Engage parishioners of all ages with a special, summer-themed event. The Gather in the Garden Summer Scripture Event is a seasonal event designed for summertime whole parish catechesis.
Part of Sadlier’s Gather in My Name series, this summer Scripture event invites parish members to come together to explore Genesis 1–2:4 as they reflect on God as the source of all life and celebrate God's gifts of creation through prayer and the practice of stewardship of the earth.
Through participation in the event, parishioners will name ways they can act as stewards of the gifts of creation through prayer and practice, which are the first and fourth tasks of catechesis. (GDC, 85)
ABOUT GATHER IN MY NAME
Gather In My Name is a program that brings together people of all ages to learn about and share faith. Gather in My Name events focus on particular theme, are connected to liturgical year, and are developed through prayer, presentation, discussion, and interaction through both print and digital resources.
Each Gather In My Name event is approximately two hours in length, but a flexible format meets the varied needs of parishes. Events are organized in two basic options:
Option 1: a fully multigenerational event gathers together children, youth, and adults for prayer, sharing, and learning about an aspect of our faith
Option 2: a multigenerational event with age level breakouts in which children, youth, and adults gather for an opening icebreaker and prayer service and then break into grade level or cluster groups and then reconvene for a closing prayer
“For many people, God's presence and majesty is most readily experienced in nature. A garden represents an ordered, safe, and serene place of beauty and abundance. It is a place we can gather to experience creation and to come to know God our Creator."
The Bible, the great book of God's revelation, begins with the story of creation.
God creates out of nothing all that we see: the earth and the heavens, the land and the waters, the light of day and night, the plants and animals, and the highlight of God's creation—humankind (Genesis 1:1–24).
And we learn God's creation is for a purpose.
"God created the world to show forth and communicate his glory. That his creatures should share in his truth, goodness, and beauty—this is the glory for which God created them" (CCC 319). Thus, God's creation is fundamentally good.
In creation God provides us with life and all we need to live: food, water, air, shelter, companions, and beauty. Because our very existence depends upon God, we turn to God in prayer.
The world is God's gift to us, and we are to care for it as good stewards.
We are meant to enjoy all of God's creation but not exploit or abuse it. It is a free gift to us, but also ours to care for and tend. By loving and respecting all gifts of the creation, we honor God our Creator.
LEADER'S GUIDE FOR THE SUMMER SCRIPTURE EVENT
A leader's guide for each option provides a step-by-step outline of the entire summer Scripture event, and preparation chart for each option can be used as a checklist for assembling materials and resources.
A recipe for Belizian potato salad during an optional picnic-style meal, including participants and event volunteers and staff, to build a greater sense of community
A table blessing, in gratitude for God’s gifts and focused on the theme of creation and abundance (also given to participants to pray at home)
Ice breakers, to encourage participants to work together, spark conversation, and imagine an “ideal garden”
Opening and closing prayers including Scripture, reflection, and song
Activities about the story of creation
A special handout for families to extend the theme of the event into their daily lives
Handouts are available in English and Spanish.
For a smaller scale event with school-aged children, the Psalms of Summer Lesson includes a lesson plan with activities and prayer service. Psalms are appropriate for all seasons of the year, but some lend themselves more easily to the summer season.
The lesson plan includes background information catechists or parents, plus "bright ideas,” a two-page fold-out section for children to complete and learn about their faith, and a ready-to-use prayer service.