What a blessing it was to welcome approx., 60 children from Year 4 of Monton Green Primary School as they came to ‘Experience Harvest’ with us for the first time. This was jointly put on with our friends and neighbours St Paul’s Anglican Church.
We took the children on a journey of discovering varying aspects of what Harvest is today and has been in the past using the material from the Diocese of Gloucester and Jumping Fish.
Harvest of the Garden was about leaning the importance of being patient. Crops need time to ripen and to grow fully and picked at just the right time. We need to wait and be patient just as we need to be patient when we pray too, this can take a very long time.
The children came to the Harvest of the Ocean station where they learned about peace. The reading from Mark 6: 50-51 was read. This is the passage where Jesus spoke to his disciples, who were struggling to row their boat, he told them to have courage and not to be afraid. As our fishing communities gather their harvest of fish together, they need to have courage to face the different weather conditions out at sea. We may face difficult challenging times in our lives but somehow knowing Jesus is with us can help to calm us down as we know we aren’t alone.
Harvest of the Flock encouraged the children to think of the harvests that come from sheep farming. Meat, milk, cheese and wool were discussed with a variety of clothes, blankets, wool, we could show the children. We had a mini loom for the children to see how this worked and have a go by putting their own piece of thread through it. They worked well together and learned that when we all work together we can produce brilliant things. We thanked God for the gifts that not only they have but the gifts that their family and friends have too. The learned how to be humble.
As they began listen to Harvest of the Earth, they were able to make little clay models with some clay. They learned about mining and the work in a quarry and how clay has been harvested for thousands of years. We can make gifts for someone we love from clay. The children took their gift for someone home. Acts 20: 35 says “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.”
At Harvest of the Grain, the children enjoyed tasting and eating some bread as they learned about sharing the food that was there and hearing about if the earth’s resources are shared fairly, there would be enough food for everyone. The heard about different charities that their school, families may support in our developing world. We had two wheatsheafs, ears of corn, different types of flour and a large mixing bowl . We were reminded of a hymn. We plough the fields and scatter, the good seed on the land.
We then all joined together to give thanksgiving and remembered that as Christians celebrate Harvest, Jewish people celebrate Sukkot. The time when Jewish people remember the time when “their ancestors who lived in Egypt were treated cruelly.” But they came through to a pace in time when they could give thanksgiving to God for bringing them through and providing for them. They did this by hanging fruit and colourful pictures from walls and roofs etc. They remained faithful to God and the have been able to bear “Fruit of the Spirit” and this encourages us to be joyful, generous and grow in humility and patience.
Some of the children prayed a prayer for us.
We look forward to ‘Experiencing Christmas’ at St Paul’s on the 3rd of December.