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Waverly Church prepares for Harvest Homecoming

By Renae B. Vander Schaaf
agripen@live.com

Date Modified: 09/23/2013 9:34 AM

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TRIMONT, Minn. — Building on the foundation begun last year, Waverly Lutheran Church is approaching their Harvest Homecoming with a little less apprehension.

Things are falling into place as plans are finalized for the celebration, which begins when two buses arrive from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul. Urban families with second- and third-grade aged children have corresponded with host families from Waverly Lutheran Church. The urban families have been hearing about farming, and Harvest Homecoming will provide the pen pals the opportunity to meet.

The event will be Sept. 15, a month earlier than the first one.

"What a difference a year makes," said church member Kirsten Rabbe. "Last fall, harvest was so early. By Oct. 15, farmers were finished; we had to save a few rows of soybeans and corn to show what crops looked like when they have matured.''

Families will visit for a short time before the worship service. Children will be able to release some of their energy by searching for pumpkins or gourds in the church's cemetery, said Rabbe.

The worship service will emphasize "Caring for God's Gifts." Waverly Church members wrote the liturgy with children in mind.

Dinner will feature pork chop on a stick, sweet corn, salads and breads made by a church member. Bars, cakes and cookies are supplied by Waverly women.

The afternoon will include country games, hay rides, tours through tents that house livestock, garden and machinery displays of both antique and modern machines. Each child will receive a seed corn cap when they board the bus for home.

The day is designed to give everyone a hands-on, agricultural experience and to build relationships. That is happening beyond their expectations. The Harvest Homecoming is a year-long experience that uses the many gifts of Waverly Lutheran Church members. The church's barn quilt, which was finished just in time for the event, reflects the congregation's faith in God and their roots in agriculture, past, present and future.

The Waverly Lutheran Church Facebook page explains that the Harvest Star barn quilt tells the agricultural story of new life. The scarlet center star symbolizes the seed that becomes the seedling. The brown points of the outer star symbolizes the rich earth in which the seed is planted. The purple points of the outer star symbolize point of the plow. The golden circle symbolizes the sunshine that warms the earth and helps the crop to grow. The blue background symbolizes the endless cycle of planting and harvest, sunshine and rain, seed and grain, birth and death, that make up life in this farming community.