By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: October 2011
Velma Carriaga, missions and outreach coordinator, and Pastor Brian Mangan of Meadowcreek United Methodist Church.
Those who watched “Peanuts” cartoons probably remember two things about Charlie Brown’s best friend, Linus: he always carried a security blanket, and he always headed to his favorite pumpkin patch at Halloween to watch for the appearance of The Great Pumpkin. If you, like Linus, are looking for one – or maybe two, three or more – special pumpkins for your fall festivities, be sure to visit The Pumpkin Patch at Meadowcreek United Methodist Church in Collinsville.
“This is our first year for this event,” says Velma Carriaga, missions and outreach coordinator for Meadowcreek. “This is another way we can reach out and connect with the community of Collinsville.”
The pumpkins at Meadowcreek will arrive from a North Carolina-owned company called The Pumpkin Patch, which partners with churches across the nation to help raise money for multiple philanthropic endeavors including youth summer camps and Habitat for Humanity. Even the pumpkin harvest itself is geared to give back to communities, as the pumpkins are grown on the Navajo Agricultural Farm in Farmington, New Mexico, where 1,200 acres of pumpkins are harvested annually. Also available at Meadowcreek’s Pumpkin Patch are decorative gourds and Indian corn of various colors.
The Pumpkin Patch at Meadowcreek will open the week of October 10 with hundreds of pumpkins on display. On October 22, Meadowcreek will host an arts and crafts fair at The Pumpkin Patch location, and Velma says that vendors are welcome to sign up for this event through October 14. “We will have a concession stand and live music at the arts and crafts fair, as well as activities for the children,” she says. “It will be a lot of fun.”
The Pumpkin Patch will wrap up with another fun and greatly anticipated event for children, Meadowcreek’s annual Trunk or Treat on Halloween, October 31, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. “Our congregation decorates cars and trucks and then lines up in the parking lot to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters,” Velma explains. “We have done this for several years now, and we usually have two to three hundred kids come through, since the community has become aware of this safe environment for kids at Halloween.”
Community outreach and awareness is what Meadowcreek United Methodist Church is all about, according to Pastor Brian Mangan. “We try not only to meet the apportionments, or traditional mission offerings, of our denomination, but also extend our efforts beyond that and into the community.” For instance, the church participates in an annual school supply drive, and last year they provided a cooling station for Hogs and Hot Rods, where they gave away free bottled water to attendees. The church also participates every year in Project Noel, a program for families in financial need at Christmas, by providing gifts for parents to give to their children and by keeping the children occupied with fun games while the parents choose those gifts in another room and have them wrapped at the wrapping station.
If you would like to join Linus in his search for The Great Pumpkin and help the local community in the process, visit The Pumpkin Patch at Meadowcreek United Methodist Church. Hours of operation will be Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.