Messy Church @ Christ Church

Christmas Messy Church: Saturday 8 December

Christmas Messy Church, 4 - 6 pm on Saturday 8 December 2018

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.

Celebration!
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

Messy Church: Easter

At the first Easter, Jesus' friends found it hard to work out who he was and what it really meant. They sort of knew he was alive again, but they still went back to fishing. Today we often find it hard to recognise Jesus even when he's close to us and working in our lives. At Easter Messy Church we remembered those stories of Jesus meeting with his friends.

Starting work on a symbol of love...

Hammering and drilling
A message of love: wrapping yarn around a heart shape

A message of love: Jesus died on the cross for us

Putting a hand in a feely bag
Holding Mr Potato Head

What's in the feely bags? It's not so easy to recognise something when it's hidden from your sight

The sun shining on a stained glass cross

Stained glass in the sunshine!

An Easter garden made out of iced biscuits

An edible Easter garden

Messy Church: Ruth

When Ruth's husband died, she had to make a choice. Should she stay at home, or go with her mother-in-law Naomi who was returning to her homeland of Israel? She chose to stick together with Naomi and become part of the people of God. Ruth's faithfulness led her to a new husband and, eventually, a place in the ancestry of Jesus.

We made friendship boxes to remember Ruth's loyalty to Naomi

Making a friendship box
Writing out the key words of Ruth

"Wherever you go, I will go." Ruth chose to leave her own country and people in order to stick with Naomi

Writing out the key words of Ruth

Writing out Ruth's words

Writing and decoration

Friends stick together... and these ones have friendly faces

Decorating a friendship box

Decorating a friendship box

Solving clues in a scavenger hunt

A scavenger hunt: finding pairs of objects that belong together

Decorating an iced heart biscuit

Edible decorations are the best sort

Drama with Naomi and Ruth

Drama! Naomi is astonished at Ruth's determination to go with her - but it's the right decision to stick together

Messy Church: Prayer

Prayer is simply talking to God: about anything and everything. As we tell God what's on our mind we find out about the things we really care about, and start to see things the way God does.

Using a hammer
A completed prayer mobile

Above: A completed prayer mobile

Left: Making a prayer mobile requires some light engineering

Decorations for a prayer mobile

Some of the raw materials needed to make and decorate a prayer mobile

Threading a heart cushion
Making a prayer mobile

Some crafts need a lot of concentration

The Lord's Prayer in bricks

Jesus left us what we now call the Lord's Prayer as a guide to the things we should pray about

Painting a hand yellow

We made handprints to decorate a prayer box

Painted handprints
The completed prayer box

The prayer box was on display at the next Messy Church: we will use it to share prayer requests

A world map with prayer requests added

The world map reminds us of friends, family and difficult situations in other countries

The celebration time in the background, with a tub of pens in the foreground

After the crafts, the celebration time

Rachel leading singing

Joining in a song, with actions!

Messy Church: Christmas

Our Christmas celebration included carols (of course!) and crafts - some of them very messy indeed!

Right: Gloop has the most amazing properties

Playing with gloop
Nativity and other figures buried in gloop

Gloop is runny like a liquid until pressure is applied to it, when it acts like a solid: this was the messiest nativity ever

Decorating a heart box

These decorated heart boxes were empty inside... we found out why later

Using a badge making machine

Using a badge making machine

Decorating Christmas tree biscuits

Decorating Christmas tree biscuits

Biscuit decorations in bowls

A wide range of biscuit toppings

Father and child wearing Santa hats

Joining in the Christmas celebration

Rachel holding a card with the word Jesus

Now we found out what belongs in those empty heart boxes: Jesus

Megan speaks during the celebration time
Megan presented with flowers

This was Megan's last Messy Church with us: she is moving on to take up a new post at Bewdley

Wearing a Bah Humbug hat

"It's my Daddy's hat": we can well believe it

Holding giant snowballs

There had been a light snowfall, but a much heavier one was on the way

Messy Church: Remembering

November 11 is a day when many people reflect on war and of the terrible human cost it brings. At Messy Church we thought about the barriers that divide people and how we can help to break them down.

Right: Thinking differently! Poppies in non-traditional colours

Extra colourful poppies
Megan leads a memory game

How good are you at remembering? Megan tested us with Kim's Game

A poppy cake

We made poppy cakes, with icing in more traditional colours

Building a peace bridge out of cardboard boxes
Building a peace bridge out of cardboard boxes

We made peace bridges to build links between people divided by a "river"... never mind that some of the bridges were a bit unstable

Building a peace bridge out of cardboard boxes

Rachel explained why we remember the past at this time of year

Rachel talking in front of a screen
Singing with actions

Our song reminded us what overcomes war and division: L-O-V-E!

Brightly coloured veg

Thank you to the Christ Church home group who supplied us with wonderful food afterwards

Cakes!