Aussies Living Simply

Harvest Festival

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    Hi all, I’m baaaaaaaaack!

    Since I last posted I have become, for better or worse, the president of the local community hall. It is derelict, used once a week for an exercise class that brings in the princely sum of $10.00 per week and was on the verge of bankruptcy when I took over. We are now solvent and while my committee (average age 70) is finding all this change a bit of a struggle, we are planning a few activities in the coming months to bring life back into the hall and to provide an income.

    One of these is an Autumn Fair which will be held on Sunday 29 April.

    To tie in with this I am organising a Harvest Festival Service at the tiny timber former Methodist Church which, of five churches is the only one still consecrated (though not in active use).

    Another committee has been restoring the church and has it done up as it was in the 19th century, with no electricity but who needs that when it is daytime?

    So the plan is:

    Harvest Festival service with the altar arrangement basically being a wheelbarrow full of produce (donated fruit and veg in a donated barrow) that after the service can be wheeled down the mainstreet in a processional to the Hall where the market will be ready to start. The wheelbarrow then becomes a raffle prize to raise funds for the Hall.

    The local Uniting Church minister is happy to conduct the service as this is a fifth sunday (she is tied up on first to fourth sundays with her farflung parish).

    So what I am hoping you good folk can offer me is suggestions on a suitable reading.

    The message for a harvest festival is usually thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth, but I want the message to go a little further and talk about the renewal of the soil and future crops (symbolising the revitalising of these two essential institutions in any small rural village).

    Since I know fair number of ALSers are committed Christians I am hoping you can recall your bible rather better than I can and come up with a suitable reading for the service.

    Failing that, an appropriate poem will be acceptable as the minister is not at all stuffy.

    Hope you can help!

    (PS, ThePproject is coming along nicely and has now been painted, though the roof still ‘needs work’!)


    Hello hillbilly girl, :wave:

    Sounds like you have been busy.

    You might have to look at some of the New Age literature for an appropriate message for your Harvest Festival Church Service. :tup:

    There’s a bit in Job about “..the scent of water…” bringing growth back to an apple tree, I think it is, but that is probably an analogy for something else. :shrug: My memory isn’t to clear on that, I remember it as a beautiful piece though. :tup:


    Sounds very apt given the trials the committee is subjecting me too. We need to make a lot of changes rapidly and they are finding it a bit overwhelming. Will read Job tonight. Thanks Bobbee!


    Sounds like a good project hillbilly girl. I am also trying to get some community things happening at the Ouse Hall. Starting a folk music session and also hopefully from that a local bush band to start some regular dances. See what happens. Can’t offer you a reading but would like to wish you good luck with your project.


    Have a look at this site HillBilly.Lots of ideas, Christian and other faiths, all tied in with and related to ecology.I like it! The UC minister should be happy to check it out too!

    The Harvest Festival is one of the most popular in the Christian calendar. Yet there is no order of service for it in the Book of Common Prayer. The reason is simple: it is a relatively new invention.

    It was the idea of a Reverend Rev R. S. Hawker, who in 1843 created a special service to celebrate the bringing in of the crops. His parishioners in Morwenstow in Cornwall enjoyed it so much that they insisted on having another “Harvest” Festival the following year. The idea soon caught on in rapidly industrialising Victorian Britain where increasing numbers of people were being cut off from the cycle of nature by living in the expanding cities. From its beginning it has been a romantic festival and this means it is now rather difficult to know what to do with it.”

    In a world of terrible starvation matched against the obscenity of butter and wheat mountains, it can be hard to know how to celebrate getting yet more out of the earth than we did last year. Our increase in harvest is the result of eliminating wildlife and the rooting up of age-old hedgerows; most of our cheap meat and eggs come from factory farming; our rivers are polluted by insecticides and chemical fertilizers which have washed from the fields; and we are increasingly running the danger of changing the biology of food forever with GM crops. So can we still pretend that the wheat, fruits, eggs and other things that we bring to church are the fruitful signs of our partnership with God and His creation?

    In many cases, we are so removed from how our food is made – and the true costs to our world that Harvest seems to have become little more than a celebration of supermarkets or the multi-nationals.Yet the need to give thanks for our food and for the beauty of our world is still fundamental that despite all the problems and uncertainty, Harvest has kept its pull.”

    HillBillyGirl, All the very best for your Hall and Harvest Project. :clap:

    Edited later.I could spend days/weeks following all the links on the site I posted above.It’s a gold mine if you have any interest in the relationship between man and nature , however expressed.


    Welcome back Hillbilly girl. :kiss: :tup: :clap: :wave: I for one missed you and I know heaps of others did too 🙁 .

    Cant help with a reading but I think what you are doing is an absolutely brilliant idea and one that could be replicated in lots of tiny communities.

    I passed your place (I wasnt stalking you I was going with my sister to look at the little farmhouse we spent many happy times in as children and it is out past Parattah) early last year -wow have you worked hard!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Hi Mauzi, hi Weaver, yes I have been a bit busy and am more busy now as am back in a full time job in Hobart so only home on weekends. Working hard to get the community out of its dope-induced state of moribund defeatism and hoping the progress on the house will be a good start. Weaver you should have called in. I had Thisildo visit last weekend (or was it the weekend before – it all becomes a blur at times. It was so nice to catch up with a passing ALSer and I would love you to call in next time (and tell me where the farmhouse is – I may know the current occupants).

    Bluewren, that looks like a fab site – I will rummage happily for some time I suspect!


    Welcome back, I read your blog every week so have been keeping up with your progress. Must be soooooooooooo frustrating dealing with the hall mob. Hope you are going to stick around for awhile with us this time round.


    Hi BB, will try my best – have joined the Tassie Group – are we having a GTG any time soon? I know this great community hall where we could … lol


    Ooohh hillbilly……you’ve just missed the Tassie GTG at mauzi’s place. 🙁 There’s a thread and pics on here.Will see if I can find it for you.


    No idea for a reading but very nice to see you back.


    BlueWren post=339835 wrote: Ooohh hillbilly……you’ve just missed the Tassie GTG at mauzi’s place. 🙁 There’s a thread and pics on here.Will see if I can find it for you.

    We did talk about you at teh GTG and Tassie Tiger gave us an update on your house so it was sort of like you participated :tup: :woohoo:

    I sent you a PM about the Parratah farm house.


    Give me time.Would love to find you an appropriate reading.Will get back to you by the morning.Ok?


    My suggestion is Psalm 104.I read it in the KJV.

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