As many of you know, there is a sea of orange at the church right now. An orange wonderland that is our annual Pumpkin Patch!
Growing up I never remember going to a Pumpkin Patch. We didn't have one at the church where we attended. My first exposure to this ministry was when we moved to Hudson to serve Faith UMC in 2004. They had been doing Pumpkin Patch for years and it was quite a successful fundraiser for them. Pumpkin Patch is actually an organization from New Mexico that works with non-profits, mostly United Methodist churches. They ship the pumpkins out on consignment with set prices depending on size. You keep track of sales and depending on the volume sold, you keep a percentage of the profits and ship the rest of the monies back to them.
There was a story Debbie used to always share in Hudson at Halloween time with the kids in worship about pumpkins....not sure where it came from but it's been circulating around for a while on the Internet. I have always like it so I wanted to share it will all of you. Here it is:
A lady recently being baptized was asked by a co-worker what it was like to be a Christian. She replied, "It's like being a pumpkin: God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off you may have gotten from the other pumpkins. Then he cuts the top off and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, and other stuff. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see."
Debbie would then bring out a carved pumpkin following along with this pattern prayer and give all the kids a bookmark with these instructions:
Dear God, as I carve my pumpkin help me say this prayer:
Open my mind so I can learn about You;
(Cut the top of the pumpkin.)
Take away all my sin and forgive me for the wrong things I do. (Clean out the inside.)
Open my eyes so Your love I will see;
(Cut the eyes out in heart or any shape.)
I'm so sorry for turning up my nose to all you've given me. (Cut a nose in the shape of a cross.)
Open my ears so your word I will hear.
(Cut the ears shaped like the Bible or rectangles)
Open my mouth so I can tell others You're near
(cut the mouth in the shape of a fish, or any shape)
Let Your light shine in all I say and do! (Place a candle inside and light it)
May the sea of orange this season speak to your heart about God's transforming work in you!