Congratulations to Zephyrhills Messy Church
We are excited to announce our November Messy Church of the month! Hopefully you have taken the time to read about this multiple denominational Messy Church in a two part interview written by Lindsey Goodyear. ( Part I here) ( Part II here). We have received the question, can multiple churches start one Messy Church in our training events. We are so glad that we have an example of how focusing on the mission to share the good news of Jesus Christ brings multiple churches together.
Zephyrhills Messy Church started in December 2019 after a team attended a “Getting Started in Messy Church” training in Florida led by Johannah Myers. From the very beginning their mission was to work together to reach households in their community who were not involved in church. They met monthly until March 2020 when they had to shut down due to the COVID pandemic. They chose a neighborhood location to meet rather than one of the churches involved in leading the Messy Church. However, they continue to reach out to their Messy Church folk and are getting frequent questions as to ‘when will Messy Church start again?’
Messy Folk answer the question: What do I like best about Messy Church?
- “I like to do the crafts.”, 6 year old Reagan
- “I really like the interactive worship time.”, Pastor Denise
- “I like the activities, reaching out to the people and the gathering.” Skye, adult volunteer
- ” I like the activities”, Bubba, a teenager
Favorite Messy Activities
Sand Art Jars
Sand Art Jars – begin by creating designs on baby food jars with tape, using a paintbrush paint the jar with glue. Sprinkle the jar with colored sand and allow to dry. Once dry, peel the tape to reveal your design. Add a candle and watch your design shine, just like God’s love into the world.
Nail and yarn art
Begin with a block of wood, using small nails and a hammer, create a design for the yarn. (We provided a pattern for everyone to follow.) Once the nails are in place, begin at one nail and string yarn around each nail to watch your design come to life.
Create flowers using construction paper and lollipops. Begin by tracing a pattern for a flower on the construction paper and carefully cutting out your pattern. In the center of the pattern create a small hole. Insert a lollipop in the center to create the stem for your flower. Give the Lollipop to someone to brighten their day. (We had our Messy Church guests create 2, one for them and one to give away.)
What worked well for you in getting the support of your Sunday Church when you started Messy Church?
We did a Messy Thanksgiving at First United Methodist Zephyrhills with our congregation. We served dinner, had a short worship ceremony and then had a craft time. The congregation really enjoyed it and saw the value Messy Church adds to our community.
Pastor Denise had a unique advantage at First Presbyterian Church. As the Pastor of her church and a Messy Church advocate, her congregation felt her excitement and supported us from the start.
Share a challenge you’ve had with your Messy Church and strategies you used to meet the challenge.
Our biggest challenge was trying to coordinate four churches and their varying schedules. Our strategy to address this is to meet the day after we hold our Messy Church. We meet the very next day and plan for the next month’s session. This avoids anyone chasing people down and ensures everything is covered at the next Messy Church session.
How has your Messy Church adapted during the Covid-19 Pandemic?
We have maintained our Facebook presence and tried to stay in contact with our families. We began by placing “Messy At Home” activities each month for our families to complete on our Messy Church Zephyrhills Facebook page. During July, the four churches came together to hold Virtual Bible School. For three weeks, a new video was placed online (Facebook and our church webpages) and then families picked up supplies for activities through the week. As the months and social distancing continue on, we also continue to supply monthly messages for our families. November 1st, we kicked off our “Online Messy Church” by providing a video celebration, craft overview and prayer on our Facebook page. Once again, families can pick up craft kits throughout the week. We plan to continue this format until we can meet together again.
Thanks for Sharing your Messy Story!
A special thanks to Amanda Hawk and Rev. Denise Lay who shared their experiences and pictures from Zephyrhills Messy Church. You can find them on Facebook here.
Contact Amanda at: email@example.com Amanda is a member and worship leader at Frist United Methodist Messy Church located at 38635 5th Ave, Zephyrhills, FL 33542
Contact Pastor Denise at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rev Denise is lead pastor at First Presbyterian Church located at 5510 19th St, Zephyrhills, FL 33542.