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Elijah in the desert resting under a tree

Frightened Faces


Decorated king

Sheila holds the world

Rocket builder

Singing together

Zornica with scary spider

Messy Church - 28 May 2017

Report and photos - Jim Paterson

Andrew Don and Sheila Anderson lead the story with help from the children
during celebration time

The theme for the May Messy Church, on Sunday 28th was “a still small voice”

The afternoon of activities, and the celebration in the church helped everyone grow in Christ, by showing them how God can speak to them on a personal level to help them when they are scared or alone.

Centered around the story of Elijah, and his time in the desert, where he was approached by an angel, who told him to eat and walk to Mount Sinai, some 40 days away. When he arrived the Lord asked him why he was there? Elijah was frightened as all the prophets were being killed, and they were after him too. The Lord told him to go out and stand on the mountain, to see the Lord when he passed by.

Our craft activities took the signs the Lord showed Elijah, the earthquake, the wind, and the fire. Yes, Elijah was scared and disillusioned as the deafening commotion tore apart the land outside his hiding place. How liberating, comforting and reassuring it must have been to hear God’s voice in the gentle whisper that followed these destructive forces; how calming, how wonderful!

In the desert we created a picture showing Elijah in the desert, asleep under his bush, when the angel wakes him up, and talked about how Elijah was all alone in a strange land (and why). There was nothing around for miles. How did that feel? Would we be frightened.

Make your own seismograph. Made of plastic bottles and pens on a stick we shook the table to see the pen show the vibration. We talked about the almighty earthquake that God sends in the story! Today we understand what causes earthquakes, and are beginning to be able to predict them – though not very well. Elijah would have had no idea – maybe he hadn’t even heard of an earthquake! We wondered what that would have been like.

Our Balloon rockets showed the power of wind. Our 'balloon rockets' were attached to a 'fly wire' then let go. Some went well, others refused to go in the right direction! We talked about how wind is really powerful. It can be destructive, or it can be helpful in generating power. It could certainly knock a man off a mountain! Had we ever felt afraid in the wind? What (or who) do you think protected Elijah on top of the mountain?

Messages from God was an exercise in making and deciphering codes. David Hogg helped us, and explained how sometimes messages from God are very clear, like the one given to Elijah, but sometimes they are a lot trickier to understand. Had God ever given us a message? Would we follow his instructions if he did - even if they scared us?  

Crowning the king, had us make and decorate a king, remembering that Elijah is a prophet, not a king, so he will look different. We heard how God tells Elijah to appoint two people as kings and one man to do an important job but not as a king. How do you
think he felt about that? Even when God tells us what we are to do, are we always happy about it? Remember, God has a plan for each of us – and the plans are all different!

Our celebration time in the church was led by Sheila Anderson with Andrew Don reading the story.  The girls helped with the song that followed, which used signing language to express the words of the song.

Back over to the hall where we completed our afternoon with a great family meal of 'cottage pie', followed by ice cream and fruit. What a great way to celebrate a summer afternoon, listening to the word of God.

Messy Church returns on 25th June for the annual BBQ. Look out for full details.

Messy Church is an ideal for families with children. A fun way to learn about God and Jesus through stories, song and crafts.

For  more information on Messy Church contact
Joan Cape 674276
Penicuik: St. Mungo's Parish Church (Church of Scotland). Scottish Charity No SC005838