Messy Church – Day 2 of Creation: Water!

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This week we focused on the second day of creation, the day when the waters above and the waters below were created. We had water droplet races (where you use a straw to blow a drop of water along a piece of wax paper, racing another person’s water drop!), did some beautiful Turkish water/oil art, did some science experiments about flotation and then made our own paper boats, and ate a very water themed dinner (soup for the main course and whipped cream and blueberries – like clouds and raindrops – for dessert!).

Sunday May 17 – Preparing for Pentecost

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We had a small, low key group this past Sunday. We did some spiritual practices (including using our new finger labyrinths which were a big hit!) and introduced the Pentecost story. We had a great talk about different languages and the ways that we can understand each other even if we don’t share any of the same language! It was fun to have such a multi-lingual group who could share stories about different family members who speak different languages!

Messy Church Discussion Starter

Here are some discussion starters you can use at home that look at the creation story!

  1. You might want to begin by reading the story of Creation from the Book of Genesis aloud – you’ll find the text at the end of this post.
  2. What are your associations with this story? What are your initial reactions? Do you remember when you first heard it?
  3. Have you ever struggled with this story? Has anyone you know ever struggled with it? Do you find debates about science vs. religion and how evolution fits in to the picture to be of interest – why or why not?
  4. Focus on the beginning of the story (the first paragraph). How does this section make you feel? Have you ever tried to imagine what that formless void of darkness and the face of the deep were like?
  5. Why do you think God chose to create the heavens and the earth?
  6. Why do you think light and darkness were created first?
  7. Are you drawn more to day or to night? To light or to darkness?
  8. Do you have a favourite time of day/night? If so, what is it and why?
  9. How does the focus on separation and division make you feel? Why do you think this is important or not?
  10. How does this story speak to you about your life? Where do you feel yourself in the story? Do you feel that it might have a message for our society and the world today?

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

And God said, ‘Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.’ So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

And God said, ‘Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, ‘Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.’ And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.’ And it was so. God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth,to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

And God said, ‘Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.’ So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.’ And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

And God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.’ And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’

So God created humankind in his image,

in the image of God he created them;

male and female he created them.

God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’ God said, ‘See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’ And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude.And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

Messy Church series – the days of creation

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Our weekly Messy Church series is off to a great start! Our first week focused on the first day of creation from the creation story in the Bible. We used a lot of glow in the dark stuff, ate a chaos-themed meal (spaghetti and vegetarian meatballs/asteroids!) with a light and darkness (vanilla and chocolate) cupcake bar for dessert, sang songs about light (like This Little Light of Mine!), heard a Godly Play story about the seven days of creation, and then had fun at different stations. One station focused on science of light and darkness where we made lava lamps, talked about the science of light (does a glow stick glow brighter in warm water or cold? try it out at home and see if you can figure out why!), made some great shadow puppets with our hands, planted a seed we will care for each week (this week focusing on the light it needs to grow!) and much more!

If you weren’t able to make it last week, don’t worry – you are more than welcome to come for all of the sessions or just a few or even just one! Also, adults without kids are most welcome too – we also will have an adult-themed discussion station every week (and adults can join in the hands-on fun too!).

Get ready to explore the theme of water this Wednesday!

We did it!

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This past Sunday we shared some exciting news with the congregation – we met our fundraising goal! We raised over $10,000 for Lake Scugog Camp – the final number will be announced soon. Thanks so much to the staff of Lake Scugog Camp for coming to the service on Sunday to speak with the congregation and to lead some really fun activities for the kids!

Raising Funds for Lake Scugog Camp!

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This week was our annual Time and Talent auction to help kids go to Lake Scugog Camp this summer! This camp has excellent programming designed for moms and kids, kids and teens from low income backgrounds and the foster care system, and does amazing leadership and skill development work with their leaders in training and staff who are mostly former campers.

We talked about how fundraising is a way that kids, who may not have a lot of money to help with things like this, can still do their part by offering their creativity, skills, and time to make things that in turn others can buy. So we made silly putty, Jolly Rancher suckers, flower pots, and Mother’s Day cards to sell at the auction! Great job, everyone!

Music in different world religions

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After exploring music in Christianity, the tweens led the rest of the kids through some very interesting stations exploring music in different world religions – both different types of music and the different roles that music plays. Exploring different items from different traditions and parts of the world was also a lot of fun! Thanks, tweens!

Praising God through Music

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Psalm 150

Praise for God’s Surpassing Greatness

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty firmament![a]
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
    praise him according to his surpassing greatness!

Praise him with trumpet sound;
    praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
    praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with clanging cymbals;
    praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

This past Sunday was “special music Sunday” at Fairlawn. Due to this, we developed a special music theme for Spirit Space. We began with exploring music in Christian traditions and talked about how the book of Psalms in the Bible is a whole book of music meant to praise God. We used Psalm 150 in small groups to have kids develop rhythm and melody to share a part of this psalm with the larger group. Having kids write music or set parts of the Bible to music can be a great way to explore the meaning and emotion in the text – try it with a Psalm or another part of the Bible!

Affirm Sunday

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This past Sunday was a very special one for our church, as we celebrated becoming an Affirming congregation, meaning that we are openly and explicitly welcoming of LGBTQ people.

This celebration was very much something that the kids were a part of. Kids worked for weeks before hand to decorate pink bandanas that were handed out at the start of the service (pink has become a colour signifying anti-bullying, as there have been instances of boys in particular being bullied for wearing pink) and many people wore beautiful pink outfits to church! We read the book And Tango Makes Three with the kids and talked about how there are different types of families, different people like different things (and there aren’t/shouldn’t be “boy things” and “girl things”, something kids are really aware of from an early age) and then explored various stations focused on being Affirming.

Tangopenguin

One station had the kids make rainbow keychains for their backpacks as symbols of being people who are supportive. We talked about how it is important to make sure people know that they are supportive because sometimes kids are very careful who they talk to about gender and sexuality issues in their own lives or of their friends/family members.

Here are some suggestions of books you might want to consider reading with the kids in your life!

http://www.welcomingschools.org/pages/using-lgbt-inclusive-childrens-books-amp-looking-at-gender-through-books