Messy Church usually takes a break in August so this week we are sending you a bumper package of ideas.  With school holidays upon us but potentially no holiday clubs and fewer activities out there for us to do, we thought you’d like some extra ideas to dip into over the next six weeks.  Some of the ideas are quick and easy, others may take a bit longer but they are all based around one of the psalms – number 23.  Psalms are prayers or songs (and sometimes a bit of both).  They contain a range of feelings – sometimes the writer is angry or upset, sometimes he is happy and thankful … just as we may have different feelings at different times.  Many of the psalms are said to have been written by King David and you can find out more about him here –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yImbRHFPSHk.  David may have been a king but he started life as a shepherd boy and he used that experience when he wrote psalm 23 ‘The Lord is My Shepherd’.  This is probably the most famous of all the psalms and there are many different versions – it has even been used as the theme tune for the TV programme The Vicar of Dibley (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAZN1oVir5A). 

Read on for your bumper bundle of summer holiday activities – and also some ideas for the future.  As always, it would be lovely to have photos of what you are doing.

  • Attached are two versions (version 1 and version 2) of psalm 23.  One of them has some ideas for you to draw pictures to illustrate the psalm.
  • Janet has found a fun sheep craft.  They all have different faces so why not make all four?  You could use them to illustrate a picture of David looking after his sheep.
  • Talking of food – the psalm talks about a feast or a banquet.  Imagine you are going to invite people to a feast.  What would you need to do to plan it?  Think about who you would invite.  Would you have a theme and special decorations.  What would be on the menu?  You could write out and decorate a menu and an invitation.
  • The psalm talks about walking through a dark or shadowy valley.  That sounds a bit scary but it’s all about David feeling safe even in the ‘shadowy’ places as he knows God will protect him.  Sundials use the way a shadow moves through the day to tell the time – you could try making one in your garden on a sunny day https://www.science-sparks.com/how-to-make-a-sundial/
  • The scavenger hunt will help you remember the words of the psalm.  This is something you could do indoors on a rainy day, outdoors if it’s not raining or if you do go on holiday, you could take it away with you as an activity to do there.
  • Did you know that Messy Church has its own scientist?  Dr Dave has come up with some of the science ideas we have used at Messy Church in the past.  In this video he shows how you can make a rainbow with a torch and a glass of water (which must be still water!) or an old DVD or CD –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGuzDsK-mV0.  He also reminds us that the rainbow is a sign of hope and that we can trust God to be with us when things are difficult, just like David knew that he was protected by God.
  • Our very own scientist, John has suggested this video which tells how water moves from the earth, into the air, becomes rain and then falls back to earth.  This is known as the water cycle –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pqh6tlEOhs
  • The song Our God is a Great Big God also reminds us that God is always there to protect us.  You can sing along to it here – https://youtu.be/7ew8gpvw1Bs – and then read together the prayer written by Chris L.

If you have viewed any of the Oxford Methodist Circuit online services you will have seen that sometimes the hymns are sung by the Circuit Virtual Choir (to which John and Mel contribute).  We are hoping to organise our own Messy Church virtual choir.  In the next week or so we will send you a sound track that you can record yourself singing along to, or playing a percussion instrument (or both).  We’re just sorting out the technology but hope to get this out to you soon – with instructions on how to record yourself.  It would be lovely to have lots of Messy Church folk involved.

The Messy Church team are also thinking hard about how we can meet together again at Messy Church and still keep everyone safe.  We’re hoping that we’ll be able to do something from September but the format is likely to be different and if we do meet it will probably be an outdoor Messy Church.  We’ll let you know the plans nearer the time but you might like to put 12th September in your diaries as a possible ‘live’ Messy Church.

With best wishes to you all and hoping you have fun over the summer.