This week’s blog is from Sharon Anderson, who is one of our UMCG members who attended the Family Pride at the Park picnic with her husband Chris.  The picnic was catered by UMCG and three other Geneva congregations.

Flames shooting up from the grill warmed the pavilion at Wheeler Park, taking the chill out of the unusually-cool June air.  The aroma of burgers and hot dogs, and the vast array of delightful dishes and desserts drew in people of all ages dressed in rainbow colors. Children of all ages blew bubbles, wrote messages of peace with colored chalk on the pavement, and danced to the joyous music at the Family Pride Picnic on Sunday, June 12.  Some of that beautiful music was provided by our own Toby and Betsy Petrie. 

The atmosphere was one of peace and joy with all being accepted, even our four-legged friends. Strangers talked and laughed and shared a meal. It didn’t matter if you attended one of the sponsoring churches: UMC of Geneva, Fox Valley Presbyterian, Geneva Lutheran, or Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva. All were invited, all were welcomed. Even those playing frisbee in the park or out for a stroll were encouraged to join the fun and eat.

I had a conversation with a same-sex couple, one of whom told me they used to go to UMCG but no longer attend any church.  I wanted to ask why, but I was afraid of the answer.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I wonder what would happen if UMCG took on more of this festive atmosphere encouraging all to participate and come as they are?

I am grateful that all four clergy of the sponsoring churches are looking forward to inviting our church folks to collaborate on this event again next year.

Sharon Anderson