You’ve guessed it – it rained, and it rained well!  But undeterred, 67 hardy people of all ages weaved their way up the church path, glad of a warm welcome from Antony our curate and the promise of refreshments and oaty biscuits from our Mothers’ Union team.

As they munched, they coloured and answered sheets with the harvest theme and took part in the community frieze that we started at Fun-Key Xtra the week before.

In time-honoured tradition, Antony bonged the bell and everyone gathered in the pews ready to begin the worship.

Rev’d John started the service with a prayer

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
If you plant perseverance, you will reap victory.
If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony.

If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
If you plant openness, you will reap intimacy.
If you plant patience, you will reap improvements.
If you plant faith, you will reap miracles.
Taken from @ Read, Love and Learn
We then brought forward some harvest gifts which will be given to the Food STore in Richmond, which is a newly formed food bank and which one of our regular Fun-Keys and also our Mayor Stuart Parsons is a huge supporter.
The giving theme continued as Abigail read for us from

2 Corinthians 9:6-11

The Message (MSG)

Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.

God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it,

He throws caution to the winds,     giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways     never run out, never wear out.

This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.

Then Henry from our local branch of Guide Dogs for the Blind brought along his owner Jan who gave a great talk about how to train a guide dog and instill manners and behaviour in the dog by praising the good and ignoring the bad.  Jan also stressed that you have to work as a team with your guide dog so as to achieve more.  Finally, we presented them with a chq for £114 which is half the money we have gathered in collections since the Pet Service, the other half going to St Marys Richmond.

We split for a variety of craft activities including sunflowers made out of hands, and fruit and leaf stamping, however, one of the most popular all age activities was the “Kit Kat Harvest Discussion” led by Scott. during which as well as eating the kit kats they looked at the minimum calorie requirements for people in the world (demontsrated by the correct number of kit kats made up of the same amount of calories).  They then compared how many calories people actually at in countries such as UK, USA and Democratic Republic of Congo, and realised that some had a lot too much to eat and some barely enough and the implications of this.

The discussion section is an evolving part of Fun-Key and as people are developing in interest and confidence, they are finding themselves moving towards spending a bit of time at this part of the activity split.

Following a brief encouragement by Revd John to think about whether we feel able or wish to look at taking part in giving even a small amount of money St Marys Church as they launch their Stewardship Campaign, we finsihed the service with some thoughtful prayers and Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God.

Everyone left with a chocolate shell sweet (shells are often used to pour water at baptism) as a reminder to come back to our next Fun-Key service which Joshua and Kendra are to be baptised – our first Fun-Key Baptism.  Watch this space for more information nearer the time.

For now to all who came for the first time (and there were a few), those who returned from our Xtra, and our regular fun-keys and helpers, thank you so much fo coming and being part of what really feels a very special and exciting and ever-changing time with Fun-Key Church @ St Mary’s Richmond.


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