Ask the women to bring an apple pie that they have baked. Cover a table with a red and white checkered tablecloth. Display the pies on an assortment of decorative pie stands of varying heights. Award a blue ribbon and either an apron, a cookbook, or a fancy pie dish to the winning pie. Serve the apple pies for dessert. An alternate suggestion would be to auction the pies with the funds going to World Services.
Decorations: “A Little Bit of Country”
Decorate the tables as for a country picnic with red and white checkered tablecloths. For the centerpieces, use mason jars with red ribbons tied around the top. Fill with fresh sunflowers, and place a lace doily on top. For each table make three candleholders out of Fuji apples. Cut a hole in the top of each apple that is ¼” deep x 1 ½” in diameter (the size of a tea light candle). Place a tea light in the top of each apple. Use white plates, white napkins and red plastic tableware. Place a large bowl on your buffet table filled with apples of several varieties.
Have an old-fashioned country picnic lunch with BBQ chicken, potato salad, coleslaw, cornbread, ice tea, and apple pie for dessert.
Word Search Puzzle
Create a word search puzzle using the website https://mywordsearch.com featuring the different varieties of apples. These can be placed on the tables for the women to work on as they arrive before the program begins.
Place several varieties of apples on a table and equal slips of paper listing the names of each apple. Invite the women to match the name with each apple. Tasting, smelling and holding the apple is allowed. The winner receives a basket of apples.
Following the game describe each apple and what it is used for. Share some recipes that call for the different varieties of apples. For more information on types of apples and their uses go to http://www.bettycrocker.com/how-to/tipslibrary/ingredients/apples-and-their-uses.
Here are some suggestions
Apple picking is one of my favorite things to do in the fall. When I lived in Northern California, I used to love to visit a place called Apple Hill, located in Placerville, California. Nearly 30 apple farms are located there and on a sunny, crisp, fall day my family and I would ride the hay wagon, pick apples from the trees, sample pies and cider, and even select our pumpkin from the nearby patch—so much fun!
Now that I live in the state of Washington where the state fruit is the apple, I am excited to explore the many apple orchards that are all within a two-hour drive from my home. I don’t know what I love more—the country air, the beautiful landscape of the orchards, or the smell of apple pies baking, but when I am in an apple orchard I can’t help but bask in God’s goodness to us. In fact, any time we are able to enjoy God’s creation we begin to grasp just how incredible He is to His people.
We read in Psalm 31:19, “How great is the goodness You have stored up for those who fear You. You lavish it on those who come to You for protection, blessing them before the watching world.” This scripture is a wonderful reminder of how great God’s goodness is to those who love and fear Him and that He lavishes His goodness on us. Synonyms for the word “lavish” are extravagant, over–the–top and excessive. In other words, God lavishes His goodness on us in “over–the–top” abundance.
Take the apple for example. Did you know that there are about 7,000 varieties of apples in the world, so even if you tried a different apple every day it would take you nearly 20 years to sample the entire spectrum? To me that is amazing! As far as I am concerned the few we sampled today would suffice. But no, God doesn’t stop there. He lavishes us with 7,000 varieties because that is how much He loves us and how well He treats us.
Ephesians 3:20 says, “To Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” Again, the Bible reminds us that God continues to bless us far beyond our imagination and certainly far beyond what we deserve. And He does so, not because we are great, but because He is. What a wonderful God we serve!
Ask the following questions and allow the women to respond.
- How does it make you feel to know that God provided us with so many varieties of apples when we would have been content with only a few? What does that say about our God?
- Was there a specific time in your life when God did immeasurably more for you than you could ever have imagined?
- How has God lavished His love and blessings on you recently?
I pray that you fully understand God’s goodness in your life today and that you are able to recognize how much He loves you and how He lavishes you with His many blessings over and above what you could hope for and ever imagine.
Closing Song, #49, The Salvation Army Song Book, “How Great Thou Art.”