Led by Reverend Lesley Dinham. The arriving congregation was met at the door by the appointed welcomers, aided by Peppa Pig, or at least by someone wearing an impenetrable disguise.
After the welcome, Rev. Lesley asked how we can all respond to Gods call, for today is a day of rejoicing and giving thanks. During our first hymn 'Come you thankful people come' the harvest gifts were brought forward by the children and laid before the altar.
Then followed prayers of worship and confession, followed by the Lord's Prayer. Our second hymn was 'Join the Harvest Celebration', accompanied by the worship band, with the smaller children and Peppa Pig enthusiastically waving flags . Rev. Lesley then gave a short talk to the small children on the subject of her green stole, which she wears during Ordinary time. She asked the children about the things on her stole:the rainbow, fishes, stars and moon and said these things are all Gods Creations.
Next came two songs .'God cares for all the little children of the world' and 'I am walking for the Lord',which were sung with actions by the Junior Sunday School.
We then had our reading, Psalm 8, superbly read by Nathaniel Read from Senior Sunday School.
The Minister then gave a reflection on Psalm 8, entitled 'Can it really be true', We think of the mighty marvels of nature and of ourselves, seemingly a tiny speck against this wonderful, diverse backdrop. Yet each of us is precious to God and we all figure in Gods almighty plan. Our next hymn was a favourite ' O Lord my God, when l in awesome wonder',sung to raise the rafters. This was followed by Annie and Eddie Scowcroft from the Intermediate Sunday School reading from St. Matthews Gospel, Chapter 20,vs 1-15, the parable of the workers in the vineyard, again beautifully read.
Rev. Lesley then gave a talk entitled 'Dahlias and Weeds', when she compared the self important, showy Dahlia with the humble weed. Just because you may think you are more like the weed than the Dahlia, this doesn't mean that you are any less important to God. This was followed by a short talk entitled ' God's gift to us'. The Minister asked the small children what they wanted to be when they grew up. She received many answers, including that of one small child who wanted to be a chicken. Something not many of us had thought of aspiring to!
Rev. Lesley said God gives us a 'harvest of gifts' to do the things we want to do. All people who have duties in the Church have gifts for the benefit of the Church and the community. As Methodists, we are a discipleship made for mission. God gives us the gifts we need to further His Kingdom, no matter how late we come to Him. Just as the land bears a Harvest, so we can bring our own spiritual Harvest.
Then came the hymn 'Going on a journey' with the band accompanying, followed by the offering which included our envelopes for Toilet Twinning, a sponsorship for the provision of proper toilets in the Third World.
Rev. Lesley asked five children to come forward before the Prayers of Intercession. Standing with her, each held an object to illustrate each step in our prayers. A cauliflower, produce of our on country,: Bananas, produce of overseas countries; Flowers, the beautify of Creation; Chocolate, for Fairtrade; and an empty cup and empty plate representing all those people throughout Gods World who have nothing to eat and drink today.
Our final hymn was ' Praise God for the Harvest' and we closed by sharing the grace together.
Kindly written by Joe Leighton