The Salmon Arm Church of Christ is holding a community picnic on Saturday, Aug. 14 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

Just Posted

Brian Minter to share passion for gardens and greenspaces at Salmon Arm Fair

Well-known B.C. master gardener to give presentation on Friday, Sept. 6.

Salmon Arm seniors enjoy the outdoors thanks to Rotary

Salmon Arm club fixes up and furnishes outdoor living spaces at Bastion Place

Salmon Arm Downtown Activity Centre owner wants to keep building alive

Support from community in form of tenants wanted for heritage building

Shuswap’s Rust Valley Restorers team rolling onto Netflix

Mike and Connor Hall, Avery Shoaf see television show picked up by streaming service

Grass fire breaks out on highway south of Vernon

Highway 97 traffic slowed as firefighters snuff grass fire

Drugs, cash and 11 people apprehended at Okanagan residence

RCMP executed warrant at a Vernon home for second time in a month

Wildfire sparks beside Highway 3 west of Keremeos

A wildfire on the side of Highway 3 just west of Keremeos… Continue reading

Salmon Arm’s Hideaway Beer Badgers take semifinal win over Vernon’s OKG

Final goes Saturday in Vernon versus number-one seed N.E.T.

Summerland relaunches net metering program

Event open house will be held Aug. 27 from 3 to 6 p.m in Arena Banquet Room

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Jaws of Life used to rescue driver in North Okanagan crash

Single-vehicle MVI causes traffic delays on Highway 6

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

Most Read