Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

October 2002: Arable parable

'Arable Parable' began as an installation based on the parable of the sower [Luke 8:5-15], created by Sanctuary for Greenbelt 2002. Grace borrowed the idea for a child-friendly 'harvest festival' service.

There are four stations: the path, the stones, the thorns and the good soil. The service ran from 6pm to 10pm, with a cafe for socialising, and people could come and go in their own time. Children were given a card with the parable on, and at each station there was something to glue to it - a feather at the path, sand at the stones, a dead leaf, petals at the good soil. There were child versions of the instructions/meditations at each station. The intention was to change from child to adult versions at 8pm, but the children didn't go home and the adults liked the children's version so we ended up with both!

photos here

for children's service:

introductory card with whole parable [steve] with 4 things to collect and stick on - add feather, sand, thorn, flower and take card home

make entrance 'grotto' with tv with 'miracle maker' movie clip of parable [if can be found] and story cards. adult-friendly instruction cards too for each part [steve]

arable parable:

1. path

Write about the places in your heart that are hard towards God. Tuck the folded paper into a crack in the path.

paving slabs [mike][check re tarpaulin - poss adam]
paper + pens
feathers [mike]

2. rocky ground

What tests your faith: teasing, partners who mock or friends who poke fun at your scruples? With charcoal write a word, or words on a stone, about those things that test you. Then place the stone on the ground and walk away. In doing so you bring these things to God and leave them with Him.

white stones [mike]
sand [in church? or check who to get - focus]
charcoal sticks [moya]

3. thorns

Were you seduced by the bright lights and money? Has consumerism taken over your life, have you sold out to marketing hype? Do worries or guilt choke your relationship with God? Why not give your concerns to Him by washing your hands and saying this prayer...

dead garden material [adam] - as thicket/brambles rather than standing stems
fairy lights
water bowl [jen]
towel [jonny]
missing prayer - get off sonia [steve]

4. good soil

The good soil. On a nearby table, take a pot and plant a seed, then take it away to nurture and grow.

flowers/plants [mark/deborah]
seeds [check in church - if not go to focus]
pots [anna to get plus materials to decorate - put decorating materials in cafe area]
soil [jackie to buy a bag][check in church for spare materials]

cafe [jackie to do food][everybody bring a bottle]

for adult 8pm service:

opening - read the story [jen]
opening prayer [jen]
ending prayer - intercessory - one person goes round to pray [steve] and put nightlights on the path
joss sticks on the stones [anna to bring joss sticks]
cut the thorns with secaturs
take a flower? action will depend on what's there - ask mark/deborah - to do with thanks - fecundity - spread good soil

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