Messy Church is an alternative form of worship, not a feeder for regular worship and not only for children, for all ages and stages. At Acharacle there are little people of four months old and a wonderful lady who is four months short of her 100th birthday! How wonderful it is to be able to share Church with these two stars!
We heard the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. There was a contest to see which was more powerful, Baal (a lump of stone) or God. The prophets and Elijah each built an altar of stone and wood and asked their god to light the fire - God did. God's light shines in the darkest of times even today.
Carve heart-shaped eyes, an upright cross for the nose, small upright rectangular ears, the shape of a Bible, a mouth like a thin fish and place the tea-light inside.
This was painted with our hands.
An edible altar made of marshmallows, twiglets and carrots. Twiglets seem to be, like Marmite, a like / loath taste.
There is light behind the dark, thankfully!
Never let me turn up my nose to others,
Open my eyes to see beauty around me,
open my ears I will hear your voice,
open my mouth to share the good news of God.
Let your light shine on all I say and do. Amen
Today we thought about listening and the story of Samuel. Below are some pictures of the activities. We also played some listening games where those who wanted to join in had to give thumbs up or down to some statements e.g. tomorrow school lessons will all be maths; that got a thumbs up! After activities and games exploring the story, we listened to the story, gave thanks for all we'd done and for the meal we were about to eat. 25 folk of all ages (a baby weeks old and a lady of 99) enjoyed meatballs and chips followed by apple crumble and custard.
Listening ears hidden messages
Samuel asleep then awake and listening to God's voice.
And Hannah prayed for a child.
Twice a month there are Morning Coffees in the Chalet next to the main Church building. Folks gather to chat and much their way through the morning. It's a great way to spend the morning - especially if you are feeling hungry - or lonely - or would like to chat. Please do come along.
Please note content of what is on offer may vary from the photograph.
Over the last four Messy Church events we've been looking at the story of Moses; from the secret baby until the long journey. It's been fun, as you'd expect from Messy Church.
Moses was born to an enslaved people, the Hebrews, and had to be hidden to survive. His mother put him in a basket and put the basket into a reed bed on the River Nile where the Egyptian king's, (pharaoh's) sister found the baby and named him Moses. Brought up in the royal household Moses had an affinity with the under-dog and when he saw a Hebrew slave being beaten, Moses struck out and killed the overseer. This deed was noticed and Moses fled into the wilderness where he found nomadic Hebrews and joined them.
The basket in the reeds, woven with the fears and hopes of Moses' mother, the dangerous crocodiles and some real reeds!
Here he lived for many years until one day he saw a bush that burned but didn't get consumed by the flames. He saw that and at the same time, heard a voice calling him back to Egypt to rescue the Hebrew slaves there. Moses argued with the voice against this but was persuaded to do as he was bid and that his brother Aaron would go too, as his spokesperson. The voice had been that of God.
Snakes and staffs were used by Moses as he led God's people away from the Egyptians. We always have a meal together and here's the pudding, a pyramid of profiteroles!The Egyptian pharaoh wasn't too happy about letting go the Hebrews but a series of disasters changed his mind. The Hebrews set off to their homeland of Canaan. Pharaoh changed his mind and set out to recapture the Hebrews but God wasn't having this! After guiding the Hebrews through the Reed Sea God brought huge waves of water crashing over the Egyptian chariots and ensured the safe escape of the Hebrews.
The disasters were all un-natural occurrences e.g. plagues of insects and of frogs. We made insects out of plasticine and pipe cleaners and made frogs for a frog race, sort of ...
You would think the Hebrews would have been grateful - but the moaned and groaned their way through the desert; so much so that God guided the people the long way round so that the moaners and groaners had died by the time their children reached Canaan and were glad to stop travelling. The Hebrews ended their long journey back in Canaan and gave thanks to God for their freedom.
This was wonderfully messy - footprints in the sand, bare feet and paint between your toes with the adults leading the way! There were rocks in the desert and so we made rock cakes - they tasted good too!
Also in the desert, the people had been quite quarrelsome amongst themselves and it got to the stage that they were so childish in their behaviour God gave them some basic rules for good living - ten words, the ten commandments. These ten words are still good for today.
What next - find out on June 26th at the next Messy Church...
The story of Moses can be found from the start of the the book of Exodus. Why do we do Messy Church? Not everyone learns and explores in the same way and so we use different ways to unpack the stories and lessons of the Bible. There is always a reading, in the form of a story, a teaching session, the different activities explore the story in different ways, prayer when we give thanks for what we've learned and for what we will be eating. There is little music as none of us are either musical or brave enough to lead! Fellowship is around the table as we eat. yes, it's different and not to for all, but neither is traditional worship. Both are worship - and that's what we each do, worship as best we can. Hallelujah, amen!
There were twenty two folk at Messy Church today! We explored activities around the story of Moses early years. Here are some photos of the afternoon. Thanks to all who made it possible; especially to the kitchen team who keep us all going with juice and teas and a wonderful meal.
34 people of various ages came along to enjoy the Christmas Party! There were games and a story, prayer before a lovely meal of party food. Everyone had a great time and it was good to remember why Christmas happens - Jesus birthday! Here are some photos.
Thank you to all who contributed in any way to today's Monthly Lunch run by Acharacle Parish Church - those who donated money, those who made soups and cakes, those who cooked bacon for the rolls, those who came and chatted.
£167 was raised and that goes to ensuring ministry continues in the area. That means that there is no ministry charge for funerals, baptisms or weddings (a donation to the organist and to cover the running costs of the church but no charge for the services of the minister nor for pastoral support). Messy Church can continue to be resourced from funds and the weekly running costs of the building are met.
Thank you again - God bless.
Today we were privileged to baptise Caleb. Baptism is, in part, a public recognition that a child or person is part of the church family. By that is meant the group of people that profess faith in Jesus. (There is a long theological explanation of this. Email me if you would like more details.) Sometime the ceremony is referred to as a christening. Baptism came from an established practice that was also part of the life experience of Jesus. Christening is from the giving of Christian names to those who were baptised and received a new name in Christ - their previous pagan name being replaced with a Christian name.
Part of the ceremony is the minister being able to introduce the baby to those gathered; usually by walking around while carrying the baby. Here's a picture of Caleb with one of his God-mothers.
On Saturday 16th the Gills opened their special garden to visitors. The rain came too but didn't put off people from being taken on guided tours of the plot. So much in a relatively small space! Join the tour by browing these pictures. Thank you so much for a splendid afternoon