Anglican: Messy Church Christmas crafting for kids

How easy is it to get up on Sunday morning, dress the kids and get to church?

How easy is it to get up on Sunday morning, dress the kids and get to church?

Many will answer, “NOT.”

Well Messy Church of Williams Lake is “Natcho Mamma’s Boring Church,” and its staff is seeking attention during the coming weeks before Christmas because they think it is a worthwhile way to teach youngsters the real meaning of Christmas.

This event is sponsored by St. Peter’s Anglican church, and would like to attract some school-age children who are currently not attending any other local church, and whose parents would be willing to bring them Friday, Nov. 27 at 5 p.m. to the basement under St. Peters Anglican, located at 549 Carson Drive.

The monthly Messy Church lasts two hours, and between now and Christmas will include six more opportunities for kids to expand their creativity and talent.

“Many on Social Media were impressed by IKEA’s test where they asked their kids what they really wanted for Christmas,” remarked Sherry Foster.

“And most of the kid’s parents were stunned with the kid’s reply. They wanted their parents to spend more time with them. Not more toys or gadgets. Although a parent’s attendance is not mandatory, most parents so far have come and stayed. It’s a very good investment in a family’s life.”

Friday evening’s session includes an introduction to hand bells by Sherry Foster and Norma Bos.

“By the end of the session,” said Foster, “the kids will be able to accompany at least two Christmas songs that will be used when we create a DVD a few days before Christmas for the kids to enjoy and take home.”

Costume fitting and assignment of parts for a Live Nativity Crèche will also take a major part of the evening. More staff, including Jeanie Vant and Jen Johnston will make sure each child has just the right part and the right costume as Messy Church looks ahead to extra sessions between now and Christmas. Crafts and a free meal are also on the agenda.

“We thought long and hard before embracing the term “messy” into our Anglican-way of doing things,” said St. Peter’s Rector Kristen Dobyns, who shares her ministry with hubby, The Rev. Dr. Keith Dobyns.

The Dobyns team of husband and wife have combed through every aspect of starting up this innovative ministry and feel they have come up with a winner.

Messy Church of Williams Lake, is an outreach organization of which St. Peter’s Anglican Church joins with Messy Members worldwide to create and promote interaction, glean ideas, and seek intergenerational ways to share  The Good News by learning about Jesus through music, crafts, drama, puppets, and fellowship around a shared meal.

“It meets once a month, usually on the last Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. There are no dues or fees and folks are invited to just “show up,” says Keith, who shuns titles even though he practiced medicine in the U.S. before moving to Canada.

“With the busy lifestyle of most families, it seemed to many of us, an alternate time, place and format might be worth a try,” said Dobyns.

The St. Peter’s church members on The Messy Staff have all undergone criminal checks by the RCMP and these volunteers work tirelessly throughout each month to plan, using resources offered by their messychurch.org network, whose home office is in the U.K.

Messy Church meets downstairs below St. Peter’s church proper, in McKinnon Hall where the kitchen is located, along with arts and crafts supplies, a costume closet, piano, and a small little chapel for use for about the last ten minutes.

“It’s for sure, Natcho Mamma’s boring church,” said Foster.

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