Weekly Update – 8th October
Following on nicely from Jenny’s Autumn themed newsletter last week, this week it’s all been about celebrating Harvest! Harvest feels like a bit of an anomaly for us to celebrate as we no longer grow our own food to support ourselves and our families, but everyone still enjoys celebrating it, more of that later. In the Bible Harvest was established as a celebration once God’s people had settled in the Promised Land, as a way of remembering and saying “thank you” to God for providing for His people. Different crops (grain (Ex. 23:16; 34:22), olive oil (Num. 18:12; Deut. 18:4), new wine (Num. 18:12; Deut. 18:4), honey (2 Chron. 31:5),
sheep wool (Deut. 18:4), fruit (Neh. 10:35), and even their herds and flocks (Deut. 15:19), were ready at different times and the finest of the first harvest of each was set aside and offered up to God. In the Jewish faith the main harvest celebration is called Sukkot – after the temporary huts that are built (see pic) and lasts for 7 days when whole families gather together to eat and sometimes sleep in the huts.
It’s interesting to look at all the different ways of celebrating Harvest around the world which we will be doing on Sunday at Oasis Church Parade and we have some lovely artwork up in church to accompany this theme. It’s easy for us to forget that so many of the world’s population do really rely on a good harvest to keep themselves fed and to earn money for their families.
Why do we celebrate then, is it important that we keep this tradition up? Over the last few years there has been an increasing trend for people to “grow their own” as the benefits of knowing exactly where your food has come from and buying local produce to reduce pollution, as well as the exercise and well-being effect of working outside and being aware of the seasonality of fruit and vegetables have become popular. Weatherwise it’s been a strange year for growing here, apparently it’s been good for the grapes so it will be a bumper year for wine! My hanging tomatoes did brilliantly (see photo) and last week we had a huge crop of potatoes and round carrots (see other photo!) as well as a few turnips and some leeks – the onions have been good too! I digress, why is all this important – it’s important because we need to think about all the people involved in our food chain, from the farmers to the pickers, the factory workers bottling and canning, to the delivery drivers, warehouse staff and the shelf stackers to say “thank you” to them for keeping us fed! Ultimately though, like those Israelites in the Old Testament it’s God that we are thanking for all that He provides for us and for His hand at work in our lives. Of course, the way that we show our gratitude is by bringing donations of non-perishable food, toiletries, cleaning products to be offered to those who don’t have as much, so our Harvest can be shared with others. This is summed up by Paul in his second letter to the people of Corinth (2 Corinthians 9:10-11)
“And God, who supplies seed to sow and bread to eat, will also supply you with all the seed you need and will make it grow and produce a rich harvest from your generosity. He will always make you rich enough to be generous at all times, so that many will thank God for your gifts which they receive from us.”
That is why we still celebrate Harvest and why it is right to do so!
CONFIRMATIONS – We are very pleased to have 2 candidates going forward for Confirmation at Canterbury Cathedral next month. It would be lovely to have some people from St Nics at the service supporting Helen and Gary at this very special service. The service is in the Cathedral on Sat 18th November at 7pm. Please pray for Helen and Gary as they make this next step in their journey of faith.
This week’s Services & Events
SUNDAY 8TH OCTOBER
8am: Holy Communion – Rev Brian
10:00am: Oasis Harvest Church Parade – Fiona
TUESDAY 10TH OCTOBER
10am: Tuesday Café – doors open at 9.30am
3.15pm: Palace Wood Explorers – Fiona
WEDNESDAY 11TH OCTOBER
12.30pm – Lunch at the Pippin
12.40pm – Allington School Explorers – Fiona
FRIDAY 13th OCTOBER
9.30am: Mums & Babes
7pm: Faith Explorers
|SICK & ANXIOUS
|Tanay, Betty Hildebrand, Rosemary Watson, Jo & Oscar, Hilary King, Priscilla, Peter Sturgess, Jackie, Alan Bird, Tina & James, Jackie Harlock, Alessandra Zevallos, Mary Harvey, Janet, Liz Boots, Elsa Harrington, Alan Foreman, Doreen Davison, Dave, Esther Venn, Beryl Fletcher, Carol