At 3.00 p.m. on Sunday 22nd September, at The God Shepherd Mission, the Harvest was celebrated with a Holy Communion Service led by the Rev. Eileen Heaney.
The church looked wonderful and people had obviously spent a lot of time and effort to make it look so seasonally amazing.
The talk was based on the readings – 1Timothy 2 v 1-7 and Luke 16 v 1-13 which, particularly the latter, were not easy to interpret but the crux seemed to be in the final verse, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (NIV)
Following the service we all sang ‘Happy Birthday” to a suitably embarrassed Dorothy before sharing coffee and biscuits together.
However, that was not the end of the Harvest Festival!
Soon after 9.30 a.m. the following day, the staff and children of Pinfold School arrived at the door and came in to join the Harvest celebrations!
After welcoming the school, Eileen asked someone at random to come forward and light the candle, which, she reminded everyone symbolised Jesus, “the light of the world”, and reminded us of his presence with us today.
Then Eileen invited the children to bring forward their Harvest gifts, which, she explained, would go to the Ormskirk Food Bank.
Before the school had arrived, Eileen had placed a table at the front and covered it with a white cloth. She now encouraged the children to guess what might be under the cloth. She received a variety of bizarre answers, which included a foot, and a dead body!
Eileen then removed the cloth to reveal a large selection of different vegetables!
Before proceeding with the game she had in store, Eileen suggested that this would be a good time for everyone to sing the Harvest song that they had been practicing. Some of the children came forward to hold up pictures to remind everyone of the words as they sang.
It has to be said that the sound was not great (but that’s modern technology for you!). However, the song fitted brilliantly with the game that Eileen was about to play!
She explained that she was going to hold vegetables up, one at a time and that the children had to tell her what the were and then make a hand sign to show whether they thought the vegetable grew under the ground, on the ground or hung from a tree! She also had children up to reveal the correct sign after the rest of them had made their choice.
Individual children then came forward to read prayers before a group came forward to recite a harvest poem.
The children then sang their harvest song once more before the final prayer. They were given a drink of water and a biscuit before it was time to put on their fluorescent jackets once more….
…. and walk back up the road to school.
The Final event of the Good Shepherd Harvest Festival was the Harvest Supper which took place at 7.00 p.m. on Wednesday 25th September.
After a delicious meal of Hot Pot and Apple pie, coffee was served before we were entertained by The Happy Thursdays. They issued us with song sheets and we were encouraged to sing along with classics such as “Que Sera, Sera” and “Is this the way to Amarillo?”
As we reached half time the raffle was drawn before The Happy Thursdays resumed.
During this second half, Eileen tried to encourage others to join them on stage but Peter was the only one to accept the challenge and join them to sing “The Wild Rover (No, nay, never!).
A schism was caused amongst some football fans when we sang, “You’ll never walk alone”, but fortunately we all came together again as the Happy Thursdays concluded the evening with “The Spirit lives to set us free”.
Well done to everybody who worked so hard to make the Good Shepherd Harvest Festival such a success
thank you to every one who took part:
those who gave all the flowers and produce to decorate the church
those who decorated the church,
those who moved all the furniture to accommodate the supper,
those who provided, served the food and washed up after the supper;
those who attended the events
and of course to
The Happy Thursdays.