Plants, Parish & a Power Pole.
How can a Church plant sale contribute to a Parish’s pastoral plan?
How can it build community?
How can it teach us to be Missionaries of our Faith?
It’s a fair question.
About 7 years ago two ladies met through the Church Choir. They discovered another shared interest – gardening. They became friends, so did their families. From shared meals to gardening at Church, singing, movies, concerts, enjoying the good times, support for the not so good times, their friendship flourished.
How did the idea for that first plant sale come about?
A plan for building community from Fr Michael, getting all Parish groups to host a whole Parish activity or fundraiser.
The first plant sale was a plant stall after Sunday Mass, organised by the Choir.
Growing plants is addictive – at the end of the afternoon plans were already being formulated to make it better the next time.
And each year it started to get a little bigger…
If you grow – you require more manpower!
Starting with choir members and choir members partners who were keen gardeners. Then out to the wider Church community talking and finding out who grew the bulk trays of tomatoes, who was skilled at growing veges from seed, who wasn’t a gardener but could take money and tidy up plants. Then on to the volunteer Church gardeners, gently coaxed into service.
Connections with people were made, more faces became familiar at Mass.
Requests for garden pots went out through the Church Bulletin – ask and you shall receive!
Donated plants were dropped off outside the Hall – the word was spreading.
In a time when we are all too aware of the risks of climate change but wonder how we can make a difference – a plant sale ticks all the boxes. Recycled plastic posts, upcycled pottery pots, division of plants and a whole lot of horse manure!
2019 was the year of the BIG plant sale – to be held in the Church Hall (no longer at the mercy of the inclement spring weather).
A month before the sale one of the plant ladies had a car accident, Jude 1 Power Pole 0.
A medical event that could have been so much worse. Prayers of thanksgiving were willingly offered up.
Plant sale planning went on around the hospital bed!
A week before the sale offers of potted plants were received and collections made.
First to a Parishioner from another Church and then to pick up pot plants from Sr Eileen. Time to have a cup of coffee and a chat with her and Br John (grower of orchids), and a timely reminder over the story of a $20 note that we should always put our trust in God.
We had the most wonderful group of volunteers, who all commented on how enjoyable it was to take part.
From Mike and his trailer transporting hundreds of plants to Alan on the raffles and Lisa and Callum manning the sausage sizzle. The ladies on the tills, Security Detail! And all those helpers on the floor!
The plant sale went well, we doubled our sales from last year!
But was it about the money?
Or was it about making connections in our Parish Community?
How can we go out and spread the word of Jesus when we do not have the support of a Community of Faith behind us?
For a lot of us that support comes from within our Parish.
A Parish is like a family, a family that grows and has new members; it has its ups and downs. Sometimes we get frustrated with our family members, some members even leave, but they are always welcome back.
And as we look forward to our Parish growing and forming a “Super” Church, so we also go ahead with our planning of a “Super” Plant Sale in 2020.
Thank you to everyone who volunteered their time, all those who grew plants for us, donated pots and buckets and of course all who came and supported us by buying up plants, raffles and sausages!
Our Parish Community is so much richer because of your support.