Harvest Celebrations 2012

On Sunday 30th September we celebrated both Back to Church Sunday and Harvest at St. John’s.
It was wonderful to see the church so full for the 10.30 a.m. service (with twice our recent weekly average attendance).  There was also an exciting buzz as people spotted and greeted friends that they had not seen for a while and first time visitors were welcomed.

After the Guide and Brownie colours had been taken up to the sanctuary during the first hymn those who had brought food donations to support the Southport Soup Kitchen were invited to take their contributions up to the sanctuary.  Many staggered under the weight of tins etc. and the Girl Guides did their bit to “help other people” by taking up bags of food from those less physically active.  Soon the steps in front of the altar were completely covered.

Christine then encouraged us to consider where we had “Got it wrong” before we confessed our sin and the sins of our society.

Having done this the young people led the congregation in an enthusiastic rendition of “Our God is a great big God” before we listened to a reading from the Bible.  This was taken from Mark’s Gospel Chapter 4 verses 26 – 29.

Jeremy asked us what a kingdom is and what a kingdom needed.  

Having finally established that a kingdom needed a king he went on to ask if anybody would like to represent a king.  He then wanted to know what a king needed and received a number of answers that he didn't expect (including a queen and servants – each of which suggestion brought forth a representative from the congregation)!  Finally we got to the crown and smart clothes – which he had prepared earlier!

Having established what we mean by an earthly kingdom Jeremy went on to compare and contrast this with the Kingdom of God.  He then went on to discuss the sewing and nurturing of seeds both in the fields and also in our hearts.

Finally he reminded everybody of everything St. John’s has to offer such as Little Fishes, GAP and Eagles for young people, Bible Study Groups for adults and the Christianity Explored course that he is going to lead over the next few weeks.  

We then went on to sing and pray before the service ended with the prayer
      “Creator God,
       you give seed for us to sow
       and bread for us to eat;
       make us thankful for what we have received
       and generous in supplying the needs of others
       so all the world may give you thanks and Glory,
       through Jesus Christ our Lord.                     Amen:
the concluding hymn, “Great is Thy faithfulness”
and the final blessing.

A retiring collection was taken in aid of TearFund.

Following the service, although some people had to leave, approximately 100 people went through to the hall to enjoy a delicious Harvest Lunch of hot-pot and apple pie.