The first Falklands Easter Messy Church
Another cracking start for a Messy Church, this time on the other side of the world (though surely if we're aiming for contextual mission, penguin pie would be more appropriate than shepherd's pie?)
Kathy Biles writes:
The very first meeting of Messy Church in the Falkland Islands took place in Stanley Town Hall yesterday. (We had not originally planned to use the Town Hall, but apart from the chore of carrying food and craft items up two flights of stairs before the session - and then down again afterwards - it proved to be the perfect venue, central, with a large car park and familiar to all who came along.)
Our prayers were answered: everything went smoothly and everyone enjoyed themselves.
In all, 66 people were there: 23 adults, 28 children and 15 helpers. Ages ranged from 7 weeks to 70 years. Members of all three Stanley churches helped and attended, and there were also a number of non-churchgoing families.
- decorating Easter egg buns and making chocolate nests, which were eaten at tea time
- colouring and puzzles
- making angels and donkeys (most of the donkeys ended up multi-coloured!)
- making 'palms of palms' and Easter cards
- making 'God's Eye' crosses with wool and coloured thread
There was also a creche area with toddler toys and a play dough table, which was popular with the younger children.
After an hour of crafts, during which people helped themselves to tea, coffee or juice as they wished, we moved to the stage for the celebration. Everyone was enrapt as Edmonde Openshaw retold the Easter Story (from Palm Sunday to Easter Day) and the singing, led by Edmonde and Daphne Arthur-Almond, was enthusiastic and energetic. After a prayer, we sang grace and moved into the refreshment room to enjoy shepherd's pie and baked beans.
'The children had an amazing time! Thanks.'
'What a great opportunity to meet some old friends and make some new ones!'
'I had a lovely time and a lovely meal.'
'A nice family afternoon with lots of fun activities.'
'... fun and different...'
'I had a nice time and enjoyed myself' (Judging by the chocolate smear over his signature, this young man had just come from the bun decorating table.)
More (and better quality) photos can be seen on Facebook - Messy Church Stanley - and one of the team is preparing an article with photos for our local newspaper, the Penguin News.
We are very encouraged by the response to our first session... now for the next one!
The next Messy Church session ('Fishers of Men': Jesus calls his disciples) will be on Sunday, 13 May from 4 to 6 p.m.