By Mary Wentlent,
IC Parish Life Director and contributing writer.

Recipe: Combine 1 large gathering space with plenty of shade, at least 2 acres of grass for yard games, 1 sunflower garden, as many homemade potluck dishes as you can fit on the tables, 1 large grill for fixing burgers and hotdogs and assorted raffle baskets. Stir together with a mixture of parishioners and family ranging in age. When all are assembled, sprinkle heavily with smiles and good conversation. Then enjoy!

Immaculate Conception Church in Greene, Chenango County, held the annual parish picnic behind the church on a field beside the pavilion. A large tent added a shady spot for the 60+ people that attended.

We began with a welcome to all and a blessing of the food and our time together. Then we descended upon the food table overflowing with homemade salads, casseroles, grilled burgers and hotdogs and plenty of desserts. Going back for seconds was encouraged!

Our confirmation teacher (who happens to be my sports enthusiast husband) went about signing up names for the Corn Hole Competition. “Get your partner” could be heard as he walked about with his clipboard. The tournament began with 24 people registered, ranging in age from 12 to 80. The peanut gallery sat under the pavilion and watched the competition while catching up with old friends.

Also going on was some water balloon fun by some enthusiastic kids. And the adults were treated to a tasting table of local beer and wine provided by Madronas Tasting Room of Greene.

When the Corn Hole Tournament was over, winners Madison Rice and Nate Erickson had their picture made in front of the sunflower garden.

We concluded our picnic by drawing the winners of the raffle baskets. 12 creative baskets were donated by parishioners, and everyone enjoyed the anticipation as names were pulled from the ticket bags.

After many smiles, laughter and conversation we ended our time together with hugs goodbye and plenty of clean-up help before heading home. There’s nothing better than a country parish picnic!

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