Congratulations to Central United Methodist
We are excited to introduce you to Messy Church at Central United Methodist in South Carolina. They have a great Messy Church invitation on their church website:
Come learn about God with food, fun, friends, and faith! Messy Church is an interactive celebration of the gift of Jesus for people of all ages. At Messy Church, we are committed to a Christ-centered, hands-on faith experience that includes all ages learning together. We have activities for everyone, a celebration time, and usually a meal together. Everyone is welcome!
What I like about Messy Church is that it is families meeting families; it is fun, fun, fun; the activities involve reasoning skills and creativity; the prayerful part ties into the activities so it is connected to real life; and there’s food to enjoy.Central UMC Messy Church planning team member and hospitality leader
How did you learn about Messy Church?
A few years ago, our church was brainstorming new ways we could reach the community. One of our members who was a part of that process has relatives in California who are a part of a Messy Church. This connection across the country ended up bringing Messy Church to Spartanburg!
Why did you decide to offer Messy Church to your community?
The more we learned about Messy Church, the more we loved about Messy Church. We decided to bring Messy Church to Spartanburg because it was something important that was missing from our community. There wasn’t a place for people of all ages to learn and grow in faith together in fun, creative ways. This was something we wanted for the people of Central and for the whole Spartanburg community.
Messy Folk answers to why they like Messy Church
- “I like that Messy church reaches out to the community without any ifs ands or buts… it is simply giving something we value with no expectation of return. I love that children come with their families. All ages learning together.” – Messy Church planning team leader and table leader
- “What I like about Messy Church is that it is families meeting families; it is fun, fun, fun; the activities involve reasoning skills and creativity; the prayerful part ties into the activities so it is connected to real life; and there’s food to enjoy. My favorite activities are the crafts where the children create something they can take home or the ones that mimic real life – like fishing! ” – Messy Church planning team member and hospitality leader
- “I like MC because it offers folks who may not be associated with a church a chance to interact with the church in a way that that is fun, interactive and simple.” – Messy Church planning team leader and activity leader
- “Though my own children are adults now, and my grandchildren live out of town, I wanted to do whatever I could to assist with Messy Church and our church children. That decision turned out to be a good one for me, since I found that church friends of all ages could take part in the various activities and fellowship moments. That’s what I especially like about Messy Church – it’s for everyone!”- Messy Church community member and celebration helper
Favorite Messy Activities at Central UMC
Supplies Needed: water, oil, food coloring, alka selzer type tablets, confetti, clear glass jars, overflow tub
Instructions: Fill a jar about 2/3 of the way with oil. Fill the remainder of the jar with water leaving some space at the top. Add drops of food coloring to the oil and water in the jar. Sprinkle in glitter or confetti. Drop a tablet into the jar, and watch closely as the confetti begins to dance.
Talk About: Just as the hearts dance after you put the tablet in the jar, we can show love because God first loves us. How do you know God loves you? What does it look like for your love to dance around the room?
Supplies needed: Drop cloth for floor, large plastic container(s) filled with grapes, wipes and towels to clean feet
Instructions: Take off your shoes and socks. Take turns squishing and stomping grapes with your feet. What does it feel like? What happens when you step down with your feet? Clean your feet with the wipes and towels when you are done.
Talk About: Grapes were a common crop in Jesus’ day, and wine was a common beverage in Jesus’ time. Stomping grapes is one way to release the juice of grapes. Do you think he ever stomped grapes? Why do you think Jesus used grapes and vines in his teaching?
Build a house for jesus
Supplies: lots of boxes, packing tape, scissors, wrapping paper
How To: Make a life-sized stable out of the boxes and tape. Decorate the stable.
Talk About: How do you think Mary and Joseph felt when the didn’t have a home to go in Bethlehem? How do you think they felt when the innkeeper offered the stable? How does it make you feel to build a home for Jesus? How do you feel when you add the decorations?
Messy Church at Central United Methodist
What worked well to get the support of your ‘Sunday’ church when you began Messy Church?
Our church has been supportive of Messy Church from the beginning. They love the idea of having more children come through the doors of our church. Initially, we met with adult Sunday school classes and invited everyone to experience Messy Church for themselves.
Share a challenge and what strategies you used to meet the challenge
Because Messy Church is fun, some people think it is only for kids. We are teaching our church that Messy Church is for people of all ages. We are working on the best ways to invite people of all ages to be a part of Messy Church in a few ways. First of all, we’re intentional when we explain Messy Church to let people know it is for all ages. We’ve told stories about the beautiful intergenerational friendships that blossomed because of Messy Church. Some of our faithful adult Messy Church members are also inviting others to be a part of Messy Church.
How has your Messy Church adapted during the COVID pandemic?
Our Messy Church began when it seemed it was safe to offer in person gatherings again in our area. We have adapted with take home kits, masks, and distance as needed. We seek to balance the safety of everyone with the best of what Messy Church is.
Thank you for sharing your story!
A bit thanks to Paige Wolfe for sharing the story and pictures of Central United Methodist Church. What fun it is to learn about how others are learning about the way of Jesus all over the world in Messy Church. Send Central UMC a thank you note or word of encouragement.
Contact Information for Central UMC Messy Church
Messy Church Team Leader: Paige Wolfe, [email protected]
Church Name and Address: Central United Methodist Church, 233 North Church Street, Spartanburg, SC 29306
Church Phone Number and email: (864)582-7263, [email protected]
Social Media Links: Facebook Messy Church: https://www.facebook.com/messyintheburg, Church Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/centralinspartanburg, Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/messyintheburg/
Nominate your Messy Church for 2024
Want to share the story of your Messy Church? Contact Roberta Egli at [email protected].