[n.b. this is communion and collection at the same time]

What’s this I’ve got here? (holding basket/kete)

What’s it made of? (grass/flax)
I’ve got a piece of grass here, is it strong? Pull it with me.  (it breaks)
What about this? (indicating the basket – pull, doesn’t break)
One strand of grass by itself isn’t very strong but the basket is lots of pieces woven together. So it’s strong. I can hold a lot.

Is there anything inside it? (let the kids come around and have a look, no it’s empty)

Let’s put some things inside.  What have we got to give to God today? (nothing?)
How are you feeling today? (invite children to reach into the basket with their hand and let go as they say how they’re feeling)
What news have we learned this week? (put in the basket)
What have you got to give? (include talking to adults) time? energy? money?  (put in my tithe) Maybe what we have is that we don’t have enough of these things, we can put that in the bag too. Everyone has something they can put in the basket, even if our something is our nothing.

Is it too heavy? (test it/pass it around children, not heavy)

Is it full?  (Children look inside, not full)

Room for more? (yes) Let’s pass it around the grown ups and see if the grown have anything they want to put in.  Grown ups you can say aloud what you’re putting in if you want but you don’t have to. Whether you have something in your hands or your hand is empty, everyone can hold, and reach into the basket.

Once it’s done the rounds, take it to the table where the communion is set up below the cross.  Rest the basket below the cross.

Jesus wants you to have this so you remember how much God loves you.  

We take everything we are, everything we have and bring it here to God.  Then we take the bread and the juice and we share them around – everybody gets some… Does [Molly] get all the bread while everyone is hungry? (No! We share it!)  Does [Simeon] get all the juice while everyone else is thirsty? (No! We share it!)

Does one of us get all the sad things that went in the basket? Or one of us all of the happy things? No.  We share it.

We bring it together then we share it out so I can taste your joy and share your burdens.

Jesus wants you to have this so you remember how much God loves you.

We can take that inside us and then when we take the bread and juice inside us, we have God’s love inside us and that way if my little brother gets hurt and I give him a hug, it’s like Jesus giving him a hug.

Today when we give out the bread and juice – don’t wait, don’t hold on to them – gobble them right up and take that in.  (pass around the bread and juice)

Let’s pray…

God, we bring this stuff to you, all mixed up together. Thanks that we can bring you the good stuff and the bad stuff, those things where we have lots or not enough.  We are grateful to share life with You and with each other.  Please use all these things  we give You to make the world a better place for everyone who lives in it. Amen