Harvest is always a busy time for the Partnership Coordinator team in CMSI. Mission speakers are the obvious choice for this special Sunday when we celebrate what God has provided, think about how we can share it and consider how we can be faithful labourers in the spiritual harvest that Christ calls us to.
Our popularity for harvest speaking can sometimes result in an overload of the traditional harvest hymns! There are only so many times in one day that I can sing ‘We plough the fields and scatter’ with mindfulness and a real sense of worship. This year however, it was the very repetition of the harvest hymns that moved my heart to worship. While singing ‘Come ye thankful people come, raise the song of harvest home’ I was struck by the value of this ancient and globally celebrated tradition that we were taking part in.
In harvest celebration we mark, perhaps especially this year, our utter dependence and hope in the God who promised that, while earth remains, He will not fail. After a year of total upheaval, God’s people all over the world still come thankful before Him. Despite everyone and everything that was missing from the harvest service this year, there was a new creativity and compassion for the global Church, harvested from months of restrictions and insecurity.
Ballyrashane & Kildollagh Group, Donaghadee, Calry, St. Paul's Lisburn, Tartaraghan and Dungiven & Bovevagh Parishes have all included - or will soon be including - news of their Global Partners in their online services. Castlerock, Ballyrashane & Kildollagh Group and Hillsborough Parishes have also found fresh new ways to include their partners voices of hope in their 'in church' services.
We thank you, then, O Father, for all things bright and good, the seed-time and the harvest, our life, our health, our food: accept the gifts we offer for all your love imparts; and that which you most welcome, our humble, thankful hearts.
We are so thankful for all our link parishes and their creative ideas which foster their partnerships with Global Partners. If you would like a CMSI speaker to share voices of hope from Global Partners with your parish or group please get in touch.