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St. John’s Centennial Inaugural Celebration

St. John's A Community for Hope

In 2022, we began our nearly 2-year celebration of St. John’s Episcopal Church as the first Episcopal church on the eastside of Lake Washington. Why now and why so long? St. John’s became a mission of the diocese on February 1, 1923, when Rt. Reverend F. W. Keator, the first bishop of the Diocese of Olympia, granted formal consent to families that were then meeting to organize a mission. That is documented in a 69-page booklet, titled “The Decades of St. John’s” (“Decades”).

The 50th year edition was written by Tom Stockley, a noted writer – especially concerning wine – who worked for The Seattle Times. The 75th year edition was written by Anne Payne, with assistance from LaRue Krumm and Larry West. They used February 1, 1923 as the date of St. John’s official beginning and, as two who knew well all four of those wonderful, now deceased, members of St. John’s, we see no good reason to use a different date now.

So why begin our celebration on January 9, 2022? Because it was on January 8, 1922, that the first service took place in a private home in Kirkland. Quoting from page 4 of Decades, it says:

During the first two decades of [the nineteenth] century there was a large emigration from the British Isles, professional people, tradesmen and skilled craftsmen, seeking new opportunities in the rapidly expanding northwest. Some few found their way to Kirkland. Among them were several devout Scotch-Irish families who brought their Prayer Books with them. Joined by other kindred souls, they began meeting in each other’s homes for prayer and sociability, and so was St. John’s brought into being.

Then, on page 8, Tom Stockley wrote:

…Recorded in the notebook of the records of early meetings is this entry: “An Episcopalian mission was started in Kirkland on the 8th of January, 1922, with the meeting in a private home with a pastor from St. Luke’s (then St. Mark’s) in Ballard.” The home was that of Mr. and Mrs. Roger Caldwell, and the priest was the Reverend D. C. Lees of St. Mark’s.

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