The annual Harvest Thanksgiving service marks the points when the congregation realised that summer is past, autumn has arrived and before long the church will be decorated for Christmas.
It is at this time this year, that Gardner Memorial members can look back on a busy and enjoyable summer.
There was a very successful three day sale early in July, later there was a Strawberry Tea, and sometime after that, a barbecue as well. The littlest ones were not left out as the Toddler Time group had a picnic. The Sunday School, known at the Gardner Memorial as ‘Sunday’s Cool’ did take a break over the school holidays, but were back in church to celebrate Harvest Thanksgiving on September 22.
The church looked splendid that morning and was decorated with fruit, flowers and autumn produce. The congregation came bearing gifts and donations of a slightly different character from what is usually presented as a token of gratitude for the harvest in the form of fruit, flowers and garden vegetables. This year, the gifts were of the sort that had a longer shelf-life, such as cereals, tinned foods and pasta. These gifts were later handed in to the Food Bank (see page three for more) now operating from the Baptist Church in Clerk Street.
The food handed in that Sunday was collected in the most contemporary manner. Two Sunday’s Cool boys pushed a supermarket trolley down the aisle and other youngsters collected tins and packets from the members of the congregation and added them to the trolley or placed them in front of the communion table.
The congregation has also participated in events which took place away from the four walls of the church. The summer saw the visit of the Bible Bus to the town, giving youngsters at school a chance to discover more about the bible. There was a Messy Church Day as well, which is now a regular hands-on event, a time of craft, music, fun and fellowship.
A large group of well-wishers from the church went to Edzell Church for the ordination of Mr Ian Gray as an Ordained Local Minister to wish him well for the future and to express their gratitude for all his previous services to the Gardner Memorial Church. With all that accomplished, the congregation is gearing up for Christmas, in particular for that once-a-year amazing event, the Christmas Eve Family Service.