The Salmon Arm Church of Christ is holding a community picnic on Saturday, Aug. 24 to thank residents for their support. (File photo)

Salmon Arm Church hosts picnic to thank community in wake of shooting

Elders would like residents to attend on Aug. 24, appreciating community part of recovery

How do you recover from such an unimaginable, horrible experience?

The Salmon Arm Church of Christ congregation has thought long and hard on that question in the aftermath of the shooting inside their church building that occurred this past April.

“We decided the answer for us had to be found in focusing on others instead of ourselves,” said Doug Kendig, long time elder of the church.

“The Salmon Arm community has been remarkable in showing us their support,” he continued. “It’s been hard. Gordon Parmenter, killed in the attack, was one of our strongest leaders, and his loss has created a big hole in our congregation. But this community has been there for us in so many ways, and we want – well actually, we need – to express our thanks for being such good neighbors to us when we needed them the most.”

To show its appreciation, the church is hosting a community picnic on Saturday, Aug. 24, 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Blackburn Park, across the street from the church building. The picnic is free and all members of the community are welcome.

Mayor Alan Harrison will make some brief comments on behalf of the community at the picnic, and Paul Derkach, wounded in the shooting, will give an update on how he and the congregation are doing.

Read more: Salmon Arm church enveloped with care after shooting

Read more: Salmon Arm church shooting victim speaks of gratitude and love

Read more: Man killed in Salmon Arm church shooting remembered as father figure to many

Read more: Gathering in Salmon Arm to offer support, resources after shooting

“But primarily the picnic is just about neighbors coming together and getting to know each other better,” Kendig said. “Hundreds of people have asked how they can help over the past weeks, and at times it’s been hard to know what to say. But here’s what our neighbours can do: come share free hot dogs with us, enjoy a fun evening together, and just let us show you our appreciation for your support. That would mean a lot to us.”

Michael Lewis, senior minister for the Salmon Arm church’s sister congregation in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is bringing a group to help organize the picnic so church members may visit with those who attend.

“I love the community of Salmon Arm and have visited many times always to find friendly, welcoming people. The Salmon Arm church has been blessed by the community’s support in the aftermath of the shooting,” Lewis said. “The first thing the congregation wanted to do was say thanks to the community and this picnic is one effort to just feel normal again as a grateful church.”

He said he hopes community members will allow themselves to be thanked by coming to the picnic.

“It will be good for everyone.”

There will be free hot dogs, bouncy houses for the kids, free door prizes, a special gospel singing quartet, and several other activities.

“Anyone and everyone is very welcome to attend,” Lewis said. “Even if they just stop by for a few minutes, they will be most appreciated.”


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A variety of art coming to Revelstoke gallery this fall

A members’ show in December will act as a gift market

Roots & Blues announces ticket giveaway ahead of online festival

The festival is streaming free online this year, but those who pre-register can win passes for 2021.

Molotov cocktails thrown at Revelstoke home in arson attempt

The flames were extinguished before they spread

Stay Revy launches despite pandemic

The new vacation rental management company works with legal vacation rentals

Revelstokian raises money for mental health

A Revelstoke local recently raised $2,600 for mental health services at Community… Continue reading

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

COLUMN: Listen to those who know about COVID-19

Accurate information is essential when understanding the pandemic

Penticton man wakes to wildfire, forced to evacuate

A wildfire sparked off the side of Highway 97 near Penticton on Thursday

Anti-gang cops probe Kelowna’s street-level drug trade over B.C. Day long weekend

CFSEU’s Gang Enforcement Team was deployed to Kelowna last weekend

Answers to 5 common questions facing families for the COVID-19 school year

COVID-19 protocols are likely to vary even more at the school board level, and even and school-to-school.

Man allegedly wielding knife at Kelowna Superstore arrested

The 29-year-old Kelowna man has been released on strict conditions for a future court date

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Most Read