It's now turning into a bit of a tradition at our church to have a picnic sometime in the summer, straight after a Sunday morning service. Now to put things in context, you have to remember we're talking picnics in the English summer and there being no guarantee of a dry day. We have had our fair share of soggy sandwiches and grumpy kids but this year it all came together so nicely.
These are the ingredients:
Church service as normal
+ Reminder for everyone about picnic
+ Free lunch for anyone who has forgotten, didn't know etc
+ Promise of lift there
+ AND back
+ Just 7 or 8 miles each way
+ Raindrops on window - sermon extended - hmmmmm
+ Fire alarm drill afterwards - gets everyone out efficiently
+ About 100+ people drive
+ About 10+ people cycle
+ Pastor spotted with knotted handkerchief on balding head
= a good time for everyone
Being together or "fellow-shipping" in church lingo is a good thing to do and particularly nice to be in beautifully relaxed surroundings. A chance also to chat to new people, or maybe with those where there's not been much opportunity recently.
I like doing this. After we'd all scoffed our picnic lunches, a game of rounders got organised. Unfortunately I was too engrossed in chatting to secure a place in a team but it was good to watch nevertheless. This was probably to everyone's relief as I know I'd be hopeless. You know there's quite a few cool batters (is that the right word?) with one or two shots going so high and far you'd wonder whether anyone would ever find the ball. Then there's the "trip up an elder" challenge.... elders is another church term for leader in the church. They don't have to be elderly men but funnily enough they're grey or greying. Still a good sport to watch!
The centre of attraction this year was Andrew's tandem. Everyone wanted a go with shrieks of laughter as people wobbled away. We were not immune from this....
|Hannah, Poppy and myself having a spin on Andrew's tandem!|
Why don't more people (Christians) cycle?
On the picnic last year, I cycled there myself (and the first to arrive!) and this year there were about 10 -15 of us. That was brilliant! So, next year.....? We'll wait and see.
Cycling seems such a lovely way to travel to church - a simple, easy and reflective thing to do, no fuss or hassle. Great for the whole family to do. I know bicycles don't get a mention in the Bible but there must be some principle there to say cycling is a good thing to do - travelling under your own steam in a thrifty kind of way. Surely....?