St. Brendan's Episcopal Church
Juneau, Alaska
The Rev. Caroline Malseed, Priest-in-Charge

  "A Harbor for God's Love"
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St. Brendan's History

The land that St. Brendan's now occupies was purchased by progressive-thinking Episcopal Church leaders of Juneau in 1962. The 5.5 acre lot in the Mendenhall Valley on the road to the glacier was purchased from Nor-Cal Home Builders for $5,000. Eight years later, on January 26, 1969, a group of people living in the Valley held the first Episcopal Church service in the Mendenhall Valley at Glacier Valley School. The group adopted the name St. Andrew's by-the-Glacier in 1971 and on January 1, 1972 was officially designated a parochial mission of The Church of the Holy Trinity, located in downtown Juneau. The congregation met for five and a half years in Glacier Valley School, in private homes, and at St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church. The 1970's brought many challenges and changes within the Episcopal Church. St. Andrew's Mission was not rooted enough to sustain itself through the turmoil of the times, so mission work in the Valley was put on hold and services ceased in the Mendenhall Valley on August 28, 1977.

In 1984, questions arose at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church regarding how to better serve the people of the Mendenhall Valley and Auke Bay areas. Under the guidance of the Rt. Rev. George Masuda (retired Bishop of North Dakota), who served as Interim Rector of Holy Trinity in 1984, services began on July 19th/29th at Floyd Dryden Middle School in the Valley, under the banner of the Episcopal Assembly of Juneau. The service was attended by about 75 people, including well-wishers from Holy Trinity.

On August 7, 1985, the congregation of the valley group made application to the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Alaska for status as a Diocesan Mission, which was granted on September 1, 1985. At that same time, it was recognized that the group needed a new name. From several names suggested and discussed, that of St. Brendan, proposed by Bill Smoker Jr. was selected. St. Brendan was a fifth-century Celtic monk, known as Brendan the Voyager, and his symbol is the raven. This seemed particularly appropriate, as the new congregation was also setting out on a voyage of faith, in Southeast Alaska where the raven is of great significance to the Tlingit people. This new Valley congregation became a Diocesan Mission known as St. Brendan's with the rector of Holy Trinity, The Rev. Roger Wharton, serving as its priest.

In 1987, the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Alaska granted St. Brenda's Mission parish status. Two years later, The Rt. Rev. George Harris (Bishop of Alaska) appointed The Rev. Charlie Adams the Priest-in-charge of the parish. After fours years of having a movable feast, the congregation took a leap of faith and started construction of a church facility on the property purchased almost 30 years previous. With strong lay leadership, outstanding volunteer labor, a $35,000 UTO grant, and loans from the Diocese and The Church Building Fund, the first phase of the building was completed and dedicated on October 21, 1989. The congregational life of St. Brendan's now had a place in which to settle and grow. With the same grounding of faith, lay leadership, and volunteer labor, the congregation completed in 1991, the second phase of the building by adding a fellowship hall now named Adams Hall.

The congregation continues its outreach into the community by offering a food bank, supporting the Glory Hole financially and by cooking meals, by providing a weekly meal (the Galley) in Adams Hall, regular activities at the Pioneer Home, weekly services to the Johnson Youth Center, and provided space and support for Tlingit & Haida Head Start preschool as well as a place for groups and organizations to meet.

 St. Brendan's Clergy

The Rt. Rev. George Masuda (Interim)
1984
The Rev. Roger Wharton 
1986-1988
The Rev. Charlie Adams  
1991-1993
The Rev. Wilson Valentine 
1993-2000
The Rev. Kathleen Wakefield (Associate)
1989-2000
The Rev. Bob Hardman (Interim)
2000
The Rev. George Walter   
2001-2003
The Rev. Caroline Bruschi (Interim) 
2001, 2004
The Rev. Michael Curran 
2004-2005
The Rev. Bob Stevens 
2005-2011
The Rev. Caroline Malseed  (Interim)  
2011
The Rev. Caroline Malseed (Priest-in-Charge)
2013


  Founding Associates

The Rev. Charlie Adams
The Rev. Mark Boesser
The Rev. Ann Parsons
The Rev. Dale Sarles
The Rev. Diane Tickell 

Clergy in Residence

The Rev. Mark Boesser 
The Rev. Caroline Malseed

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