St. Luke's United Methodist Church


4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
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A Note from Brandon Sangster-October 14, 2021

Posted on October 14, 2021 at 9:32 am in .

Dear St. Lukers,

I always longed for the fall experience that this Floridan only saw on TV as a kid: leaves changing colors; feeling a cool, crisp breeze as I ran to jump into a pile of those leaves. Hints of fall setting in are just a little different here. However, I still love so many things about it: the start of the NBA basketball season when there’s a game on just about every night; the evening air does start to get just a little cooler; oh, and I can’t forget the best thing…pumpkin spiced everything!

Notice I didn’t say anything about the start of the school year. Every year as I returned to school I was asked by every teacher, “How was your summer break?” This is the one part of fall that I didn’t love as a kid. I would hear all about different vacations and trips my friends had all taken with family, but what I was most envious of were the stories about a week at summer camp. That was another experience that I always longed for, and to tell an epic story about. Think about those times when you were a teenager that you spent on a weekend trip or retreat with your friends. Those week-long camp experiences. Sadly, I can only name a few, but those few were life-giving. I didn’t have many opportunities because they were always “just too expensive,” as my mom would say with pain behind her eyes. She wanted those experiences for me, too. The ones I can recall and tell the best stories about were only made possible by those who helped. People like you!

Every year, a part of St. Luke’s campus is transformed into a festive, fall Pumpkin Patch for our families and community to enjoy. Year after year we have seen the joy it brings to kids and adults alike as they pick out the perfect pumpkin, and take a fall family picture. It’s all so exciting to witness and be part of, but it’s so much more than just a Pumpkin Patch. This annual event and its proceeds help us create unique experiences for our youth.

The St. Luke’s Pumpkin Patch is a community outreach event, as well as a Youth Ministries-sponsored fundraiser, and will be located outside in the picnic area behind the Gym (Building C). The Patch features a variety of fair-trade pumpkins and gourds from a partnered Navajo Reservation in Farmington, NM. Our Patch is the perfect place to find a pumpkin for the holiday season, and the ideal backdrop for your seasonal family photo. Visiting the Patch is a sure way to get you and your family in the mood for fall! It is also a way to do your part in helping our youth have those life-giving experiences on discipleship retreats and at summer camp as they grow in their faith.

However, before we get to that point, we need your help!

Pumpkins arrive this Sunday, October 17…so wear your comfy clothes to church, go grab a quick bite, then head back to St. Luke’s to help unload pumpkins into the Patch at 12:00 p.m. There will be a full truckload, but many hands make light work! It’s always a fun time, and the whole family can participate. We also need to sell the pumpkins, and you can help with that, too! The Pumpkin Patch opens Monday, October 18, and many volunteer shifts need to be filled to get all those pumpkins sold. Click here to sign up for a volunteer shift in the Patch, and email me at to let us know you’ll be there to help unload pumpkins on Sunday.

In addition, the Grow Team and I would like to invite all our St. Luke’s families to our Fall Family Fun Night in the Patch on Wednesday, October 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.! Come and enjoy crafts and games for kids, yard games for all ages, a bonfire and s’mores, pumpkin activities, food available for purchase from Natez Catering, prize drawings, music, and more! Click here to register (requested not required). We hope to see you there, because it’s not fall at St. Luke’s without U!

Many blessings,

Brandon Sangster

St. Luke’s Director of Youth Ministries

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