Lemonade on the Lawn

“Summertime and the livin’ is easy.” Most of us can relate to those familiar song lyrics. We move a little more slowly, take more vacation time in the summer than in other seasons. It is a good time to pause, have a little lemonade, chat, check in with friends, share stories, and maybe meet someone new. 

Nancy Dunbar remembers The Rev'd James Stirling saying to her, “Summer tea on the lawn was to be a social time for those church members going to different services.” As Trinity grew in the decades after WWII, the size of the congregation dictated the need for more than one Sunday service. Having a social time on the lawn between services became a lovely way to stay in communion. In the 1970s the Daughters of the Holy Cross listed as one of their service projects, “Service of tea after church in summer months.”

A member of the Daughters’ board took on the responsibility of setting up a rotation of members to host. Originally it seems that both ice tea and/or lemonade were provided; somewhere along the line, “Summer Tea” became “Lemonade on the Lawn.”

During the rectorate of Dean Sam Candler, the summer schedule of combined services in the Cathedral began, and “Lemonade on the Lawn” was no longer between services but a social time afterward. It was while Dean Candler was at Trinity that Cassandra and Bob Crooks began their nineteen-year-long ministry in 1993 coordinating “Lemonade on the Lawn.” Cassandra told me of “being on the look-out for special table-cloths with a lemon theme” and getting Bob to “load-up the best looking potted plant or vase of flowers to bring each Sunday from our home to the lemonade table. “

In Jeannie Kean’s wonderful book Reflections, the Women of Trinity, 1812–2012, she writes, “In 1995, memorials to the DHC . . .were voted to be spent to purchase benches for Trinity’s Courtyard.  Every Sunday when Tea on the Lawn is served, you can spot grateful grandparents who enjoy using the benches as they keep an eye on rambunctious grandchildren playing about.”   While I have a hard time picturing the Vipperman girls being “rambunctious,” Lisa Vipperman, who was in charge of “Lemonade on the Lawn” for the last few years, told me that, as small children they always wanted to go out and help pour lemonade. “ Cassandra Crooks wrote the girls a note of thanks which made them so proud,” Lisa remembered.

This summer Shannon Kvam takes over as the Daughters’ point person to coordinate “Lemonade on the Lawn” and says she is really looking forward to spearheading this special time of hospitality. So stop a minute or so under the oaks, sip a little lemonade, and be part of the easier “livin” in summertime when we can just chat a bit and get to know each other better.


--By Connie Britt


Lemonade on the Lawn will begin on Sunday, June 3 following the 10 am Cathedral service and will continue all summer long.