Welcome Barb, our newest Regional Coordinator from the land of the Sun

Welcome Barb, our newest Regional Coordinator from the land of the Sun

We are so excited to introduce you to our newest Regional Coordinator, Barb (Barbara) Tegtmeier from Albuquerque New Mexico. Although Barb is officially retired, she has many different hats that she wears. She is a Lay Leader at her church, Christ United Methodist, is a certified Lay Ministry who organized a team and began Messy Church at her church, is a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) and recently become a Chaplain for Albuquerque Police Department. Whew!Barb tells me that at 66 years of age, it is difficult to keep her Bio brief.  I would think so when you meet her and experience her zest for life!

Barb shares this about her Messy Church Experience:  
I look forward to encouraging others in many denominations to begin Messy Church as a way of reaching more people for Jesus Christ. I strongly believe in the five values of Messy Church and do my best to hold my Messy Church team accountable to a high BAR. Our Messy Church Vision Statement at my church is: Christ UMC will continue our legacy by going out to meet people and return with them to a space for the power of the Holy Spirit to work in us all as we experience a grace filled encounter with God through Jesus Christ.

Welcome Barb, we are so glad you are part of our regional coordinators!!

Messy Blessings,
Roberta
Team Leader, Messy Church USA

Gearing up for Fall…Let’s Play

Roberta J. Egli

Gear up for Fall…Make Plans to Play

All the first day of school pictures on Facebook have brought a smile to my face over the past several weeks. As a parent of adult children, I have not had direct experience of that first day of both anticipation and joy (for most people) of the new school year for quite some time. I chuckled at the picture of an adult male teacher holding a “1,080th day of teaching” post! In addition to students and teachers, fall is a reset for all of us both young and old. How are you gearing up for fall in your family and in your Messy Churches?

Although it may seem like a paradox, I encourage you to gear up for fall by making time for play in both your home and Messy Church. A recent story from NPR by Anya Kamenetz explores a recent call for pediatricians to write a ‘prescription for play’. “Why”, you ask? Because ‘play is not frivolous …it is brain building’ according to the journal article in Pediatrics.

How does this article relate to the important culture of Messy Church? According to the article there are five proven benefits of play. One of these benefits relate directly to the culture of Messy Church: 1) Play helps families bond. The other four benefits include 2) play is essential for healthy brain development, 3) play reduces obesity and associated diseases, 4) play helps children manage stress and even recover from trauma, and 5) play contributes to academic skills.

Messy Church creates a space for families to come together

and bond through play!

Messy Church creates a space for families to come together and bond through play! What a gift we can provide for overscheduled people both young and old to spend several hours a month in a playful and well planned Messy Church! I preached a sermon introducing Messy Church once and used the importance of play. One quote that I love is from Charlie Hoehn who writes: “Play may be God’s greatest gift to (humankind). It’s how we form friendships, and learn skills, and master difficult things that help us survive. Play is…an outlet for creativity. Play brings music, comedy, dance, and everything we value. Above all, play is how we bond with each other…it is how we form connections with other humans.”

So my friends, as you gear up for a new season of Messy Church, don’t forget to have fun in your planning with other members of your team.  Bring a sense of curiosity and playfulness as you greet new and old returning to your Messy Church.  Play as you interact hosting a table at Messy Church. Play as you find creative ways to share the scripture. 

So my friends, as you gear up for a new season of Messy Church, don’t forget to have fun in your planning with other members of your team. Bring a sense of curiosity and playfulness as you greet new and old returning to your Messy Church. Play as you interact hosting a table at Messy Church. Play as you find creative ways to share the scripture.

I’d love to hear how you have seen play bond you together as a team and as a community of Messy Church!  Send me pictures and your thoughts! Post them on our Messy Church USA Facebook page or email me.  Have a fantastic fall and many.  Messy Blessings, Roberta 

Welcome our newest registered Messy Churches to the Messy Church  USA Network

We are excited for the thirteen new Messy Churches that have registered on our Messy Church USA website over the summer. If you have not done so already, please register your Messy Church on our website so that we can get your church up on our directory and we have current contact information. Check out the website to see if your church is on the directory and let us know if you do not see your church. We have discovered a few glitches that we are correcting.

• Freysville Emmanuel UCC from Red Lion PA
• Main Street UMC from Greenwood, SC
• Living Waters Ministries from Salem WI
• Huntington-Cold Spring Harbor UMC from Huntington, NY
• Bethany Presbyterian from Cleveland OH
• Ghent UMC from Norfolk, VA
• St Andrew’s On-the Sound Episcopal from Wilmington, NC
• Calvary Assembly of God from Beckley, WV
• Spring Creek Church of the Brethren from Hershey, PA
• First UMC from Newcastle, WY
• University UMC from Irvine, CA
• American Lutheran Church of Chinook, from Chinook , MT
• St. David’s Episcopal Church and School from Ashburn, VA

Time is running out to register for our fall training in California, Texas and South Carolina

California
When: October 6th, 2018 from 9am to 3 pm
Where: Community UMC of Huntington Beach, 6652 Heil Ave, Huntington Beach CA 92647
Cost: $25, per team ( subsidized by Cal- Pac Annual Conference New Ministries)
Register Here
Registration Deadline: September 28, 2018

Texas
When: October 13th, 2018 from 8:30am to 3:30pm
Where: Spring Branch Presbyterian, 1215 Campbell Rd, Houston, TX 77055
Cost: Individual – $30.00 (Partially Funded by Grant)
Group Rate – $70 for 2-5 people,
More than 5 per group is an additional $ 30 per person
Register Here

South Carolina
When: October 20th, 2018 from 8:30am to 3:30pm
Where: Aldersgate UMC, 7 Shannon Dr, in Greenville SC
Cost: Individual – $125.00
Group Rate – $150 for 2-5 people,
More than 5 per group is an additional $ 20 per person
Register Here
Registration Deadline: October 1, 2018

God Gave Me This

Lindsey Goodyear

Any moments this summer when you became overwhelmed with all the things you needed to do? Read on for valuable insight from Lindsey Goodyear,  a writer, mom and Messy Church leader at her Messy Church in California.  Thanks Lindsey for a great reminder for us all.                                                         Messy Last days of summer blessings, Roberta J. Egli 

For almost a month, I was drowning. If I were being generous, there may have been two times in those 30 days where I got within arm’s reach of breaking the surface of that water, only to be pulled back under with merciless force. Like so many others around the world, I had taken on too much and the weight of every day responsibility was crushing me. I was quick to anger, I had no patience for anyone who wasn’t as in as big of a hurry as I was, and I found myself forgetting to pray until I was so filled with anger I’d scream, “Please, God, give me a break!” It had me wishing there was a cave I could crawl into and hide from the world for a bit. I mean, things had to get back on track that way, right?

Having struggled with anxiety for most of my life, it’s unusually easy for me to spiral into negativity. Something difficult will happen, I will attempt to fix it myself (because I will not ask for help), I’ll pile it on along with the other thousand things I’ve volunteered for, as well as the normal everyday things I’m solely responsible for. Night will bring an hour or so of sleep before I wake with panic about forgetting something on my list or guilt from not living up to the seemingly perfect mothers on Instagram who spend endless hours with their kids. “Do I read to my youngest as much as I read to my oldest?” A mother’s guilt is undoubtedly inevitable and hardly ever justified. Although it usually takes a few of days, I’m ultimately able to find some time to catch up, get a good night’s sleep, and restart with renewed energy for the day’s undertaking. Then, a few months would pass, and it would all start again. This time, though, the restart wasn’t happening.

I wasn’t finding joy in my children but instead yelling at them anytime they became too loud. I put off the usual date nights with my husband because I had other (non-urgent) tasks to get done. He was always around anyway so what was the trouble in missing a dinner or two with him? I became irritated when organizations, I had volunteered for in the first place, asked for help with different projects. Didn’t they understand that I also worked tirelessly cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, organizing, working, AND they needed me to find time for them too? I had spiraled out of control. I was burnt out and anything that crossed my path became a burden of negativity beyond measure.

We attempted to take a break for a few days and head to San Diego with some of our friends. Still reeling from the stress of home, I was looking forward to a few days away. Immediately upon arrival, I came down with a stomach bug. The negative thoughts were raging, now.When do I get a break?!” It was then that God must have a had a parental “I’ve had it” moment with me because in the midst of agonizing nausea and stomach pain, I heard, loud and clear, a voice in my head say “God gave me this.” What? God gave me the stomach flu? And, then again, “God gave me this.”

I am not one of those people who have ever heard God “talking” to them but in this instance, it was undeniable who this statement was coming from. I, strangely, felt a comforting wave of relief that allowed me to fall into a deep sleep free from untimely wake-ups or looming guilt. When I woke up, it was like finding a well-lit room after a month of darkness. And, I got it. All of the things I’d been dwelling on, that had turned me into a self-loathing martyr, were not things that had happened to me, but were things that God had given me. A light was shed on the fact that I was losing patience with my children being “children” when there were women around the world agonizing over their barren reality. I was a mother and God gave me this. Also, that my husband still wanted to “date” me and does so with that same loving look in his eye as he did 13 years ago, is a blessing of love that many in this world are praying for daily. I am a wife, and God gave me this. I get to make a living by using my passion to write while others dread the daily grind and crave transition. I am a writer, and God gave me this. I have food to cook when we are hungry. God gave me this. I have machines that wash and dry my clothes. God gave me this. I can clean after my family because we actually have a home to live in. God gave me this. And so on and so on.

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses”

Abraham Lincoln

Don’t get me wrong, I still have days where the negativity starts to creep in. It’s unrealistic to think that we will never be affected by the daily obstacles thrown our way. Life is hard and life is messy. However, there has been a massive change in my thought process since I’ve regularly approached stressful situations with the mantra, “God gave me this.” Because with all of the messy things God has given to me, He has also given me the strength, tools, and Know-how to deal with them. It’s just a matter of changing our point of view. Abraham Lincoln once said, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” I absolutely love the idea that thorn bushes have roses and it’s all because…God gave me this.

Lindsey Goodyear
lindseygoodyear@gmail.com

Summer Time…savoring moments to be

Roberta J. Egli 

Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh
Orsay Museum, Paris

Have you been able to take any time this summer to ‘be’? One of my favorite summer moments where I was able to ‘be’ occurred during our vacation this summer. We spent a week in Paris and then went on to Germany to be with my sister at her wedding. It was my first time in Paris and seeing all the masterpieces was unbelievable. However I will never forget entering into the oval shaped rooms at the Musée de l’Orangerie and becoming immersed in the beauty of Monet’s water lilies. I was literally surrounded in beauty and as I turned 360 degrees my mouth fell open and I almost forgot to breathe!

Close up of Waterlilies, one of eight large panels  by Monet
Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris

As I returned home, my days filled up with email, phone calls, and to do lists that kept getting longer. I was reminded that in the midst of doing, I must become more intentional about finding moments to ‘be’. Letting go of our ‘doing’ and spending time ‘be-ing’ is a spiritual discipline.

We each have preferred ways of sinking into moments of ‘be-ing’- whether it is a moment of silence, listening to a favorite musician, taking a walk , looking for beauty in our everyday lives or getting lost in a book. One does not need to travel thousands of mile to find space, time, and beauty!

Writing about vacations and moments to savor may seem out of place for those of you who have already returned to school schedules. Your days and weeks may be filled with getting kids out the door for school or prepping for the busy fall kickoff in your church. Perhaps you are getting your Messy Church supply closet cleaned out and ready for another year! My friend, this is precisely the time to become more intentional regarding taking time and space in our lives to be.

I came across this animated video by Anita Rundles illustrating the beautiful poem The Summer Day by Mary Oliver which is a great reminder for us to take some moments to wonder at the world around us.

My prayer for all of you as August turns into September that in the midst of your messy and busy lives, you will find moments to savor, moments to breath a thank you to God for the gift of this ‘one and precious life’ that we have all be given. Yes, I know we have much to do, and as you read on you will see opportunities to join in the messy fun! However my friends don’t forget to be as you revel in the mystery of God.

Messy Blessings, Roberta

UPCOMING FALL REGIONAL TRAINING EVENTS

If you live close to Washington, California, Texas, or South Carolina be sure to check out the upcoming fall training opportunities. The one day Getting Started in Messy Church will give your team the vital tools to begin your own Messy Church. You will learn about the history, values, format and best practices to get started.

If you are already doing Messy Church, come to the training to get to know other churches in your area that are interested in starting a Messy Church so that you can all learn from one another to grow and sustain your Messy Church.

If you would like to schedule training in your area, you can contact your Messy Church USA Regional Coordinator or you can contact me. What happens at a ‘Getting Started Training”? More information here.

Washington
When: Saturday, August 25th, 2018 from 9am to 3 pm
Where: Federal Way United Methodist Church, 29645 51st Ave. S, Auburn, WA 98001
Cost: $125.00, per team
To Register: contact Ann Mayer at arsamayer@yahoo.com or call the church at 253-839-9220
Registration Deadline: August 18, 2018

California
When: October 6th, 2018 from 9am to 3 pm
Where: Community UMC of Huntington Beach, 6652 Heil Ave, Huntington Beach CA 92647
Cost: $25, per team (subsidized by Cal- Pac Annual Conference New Ministries)
Register Here
Registration Deadline: September 28, 2018

Texas
When: October 13th, 2018 from 8:30am to 3:30pm
Where: Spring Branch Presbyterian, 1215 Campbell Rd, Houston, TX 77055
Cost: Individual – $30.00 (Partially Funded by Grant)
Group Rate – $70 for 2-5 people,
More than 5 per group is an additional $ 30 per person
Register Here

South Carolina
When: October 20th, 2018 from 8:30am to 3:30pm
Where: Aldersgate UMC, 7 Shannon Dr, in Greenville SC
Cost: Individual – $125.00
Group Rate – $150 for 2-5 people,
More than 5 per group is an additional $ 20 per person
Register Here
Registration Deadline: October 1, 2018

Our Newest Regional Coordinator

Roberta J. Egli

Sandee Cole
Greater Plains Regional Coordinator

We are excited to announce that Sandee Cole is our newest Regional Coordinator at Messy Church USA. Sandee is our ‘Greater Plains’ RC and will cover the Dakotas, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa.

Sandee Prouty-Cole grew up on a farm near Hazel, SD attending the small country church of Kellerton United Methodist, where she was very involved in Youth Group, Youth Musical Cantatas and Programs, served as a church pianist while in high school, and helping to launch and lead a Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle at Hamlin High School. She graduated from South Dakota State University (SDSU) with degrees in Mathematics w/Secondary Education and Computer Science, took part in a six-month International 4-H Youth Exchange to Australia, and has worked in the world of business and information systems as well as a Business & Information Systems Consultant, running her own consulting business for 7 years.

Sandee is currently on staff at Watertown First United Methodist Church as the Children’s Ministry Coordinator and has worked on leading a team through the discernment, launching, and ongoing shepherding of Messy Church as the Signature Ministry for First Church. Sandee is currently enrolled in the Deacon Studies at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary to further pursue and answer God’s call to go and make disciples for the transformation of the world. She is married and has a daughter who is a sophomore in college. Sandee enjoys spending time with family, friends, and the family pets, all kinds of music, cooking, reading, gardening, and travelling to new places.

Learn more about the impact of the Watertown Messy Church here. (link to previous post)  Welcome Sandee!

Messy Church at Watertown UMC, South Dakota

Getting Started in Messy Church Fall Trainings

Roberta J. Egli 

If you live close to Washington, California, Texas, or South Carolina be sure to check out the upcoming fall training opportunities. The one day  Getting Started in Messy Church will give your team the vital tools to begin your own Messy Church. You will learn about the history, values, format and best practices to get started.

If you are already doing Messy Church, come to the training to get to know other churches in your area that are interested in starting a Messy Church so that you can all learn from one another to grow and sustain your Messy Church.

If you would like to schedule a training in your area, you can contact your Messy Church USA regional coordinator or Roberta at roberta@messychurchusa.org. 

Washington
When: Saturday, August 25th, 2018 from 9am to 3 pm
Where: Federal Way United Methodist Church, 29645 51st Ave. S, Auburn, WA   98001
Cost: $125.00, per team
To Register: contact Ann Mayer at arsamayer@yahoo.com or call the church at 253-839-9220
Registration Deadline: August 18, 2018

California
When: October 6th, 2018 from 9am to 3 pm
Where: Community UMC of Huntington Beach, 6652 Heil Ave, Huntington Beach CA   92647
Cost: $25, per team ( subsidized by Cal- Pac Annual Conference New Ministries) 
Register Here
Registration Deadline: September 28, 2018

Texas
When: October 13th, 2018 from 8:30am to 3:30pm
Where: Spring Branch Presbyterian, 1215 Campbell Rd, Houston, TX 77055
Cost: Individual – $30.00 (Partially Funded by Grant)
Group Rate – $70 for 2-5 people,
More than 5 per group is an additional $ 30 per person
Register Here

South Carolina
When: October 20th, 2018 from 8:30am to 3:30pm
Where: Aldersgate UMC, 7 Shannon Dr, in Greenville SC
Cost: Individual – $125.00
Group Rate – $150 for 2-5 people,
More than 5 per group is an additional $ 20 per person
Register Here
Registration Deadline: October 1, 2018

Register Soon! This is expected to sell out!

Have you made plans yet to attend this awesome opportunity in May 2019?  Do not delay! Registration is now open and places are expected to fill quickly! The first conference in 2016 was AWESOME! It was great fun to meet Messy Church people from all over the world! This is an unmissable opportunity. Click here to register. 

Messy Church USA Partial Scholarships for the MCIC 2019 conference are still available. Click here for the application.

 “What is Messy Church” Webinar

Do you have people ask you the question, “What is Messy Church”?  Invite your friends to sign up for the next webinar on Thursday, July 26th at 8:30 PDT.  Register Here.

Do you have a Small but Mighty Messy Church?

Roberta J. Egli

I know you” shouted an excited fifth grader at recess as she ran to the fence of her elementary school to greet Tamara and Mark Manning, the leaders of a Messy Church in Jefferson Oregon. She continued, “you go to MY church, MY Messy Church– I LOVE IT– when is the next one?” Tami shared this story with me recently which brought a smile to my face as I have also experienced that ‘I know you’ moment in unexpected places, like the potato chip aisle of a neighborhood grocery store.

Finding a place to belong, for young and old, is a basic human need, especially in a world where there is polarization, conflict and division. To find a place where we can know others and can be known and loved unconditionally is life giving. What Messy Church stories of belonging do you have?

Belonging is at the heart of what we’re trying to do in Messy Church.

Lucy Moore, Founder of Messy Church



Lucy Moore reflected in a blog post way back in 2016 that “belonging is at the heart of what we’re trying to do in Messy Church. We want people to be able to say with integrity and excitement, ‘this is our church. This is our God. This is our Story. This is our Family. This is where we feel at home, accepted, known by name and free to take risks because we know that here we are most deeply loved.” Check out Lucy’s belonging barometer by clicking above. 

Messy Church at Jefferson UMC meets every other month.  At one of their more recent Messy Churches they had 32 people in attendance- a few more people than attended that week’s Sunday morning worship.  Messy Church at Jefferson UMC is a great example of a small but  mighty Messy Church. They are connecting with people in their town that do not belong at any other church.

Mark Manning leading an activity at Jefferson UMC Messy Church 

 I remember being discouraged when our ‘numbers’ for our Messy Church decreased in its second year and our team gathered to discuss what we were doing ‘wrong’ since our numbers had dropped. One wise team member shared that in her opinion, smaller numbers gave us a great opportunity to meet our goal to strengthen relationships within our Messy Church community. With a smaller group we were able to spend more time with each other and get to know one another more deeply. What I originally viewed as a problem became a great opportunity!

Messy Churches come in all shapes and sizes, just like the Messy families that gather together!  In fact, in the 2016 Messy Church survey, 43% of churches across the globe have 21-40 people attend regularly, what many of us may describe as small. My friends, small is not something to use as a disclaimer when we describe our Messy Churches but it is something to celebrate! Claim your gifts as a small Messy Church!  You are building relationships, you are creating space for people to belong and you are sharing the good news that we are all known and loved by God.  May your Messy Church be Small  but Mighty!  Messy Blessings, Roberta 

Go to our FB page to share your “Hey, I know you” stories!

July Links 

Sign up for Messy Church International Conference May 3-5 2019

Sign up for Messy Church USA Scholarship to attend MCIC 2019

Lucy’s Most Recent Blog post on Brokenness

Click here to learn about Messy Church USA Fall Training Events in Washington, California, Texas and South Carolina 

Dancing with God

Lindsey Goodyear

Every once in a while, I come across a scent that immediately takes me back to my high school gym. Remember that smell? A little bit of cleaner, a little bit of basketball leather, a little bit of sweat. Not a terrible smell, just an irrefutable “oh, yep! That’s a gym” smell. Decorated with vibrant flows of orange and gray, home to the Greyhounds, that gym held memories of nothing but fun for me. Pep rallies, talent shows, exciting basketball games, and school dances. Oh, those high school dances! We’d prepare for weeks decorating, selling tickets, hyping the event, and perfecting our style, all in order to walk in and stand around the outside perimeter while popular songs played to an empty dance floor. Heaven forbid one of the popular kids actually saw you dance and had an unflattering thought float your way. So, when the awkward standing, whispering, and group trips to the girl’s bathroom had run their course, the DJ would announce last song of the night. It was an all-out scramble to hit the dance floor and enjoy at least some part of the work we’d endured. And, suddenly, it would hit me. THIS IS SO MUCH FUN! Dancing wildly, laughing, and letting the music fill my soul, how on Earth was I not out here sooner? At night’s end, I would vow to have this much fun from the beginning of the night, every dance, from here on out. And, when the next one came, with the same amount of work and glamorous preparation, I’d comfortably settle in to my spot on the sidelines.

A recent realization at our own Messy Church sent school dance feelings flooding back. Much like our old high school soiree, we spend weeks preparing and hyping our event, while others showed increasing excitement in attending our Messy affair. However, as the families flooded in, we noticed an expanding number of parents standing off to the side and, instead of joining in, they watched as their children boisterously threw themselves into Messy Church. This was a problem. Messy Church means church for all ages and we had roughly half of our attendees sitting on the sidelines, missing the fun. Just like the dance, we had lost them before the first song started. Also eerily similar was the way everyone jumped in at dinnertime. Most adults sat, smiling adoringly, through crafts and celebration, yet, when we headed in for dinner, we heard roars of laughter and easily flowing conversation. It was as if dinnertime was the DJ calling last dance and everyone scurried to enjoy themselves once they realized it was almost over. There lied our hurdle. How were we, as a Messy team, going  to break the ice early, and get them to enjoy the entire Messy dance, instead of just the last call?

How were we, as a Messy team, going to break the ice early, and get them to enjoy the entire Messy dance, instead of just the last call?” 

The suggestion of using a parachute while praying was brought up at one of our Messy planning meetings. The idea is to have both hands of every individual in attendance of Messy Church grasping a parachute. People take turns calling out something they are thankful for and, in response, the parachute is lifted high overhead while our members call out, “for this, God, we thank you!” The prayer would take place just after check-in and before we went in for crafts in order to be an early ice-breaker. In preparation for our first time, every member of our planning team went in with an emergency “thankful phrase” in the event that things went awkwardly silent. The first time, we used every single one. The second month went the same. Not ones to give up, we went for it again the following month. This time, in between our team members sharing thanksgiving, the most glorious sound interfered. A tiny thanks from a toe-headed, bright blue eyed 6 year old boy named Matthew who quietly said “for my friends and family” to which we all gleefully threw our handfuls of parachute up in the air to yell, “for this, God, we thank you!” From there, we stuck with that parachute prayer as the new normal for our Messy start.

Parachute Prayer Opening Activity
Community UMC, Huntington Beach, CA

The fact that we were able to problem solve and find a solution does not mean we’ve perfected our shindig in any way. It’s called Messy Church for a reason. Our events, our lives, are just that… Messy. We were lucky in finding an activity to bring some of our members out of their comfort zone and into the party sooner. There will surely be more hurdles we’ll cross in the future and more brainstorming to repair them but this was a huge breakthrough for us! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be any sort of example here. The only reason I do these exercises is because I’m on the planning team. It’s my job. If I weren’t, I would, without a doubt, be the parent smiling and taking it all in from a distance to avoid possible judgmental embarrassment. I, often out of fear, stand in the shadows. However, in the end, it brought about some clarity to my own frequently self-conscious mind. There is no judgment when I walk through our Messy doors. The most popular kid at our gatherings is God and he’d never negatively judge us for acting foolish or getting messy in the process of having fun. Certainly not when we’re engrossed in the learning of His word. He lovingly and carefully places opportunities in our path, even if they scare us. We have to be aware of those opportunities. Life is short. Throw out the worries of others and get on the dance floor from the start. If we spend our lives standing on the sidelines, we could miss the most important dance of all…our dance with God.

Lindsey Goodyear attends Messy Church at Community UMC in Huntington Beach, CA. After attending Messy Church with her husband and two sons, she joined the leadership team for her Messy Church. We are delighted that she has agreed to be a regular blogger for Messy Church USA. Click here to contact her. 

TGIF…Messy Logo News

Roberta J. Egli

Time to Change your Messy Church Logo

Did you know that Messy Church has a new logo? You will love the new options available to download in high resolution from the Messy Church BRF website. You can also request a customized logo that has your own church name in the logo itself. Six months ago, the new logo was rolled out for all of the global community minus the United States. We received news this week that the logo is now trademarked in the United States and we can now use it. Be sure to go to the Messy Church BRF website to download and not google images!

Purchase Logo Products

Looking for a way to generate excitement in your neighborhood families about Messy Church? Many Messy Churches around the world have found that Messy Church logo products like T shirts, aprons, sweat shirts, coffee mugs, and banners help to get the word out.

Example– (yes we know we need to update the logo!)

Messy Church USA has developed an exclusive relationship with Triangle Graphics in Eugene, Oregon to provide you with a selection of logo products at an affordable price. Prices per item are lower when larger quantities are ordered. Check out the page on our website.

Have a great weekend!  I am looking forward to spending a weekend with relatives from all over the United States on the beautiful Oregon Coast.  Be on the look out for a new blog post next week from Lindsey Goodyear on parachute prayers! Messy Blessings, Roberta

All Age Messy Activity

Robin Cannon from Deep Creek United Methodist Church, Chesapeake,VA

Wondering how to engage those teens and adults in Messy Church?  Robin shared their experience of creating all-age experiences at their Messy Church in Chesapeake, VA.  Thanks Robin for sharing your story!

Messy Stained Glass created by Deep Creek UMC, Chesapeake VA 

Messy Church Stained Glass 

Our mid-sized church launched Messy Church this past September. Our hope was that we would be able to make connections with the many families who are a part of our church’s preschool and day care ministries and who are not a part of a faith community. We have been thrilled by the response. We average around 80 people and every month we have new, young families join us! Our goal was to reach out to young families and provide for them a non-intimating faith building experience and we have seen that happening each month.

Teenagers inviting friends to join them for Messy Church – it is such a beautiful thing!

We have also experienced some results that we did not anticipate. In our Messy Church planning, we have tried to be intentional about planning activities and stations that teens and adults would also enjoy such as our “stained glass window” painting project. The result has been that we now also have a group of adults and teens that love Messy Church! Each month many of our activities are planned and led by teens. This has produced some very enthusiastic teenagers who love what they are doing and are regularly inviting their friends to join us! Teenagers inviting friends to join them for Messy Church – it is such a beautiful thing!

We have also been intentional about planning a missions/serving activity each month. Our adults really enjoy the opportunities to be doing things for others each month. Thus far we have decorated cookies that were given to teachers at a nearby school, packaged rice and beans for our Food Pantry, packed goodie bags that everyone took to hand out to people who are rarely thanked for what they do, made Christmas cards for sick children, and helped make shoes for children in Uganda through Sole Hope. It has been wonderful to see all ages working together to share the Light and Love of Jesus with others!

We love Messy Church and are so thankful for all the wonderful ideas that come from other Messy Churches all around the world!

How to Make Messy Stained Glass

  • We cut sheets of clear of cellophane (you can buy it in rolls like wrapping paper at Michael’s) the size of our glass doors and taped them over the glass using painters tape.
  • We projected the image we wanted and traced with a black sharpie.
  • We sectioned off the images using black electrical tape – to create sections and give it a stained glass feel.
  • We covered the floor with tarps and prayed that this project didn’t go very badly – what could go wrong painting the doors with acrylic paint in the church gathering space!?!
  • At our Let your Light Shine Messy Church, everyone painted! We used good acrylic paint (the artist kind that comes in tubes at Michael’s). I think this is key to bright colors and paint thick enough not dribble and make a big mess. All 8 of these doors got nearly finished at our Messy Church and they are big hit – we’ve had them up for nearly a month now. We did a little bit of touch up the day after Messy Church to finish a few spots up – but this truly was an inter-generational project with kids, teens and adults all working together!