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Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

On Monday at Messy Church our focus was heroes – specifically the heroes of the Bible and how we can all be superheroes for God as we respond to the command: Love God, love others.  We encouraged our young people to dress up in a hero costume and so we had – Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story, we had Superman, Batman, various princesses, Captain Jack Sparrow, Mulan, SuperSmurff, Harry Potter, Wonder Woman, Cat Woman, to name but a few.  We had fun games, made crafts based on various stories of Bible heroes, heard the story of the greatest Superhero ever – God’s son Jesus, and shared a meal together at which over 90 were served … a great time was had by all.

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Mother’s Day here in Britian is this coming Sunday, 14th March.   So thought I’d share this video my sister-in-law forwarded to me last year… I thought it was brilliant.

So, does any of that sound familiar?

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Messy Church was one of those things I’d heard about and read up on – one of those “fresh expressions” of church that was happening down south (by that I mean England and not the central belt of Scotland!), and so when I saw that there was a Training Day being held in Aberdeen I tried to encourage a few of our leaders in the Children and Families’ Ministry to go along and suss it out for themselves, to see if they also saw it as an effective outreach tool for our community.  

A few weeks later our Children and Families’ Worker – Bill, was planning and recruiting for our first event – A Messy Christmas Celebration!     

Messy Church is not just about your existing church and children.   It is about the opportunity to invite new people to come to church that wouldn’t normally come.  We certainly wanted our existing children and parents to be there, but it was also about getting new folk to come to church and finding out that church isn’t necessarily the way they remembered it, or expected it to be.    Messy church is a time for families (from the very youngest to the very oldest), to come and join in the fun – to play games, to create,  to talk, laugh and be with friends, to share a meal and make more friends, and think a little more about Jesus.    (see the Messy Church website for more info – www.messychurch.org.uk)

We had a fantastic time.  42 children and 20 plus adults came along.   The age range was from a couple of weeks old to 70+.   We began (more…)

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You can do all sorts of things in a minute – you can waste it;  you can send a tweet; make a comment on facebook; switch the kettle on; share a hug; tell someone you love them; or you can wait a minute… But what happens when your minutes add up and you’re in a situation in which there is no end in sight?  

Take a minute out of your day … to watch.  Take a minute to pray.  Take a minute to think.  Take a minute to tell someone how much they mean to you.

 

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Our God is a Great Big God ……

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Welcome to Bill …

Yesterday, some of the members of Banchory East Church met Bill Stone our new Children’s and Families’ Worker, for the very first time.   It was great to finally have Bill among us and we are looking forward to a long, fruitful, and fun time together as we get to know one another and as we seek God’s guidance in this important area of our ministry here in Banchory.  I have known for a long time, what Bill will soon discover – that we are blessed to have dedicated volunteers who gladly give their time and energy to our children’s ministry, and that he will have a great team of leaders and helpers working alongside him, offering continued support and encouragement in this ministy.      Having travelled from “the other side of the pond”, we recognise that Bill will have some adjusting to do; as he gets to know new people and tries to remember the odd name, as he gets to grips with a new culture, and as he finds his way around the area. We’re trying not to inundate him with too much information and give him time to settle, but it’s always hard to restrain people when they are excited.

Today however was a day that excitement abounded and during which we let it have free reign, because it’s the last week of the school holidays and Holiday Club began.

I have always held the view that everyone who works with children in the church has an awesome responsibility.   They also have the amazing privilege of seeing young people and their families grow into a relationship with God and are able to witness their incredible journey of faith.   But the thing that we sometimes forget is that children can also teach us, they can help us not only to grow in our own faith and understanding, but can also help us to look at things in a new way.

Our children’s time finishes with a “feast” – which is some fruit and muffins or bread or other not too sugary food, and some juice.   Everybody sits on their cushions in a circle and make “tables” out of napkins and eat their feast and talk.   One of the leaders thought it was a bit of a stretch for the kids to see a few pieces of fruit, a wee muffin and a half a glass of Ribena as a feast, so she said “I wonder why we call this a feast and not a snack?”

To which one 8 year old boy answers “This is definitely a snack.”

“Well, that’s my thought too,” she said, “which is why I wonder why this is called a feast instead of a snack.”

The same boy spoke up again to describe feasts in detail – multiple courses, lots of food, musicians, etc.   Head were nodding in agreement.   When he had finished, the leader said, “That’s what I imagine when I hear ‘feast’ too. Which is why I think it’s strange that we call this a feast.”

Feast

Feast

Then a 10 year old boy speaks up – looking down at his 3 chunks of pineapple (which he loves) and 2 strawberries and small oat cookie, he says, “To a lot of people in the world this would be a feast.”

His 5 year old brother echoed his total agreement.   There was a moment of silence as everyone took in this new piece of information, and from that moment on the Feast has been enjoyed and looked at in a totally different light.    

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