Harvest resources

It must be time to post something about harvest – here’s a collection of stuff that might be useful.

Some all age ideas

  1. The four corners of God’s love (not my idea – I learnt it from a Sally Army officer ages ago!)
    Start with a large square or rectangular piece of paper, and announce that this is the four corners of God’s love. Say, ‘It’s my piece of paper, so it’s the four corners of God’s love for me.’  Count them out to make sure.
    Ask, ‘What would happen if I cut off one of my corners and gave it away?  I have four, but if I gave one away, how many would I have?’  You may get the answer, ‘three’.
    Cut off one corner, give it to someone in the congregation, and count your corners again. You have five! You had four, you gave one away, and you have five. And the other person has three. That’s eight whole corners of God’s love!
    Try it again with another corner. And get one of the recipients to try it with one of their corners etc. Keep counting up the new total of corners until everyone loses count.
    Reflect on generosity, abundance, giving, God’s providence, blessings given and received….
    Encourage everyone to take their ‘corner’ home as a reminder.
  2. Ready steady cook
    Ask members of the congregation to come forward and pick out five items from the donated produce and say what they’d cook with them – get everyone to vote on the best idea.
    Reflect on how bringing the gifts together means we can do amazing things with them – maybe we each brought only one gift, but God multiplies what we give.
  3. World map
    Draw a rough outline of a world map on a double bedsheet and lay it down on the floor  – as people bring their gifts of produce, invite them to place their gift somewhere near its (possible) country of origin. Have some information displayed about some of the key producing nations and what life is like as a farmer/producer there. During your talk, look at some of the foods, and trace their journey from field/forest/ocean to plate.  You could
    (a) Say a prayer for each stage of the food’s journey
    (b) Talk about fairtrade and related issues
  4. Place mat grace
    Give everyone an A4 piece of paper with a simple place setting drawn on it, and some pens. You can also provide glue, scissors and old food magazines for those who like to cut and stick.
    Invite people to decorate their plate with words or pictures that remind them to say thank you for their food.
    Teach everyone a simple grace that they can use at lunchtime when they get home. Invite them to write it on their placemat. This might be something quite traditional, or something sillier – or have a variety to choose from. Popular options might be:
    (a) For these and all God’s blessings may his holy name be praised.
    (b) Rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub!
    (c) (sung) One, two, three, four, five, thank you God that I’m alive, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, thank you God for food, Amen.
    (d) (sung) Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise him all creatures here below, praise him above ye heavenly host, praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
    Alternatively, you could write a variety of graces on the reverse of the paper so that they’re all provided.
    If you have the facilities, you could offer to laminate the placemats while people are having coffee after church, so that they’ll last longer.

Poem

Here is the original (longer) version:

We bring our gifts:
The first-fruits of our labour,
or perhaps the spare we do not need,
(an offering to mitigate against our greed).

To the church we bring them,
and into the hands of Christ we place them,
and we say, ‘Take this,
and do with it some miracle:
Turn water into wine again,
or multiply my loaves and fish
to feed a crowd again.’

And Jesus takes them from our hand,
this fruit of the ocean, this product of the land,
and blesses them, accepting back
what always was the Lord’s.
Our gifts will fill the lack
of hungry people,
putting flesh on words
of charity, and making folk
in our small corner of the world
more equal.

We know there is enough for everyone.
But once the leftovers are gone –
taken to the homeless, hungry poor –
what of those twelve empty baskets standing idly by?
Can there yet be more
that we can ask our Lord to multiply?

Into those baskets therefore let us place ourselves,
those parts of us that need transforming,
grace and strength and healing,
the gifts in us that need to be increased and shared
with a greater generosity than we may be prepared
to offer on our own account.

For we are God’s rich and splendid bounty,
seeds, sown and scattered by the Lord in every place.
the human race:
the crowning glory
of the ever-evolving creation story.
We thank the Lord
that he does not just separate wheat from tare,
but takes our very best
then turns us into far more than we are.

And here is the shorter version:

We bring the spare we do not really need
(for surely God will honour all we bring
although it cannot make up for our greed).
And place into Christs’s hands our offering:
“Turn water into wine again,” we say,
“and multiply my token loaves and fish
to feed another hungry crowd today.”
Our gifts, we know, will put some flesh
on words of charity. Then into those
twelve empty baskets, let us place the gifts in us
that need to be increased and shared
with greater generosity than we may be prepared
to offer on our own account.
For we are God’s most rich and splendid bounty,
sown as seeds and scattered by the Lord
in every place.
the human race:
the crowning glory
of the ever-evolving creation story.
We thank God that he does not only separate the wheat from tare,
but takes our very best then turns us into far more than we are.

oOoOo

Clipart and assorted autumnal pictures

  wheat sheaf clipart       The whole world in his handfeeding of teh 5000

harvest     foodharvest festival clipart

 

hands held out     19th sept 2014 005broken bread

 

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