Open Circle: Pumpkin Carving Brings Neighbors Together 

Our small group has always been social. We look forward to meeting each Sunday evening to share the Word as well as enjoying each others company. We have also tried to reach out to the neighborhoods we all live in. Some things we have done in the past have been a Cop Stop, Super Bowl parties, as well as hosting some driveway fire pits roasting marshmallows and making s’mores.

Recently we held our second Pumpkin Carving Extravaganza! We put out a text message to about 15 families in our neighborhood. We had quite the turn out! Including the families in our small group we had about 50 people in our driveway, about half of which were kids under 12. We provided a place to come carve your pumpkins, listen to some Halloween themed music, cook s’mores, and connect with our neighbors. We had about 400 square feet of plastic taped down to the driveway so clean up was a snap, and everyone loved not having to clean up pumpkin guts at their house. Win-win! All in all I think we had 24 pumpkins carved and lit surrounding the driveway at the end of the night.

We had an interesting international presence. We had families from Germany, Belgium, Brazil, and Kurdistan attend. It was fun to get their take on how we celebrate this holiday. Our group did a great job of making everyone feel welcome, and we got many messages after the event about how much fun everyone had. Hopefully in the future we can continue to love on our neighborhoods and let the light of Christ shine through. We can only hope that the memories made by our children will last into adulthood and that Christ will use them in a similar way.

Most of our group was able to attend the ‘open circle’ workshop last year taught by Greg Jackson. We truly believe that as Christians we can have such a positive impact right around home.

Imagine the impact we could have on the surrounding communities of Living Hope if we could all focus some time on the people living closest to us!

-Wes and Erin Blackman, Jake and Becca Gaines, Damian and Kathy Miller, Geron and McLaine Craig, Brandon and Alison Rodgers