Please mark your calendar for Saturday, December 5 from 1-4pm! This will be the date of our Bethlehem Market. The building will be filled with games, crafts, activities, middle eastern food, live animals, an angel choir, carpentry activities, storytelling, and much, much more! Come whenever you can and stay for as long as you would like. Move through the stalls at your own pace. No admission, but donations of new socks and underwear, like-new kids’ books, and non-perishable food items would be gratefully received. Please help us spread the word to your friends and neighbours – this is going to be an occasion you won’t want to miss.
If you would like to help us transform the building to make it look like Bethlehem of centuries ago, volunteers would be welcome (including teens and tweens!) on the Friday evening (Dec 4) and Saturday morning (Dec 5). Volunteers are also welcome during the market – please just let me know!
Our Noah’s Ark play is almost ready to go! We have been writing our script from scratch, practicing music, rehearsing the lines, making props and costumes, and exploring this story for a few weeks now. This Sunday, we will share it during the worship service! Hope to see you there!
Last night at Messy Church we had a great crew! We celebrated the new year’s eve of our Christian calendar (which ends with Christ the King, the last Sunday before Advent) and then talked about how Advent is a season of waiting and preparing for Christmas to come.
We played a whole body Advent game (see link above for a smaller version you could make and play at home), made Advent wreaths and a whole lot of different Advent calendars. We made little felt nativity dolls. We sang and played and got to know one another better! And we ate: we figured that New Year’s Eve food is lots of different fancy appetizers…at least that was the best we could come up with!
This is a big focus at Fairlawn right now – especially because we might have a family arriving very soon! One thing the kids will be doing is helping to collect the school supplies that they will need. Also, the tweens are working on a welcome book with photos and information about some of their favourite places in Toronto!
Something else that you can do at home is to participate in the Millennium Kids’ welcome card project! Here are the details below (or visit http://millenniumkids.ca/)
Invite your school class, faith community or host a Welcome Card making party with your friends! These one-of-a-kind handmade Welcome Cards will add warmth to thousands of newcomer children’s first experiences in their new home, Canada!
MAIL your Welcome Card to your local Member of Parliament to support Canada’s refugee efforts. No postage required. (House of Commons, Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6) Click here to find your local MP’s name by your home postal code.
Here are some IDEAS kids are including in their cards:
-first name / school grade
-sports / hobbies / seasons they enjoy
-hand-drawn map of their province or Canada
-drawing of children playing
-warm wishes of welcome
-teen youth may prefer to write a Welcome Letter
TOGETHER let’s create a beautifully welcoming Canadian culture!!
The internet is a great source of ideas for really creative ways to re-use everyday items and create things that are actually really beautiful and useable! One of our favourites from a recent Messy Church was making bracelets out of plastic bottles. Here are the instructions if you would like to try it at home!
A major theme for us this fall is the theme of covenant, God’s promises made with humanity. We talked about how covenants support relationships with God but also between people, by helping us to treat one another in the ways that God would want us to be treated. That helped us form our behaviour covenants for the year.
We have now turned to a focus on the story of Noah’s Ark. Although it is a tricky story in a lot of ways, it also can be a story of great inspiration and hope. It can remind us that all creatures are needed for human survival and flourishing, as all species needed to be on the ark. It can be a reminder that even when all seems to be lost, we can keep hope that something new will come in due time and to look for those who will bring us signs of that hope. It can remind us to listen to God’s calls for us and to work on projects that other people might not understand, but we believe to be what we are called to do.
These pictures show some of the interactive ways we explored the story on Sunday with actors, story readers, sound effect experts, and others helping the story to come together!
Have you notice the Yellow Fish painted on the sidewalk near the storm drains on Fairlawn Avenue and other local streets? Those were painted by children and families at our latest Messy Church night. They are a reminder that chemicals, cleaning products, and any other materials that end up in storm drains can end up in our water system and affect the entire ecosystem, including fish! This last Messy Church finished up a series on creation and environmental stewardship. Thanks so much to everyone who has participated!
On Thanksgiving Sunday, people in the congregation of all ages were invited to consider how we show thanks or gratitude. Adults and kids both wrote thank you cards to people from church for the things that they offer.
The kids took it a few steps further to also make thank you pumpkin cookies to hand out and talked about random acts of kindness we could do around the church. Stay tuned to see some of them happen throughout the year!
Spirit Space has been busy all summer! Some weeks we have had a big group of kids and other weeks it has been smaller, but every week has been a lot of fun! Our focus this summer has been on the United Church creed: http://www.united-church.ca/beliefs/creed
Another thing that has been different has been having Spirit Space time at the end of the service. This means that the kids can share what they have been up to that day with the congregation! The kids have also been part of the sending out of people from church and have sometimes handed out reminders to the congregation to take with them, such as items found outside on a scavenger hunt (creation theme) and chocolate covered pretzels (theme of taste and see that God is good!).
Thanks so much to everyone who has joined us so far this summer!