St. Matthew’s UCC hosts picnic, modifies events
St. Matthew’s United Church of Christ held its annual picnic in its grove in Kunkletown on Saturday afternoon. The events and format of the picnic were modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual strawberry festival and car show on Father’s Day, June 21 was postponed and became part of the picnic events.
“We wanted to have something for the community, and given what is going on, we made it as safe as possible for everyone,” said Cheryl Dorshimer, chairwoman of the picnic committee.
Usually, the picnic includes old-fashioned kid games, fishpond for prizes, a kiddie cake walk, adult cake walk and an array of homemade foods – including strawberry shortcake, BBQ, filling and cake walk desserts.
These were not safe activities during a pandemic. There was no way to social distance in a cake walk setting. Homemade baked goods and homemade ice cream were not ideal.
The committee had a lot of hard decisions to make.
“I would like to thank our committee headed by Cheryl Dorshimer. There had been numerous meetings and discussions on if we were even going to have this. Finally, a commitment was made, and we pushed forward,” said George Huber, council president.
There were no games, cake walks or homemade baked goods.
The picnic committee found other ways to provide attendees with food, entertainment, classic cars, and ultimately, a fun afternoon with friends and family.
They hired a food vendor and church members assisted with food sales.
“I want to thank Dale’s Concessions for the extreme step up to make this happen. They worked with the committee to establish a menu.” said Huber.
Picnic attendees could choose from French fries, pierogies, hot dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, steak sandwiches, cotton candy, fountain drinks, Gatorade and bottled water.
For dessert, several church volunteers served up “the works” – sponge cake topped with a big scoop of ice cream and strawberries.
Some just opted for a scoop of ice cream.
Attendees sat in the shade at picnic tables and lawn chairs they brought from home, listening to the Cramer Brothers Band from 12 to 3 p.m. and the Brian Dean Moore Band from 4 to 6 p.m.
Many also walked up and down the rows of some 50 classic cars that were displayed in the field.
Huber is grateful for the car show committee, who continued to plan and promote the car show.
Because it was uncertain when or if the car show would occur and many trophy shops were closed during the shutdown, there were no trophies presented this year.
There are numerous people I feel should be given credit here, including Randy Cramer, Harry Koehler, Leon Barlieb, Jerry and Renee Kieper, Diane Huber, and I know there are more,” said Huber.
Since June, St. Matthew’s UCC has offered worship every Sunday at 9 a.m. in their grove. Attendees may sit on one of the benches scattered in front of the gazebo, bring their own lawn chairs, or remain in their car and listen to the service on the radio.
Social distancing and mask-wearing is encouraged as they enter and exit worship, and any other time they are close to other attendees.
For those who wish to continue to worship from home, the service is filmed and uploaded to its website, https://stmattsucckunkletown.com.