Friday, May 17, 2019
Thursday, March 21, 2019
The theme for Messy Church at St Barnabas on Friday February 22nd was “Jesus said “I am the Good Shepherd”’ (this was the second in our series of the ‘I am’ statements).
We were delighted to welcome 88 participants – 60 adults and 28 children (from 18 different families).
Our evening started with an hour of crafts and activities that illustrated Jesus’s love and caring for us as a shepherd cares for and looks after his sheep. Needless to say, many were ‘sheep-based’ - rolling a marble in paint on a paper surface to show a wondering sheep, finding a ‘lost’ sheep in a touch-bag of items, herding sheep using pool noodles and large soft balls and making sheep masks. Everyone helped to create a large fabric collage and each child decorated his own cupcake to look like a sheep (and then got to eat it for dessert!).
We were very pleased to have Lois Friedman join us as a special guest to demonstrate wool preparation and spinning showing us how particularly important sheep were in Biblical times. Our snack was cheese pastry sheep-shaped cookies. Discussion around our theme was enjoyed at the Messy Conversation table.
Both the children and adults participated enthusiastically during the Celebration in the sanctuary. Many songs had actions to go along with the words and the story of the lost sheep (acted by some of our junior church members) was very engaging.
Our evening ended with a delicious meal of shepherd’s pie, vegetables and ‘sheep’ cupcakes prepared and donated by our volunteer cooks.
The next Messy Church at St Barnabas will be on Friday May 3rd 5-7:00p.m with our theme “Jesus said ‘I am the True Vine”’. We look forward to another fun and meaningful evening.
Thursday, January 24, 2019
I am delighted to announce that our next Messy Church will be on Friday February 22nd.Our theme will be ‘Jesus said “I am the Good Shepherd”’. Many of our crafts and activities will be ‘sheep based’ and we look forward to having a special guest with us who will teach us about the use of wool.Messy Church is presented in a child-oriented space and format and it is easy then to think of it as ‘church lite’ - perhaps a frivolous event for children that is not real worship and prayer and nothing to do with us as adults.However, there are opportunities for exploring faith that are uniquely provided at Messy Church.Creating or exploring together during the crafts and activities provides camaraderie and a chance to interact with people in our church community who perhaps you have never interacted with before. There is an opportunity to discuss and explore ideas around the theme throughout the evening and particularly at the Messy Conversation table. Have you thought much about why Jesus calls us his sheep? We all know the psalm beginning “The Lord is my Shepherd’ but have we thought much about what it really means? During the celebration we have the opportunity to sing and worship away from the standard liturgy freeing our sense of self expression.I quote from a essay on Messy Church by St George’s Anglican Church “Messy Church is a living, breathing, dynamic expression of God working in the hearts and minds of God’s people, engaging every sense, every part of their being. ‘Church lite’, I think not”.Put Feb 22nd on your calendar and plan to join us. You will be enriched.
Thursday, January 17, 2019
The Season of Epiphany is often given short shrift. As its length is quite variable due to the setting of Easter's date Epiphany can come and go in a matter of a few passing weeks. Thankfully on occasion it can stretch well into March, with the 10th of March being the latest possible date for Ash Wednesday - the beginning of Lent. What I love about Epiphany is that its job is to open our understanding of the fullness of Jesus' incarnation. In doing so, the gospel readings appointed for each Sunday, and which are taken from all four gospels, paint a compelling and broad picture of his early ministry.
There are some real gems in store for us in Epiphany: The visit of the Magi, Jesus' baptism, his astonishing teachings about the Reign of God (including Luke's Beatitudes this year!) and ending with the Transfiguration, to name but four. It is a wonderful Season, even in its briefest span, to discover just how broad and varied are the ways in which Jesus leads us into a greater understanding of his vision of being a child of God. The readings also prepare us for the grand Season of Lent and its period of inward examination. But not before we take the measure of whom we are called to follow into Lent.
I encourage you to take the time, in this "dead of winter," to brave the trek to church on the coldest of days and have your heart warmed by gospel stories that remind us of the physical revelation of God's faithfulness towards us, God's unrelenting love for us made flesh, and above all God's determination to come and be with us, as we are, and where are at this time of year.