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 thought long and hard on that question in the aftermath of the shooting inside their church this past April.

“We decided the answer for us had to be found in focusing on others instead of ourselves,” said Doug Kendig, a 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 neighbours to us when we needed them the most.”

To show its appreciation, the church is hosting a community picnic on 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 neighbours 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 are 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

Just Posted

Salmar manager draws curtain on career with Salmon Arm’s independent movie theatres

After 22 years, Daila Duford announces departure at association’s AGM

VIDEO: Salmon Arm elementary students step up for Canadian Music Class Challenge

Bastion and Hillcrest elementary schools submit videos, winners announced Dec. 17

Workshops, networking events designed for Shuswap women entrepreneurs on the way

Tsuts’weye project holds successful roundtables where valuable information gathered

‘She was awesome’: Malakwa baker leaves U.S. holiday show

‘There are Christmas miracles, look at me’

Salmon Arm ranked 7th best place to work in B.C. for 2020

Categories reflecting quality of life influence ranking

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

EDITORIAL: Reflecting on a tragedy, 30 years later

While the Montreal Massacre made headlines because of its scale, gender-based violence is not new

Weak link in Sagmoen trial, defence says

Counsel questions whether search warrant police executed was obtained on reasonable grounds

Salmon Arm Work BC office hosts grand reopening

Services available at the office will remain similar to past offerings

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

North Okanagan MP says throne speech lacked specifics

‘Trudeau government presented a vague agenda,’: MP Mel Arnold

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

Most Read