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pencil holder

broken biscuits

building our prison cell

straw bars for prison cell

busy crafting

Andrew in shackles behind bars

Sheila tells the story

shredding for forgiveness

hearty meal

Messy Church - 30 April 2017

Report and photos - Jim Paterson

The theme for this months Messy Church was 'Forgiveness - The Unforgiving Servant'.

We took the parable of the king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.

When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. ‘You wicked servant,’ said the master to the servant, ‘I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be thrown into jail until he should pay back all he owed.

The crafts were based on prison cells and bars, and how forgiveness can be really hard.

A Pencil holder is not only useful, this one using ribbon and tape to hold it together. Just like life, when we fall out with friends or even family, and we need to forgive others to fix the relationship. God’s love is like the tape/ribbon we used: it holds us (and our friendships) together.

Broken Biscuits not only was good to eat, but when we broken it reminded us how much it hurts to fall out with a friend, and to make up again, if we can. If we love one another like God loves us, we can mend the broken friendship.

Outside in the garden we had Floating boats, putting marbles one by one to see how long it takes before they capsized. We talked about how the servant borrowed more and more money. He couldn’t pay it back, and in the end his greed got him into trouble. We need to know when to stop before we get into deep water (trouble)!

Our Obstacle course in the garden saw the children race round pulilng a bag. David Hogg kept the time. At the end  each returned without the bag. How much quicker they were. We talked about how good it feels to unburden ourselves from baggage – to pay what we owe/ take our fair punishment or to forgive someone for a wrong they have done

The small prison cell used straws as bars, and every prisoner ends up in shackles. Ours were made of tinfoil, which Andrew would later wear in his prison cell. For the younger children we used paper chains made upas shackles.
We talked about how terrible it would have been for the servant to be thrown into jail with his arms and legs in shackles.

The big one of the day had to be the JUNK prison cell. Our large prison cell was fully kitted out with bars, and would be the home for Andrew Don who would play the unforgiving servant in the church at celebration time.

Our time in the church for the celebration talked about the parable of the unforgiving servant and what forgiveness means. Sheila Anderson led the story with Andrew playing the part of the unforgiving servant, explaining how God offers forgiveness for all those who repent.

The children wrote something down that they had done that they wished they hadn't and would like forgiven for. Sheila produced a paper shredder that they could shred their note, while explaining how God can take our sins away. The celebration also featured the puppets and song to explain the meaninig of forgiveness.

Returning to the church hall we enjoyed a baked potato with a range of fillings, followed by cake and juice. Much talk and discussion about the days activities was heard across the table.

meal time at the end of the afternoon

Messy Church is more than just getting your fingers sticky, it stretches the mind and makes you think of what Jesus taught us, and how God leads us.

The next Messy Church will be on Sunday May 28, same place same time 4.00 to 6.00pm. We hope you will come and join us.

Messy Church will also be at Penicuik in the Park on Saturday 27th May.

For more information on Penicuik Messy Church contact Katrina kmcd11@yahoo.com or Joan capefamily@talktalk.net.

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