Family Blessing for the Fall

with a Nature Walk

by Pastor Heath, Family Ministries

As we enter the month of October, we step deeper and deeper into the season of fall. The season that is not too hot nor too cold. The season when the leaves change colors, the waves on the lake sound stronger, and the air becomes crisper. Nature invites us to notice the changes of the season in so many ways. With those changes, we can say good bye to summer and all it gave us, and hello to what is next for us and our families this fall. With these changes, we can also wonder what God might be calling us into or out of at this time.

Nature can be the means in which God is speaking to us about life and love. To help you and your family engage more deeply in your faith life while enjoying the fall season, please consider the following. As always, adapt for the needs of those gathered.
Adapted from a blessing from For Everything a Season: 75 Blessings for Daily Life by the Nilsen Family

Preparation: Hold this blessing outside if possible. Have each person gathered find symbols from the past season, summer, and the current season, fall. If you are sure symbols from the past season will not be found outside then bring some you may have from home (sand, shells, green plants, flowers, etc.) Arrange the symbols from the past season on a table or the ground and set the symbols from the coming season aside.

Welcome (read by the eldest gathered): For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven. Welcome to this changing of the seasons.

Prayer (read by a younger member of the family): Holy One, Mother of Creation, Father of life, bless our gathering, that we may honor the rhythms of the earth as witnesses to your extravagant love and faithfulness. Amen.

Bible Text (read by yet another person): As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. Genesis 8:22

Reflection: Share or write in a journal about the following: How have I seen the presence of God revealed this past season in my life? In nature?

Prayer (read by youngest reader present): Thank you, God of cycles and rhythms, for making yourself known to us in the seasons of the earth and the seasons of our lives. Amen.

Ritual Action: Remove old symbols and replace them with the symbols of the new season.

Reflections: Share or write about the following: What does nature teach us about God? What do I hope for as I enter this new season? Name one thing from nature that will be your special reminder of God's presence in the coming season.

Prayer (read by the leader): God of rhythms and cycles, open our hearts and all our senses to your presence in nature during the coming season. Amen.

If possible, take a walk in your neighborhood, at a park, on the beach, or in a nature area. Pay special attention to the sights, sounds, smells, and textures of the natural world.

Blessing (offered by a member at the end of your time together): May we trust that this season, like all others, will bear witness to God's extravagant love and faithfulness. Amen.