HARVEST THANKSGIVING
WATER STRATFORD 18th October 2020

Welcome


We come from scattered lives to meet with God.

Let us recognise his presence with us.

Silence is kept.

As God’s people we have gathered:

let us worship him together.


Hymn – Come ye thankful people come


Come, ye thankful people, come
Raise the song of harvest home
All is safely gathered in
Ere the winter storms begin
God our Maker doth provide
For our wants to be supplied
Come to God's own temple, come
Raise the song of harvest home.


All the world is God's own field
Fruit as praise to God we yield
Wheat and tares together sown
Are to joy or sorrow grown
First the blade and then the ear
Then the full corn shall appear
Lord of harvest, grant that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be.


Greeting 


A Prayer to say Sorry 


We confess to you our lack of care for the world you have given us.

Lord, have mercy.     Lord, have mercy.


We confess to you our selfishness in not sharing the earth’s bounty fairly.

Christ, have mercy.    Christ, have mercy.


We confess to you our failure to protect resources for others.

Lord, have mercy.   Lord, have mercy.


Prayer of Forgiveness


Apple Harvest Poem 


Bible Reading – Luke 12:16-30

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.  And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.


Paula’s talk (in note form)

Harvest talk – Luke 12:16-30 

St Luke’s Festival – Luke 10:1-9


INTRO

So if I say strudel – crumble – pie – baked – turnover – which word could be put with them to make a delicious pie?    

 

(I pick up basket full of apples – show apples as I talk)

There are many types of pies, or puddings you can make with apples – as well as chutneys, sauces and drinks too, what an amazing fruit! 


Can you guess how many different types of apples there are? 

In the UK alone we have over 2,500 varieties of apples (of the 7,000 that exist worldwide).


www.theorchardproject.org.uk    


what colour are apples?  

there is one called:

The Black Diamond Apple – a rare breed - cultivated in the Tibet – it is purple actually not black – but very unusual – very rare – when it is cut open the fruit is white inside 

https://www.today.com/food/black-apples-are-real-thing-here-s-why-they-re-t151239


you probably have a favourite apple – some like them sweet – some tart 

there are different flavours – tastes – 

and not being much of a baker – I tend to just use what I have in the cupboard when it cook  - but I have been told a particular type of apple is better than another for making an apple tart than another – or for chutney – or sauces…..


What a bounty our loving creator God has given us – how much he must love us to provide such bounty for us – to meet all our tastes – our needs - in just one type of fruit 

One type of fruit

 with so many different things to offer us 

(put apples down)


BIBLE READING -DO NOT WORRY

In our bible reading we are told not to worry – Jesus 

22 ... said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.  (Luke 12)


We are told not to worry about these earthly things…..


But tbh 

There have been times this past year when we probably have worried about our food supplies – even those of us who are affluent enough to have survived the difficulties of this year financially- 

we have been wondering how to actually get hold of supplies – let alone the financial worries


Many people have turned to food banks to provide their family with food – thank God for them – for the great kindness and support that people have received through the food banks  

we have been worrying about how to get other supplies in – and we have given thanks to the many workers who have kept working to provide us with home deliveries and the like – 


because throughout this we year we will  have reaped the rewards of many new creations – of friendships and new links that will have come about from the lockdowns we have experienced 

I know I have made many new friends this past year in the community I was living in before I moved here – more than in the previous three years I was there – 


Jesus says that our ‘Father knows what we need ‘…. (Luke 12 v30)

we have indeed had a good harvest from these things – 

in amongst the difficulties provision has come – 


I popped into the shop at Westbury and heard how that has sprung up from having been a community café – and is now a well-used shop that the community loves to have – a rich harvest that serves the needs of the community 


And many of us have benefitted from the new skills we have developed to engage online with each other socially - for  work and education – I had never used Zoom before lockdown! Many of us are using such skills now 

and many changes have occurred with people working from home 

many people realising as our bible reading says that – life is more than taking on the worries to provide - but it is to be lived richly and well……


Creation continues – God created all things in the beginning, and He is with us as we join with Him in creating new things today – 


God is with us – in amongst the trials of our lives – He is with us creating new things to help us to survive and to meet our needs – He is the ultimate farmer who will not give up on His people – His creation that is struggling


so our apples – 


well God created the humble apple that – with cultivation has become a fruit of many varieties 

I am sure if I asked our local sheep farmer he would be able to tell us that there are many different types of sheep – maybe not of the number of apples – but a surprising number to those of us who do not work with them  


as a church – as a church family we are made up of many different people – all who have different things to offer – music – farming skills and knowledge – good reading skills – good with figures – seen in our treasurer - good management and overview – seen in our church wardens – people with a friendly smile and time to chat to our neighbours – many ways we can offer what God has created us for…..


we have this bounty – of food – resources and skills -and Jesus told us in the parable that we heard earlier that we are to share our bounty not store it up – the man who had so much he built more barns to store it in – well he stored it up well but he did not benefit from it before he died – and neither did anyone else – we are not to store up our bounty of gifts 


So we are not to worry – but what can we do?

well we get a good idea from our bible reading for today  to celebrate St. Luke (Luke 10:1-9) - which as I said at the beginning of the service, the church calendar is celebrating today - 

St Luke  was one of the 12 apostles – it is believed he was a doctor by profession – 


and in the bible reading for St Luke’s day we have encouraging word for us……..


Jesus sends out 70 followers of his – apostles – saying the ‘the Harvest is plenty

because God has provided enough for all – 


But the verse does continue- the Harvest is plenty but the labourers few 


in the reading Jesus is sending out 70 of his followers – 70 of his disciples – to reap the Harvest of those in need – those with questions, those seeking 


Just as we have to gather in our harvest of produce – or else let it rot in the fields – we have to gather in our harvest 


we are called as Christians – followers of Christ 


to gather in the Harvest of those who are in need, those with questions, and as we go deeper into the autumn and into the winter, those who are wanting comfort and joy in the darkness – 


since this covid-19 pandemic more people have turned to the church – trying to find answers - maybe as to who, they can turn to when things are so difficult 


we have not seen the growth in our church attendance – social distancing makes this hard and people are hesitant to come along to find out but


More people are tuning in to online Christian services than attended church before the coronavirus lockdown, all religious leaders have said this…


I read that 

Major Mark Sawyer, the leader of Norwich Citadel Salvation Army church, said more than 2,000 people have been tuning in to his online Sunday services, compared with around 300 who would attend pre-lockdown.

figures from the Church of England record the same big growth of people searching on line and using all types of social media – many of which I would not have a clue how to use ……..


https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/national/18453889.surging-numbers-britons-turn-christianity-amid-pandemic-figures-suggest/


but here on the ground we can continue to give thanks for the harvest God has given us  and keep offering what we have always had on offer – 


a place to come and worship – a welcoming smile – a listening ear – a helping hand - a place to gather and reflect – a place to listen to music together – to give thanks – to share our thoughts – our questions and offer some answers 


a share in what we have been blessed with - our harvest – let us not store it up…..


– over these winter months let us continue with the good things that have been created and help each other to sink into Gods love - deepening our relationships] with Him and with each other -  and always giving thanks for all that God provides us with.     AMEN 


Hymn – We plough the fields and scatter

We plough the fields and scatter
the good seed on the land,
but it is fed and watered
by God's almighty hand.
He sends the snow in winter,
the warmth to swell the grain,
the breezes and the sunshine,
and soft refreshing rain.

Refrain:
All good gifts around us
are sent from heav'n above;
then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord
for all his love

We thank you, then, O Father,
for all things bright and good:
the seed-time and the harvest,
our life, our health, our food;
no gifts have we to offer
for all your love imparts,
but that which you desire now:
our humble, thankful hearts! [Refrain)

Creed          Let us declare our faith in God.

All   We believe in God the Father,

from whom every family

in heaven and on earth is named.

We believe in God the Son,

who lives in our hearts through faith,

and fills us with his love.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit,

who strengthens us

with power from on high.

     We believe in one God;

Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Amen.                                                                       cf Ephesians 3


Prayers of Intercessions – includes Collect and Lord’s Prayer

Psalm 65        Thanksgiving for Earth’s Bounty

Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion;  and to you shall vows be performed,

 O you who answer prayer!
To you all flesh shall come.

When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,  you forgive our transgressions.

Happy are those whom you choose and bring near  to live in your courts.    We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,   your holy temple.

By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,   O God of our salvation;   you are the hope of all the ends of the earth  and of the farthest seas. 

11 You crown the year with your bounty;  your wagon tracks overflow with richness.

12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow,  the hills gird themselves with joy,

13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,  the valleys deck themselves with grain,  they shout and sing together for joy.      

Glory to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and every shall be frever,, world without end.  AMEN 

Hymn  - All creatures of our God and King

All creatures of our God and King,
lift up your voice and with us sing
alleluia, alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
thou silver moon with softer gleam,
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong,
ye clouds that sail in heav'n along,
O pra
ise him, alleluia!
Thou rising morn, in praise rejoice,
ye lights of evening, find a voice,
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Let all things their Creator bless,
and worship him in humbleness,
O praise him, alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
and praise the Spirit, three in one,
O praise him, O praise him,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Blessing


Dismissal-  Go in peace to love and serve the Lord 

                     In the name of Christ. Amen 


liturgy materials copyright The Archbishop Council 2000 and 2002