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A Harvest for the World

Harvest has been celebrated in this country for many, many years.  The bounty of the harvest was, literally, a matter of life and death to many people: would they have enough food to make it through winter?  Would there be enough to keep families or communities going for another year?  A good harvest meant life and wealth.  A poor harvest meant a struggle to survive and death.  Nobody took the harvest, food, drink, shelter or security for granted.  When the harvest was good people were thankful and celebrated, yet it was not until 1843 that harvest festivals entered British churches.

As we celebrate the bounty of the earth at harvest time, let us think about that which we have and take for granted.  The plentiful supply of food and clean drinking water; people around us who care; the shelter and security we know.  Let us think of these and be thankful for them. Yet let us also remember those who do not have these things; those who have lost their shelter from natural disaster or any other reason; those who have to travel miles or queue for clean water; those who lack security or are trapped in violence and despair.

As we are thankful for that which we have, let us pray for those who don't have, may we lift them to God's care and grace and love - for His love is richly given to us all, and His presence is strong with those who fall.  And through our prayers and the example and guidance of Jesus, may WE do what we can to help who we can, whenever we can - be they close at hand or far away.  May we help with our hands, care and support; with our prayers and our giving - to let the love of Christ be known in our world.

The Earth is a beautiful and bountiful place, with enough food and resources for everyone .... If only we all could learn to share, to give as well as take, to help instead of hinder, to accept others rather than reject, to care and not care less, to love instead of hate.  Then God's Kingdom Come!

How can we get there?  Follow Jesus, He's the way!


Other News.......

  • Here at St Stephen's we are now having a monthly midweek communion service. The next services, which last approximately half an hour,  are to be held on  Wednesday 10 November (using the service book) and Wednesday 8 December (a more informal service), both followed by tea, coffee and biscuits. Both start at 10 am and everyone is welcome.

  • JMA - Junior Mission for All - the presentation of the certificates and badges to collectors will be made at the morning service on the 17 October at 10.30 am

  • St Stephen's Singers will be singing at the Sunday evening services at
    6.30 pm on 24 October, 21 November and 19 December.  All welcome.

  • The Saturday Coffee Mornings (known fondly as 'The Bacon Bap') continue to be held every Saturday, 10 am - 11.45 am, except when Mini Market is on.  Starting out as just a short term challenge the team have now raised over 2,500.00 for the church.  Well done and thanks for their commitment each week. Please call in and support them; coffee, tea, bacon baps, toast, croissants, biscuits etc served every week.

  • Mini Markets will be held on 9 October, 13 November and 4 December, from 9.30 am - 11.30 am, so there will be no bacon baps on these dates!  Instead call in, browse the stalls and have a chat and a piece of gorgeous homemade cake and a cup of tea in the cafe. 



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