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making a tape measure

busy crafting

Washing our boots after painted footprints

more crafting fun

these boots are made for walking

the bricks in the wall

who is who here?

a blaze of footprints

parachutes in the church

prayer candles in church

lighting candles

Messy Church - 31 January 2016

Report and photos - Jim Paterson

Celebration storytime in the church. Children reading the parts
It may have been cold and wet outside but the first Messy Church of 2016 on Sunday 31st January, was warm and inviting inside the church hall. Families with their children learned about  "Growing with Jesus" was the theme for the event, following His life as he grew up from the baby we all celebrate at Christmas to the boy and then the man.

A treasure hunt was the first challenge on arrival. Various items were hidden around the church hall providing surprises when we found each one, just like the surprises we experience when we look for God.

The painted footprints made a return, being a favourite with all the children. This time since it was winter time we wore Wellington boots, rather than our bare feet. Does it matter how big we are when it comes to finding God? Well the selection of wellingtons ranged from size 2 to size 11, so small children in the biggest boots had a real struggle keeping balance. But they made the biggest footprints!

Remember as a child marking a pencil line on the door post with your height? We did that to show a growth chart of all the different aged children and how they grow into young adults.

Everything living grows in Gods kingdom and cress seeds was another example of His varied and bountiful world.

Guess Who? Displayed a selection of helpers when they were yours or children. The children then had to guess which photo went with which adult. Was it mum, dad, or so one else in the room? We recalled that God and Jesus never change.

Coloured sheets of paper decorated with bright designs soon became bricks for our wall, each one signed by the creator, making a living wall.

Parachuting man had us making paper parachutes with painted clothes peg people slung underneath. Throwing in the air we watched as the parachute gently lowered the figure gently to earth, reminding us how God helps us when we are tempted, offering support and help to keep us safe.

The big web reminded us that no matter how big or small we are, when we know Jesus we are all part of one family, joined together by His love.

We headed over to the church for our celebration time, where Sheila Anderson spoke to the children about what it is like for them growing up. Projected on the screen as they arrived in church was the picture of a young boy, and they were asked if they could see that person now in the church? They looked all round the church with out success, then Sheila asked them to look higher, and then they spotted - me. Yes it was your church officer, on the sound and projection desk in the gallery, looking a little older than the photo of me around 4 or 5 in my short trousers. Sheila highlighted that I still smile, just as I did in the photo, so what is it that makes me smile. Those who know Jesus always smile.

The children read a story of Jesus growing up from a baby to a boy.  

Rae Hunter and Sheila talked about remembering our friends and praying to God, using a candle to ask for Gods' help for a friend in need. In a change to singing a song together we played 'Walk with You', displaying the words, while the children came forward to light their own tea candle and pray for a friend or family member in need.

Returning to the church hall the helpers had rearranged the tables for our meal meatballs and pasta, followed by apple crumble and hot custard, was a welcome meal to share while we talked of the experiences we shared together that afternoon.

mealtime back in the church - swapping stories and experiences

Messy Church is a great way for children, with their parents and or grandparents to learn about God's kingdom and Jesus together, sharing their experiences.

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

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