To appreciate God's gift of trees
To share the harvest
A display of harvest foods donated by parents and
children to distribute to local people
Prayer responses written on large sheets of paper
A wall display of trees and things made from trees or grown on trees
Brown, orange, yellow and red clothing
Objects mentioned in the Tree Play below
This assembly is long enough to be used as a full
Harvest Festival performed before parents.
HYMN: 'Autumn Days' by Estelle White
(Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 61).
CHILD 1: Once again, autumn has arrived -
and we welcome you to our harvest festival. As usual, we give thanks to
God, for the great variety of foods we are able to grow and eat. Just
look at the wonderful display of foods you have donated. These will be
given to people in our neighbourhood. In this way, we will be including
many people in our harvest celebration, not just the people in this
CHILD 2: If you look in
a dictionary, you will see that the word "harvest" means a result. If
you knit, your harvest could be a jumper. If you play football, your
harvest could be a goal. If you work on the land, your harvest could be
food. This food harvest happens every year, so we sometimes take it for
granted. However, it only happens because God sends us the right
weather to grow crops.
The harvest is a yearly miracle - and we should not forget that.
CHILD 3: Heavenly Father, sometimes we
think that miracles only happen to people in the Bible, but they happen
to us too.
The yearly harvest is one of your greatest miracles. Forgive us, for
when something happens every year, we sometimes forget to see it as
CHILD 4: We thank you, God, for your many
special miracles. like grass growing from seed to make our football
pitch; like flour coming from wheat to make our sandwiches; like milk
coming from cows to make our milkshakes; like oranges growing on trees
to make our fruit juice.
The world is full of miracles; we thank you, God. Amen.
CHILD 5: The response is "We thank you,
For flour used to make bread, cakes and biscuits ... Response ...
For fruits which are grown in England: apples, pears, plums,
used to make pies and crumbles ... Response ...
For fruits from other countries: lemons, bananas, pineapples,
used to make our yoghurt... Response ...
For vegetables: like potatoes, for chips and crisps ... Response
For cheese for our cheeseburgers ... Response...
For sugar for our sweets ... Response ...
May we be thankful and kind and share these gifts with other people who
need them. Amen.
CHILD 6: The world is like one big garden,
where all these foods grow.
In the Bible, God said,
GOD: I am a gardener, and I look after my
garden, all day and all night.
CHILD 6: God wants us to look after his
garden as well. He said,
GOD: If you obey my rules... I will give
you all the rain you need, just at the right time to make things grow.
Everything will grow beautifully in the soil and the trees will be
covered with fruit. You will be able to harvest your food all the year
round and eat as much as you want.
CHILD 6: Here, God is promising to give
us enough food, if we are good. It is always harvest time somewhere in
the world. Hopefully, in England, we will always have a food harvest at
this time of year.
HYMN: 'Autumn Is Here' by Margery
Brinkman (Festivals by Jean Gilbert p.14)
2. HARVEST OF OUR TREES
CHILD 7: If you look on the wall, you will
see there are many pictures to do with trees - and the harvest we get
from trees. This is the special theme for our harvest festival, this
CHILD 8: Already, we have mentioned some
of the foods we can get from trees, such as apples and oranges. You can
probably think of many more - like limes, coconuts, cherries and
But there are many other harvests we can get from trees.
CHILD 9: We are lucky. We live near the
countryside. Most of us have been to a wood or a forest. Many of us
have had fun climbing trees, or building tree houses, or throwing
sticks to make conkers fall. Trees have given us a harvest of fun - but
they give us many other things too.
CHILD 10: Right now, you are breathing
oxygen made by trees. Your hymn sheets are made of paper, which is made
from wood pulp. On Bonfire Night or at Christmas, you may burn logs. At
Christmas, you may use fir cones and mistletoe as decorations. Some of
you put leaf mould on your gardens, to feed the plants. All these
useful things come from trees, but we often take this harvest for
CHILD 11: If you look at home or at
school, you will very quickly find many things made of wood. You may
have used some of these things this week: a pencil, a paintbrush, a
glue brush. a guitar, a chair, a tennis racquet, a rounders stick, a
hockey stick, a cricket bat, a wooden spoon, a chopping board, a drum,
a jigsaw puzzle, a hammer, a ladder, a spade, a crucifix, a door, a
fence, wooden toys, ornaments, statues and bowls. You will be able to
think of many more.
CHILD 12: The response is "Lord graciously
We pray for people who cut wood in the forests and work in timber
mills. Lord hear us ...
We pray for people who plant new trees for the future.
Lord hear us ...
We pray for builders who use wood in our homes, to make doors, windows
Lord hear us ...
We pray for carpenters who make furniture for our homes, desks for our
schools and seats for our churches.
Lord hear us...
We pray for carvers who make beautiful ornaments and statues.
Lord hear us ...
We pray for people who teach us woodwork.
Lord hear us ...
CHILD 13: Also, many of the plants and
animals that we enjoy live on or near trees. Think of an oak tree. Here
are the animals which feed on it and live near it: the squirrel, the
badger, the hedgehog, the fox, the grass snake, the weasel, the
ladybird, the barn owl, the jay, the green woodpecker, the oak weevil
and the scalloped oak moth.
As for wild flowers, in a forest you will find: bluebells, white
clover, cuckoo pint, dogs mercury, violets, scarlet pimpernel, daisies
and many others.
All these things depend on trees to keep them alive.
CHILD 14: Of course, trees are beautiful
to look at, as well.
Lord, when we see the tall trees swaying in the wind, and the colourful
autumn leaves falling, to make a carpet in the woods; when we sit in
the cool shade of the oak tree, or hear the breeze whispering through
the fir trees; we want to praise and thank you, for your beautiful
AUTUMN LEAVES DANCE
CHILD 15: Now we have a poem and a dance.
The poem begins with brightly coloured autumn leaves falling from the
trees. It ends with the leaves turning into brightly coloured flames in
a bonfire. The children will be the dancing flames.
(Children dressed in brown, orange, yellow or red mime to the poem.)
How bright they were
When they first came down!
But now they're brown.
So we raked them up
In a big, dry pile
That's fun to jump in;
And after a while
They'll all be burning,
And then, oh then,
How bright they'll be
All over again!
CHILD 16: Lord, we thank you for fir trees
with long, straight trunks - and oak trees with twisted, spreading
We thank you for fresh green leaves in spring - and fiery coloured
leaves in autumn.
We thank you for bitter lemons and sweet apples.
We thank you for trees. Help us to look after them, so our children may
also enjoy them.
And once again, thank you for the fun we can have with trees.
SONG: 'Picking Up Conkers' by Geoffrey
and Mollie Russell-Smith (Festivals by Jean Gilbert p.11)
3. HARVEST OF TREES IN OTHER COUNTRIES
CHILD 17: So far, we have been thinking
about trees in England. We get even more harvests from trees in other
countries. You have probably heard of rainforests on the News. People
are talking about them because we are in danger of losing them.
The rainforests are found in South and Central America, South-east Asia
and central Africa. The weather there is very hot and it rains a lot.
There are many plants and animals in the rainforests which we have not
even discovered yet. However, people are cutting down the trees, to
sell the wood, to build towns, to make farms and to mine precious
minerals. You may think these are good harvests, but they are not.
CHILD 18: Almost half the world's
rainforests have disappeared - and they cannot be re-grown.
In Brazil alone, an area of rainforest the size of Belgium disappears
Every half an hour, a species of animal becomes extinct - and we will
never have that animal again.
The trees also help give the earth its weather, especially its
rainfall. When trees are cut down, some places on earth are flooded and
other places have droughts. In the rainforest itself, when the trees
have been cut down, the land gets washed away by the heavy rain. These
are all bad harvests, or bad results, of cutting down trees.
CHILD 19: However we can still have good
harvests from the rainforests, without cutting down the trees. Many of
our foods began in the rainforests, like: Brazil nuts, tea, coffee,
bananas, oranges, lemons, peanuts, pineapples, rice and maize. Other
harvests are: rubber, medicines used to fight cancer and heart disease,
quinine used to control malaria, and resins used in making paint, oil,
wax, soap and plastic. We can continue to have all those harvests, if
we look after the rainforests. That means not cutting down so many
trees and planting new ones. They have begun to do that in Africa. They
are learning that trees give us more than wood.
(For this play you can have one to three trees. Form trees by asking
two people to stand one behind the other with their arms in the air -
as if they are branches. They move appropriately during the sketch.)
NARRATOR: Trees can be very ordinary
looking, sometimes they can be beautiful...
(Trees preen themselves.)
sometimes old and gnarled...
(Trees twist themselves up.)
Generally we take them for granted until we...
(One person walks past the tree and a branch leaps out
and hits them in the eye.)
get hit in the eye by a branch or...
(Trees drop leaves on the floor and someone comes past
sweeping them up, grumbling.)
we have to spend all weekend sweeping up their leaves.
It is easy to miss what talented beings trees are.
(Trees admire themselves in a mirror and whisper as
they do so.)
In Ethiopia, people are encouraging the planting of trees. They are
showing that trees are a source of fuel...
(One person gives each tree a symbol of fuel, for
example a bag of charcoal, matches etc.)
are a source of building material...
(Each tree is given a piece of timber.)
keep the water table steady...
(Each tree is handed a bucket.)
are the lungs of the earth...
(Each tree is handed a balloon which they try to blow
(Each tree is handed an open umbrella.)
fertilise the land so plants underneath grow well...
(A plant is put at the base of each tree.)
feed the wild animals...
(A label is hung on each tree 'Wayside Cafe - all
So, Ethiopians are getting the message, and we hope you are too, that...
...trees are good for you - touch wood. (Touch the trees.)
CHILD 20: Hopefully, more and more people
will get this message. Then, what this farmer in the Philippines said
will not come true:
FARMER: Whenever I go out into the
rainforest, I hear God's voice in the singing of the birds, the wind
rustling through the trees and the sound of the mountain streams. If
there is no end to logging, there will come a time when there will no
longer be birds, trees and streams in our village. When that day comes,
I will no longer hear God's voice.
CHILD 21: God made the trees. He likes
them and wants us to look after them. He made a great variety of trees.
One is the mustard tree. In the Bible, Jesus says,
JESUS: The mustard seed is the smallest
seed in the world, but when you plant it in the ground, it grows and
becomes such a big tree that the birds can come and build their nests
in the shade of its branches. God works like that.
CHILD 21: Jesus is saying that from small
beginnings can come big results. We would say "From tiny acorns grow
CHILD 22: In a psalm in the Bible, a good
man is compared to a strong tree. "Down by the river is a good place
for trees. If the water flows near them, they never grow dry. Their
leaves are not withered. They stay green and alive. And each year their
branches are covered with fruit.
The man that is good is like a tree by the river. God will look after
him. God will protect him. Like a tree by the river, he will grow
CHILD 23: Just a tiny seed and it grows
into a big tree. Jesus, you started out with just a few friends, and
now you have people who love you and follow you, all around the world.
The tree of your friends is still growing, and we are part of it today.
We thank you, Jesus. Amen.
CHILD 24: Jesus said that a tiny seed can
grow into a big tree. A tiny bit of love can make lots of people happy.
Take our love, in these harvest gifts, and make it grow, Lord Jesus, to
make others happy. Amen.
HYMN: 'The Tree of Life' by Monica White
(Here I Am R.E. scheme)