By Gina Gaudet
I was very young, I learned a little poem, with hand gestures.
It went like this:
Here is the church – hands folded, fingers interlocked, thumbs
side by side
Here is the steeple – index fingers point straight up
Open the doors – separate thumbs, to open hands
Where are the people? – empty hands, empty church
Here is the church – fold hands, fingers interlocked inward to
be hidden from view
Here is the steeple – Index fingers pointed straight up, thumbs
side by side
Open the doors – separate thumbs to open hands
Here are the people! – wiggle the fingers: happy church people!
I have observed, in trying to teach this to children
(grandchildren, actually), that filling a church with fingers is
not as easy as it once was, or as painless. It seems an apt
metaphor for our current situation at Trinity.
Late last summer, a routine gutter cleaning and repair revealed
significant damage to the southwest corner of the sanctuary
building. Consultations with engineers and builders through the
winter have presented us with an estimate: in order to save the
building and reinforce the structure to survive another 100
years, we will need to invest around $200,000.
The sanctuary space is no longer safe to be occupied. When it is
considered safe to gather for worship, we will move into our
social hall, we will adjust and all will be fine. The greater
impact will be on programs offered to the community: the Trinity
Concert series, Community Choir concerts, weddings, funerals and
memorials. Yet even more significant, leaving the building as is
would surely be to watch it deteriorate beyond repair, and a
precious part of our community – and its heritage – would be
Fortunately, Point Roberts is a community that understands what
it means to live on the edge of everything. Our unique situation
breeds a ‘survivalist’ social ethic that is courageous, creative
and not a little quirky. We know what it takes to survive. It
takes a village – and a lot of connections to other places.
In our unique geographic situation, we have raised and nurtured
generations of Icelandic descendants, and provided unique
lifestyle opportunities to many ‘immigrants’ from the mainland
U.S. and Canada. Generations still spend summers here in family
cabins built early in the last century. People have retired here
from many different parts of the U.S.
Yes, Point Roberts is a unique and irreplaceable hometown. And
every hometown needs a church. A sacred space. A place to gather
as a community in love with its unique and precious self.
Over the next few months we will be sharing more information,
and strategizing for fundraising. This very newspaper supports
getting the word out as we move through this process. The Point
Roberts Historical Society plans to re-release the recipe book
that supported our last capital project. And Auntie Pam, as
usual, will be in the thick of things, (she’s had our back for
years – bless you, girlfriend)
If you would like to be part of a future blessed with joy,
compassion, music (Lots of it!), healing and unquenchable
spirit, you can head on over to our
donation page where, with a simple click on a button, you
can make a donation in either U.S. or Canadian funds.
We are ready to take on a historic challenge. We have
unstoppable faith, and the will to move mountains. Or rebuild a
beloved piece of history and a hopeful, joyful future!