1 Corinthians 14:26; James 3:17-19; Romans 1:11-12
Decorate the room with fall colors, leaves and pumpkins. Ahead of the meeting make some crafts to use as centerpieces for the tables.
You could serve anything using pumpkins. There are many recipes on the Internet.
Fall Mason Jar Candle Holder
Supplies Needed: Mason jars, faux fall leaves (the flatter ones work better), mod podge, foam sponge brush, twine or raffia, candles (LED is always the safest).
Using the foam sponge brush, apply some mod podge onto the outside of the mason jar (do small areas at a time), and lay leaves over the glass jar. You can overlap the leaves or leave a little bit of space between to allow more candlelight to shine through. When done, spread a thin layer of mod podge over the top of the leaves and allow to dry. Tie a piece of twine or raffia around the rim of the mason jar for added decoration. Place a candle inside the jar.
You can put the leaves inside the jar; however, this is more difficult, and you should not use a real candle in the jar.
Window Art: Leaf Patterns
- Light-weight cardboard (Cereal boxes work well.)
- Multicolored construction paper (2 pieces per leaf design)
- Clear contact paper (2 pieces per leaf, sized to fit leaf pattern design)
- Multicolored tissue paper (cut or tear into small pieces approximately 1” or less)
- Pen, scissors, tape, paperclips
- Cut the cardboard into leaf patterns for tracing.
- Download leaf patterns from internet or use freehand designs.
- Make sure pattern is approximately ½” to 1” wide.
- Trace pattern onto the construction paper (2 pieces)
- Tape 2 pieces of construction paper together.
- Cut out inside of leaf pattern so that center of leaf is clear.
- Cut outside of leaf.
- (You should now have a border of the leaf pattern)
- Take 1 piece of the clear contact paper and peal the backing off.
- Place 1 leaf pattern on top of the sticky side of contact paper.
- Take multicolored tissue pieces and place inside the leaf pattern.
- Don’t go over the borders… stay inside the lines.
- Keep overlapping to a minimum but cover the clear contact paper inside the leaf pattern completely.
- Put other leaf outline on top of tissued leaf, matching up the pattern as close as you can. Patience is required.
- Put other clear contact paper over leaf. Make sure the “sticky” side is down complexly covering the leaf pattern.
- Cut ¼ inch of the contact paper away from the leaf pattern to create a clear outline.
“When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church” (1 Cor 14: 26). There is a song that starts with the words, “What a fellowship, what a joy divine.” I sometimes catch myself singing those words but changing the last phrase to “what a joy is mine.” It’s normally when I’m praying. I find that it better describes my relationships, not only with Jesus, but with my sisters in Christ. Being in a relationship means getting along with one another. That takes cultivation, time, care, and wisdom.
October is the time of year that often involves a visit to the pumpkin patch. I remember the year I was able to take my grandson to his first pumpkin patch adventure. We arrived at the patch thinking we were going to drink hot apple cider, pick our pumpkin and go home. It seems that there is a lot more to pumpkin patches that I thought. Did you know there are around 45 different types of pumpkins? That some are good for carving, while others are best for pumpkin pies? These are generally known as sugar pumpkins and are smaller, rounder, sweeter, and packed with more flesh. Carving pumpkins are larger in size and have a thinner shell. They have a grainier texture with less flesh, thus making them easier to carve.
Once we’d viewed the pumpkins, we proceeded to the hayride. Horses were hitched to a wagon, full of hay bales strategically located to seat about 25 of us. Parents, grandparents, and children sat together, dangling our feet over the edge of the bales, sipping hot cider. As we went into and around the corn maze, we couldn’t see over the top of the corn stalks or discern the way out. I’m sure that was strategically done to cause a little excitement for the adults. When we came out of the maze, we found ourselves in the apple orchard. There were barrels full to overflowing with ripe apples near each tree, just waiting to be purchased.
Then we saw the vegetable garden next to the two-story farmhouse with a swing on the back porch. It was a picture suitable for a postcard reading “wish you were here.” I could hear the excitement of the children as we rounded the corner of the house and came to the pumpkin patch. Pumpkins that were white, orange, smooth, rough, oblong, round, all waiting for a child to run and pick it up, boldly declaring it “perfect!” Viewing the entire experience through eyes of wonder, as a child, reminded me of Jesus’ invitation to “come unto Me.”
When was the last time I had looked in wonder at what God created? How often do we view life through His lens? I was reminded that He is the Master Gardener. The book of James says, “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness” (James 3:18).
Paul tells the Roman believers, “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong—that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith” (Rom. 1:11,12). Paul wanted to strengthen the believer’s faith. He wanted to harvest spiritual fruit among the believers. Graciously He told them that this would also strengthen Him. Fellowship one with another… mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.
What does it take to “harvest relationships?” James 3:17,18 tells us, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace–loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along, treating each other with dignity and honor.
This can begin by mutually sharing the Word of God and by listening. Sometimes after we have studied scripture, we are given the opportunity to share it with others. By sharing and by being willing to listen to others, we become the agents of encouragement. We can become “mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” The experiences you have with others is important. Sharing what God is revealing to you, being vulnerable, helps to “harvest relationships.”
Close in prayer.