Christmas Messy Church: Saturday 8 December
Messy Church: Eco Special
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... even hairier than a human head
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
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
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
Back with the animals, Ann is making friends with a leopard gecko
Our biggest ever visitor! This albino constrictor snake is 4 metres long and weighs 30 kilograms
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?
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
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
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
Taking a close look at some mini-creatures
We made our own bugs out of curled-up pipe cleaners
Potting plants: the tubs are outside the back window of our main hall
Don't look now, but there's a volcano about to erupt at the back of our building...
There she goes! Our volcano is powered by chemicals and won't harm anyone - unlike a real one!
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 led our all-action celebration time... just how hard can it be to create something?
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.
Rachel reminds us why we're celebrating
Making a headband with the shape of a flame, one of the symbols of Pentecost
Wearing the headbands
Blow painting in flame colours
When the painting had dried, it was hung up in our main hall for everyone to see
A windmill is powered by the wind that blows on it: a symbol of the way the Holy Spirit gives us power
This windmill has an address
Making birthday cakes: yes, we did eat them afterwards
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...
A message of love: Jesus died on the cross for us
What's in the feely bags? It's not so easy to recognise something when it's hidden from your sight
Stained glass in the sunshine!
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
"Wherever you go, I will go."
Ruth chose to leave her own country and people in order to stick with Naomi
Writing out Ruth's words
Friends stick together... and these ones have friendly faces
Decorating a friendship box
A scavenger hunt: finding pairs of objects that belong together
Edible decorations are the best sort
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.
Above: A completed prayer mobile
Left: Making a prayer mobile requires some light engineering
Some of the raw materials needed to make and decorate a prayer mobile
Some crafts need a lot of concentration
Jesus left us what we now call the Lord's Prayer as a guide to the things we should pray about
We made handprints to decorate a prayer box
The prayer box was on display at the next Messy Church: we will use it to share prayer requests
The world map reminds us of friends, family and difficult situations in other countries
After the crafts, the celebration time
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
Gloop is runny like a liquid until pressure is applied to it, when it acts like a solid:
this was the messiest nativity ever
These decorated heart boxes were empty inside... we found out why later
Using a badge making machine
Decorating Christmas tree biscuits
A wide range of biscuit toppings
Joining in the Christmas celebration
Now we found out what belongs in those empty heart boxes: Jesus
This was Megan's last Messy Church with us: she is moving on to take up a new post at Bewdley
"It's my Daddy's hat": we can well believe it
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
How good are you at remembering? Megan tested us with Kim's Game
We made poppy cakes, with icing in more traditional colours
We made peace bridges to build links between people divided by a "river"...
never mind that some of the bridges were a bit unstable
Rachel explained why we remember the past at this time of year
Our song reminded us what overcomes war and division: L-O-V-E!
Thank you to the Christ Church home group who supplied us with wonderful food afterwards