Pastor Katrina Foster and daughter Zoya pose with the giant raptor statue in front of Bridgehampton’s Incarnation Lutheran Church. Photo by Mara Certic.
By Mara Certic
People driving through Bridgehampton may be searching for an explanation behind the newest lawn ornament at the Incarnation Lutheran Church this week.
But according to Pastor Katrina Foster, the 350-pound, nine-foot-tall raptor is spending the week in front of the church not to provide any sort of comment or message but simply to provide a little bit of comic relief.
Three years ago, as Pastor Foster drove past Yesterday’s Treasures—the statue store on County Road 39 in Southampton that often resembles a prehistoric, stationary zoo—she turned to her wife and asked “Wouldn’t it be funny if we put a dinosaur in front of the church?”
When her wife, Pamela, responded with laughter, Pastor Foster “knew she was onto something,” she said.
Larry Schaeffer, at Yesterday’s Treasures, agreed to loan out the dinosaur for free for one week a summer (“you can’t have it for long, it’ll lose its impact,” he reportedly warned Pastor Foster). The only condition: that the church cover the cost of insuring the dinosaur—which was paid after the church’s insurance company determined the dinosaur was worth the equivalent of a high-end photocopier.
This is the third year of “Dino Days” at the Bridgehampton Church, but the first year that Pastor Foster’s daughter, Zoya, has been home from sleep-away camp to see the dinosaur on the front lawn of the church.
Pastor Foster referred to Zoya as her “secret weapon” in this paleontological procurement; this year’s raptor is the biggest yet.
When Pastor Foster announced at a meeting on Monday morning that this week was “Dino Days,” a secular woman who she said would never step foot in a church, made a point of complimenting Pastor Foster on her dino-decision, and said: “It’s such a nice counter-weight to the hateful churches and all their hatefulness.”