Give Thanks…for the Beauty of the Earth

Give Thanks…for the Beauty of the Earth

Lindsey Goodyear

Exploring the Woods at Shipley Nature Center
September Messy Church, Huntington Beach, CA

My husband and I were married for six years before we had kids. Much of the time leading up to that point was filled by late nights with friends, vacations on a whim, and the luxury of sleeping in. But, by far, our most coveted pastime was eating at new restaurants. We absolutely love food and in the days before children, we thought nothing of indulging at pricey places for hours on end. There was only ever one part of our dining experience that became an annoyance…observing parents, deep in conversation, while their children played on an iPad. I mean, what kind of person can’t parent enough to make it through one dinner without an iPad?! Our conversation always went the same way, “when we have kids, there will be absolutely NO screen time! Not at the table or anywhere else. The screen will NOT be a babysitter because we will actually be present parents.” Flash forward six years to us sitting at Cheesecake Factory while our boys watch Disney videos on my phone.

Since we both work from home, my husband and I do our best to balance quality time with our boys and making a living. Our boys are adventurous, but I’d be lying if I told you they always played outside and never watched a screen while we worked. I often get worried that they’re missing out on childhood experiences on the days where they watch, what is in my opinion, a little too much television. But then, my guilty conscience is renewed when we have an epic day outdoors doing nothing but having fun in good, clean dirt! However, even on those days, it seems, they always ask for screen time as soon as we’re home. I always wonder if technology disappeared today, would they have the wherewithal to fulfill a lifetime of boredom with what they could find outside?

In September, our Messy Church decided to get back to nature and host an entire Messy night at Shipley Nature Center. Located just down the street from our church, Shipley’s is a magnificent 18-acre fenced nature preserve where families can come to observe breathtaking trails, a fresh water stream, and over 50,000 California native plants. All of our activities were done using what God gave us in nature. Since it was in such a beautiful setting, we didn’t have nearly as many crafts as usual so people could walk in leisure while taking in the beauty surrounding them. I, however, watched in horror as our boys were part of a big group of kids working their way through the preserve at warp speed. They ran from one activity to the next so quickly that I dreaded the “I’m bored” comments that would surely come when they ran out of fun things to do on the trail. Yet, when we reached the last table, and I waited for the complaints, I witnessed what God had in store to ease my worry. My boys simply handed over their finished craft, turned around, and ran into the woods.

Taking the time to soak up God’s handcrafted nature

is a necessity we need in our lives.

After dropping off our finished work with our other belongings, I began to jog on a trail, taking in the beauty around me. It was an unusually serene couple of minutes as I usually have ear pods in and a podcast on when I run. I could hear the nearing laughter of my boys and their friends when I came to an opening in the trees. My boys, and two of their friends, were hauling a large branch to use in a fort, while one lead the way with a walking stick and the littlest one supervised in the back. Using what they could find along the trail, the four of them were happy as could be building a palace of their dreams with rocks, sticks, and dirt. Then, a sudden revelation came over me. If all technology disappeared today, they’d be fine. They’d be fine because everything these little guys need, everything any of us need, is here in what God has provided for us. It’s why what’s provided in nature seemed like the newest groundbreaking toys to our kids. It’s why I felt more refreshed after a silent two minute run than I do after a 45 minute one with headphones in. Taking the time to soak up God’s handcrafted nature is a necessity we need in our lives. We just can’t get too caught up in the “busying” things of life to miss the beauty of His work.


Lindsey Goodyear
Writer, Mom, Messy Church USA Blogger
Lindseygoodyear@gmail.com
 

Practicing Gratitude

Roberta J. Egli

istock

Did you see the grateful pumpkin Facebook post that ended up being Messy Church USA’s most liked and shared post? What an easy and great way to practice gratitude in your household or your Messy Church!

I have discovered that it takes intentionality to enter into a regular practice of gratitude. I have kept a gratitude journal in the past but for several years, I have received the daily gratefulness word of the day from a website on gratitude focused on the writings of David Stendle-Rast. I encourage you to check out their website and sign up for their daily moment of gratitude. You can also send an e-card, light a virtual prayer candle, get inspired by stories, discover videos or simply check out their question of the day.

How do you practice gratitude in your household? How can we practice gratitude in our Messy Churches? I recently read a great gratitude household practice called ‘Gratitude Café’. Based on a mother’s habit of taking her morning coffee outside and giving thanks at the beginning of each morning, Traci Smith, author of Faithful Families writes about creating a regular ( weekly if possible) gratitude café.

  • First choose a day of the week (Saturday morning or Sunday evenings work well for many families) for the household to gather.
  • Second, make a favorite beverage for each of the household (coffee, tea, orange juice, or hot chocolate).
  • Third, gather someplace either inside or outside to enjoy their beverage. Perhaps you want to use a special tablecloth or candle for your gratitude café.
  • Fourth, have each household member either draw a picture or if able, write down five things for which they are grateful.(When you start your gratitude café, you may need to ask some  leading questions such as; Are you thankful for anything you received this past week? Are you thankful for anything special we have done as a family? Are you thankful for anything you have learned? Etc.
  • After a time of silence while everyone writes or draws, share your ideas with one another.
  • After everyone has shared, say a simply prayer together, “Gracious, we give you thanks for all you have given us this past week. Amen”

Introduce the Gratitude Café during your Messy Meal and then send the idea home for households to practice at home. You can have people save their drawings / paper and create a Gratitude Café mosaic for your Messy Church.

May you find ways to practice gratitude today and in the days to come and better yet, make your gratitude practice messy!
Messy Blessings, Roberta

October: An Attitude for Gratitude

Roberta J Egli

On a glorious afternoon this past summer, I had the joy of celebrating the 3rd birthday of my great niece. Aunts, cousins, uncles, grandpa and grandma were all gathered in a circle in the backyard with the birthday family chatting, eating pizza and enjoying hanging out with one another. As the gifts were opened, the big brother and the birthday girl were equally excited about ripping off the gift wrap of each package. A small metal tea set, not the largest nor the most expensive gift opened that day, was the gift that brought joy and laughter not only to the two youngest children but to all of us gathered. We were all served cups of water/tea and sometimes got some extra water spilled upon us with the exuberance of the children serving us. This experience reminded me of a story I have heard from Brother David Steindl-Rast regarding the difference between thankfulness and gratitude. Thankfulness, Brother David shared, is illustrated by the sincere ‘thank you’ offered when the birthday gift was opened. In comparison, my great niece and nephew who played joyfully with the gift while also sharing their joy and the gift with others is an example of gratefulness.

Love wholeheartedly, be surprised, give thanks and praise –
then you will discover the fullness of your life.

~ Brother David Stendle-Rast

Although we do not have birthday cake or any birthday presents, Messy Church USA is celebrating a birthday…we are now one year old! The quote from Brother David is a true description of this past year. I have been surprised many times and I give thanks and praise for this past year of life of Messy Church USA. Here a few highlights from this past year!

  • “Getting Messy in the USA” national conference in October 2017. Over 100 people gathered from across the United States as we launched as an organization by inspiring presentations by founder Lucy Moore, taco trucks and bonfires on the beach as well as so much more!
  • Growth of the Messy Church USA Network. We have grown to 72 churches that have registered on our website! Thank you for taking the time to register! With information from BRF in the UK, we estimate that are over 125 active Messy Churches in the United States so we still need to get some more of you to register!
  • Growth of Regional Coordinators. We have tripled in size and have moved across the USA as we have grown from 3 to 12 Regional Coordinators. I am so grateful for the wonderful people who have said yes to this volunteer role of helping Messy Churches start and connect. We meet monthly via zoom teleconference calls and it is so exciting to see how Messy Church is affecting so many lives.
  • “Getting Started In Messy Church” Training. In the past year, there have been six full day training mostly in the western side of the United States. However, we are excited that this month, there are three more trainings scheduled in California, Texas and South Carolina. Our goal is to schedule at least one training per month in 2019 so let us know if you would like to have training in your area.
Map of Messy Churches from the United States that are in our data base! 

What a year this has been! My heart is full of thanks and praise! Thank you for sharing in the mission of Messy Church USA: to equip local churches to start, sustain and connect Messy Churches across the USA. Pray for us as we move into this second year of ministry. Drop me a note and let me know how you have been surprised by the Spirit moving in and through your Messy Church!

Messy Blessings,
Roberta

Deep Waters

A Blog Post by Lindsey Goodyear

Sahalie Falls, McKenzie Pass, Oregon
Photo by Roberta Egli

Every August, our Messy Church planning team decides to take it easy. Since Summertime means vacations, parties, and other school-less activities, our messy congregation can get a little sparse during the warm months. Living in southern California, August is one of the hottest months so it is imperative to find shelter from the heat wherever you can. Sitting inside the sanctuary or any other indoor location, is simply not an option. So, we brought our messy gathering 100% outdoors and lined up the water themed activities! Walking on water, gutter races, water balloon toss, ring a duck, sprinklers, and the grand finale activity…A towering inflatable super water slide!

Photo from pexels.com

Normally, we spend our planning time coming up with activity ideas that directly correlate to the verse at hand. This Messy Church seemed to be more of a typical party, rather than a learning experience for our guests. Until we sat down, outside, draped in wet beach towels, and breathing in the smell of BBQ burgers in the warm evening air to listen to a verse from Isaiah.

“When you pass through the waters, I
will be with you;
And when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze”
-Isaiah 43:2

For me, personally, this deeply comforting verse came at the perfect time. Summer is time for lazy days and relaxing schedules but the looming stress of getting back to school, work, sports, and everyday rigid schedules was something undeniably in the air for all of us. I noticed, in June and July, members were buzzing with excitement as they detailed their delight for consecutive free days of leisure. Now, conversations had turned to back to school shopping, carpool, and work obligations. Yes, we were all still having a great time, but the verse hit home for a lot of us. And, when we listened to the celebration and what could qualify as “deep waters,” there was a noticeable shift as the congregation made the connections. Children of all ages were raising hands when asked if they ever felt in deep water with friendships or projects at school, while adults definitely raised their hands when asked about feeling in deep water with work and family responsibilities. The “wet n’ wild” event undoubtedly ended with an “aha!” moment for all parties involved when we realized just exactly what this verse meant…

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you”

Isaiah 43:2

Life gives us a lot. Sure, it seems like the safer thing to do, rather than face the scary swells of life, would be to stay on shore. But, the truth is, the responsibilities we have are unavoidable. Going headfirst into the rapids may seem scary but that’s where Isaiah comes in. There is absolutely no chance of the river sweeping over you because God will ALWAYS reach you first. He is our permanent life preserver and knowing, without a doubt, that our God is stronger than the strongest current, means that those everyday terrifying swells turn to a lazy river in an instant. That’s not to say our stress and anxiety will cease to exist. It just means when it starts to creep in, remember He is there. Go forward with tight schedules and deadlines and know He is there. Face what seems too overwhelming to deal with, and know He is there. Demolish the torrent because He is there. He is always there.

“When you feel like you’re drowning in life, don’t worry.

Your lifeguard walks on water.”

~Anonymous
Lindsey Goodyear

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.