Memories of Messy Art at VBS

By The Reverend Christine V. Hides

“Messy kids are happy kids!” This was the gracious response I received years ago from a mom as she picked up her daughter, hair covered in green paint, from kindergarten. I apologized profusely for the mishap that had happened in my classroom just before the buses were leaving.

As a mom, teacher, and children’s minister, I have repeated this phrase countless times because it articulates one of my core beliefs about how humans learn and grow through hands-on, tangible, experiential, and often messy activities. We are born curious explorers of the world around us. Hopefully the desire to discover and explore continues, perhaps in different forms, throughout our lives. As a bonus, hands-on learning is often the most fun!

One of the challenges of children’s ministry during COVID-19 is the lack of tangible, hands-on experiences we can do safely together. Though that challenge is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, the children’s ministry team is curiously exploring ways to offer hands-on activities in a hands-off world.

Our July and August catalog, explained in this short video, is our first attempt to create safe opportunities to grow in the love of God and neighbor that are more tangible than digital. In the catalog, you will find a wide array of faith formation opportunities and formats: online only, DIY (asynchronous), and hybrid in-person (at home) and online.

To participate, please email Greta Connor. The Artful Gratitude class and At Home with God service project begin this week! Please be aware that the Awake to God in Nature course has changed its meeting times to Sunday, July 19 and 26 from 10:45–11:15 a.m.

One of the gifts of online ministry is that you and your family can join us from wherever you travel this summer and beyond. Please journey with us in July and August. Don’t forget to bring along Flat Jesus!


Journey with Flat Jesus in July! This activity is part reading challenge and part adventure with Flat Jesus (inspired by the book, Flat Stanley). Download this guide, read the 13 Bible stories from a Bible of your choice (or watch the videos linked in the .pdf), then email a picture to Greta Connor when you are finished to receive a small prize in the mail.