What is it that is so glorious about a pumpkin? It is this time of year that so many pumpkin patches pop up all over, especially on church lawns. And I, a United Methodist minister, love every minute of it!
For Emmanuel United Methodist Church, it was our first time at offering pumpkins to the community. After much preparation, the day finally came to swing wide our front gate and open the patch. All of the monies collected are going towards ministries of EUMC, and we are so very thankful for each pumpkin sold. But this was not, in fact, the reason we were so thrilled about having the pumpkin patch. It was YOU!
Matthew 22: 34-40 says, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
For us, we wanted to love our community by offering a fun and beautifully decorated space to enjoy this time of year. So, with our gate and hearts open wide...we wanted to say, “You are so loved and cherished by God. And we are glad to be neighbors.” Here, we thoroughly enjoy sharing meals, worship and life with one another, and we wanted to convey this through each and every pumpkin.
So Bradenton, our beloved community: Our pumpkins are all gone, but as we move through autumn you are always, ALWAYS, welcome to come and see us at 10:30 a.m. each Sunday. We pray you’ll remember this enduring truth...that you are so loved. You are cherished by God. And we are SO GLAD to be your neighbors.
The Rev. Tracie Ashley