We had an inquiry this week from two people leading Messy Vintage sessions in their local nursing home.
Could we help with difficulties they're encountering in using the material provided in the Messy Vintage book, given many of the people they're working with 'are immobile, have dementia, and some are deaf.'
Well, in addition to doing my best to answer their query, I turned to Katie Norman, the founder of Messy Vintage and co-author of the BRF book Messy Vintage: 52 sessions to share Christ-centred fun and fellowship with the older generation This was her reply:
'I encourage you to keep going in your Messy Vintage ministry. Working alongside those with very limited ability to participate, even in a simple act of worship, can feel like an uphill struggle sometimes, especially when looking for crafts to illuminate your gentle message, but the joy that it brings to those you serve is immeasurable.'
'At Messy Vintage in Jersey we have the deep privilege of sharing with many folk who, like your friends, are living with dementia, lack of hearing or sight, or have acute mobility issues which confine them to wheelchairs, but despite all these issues we see God at work when we share with them each month.
We keep our crafts very simple, tactile and as colourful as possible, and I would agree with you, these seldom can be found in the Messy Vintage book which is aimed at those with rather more ability. However, the format of the service in the book can still be followed alongside a more appropriate craft of your own, or perhaps by seeking inspiration through Messy Church craft ideas.
The team with which I am involved decide on a theme for the whole month to cover Messy Church, Messy Vintage, and Messy Vintage in Care Homes, and we usually find that there is a craft amongst our Messy Church ideas that is ideally suited to folk in care homes.
Typing ‘crafts for kids’ into Google search may seem to be undermining the adults to whom you minister, but there are so many ideas that can be adapted from the suggestions and images found. Maybe that is something you would find useful.
I do wish I could be more helpful and point you to book or single source that covers the appropriate crafts you are seeking but I fear that it hasn’t yet been written, or if it has, I haven’t found it! But, as Debbie says, even the most pared down act of worship, with craft or not, will benefit and bring joy to those with whom you meet.
May God bless you in your good works.'