We have fun joining together for Messy Church
See below for some pictures and reports of previous Messy Church Sessions
April 2023 Messy Church
New Life: The Promise of Easter
Another busy Messy Church in April provided us with an opportunity to celebrate the Easter story over a longer period, as we didn’t meet until 22nd April. We looked at the Easter story in a number of different ways. There were pictures of different stages of the story hidden around the building and once found, they were compiled into small books to tell the story; we made palm branches to wave and small leather donkeys to remind us what that part of the story was about; there was an Easter scene to colour, bracelets to make where the colours of the beads reminded us of the sadness and happiness of the the Easter story. We always try to include a food activity, and this month was no exception. The children rolled out biscuit dough and using cutters in the shape of the cross, made and then decorated the biscuits in coloured sugars-as they made them, they thought about the surprise of Easter-the surprise symbolised in the activity in the change in the sugars once they were baked. The final activity (apart from the regular themed word searches/colouring sheets/crosswords etc) was to create some tissue paper flowers. Flowers are always a symbol of new life and both children and parents created some beautiful flowers which now hang in the Sanctuary-a symbol of new life and a reminder to all church members that Messy Church is an important part of our congregation. We are also grateful to some members of Friday Youths who made some more flowers on the following Friday.We ended the session as Bridget told the Easter story-there were a number of plastic eggs, each of which had a symbol of the story in-it was a great way to remember what we had been learning about.
March 2023 Messy Church
Heavenly Hope : How can we live in God’s way?
We explored this through looking at pictures of our feelings hidden throughout the building, making a flower with a lolly at the centre-the idea was to think of others (the plan being to give the flower away-but it’s possible that that didn’t happen!). We thought how Jesus is the light of the world and how we could share that light-by making bees from plastic Easter eggs with lamps in-see the picture-they were amazing.
We thought of how, by looking after bugs, we are caring for God’s creation-and made some lovely bug hotels. God makes a difference as to how we live our lives-in the same way a small piece of chives can change the taste of something, and God helps new plants grow-so we tasted and planted chives. We thought about how special words can make someone feel happy, by writing a word on a heart shape and decorating it to give to someone and then there was a selection of toys on the rug- duplo, cars etc-so the children could play with them and think what makes them happiest.
We concluded that section of Messy Church with a story where we thought about the Beatitudes and that being blessed didn’t mean that you had to be good at everything, as everyone is blessed. You don’t have to be best, but you do need to try your best. We are extremely grateful to Rosie and Steve who cooked our meal: wonderful chilli or tuna or cheese with jacket potatoes and salad, followed by fruit, meringue and cream. A lovely Messy Church, enjoyed by all and especial thanks to all of the helpers
February 2023 Messy Church
Are you willing? How can we make a difference?
February Messy Church was based around the story of the leper healed by Jesus. In this story, the emphasis was on what it feels like to be excluded and how we can be willing to include everyone and the effect on people when they are included.
This story can be found in Like 5 versed 12-16: 12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.
The leper definitely felt excluded-he looked different, people were frightened he might be contagious and he’d spent most of his life alone. But then he heard Jesus was in town-and he made his way to Jesus and said to him: “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” We talked about being willing to help people and thought about what it was like to be excluded and who might be excluded. To help us understand this further, the members of Messy Church experienced the difficulties of not having full use of their hands as we put on thick gloves to try to play solitaire, dominoes, matching pairs and a complete a simple jigsaw. We built communities from lego and decorated gingerbread men (who can’t fail to smile when they are given one of them?) We also thought about the thank you aspect and how grateful you are when you are included and how saying thank you can make a difference. We decorated hands and thought that there is always of something you can be thankful to God for and we developed that further in making wooden hangings with space for notes of things to say thank you for. We thought about how saying thank you makes you happy, as we decorated cardboard cut outs who raised their arms. We created a den as we thought about the need to have time to rest.
We thought about the story and what we had learnt from all of the activities as we joined in our 30 minutes worship session before joining together for a lovely meal of sausage and mash, peas and sweetcorn followed by arctic roll!
January 2023 Messy Church
Hidden Treasure: What’s worth more than anything to you?
This month’s Messy Church was based on the stories of the pearl of great price. WE did lots of decorating using shiny things we decorated boxes to put things that are important to us in and decorated pictures of chests to remember how special we are to God. Oyster biscuits-complete with pearl helped us think about whether we had ever found anything precious, whilst finding treasure on a treasure map, helped us remember that it’s not always easy to find something special. We had a ping pong challenge using straws and ping pong balls to help us see what we felt like when we achieved something. Our final activity was completing the last panel of a large picture which is up in the North Room-reminding all who use it of the stories of Jesus. Sharing a meal of meat balls, pasta and vegetables followed by gateau, ended the day.
December 2022 Messy Church
We were there-are you?
Jesus birth meant different things to different people. During this Messy Church, we thought about some of those people and what Christmas meant to them and what it means to us. There were opportunities to make head dresses for the final nativity, to practice tracking skills to plot Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem, to think about how hard it was and the difficulties they would have faced on the way. We thought about the angels and the role they played in the story as we made angels from lolly sticks etc for our hanging in the church. We thought about the sheep as we made cakes in the shape of sheep and experimented with moving a coin from a pile without it falling down-seeing is believing.We made Christmas tree decorations which reminded us that Jesus is the reason for Christmas. In our story at the end, we all joined in the Nativity story.
November 2022 Messy Church :
The ten bridesmaids-Are you ready?
The story of the ten bridesmaids is all about being ready and we linked it to being prepared for Christmas. Through crafts and other activities, members of Messy Church explored this theme. Small “jack-in -a-boxes were made as we thought about expecting surprises and being prepared and playing “splat the rat” also emphasised this. We played memory games to remind us to concentrate on the task in hand, making clay lamps helped understand the story, while making lamps from card, showing a flame both lit and dark, helped us realise that following instructions helps us do things well.
September 2022 Messy Church:
Celebrating small and getting closer to God
We looked at the story of the Mustard Seed and thought about how amazing things can come from things which are small. Small things may become bigger things and have other uses eg a sed may become a tree which shelters the birds-to remember that we made “birds nests” out of rice krispies and chocolate!. Faces were drawn on balloons which were then blown up to make them larger; we made fat balls using seed and fat, to care or the birds, planted seeds which will grow bigger and thought about all the different shapes and sizes which seeds come in!
We finished the afternoon with a lovely meal of macaroni cheese or tuna pasta bake followed by Viennetta!
July 2022 Messy Church : Zak up a tree!
But the point was:everyone is welcome.
Members grouped together to build amazing “trees” from sticks and links, we made pop up Zacchaeus in a tree, made really tasty “model” of Zacchaeus up a tree -from a chocolate bar, green coloured chocolate Krispie mix and a jelly baby-Messy Church nearly always includes some edible activity! We made catapults to give Zacchaeus a helping hand into the tree and made faces from different materials as we thought about how we are all different. Food this week was chicken and chips followed by fruit sponge and custard!
June 2022 Messy Church: All About Fishing and Jesus’ mission for his friends
At Messy Church we looked at the story of Jesus calling the disciples. The most popular activity (with the children and adults!) was building boats from old cardboard boxes. There were other crafts including macrame nets, painting fish scales with celery, dusting for fingerprints and making an edible fishing line. The activities helped us to think about what it means to follow Jesus and how we tell other people about him. We listened to the story and thought about how Jesus gave the disciples the job of fishing for people, but not with a fishing rod! We finished the session with fish finger wraps for dinner as we do like it when the food is on point with the theme!