This Sunday we’re having our harvest services. These are times when we invite people to bring something – usually tinned food, or money – to donate. But why? Isn’t it just for people in rural communities?
Firstly, it’s about saying thank you.
Simply put, harvest is a time when we look back at everything that God has given us, and we thank Him. Perhaps God has literally given you a fruitful harvest (for example, see Simon’s article in Encompass). Or perhaps for you God has given you something less harvest-ey (but no less significant) such as a job, or food to eat, or family, or friends. Whatever it is God has given you, harvest is a time to pause, to reflect, and to say thank you. And one of the greatest ways we can do that is to bless others.
Secondly, it’s a time to remember the poor.
In Galatians, the Apostle Paul reminds us to “remember the poor” (Galatians 2:10). This seems to have been widely adopted in the early church; for example, the book of Acts says the church “gave to anyone who had need” (Acts 2:45), and later, in response to a famine, the disciples gave to help those who were worst affected (Acts 11:27–30). So as we reflect on all that we have received, harvest is also a time when we too should “remember the poor”.
So what can I give?
This year any financial gifts we receive at our harvest services will be sent to Tonbridge Counselling Service and to Eden Walsall. To give to these great causes please visit our Giving page and select “Harvest Collection”.
In addition to whatever is raised for our chosen charities, the St Stephen’s Mission Action Group have agreed to donate an additional £250 to each charity.
We also welcome other gifts and donations at harvest. This year we’d love to receive items for our Community Larder which is open every Saturday morning. Items needed most are shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, sanitary products, washing up liquid, multi-purpose spray and bathroom cleaner.
We have a donation box outside the Church Office for these items.