partnership with other ministries and organizations. The need for nourishment has grown steadily over the years, and grew exponentially during the covid-19 global pandemic. At the peak of the pandemic, ANC was providing food weekly for more than 1,000 families!
Early in Pastor Olsen’s 25 years as senior pastor, Calvary started a preschool with 30 students and 2 teachers. The school later became a Montessori School and its enrollment increased to nearly 70 students shortly before covid restrictions went into effect. At about the same time, Calvary began offering weddings to couples in Hawaii, mainland USA and countries around the word, another program that continues to this day (with a pause during the covid global pandemic.)
In 2004, Tim Mason began a nearly 15-year term as senior pastor.
In early 2021, Calvary by the Sea’s current pastor, Moses Barrios, arrived with bold intentions to expand Christ’s love and grace in Honolulu, Hawaii through the called people of God at Calvary by the Sea Lutheran Church.