There are prayers and songs from every faith tradition for giving thanks and for celebrating the harvest. Click around and find some that sing to you. Use them to express gratitude or reawaken it (we all have those days!), and on any day you wish. Links below the reprinted prayer.
This modern prayer, God of All Harvests, is slightly abridged from the original to make it more universal. It comes from Catholic Relief Services, where you can find it printed in its entirety.
God of sun and God of rain,
In you, there is no dryness.
In you, no weed chokes the root.
No blight withers the leaf.
No frost bites at the blossom.
And, so, we pray for farmers and their
In you, seeds of tears yield a bountiful harvest of joy.
May the rice farmer in Madagascar know
In you, seeds of truth and courage yield a bountiful harvest of justice.
May the coffee farmer in Honduras know Continue reading
Reprinted from Shalom! A Journal for the Practice of Reconciliation, Summer 2009, pp. 5-6. Used by permission of the author.
Mealtime prayer is a common time to pause and reflect on the blessings God has bestowed upon us, our families and loved ones. Throughout my childhood, prayer before meals was a habit on the rare occasion that we were all able to gather around the table. Visiting the homes of other families, I was surprised at the variety of mealtime prayers, many of them repeated verbatim at each meal. I can still recall the prayer around one table expressing thanks in these words, “Bless us, Oh Lord, and these thy Continue reading
Faith for Thought is a one-day conference, sponsored by Calvary Baptist Church in State College, where people explore together how Christian faith connects with our daily lives. The theme for 2013 – “Seeds of Hope” – derives from God’s call to the first humans to “tend the garden” of his creation. PAIPL co-sponsored the 2013 conference where together we we seek an authentically Christian response to contemporary ecological anxieties, one that combines theological depth, scientific rigor, and a passion for justice.
- Lisa Sharon Harper (Sojourners)
- Richard Alley (Penn State)
- Ben Lowe (Young Evangelicals for Climate Action)
and to share in a range of breakout sessions and hands-on activities.
It seems appropriate this week of Thanksgiving to share our ways of giving thanks. My family joins hands and sings a simple grace most nights as we gather around the table.
Evening is here
the board is spread
thanks be to God
who gives us bread
The one below is longer, and we use it less often, but it’s one of my favorites. It captures so much in so few words, and I am thankful for the miracle of renewing life that provides my food, and for all the hands that touch it from seed to mouth. It can be sung in a 4-part round.
For sun and rain
for grass and grain
for all who toil
on sea and soil
that we may eat
this daily food
we give our loving thanks to God.
Does anyone else have favorites? Please share in the comments!
When you’re done with your dinner, your post-prandial walk, and as many games of Clue, charades and Bananagrams as you can handle for one evening, consider sharing some truly stunning scenery with your family. It might even count for extra credit in earth science for your middle school relatives.
Several PA IPL members in State College recently attended a screening of the 93-minute video, HOME at Penn State. The website description introduces the film in the paragraph below. Reviews just call it “eye candy” It’s available in several languages, so choose the one you know best, or one you’re learning.
“Internationally renowned photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand makes his feature directorial debut with this environmentally conscious documentary produced by Luc Besson, and narrated by Glenn Close. Shot in 54 countries and 120 locations over 217 days, Home presents the many wonders of planet Earth from an entirely aerial perspective. As such, we are afforded the unique opportunity to witness our changing environment from an entirely new vantage point. In our 200,000 years on Earth, humanity has hopelessly upset Mother Nature’s delicate balance. Some experts claim that we have less than ten years to change our patterns of consumption and reverse the trend before the damage is irreversible. Produced to inspire action and encourage thoughtful debate, Home poses the prospect that unless we act quickly, we risk losing the only home we may ever have.”
Arthus-Bertrand’s website GoodPlanet has more stunning film related to the International Year of Forests. A series of free photo-art posters are available for schools and others wanting to host educational events about forests. They’re gorgeous. Would they spark inspiration, discussion, or prayer in the halls of your congregation’s building?