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Suquamish celebrates centennial on April 24 with renovations

Suquamish Community Congregational UCC is celebrating their centennial on Sunday, April 24, during its 10 a.m. worship, a reception, a grounds dedication and a Native American drumming and blessing.

The first building used for the church, top.  Renovated church building and grounds at Suquammish UCC, middle and bottom. Photos courtesy of Sally Nelson

Conference Minister Mike Denton and former ministers will be among the participants in the service.

Currently, the church’s interim pastor is Bill Comfort. He and wife, Sheri came from the Custer Community UCC of South Dakota Conference, where he served for seven years, after serving several Pacific NW Conference churches.

The Search Committee has begun their process to survey members and to build a profile to move forward in their search for a new minister.

Church life revolves around sharing space with the Unity Church, providing space for local groups to meet including AA, Yoga and Reiki, Five Rhythms and Movement Meditation, Voice In Silence meditation, Dances of Universal Peace, Sound Spirit, a book club and a youth music group.  

Suquammish UCC prepares free weekly community dinners, supports the “Fishline” food bank with volunteers, food and money.

Through its “Change For Change” program, children collect “change” from members one Sunday a month and donate it to community outreach, such as Heifer Project, local people needing financial assistance, a local pre-school and a centennial landscape project.

“We are known for our bazaars and rummage sales that provide good food and fun,” said Sally Nelson of the Centennial Committee.

“We are a dedicated, spirited, open and affirming spiritual group of people from many walks, sharing our journey and living in the hope and blessing of God’s love for all God’s people,” she said. “Following the example of Jesus, we strive to heal the broken, to feed the hungry and to provide service through outreach and involvement, seeking wholeness, justice and righteousness for all people.

“As stewards, we are called to be a caring people, living in harmony with the environment, respecting and honoring the gifts of God’s creation,” she said.

As part of the centennial, the church has installed new doors for the entrance to the sanctuary with a matching door for Stuart Hall.

“People are working to clean up clutter, add some areas of fresh paint, and spruce up the church to welcome guests,” Sally said.

To commemorate the centennial, Robert Clifton designed some mugs people can purchase.

A time line showing milestones in the church’s history will be posted including some interesting facts:

• The cost to construct the original church building was $881.61.

• The roof was replaced in 1935. Cost of the shingles was $62.35, and the cost of labor was $23.00.

• The church bell was donated in 1939 by Roscoe Todd and John Steel. It was obtained from an abandoned church in Doty, WA. 

• With the opening of the Agate Pass Bridge in 1952, the community was linked by road with Eagle Harbor Congregational Church on Bainbridge Island and could share a part-time pastor.

• In 1957, the church voted to join the United Church of Christ.

• Construction of the Rainbow Room began in 1979.

• Stained glass windows, created and contributed by Virgil and Merle Williver, were dedicated in 1985.

Renovation of the church’s back yard has also been part of the centennial celebration. Dan Blossom, a long-time friend of the church and a landscape architect, contributed the design for this renovation.

The plans were on display after Sunday morning worship services for several weeks, so members could ask questions and offer input.

The intent has been to make the backyard more family-friendly, to include opportunities for children to play while also including opportunities for spiritual practice by children, as well as adults.

A chain-link fence, originally installed when the church hosted a day care, was replaced by flowering shrubs and other plants. Existing plants that are healthy were retained.

The aging play structure was replaced by lawn and some big rocks to play on.

A labyrinth, about 30 feet in diameter, would be installed. It is smooth concrete, so it’s accessible by people with walkers. The labyrinth design was created by dying the concrete. It also provides a hard flat surface where children can play with balls.

Several peace poles are installed beside the labyrinth.

There is a concrete bench beside the labyrinth, where people can sit and meditate or watch the children play.

The estimated cost is about $8,000 for the landscape work, plus $2,000 for the labyrinth.

The renovation was funded by donations and grants.

For information, call 360) 598-4434 360-779-2822 or email or visit


Copyright © April 2016 Pacific Northwest Conference News


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