Today I am so pleased to welcome Cynthia Coe as guest blogger. Cindy wrote the Abundant Life Garden Project resources for Episcopal Relief & Development, available to Episcopal parishes and schools for free download at www.episcopalrelief.org/children.
Harvest, a Time for Seeds of New Growth
As fall begins, many of us ministering to children and youth have worked hard to provide new programs, new classes, and new opportunities for Christian formation. This is also a time of harvest, when we might enjoy the bounty of the late summer season through county fairs, farmer’s markets, and other autumn festivals.
Harvest is indeed a time of celebration. As we begin our fall programs, we see opportunities for new spiritual growth and new ministry among the children, youth, and adults of all ages in our congregations. Whether our parishes are large or very small, we can offer young people our abundance of community, a rich liturgical tradition, and the Christian faith itself.
As most farmers and gardeners know, harvest is also a time of hard work. So, too, is the work of passing our faith onto the next generation.
Like those who harvest our fruits and vegetables, we must work hard, enlist lots of help, use just the right tools in our work, and pray that the wind and the water of the Holy Spirit nourish our efforts.
An essential part of harvesting our plants is gathering the seeds from our present harvest to ensure an abundant harvest in the future. The seeds of our spiritual lives are the children and young people to whom we minister. In them is the future of our church and of Christianity itself. These seeds will need care, attention, and intentional efforts by adults in our congregations to make sure they germinate and flourish into an abundance of faith in the future.
As we celebrate this new program year in each of our congregations, we might think about how we can celebrate the abundance of gifts and talents among our faith communities.
We might give close consideration to how we might share our harvest of time, talents, and resources with others in our communities and in the world. But most of all, we might think about the seeds of growth for the future that accompany this harvest…and plan for new spiritual growth as our young people explore the Christian faith and how to live it on this earth, our garden home.