The arrival of the Covid-19 Virus in March, 2020 created a need for the three Kokanee Parish Points, St. Mark’s Kaslo, St Michael and All Angels Balfour, and St. Saviour’s Nelson to begin weekly worship together through the use of the electronic ‘Zoom’ program.
2020 is the year of St Mark’s 125th Anniversary. The congregation looks forward to the time when they can gather together with the whole parish and community to celebrate.
St. Mark’s Kaslo has gathered for worship as Anglicans since 1892. The first baptism was recorded in 1893, and the first marriage was conducted in 1894. The first service in St. Mark’s Church was held in November 1895.
Archdeacon Henry Beers and his wife dedicated thirty years of their lives to ministry in the Kootenays. They spent countless hours visiting people up and down Kootenay Lake, and are memorialized by two beautiful stained glass windows that were dedicated to their memory in 1938.
At the current time St. Mark’s is served by the Rev. Jeff Donnelly, (minister in charge of the Kokanee Parish), and our locally ordained Priest the Rev Dr Mark Mealing.
During the Pandemic and as part of our 125th celebrations St Mark’s has undertaken a number of initiatives to continue outreach in Kaslo and Area D. Some of the initiatives are the ringing of the church bell every evening at 7 pm. by Amanda Bath one of our dedicated parishioners, who took on this task to honour our frontline workers. Mandy does this herself with only occasional help if who will be unavailable. Another member of our congregation Patty Robertshaw organized outdoor gatherings once a week on the predicted sunniest day. Those in attendance brought their own travel mugs and lawn chairs meeting near the labyrinth in the church grounds at what became known as ‘T@2’! We enjoyed having visitors from St Saviour’s congregation in Nelson, a member of Diocesan Council Gwen Chapman, some regular summer visitors, and school students on summer holiday. Everyone appreciated being able to meet and converse in person.
On the long weekend in September we hosted our Annual Jumble Sale with much appreciated donations from all three parish points. It is an important fundraiser and community outreach activity.
Often visitors can be seen taking advantage of labyrinth meditation walks in one of nature’s special spots in the church grounds, and enjoying a picnic snack making use of the garden seats, and lovely space at the beginning of the river trails.
It was a great pleasure to worship in the beautifully decorated church on Harvest Thanksgiving Sunday with our church family, and the leadership of worship by the Rev. Dr. Mark Mealing. We followed Covid-19 protocols and were grateful for the time of togetherness, and the opportunity to share our thankfulness for so many blessings in our lives. The large screen slide show presentation as we listened to hymns was very special.
The weekly ‘Bible Study’ group began in 1975 by Canon R. G. And Mrs. Douglas continues to meet each Monday afternoon at 1:30 pm. We enjoy a time of prayer, fellowship, and the studying of the lessons for the forthcoming Sunday.
St. Mark’s church continues to be a place of worship after 125 years, and it is our hope and prayer that the congregation’s faithfulness and outreach will continue in our community and area for many years to come.