Merry Messy Christmas from Messy Church USA!

Author Archive for bethannon

Merry Messy Christmas from Messy Church USA!

Written by Roberta J. Egli

Our website is now online! After months – it felt like years at times- the Messy Church USA website is ready for you to check out at www.messychurchusa.org.  A Christmas miracle and a gift to you! A big thanks to Bet Hannon and the developers at Affordable Church Website Program who spent hours working with the Messy Church USA board to create the site.

The six month process of creating content, revising, editing, revising again has been both a big blessing and a challenge! The work has reminded me that reality does not always meet my unrealistic expectations and that creating, developing and creating a large project is a messy process. I also know that this is just the beginning of keeping the website dynamic and up to date. These quotes are a good reminder for me as we launch the website and also celebrate the miracle of Christmas.

“Beginnings are always messy” ~ John Galsworthy

“Life itself is a haphazard, untidy, messy affair” ~ Dorothy Day

“People are messy; therefore, relationships will be messy.
Don’t be surprised by messiness.” ~ Timothy Keller

Establishing a non-profit, signing a licensed agreement with Bible Reading Fellowship, planning and hosting a Messy Church USA national conference and getting a website developed has been messy work these past six months. Something that we learned from one project affected the other projects. A question from the web developer caused a change in our business plan. It has been a glorious mess!

Relaxing after the Getting Messy in USA conference at Pastor Ginny’s home. In Laguna Beach, CA.

Back Row: Roberta and Lynn Egli, Leyla Wagner, Ginny Wheeler, Lindsey Goodyear, Marty Drake

Front Row:  Lucy Moore, Martyn Payne and Stephen Fischbacher

I am reminded that things did not go as planned for Mary and Joseph in the beginning of Jesus life on earth. Rather than a comfortable home, the biblical story has Jesus born in the mess of a stable. The smell of the barnyard accompanied the birth of Jesus rather than the smell of a wonderful home cooked meal.

Where are you experiencing the coming of the incarnate in the mess of new beginnings in your life and ministry?

I have heard from a number of you who have started Messy Churches recently and have had frustrations with either not enough people or more people than expected. Starting something new is messy. We make plans and then are surprised by reality.

I have heard from others who are more experienced in all things Messy Church. Over the years, you have learned to go with the flow and trust the unexpected. The hope of creating Messy Church USA is that we can all learn from one another as we network and share our experiences.

In closing, I would like to share a poem by the John O’Donahue that has become a mantra for me as I have let go of my need to ‘know’ and control life and have begun the process of trusting life.

“I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.”
(John O Donahue)

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and I look forward to a surprising, messy, unfolding 2018!

Roberta
Rock Painted Nativity from Aldersgate UMC, Aldersgate, South Carolina