Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pumpkin Patch Ministry of Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City

Last October I spent some time with my friend Jerry McKinney, pastor of Putnam City Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. While many congregations offer some type of Halloween alternative, Putnam City found a way to connect with families in a manner that is less chaotic than the typical one-evening event. People from around the community are coming to Putnam City Baptist Church facilities everyday of the week in the month of October.

They are finding a few minutes of unhurried joy with their children in a place endemic to the fall season, the Pumpkin Patch. Creatively constructed, staffed by church volunteers, with interactive experiences for families and children, Putnam City is inviting the community right up to the front door. And they are coming!

As Jerry tells the story of Pumpkin Patch, now an annual experience at Putnam City, he talks of this community initiative as an entry point where conversations begin. Members speak of families who bring their children, play games, crawl over, in, and around pumpkins, color a pumpkin picture, all the while smiling and laughing in an environment where they feel comfortable and welcomed. The story is worth your consideration. While you may not start your own pumpkin patch, you can find creative ways to bless people who live near you. You can let conversations begin.

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