On Sept. 7, the members of the Juneau Unitarian Universalist Fellowship voted 33-5 to approve a purchase agreement entered into with the First Church of Christ, Scientists for the purchase of the historic Christian Science Church at Fifth and Main streets, downtown. When financing has been obtained and the deed delivered, it will be the first permanent home for the Unitarians, who celebrated their 50th anniversary in Juneau in 2007.
Also on Sept. 7, a capital campaign was launched. The goal is to raise at least $125,000 to complete the purchase and provide initial funds for the needed improvements. In the first three days, pledges and cash representing almost 50 percent of the goal had been received.
The church was originally built for the Presbyterian Mission on the site now occupied by the Terry Miller Legislative Office Building. At some point it was purchased by the Scottish Rite Masons. In 1914, it was rented to the local Christian Science Society. In 1926, it had to be moved to make way for Capitol School, so the Scottish Rite Masons gave the building to the Christian Scientists, who moved it across the street to its present location and dedicated it in February 1927.
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is renting the building pending closing of the sale and will hold its first full service there at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 14. Once the fellowship owns the building, it will add an accessible rest room to each floor, improve access between the two floors and remodel the lower level to provide more space for religious education classes for children. Once the building has been improved, it will be made available for community groups and other nonprofit organizations for meetings, recitals, forums and other activities. It will also serve well as a location for weddings.
Information about Sunday services, Unitarian Universalist principles and beliefs, and the capital campaign can be found at www.juuf.org.