As the leaves change colors and begin to fall from the trees, a common sight in Iowa is a farmer harvesting crops before another season of wealth and prosperity passes us by and winter’s cool chill begins to take over.
This is the time of the year when we celebrate the fruits of labor and feel thankful that we can all enjoy freshly-harvested crops at our table for the upcoming holidays.
Agapé Christian Family Church wants to welcome all families to celebrate the area’s hardworking farmers at Harvest Sunday on Nov. 18. For the past six years, Agapé has encouraged farmers to bring their crops to share with the congregation, and in turn, money will be raised for their harvest offering. The church sermons leading up to the celebration will each entail gathering together and thinking about what the harvest is and what it really means to be fortunate enough to have one.
“Personally, I’ve always liked the fall and come from an extended family farming background,” says Senior Pastor David Toyne. “In the scriptures of the Old Testament God spoke to the children of Israel and gave them feasts surrounding the harvest and thanking God for the bounty and for what He provided to them. They came together in a celebration and offered to God a portion of the harvest.
“We also wanted to create a day focused toward Thanksgiving,” he says.
So Harvest Sunday was born. Along with other festivities, there will be a water baptism. A soup cook-off tradition continues this year where members can show off their culinary skills for all to enjoy. To warm up after the church service and activities conclude, the soup from the contest will be eaten as a feast to seal the deal on a wonderful harvest celebration.
“It’s easy to forget how incredibly blessed we are in this country and in the Midwest, so it’s a time to remember,” says Toyne. “The whole Harvest Sunday is an opportunity for people to think about and bring a special offering, because even in tough times, God will take care of his people if we believe and act in faith.”
For more information on Harvest Sunday or any other events taking place at Agapé’s, visit its website at www.agapepage.com, or stop by at 2810 U.S. 18.