Messy Church

Messy Church: Summer 2019

Dates for Messy Church 2019: 11 May, 8 June, 13 July

Messy Church: Joseph and his brothers

If you were planning to build a nation, you would probably not start with a family that was as full of pride and jealousy as this one. Joseph, one of twelve brothers, was his father's favourite, and he made sure everybody knew it. He proudly wore the many-coloured coat his father gave him, and to make things worse, he told everyone about his dreams in which he saw all his brothers bowing down to him.

Yet God can use the most unlikely people, and one day Joseph and his dreams would save his family from a terrible famine... but he had to go through some dangerous and difficult adventures first.

Blowing paint bubbles

Blowing paint-filled bubbles

Putting paint bubbles on to paper
Drawing our dream pictures

The paint bubbles represent a dream: then we added something we might dream about

A completed dream picture
A completed dream picture

Some completed dream pictures: our "dreams" included a spider, the Wimbledon stadium and a Supergirl!

Paper cutouts of Joseph and some of his brothers

Joseph's father gave him his famous coat of many colours - which made his brothers jealous

Decorating a gingerbread man with a coloured coat
A decorated gingerbread man

Some edible, and very well decorated, "Josephs"

Making a pit out of card and a plastic cup
Joseph in the pit

Joseph's brothers hated him so much that they threw him into a pit in the desert and thought of killing him. Then they relented and sold him as a slave to some passing traders

Sticking a piece of coloured fabric on a wooden base

We used coloured fabric to make our own coat of many colours

Completing the decoration of our coat of many colours
The completed coat of many colours/patterns

Completing our coat of many colours... and trying it on

Rachel introduces the story of Joseph
Acting out the story

Rachel introduced the story, which was brilliantly acted out: here Joseph's father hears the news that Joseph has been killed by a wild animal. In reality Joseph was taken as a slave to Egypt, where many years later he would rescue the entire family from a great famine

Messy Church: Spring 2019

Dates for Messy Church 2019: 12 Jan, 9 Feb, 9 March, 13 April

We're starting 2019 by remembering that we are part of God's family - one that extends all over the world, but also goes a long way back in time. We're looking at the lives of Joseph, Moses and Joshua, who all had a role in God's plan to build a nation and people for himself.

Messy Church: Eco Special

A small snake round a human neck

Our world is full of amazing things! Christians believe that God made it for us to enjoy and to look after.

At this special Messy Church we saw and even felt how wonderful that creation is, thanks to Animals in Hands who brought along a selection of long, short, hairy, scaly and snaky creatures. We were helped too by Birmingham Friends of the Earth who know a lot about caring for the world.

Left: Getting up close and personal with a snake

A tarantula on top of a human head

A tarantula... even hairier than a human head

A model of Birmingham's water supply from the Elan Valley in Wales

Friends of the Earth brought along a model showing how fresh water is collected in the Elan Valley in Wales and then transported through pipes to Birmingham. Water supply is becoming a major concern in some parts of the world

Beeswax cloth hanging up to cool down

How can we use less plastic? One solution is to grate beeswax and then iron it into pieces of cloth. This can be used to wrap food etc

A small snake round a human neck

Another solution to the plastic problem: reuse it! This bird feeder has tiny holes in the sides so that birds can get at the food

A leopard gecko on the back of a hand

Back with the animals, Ann is making friends with a leopard gecko

A constrictor snake carried across the shoulders

Our biggest ever visitor! This albino constrictor snake is 4 metres long and weighs 30 kilograms

Holly tears up a sheet of paper while she talks
Working together to put the pieces of the map back together

Holly tore up a sheet of paper for us to draw on... but it was actually a map of the world! Maybe, if we work together, we can put the world back the way it should be?

Top caterers Juliet and Gordon

We finished with a wonderful Ghanaian meal masterminded by Juliet and Gordon... thank you to them and everyone who worked so hard in the kitchen

Messy Church: Picnic

Sitting on the grass, waving

In July, to round off the first half of the year, a group of us went to the Lickey Hills for a picnic. We've been very encouraged by the growth of the Messy Church family in 2018 and we're looking forward to the autumn sessions

Messy Church: Creation

Christians believe that everything we see around us - and the entire universe, most of which we can't see - was created by God. Our world is full of amazing things, some of them alive, and that tells us something about God too. He's even more amazing, the giver of life. It's important to learn about, enjoy and protect the good things in creation.

Right: Water helped shape our world and is essential for all life

Experiments with water: funnels, pipes, waterwheels
A sheep picture made of coloured dots

Making animal pictures: we're allowed to be a bit creative in our use of colour

We made animal masks... and note the animal T-shirt as well

Wearing an animal mask

Taking a close look at some mini-creatures

Looking at insects under the microscope
A bug made of a pipe cleaner

We made our own bugs out of curled-up pipe cleaners

Potting plants

Potting plants: the tubs are outside the back window of our main hall

Holding two pipettes

Don't look now, but there's a volcano about to erupt at the back of our building...

A mini volcanic eruption

There she goes! Our volcano is powered by chemicals and won't harm anyone - unlike a real one!

Watching the eruption of our mini volcano

Our volcano's power comes from mixing chemicals to make carbon dioxide. A real volcano is powered by heat coming from deep within the Earth

Holly leading the celebration time

Holly led our all-action celebration time... just how hard can it be to create something?

A group making a human pop-up toaster

One of Holly's challenges: to make a human toaster! With apologies to the junior pop-up "toast"

Messy Church: Pentecost

A birthday party! But whose?

Pentecost was the day when the Holy Spirit came and filled Jesus' followers. Until then they had hidden away in fear, but suddenly they had the power to tell everyone the good news about Jesus. In a way it's when the church was born, so why shouldn't we celebrate it as a birthday? And we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit who still lives in everyone who knows Jesus today.

Happy Birthday Church projected on the wall

Rachel reminds us why we're celebrating

Making a carboard headband with a flame shape attached to it

Making a headband with the shape of a flame, one of the symbols of Pentecost

Wearing flame headbands

Wearing the headbands

Blow painting in yellow, orange and red

Blow painting in flame colours

Blow painting in yellow, orange and red
Part of the completed painting hung up on a wall

When the painting had dried, it was hung up in our main hall for everyone to see

Blowing on a model windmill to test that it will turn

A windmill is powered by the wind that blows on it: a symbol of the way the Holy Spirit gives us power

A windmill with 10 Faith Street stuck on it

This windmill has an address

Decorating a cup cake

Making birthday cakes: yes, we did eat them afterwards

Decorated cakes on a tray