Hello! We hope that you are all well and happy, and that you can know God’s blessing at this time. During this COVID time many have come to value and appreciate friends and family. We have all appreciated being able to get together and see each other. Our prayers and thoughts go out to those who have had to go back into isolation. How we value each other! We isolate ourselves to protect each other, we wear masks and regularly sanitise our hands. Hands. Face. Space. We value each other. Thinking about being valued got us thinking about what is precious to us. So ‘you’re precious’ is our theme!
In today’s language being precious is sometimes not something we think about in a positive way. We say ‘don’t be precious about that’ meaning ‘not to care so much’. In fact sometimes in today’s language to be called ‘precious’ might mean being looked down upon and not valued at all. Much like the words ‘sick’ means ‘good’, and ‘wicked’ means ‘cool’. But the dictionary defines the word ‘precious’ as ‘of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly’.
In this session of Messy Church @ Home we are going to explore how God considers us as precious. Henri Nouwen (1932-1996), a great spiritual thinker and theologian said ‘Spiritual identity means we are not what we do or what people say about us. And we are not what we have. We are precious, beloved daughters and sons of God’. So in this way we are of great value, not to be wasted or treated carelessly simply because we belong to God. What a gift! There is a saying “God is good, all the time; all the time God is good!
To view the activities please download the attached file and print it out if you wish.
We hope you enjoy this Messy Church at Home.
Messy Church Team
Getting ready for Messy Church at Home:
Invite a member of your household to set up a worship center focus about being precious. Set up a cross or if you haven’t got a 3D cross, draw on a piece of paper. Ask members of your household to bring a precious ‘thing’ or write some words on a piece of paper that describe what precious means to them, and then place them around the cross.
What things are precious to you? Why?
Who is precious to you? Why?
Are there some things that are precious to all of you?
Read the Bible.
There is a story in the bible that doesn’t mention ‘precious’ but does tell how valuable we are:
‘For only a penny you can buy two sparrows, yet not one sparrow falls to the ground without your Father's consent. As for you, even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows!’ Matthew 10:29-31.
This reading from Matthew comes in a section about worry and fear. Jesus had just sent out the 12 disciples, and was giving them instructions including who to look out for, and telling them not to be worried or afraid. This was a new mission for them. In this Covid time, managing this time is all new to us too. Many people are worried and fearful. But just as Jesus assured the disciples, we can also be assured God knows what is happening to us. He knows our fears and our situation and assures us that no matter what, he is with us. We are precious children of God, and God cares about us so much - God knows how many hairs are on our head!!
Talk about: What do you think about when you hear the bible reading? What does it tell you about God and you?
Sing a Song: Praise God! From my head to my toes
(Don’t forget to do the actions too & it gets faster!)
From my head (touch your head) to my toes (touch your toes) I’m special
From my knees (touch your knees) to my nose (touch your nose) I’m pretty neat!
‘Cause I know God made all of me
From the top of my head (touch your head) to the souls of my feet. (touch your feet) (Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap)
I know that he loves me (point to yourself)
And I love him too (point up)
‘Cause head to toe I’m special and so are you! (point to someone else)
Is there a song that is precious for you, you could sing that one too.
God’s Precious People - Precious World
Our world is in a strange and challenging place at present with Covid 19. Many people and communities are struggling. Maybe this is due to loss of income, job or with sick family members. Maybe you know someone on your street or in school who is frightened or worried or lonely and struggling to find support. At the same time people are also struggling due to war, violence, hatred and natural disasters.
When we think about this it can be hard to know what we can do. But there are lots of ways we can help. With our prayers, letters of support or donating to a food bank. These letters or cards can be written or drawn and posted, with the support of an adult from home, through the door of someone who is alone or the local care home. Let them know that they are remembered and precious. That they are precious in God’s eyes and he loves them.
If we can afford it we can also donate to charities. St Andrew’s at the moment are raising money for Christian Aids Autumn Appeal (https://www.christianaid.org.uk/) and if you would like to make a donation this can be dropped off at church or you can donate online.
Prayer though is one way we can help as we think about the people and situations and offer them to God.
Make some diamond shapes out of paper or draw diamond shapes on a page. Write or draw prayers about people, situations or other things that you value and are precious to you. You could put them into your window so that others can join in with your prayer. You could even bring them to church and light a candle to show your prayer. A template can be found at the end of this document or you can make your own.
Make a Treasure Hunt
Choose a soft toy to be your treasure and hide it somewhere in your house or garden.
Ask everyone else at home to try and find the treasure.
When it has been found, celebrate. The finder can now hide it and the game can start again.
To make a longer game why not make a chart to put up at home you can then record who found the treasure and where it was found.
Let everyone know what the treasure is then hide it. Over the week everyone at home can keep an eye out for the treasure and when they find it they can write their name on your chart. It is then their turn to hide the treasure.
Talk About: How did it feel when you found the treasure? How did it feel when you couldn’t find the treasure that someone else hid? We are never hidden from God but sometimes we can forget about him, how do you think he feels when we remember him and find him again?
A Cross in My Pocket
Sometimes it can be difficult to remember that we are loved by God.
Draw a cross on a small stone or piece if card. Maybe you could weave a cross or cross stitch a small cross. You could then attach you cross to your book bag, zip or just carry it in your pocket. Everytime you see it remember that God loves you and you are precious to him.
Celebrating something, anything with those we love helps them to feel special and precious. Why don’t you try some of these recipes or a family favourite. You could make extra for someone who lives alone or is feeling lonely and leave it on their doorstep remembering to keep socially distant. Remember: Hands, Face, Space
Balance Cake (Adult help needed)
Self Raising flour (100g)
We use a balance scale at home and use the eggs to balance each of the other ingredients hence why I have called it a balance cake. But just in case I have included the other measurements for you.
Heat oven to gas mark 4 or 180°C and grease a 2lb loaf tin.
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together until all creamed together. If you want you can use an electric mixer, just try not to over mix. At this point you can stir in other ingredients such as lemon or orange zest, chocolate chips, cherries - your choice. We like to add lemon and then once baked mix the juice of one lemon with some granulated sugar (to taste, it can take a fair amount) and pour this on top of the cooling cake.
Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin.
Bake in the oven for 30 - 40 mins or until a skewer pushed into the cake comes out clean.
If adding lemon and sugar do this while the cake is still warm. If you want to ice it then allow the cake to fully cool.
Cream Jelly Slice (Adult help needed)
3 packets of Jelly
750ml of boiling water
1 tablespoon of gelatin
250 ml Cream
Combine jelly, water and gelatin and stir until mixture is dissolved.
Add the cream and stir through.
Pour into a tray with deep sides or packed lunch box or something similar and refrigerate overnight.
Using a cookie cutter or knife cut into shapes.
Note: The cream and the jelly will separate.
Talk about: How can we show God’s love to others and show them that they are precious to God too.
Homemade Bath Salts
Nothing is more relaxing than a nice bath at the end of a day, to make you feel appreciated and precious. This recipe is easy to make, and jars of bath salts make a precious gift.
3 Cups of epsom salts
1 cup of coarse sea salt
1 cup of baking soda
15 drops of natural fragrance or essential oils (lavender, Sandalwood, Peppermint, Rose, Rosemary etc.)
Mix the salts and baking soda in a large bowl.
Drop in the fragrance or oil and mix again until well combined.
Divide the bath salts into smaller jars and add a label with ingredient details and instructions (Put 2-4 tablespoons of Bath Salts in a bath).
Usually at Messy Church we start with pastries, biscuits and drinks together. This hospitality reflects the welcome and hospitality that God offers each of us as precious members of God’s family. Why not gather around your table at home and share some of the things you have baked. You could write an invite to those who live at home to invite them to come together. If allowed with restrictions you could invite members of your bubble to join you. Maybe each of those you invite could be invited to bring something to the table, something they have made - it could just be a table decoration or something else to eat or drink. It is important to value what each person brings to show that everyone is valued and precious.
As you finish Messy Church @ home, just as we would in the church hall, join in together by saying this blessing:
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (hold out your hands as if receiving a present)
And the love of God (put your hands on your heart)
And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit (hold hands)
Be with us all for ever more.
Amen (raise arms together)