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Acts 8.26-40; Psalm 22.25-31; 1 John 4.7-21; John 15.1-8

Gather

Bringing people to community

Adult & All Age

A gathering prayer

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.
Dominion belongs to the Lord,
and he rules over the nations.
Those who seek him shall praise the Lord.
We come as those who seek and we shall praise the Lord;
may our hearts live for ever!
Amen.

All-age introduction

A way to begin worship when all ages are present.

You will need: a selection of fruit, a bowl, chopping boards, safe knives, a bin, small tubs with lids – and wet wipes for washing hands.

We are going to make a fruit salad. Hold up each fruit in turn. What do people know about how it grows, where it comes from? Ask for a volunteer who likes this fruit to help chop it up for the fruit salad – involve an adult with each child, for safety. As the fruit salad is made, invite comments about the mix, the variety of fruit being used. Ask: Are we a ‘fruity’ church family? Are we bearing fruit? Do we make a good ‘fruit salad’? When the salad is complete, draw attention to any ‘bad’ parts of the fruit that were rejected, and to the clearing up and wiping of hands, as all part of the process of working together ‘fruitfully’.

You could share the fruit salad after the service, or divide it into portions for people to take to others (not present) who may enjoy a bit of fruity love!

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Children & Young People

A gathering prayer for children

Jesus said, ‘I am the vine

Jesus said,
‘I am the vine, you are the branches.’
We belong to you, Jesus.
We love you, and are so happy
to be here with you today.
Amen.

Fruitfulness

A quiet way to begin your session.

Display some tomatoes, still attached to the vine, and a grapevine or a bunch of grapes. Look at how the fruit is attached to the plant. Encourage the children to pick some and eat it together. Talk about what it might mean to describe someone’s life as ‘fruitful’. 

Fruit salad game

An active way to begin your session. 

Invite the children to sit in a circle. Everyone chooses a favourite fruit (avoid duplication) and says what theirs is. Child A says their fruit name twice, followed by someone else’s fruit twice to pass it on, e.g. ‘Strawberry, strawberry, banana, banana’. Child B says: ‘Banana, banana, apple, apple’, etc. To make the game funnier, say that the children can’t show their teeth. If they do, everyone shout: ‘Teeth, teeth’, and the person is eliminated.

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