This past weekend I was invited to help out with a local community event - Messy Church! I've heard of Messy Church a couple times in the States, but never had the chance to participate in one so I was super excited to see what it is all about!
In this area Messy Church is an ecumenical effort that brings several local churches together. The event happens once a month and the location rotates between the different locations. Luckily this time it was at a church about half a mile away so I was able to walk there and back. When I arrived, the fellowship hall space was set up with six different activities the kids could rotate between. I was stationed at the bread table!
We took bread dough, and shaped it into either a mouse or a hedgehog. We used raisins for eyes and pumpkins seeds for the hedgehog spikes (and the nose on my mouse). It was fun to make one myself as an example, and even more fun to help the kids make theirs.
Here's out it turned out after baking!
The kids were really creative with theirs, and a few tried to make elephants instead. Here's a whole batch of theirs all baked and ready to be devoured!
Other activities included finger painting, play dough, making pasta necklaces (the pasta was dyed fun colors), decorating paper pumpkins with seeds and other natural items, and making mice out of paper towel rolls. The kids could wander between activities as they pleased and it was really a scene of organized chaos.
Everyone seemed to be having a lot of fun though! The kids doing activities ranged from age 3 up to 10 or so. The big kids would sometimes help the younger ones and it was neat to see everyone working together. There were also a lot of adults present to keep things under control and working smoothly. One part of the floor was set up with toys for those under three to play with.
After about an hour of everyone rotating through the activities, it was story time! The leader told a story I was unfamiliar with, though it did seem to parallel some scriptural stories. It started with a rich woman hoarding grain in her barn, and ended with a mouse teaching a poor man how to share the grain. The kids all participated in helping to tell the story and it was adorable. They also watched a short Veggie Tales song video and chatted about Harvest celebrations and being grateful for all that God gives us.
After that it was snack time! The kids were fed pizza and an assortment of sweets - just like most church events I went to and/or planned back home. It's fun to see the similarities. I enjoyed chatting with some of the adults and got weird looks for declining both tea and coffee. All in all it was a lovely way to spend a rainy, gloomy Saturday afternoon!
Have you ever been to or hosted a Messy Church? Tell me all about it!