False Impressions; Skewed Perceptions

Feb 5, 2015 | 3 comments

Oysterville Church

Oysterville Church

“We thought you had plenty of money,” my friend told me, “so we tabled the request.” She wasn’t talking about me, personally, although I know that she probably thinks that, as well. Lots of people do.

No. she was referring to an inquiry made by the Oysterville Restoration Foundation (ORF) on behalf of the Oysterville Church. We were hoping for some help from local granting agencies with the expenses entailed in enclosing the Sanican behind the church. That ‘facility’ is used year ‘round by church-goers, by visitors to the village, by roofers and carpenters and other workmen in the area, and even by truck drivers passing through.

A Work in ProgresssThe Sanican was placed behind the church ten or so years ago in answer to the demand by performers and congregations at the church. Little did we know that it would become one of the most popular draws in the village! But it beats having desperate people use the vases stored in the church closets… Well, we won’t go there (so to speak.).

When Oysterville Water asked to put an automatic monitoring system behind the church last spring, ORF felt that the time was right to make cosmetic improvements to ‘the facility’ and the Board of Trustees came up with the idea of building a shell that looked like an outhouse. We checked it out with Evergreen Septic, drew up some plans, got a bid, and went on the search for some funding.

It didn’t occur to us that the general public perceives us as ‘in the money.’ “Where did you think our secret stash of wealth might have come from?” I asked my friend. While it is true that I consider Oysterville to be a place at the end of the rainbow, I do believe we must live at the wrong end. Never has there been a pot of gold in sight.

On Territory Road

On Territory Road

On the other hand, the general public has been incredibly generous over the years. They put money in the Poor Box in the church vestibule. They give generously to the donation basket during the Summer Music Vesper programs. And, we usually have six or eight weddings scheduled each year – at $250 for the day, a bargain by big city standards.    All those sources generate enough money for day-to-day operation and maintenance. But, when it comes to outhouse construction… not so much.

Some years back when we replaced the picket fence on two sides of the church, we had a fund-raiser. “Help Us Picket the Oysterville Church” was our slogan. It got a lot of attention and generated enough money to do the job. But, for the life of me, I can’t come up with a similar catchy-sounding slogan for an outhouse fundraiser – at least not one with a proper churchy sound to it. Suggestions?


  1. Jenny Valencourt

    I love this kind of challenge, and am happy to suggest slogans (as they pop into my head)
    Oysterville Church Privy Project came to mind.

  2. Stephanie Frieze

    From what would Oysterville be making money? Good grief, do they believe that Clark and Espy buried treasure there? How about Prayin’ Privy Project? I’ll be thinking about it all day.

  3. Larry Murante

    Loot For The Loo Fund Drive


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