Last year’s party was a huge success.
I think this year’s was even bigger.
We kept it simple again – hotdogs, beans and chips to eat. Tables covered with disposable plastic covers, lots of pumpkin carving sets and templates. I made popcorn balls and brownies, and it was just enough. We set the donated pumpkins up as a pumpkin patch so that each kid could pick their own, and we didn’t have a single one left at the end of the night.
Next year, we’ll start earlier. It got too dark to carve and we ended up having to take some pumpkins inside to finish up. We had a lot of younger kids this year, and some games or activities to get some of the wiggles out would have been nice. And I think we’ll skip the movie next year. I’m pretty sure Hanna, my mom and our 3 year old friend Cheyanne were the only ones that watched it.
We really saw a deeper impact this year with the pumpkin party. Our community is one that mistrusts the churches, usually with good reason. It’s something that iss hard to overcome. It’s also why we don’t do a gospel presentation or anything like that at events like this.
Tom likes to refer to this as incarnational ministry – simply being Jesus to those around us. It means being welcoming, being open, accepting, listening, loving on and planting seeds while encouraging the families – whatever form they take – of our community.
Personally, I think the fruit of events like this will have a wider impact and be far greater when we look at them in Eternity’s timeline.