Submitted by the Emmanuel Church
On Main Street, as you first enter the town of Eastsound, sits a charming white “historic carpenter Gothic church,” which includes the site of the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, its Parish Hall, and Benson Community Hall. Emmanuel Episcopal Church of Orcas Island was added to the National Register of Historic Places in Washington state on Dec. 12, 1994.
It is time, again, for repairs and upkeep. The challenge is to complete the repairs in the near future in order to ensure that no further major maintenance will be required for the next 10 years. Given the impact of increased usage by the community at large, Emmanuel Church created a plan for roof repair, completed in 2018; painting the buildings (in progress); upgrading lighting and security accessibility; improving kitchen, bathrooms and ceiling fans; and church window repair and floor refurbishing. The estimated cost of all this repair work is approximately $300,000.
On July 14, the Emmanuel Church capital campaign called “Restore, Preserve and Share” kicks off to raise funds to take care of these major repairs. The community is invited to contribute funds here. For more information, go to www.orcasepiscopal.org.
The facilities are commonly used by the Episcopal Church, the Lutheran Church; a Quaker worship group; Jewish holiday gatherings; yoga classes; Spanish language services; memorials of all denominations; concerts; local schools; 4H; AA; Al-Anon; and many other nonprofit organizations.
Through donations from the Give Orcas Campaign, audio and visual equipment will be available throughout the facility to provide state of the art experiences for those that require technology for their events.
Surrounded by gardens and a white picket fence across the front of the grounds, a passerby is welcome to walk the labyrinth that is in the courtyard.
The church was built in 1885, so for 134 years the buildings and grounds have been lovingly maintained by volunteers through generous giving of time and expertise including fundraising, gardening, painting and tech setup.