The Aftermath of the Great Grape Mystery


Maia Gaddis, Reporter/Designer

   Hosanna! Lutheran Church has been growing grapes for the past 15 years, providing traditions and communion along with it. Recently, on September 12th, 2021, the grapes were stolen from their community vineyard, causing trouble for this place of prayer. Practitioners are now calling it, “The Great Grape Mystery.” 

   “My 10-year-old who is a student at Kellybrook and I came out to harvest after church and a member told us they had been all taken.  I didn’t believe her and was quite confused by this news. Two other adults began to explain that the entire harvest was gone and that there were no grapes to harvest,” Member of the Hosanna Congregation, Julie LaSerre expressed.  

   Disbelief and confusion weren’t the only emotions shown by the members of this church as Pastor Mike Kern shared what he had felt.

   “My first emotion towards this situation was disappointment. Someone tried to steal our joy of going out and harvesting but we don’t have a shortage of joy. We’ll just move on and look forward to next year,” Kern said.

   Even though thieves have taken from the church, Kern tries to think about the other perspectives in the story.

   “With everything going on with the pandemic right now, a lot of people are hurting and so they might have stolen them for financial aid. It was almost a ton of grapes that were stolen, an actual ton. It ended up being around 1,500 pounds of grapes, being worth around $1,500,” Kern said.

   Seeing what this food could do for someone, the church has come up with ways that people can help stop this from happening to other locations around Liberty. 

   “We’re encouraging people to donate to their local food pantry to help people who are going through hard times right now. It would also help to volunteer for your community,” Kern said.

   Kern didn’t express any need for donations to the church to make up for the grapes, but they are always welcome. Plans have already been made to help solve the shortage of grapes for this season.

   “We are short about 1,500 lbs of grapes this year but the traditions of community, stories, and wine will live on! Four Horses and a Dog, a winery, will share their grapes and make wine and we will have a story to share for decades!” LaSerre said