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Vocations Harvest: Giving and Gifting


Vocations Harvest: Giving and Gifting A service for all ages. An outline with supporting notes. The service outline that follows is an all-age service of the word. It is designed to bring together the themes of ‘Giving and Gifting’ using the theme of Vocation, Vocation, Vocation and the Bishop’s Harvest Appeal set in the context of our own Harvest Thanksgiving. There is a resource pack to support containing: • Some suggested Hymns and Songs for Harvest • A photo of a ‘Harvest Thanksgiving’ shelter • Additional liturgical resources (taken from Times and Seasons’) • Where is Rwanda? (map outline with location of Rwanda) • Rwanda facts and figures • MU Harvest Appeal information and story • Fruit outlines (apple, pear, lemon and banana) Please select your own hymns and songs (Resources 1: p3) and change liturgy as appropriate to your setting (Resources 2: p4-8). This material, taken from ‘Times and Seasons’ allows for a Eucharistic setting. There are also some extra prayers from Roots (Resources 3: p9). Further resources for a service of Holy Communion are available in Patterns for Worship (version 1995) ‘All creation Worships” Communion service p314. Service sheets and power points can be produced by cutting and pasting from this outline and individualising with your own hymns etc (Word file available to download) Readings: Background reading: Leviticus 23: 33-44 Set readings: Joel 2: 21-27 The Promise of Plenty 1 Tim 2: 1-7 Calling Matthew 6: 25-33 Do not worry


For a few weeks before: People need to be prepared for a few weeks beforehand: • Bringing harvest gifts (each church decides what they will be doing with these) • Bringing a financial gift for Rwanda (this can be personal and/or from groups that have already done some fund raising) People are given large cut-outs of fruit with string attached as they arrive and a pencil, or these can already be placed on seats/pews. (Resources 5: p11-14: these will need enlarging) You will need enough for each person present. Have a few people preparing these in advance.

The day or week before: The service needs 1 main focal area: A gazebo frame (or similar structure) decorated like a ‘booth’ (Resources 4: p10) Get the flower team on this & maybe any children who could help the day before as well with streamers etc. A large outline of Africa with Rwanda highlighted – you could make this on card and cut it out (Resources 9: p19) Some basic information about Rwanda and about the Harvest Appeal creatively displayed. This can be incorporated in to the booth area maybe on a display board (use extracts from Resources 8: p17 - 18 amd Resources 10: p20-21). This all needs to be in an area that people can get to easily – the front is the obvious place, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be there. ©Jumping Fish 2009


Service content Welcome & Introductions Gathering: Leader: The land has produced its harvest All: God, our God, has blessed us. Leader: God has blessed us; All: may all people everywhere honour him Opening Prayer (said together) As the soil has been turned, dug and farmed to grow the Harvest we celebrate today, may you, Lord God, turn again the soil of our lives to grow our gifts, our resources and our calling to follow and serve you; in your name and for the sake of all people. Amen Thanksgiving Hymn: suggest something traditional i.e. ‘We plough the fields and scatter’ During the hymn traditional Harvest gifts are brought to the ‘shelter’ built at the front and laid around each of the ‘legs’ Explanation: When the people of God reached the promised land they were asked, by God, to remember and give thanks to Him for the way that He had looked after and provided for them during their travels. They were to do this by building temporary shelters and living in them … and by giving to Him the first part of the Harvest. This morning we have a shelter here – a place of Thanksgiving – for God’s faithfulness to us. It is also a place of giving – our gifts – and re-dedication. Just as the soil is turned each year in preparation for the new seed, so we will ask God that as he receives our worship, our thanks and our gifts today he will again turn the soil of our lives to produce a fresh harvest for Him Reading: Joel 2: 21-27 (be creative in how you do this) Prayer of Thanks (said together) Eternal God, you crown the year with your goodness and give us the fruits of the earth in their season: grant that we may use them to your glory, for the relief of those in need and for our own well-being; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.


Confession: In the light of God’s goodness and faithfulness to us let us confess our sin, and the sins of our society, in the misuse of God’s creation: God our Father, we are sorry for the times when we have used your gifts carelessly, and acted ungratefully. Hear our prayer; and in your mercy: Forgive us and help us. We enjoy the fruits of the harvest, but sometimes forget that you have given them to us. Father, in your mercy: Forgive us and help us. We belong to a people who are full and satisfied, but ignore the cry of the hungry. Father; in your mercy: Forgive us and help us. We are thoughtless, and do not care enough for the world you have made. Father; in your mercy: Forgive us and help us. We store up goods for ourselves alone, as if there were no God and no heaven. Father; in your mercy: Forgive us and help us. Absolution May the God of all healing and forgiveness draw us to himself, and cleanse us from all our sins that we may behold the glory of his Son, the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN Hymn/Song Epistle reading: 1 Tim 2:1-7 Gospel reading: Matthew 6: 25-33 Talk: (bare bones … you add flesh – but not too much … needs to be kept short!) We are told not worry, God will provide for all our needs as we trust in Him … But how does He do that? Through our wise and correct use of the creation he has entrusted to us … Harvest acknowledges His gift Through our gifts and talents … God’s gifts to us Through a calling on each of us individually and on our communities to use what they are and have to serve Him … ref Timothy reading


Not everyone has enough for their physical needs (or other needs for that matter) – the way the world works means there is an imbalance (ref. confession). God calls His people and others to redress the balance - to give to one another in many different ways. We might think that we have nothing to offer, but God has a calling for each one of us. What is He calling us to at this moment? Is it giving of gifts and money … is it time … is it more than that? To end the talk use ‘Fit me in somewhere’ by Gerard Kelly (Resource 6: p15) This should be read verse by verse, maybe by different voices from differing gender and ages and even areas of the church. As each verse is read someone brings to the ‘booth’ a representation of that verse. v1: a giant jigsaw piece (Resources 7: p16) v2: a square of fabric (or a patchwork quilt if anyone has one) v3: a group photograph v4: a giant question mark Song/Hymn: Suggestion: ‘Take my life …’ A story from Rwanda. As we think of how God might be calling us let’s hear from Rwanda (Resources 10: p20-21 contains a poem and an account that you could use here) Hymn/Song as the collection for Rwanda is taken Prayer of praise for the offering Praise God, from whom all blessings flow, praise him, all creatures here below, praise him above, ye heavenly host, praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen Affirmation of Faith We say together in faith with God’s people from all over the world: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, and is, and is to come. We believe in God the Father, who created all things: for by his will they were created and have their being. We believe in God the Son, who was slain: for with his blood,


he purchased us for God, from every tribe and language, from every people and nation. We believe in God the Holy Spirit: the Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’ Even so come, Lord Jesus! AMEN Our prayers: (you might want to have some quiet music playing whilst people do this in order to maintain a prayerful atmosphere) Take your piece of fruit and on it write or draw a prayer: It might be a prayer about creation and looking after it It might be a prayer about all that God has given us and how we share that and use it It might be a prayer for the people of Rwanda Then take your prayer and tie it or place it on or in the shelter. (Children might collect from less mobile congregation in baskets and take them to the station) When everyone has returned to their seats say The Lord’s Prayer together in the form in which you usually say it. Final Song Sending out and Blessing God the Father who created the world Give you grace to be wise stewards of his creation Amen God the Son who redeemed the world Inspire you to go out as labourers into his harvest Amen God the Spirit, whose breath fills the whole of creation Help you to bear his fruits of love, joy and peace Amen And the blessing…


Resources


contents Harvest Hymns 3 Harvest Thanksgiving 4 Additional prayers for Harvest 9 Thanksgiving shelter 10 Fruit outlines 11 FIT ME IN SOMEWHERE PRAYER 15 Puzzle piece template 16 Rwanda: basic information 17 MAP OF RWANDA 19 about the Mothers’ Union 20

Harvest Thanksgiving Booth: Image and material from Experience Harvest Š Jumping Fish 2009. Used by permission. Further copying is not permitted.


Resources 1

Harvest Hymns Some suggested Hymns and Songs for Harvest All creatures of our God and King Angel voices ever singing Autumn Days: Estelle White (often sung in school) Blessed be your name: Matt Redman Cauliflowers are fluffy (often sung in school) Come people of the risen King: Stuart Townend Come ye thankful people come For the beauty of the earth Give thanks with a grateful heart Give thanks to the Lord our God and King: Chris Tomlin Give thanks unto the Lord, call on His name God is good, all the time God is working His purpose out God of mercy, God of grace Great is thy faithfulness I the Lord of sea and sky Jesus is Lord Let us with a gladsome mind Our God is a great big God Praise Him you heavens and all that’s above (Forever): Chris Tomlin Praise God from whom all blessings flow Take my life and let it be Think of a world without any flowers To thee O Lord, our hearts we raise We are marching in the light of God We plough the fields and scatter Who put the colours in the rainbow? 10 000 reasons: Matt Redman Songs in italics could be used in an all age setting Songs in bold are from the last 20 years and can be viewed on YouTube 3


Resources 2

Harvest Thanksgiving Invitation to Confession

Let us confess our forgetfulness of the needs of the poor, and repent of the ways in which we waste the resources of the world.

Kyrie Confessions Lord, you give justice to those who are suffering and bread to those who hunger. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, you loose those who are bound and open the eyes of the blind. Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, you watch over the stranger in the land and uphold the orphan and the widow. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. cf Psalm 146.6,7,9 God has blessed us, but still God’s children go hungry. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. God has blessed us, but still the poor cry out for justice. Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. God has blessed us, but still we see inequality and oppression in the earth. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. We confess to you our lack of care for the world you have given us. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. We confess to you our selfishness in not sharing the earth’s bounty fairly. 4

Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. We confess to you our failure to protect resources for others. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Confession We confess our sin, and the sins of our society, in the misuse of God’s creation. God our Father, we are sorry for the times when we have used your gifts carelessly, and acted ungratefully. Hear our prayer, and in your mercy: forgive us and help us. We enjoy the fruits of the harvest, but sometimes forget that you have given them to us. Father, in your mercy: forgive us and help us. We belong to a people who are full and satisfied, but ignore the cry of the hungry. Father, in your mercy: forgive us and help us. We are thoughtless, and do not care enough for the world you have made. Father, in your mercy: forgive us and help us. We store up goods for ourselves alone, as if there were no God and no heaven. Father, in your mercy: forgive us and help us.


Gospel Acclamation Alleluia, alleluia. Lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are ripe for harvesting. Gather the fruit for eternal life. cf John 4.35,36 Alleluia.

Thanksgiving Let us give thanks to God, the God of all peoples of the earth. For the colour and forms of your creation and our place within it, we bring our thanks, good Lord: your mercy endures for ever. For our daily food, and for those whose work and skill bring your good gifts to us, we bring our thanks, good Lord: your mercy endures for ever. For the gifts and graces inspired in human minds and hearts; for insight and imagination, for the skills of research which bring healing and fulfilment to the lives of many; we bring our thanks, good Lord: your mercy endures for ever. For the light and shades of the changing seasons, and their variety and dependability; for new life and growth out of barrenness and decay; we bring our thanks, good Lord: your mercy endures for ever. For new hope and strength in our communities, especially in your Church and among all you call to serve you, we bring our thanks, good Lord; your mercy endures for ever.

For all in whose lives we see goodness, kindness, gentleness, patience and humility, and all the fruit of the Spirit, we bring our thanks, good Lord: your mercy endures for ever. For the life we have been given, and for all those whom you have given us to share it, we bring our thanks, good Lord: your mercy endures for ever.

Intercessions Let us offer our prayers to God for the life of the world and for all God’s people in their daily life and work. God, the beginning and end of all things, in your providence and care you watch unceasingly over all creation; we offer our prayers that in us and in all your people your will may be done, according to your wise and loving purpose in Christ our Lord. Lord of all life: hear our prayer. We pray for all through whom we receive sustenance and life; for farmers and agricultural workers, for packers, distributors and company boards; as you have so ordered our life that we depend upon each other, enable us by your grace to seek the well-being of others before our own. Lord of all creation: hear our prayer We pray for all engaged in research to safeguard crops against disease, and to produce abundant life among those who hunger and whose lives are at risk. Prosper the work of their hands and the searching of their minds, 5


that their labour may be for the welfare of all. Lord of all wisdom: hear our prayer. We pray for governments and aid agencies, and those areas of the world where there is disaster, drought and starvation. By the grace of your Spirit, touch our hearts and the hearts of all who live in comfortable plenty, and make us wise stewards of your gifts. Lord of all justice: hear our prayer. We pray for those who are ill, remembering those in hospital and nursing homes and all who are known to us. We pray for all who care for them. Give skill and understanding to all who work for their well-being. Lord of all compassion: hear our prayer. We remember those who have died, whom we entrust to your eternal love in the hope of resurrection to new life. Lord of all peace: hear our prayer. We offer ourselves to your service, asking that by the Spirit at work in us others may receive a rich harvest of love and joy and peace. Lord of all faithfulness: hear our prayer. God of grace, as you are ever at work in your creation, so fulfil your wise and loving purpose in us and in all for whom we pray, that with them and in all that you have made, your glory may be revealed and the whole earth give praise to you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 6

Let us pray to God, the Lord of the harvest, that he will bring to fruition all that he desires for his creation. Lord of creation, we see that the fields are ripe for harvesting: we pray for your Church, that it may be ready to gather fruit for eternal life. Lord of the harvest, in your mercy hear us. You have created the universe by your eternal Word, and have blessed humankind in giving us dominion over the earth: we pray for the world, that we may honour and share its resources, and live in reverence for the creation and in harmony with one another. Lord of the harvest, in your mercy hear us. Your Son has promised that the Spirit will lead us into all truth: we pray for the community in which you have set us, for one another and for ourselves, that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in love and joy and peace. Lord of the harvest, in your mercy hear us. You have given your people a rich land, yet by sin we have made a world of suffering and sorrow: we pray for those who bear the weight of affliction, that they may come to share the life of wholeness and plenty. Lord of the harvest, in your mercy hear us. Your Son Jesus Christ is the first-fruits of the resurrection and will reap the harvest of the dead at the end of time: we pray that he will gather us all together with those who have gone before in the banquet of the age to come.


Lord of the harvest, in your mercy hear us. Source of all life and giver of all that is good, hear our prayers and grant us all that is in accordance with your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Introduction to the Peace The harvest of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. cf Galatians 5.22,23

The Bringing Forward of Symbols of the Harvest Let us bring forward symbols of the harvest, gifts that God has created and his sun and rain have nurtured. Thanks be to God. Bring forward the harvest of the cornfields, the oats and the wheat, the rye and the barley. Thanks be to God. Bring forward the harvest of roots, the swedes and mangolds, turnips and sugar beet. Thanks be to God. Bring forward the harvest of seeds for next year’s crops, for clover, for hay and for corn. Thanks be to God. Bring forward the harvest of vegetables, peas, potatoes, beans and hops. Thanks be to God. Bring forward the harvest of pears and apples, berries and herbs.

Thanks be to God. Bring forward the harvest of flowers, the finest blooms from our gardens and our fields. Thanks be to God. Bring forward the grain and the grape, for our Saviour took bread and wine to feed us with his body and his blood, given and shed for the life of the world. Let us feed on him by faith with thanksgiving. Thanks be to God. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow, praise him, all creatures here below, praise him above, ye heavenly host, praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

Prayer at the Preparation of the Table Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation; you bring forth bread from the earth. Blessed be God for ever. Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation; you create the fruit of the vine. Blessed be God for ever.

Preface And now we give you thanks because you make us stewards of your creation, to praise you day by day for the marvels of your wisdom and power.

Extended Preface It is indeed right, it is our duty and our joy, always and everywhere to give you thanks, holy Father, almighty and eternal God. For you have created the heavens and the earth, and formed us in your own image. In the fullness of time you sent forth your Son, your eternal Word, who laid down his life for our salvation and rose from the grave, the first-fruits of your 7


new creation. You send forth your holy and life-giving Spirit to give life to our mortal bodies and to renew the face of the earth. Therefore with all the heavenly hosts, we give voice to everything that you have made, and sing the eternal hymn of praise. It is indeed right and good to give you thanks and praise, almighty God and Father, through Jesus Christ your Son. Through him you have created us in your own image, and made us stewards of your good creation. Through him you teach us to exult in the birds of the air, the lilies of the field, the precious and life-giving crops of the earth. Through him you free us from the slavery of sin, giving him to die upon the cross and to rise again for our salvation. Through him, you begin your work of new creation, as we look for a new heaven and a new earth in which your righteousness dwells. Therefore, we join with angels and archangels, and give voice to every creature under heaven, for ever praising you and saying:

Blessings and Endings May God our creator, who clothes the lilies and feeds the birds of the air, bestow on you his care and increase the harvest of your righteousness; and the blessing … God the Father, who created the world, give you grace to be wise stewards of his creation. Amen. God the Son, who redeemed the world, inspire you to go out as labourers into his harvest. Amen. 8

God the Holy Spirit, whose breath fills the whole of creation, help you to bear his fruits of love, joy and peace. Amen. Freely you have received, freely give. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. in the name of Christ. Amen. Tend the earth, care for God’s good creation and bring forth the fruits of righteousness. Go in the peace of Christ. Thanks be to God.

Acclamation The earth has yielded its harvest; God, our God, has blessed us. You visit the earth and water it; you make it very plenteous. You soften the ground with showers; and bless the increase of it. You crown the year with your goodness; and your paths overflow with plenty. The meadows are clothed with sheep; the valleys stand so thick with corn, they shout for joy and sing. The earth has yielded its harvest; God, our God, has blessed us. cf Psalm 65.8,10,11,13; 67.7 Seasons and Festivals of the Agricultural Year. Times and Seasons. Common Worship. ©The Archbishop’s Council 2006.


Resources 3

Additional prayers for Harvest A Prayer for the other harvest Lord Jesus, You said that the harvest was plentiful. Help us to see where you are calling us, To speak the words that strike a chord, To show your love to those in desperate need. Let your church be willing to stand up For the powerless and dispossessed, For the voiceless and marginalised. Let us be the workers of that the harvest needs. Through your Son, the Lord of the harvest. Amen. ŠROOTS for churches Limited

A Prayer of Blessing May we taste justice at our tables. May we sense hope in our land. May we savour the sweetness Of all we have been given. May we journey towards Renewal in our living and may God direct us, challenge us and be our companion on the way. Amen. ŠROOTS for churches Limited

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Resources 4

Thanksgiving Shelter

Š Jumping Fish 2009

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Resources 5

 

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Resources 6

Fit me in somewhere Fit me in somewhere in this giant jigsaw, God, somewhere in this work of art you’re working, select a space my shape can fill and with a puzzle maker’s skill let my contours find their fit without contortion.

Teach me which patch I am, God, in the cosmic quilt you’re quilting. Show me where my square of selfhood is of use. Let the colourful complexities of the pattern that is me find their purpose in the placement that you choose. Show me my position, God, in this group photograph. Stand me where you want me to stand. Put me next to who you will. Make me stand, for good or ill, precisely in the place your plan demands. Tell me what I am, God, in this body you are building; a tongue to taste, a nerve to serve, an ear to hear. Give me grace to not be, gracefully, the parts I am not called to be and to play with elegance the roles I’m given. Fit me in somewhere in this giant jigsaw, God, somewhere in this work of art you’re working. Weave your wondrous tapestry until the twisted, tangled threads of me, surrendered to your artistry, form an image that is beautiful to see. by Gerard Kelly From “Spoken Worship”: Zondervan 2007

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Resources 7

  This template can be used during the reading of ‘Fit me in somewhere’. It will be most effective if it is enlarged and cut out of card.

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Resources 8

Rwanda: Basic Information Full name: Republic of Rwanda Land Area: 26,340 square Kilometers
 Population: 10.9 million (UN 2011) Capital city: Kigali Ethnic groups: Hutu (84%) Tutsi (15%) Twa (1%) Life expectancy: Men: 54; Women: 57 (UN)

 

Rwanda is a landlocked country situated in central Africa. Also known as ’the land of a thousand hills’, Rwanda has five volcanoes, twenty-three lakes and numerous rivers, some forming the source of the River Nile. The country lies 75 miles south of the equator in the Tropic of Capricorn, 880 miles ’as the crow flies’ west of the Indian Ocean and 1,250 miles east of the Atlantic Ocean - literally in the heart of Africa. Rwanda is bordered by Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, Burundi to the south and the democratic republic of Congo to the west. (Source: www.rwandahc.org)

Recent History Rwanda experienced Africa’s worst genocide in modern times in 1994. The country has been beset by ethnic tension associated with the traditionally unequal relationship between the dominant Tutsi minority and the majority Hutus. Although after 1959 the ethnic relationship was reversed, when civil war (from 1990 onwards) prompted around 200,000 Tutsis to flee to Burundi, lingering resentment led to periodic massacres of Tutsis. The most notorious of these began in April 1994. The shooting down of the plane carrying the President of Rwanda and his Burundian counterpart, near Kigali, triggered what appeared to be a coordinated attempt by Hutus to eliminate the Tutsi population. In response, the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) launched a military campaign to control the country. It achieved this by July 1994, by which time at least 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus had been brutally massacred. The RPF remain in power. The country is striving to rebuild its economy, with coffee and tea production being among its main sources of foreign exchange and there is an expanding tourist industry. Rwanda is trying to shake off its image associated with the 1994 state-sponsored genocide; the government argues the country is now stable. Nearly two thirds of the population live below the poverty line. (Source: www.bbc.co.uk) 17


Rwanda: facts and figures relating to children Rwanda is one of the poorest countries in the world. It ranks 158th out of 175 countries listed in the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Index: • 60 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line. • Rwanda’s population is young. Out of the 11 million people living in Rwanda, more than half are under 18years old. • Rwanda has one of the world’s worst child mortality rates – one in five Rwandan children die before their fifth birthday. Malaria is the leading cause of infant and child mortality (29 per cent). • 42 per cent of Rwandan children under five years old are malnourished. • More than 400,000 children are out of school. • Rwanda has one of the world’s largest proportions of households that are headed by children (i.e. children raising children) with an estimated 101,000 children heading up some 42,000 households. • 8.9 per cent of the adult population is HIV-positive. • 2000 women - many of whom were survivors of rape - were tested for HIV during the five years following the 1994 genocide. Out of these women, 80 per cent were found to be HIV-positive. Many were not sexually active before the genocide. • Between 9 and 13.4 per cent of 15 to 24-year-old females, and between 3.9 and 5.9 per cent of 15 to 24-year-old boys are HIV-positive. • By 2001, an estimated 264,000 children had lost one or both parents to AIDS – representing 43 per cent of all orphans. • 613,000 Rwandan children between the ages of 0 to 14 years old are orphans. • 88 per cent of women have to walk for more than one hour to reach a health facility. (Source: www.unicef.org)

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Resources 10

about the Mothers’ Union Mothers’ Union Parenting Programme Being a parent can be described as the most important job you will ever do. It can also be quite a daunting and isolating task, especially with all the things that life in the 21st Century can bring. Promoting the importance of parenting and its impact on family life is a universal goal for Mothers’ Union members worldwide.



Research undertaken at the end of the 90s suggested that one of the key factors in determining how helpful parenting groups are for parents is the skill of the group facilitator. Mothers’ Union found that whilst there were many resources available for group facilitators, there seemed to be little training to equip them. Armed with this research, the Parenting Programme was introduced. 
 Mothers’ Union Parenting Programme aims to equip individuals to develop their parenting skills, build relationships and contribute to the stability of family life in society. This mirrors the core values at the heart of the Mothers’ Union. 
 Mothers’ Union parenting groups provide an opportunity for grandparents, parents and carers alike to meet in a supportive environment. Through group formation and the establishment of trusting relationships, individuals explore common parenting issues through participatory learning.

From the Parenting Programme in Rwanda Jane is a parenting group (PG) facilitator and she says: “When we meet we share ideas with others, we also have a project of rearing hens, so the children can eat eggs. The Sunday school is because of the PG. We help others look after their children and invite others to come, we’ve learnt about hygiene and you notice that everyone is clean as we wash ourselves. Concerning AIDS, we learnt about it and went for blood testing. Some of us are positive, as well as our children, but we give them advice and care for those in their homes. We learnt about child development from conception until they are married. Concerning children and violence, there are lots who live alone or with others, some are suffering because of violence, we approach them and show them love. These are some of the challenges a parent faces – among the group members are MU members, widows and orphans.” 20


A poem written by Eudia Sengero, who is a female parenting group facilitator summarises what the programme means to her.

Poem on Parenting The parenting I praise Be praised, good parent Who planted grass and it has come up well Praise you Mothers’ Union You brought us together And showered on us the wisdom To satisfy our children You showered us with love For our children to be happy I hand you over to God who will bless you A well parented child, pleases the parents A child who listens to the parents, is well behaved A child who listens to the ancestors, enjoys the old age I hand him to God who will bless him When a parent is in a parenting group He reaps wisdom. When he/she parents well she lives a proud parent When a child grows with being told the truth, he grows in justice, I hand you to God who will satisfy you. Let me end thanking my Maker Well rooted in good parenting In the middle of parents and children Building up good parenting in families around me I hand you all to God who will satisfy you.

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Harvest Celebration Service