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Crafting tools

Gingerbread Angels

Family Tree

More gingerbread Angels

Thankyou Card

Inside the card

Rae tells us the story

Rae in her pram

With her buggy too

School group

Messy Church - 25 February 2018

Report and photos - Jim Paterson

God's Big Family collage

Messy Church, on Sunday 25 February took the theme 'What is Family'. A good turnout on what was a bright sunny day, which would have been a good excuse to take the family out on to the hills or into the countryside for a walk.

The 'Messy team' had put together a range of crafts and activities to bring out the 'All God's family' theme.

Jesus tells us that his true brothers and sisters are those who do God’s will. Families were extremely important in Jesus’ day, yet he makes it clear that we should be obedient to God’s will first:  when we acknowledge Jesus Christ as our Saviour and God as our Father, then his family becomes our family.

Families can be really messy though. When you meet a new Messy family, how often have you made the mistake of assuming one character is mum when it’s auntie; dad when it’s stepdad; sibling when it’s cousin? Have you ever assumed grandparent when it’s a parent? Once someone has become part of your Messy family, however, it doesn’t matter! Jesus tells us that we are all part of the same loving, supportive family. We are children of the same heavenly father. He makes himself our equal. Wow!

God, in human form, considers us to be his equal. Now obviously equal doesn’t mean the same. You need only look at your own families. Rather than assuming the twins in your congregation both like the same foods, ask them. Rather than assuming all girls like pink, give them a choice. Rather than assuming mum and dad are married, let them tell you their story. And above all, reassure those whose families are indeed “messy”, or who feel they don’t really fit in with their family, that we are all part of God’s family, that in growing to know and love Jesus we come to have a whole new family of brothers and sisters in Christ.

Our crafting activities included

Thank you Cards
This activity saw the children create a thank-you card for someone who cares for them and looks after them, the person who makes them feel special. This was not always their parents or caregivers, could be their teacher or nursery teacher, or an older sibling, or another relative. We talked about how that person makes them feel loved. What do they do or say that makes them feel at home and part of that family?

Gingerbread Angels
We took a gingerbread angel, and using icing glued it to a larger biscuit, decorated with a sweet, for the people we knew who are in God’s family. We talked about what it means to be a part of God’s family.

Model of Blood.
This all sounded a bit gory, but it was fun. Into a bottle we poured some water and yellow food colouring, to give us plasma. Adding a bit of salt represented the minerals and chemicals. Then we added Cheerios, which had been coloured red, to represent the red blood cells. There are more red blood cells than anything else; the red dye should change the colour of the water (plasma). It is the red blood cells in our own blood that gives the colour red when we cut ourselves. Then we added some mini marshmallows to represent the white blood cells and purple felt to represent the platelets (both less plentiful than the red blood cells).

We talked about God’s promises. He promised to send Jesus as our way to God. We thought about what it might mean to love God more than our own ‘flesh and blood’ family. Is that possible?

Family Springboard
Our world was spread out in front of us. Armed with a small catapult we shot marshmallow cubes on to our world, seeing where they landed. Some found the catapult idea a bit fiddly, especially for small fingers. Gently throwing them seemed easier and to do and aim. Our world had different area such as nursery, school, far away, abroad, and even outer space.

We talked about the way our family gives us a safe starting place to belong to many different ‘families’ like the ones in this game. You always belong to your family but, as you get older, you belong to other communities too, which is so exciting. Family life is about loving people so much you can let them go to explore the wonderful opportunities in the world, knowing your love goes with them, wherever they go.

Family Tree
We made a tree, complete with branches, then drew a hand shape on paper, cut it out and stuck it on the tree to make leaves.

We talked about how we as families are all linked together in a family tree – mums, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins, often half or step siblings – and that God wants us to be a part of his family.

Collage of people
God’s family is made up of all sorts of people – old and young, of different nationalities and variously abled. Using people pictures cut from magazines, faces and whole people, we created a collage of God’s mixed up family. This would be taken over to the church at celebration time to help with the story.

We talked about how we are family with people who are very different from us, some of whom we haven’t even met, and how that feels. We are all linked together in a family tree. God’s family is like that too – all sorts of people, some complete strangers – and he wants us to be part of that family!! How does THAT feel?

This was a bit like a treasure hunt/quiz. A sheet was given out to everyone as they arrived, with things to find out about others families. Did they have brother or sister, both, or neither? Were the family together or had some moved away, or abroad. We found out just how diverse our families were, though they were all still part of God's family, wherever they were.

Celebration time in the church was led by Rae Hunter telling the story, assisted by Neil Cape. Using photos from her own childhood album, we saw and heard how we all grow from babies into small children, some joining brothers and sisters. We then join larger groups when we go to school and meet children from other families.

We enjoyed songs, played on video with actions that we could follow. A prayer time allowed us to write a prayer on a post it note and stick it to our people collage, before heading back to the hall for a meal together and talk about what we had heard and learned.

March Messy church will be on Sunday 25th March

For  more information on Messy Church contact
Joan Cape 674276 capefamily@talktalk.net

Published - 28 February 2018

Penicuik: St. Mungo's Parish Church (Church of Scotland). Scottish Charity No SC005838