Monday, November 2, 2009

Everything I Know About a Reformation Party

Lora asked in the comments of this post (about monk costumes and fancy purple dresses) what you do at a Reformation Party, so I thought I'd tell you what we did at our Reformation Party. Well, maybe not ours, but the one we attended.

Last year at the First Annual Reformation Party, we did not go in costume. We were invited last minute. It is an alternative to celebrating Halloween, although in the past we have gone out in costume for the fun of collecting candy, and we still hand out goodies until we have to leave our house.

Jill had made one wall of bricks last year, and she said she pulled an all-nighter to do it. This year she did the one we are standing in front of in the picture. It's actually covering the patio doors. It's black paper sponge-painted to look like a brick wall. This time it took her about three hours. She rolls them up and puts them in the rafters of the basement and saves them for the next year. Her plan is to do some for the 'museum' wall next year.

The museum is in the living room. It has different exhibits from Bible times, a Wittenberg exhibit, etc. This year we made a contribution, and of course I don't have a picture to show you. Sparky recreated the doors of the Wittenberg Church where Martin Luther hung the 95 Theses with Perler Beads (fusible beads). She used four large interlocking squares to complete it and based it off of this picture we found on the internet.

If you go from the darker gray columns on the sides across the top, and without the fence in front, that's how she did it. She even had a cross with two people beside it. The good thing is that Jill boxes up the museum from year to year, so I'll have to take a picture next year when we see the exhibit again! Jill even gives a certificate to anyone who brings a contribution for the museum.

The first thing we do is gather the kids for a small lesson that Jill has prepared on one specific person from the Reformation. Last year it was Martin Luther and the 95 Theses, and this year it was John Calvin. I don't remember a lot of specifics about last year, but this year she did "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader" and split the boys and girls into separate teams. She had her husband sit in the hot seat and answer the questions first. They were done in multiple choice format and most of them were easy enough to figure out, except for the boys who sometimes wanted to go with the silly ones.

There is always a game or puzzle prepared on the dining room table. Last year it was a word game where they had to decipher something, and this year it was a game where they had to push a ball around with a stick.

Last year each family had to build a castle (think "A Mighty Fortress is Our God") with either Legos, Duplos, Lincoln Logs, or those ones that stick together, all while listening to "A Mighty Fortress is Our God." This year Jill had three 'prisoners' upstairs for the kids to visit to represent how important John Calvin thought it was that they not be forgotten and be ministered to.

We also get to enjoy the best cider donuts and hot or cold cider from their family's mill, which was recently featured on Food Network's Unwrapped (that's her sister and brother-in-law on there who run the mill).

I talked to Jill at church on Sunday, and she said her goal of course is for the kids to learn something, but also to have fun, and her kids hadn't stopped talking about what a good time they'd had. Mine did too, even though most of them are a little older (sometimes they are finding they are in that mentor role now). So that means we'll have a Third Annual Reformation Party next year, and she's starting to think about what person she will feature.

And Sparky can start to dread wearing that fancy purple dress again.


Lora said...

What a great way to learn more about church history! Sounds like fun!

Mari said...

It sounds like a really neat alternative to Halloween parties.

Betsy said...

I'd never heard of one!

Love Bears All Things said...

I like that most churches are now having an alternative to Halloween.
Mama Bear

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