It was all wonderful… it is diffcult to limit it to only ten highlights!
On Thursday June 9th at 1 pm (PDT) the delegation from Messy Church (MC)USA team will share their ‘takeaways’ from the Messy Church International Conference (MCIC) 2022. The jam-packed weekend conference plus a 2-day international key leaders’ day mini-conference ended two weeks ago. I have sat attempted to organize my thoughts with key highlights and have found it difficult as from morning to late at night, each day was full of inspiration! So, for today, I am going to list ten highlights (in no particular order) and you get more ‘unpacking’ later!
10 Highlights from MCIC 2022
Highlight #1- Dr. Paula Gooder
Dr. Paula Gooder, the MCIC plenary speaker, gave us three bible study sessions on the Making a Difference theme that were powerful and pertinent to the Messy Church movement. You will learn more about these session in future posts but for today, here the words of encouragement she used to start. Recognizing the stress of the pandemic, Dr. Gooder gave us permission to ‘take stock’ when we think about the theme of the conference of how we are Making a Difference…
- To resist the desire to rush onwards
- To give ourselves time to stop and feel what we feel
- To pause when we needed to pause, to knit, or doodle, or ‘space out’ when we needed to do so
- Then, from those spaces, move to act
- To join in the great dance of God as God is already changing the world!
Highlight #2- Dwelling on the Word
Prior to hearing Dr Gooder, we began each plenary session ‘Dwelling on the Word’ in community. After hearing a short section of scripture (Romans 12) in at least two languages, we spent a few moments in person reflection. We were then asked to find a ‘friendly looking stranger’ to share our reflections before we moved into groups of 4-6 people. To keep the focus on the spiritual practice of listening, rather than sharing our own reflection to the larger group, we shared our partner’s reflection.
Highlight #3- Messy Workshops!
The three different times for wonderful workshops led by young and old from all over the world! Topics included storytelling, extending MC beyond once a month, MC does science, improvising the Bible story, young leaders in mc, being intergenerational, etc., etc. etc.
Highlight #4-Messy Sessions!
The two Messy Sessions that came from the new Messy Church goes wild material. The first session on Friday, ‘Where were you when…’focused on the story of Job. Our second session on Sunday morning was ‘Wild Life’ and concluded with an international communion.
highlight #5- Messy church young leaders
A group of international Messy Young Leaders have been meeting via zoom since the pandemic. A number of the young leaders were part of the MCIC22 planning team and participated and led in Messy Workshops, Messy Sessions and overall conversations!
A break for some pictures
Highlight #6-CONVERSATIONS AROUnd the Table
All of the wonderful conversations around the breakfast, lunch and dinner tables. We received an international blessing/ grace from the various countries present at the conference.
Highlilght #7-Tea (and coffee)
In addition to the meals, the times for tea (and coffee) with lovely places inside and out to again gather and chat with new friends. Be sure to look at the picture of the serve yourself espresso machines!
Highlight #8- Messy escape room
The Messy Escape Room led by the MC USA team of Crystal Goetz and Johannah Myers. It was so fun to see the 8 tables of participants laugh, problem solve and have a great time together!
Highlight #9- Key International Messy Church Leaders days
The additional two days of spending time with national leaders of Messy Church from Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, South Africa, UK and USA (in person) and Australia, Canada and New Zealand via zoom.
Highligh #10- Beautiful Conference Center
And last but not least… the beautiful Hayes conference center in the heart of Derbyshire provided wonderful spots to bask in the wonder of God’s creation. (There were even baby goslings, sheep and goats!) All of the workshops and Messy Sessions had outdoor opportunities.
A few snippets from MCIC 22 that will continue to be unpacked over the days to come. (Just so you know, I unpacked my clothes quite a while ago!) One thing I know is that the older I get, the longer it takes to recover with the time difference!
Be sure to join us on Thursday. The Link is below or you can sign up on our website.
Peace and Grace, Roberta J. Egli