Thursday, May 04, 2006

Holy Trinity Update

[The information in this update on the rebuilding of Holy Trinity Church, destroyed by a fire on March 12, was gleaned from the Trinity Times ( and from local news media and personal internet communications.]
It's a cold, wet spring in Juneau, Alaska; gales and driving rain make it feel more like October than May. The trees have not leafed out yet, which is late even for Southeast Alaska. But among the ashes and debris of Holy Trinity Church, white and lavender striped crocuses are spreading their translucent light.
The Juneau community and generous people and parishes across the nation have rallied around and with many gifts have helped the parish gather momentum towards its goal of a rebuilt church and McPhetres Hall, which will require raising more than a million dollars, even after the insurance money comes through.
In the month after the fire, fundraisers began, including a pie-eating contest sponsored by the youth group at which the rector distinguished himself. The Youth of Trinity donated $4,000. Perseverance Theatre held a benefit performance of "Hair", and fundraising events continue.
St Timothy Episcopal Parish of Yakima, Washington sent altar supplies, prayer books and hymnals formerly at St John's in Union Gap, Washington, and a check for nearly $2,500.
St Brendan's Episcopal Church, Resurrection Lutheran Church and Northern Light United Church, all in the Juneau Borough, have donated space and worship materials.
The first week in April was devoted to the annual Alaska Folk Festival, which saturates the town with joyous music for a week. But when the rector was paged on Saturday night from the main stage, a lot of people feared the worst. What happened was the best.
Victory Four Square Gospel Church, which has no building of its own, decided to give Holy Trinity Church every cent in its bank account, presenting the rector with a check for $7,000. Twenty-five members of the Victory congregation joined the Holy Trinity congregation for Palm Sunday. Mark Everett, pastor of Victory for only six weeks, said that he had been praying for direction for their church. "A transition is a very difficult thing to go through..." He believes he was prompted by God to make the gift: "'You have to give sacrificially, not in a way that's easy to give, because I gave sacrificially.'" There were few dry eyes after the announcement.
Other news:
            — Holy Trinity hopes to rebuild on the same site within two years and the city has promised that the necessary allowances will be made.
            —The congregation continues to enjoy the hospitality of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Nativity's parish hall. The two congregations have joint fellowship following their respective services and are conducting a joint Sunday School.
            —Arctic Corp, kindness of James Barrett, owner, has provided the parish with office space, meeting space, and storage. The new parish office address (right around the corner from the church site) is 416 Harris Street, Suite 205. The phone is 907-586-3532. The secretary is in Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 AM to 3 PM.
It is not possible in this limited space to mention each and every donor (and this blog is not privy to that information) but the parish is deeply grateful for all the many gifts it has received. On Palm Sunday morning, in response to the gift of Victory church, the rector said, "We should be shaped by humility and gratitude of receiving...and gain a conscious awareness of the sacred nature of every gift we have and the stewardship of these gifts."


Blogger Catherine + said...

Hello Maggi, I will keep your Trinity in my prayers at my parish, Trinity Episcopal in Ashland, OR. Thanks be to God for the generosity you have already received. I'll check under the sofa cushions to see what I can find for you in my cottage! Love to my sisters and brothers in the frozen north!

1:06 am, May 12, 2006  

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