The Rev. George Silides, center, speaks during groundbreaking for the new Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. The structure was destroyed by an arson fire three years ago. A gala musical event April 25 will raise money for the remainder of the costs of rebuilding.
Holy Trinity Episcopal Church during winter construction.
Ted Shaw writes a message on the wall of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church while Larry Talley watches. Parishioners and community members were invited to write prayers and messages on the wall before siding was installed.
Construction workers erect the Holy Trinity sanctuary's wooden frame during early stages on construction.
Story last updated at 4/22/2009 - 10:59 am
Most people facing a pile of bills aren't ready to rejoice. But parishioners of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church are planning a music-packed gala celebration to help fill their construction account.
The "Open the Doors" gala is part of a long-term effort to expand involvement in completion of the church's new building.
"Holy Trinity has been a big part of the community," said Karen Crane, one of the event's organizers. "We've been asked by many community members what they can do to help. Coming to the gala celebration is part of that effort."
The "Open the Doors" fundraiser is at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 25th, at Centennial Hall. Tickets are $10 at the door, Hearthside Books and Rainbow Foods. Doors open at 6:30.
The main event is a concert with the Aurora Strings, Bob Banghart, Collette Costa, Cheryl and Brett Crawford, Philippe Demerval, Patricia Hull reprising her role as Patsy Cline, the new Possum Lodge Men's Glee Club, and Kathleen Wayne.
"We have a diverse group of people on stage, representing all the different folks who have used our church and community hall over the years," Crane said. "We know something among the classical, folk, rock, country and other music will be entertainment for just about every musical taste."
"Open the Doors" also includes silent and outcry auctions featuring home-cooked meals, rare antique maps, artwork, desserts and travel experiences.
The 100-plus-year-old Holy Trinity Church and its McPhetres Hall were destroyed in an arson fire a little more than three years ago. The building was insured, but construction costs are far higher that the settlement covered. Building material prices have also risen.
The church has been meeting in the community hall of the nearby Cathedral of the Nativity Catholic Church. The Rev. George Silides says the congregation wants to get into its building, as well as return to being a resource for local groups.
"We could conduct church without making the building available to the community, but then we wouldn't be the church we want to be," he said.
Over the years, Holy Trinity and McPhetres Hall have been the home of Theatre in the Rough, Opera to Go, Juneau Lyric Opera, Alcoholics Anonymous, Head Start, the Juneau Bach Society, the Gold Street Music Concert series, and other groups and shows.
"We want to provide a performance space that is ready for the beginning garage bands, as well as a quality hall appropriate for the more advanced performing arts groups," Silides said.
The process of designing the building involved a number of local groups that identified a wide variety of needs.
"Our vision is that McPhetres Hall will be a useful, small theater space able to hold many community events. But the sanctuary is also being built with community use in mind," Crane said.
The church has already raised about $450,000 toward the building's completion.
"Community response has been terrific and wonderful and supportive, with good wishes and prayers as well as donations," Silides said.
The church needs about another $400,000 to open its doors for worship and community use of the sanctuary. Additional fund-raising will help complete McPhetres Hall and other parts of the structure. Church officials are applying for grants, and have obtained loans to help bridge the financial gap.
"We're eager to get into the building because until we get in there, we won't know what it can do," Silides said. "We're looking forward to unexpected community-driven suggestions for innovative uses of a well-built, open facility."
For more information, call 586-3532 or go online to www.trinityjuneau.org.