Today we hosted our Annual Parish Picnic at Holy Ghost Park, 70 Nells Rock Road, Shelton, CT. The church has owned these 26 acres for decades now, and the park has provided the venue not only for our annual picnic, but also for several events hosted by other groups that have opted to rent the park grounds.
We held Divine Liturgy at 10 a.m. in the open air pavilion, enveloped by the beauty of the surrounding woods. Besides us human beings, God’s other creatures observed the celebration: especially en force were the butterflies with their painted wings in vibrant orange, blue, and black tones. Their presence reminded me of transformation, renewal, rebirth—all essential marks of our Christian faith.
After receiving the Eucharist and concluding the service, we were treated by our parish cooks to some of the best homemade food in Fairfield County, including a melange of Rus’ and American fare: pierohi and stuffed cabbage, and liver and onion sandwiches and clam chowder, followed by at least 10 choices for dessert. As people talked and ate, and played cards and ate, and danced to the DJ’s music and ate, I noted how unusual such a gathering is in our day and age. It seems almost no one anymore takes time simply to be with friends and neighbors on a summer afternoon, to get to know something about each other until now unrecognized. (Who would have thought my Macedonian church president Peter Hristov knew the words to the bygone song sung by Doris Day, “Que Sera, Sera, Whatever Will Be, Will Be”?” Yet, he sang it so heartily as it was played by the visiting DJ!)
Thanks to our parish community for working so hard to provide us with a picnic in an amazing space!