As most parishioners know, for the last nine years the month of October has turned the yard at Good Shepherd into a Pumpkin Patch. The Patch has been a very successful way of raising funds for five different charities. It has also provided a way for us to reach out into the community, increasing our visibility and establishing an identity. It has served as a way of opening our arms (and our doors) to people who might otherwise have no inclination to stop by Good Shepherd. It’s fair to say that it has become a Centennial tradition. It has always been a Congregation-wide effort—it can’t happen without almost all of us playing a part. Our nine years of experience have allowed us to develop a very well-developed plan for running the Patch, and the infrastructure (pallets, wagons, scarecrows, Ipads, Square credit card readers, decorations, etc.) that goes with it.
The Outreach Committee is currently in the midst of discussions about whether the Pumpkin Patch should continue at Good Shepherd. As with many activities, there will come a time when it runs its course, and reaches a point of diminishing returns. As we are trying to make that decision, we would welcome input from the Congregation. More importantly, however, if there is even to be a possibility that the Pumpkin Patch will continue this year, we will need one or two people from the Congregation to step up and volunteer to lead the effort. Although the Patch requires many volunteers, it can’t be done without one or two people as leaders. As a committee, we have decided that if one or two people don’t let us know by the end of May that they are willing to be the leader(s) of the Patch this year, then the decision will be made for us, and the Pumpkin Patch will come to an end. If the Spirit moves you and you are interested in being a leader, please let Randy Hubbard (the chair of the Outreach Committee) or any of the other members of the committee (Sally VanWelden, Joyce Manning, Sherri Hesen, Shelley Hitt, Kip Travis, Liz Peel or JoAnn Schomerus), or Fr. Gary know, and we will get you involved in our discussions. We will also be very willing to provide support to the new leader(s) if the Patch continues. Thanks.
One of the things the committee has been focused on for a number of years, and on which we have a renewed focus based on perceived interest from the Congregation, is providing hands-on volunteer activities for people to participate in. We would be interested in any specific ideas members of the Congregation have about activities that they would like to be involved in. If you have any thoughts, please don’t hesitate to contact one of the above-
referenced members of the Outreach Committee. In addition, at some point in the next few weeks we will have butcher paper up and markers available, and parishioners will have the opportunity to simply identify ideas by writing them down—we will ask you to provide your name along with your ideas so that we can contact you if we have follow-up questions. We would very much appreciate your suggestions.