The congregation of Covenant Christian Reformed Church of Winnipeg, Man., held their church picnic on the grounds of the church—but they invited their community to come. On June 7, approximately 300 people from Covenant CRC and their neighbors munched on hot dogs, played water games, and enjoyed each other’s company.
“It was an answer to prayer the whole way along,” said event organizer Amanda Matthews, a member of Covenant CRC. “We had good weather, we could make connections, and we saw . . . many people from the community.”
A few church members dressed up as clowns twisted balloons into animals and painted faces. Some adults led large group games for all ages. The children enjoyed soaking one another with water balloons. “We like that there were games for everyone to play,” commented twin sisters Emma and Jamie.
Everyone enjoyed hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, chips, and ice cream bars. “The best part of the picnic was probably the food—especially chips!” said Elliot, who attended the picnic.
A few weeks before the picnic, church members participated in “A Walk and Talk or Stay and Pray Service.” Half the church members walked through the area surrounding the church building, including a new housing development, and passed out fliers. Some were able to talk to neighbors. The rest of the people stayed at church, praying for those out in the community. “They didn’t necessarily have to go and talk to everyone. [Volunteers could] hang something on someone’s door knob, say “Good morning,” and leave it up to God,” said Matthews.
This is the first year Covenant CRC made their church picnic a community event, and they hope to continue it as an annual activity. “I noticed a lot of different conversations happening with people in the community and people from church,” said Matthews