Congratulations to the Messy Church team of Palmdale United Methodist!
Tell us a little bit about Palmdale United Methodist Church!
Palmdale United Methodist Church (PUMC)started in1955 after a group from the community began to envision a United Methodist Church for the at the time small but growing community. At the time Palmdale was primarily a simple desert and rural community that depended on aerospace, ranching and travelers passing through. Their focus was on future generations as they discussed the need for a church in the small community
Since 1954 the Antelope Valley region has evolved into a bulging population of more than 500,000 spanning a wide range of the Mojave Desert- an area larger than several states, and the village of Palmdale now numbers more than 150,000.
Currently, PUMC continues to look forward to future generations. They are inspired by Jesus to LOVE! They are a diverse, intergenerational gathering of men, women & children who love the LORD and want to make a difference in the Antelope Valley and beyond. They seek to help families of all shapes and sizes experience God’s blessing in their lives!
Inspired by Jesus to Love!Mission of Palmdale United Methodist
How did you hear about Messy Church?
Rev. Jim White became Senior Pastor at PUMC in 2015. At the time that he arrived, there was an abbreviated version of Messy Church during the mid-week program titled ‘Food for Thought’. Jim had started a Messy Church at his previous church in Hawaii and wanted to expand Messy Church to the full two-hour experience and moved it to meet quarterly on Sunday afternoon from 4-6.
Current Children’s Ministry lead, Beth Mc Coy began attending the ‘Food for Thought’ mid-week ministry at the time that Jim arrived in 2015. What she loved about PUMC was its intergenerational focus. She describes Jim as a ‘kid at heart’ and that his contagious passion and energy as they started Messy Church brought her into eventually serving as children’s ministry lead at PUMC.
Why did you decide to offer a Messy Church in your community?
From its origin, PUMC has always had a passion for children and the ‘next generation’. PUMC started a preschool for the community many years ago. Messy Church is a way to connect with the preschool families that were not involved in the other ministries of the church.
Recently Beth has begun a weekly Kid’s club event that uses is also for parents to come with their children to engage in an activity. Beth describes it as a mini-preview of Messy Church.
Jim has served on the Messy Church USA Board of Directors since 2021. He is the Board treasurer and serves on the Communication Team.
Messy Folk answer the question…what do you like about Messy Church?
- That it’s relevant for all ages. You don’t have to be a kid or even have a kid to participate. Cynthia, age “kid at heart”
- I like all the fun crafts I can do with my friends! Owen, age 16
- It’s fun, entertaining and informational. You might learn something, if you aren’t careful. Emily, age “kid at heart
- The food. Craig, age “kid at heart”
Three Favorite Activities of Palmdale United Methodist church
Dots Candy Tower
Dots Candy Tower
(from Messy Church session Be Who You are Called to Be, Isaiah 6:8)
Instructions: Materials- Dots candy and toothpicks. Use the candy to build a tower. (We made it a game to see who could build the tallest tower.)
Rhythm Sticks (from Messy Church session Do. Love. Walk, Micah 6:6-8)
Instructions: Materials- small wood dowels (we used unsharpened pencils) and decorating tape.
Use decorating tape to wrap around the dowel/pencil. (We used these to sing the song at Celebration time at the end of our Messy Church session.)
(From Messy Church session Upper Room Escape Room: Themes of Holy Week)
Instructions: Materials- cylinder object (we used coffee cans and reusable water bottles), long strip of paper, marker. Wrap long paper around the cylinder and write the clue word vertically down the wrapped paper. Fill the rest of the strip of paper with random letters and symbols.
Picture Gallery from Palmdale Messy Church
What worked well in getting the support of your ‘Sunday’ church when you started Messy Church?
Multiple forms of communication. We used Messy Church fliers we passed out at Sunday church, in the lobby and also invitations to all the Sunday school attenders. We announced Messy Church at our Food for Thought Wednesday evening Ministry. During Sunday worship we have announcement slides as worship begins. We have received good support from our ‘Sunday Church’!
Share a challenge you have had with Messy Church. What strategies did you use to meet that challenge?
When we started Messy Church after the pandemic, our church was one of the later churches to open up for in person events in the community. We did not open up until July 2021. We have been challenged with the adjustments from the pandemic, for example, finding games in which people were not in close proximity. We did you craft packets for families when we first started back after the pandemic.
Another challenge for Beth is that she finds it difficult to ask for help so she is learning how to delegate and instruct others in leading in Messy Church. She has discovered that it is easier when she does not micromanage and simply gives table hosts instructions and letting them lead the activity as they want to. This results in more diversity which is a good thing!
What word would you give to Messy Church teams just starting out?
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help… you will need it. Ask volunteers for specific tasks which makes it easier to get a yes.
- Sometimes the 6-12 graders will feel like they are too old… give them a job and they are helping.
- Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t turn out the way you planned it… always room for a plan B.
Contact Information for Palmdale UMC
Church Name and Address: Palmdale United Methodist Church, 39055 10th Street West, Palmdale, CA 93551
Church phone number and email: 661-947-3103, [email protected]
Church social media links:
Messy church contact Name and email:
Beth McCoy:[email protected]
Thank you Rev. Jim White and Beth McCoy for sharing your Messy Church story!
Are you inspired by hearing the story from Palmdale Messy Church! Are you interested in sharing your story? Contact Roberta via email at [email protected] if you would like to be one of our Messy Church of the Months in 2024!
Rev. Jim White
Senior Pastor, Palmdale United Methodist
Messy Church USA Board member
“KID AT HEART!!!”