By Shirley Lindahl
Edited by Jerry Rutherford
The large chancel window was a story in itself. Myrtle Robertson decided she wanted to make a special project for her donation to the new church. "A dollar into the building fund for everyone who has read the Bible entirely through," was her goal. Having read it 25 times herself she wanted to find enough names to total $100.
As the list grew she asked if the "Bible Readers" couldn't be the donors of the large stained glass window. The money was entirely her own but she wanted to have a meaningful purpose for giving it. Many people agreed to pursue the task, some refused and other complained their eyes wouldn't stand the strain. Another said she had so much to do indoors and out, that before she had read 10 minutes she was asleep. Another became stalled on "the begots" but Mrs. Robertson said she suspected that housework, canning, preserving, together with volunteer work with the Ladies Aid Circle interfered more than the "begots" did. As her list grew so did the price of the window. But Mrs. Robertson, a tenacious lady said, "I buttonholed more people in church and out." She added friends, relatives, strangers she encountered on the ferry to Seattle, even business people.
She made a trip to Friday Harbor to interview the daughters of Peter Kirk to gain some information for the early church history she was compiling. The three had been former members of this church so she told them of her window project. They combed their town and gave her a list which included a Mr. Talbott who had been principal of Central School in 1905 and Mrs. Mervyn Williams, widow of the son of one of the founders of the steel mill in Kirkland in the 1890's.
The Ladies Aid came to her rescue with $42 when the window cost rose to $207. When she had deposited the last money, her task completed, she wrote, "Call it an old lady's whim if you want ... to my way of thinking an intimate and ever-increasing knowledge of God's word is several thousand times as important to the life of Christians as a new church building." A retired school teacher with a mission and a desire to complete it!!!
The decision as to whom the big window would be named for was given to her and the choice she made was Samuel Greene, founder and first pastor of the church. His long association with Congregational church work ended with his death in 1921. He had always remained close to the church he had served for seven years after helping found it in 1880. Four Seattle ladies also donated a portrait of Rev. Greene to the Kirkland Church since it had been his only pastorate.
Shortly after occupying the church the necessary statement of completion was sent to the Building Society showing the value of the building at $24,000. It also showed $13,599 was raised by cash contributions. Donated labor was valued at $2682, and donated material was worth $719, with $8000 in aid from the Building Society. (A second $3000 mortgage had been granted.)