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Anglicans on Union Island celebrate harvest festival despite difficulties

Anglicans on Union Island celebrate harvest festival despite difficulties
St Matthias Anglican Church in Union Island

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By Anthony Stewart

It is one of the most joyous occasions in the calendar year. The Faithful gathered to express their gratitude to God for the blessings of the year. They came into His courts and brought their Thank Offerings of chorus, crops, and cash. Despite the pandemic and other difficulties, they managed to hold the fort.

Anglicans on Union Island celebrate harvest festival despite difficulties
Union Island St Matthias Anglican Harvest Festival: Coconuts, ochro, squash, five fingers, plantain chips, pomegranates, guavas, unsweetened local juices,Christians bush, mint Bush, oranges, limes, sugar apples, damsels, St John’s Bush, lemons,are among the items. They are very rich in antioxidants and are more nutritious than their counterparts because they grew under challenging organic conditions.

The heartfelt singing led by Volcina Noel, and Uleva Quashie ensured that the congregation stayed on key and hit the right note ably assisted by organist Dr Anthony Stewart. Lay Reader, Claudia John fed the flock from the Gospel, ably assisted by Margarette Wilson.

1. Fair waved the golden corn

in Canaan’s pleasant land when, full of joy, some shining morn, went forth the reaper-band.

2 . To God so good and great their cheerful thanks they pour; then carry to his temple-gate the choicest of their store.

The traditional weather pattern of dry and wet seasons has apparently been affected by climate change and parishioners in Union Island have to plan well in order to get a good crop. Despite these challenges, a good variety of produce decorated this year’s Harvest Festival.

They included coconuts, ochro, squash, five fingers, pomegranates, guavas, oranges, limes, sugar apples, damsels, mint, Christmas bush, and St. John’s bush. Additionally, plantain chips and locally made juices without sugar bottled especially for the Diabetics.

Anglicans on Union Island celebrate harvest festival despite difficulties

Following the recommended protocol of adequate ventilation with all windows and doors open, wearing masks, sitting apart, recording temperatures, names, and contact information for each member of the congregation was a tedious but necessary task to ensure safety of all.

As is usually the case, the demand for the harvest produce was greater than the supply as everyone tried to get hold of the nutritious, delicious organically produced items that are rich in antioxidants.

We thank Thee then, O Father,
For all things bright and good,
The seedtime and the harvest,
Our life, our health, our food;
Accept the gifts we offer
For all Thy love imparts,
And what Thou most desirest—
Our humble, thankful hearts.