Holy Trinity rebuilds from ashes

Posted: Friday, August 03, 2007

Saturday afternoon the congregation of historic Holy Trinity Episcopal Church begins to rebuild its house of worship and community hall lost in the spring of 2006 to an arsonists blaze.

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The celebration, dubbed Remember, Rebuild and Restore, will include a blessing of a cornerstone and performances by artisans who thrived in the parishs McPhetres Hall, which was regularly used by the community.

I look forward to saying thank you to everyone who helped us through the year, said the Rev. George Silides, Holy Trinitys pastor.

The eventual church and hall will be built at Fourth and Gold street, the same location as the 110-year-old building that served a congregation of 200.

The quirky aspects of the century-old church will be gone, but the new church and hall will be more user-friendly, he said.

What can never be replaced is the lost sense of history for a congregation that believes the walls were covered with a century of emotion. Only an old safe containing old birth records survived the blaze.

Yes, the history is gone, but the building is not what our congregation is all about, said John Matheson, president of the churchs board.

'Remember, Rebuild and Restore'

What: Celebration to launch the rebuilding of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.

When: 4 p.m. Saturday.

Where: The corner of Fourth and Gold streets.

Performances: Theatre in the Rough, Opera to Go, Juneau Lyric Opera and Gold Street Music.

Matheson said he was somewhat surprised to learn of the communitys feeling of loss for the church.

They held a wake for the hall. he said.

Opera to Go, Theatre in the Rough, Juneau Lyric Opera and Gold Street Music will participate in the celebration Saturday.

The new church and hall are expected to cost $3.7 million when complete. Trinity has about $2.8 million in the bank for reconstruction.

The rest will have to come from a capital fundraising campaign, Matheson said.

With the encouragement of the congregation and support from the people of Juneau, well get it done.

• Contact Greg Skinner at 523-2258, or greg.skinner@juneauempire.com

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