On Sunday 20th September, the Blandford congregation gathered for their COVID-secure Harvest Festival. And, although it was different to normal with just a small harvest bounty displayed, no singing of the excellent harvest hymns and donations only in the form of monetary gifts rather than tinned or packet goods, it was a thought provoking service led by Rev Nigel Deller.
Nigel challenged those gathered to see how many words of two letters or more they could make from the word Harvest. (Apparently there are over thirty). However, he drew attention to three words that get to the heart of what a Harvest celebration can be about. They were:
HAVE – recognizing how much we have with God's overwhelming generosity towards us and being fortunate to live where we do in the world. This places a large responsibility upon us.
STARVE – the experience of so many in the world.
SHARE – as we see Jesus feeding the 5,000 in John Ch6 v 1-13.
The money raised from the service will be divided between:
Methodist Women in Britain's Appeal to support two villages in Fiji which are very much at risk from rising sea levels and flooding due to the increasing number of tropical storms due to climate change. Money raised in the District will help buy two boats, with outboard motors, to ferry people to evacuation centres on higher ground when floods threaten. When the danger subsides, the women can use the boats to fish and support their families with the catch.
And The Salvation Army in Wimborne who have been working non-stop during the past months of the pandemic. This is to try and boost their finances a little, as currently, and as agreed with the Salvation Army, we will not be holding the traditional Salvation Army Carol Concert this year.
A great way to celebrate Harvest, to share some of God's bounty and generosity with others.