Welcome

In 1928, a young family moved to Sitka, Alaska. Already rich in history and rooted in faith, soon they added stories and forged bonds that were to endure across generations. Togetherness in accomplishment and tragedy, songs around the piano, and hilarious incidents involving strawberries ... all these formed character. From Sitka's beautiful surroundings sprang a love for the out-of-doors. Fresh salmon still appears at family gatherings -- along with Sitka rolls. An appreciation for birding, hiking, canoeing and climbing has passed from generation to generation. So has the cultural respect that made the young Webster family welcome in the homes of Sitka's native peoples. When the Rev. Jackson Webster arrived in Sitka, there were two Presbyterian churches; one for natives, one for whites. Unwilling to accept a division foreign to the creator of all, he united the congregations together into one family of faith.

When the family left Sitka, it grew. In numbers and in the diversity of its ideas. Time wove new threads into the tapestry of our common story. Yet a legacy endures -- apparent in the welcomes at reunions, the relish for salmon and Sitka rolls, and in the multitude of ways the new generations have fulfilled a grandfather's hopes for the future. Teachers, scientists, engineers, nurses, musicians, farmers, a journalist, software developers, a realtor, busy moms and yes, a pastor. Three generations after the little family arrived in Alaska, a great-grandson enrolled at Dubuque Theological Seminary, there to meet and be encouraged by the Rev. Walter Soboleff, a distinguished native minister from Sitka, a dynamic teller of stories with a twinkle in his eye -- who had found his inspiration under the ministry of great-grandfather Jack so many years before.

Today the Sitka Websters span the continents from Europe to California. This web site aims to re-tell the stories, for a new generation.

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