Everybody’s a mad scientist, and life is their lab. We’re all trying to experiment to find a way to live, to solve problems, to fend off madness and chaos. David Cronenberg
David could have been talking about Ecclesiastes, one of the writers in the Old Testament, who experimented in life to try and discover what would bring meaning, purpose and happiness. Lots of people today are still trying to make the same discovery and are struggling with the same kinds of questions that Ecclesiastes asked. What’s the point of everything? Why is life so short? Why is life unfair?
And we are trying to connect with them through our Messy Church project, which is funded by Go For It. Each month new families come and try us out. Some stay and become part of the family. Others move on and try the next thing. But when we can, we try to listen to their questions and help them in their search for something more by introducing them to Jesus and the gospel.
One of the challenges we have is to keep coming up with different activities each month which enable the children and adults to explore their faith. This month we decided to go experimental.
Our theme was ‘Jesus – Light of the World’. We welcomed one of our dads, whose family has become increasingly involved in Messy Church to run some experiments. We set up our tent and inside the children could discover how certain materials glow in the dark – from money, to tonic water to protective clothing. The kids loved it and kept going back to the tent after finishing other activities. It was a particular hit with the boys. One of our kids asked if we could progress to blowing something up. We might need to think about that one!! Messy Church has developed many experiments which fit in with exploring faith and you can find out more at their website: https://www.messychurch.org.uk/science. Find someone in your church who likes science and get them to be creative.
The kids not only got to experiment with light, they also had an opportunity to experiment with prayer. Our prayer tent is a firm favourite in our Messy Church family and it is so encouraging to see the boys and girls grasp how easy it is to talk to God and to see them grow in their faith.
“Discovering the beauty and joy of faith is a path that every new generation must take on its own.”
— Pope Benedict XVI
Skene Parish Church
About the Author
Rev Stella Campbell is minister at Skene Parish Church, Aberdeenshire, and a co-opted member of the Church of Scotland’s Go For It Committee. Skene are receiving a Go For It Main Grant for their Messy Church project, which provides monthly events to develop relationships with local families, and research the needs for new expressions of family worship.
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