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One of these events was a dinner, with entertainment and a worship service, for 150 workmen who had participated in the creation of the beautiful buildings. As his congregation settled into its new sanctuary, Dr. Palmer preached a sermon of great meaning on "The Symbolism of Our New Church" (Appendix II) and, a year later, explained why he had chosen the Bible text "Love Never Faileth" to grace the interior (Appendix III).

Mrs. Dillingham did not live to see the completion of the new-sanctuary, but her daughter Mary Dillingham Frear perhaps expressed her mother's hope when she wrote:

     Lo, here among the palm trees our Isle has flung a spire,

     A slender bud of beauty pointing higher! higher!

     A lifted torch awaiting light from Heaven's altar-fire!

     Make this, our long-loved garden, Thy garden, O our Lord, 

     An Eden come again to men without a flaming sword; 

     Where Heaven shall heal Earth's sorrow, 

     Where, risen, Thou art adored.93

When the church had fully accomplished its move, Dr. Palmer felt that his work in Honolulu was finished and that it was time for him to move on. His letter of resignation was read to a sad but grateful congregation just a week after the dedication ceremonies. His accomplishments continued to be recognized and valued in the community and across the United States. Dr. Palmer went from Central Union to accept the call of the First Congregational Church of Oak Park in Chicago and just five years later was invited to take the presidency of the prestigious Chicago Theological Seminary, which he served for sixteen years until his retirement. He was an outspoken advocate for the 1957 merger of the Congregational denomination with the Evangelical and Reformed Church to form today's United Church of Christ, though he did not live to see the merger accomplished.

In 1985, sixty years after his farewell to Central Union, when the Japanese-American community in Hawaii celebrated the centennial of Japanese immigration, Dr. Palmer was named one of the twenty-three persons worthy of kansha or enduring gratitude and appreciation. 


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