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Jesse Lee Pumpkin Patch: emblem of resilience borne out of trials of the pandemic in our community and in the Navajo Nation

Jesse Lee Church (JLC) is happy to return to having real pumpkins in their pumpkin patch at Main Street and King Lane again this year!

esse Lee Church (JLC) is happy to return to having real pumpkins in their pumpkin patch at Main Street and King Lane again this year. Last year was the first time in 30 years Jesse Lee did NOT have pumpkins grown by its mission partners in the Navajo Nation. COVID made the bucket-brigade unloading process a potential community health risk, so the real pumpkins were cancelled. Instead, Jesse Lee created a ‘homemade’ wooden pumpkin patch which the community enthusiastically supported. All donations from the wooden pumpkins were directed toward support to COVID relief efforts in the Navajo Nation. Organizers and visitors alike are thrilled the pumpkin patch will be back in its original form.

The Jesse Lee Church Pumpkin Patch represents more than pumpkins. This year, it is a true emblem of resilience borne out of the trials of the pandemic in our own community and in the Navajo Nation. The Navajo were hit exponentially harder by COVID than other communities in America. However, they are now among the first nations in the world to reach herd immunity with a vaccination rate that is fast approaching 80 percent.

Jesse Lee Church Senior Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Bill Pfohl says, “The Jesse Lee Pumpkin patch embodies our commitment to mission outreach, our desire to serve our community and our hope to help make connections with our neighbors close to home and mission partners in the Navajo Nation that reflect God’s love and light into the world. We hope everyone has a chance to come and enjoy the Jesse Lee Pumpkin Patch this Fall!”

The Pumpkin Patch opens Saturday, September 25 and will remain open through October 31. Weekday hours are 2-6PM. Hours on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays are 10AM-6PM. Visitors will be able to get pumpkins in all shapes and sizes that were grown by JLC’s Navajo mission partners in New Mexico. We are also selling the remaining 100 ‘homemade’ wooden pumpkins created last year. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sales of these ‘homemade’ pumpkins, and all donations received by people texting “GIVE” to 203-349-6853 (select “Navajo Donations”), will go to directly the Navajo/Hopi COVID-19 Relief Fund.

JLC’s partnership with the Navajo Nation mission partners helps provide 700 seasonal jobs and a handful of full-time positions for people in the Navajo Nation. Every pumpkin purchased in the Jesse Lee Pumpkin Patch, whether real or ‘homemade,’ makes a difference.

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