“All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above, then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord, for all his love” is the refrain of the well-known harvest hymn “We plough the fields and scatter”. I always think that it is a shame that there are certain hymns in the church repertoire which are usually sung only once a year. Who, for example, would expect to sing “O come all ye faithful” in the middle of the summer? But sometimes, these seasonal hymns do contain a strong Christian message and “We plough the fields and scatter” is a good example. This hymn is occasionally used at funerals, often when the deceased was a farmer or somebody associated with working on the land, and this can be highly appropriate. And in a world where there is so much trauma, it is good sometimes to be positive and to think about all that God has provided and to give thanks.
During October and November there are several occasions when we, at the parish church, will be giving thanks for various things which God has provided.
First, there is our Harvest Thanksgiving service on Sunday 1 October at 10.00am. This is not a communion service but is a relaxed occasion when we give thanks for all that God has provided in the form of food and those who work so hard to provide what we tend to take for granted. We bring offerings of fruit and vegetables to church and then sell it to raise money for our link with the church in Niassa in Mozambique. Do please join us and bring your offerings either to church with you, or leave it in church on the Saturday morning.
Secondly, moving into November, we have our service of All Souls, where we remember those who have died, both recently or some time ago. The service is on Thursday 2 November at 7.00pm. This is also a service of thanksgiving, this time for the gift of life which, for those whom we come to remember has, sadly, been taken away. Again, please join us, especially if you have somebody who you would like to remember at this time.
Thirdly, on Sunday 5 November, we shall be having a service where we invite all those families who have had a recent baptism to join us. The service will be at 10.00am and on this occasion we shall be giving thanks for lives which are at their early stages and for all that lies ahead.
So, at this time of harvest when “all is safely gathered in” let us give thanks for all that is good, remembering that all those gifts which we so often take for granted come from God, and we need to give thanks for all that he provides and for his unending love for us.
Best wishes to you all
Licensed Lay Minister and Churchwarden.