This post was written by Queila Griffin, photos by Dan Certallic.
At this year’s church picnic, my photographer friend Dan Certallic and I strolled through the grounds asking people about their experience and how they saw the picnic accomplishing our vision of, “Proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to see every person connected, discipled and on mission.” Here’s what they shared with us…
Jeff and Nora
We found Jeff and Nora sitting on the hill enjoying the model airplane stunts being performed by the Racine Radio-control Airplane Club. They were both clearly having a great time, enjoying the atmosphere. They saw the picnic accomplishing our vision statement by, “bringing everyone together as a family.” Jeff said, “you’re fellowshipping and you’re breaking bread together and of course that’s very important.”
We found Dawn (a good friend of mine) hard at work in the face painting tent, handling all the excited small children and the not-so-small children who were waiting for their faces to be painted. Having been to many church picnics, Dawn sees them as, “creating an opportunity to connect outside of the usual church service on sunday mornings.”
The Church Picnic doesn’t just magically happen. It takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice. One of the many, many volunteers who helped produce all the fun we had on Sunday was Don. We found Don in the kitchen preparing brownies and cookies and other delicious desserts to be eaten. Don has gone to Grace for eleven years and was excited to be a part of serving at such a fun event. “It’s great fellowship, especially all the volunteers we have. It’s just wonderful…”
Virginia and Lloyd
We found this couple under the tent enjoying their second church picnic just after they had finished lunch. Virginia told me, “[The picnic] is a great opportunity to meet new people and see people you haven’t seen for a long time because [we typically have] two services.” Lloyd said, “I like seeing all the kids. All the little kids having a good time, eating and watching the airplanes.” Virginia also saw the picnic as an opportunity to be “on mission.” “We didn’t invite any people this year, but we’ve invited people before. It’s really a great thing to do, to give them a more comfortable feel. It can be intimidating if you haven’t been raised in a church atmosphere.” Lloyd was also a huge fan of the food, “The food was good! We were last in line and there was still plenty left and plenty more.” Virginia and I laughed as we agreed, there was always more food.
Erica and Mark
Dan and I found this couple in the sun, happily embracing the face painting chaos. Although this was their first picnic, they told us they were enjoying it very much. “It brings the church together more as a community, helps show the neighbors what church is about,” Erica told me. Mark added, “When you’re in church you can talk to the person next to you and listen to the sermon, but this way we can talk to each other and get more of that community action.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.