The Pumpkins are Here!
October is a tough month.
While preparations for the annual Pumpkin Patch fundraiser begin long before the cool weather makes it to Dallas, things really heat up in October. With the first delivery of pumpkins comes the shift in job from youth worker to a type of business manager. There are volunteers to recruit and train, accounting to be done, sales to report back to our pumpkin suppliers, promotions and communications to send, school groups to schedule and welcome, rotten pumpkins to dispose of...
In all of this it can be easy to miss the ministry opportunities that still are at hand. As much as we invite students to add this thing to their calendar too, they still need to hear and see the love that God has for them.
I am so thankful this year for the great team of people who have stepped up to make the Pumpkin Patch happen again. I was talking to one of those people, August Claybrook, about how much less stressful this season has been than ones in the past. I believe the only reason for this is the response we have gotten from people who decided to join the effort this year.
As we talked about friendship tonight we considered the power that our words have in our relationships. With our words we can tear someone apart leaving them completely exposed and vulnerable. The things we say can also be as warm and welcoming as any hug from any loved one.
Sometimes without thinking we can build up confidence in people we never knew we had any influence over. I think this is as true with how we spend our time as it is with what we say.
We started off our gathering tonight in the pumpkin patch to do some routine clean-up and maintenance and were greeted by two parishioners working the patch that our group would never otherwise see. Jim and Mary Ann Johnson have been at St James for longer than most of our students have been alive. Mary Ann was wearing a pumpkin patch t-shirt from many years ago. She said that even though it is faded and the print is wearing off she just can't part with it since she loves to wear it while working the patch.
Jim and Mary Ann were a testament of faithfulness to a group of young people who probably didn't even catch their names. By showing up, and helping to sell pumpkins, they and many others are helping to create an environment where students come together each week and hear and see the great love that God has for them.
As stressful as the month of October is, it is important to remember the purpose of the patch.
Tonight I was reminded of it's purpose of supporting our students, and I am extremely grateful to all who see that value and step up to make it happen.