Trinity Church in Eufaula applied for an experimental grant to host their first ever neighborhood picnic, with a goal in mind to meet their community and invite them to break bread together. Trinity plans to host a neighborhood picnic twice a year in hopes to create stronger connections with their community. The idea originated from lay-leader, Larry Comstock he saw a need for Trinity to reach out to their community he shared with us what first inspired him, "I was shocked when I would be in town and find out that people did not know of the church, I knew we needed to share the good news at Trinity with our community."
The picnic included grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and all the fixings! With arts and crafts, a model volcano and even homemade Chia Pets! The event was completely planned and organized by lay leadership at Trinity. The Rev. Therese Starr, commented on the involvement of lay leaders " The planning of the picnic involved a few people who haven't otherwise been able to participate in parish activities as much as others. For the most part, I stayed out of the way. And it was really exciting for me to see the whole thing unfold and come to life."
Therese explained how the picnic impacted her and the community of Trinity, "Our community-wide invitation invited us to lurch out into the unknown and trust that it would all be well regardless of who and how many actually came. Our flyers/invites were distributed to the Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, Fire and Police departments, etc. But the folks who actually came were not the "business people" in town but our actual neighbors who probably truly needed the meal and the social contact. It would take too long to describe the people who came and share some of their stories they shared with us, but I can say that our simply being open, inviting, present and sharing our HOME with people, without asking or expecting anything in return, did a world of good in terms of letting people know that "the people at that Episcopal church over there" are nice people who are here for you if you need them."
Interested in connecting with your community? Apply for a vitality grant today at www.epiok.org/grants