by the Rev. MiRhang Baek at [email protected]
Ginter Park United Methodist Church
1010 W Laburnum Ave, Richmond, VA 23227-4520
Ginter Park UMC is blessed with 1, 414 bulk pumpkins this year, along with the hundreds of “specialty gourds” from Pumpkins USA. We are hoping for another record year of sales! Last year, we sold out two days before Halloween!
We have many activities in store for our neighbors and visitors this month:
Storytime Fridays at 4 has been an annual favorite for many years. The firefighters from Richmond Fire Dept. come to read stories to the children out in The Patch. Come on over after school and bring the kids!
On Saturdays, we’ll have Fun & Games Day with our first bounce house since 2019; Campfire Night, with free chili & s’mores for dessert, and assorted shenanigans, which is open to the public; and Movie Night! This year we are showing our usual It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, and Fantasia as the main feature. It’s all free and open to the public.
On Halloween night, we work with the surrounding Ginter Park neighborhood to block off two blocks of Seminary Ave, to create a safe place for trick or treaters. It’s also our Closing Party! We have hot or cold cider (depending on the weather) for the adults, candy for the kids, and free coats for anyone who needs one. We also show The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on the wall of the tent on repeat for all the visitors.
Most UMC members know our pumpkins come from New Mexico on the Navajo plantation that Pumpkins USA leases, and employs Navajo to grow the pumpkins & other items. Once they get to Ginter Park, the funds we raise go towards helping support our Afghan refugees primarily, and other mission projects. Any leftover pumpkins have been given to Linwood Holton Elementary’s Learning Garden, the Dandelion, for compost. The kids in all the grades grow food in the garden that they also eat and learn an abundance of lessons, from science to history to math and more. If we have further leftovers, they have gone to Shalom Farms for compost. They grow vegetables for the food pantries in Central VA. So, the pumpkins keep giving joy, food & comfort from the moment the land is tilled & the seed is planted and onward.