The Just Desserts resource is designed to help you hold a special service for Harvest or to celebrate the Season of Creation (1 September – 4 October). You can also use it in a small group setting.
Below, you will shortly find prayers, video clips, discussion questions and additional information. Please let us know if you use the resources, and how your event went.
Creation and Food: a conversation with Ali Birkett and Sarah Hulme
Take a look at a conversation between Sarah Hulme, Rural Officer for the Methodist Church in Britain, and Ali Birkett, a tenant arable farmer in North Northumberland and a member of the team at Rural Ministries, a Christian charity empowering rural projects around the UK.
In their conversation, Ali and Sarah explore the relationship between food, farming and faith, and pose some challenging questions about how we can live out our faith today.
You can watch the whole video, or find five shorter clips. Each video includes questions for discussion, which can be used for a small group study session, for individual reflection or for a church service.
Whole video in one go
Video divided into sections
Looking to engage in this conversation as a family, or with a group of children and young people? Here are some resources you might find helpful.
- Changing the Climate: Applying the Bible in a climate emergency
Written by the Hawker family, this book explores what it looks like to respond to the climate emergency. You might find the chapter entitled ‘What should we eat?’ particularly useful in exploring these issues.
You can also watch an interview with Jamie, part of the family who wrote the book, about why these issues matter to him.
- God’s World Our Home: Chapter 2 – Responsibility
Created by the Methodist Youth President, God’s World Our Home explores what it means to faithfully respond to the climate crisis. Chapter 2, explores what it means to live responsibly as stewards of creation.
- Super Stories for Climate Heroes
This online resource from Scholastic looks at food waste through storytelling, and is great for families to do together.
A prayer for a ‘Just Desserts’ all-age service.
Each stanza could have an associated action:
- Thanksgiving – lifted hands to heaven
- Prayer – palms together, finger tips raised
- Planet – hands moving apart then coming together in the shape of a circle outline
- Help – cupped hands reaching out
God of all good gifts,
Thank you for all those
who try to make sure
we have food to eat
and that it is tasty.
We pray for farmers,
factory workers and scientists
who care about our food
and our wellbeing.
Grow in us today
a hunger for food
that is better for our bodies
and is kinder for our planet.
And help us remember
and remind us to help
all who are hungry
for food to live today.
Politics in the Pulpit podcast – Season of Creation special
Politics in the Pulpit is JPIT’s weekly podcast, where we explore the justice angles to the lectionary passages set for the coming weekend. We’re delighted to share a special episode exploring the passages set for harvest, featuring Revd David Coleman and Ruth Valerio.
David is a URC special category minister, working full-time and ecumenically across the whole of Scotland with Eco-Congregation Scotland, as their Eco-Chaplain. Ruth is Global Advocacy and Influencing Director at Tearfund. She is the author of several books on Christian environmental ethics, and is a regular contributor on Radio 4 and the BBC World Service.
You can find out more about Ruth and Tearfund here:
They discuss readings for a typical Harvest service, as a guide to preaching about food, farming and the environment in the midst of climate breakdown. They focus on these readings:
Also available on Apple Podcasts, Podbean, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
An extra bite
For extra nourishment, check out these links:
- Arthur Rank Centre – harvest service resources for 2022
- Seasonal Recipes – Ruth Valerio offers a selection of tasty treats
- Ethical Consumer – facts and figures about some of the issues around food
- Fairtrade Foundation
- LEAF – Linking Environment And Farming
- Sustainable Food Trust – lots of useful information, including a report entitled “Feeding Britain from the Ground Up”
- CPRE – farming resources
- Green Christian – LOAF resource
And look out for this great book:
- “Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating” by Norman Wirzba
And some deeper thinking:
- Food and Faith: Ruth Valerio speaking at Greenbelt Festival 2014
The Revd David Coleman, Eco-Congregation Chaplain, has curated a set of resources for the whole of the Season of Creation 2022. Expect to be challenged and inspired.