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Our Story

The Church of the Ascension was founded in 1884 to serve as a chapel for the historic Saranac Inn, and local residents and summer visitors have gathered together to worship God every summer since for over 130 years.  The first parishioners arrived via stagecoach from the Saranac Inn. By 1906, the church built a rectory and boathouse on Back Bay for its pastor. Today, descendants of the original congregants are joined by newer lake families and year-round residents seeking weekly inspiration and fellowship. 


The church has flourished independently since the Saranac Inn closed in 1962.  The congregation is “non-denominational” in that it is independent from any denominational polity.  It has maintained a traditional style of worship conforming to the Anglican tradition of Morning Prayer and Holy Communion; however, our worship is enriched with poems and readings from natural history and diverse traditions.  

We sing our favorite hymns.  Occasionally we learn a new song or dance steps. We enjoy meditations sprinkled with book reviews or hiking/fishing/sailing adventures set on our lake, all tied in to the Gospel. Fresh wildflower bouquets are provided by lake residents for the altar every week. The congregation actively supports social and environmental non-profits in the Tri-Lakes region, and the church hosts summertime weddings, memorial services, and baptisms for local families regardless of church affiliation. In all of our manifestations, we are united by our shared sense that the Church of the Ascension is a place where we encounter Jesus. 


Come and see.

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