There was a lovely harvest display of gifts ready to be sent to Readifood awaiting us as we walked into church this morning, grateful that the sunshine had returned for those of us walking or cycling down.
We've continued with prayers and blessings appropriate to Creation Time and some great harvest/creation hymns over the last two Sundays - "For the beauty of the earth" and "Lord of beauty, thine the splendour" last week and rousingly traditional "We plough the fields" and "Come you thankful people come" plus "God made the heavens and earth" this week for Harvest Festival itself. (In previous years there has been some contention over the appropriateness of a 'modernised' version of "We plough" which emphasises the destruction caused to the planet by humankind - it's been suggested that children should not be asked to sing a hymn confessing to environmental sins over which they have no control. I think that is still in debate, but we had the uncontentious version this year).
Because this was the first Sunday of the month it was largely led by the Children's Praise Plus team who explained what happened in the children's group last week - a slide show and props about people working together with God in co-creation leading up to some tasty baking. Children had written the prayers too. I just happen to have the one that was meant to be praying for people working to protect creation because my youngest wrote it:
Dear God, please protect the world, the rain forests and all the endangered animals. Please help us to stop deforesting rain forests and can you make it easier for those trying to stop this happening. Amen
Our first Sunday of the month lunches have begun again and Liz had cooked up a wonderful vegan chilli (from a National Trust recipe). We were lucky enough for many of us to be able to sit out in the courtyard - hard to imagine now as the rain pours down.
The Harvest edition of our NEWT magazine is out and includes a couple of photos and brief account of the climate march, as well as some lovely Greenbelt photos.