A Messy Interview- MCIC 2019

A Messy Interview- MCIC 2019

Blog post by Lindsey Goodyear who interviewed Leyla Wagner, Messy Church USA Board of Directors, California Messy Church USA Regional Co-Coordinator. 

Messy Church USA (MCUSA) Delegation at Messy Church International Conference 2019 with Messy Church/ Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF) Leaders
Front row L-R: Jay Elliot(BRF), Maureen Carey-Back (VA), Leyla Wagner(CA), Marty Drake(CA), Steve Kim(NY)
Back row L-R: Lynn Egli(OR), Crystal Goetz(WA), Canon Richard Fisher (BRF), Roberta Egli(OR), Lucy Moore(BRF)

Last month, some of our Messy team members attended the highly anticipated Messy Church International Conference in London. Because I was unable to attend, I decided to pick the brain of one of my favorite Messy friends and see just how much fun I missed out on. Please enjoy this interview with Leyla Wagner from Community United Methodist Church (CUMC) in Huntington Beach, CA!

Lindsey: This is your second trip across the pond for Messy Church, how was this time different from the last?

Leyla: Three Years ago, we had only been doing Messy Church for three years when we went. There weren’t really any other Messy Churches around, and, it was before MCUSA was even a thought, so our CUMC team was really on our own. We were drawing from training and using print and online resources in figuring out Messy Church. It was amazing being around the energy and excitement of others hosting Messy Churches and realizing we were part of a bigger community. We learned so much and realized that our joys and challenges were similar to many. This time I didn’t expect as much excitement. We’ve had Messy Church at CUMC for 6 years now…and the oldest Messy Churches in the UK are celebrating 15 years! I was amazed because the excitement and energy was not only still there, but it was just as high. Rather than just talking about the nuts and bolts of Messy Church, this time conversations focused on sharing stories of seeing how Messy Church is transforming the lives of people who are attending and how it is making an impact worldwide.

Lindsey: I’m sure there were familiar faces, were you able to network with any new Messy friends?

Leyla: It’s funny…I only saw a couple of people that I had met the first time even though I heard many times from people I was in conversation with that they had also been there for the first conference….we hadn’t connected. So actually, this time I feel like I made many more Messy Friends than before. I even met two more people from the US. I felt a stronger connection to people this time and I think it’s because we were sharing deeper stories, not just nuts and bolts stories…and many were part of leadership teams for their countries so it was interesting to learn more about their experiences with the bigger church, as well.

Lindsey: You’ve mentioned to me that this convention was rejuvenating. What do you, personally, feel fueled your passion for Messy Church the most?

Leyla: I was rejuvenated by so many things! I loved hearing the research that supports what we are what the leading Messy Churches are seeing…that what we are doing is making a difference, making disciples and that Messy Church is church! We are re-imagining church…possibly changing it to be something God can use to reach people today. I also liked hearing the journey of the past 15 years and realizing how much has been accomplished from this “Grass Roots/organic” movement in such a short time. Lastly, I feel called to be a part of Messy church but often worry that I don’t have a background or enough bible/theological knowledge to be “leading” Messy Church. During one reflection, Martyn Payne told the story of Moses and the burning bush and we sang a wonderful Fischy Music song so I left feeling that I have everything I need to do what I’m being called to do because God is behind me, beside me and in front of me.

“God is at the Center of this Messy Church journey”

Leyla Wagner

Lindsey: What was your favorite activity at the international conference?

Leyla: Again, there were many activities I really liked. I loved the key speakers, reflections, prayer stations and, I enjoyed meeting people and sharing stories. But, my favorite activity was the add-on day (Monday) that was only for leadership teams from all the different countries. We broke into small groups being made up of representatives from all countries there and gave input on questions Messy Church BRF asked. It really felt like an International experience and I liked hearing perspectives from all over the world.

Lindsey: Anything you’re planning on using at our own Messy Church that you learned while there?

Leyla: Andrew Roberts is the author of a book called Holy Habits. It’s based on the passage written by Luke in Acts 2 42-47 and focus’ on creating deep and committed disciples by practicing and living out the 10 Holy Habits. These include: Biblical Teaching, Breaking Bread, Eating Together, Fellowship, Gladness and Generosity, Making more Disciples, Prayer, Serving, Sharing Resources and Worship. These Holy Habits align with the values of Messy Church, and are applicable and easily accessible to all-ages. This year the Get Messy Magazine, which provides monthly curriculum resources to Messy Churches, will be focusing on a different Holy Habit each month. We will most likely use these and the other supplemental for deepening the quality of our own Messy Church.

Lindsey: I know Steven Fischbacher founder of Fischy Music  was there rocking and rolling! Any new Fischy Music that’s a must have?

Leyla: ALL Fischy Music is a MUST HAVE!  (Note from Roberta Egli– Check out a video of Steven leading our final song at the conference Here)

Lindsey: What was your biggest takeaway from your experience in London?

Leyla: That God is at the Center of this Messy Church journey.

Lindsey: Do you think you’ll attend the next overseas international convention?

Leyla: Well, I would love to be able to attend the next International Conference in 3 years. So much has happened in the three years since the last International Conference it’s hard to imagine where we’ll be in 3 more years. Marty and I met Roberta and Julie at that first International Conference. We came home and hosted the first National Messy Church Conference a year and a half later while working with Robera, Julie, Lynn, Nicole and Lucy to start MCUSA. Anyway…..I think attending an International Conference helps us as local Messy Church leaders to feel connected to the bigger Messy Church organization and share in the excitement. But, it’s also helpful for our roles in Messy Church USA.

Lindsey: We will host one in the states before then. Is there anything you particularly loved that we will see incorporated into out next convention?

Leyla: Yes, we are hoping to host a National Conference in the Fall of 2020 and there are definitely things that we will incorporate but those will be decided by the MCUSA team and Conference Planning Team. One thing that came out of this International Conference that will be incorporated into our National Conference, and highlighted even more in training across the US, is the best practices for starting a sustaining a Messy Church…which starts with training. (Check out Messychurchusa.org for a training near you!) Haha!

Lindsey: I was so sad to miss the trip so, just for fun, what was your favorite meal while there?

Leyla: Ah, we were really sad that you couldn’t make it, too. My favorite meal was the last one of the trip. Roberta and I both had Fish and Chips. So good! (She has a great picture of them.) Hey…just wondering…will YOU make the trip in three years?

Lindsey: Given how much time I spent stalking the conference on Facebook, I think it’s a definite yes!

Last Meal in UK! Fish and Chips with peas! Yummy!

Sign up today for the upcoming May Events

There is still time to register for the Kingston, New York and Waterloo, Illinois Getting Started in Messy Church Training Events coming up SOON! 
Attending the Getting Started in Messy Church Training as a team increases your effectiveness in starting you own Messy Church. Although the title is about ‘starting’, your team will find this training valuable even if you have been leading a Messy Church. Connecting with others who are starting or continuing their Messy Church is a strong indicator that you will be successful in this exciting way of being church.

Kingston New York on May 11th: This training on May 11th will be led by Julie Hintz and is at Kingston United Methodist Church in Kingston, New York.  Click Here to register.

Waterloo, Illinois on May 18th: Roberta Egli will lead this church at St Paul’s United Church of Christ in Waterloo, Illinois. Waterloo is only 30 minutes from St. Louis. Register Here.

  • Upcoming Training Events
    • Williamsburg, Virginia on June 29th
    • Michigan City, Indiana on August 10th
    • Mt Dora, Florida on September 21
    • Huntington Beach, California on October 12th
    • Your Church……When!
Are you interested in sponsoring a training at your church? Contact
Roberta Egli at roberta@messy Church USA for more information. Learn more about hosting a training here.
The Mission of Messy Church USA is to equip local churches to start, sustain and connect with other Messy Churches in the United States.

May News from Messy Church USA

Istock photo

A Blog Post by Roberta J. Egli

How important are rituals in forming community?  At Wesley United Methodist Church in Eugene, OR we begin our Sunday morning traditional worship with a ‘ritual of welcome’.  As we pause to light the Christ candle recognizing Christ’s presence with us the entire congregation is called to; look at the person beside us and see God in them, look across the aisle and recognize that in worship we are connected to the ‘other’ person across the aisle even if we disagree with them, look out the window and commit to break down any walls in our neighborhood and look inside reflecting on what may be blocking us from living as God’s beloved children. This weekly ritual pulls us together as a community centered in Christ, as we continue to worship the living God who is seeking us. I wonder, what would a ritual of welcome look like at our Messy Churches?

I am in London preparing for the second ever Messy Church International Conference (MCIC) Three years ago, I was extravagantly welcomed at the first international conference where I met new friends from all over the world as well three people from the United States who were involved in Messy Church. Prior to the conference I was feeling a bit isolated as I knew of no other practicing Messy Churches in my geographical area.  Being in the same room with other leaders who led both small and large Messy Churches, hearing stories of messy failures and messy joys, experiencing several Messy Church full worship experiences were highlights of the weekend.

Towards the end of our time together, there was one gathering that has transformed my life of ministry.  Delegates from the various countries represented at the conference met in the country group with a representative from Messy Church /Bible Reading Fellowship.  The four of us from the USA were delighted to meet with Lucy Moore, the founder of messy Church, to start a conversation regarding ways we could encourage and support the organic growth of a Messy Church Network in the United States.   

MCIC 2016 USA Delgation
Marty Drake, Julie Hintz, Roberta Egli, Leyla Wagner
(First time we met each other!)

Little did we know that that brief conversation would lead to a Messy Church USA conference in October 2017 and the formation of a nonprofit organization that launched in January 2018.   Our mission for starting Messy Church USA  grew out of that initial conversation three years ago:  to equip local churches to start, sustain and connect with other Messy Churches in the USA.  

As a very young organization, we have many messy joys and messy challenges to share with the global Messy Church Community this time around. In the year since we started the membership network we have close to 110 Messy Churches that have signed up on our website.  Our regional coordinators have grown from three people to sixteen who meet monthly via zoom calls to share experiences as we live into our mission.   I am excited that there is an extra day this year for all the delegates from outside of the UK to meet.  Learning how other countries organize their Messy Church country Networks will help us as we move forward as an organization.

Pray for the seven of us who have traveled to the UK as we continue to think, dream and enact to create space for local churches to experience an extravagant welcome to the Messy Church USA Network.  Our team includes Maureen Carey-Back, Marty Drake, Lynn Egli, Crystal Goetz, Steve Kim, Leyla Wagner and myself. 

Messy Blessings,

Roberta

Our mission is to equip local churches to start, sustain and connect with other Messy Churches in the United States.

Easter Poem

by Lindsey Goodyear

iStock

When we hear the word Easter, we think bunnies and joy,
An egg hunt and candies for each girl and boy.
But is that really what this whole day is about?
Come along on a journey and you may just find out!

Jesus, our savior, lived so long in the past,
And if you had a question, well, He’s who you asked.
As the one son of God, He was the king of the Jews,
And spent most His time, by spreading good news.

Healing the sick, and feeding the poor,
He gave all He had, and then He gave more.
While most people loved Him, the leaders showed doubt,
They didn’t like Jesus, or what He was about.

And instead of just listening and believing in Him,
They arrested Him starting a scene oh so grim.
They beat Him and hung Him up high on a cross,
Made fun of His teachings, showing Him who was boss.

As He hung up in pain from His head to his toes,
The guards placed their bets to see who’d get His clothes.
He showed love through their hate, it was all that he knew,
“Father, please forgive them, they know not what they do.”

As His friends stayed and wept, the Earth started to shake,
The sky filled with clouds and mountains did break!
Jesus said, “it is finished” then bowed down His head,
A Great sadness came on, their savior was dead.

His friends took him down from the cross to a tomb,
Wrapped Him in cloth and walked out in gloom.
The tomb was still opened, so a boulder was set,
His friends left knowing, Jesus had paid our debt.

And three days after the Lord paid our price,
Three women set out to anoint Him with spice.
On the way they discussed ways to move the huge rock,
But when they arrived, they were met with a shock!

The tomb was now open and up on the stone,
Sat an angel that glowed like a jewel on a throne.
“No need to be frightened” he said to the three,
“He’s not here, He’s risen” come look and you’ll see.

Amazement took over once the women went in,
There was only a cloth, where once Jesus had been.
“Go tell the disciples He’ll be at Galilee”
“He’s alive and He’s back! Our savior is free!”

They went on their way, preparing their story,
When they came across Jesus in all of His glory.
They fell to their knees as they worshiped their king,
And heard the great news that he asked them to bring.

Tell the others you’ve seen me and I’ll see them as well,
Until God calls me home and in Heaven I’ll dwell.
God raised His son despite our sins,
In the end Jesus proved that love always wins.

See Today isn’t about what the Easter bunny gives,
But a hefty reminder that He is risen and lives!

iStock

Lindsey Goodyear lives in Huntington Beach, CA with her family. She attends Messy Church at Community UMC in Huntington Beach. She writers regularly for Messy Church USA and is one of the writers for the curriculum for the Get Messy! magazine from April 2019-March 2020. You can reach her at Lindseygoodyear@gmail.com.

Lindsey Goodyear

Messy (and Muddy) Easter Blessings!

A blog post by Roberta J. Egli, Executive Director Messy Church USA

iStock photo

When I was a young child, Easter Sunday began before dawn.  My father would wake us up in the dark of night to gather with other members of our church family to hike up a hill to watch the sunrise.  It was a tradition for this community of faith to gather as young and old, huddled in our rain jackets as we sang familiar songs and listened once again to the scripture proclaiming that Jesus the Christ was arisen! 

It was always a muddy trip both up and down the hill in the soggy Pacific Northwest and most of the years; we could only tell that the sun had risen, not from a glorious sunrise but that the clouded skies were getting lighter from the sun that we could not see. I have to admit that the most fun as a young child was to race down the hill to get to the hot chocolate and donuts that awaited us in the farmer’s barn.

I have thought of that all- age experience of a muddy and messy Easter of my childhood as I have seen the wondrous pictures of Easter being celebrated at Messy Churches all over the world.  What a gift you are giving to your Messy Churches as you creatively share the story of the good news of Easter.  Although I have not seen muddy pictures, I have reveled in seeing all of the chaotic mess and joy of people of all ages and backgrounds coming together to share in the love of God made alive through Easter.  

Happy Easter to you all,

Roberta

Pictures from the first ever Messy Church at St James United Methodist Church, Kingston, New York. Congratulations for a great start!

Pictures from the first ever Messy Church at St James United Methodist Church, Kingston, New York. Congratulations for a great start!

We’re all Fine

A Blog by Lindsey Goodyear

Well, it’s March which means this is officially the second blog post I’m writing while in the midst of a full house remodel. Tension is running high in the Goodyear house and patience and understanding is at an all-time low. There also seems to be fewer hours in the day than I originally thought there were, which means that we lay our heads on the pillow each night with no sense of ease but instead a laundry list of what still needs to be done. We even had to skip Messy Church last month because by the time we were done working, Marty and Leyla would have been halfway through celebration. The kids didn’t take the news well as those “Messy” Saturdays are one of their favorite days (next to birthdays and Christmas). They’ve been troopers but the unpredictable chaos of the remodel has left them much more rambunctious than normal. As a family that thrives on structure, there’s been no such practice in the last eight weeks and it shows. So, instead of finding a way to break the news to the kids that, yet again, we just couldn’t fit Messy Church in, I mustered up the last of my energy, put on a smile, loaded them up, and headed to the church.

Immediately upon arrival, I felt the weight of the last two months of stress, anger, exhaustion, and frustration lift. There was just something about walking into big hugs and smiling faces all around. How could I have almost voluntarily missed this? My children took off running and I didn’t have to worry about where they were because they’ve grown up here and have discovered every nook and cranny of this old Methodist church. Once it was time for crafts, I found that watching my kids joyfully running around from table to table, creating, eating, and getting messy was the exact remedy to all this stress I’d been looking for. I felt myself take a deep, cleansing breath for the first time in months. I socialized with my “Messy” family and friends. I laughed, I danced, I sang, and I ate. I learned new things about an old story and met new and interesting people. They say time flies when you’re having fun and it must because before I knew it, it was time for celebration.

Parachute Prayer at Community UMC Messy Church
Huntington Beach, CA

The story was Jesus and the temple which tells the tale of when Mary and Joseph lost Jesus when he was just a boy.  They were traveling back to Nazareth from Jerusalem and, while each assumed He was with the other, by the end of the day, they discovered He was missing.  It took three days before they finally found Him, sitting in the temple, among the teachers, asking and answering questions.  Mary then asked, “Why have you treated us like this?  We have been searching for you in great distress.”  To which, Jesus replied, “Why were you looking for me?  Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”  As a parent, I couldn’t wrap my head around the hysteria Mary must have felt looking for Him for those three days only to be met by His nonchalant attitude towards her concern.  I once lost my three year old at his older brother’s school for about 10 minutes.  Not only was I in a frenzy of panic, my three year old was almost inconsolable when I finally found him.  So, how was Jesus fine after 3 days on His own?

The answer is simple. He was fine because He was in His Father’s house. He wasn’t being disrespectful to Mary, He was just letting her know there was no need to worry. He was fine. He was comfortable. He was home. I couldn’t help noticing a correlation between this story and the story of my own family. The shift that took place almost instantaneously after arriving. My children and their carefree excitement, my genuine smile and laughter, the comfort we felt for those glorious two hours. It was so crystal clear.

We felt this way because we, too, were in our Father’s home.  We, too, were fine.  We, too, were comfortable.  We, too, were home.  I’m so grateful that Messy Church has provided an opportunity for my family to feel what Jesus also felt that day in the temple.  At rest, in our element, free to be us no matter how messy, 100% accepted, and most of all…loved. 

Lindsey Goodyear
Contact her at lindseygoodyear@gmail.com

The Messy In-Between

A blog post from Roberta J. Egli

March 20, 2019

Winter? Spring? It is the In-Between

Several weeks ago we experienced a snow storm…it was an oddity for us in the Willamette Valley of Oregon where I live. We woke up to 11 inches of snow on the ground and over 48 hours an additional four inches of snow fell. We were not ready for this snow…the small daffodils had already begun to bloom. The unexpected snowfall brought the whole area to a standstill for several days. We were ready to celebrate the arrival of spring rather than dig out from a record breaking amount of snow. For several days we lived within the Messy in-between.

How are you living in the Messy in-between as you finalize plans for your Easter Messy Church while also inviting your Messy Churches to walk through the season of Lent? This topic of observing lent while also preparing for Easter has been discussed on the Messy Church USA Team Leaders FB group page (click here to join). Messy Churches across the US live in the Messy in-between by having a prayer focused Lenten messy church or a Journey through Holy Week with activities focused on Palm Sunday, the prayers of Gethsemane, the walk toward the cross with feet or hand painted to create a colorful paper cross. Sharing the story of the weeks leading up the big Easter Celebration is vital for our families who are new to the story of Jesus.

Jenna Reinke shared this lovely altar piece created at her Messy Church in Crowley, Texas. She writes that creating the altar decoration helped to build connections between their Messy Church and traditional ‘Sunday Church’ communities. 

Picture from Jenna Reinke from Crowley, TX

Another great idea of incorporating prayers into both Messy Church and traditional church is illustrated by Heather Johnson, a pastor from Minnesota. Check out these beautiful paper Lenten paraments created by written prayers on strips of purple paper that are pictured below.

May you find ways to enter deeply into the season of prayer and preparation this Lent as you also live in the messy in-between of looking forward making detailed plans for your Easter Messy Church! We celebrate the joy of the resurrection by preparing ourselves and our Messy communities. I know that Easter is the largest Messy Church for many communities so prayers for patience and happy volunteers!

Be sure to share your stories of your Lent and Easter stories on our Facebook page, the team leaders group or better yet, send a story or a short video to our Messy Church USA Communications Team lead Robin Cannon from Ohio.

Messy blessings to you as you live in this Messy in-between time. Love and blessings, Roberta

Our mission is to equip local churches to start, sustain and connect Messy Churches across the USA.

Giving Love

A Blogpost by Lindsey Goodyear

iStock. used with permission

“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return.Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.”

Luke 6: 35 (NRSV)

February is known as the month of love. So, like others, I’ve been hard at work making kid’s Valentines, pink heart-shaped pancakes, writing my feelings in love notes, and various other pink and red related activities. When I look around, I feel so blessed to have so many people in my life that I get to show love to. Also, it’s so easy to show them love! Having people that are close to you means knowing exactly what makes that person happy. I’m delighted to see faces light up when I’m able to give those I’m close to something that makes their day. However, this month of love also brings another thought to mind. While it’s fantastic to show affection to those we see on a regular basis, God wants us to show love to everyone (including strangers and those we don’t particularly care for). The reality is, it seems like much more of a daunting task to come up with ways to please people we don’t know. It’s much more rewarding to stick with who and what we know. So just how important is “loving thy neighbor” and what is it God expects?

It’s not an easy task, but God calls us to love one another without expectations. But, what does this mean? When you send a gift, don’t send it expecting a “thank you” card. Do not help a friend move while keeping in the back of your mind that they will in turn “owe you” when it comes time for you to pack. Give generously to those in need without awaiting praise. Quite simply, give to all those around you, whether you know them or not, and do so without personal animosity building up when nothing is returned. This comes easy for some of us, and for others, it feels like a lot of work. We are busy with our own lives so trying to come up with ideas to make others feel loved can feel like a struggle. However, just like anything in life, if you want to build a habit so it becomes second nature, you have to have a routine and work it on a regular basis. Doing so for those who are already in your life can be easier than doing for those who aren’t. So how can we send some neighborly love to a complete stranger, not have it feel like a job, and still fulfill God’s wish?

iStock. Used with permission

One of the many popular and reoccurring craft tables we have at Messy Church is the “service table.” One of our invaluable volunteers works a table with arts and crafts dedicated to others. In the past this has included letters to community helpers (police, firemen, mail men, etc.), thank you cards to our service men and women, and making toys for the animals at the local shelters. This last Saturday we had a service table dedicated to Meals on Wheels. Messy attendees were given a card that was previously printed with the phrase “Remember…you are a beloved child of God.” They were then given watercolors and asked to paint the opposite side of the card. We were able to make 39 cards, all of which will be divided and sent with each given meal to surprise an unsuspecting recipient. Our congregation didn’t know the people receiving the cards, nor would they see the look of surprise when they were received. They’d also collect no appreciation from said receiver. Yet, they sat and worked with smiles on their faces to make the day of a total stranger.

So why’d they do it? Why did a selfless act for someone they didn’t know come easily without complaint? Well, quite simply put, because it was fun! Because we made it fun! We’ve already established that it’s more enjoyable to give to those we’re familiar with (because we know what to do) but the reality is, an unsuspected gift of love is always a blessing in someone’s life. So, make it fun for you too. If you enjoy painting, paint a picture on the outside of a bagged lunch and give it to someone that needs it. If you love to write, write a few words of inspiration on note cards that you can keep with you to hand out to random passersby. If you enjoy cooking, bake some goodies and bring it to the neighbor you’ve been meaning to say “hello” to. I promise the effort, no matter how small will not go unappreciated. Do not let the idea of giving love weigh you down. Because if all else fails, we can fulfill God’s wish if we simply roll up those sleeves, get messy, and get to giving!

Lilndsey attends Messy Church at Community UMC in Huntington Beach, CA. Contact her at lindseygoodyear@gmail.com

Walk a Mile in our Sandals

A Blog Post by Kate Cross, Messy Church USA Regional Coordinator of Texas

I believe Jesus came to earth to walk among us, to be human, and to experience all the joys and pains of what it means to be human. By coming to Earth, Jesus experienced the bad and good things that will happen to us and those we love. All knowing, he still came to Earth to walk a mile in our sandals. To enter our homes, to be with us when our children are sick, when our loved ones die, and when we are fighting with our sister – and also when we are celebrating milestones in life with a little wine.

At Messy Church we show people God’s love when they come as they are, we need to see them as Jesus did – loved right now rather than loved for who they might be in the future. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of one another, it’s different though similar to sympathy – it’s not pity. It’s understanding where someone you know is coming from, seeing yourself in their shoes and showing up for them. It’s doing unto them what you would want if you were them. It’s showing kindness, it’s listening, and it’s making small gestures when someone is having a hard time or even just a time.

istock. used with permission

As I grow closer to the people I’ve met through Messy Church this rings true. So many people go through life surrounded by people, yet alone. Remembering things they told you were going on in their life the last month and following up – it makes us all feel a little less lonely. If they told you about it, it’s important to them. Checking in during the weeks between Messy Churches seems to mean so much to them. As best we can, do it in an organic way, free from ulterior motives. Don’t force yourself to say and do things that are unnatural for you, but take it a step further than saying nothing or the standard “if you need anything, just let me know” is being the body of Christ. We might not be able to heal their bodies but we can minister to their hearts and souls. We can offer prayer for rough times, but we must remember that we ourselves are how those prayers might be answered.

There’s also the times when we aren’t having a hard time, we’re just going through life. It’s true of everyone at Messy Church too. How can we start to befriend the new friends we meet in Messy Church and start to go through life together? It’s probably not that different from how you’ve met and grown with any of your other friends. It’s as Jesus did, allow them to enter our homes, go into their homes, take a walk or a coffee to chat, share some experiences, and to celebrate milestones in life with a little wine.

Kate Cross, Messy Church USA Regional Coordinator of Texas, Messy Church leader at Spring Branch Presbyterian, Houston, Texas

Blog post was partially inspired by the book There’s No Good Card For This by Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell and, of course, the life of Christ. 

Kate and daughter

Season of Love

A Blog Post by Roberta J. Egli

The Lord your God is in your midst….
        He will create calm with his love;
        he will rejoice over you with singing.
~Zephaniah 3:17 (CEB)

Ahhh…February has arrived…a month filled with hearts and love.  How are you celebrating the season of love in your Messy Church this month?  Lucy Moore, founder of Messy Church, encourages us to take a moment to notice where love is being shown in your Messy Church this month in the recent February Messy Church BRF newsletter:

Feel the love this month! While red hearts are everywhere for Valentine’s Day, take a moment to look round your Messy Church and notice how and where love is being shown. Thank God in the middle of the mess for those small actions, words, touches, smiles, objects and moments of generosity.

And take a moment to feel God’s love for you in all the busyness, to be reaffirmed as lovely and lovable just as you are. You’re not loved because you’re so busy; you’re loved because you’re you, and as Zephaniah says, ‘He will rejoice over you with singing.’ Listen to that song of delight this month. (Lucy Moore)

I give thanks for the love that I have seen expressed in brand new Messy Churches who have shared their pictures on their Facebook feed. I give thanks for the questions I receive at the monthly ‘what is Messy Church’ webinar from people exploring a new way to share God’s love with their neighbors. I give thanks for the conversations I have with our great team of regional coordinators who are committed to support local churches to start and sustain Messy Churches in their region. I give thanks for Robin Cannon, our communications lead who spreads the love of Messy Church through social media. I give thanks that the Messy Church USA Board of Directors will meet in person over President’s day weekend to celebrate how God has led us this past year and discern how God is leading us into the future.

Pexels. used with permission

Share your Story of Love on our Facebook Page

Love Is…

…I experience God’s calming love when…

…I share God’s love in Messy Church by…

…What I love about our Messy Church…

Where do you see God’s love being expressed in your Messy Church Planning team? In your Messy Church activities? In your Messy prayers? In your Messy Meal? We want to hear your stories and see your pictures. Share your story of love on our FB page.
Love and Blessings,
Roberta