I grew up in a church that had a picnic every year in June at Macfarland Park in Niagara on the Lake. It was one of my favorite days of the year!
Church picnics were startling for me, because I got to see people in regular clothes. The church I attended was very formal and all the men wore suits, and the women were very dressed up. Church picnic was the one time of the year I saw some of these people wearing regular clothes… Mr. Giesbrecht in shorts and a t-shirt! I don’t know why I remember that, but it was funny to me at the time!
I also grew up in a church that looked like an ark. It had only high windows, and it had a wall that separated the building from the road. When you went to church, it felt like you were hiding away. To go outside and have a worship service in a public place seemed strangely exposed and even brave. Here we are, praying in public. Here we are singing hymns for anyone to hear. Here we are listening to a sermon in public. That made an impression on me too.
But most of all I remember the trees. Big green leafy trees swaying all around us. Instead of looking up and staring at the light fixtures during the sermon, I could see the world alive and vibrant. Birds zooming around, planes in the sky, wind blowing through our hair. The word of God in tune with everything around us.
And did I mention the ice cream?
This week’s prayer: Bless our church picnic this year, in tune with everything around us!