A Program for Families
Messy Wednesday is a program for young families to come together over a meal and play, converse and work together. We have had many new families join us this year. We meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month between 5-7 pm. Families take turns getting the groceries and preparing food, or planning activities for the children, or cleaning up and setting up. This is open to families both within and outside the congregation and is supported by the Helen Mack Fund.
Highlight in the Week
At 5:00 pm on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month in Memorial Hall it is still and quiet for about 10 minutes until the children start to arrive. Little faces peer through the glass doors with great delight, anxious to get inside and see their friends. Parents arrive looking a bit weary but grateful that they didn't have to plan dinner for the night. The children run into memorial hall and begin to play. Some create obstacles courses, some gravitate to the building blocks, and the littlest ones, crawl around the floor exploring the land and shifting the carefully built obstacle course.
In the kitchen, the adults introduce themselves and ask each other how they can help, and the food preparations begin, you see the tension and stress of the day slowly leaving their shoulders as they debrief their day, their week, or the time since they last saw each other. As the food is prepared the conversation becomes lively. The children float in and out of the kitchen looking for treats and little bits of food to tide them over. The energy in the church has tripled and families begin to get to know each other and build relationships. Then finally the food is ready and we begin with grace singing Johnny Apple Seed, or the Superman grace. We gather like a big family around the table and take some time to talk with one another. It feels a bit like Thanksgiving dinner each time we meet. We feast, we play, we laugh, and we support one another. There have been upwards of 25 people gathered so far, and we hope to attract more families from the community and we are grateful for the volunteers from our church who are honorary Grandparents at this meal.
One mother shared with me that her son asked, "is today the day we go for messy dinner?" This has become a highlight in their week. As we clean up together all we hear are statements of thanks and appreciation that we were together, that we shared this time together. This has become a Sabbath practice, a place where God's spirit is at work, where we spend time together intentionally, where we play together, feast together, and share our lives and our faith. And for this we are truly thankful!