St. Patrick’s church in Incline Village readies for 50th anniversary celebration |

St. Patrick’s church in Incline Village readies for 50th anniversary celebration

the Rev. Clare C. Novak | Special to the Bonanza
In the late 1980s, St. Patrick's growing congregation overflowed its little A-frame, shown here with happy parishioners Ginny Hestmark, Ada Mew, Mildred Reddall, Kathy Gill and the Rev. Jim Thompson.
Courtesy St. Patrick’s |

Editor’s note

This is the first in a three-part series of stories about the history of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, leading up to the Silver & Gold Gala on Oct. 18.


If you go

What: St. Patrick’s Silver & Gold Anniversary, honoring the Rev. Dr. David J. Mussatti

Silver: 25 years worshiping in our sanctuary

Gold: 50 years serving Incline Village

Good as Gold: Dave Mussatti’s inspiring leadership

When: Sunday, October 18, 10 a.m. festive worship service at St. Pat’s, 341 Village Blvd.

When: 5 p.m., same day, Silver & Gold Gala at The Chateau, 955 Fairway Blvd.

Tickets: $85 person, on sale at

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Have you heard the sound of carillon bells in central Incline Village: chiming the hour, playing sacred and seasonal songs, adding a lilt to your day?

This is a gift from St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church to you and everyone in our community. From the heart of our village, our bells radiate the welcoming heart of our church, a place of worship open to all and serving all with joy.

St. Patrick’s is ringing our bells with special gladness in 2015: our 50th year serving Incline Village and our 25th year worshiping in our sanctuary at 341 Village Blvd.

We’re inviting everyone in the Village to help us celebrate this glittering anniversary on Sunday, Oct. 18, with a festive worship service at 10 a.m. and a “Silver & Gold Gala” at 5 p.m. at The Chateau.

The memories we’ll share tell more than our parish history. They tell the story of our town — because, from its earliest days, St. Patrick’s has been an integral part of Incline Village in spirit and devoted service.

Officially, we came to life as St. Patrick’s mission in 1965, taking the name of the saint who successfully planted churches all over Ireland. We’re grateful for this choice every March 17, when we offer Incline Village the merriest family party in town!

We started, as many local families did, in model homes. The Rev. Alexander Patience would conduct Sunday services for a handful of Episcopalians in one model until it sold. Then, the little band would move to another!

As the Village grew, so did we, with the support of the entire community. Our first permanent worship space was the small garage of our “vicarage” — the home where our rectors and their families lived, thought to have been donated to the emerging church by the Crystal Bay Development Company.

In 1978, St. Patrick’s members raised funds from the whole population of Incline to build a larger A-Frame church, receiving over half the pledges from backers outside the parish.

And in the mid-1980s, when we’d outgrown this facility, church visionaries Bill and Carol Platt and Bruce and Barbara Purdy led an ambitious building campaign with enthusiasm from parish members.

Fifty showed up with shovels at the selected site to pray with the Rev. Jim Thompson and break ground on July 9, 1989.

This year, we celebrate the beautiful campus that opened in December 1990: sanctuary, chapel, parish hall, office space, classrooms, and nondenominational Columbarium (Lake Tahoe’s only indoor resting place for cremated remains).

True to the intention of architect James D. Morton, we offer Incline Village worshipers, visitors, and community groups a generous space “that has a mountain feeling, that has obvious strength, that has a feeling of strong and positive shelter, is light and welcoming, and above all … is very uplifting spiritually.”

But our larger celebration is of the vitality and faith of the devoted men, women, and children who formed this church and have given it life for 50 years. From our earliest days to the present, St. Patrick’s identity in Incline Village has been our spirited people — and not our buildings.

We have always been a microcosm of the community at large. Church records from the 1960s to present day reflect a vibrant, inclusive mix of spiritual seekers — with varying backgrounds, ages, professions, talents, and interests.

Some come to our doors already familiar with the Episcopal Church; some not. But then as now, what unifies our parish is deep faith, warm hospitality, joy in the life of the Gospel, and a willingness to lead in any task, spiritual or practical.

This Holy Spirit energy has never been contained within St. Patrick’s church walls … that’s why we kept outgrowing them!

Like the bells we ring over Incline Village, our mission over 50 years has been to reach and uplift our entire community: through open worship services, church schools, music programs, recovery programs, healing ministries and services, community support organizations, meditation groups, and interfaith initiatives, to name a few (a future article will profile this community service mission).

In recognition of this rich history, we warmly encourage everyone who has been touched by or connected to St. Patrick’s — as member, visitor, user of our facilities, recipient or leader of our community outreach — to join us October 18.

We will be especially honoring an outstanding priest and educator who has been at the center of our church over 30 years: The Rev. Dr. David J. Mussatti. Watch for Dave’s inspiring story in two weeks!

The Rev. Clare C. Novak is an interspiritual counselor, group leader, and member of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, formerly its Interfaith Associate for Parish Life ( St. Pat’s Sunday services are at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., with The Rev. Eric V. Heidecker presiding. For more about us, please go to

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