Harvest Festival 26th September

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Image: 4- The Next Steps Poster - Harvest

This year we are happy to say that we shall be able to hold out Harvest Festival in the Chapel on Sunday September 26th, and, as is our practice, we will be supporting the life-changing work of All We Can.

Their theme for this year's campaign is "Next Steps", focussing on the Nkayi district of Zimbabwe, and during the service, we will hear stories of the community from Nkayi district in Zimbabwe, where All We Can's local partner HEFO (Health Education Food Organisation) is working.

The southern part of Nkayi faces harsh climatic conditions stemming from the climate crisis which means that hunger and food shortages are widespread and households endure tough financial situations. Dry lands and limited access to water have a big impact on the lives of the community. Distances from 2 km to 10 km are walked to get to water supplies. The land has suffered from poor farming practices but HEFO, know that the words of Isaiah 61:11 are true: 'For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.' In addition, women are particularly disadvantaged in terms of rights to land, property and decision making.

HEFO help communities like those in Nkayi by teaching climate-resilient sustainable farming practices, and increasing access to clean and safe water as well as livestock production. In a region where lengthy dry spells can make them susceptible to droughts, accessing clean water is vital for the health of the community, their livelihoods, and the animals they are rearing.

The impact of Covid-19 on the community has made it difficult for farmers to travel and sell produce; community development projects have faced interruptions and delays.

It will be lovely to celebrate God's bountiful goodness to us as a church family once more and to be able to share these gifts with others more fortunate than ourselves. Gifts of groceries for the food bank, long life milk, juice etc. or money for All We Can, would be much appreciated.

As is our custom we will be decorating the chapel on Saturday morning 25th September from 10:30 am. You are welcome to bring your gifts then, or to the service on Sunday in which case please put them on the table provided before you sit down.

Decorations for the chapel this year will be limited to small flower arrangements only and, as distributing fresh produce remains a problem owing to Covid restrictions, we would have to say no to the lovely fruit and vegetables that have filled our church in the past.

The flower arrangements may be taken home after the service, which you might like to keep or give to someone who has not been able to get to church.

There are special harvest envelopes for All We Can in church, and the treasurer asks that you make any cheques or card donations using these free post envelopes so the money goes directly to the charity. If it is not possible to do this, cash donations can be collected and forwarded as a church cheque.

These envelopes can also be delivered to you — just let Keith or one of the stewards know and they will ensure that you receive one.

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