Are you experiencing impatience with figuring out how to reach your Messy Folk? Frustrated that you don’t know how to make plans for the fall in this changing and uncertain time? Are you more than ready to be done with all of the complexities of planning during a pandemic?
Join us on Thursday, August 20th, at 10 am (PDT) to renew your spirit and learn some new spiritual practices. Rev. Nicole Reilley, a founding board member of Messy Church USA and teaching pastor of Valencia United Methodist in Valencia, CA, will be sharing what she is learning about patience and spiritual habits during this pandemic. Bring your entire Messy Team!
Cost: Individual $ 25.00, Team of 2-4 people is $ 40. Over four people to a team is an additional $ 5.00 per person. REGISTER HERE
Discount available for all Sustainer members of the Messy Church USA Network. Check with firstname.lastname@example.org or Johannah@messychurchusa.org for details.
Congratulations to Freysville Emmanuel United Church of Christ in Red Lion, Pennsylvania, our August Messy Church of the Month!
We are excited to announce our first ever Messy Church of the Month! Drum roll please…. Freysville Emmanuel United Church of Christ in Red Lion, Pennsylvania. Jennifer May, a lay member of the church who also teaches in the local school, led a small team in starting their Messy Church in March of 2018. Jennifer describes their church as a small rural community in which her school age children are some of the only children in attendance on Sunday morning. Thanks Jennifer for answering our questions so that we can learn more about your Messy Church! We are so glad that Freysville Emmanuel UCC reaching out to their community to share God’s love!
Messy Folk answers to “What I like about Messy Church?”
“I like all the stations, and the dinners are pretty good too!”
“Getting the parachute out inside the church at the beginning!”
“I like that it allows the gifts & talents of many people to shine.”
“It gives my child the opportunity to learn about Christ in a warm, loving community where being themselves is celebrated.”
Some Favorite Messy Activities
Example # 1: Jesus, We Thank You:
Instructions:Have every person who is at Messy Church find a spot around the parachute. The leader starts the prayer and invites anyone standing around the parachute to call out something they are thankful for. After someone calls out, then the whole group raises the parachute up and chants “Jesus We Thank You!” as it gently comes back down.
Example # 2 Snowball Prayer:
Instructions: As everyone arrives, have them write or draw a picture of a joy, prayer, concern in 3 or fewer words onto a piece of white paper, crumple it into a loose “snow” ball and place it into a laundry basket. Have every person who is at Messy Church find a spot around the parachute. The leader dumps all the snowball prayers into the middle of the parachute. Direct the group to gently shake the parachute enough to mix up all the snowballs. Then on the count of 3, the whole group pulls the parachute slowly down to the floor and then quickly yanks the parachute back up into the air above their heads to make it “snow”! The snowballs are flying all over the place! Everyone collects one snowball and then takes a seat on the floor around the parachute. One at a time, each person reads what is written on the snowball as a large group prayer.
More Favorite Messy Activities!
Messy Church ThanksGIVING:
Each November, our Messy Church service is a night of us giving instead of taking home crafts. We go home with empty hands but full hearts! Members from the church’s Sunday morning congregation sponsor and donate 12-15 “fleece blanket kits” purchased from a local fabric store. We come together with scissors and templates and spend the night cutting and looping the blankets to donate to our area chapter of Project Linus.
Project Linus is a non-profit organization that provides homemade blankets to children in need. The blankets are lovingly made by adults and children from all walks of life. Project Linus has specific directions on how to make blankets and what types they are allowed to accept on their website. https://www.projectlinus.org/
This is an evening where all hands, young and old, are needed!
Each year for the Lenten Season, we set up a station where families can work together to create their own Resurrection Garden. They take it home to water and watch it grow every day for 40 days.
Materials Needed:Materials needed:8 in clay saucers, 3 in clay pots, potting soil, grass seed, craft stones, craft moss, 3 inch rocks flat circular shape work best, 4 inch stick crosses tied with twine (See Pictures below)
What worked well for you in getting the support of your Sunday Church when you started Messy Church?
Educating the congregation on the mission of Messy Church as well as the history, where and why it began and how it is meeting the needs of families and individuals in communities all over the world who for whatever reason, cannot or do not attend traditional Sunday Morning church services.
Share a challenge you’ve had with your Messy Church and strategies you used to meet the challenge.
Getting volunteers can be a challenge. So, I approached individuals in our Sunday congregation and personally asked them if they could volunteer. After their first experience, those individuals looked forward to volunteering each month! Most often, a personal invitation is all people need.
How has your Messy Church adapted during the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Our last in person Messy Church was Friday, March 13th. We were excited to kick off our 3rd year as a Messy Church! Little did we know, our messy togetherness would be put on hold for a little while. For the month of April, we put out a “Messy Church At Home” edition. We posted the theme and station material lists prior to the event so that families could plan ahead of time how they would do this in their own homes. Then, the day of our Messy Church, we posted an interactive Google Slideshow for families to work through at their own pace. The slides included a prerecorded welcome message, the story/scripture lesson, closing prayer, and a slide of directions for each station/activity. We had a few of our Messy Church families try it out! We took the month of May off and now are planning a “Messy Church in Bag” for the end of Summer.
Thanks Jennifer for sharing your Messy Church story! To learn more about Emmanuel UCC you can contact Jennifer email@example.com
Our first Messy Church Town Hall conversation happened on Thursday July 23rd. A group of 12 people from Florida, South Carolina, Michigan, South Dakota, Texas, Oregon and Washington met for a time of sharing ideas of how they are connecting with Messy Folk currently and their plans for the next phases of the pandemic.
Priming the Pump for Conversation
Roberta shared a bit to prime the pump for our conversation. We began with a focus on the ‘in-between’ time that we find ourselves living in. Usually we think of ‘in-between’ or liminal time of being a short duration but this pandemic has brought a deeper understanding of what it means to live in the in-between time. Check out Recording Here
Messy Church began as a new expression of church as a way to engage with people who were not connecting more traditional forms of church. Since the beginning, Messy Church has been adaptable so that it can be contextualized. The main constant of Messy Church are the five foundational values of All Ages together, creativity, hospitality, celebration and Christ- Centered. Keeping those five values in mind, what are the possibilities for Messy Church in the various stages of this COVID pandemic?
Possibility # 1- In-person Messy Church when able to safely meet:
Messy Folk who come together get a box of supplies at the beginning rather than having supplies at activity tables
Messy Church Outside
Rather than people moving from table to table, groups remain in place the table hosts move from group to group to lead activities and games
Reservations/ tickets to limit number of people at Messy Church
Possibility # 2- Hybrid (On-line and smaller groups in person) Messy Church)
Intergenerational Messy Church Small Groups meet in homes
Connecting the smaller groups once per month with an on-line Celebration
Pre-recorded Messy Church with lists/ bags of activities for Messy Folk. Activity bags either picked up at church or delivered to homes to have some in-person connection
Messy Adventure from Epiphany Episcopal in NH- List of scripture, activities featuring local outdoor attractions. (insert PDF)
From Dallas Oregon- A Chalk Art festival in the church parking lot- people have their own space to make their chalk art
From South Carolina- On-Line Messy Church starting a week of on-line Vacation Bible School. Have had good engagement with zoom Messy Church. Churches are beginning to meet in person in South Carolina which brings challenges to in-person Messy Church
From Washington- Messy Church team would prefer to be in person but this pandemic has enlivened and brought new enthusiasm to the team. One member has taken over the prayer time and another has become the storyteller for the zoom on-line Messy Church
From Michigan- Messy Church only met twice before pandemic and some discouragement that people are not connecting on-line. However, has had good engagement with weekly Wednesday on-line lesson- using stories and activities from Heifer International that were given to family units. Positive response to a FB ad about an on-line Messy Church- received 31 one new likes and follows from the local community
From Florida- looking for ways to connect and do outreach to community. Group encouraged to build on things you are already doing i.e. weekly pastor chat to include a weekly or monthly chat with messy church community
As always it was good to connect and share ideas and stories. Join us at future Town Hall Conversations. Here is a list of resources to help you in your own planning.
A Story from Crystal Goetz, Regional Coordinator in Washington
I greet you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and send you peace from Auburn, Washington.
It was suggested that I write up a little blurb and send you the sweet story of a family that uses our online Messy Church to see each other. I hope you enjoy this touching story.
For over a year, a grandmother, Jimmie, has been bringing her grandsons to Messy Church..It’s has been their time, once a month to spend some quality time learning about Jesus together. Then…COVID-19 hit and Jimmie had to be quarantined away from them because she has some very dangerous risk factors and her daughter, the mother of the two boys is a public school speech therapist and at the time had direct daily exposure to people, preventing Jimmie from being with the family.
When Messy Church online started, she was thrilled. This was the first opportunity she had to see her grandsons for weeks. She specifically learned to use Zoom so that she could be a part of our online Messy Church. The boys log on with their Mom and Jimmie logs on from her home and guess what? They are a family again! It’s a beautiful thing to watch how joyful this family is together in the presence of Jesus.
I just thought I would share with you this happy story of what continuing to meet at Messy Church, albeit online, can do for those in our Messy Churches.
Crystal is the Children and Youth Director at Auburn First United Methodist Church in Auburn, Washington. She led a team in starting a Messy Church three years ago and is our Regional Coordinator of Washington. You can connect with her at Crystal@messychurchusa.org.
We had a great representation from all over the USA at the recent Messy Church NOW zoom webinar. Messy Church leaders representing 25 churches from 16 different states and 5 denominations signed on to hear Jennifer May, Johannah Myers and Leyla Wagner share what they have learned in facilitating their Messy Church in a physically distanced world.
Highlights from presentations
Jennifer used her teacher expertise to create a google slide show with recorded videos, activities and games that she emailed to her Messy Folk to use at home at their convenience. To keep the experience interactive, she provided a ‘would you rather’ game at the beginning that is the usual start to their in-person Messy Church. She vulnerably shared that it was difficult for her to get past her anxiety of seeing herself on a recording at the beginning which resonated with many of us on the zoom call. Taking risks and placing ourselves into new situations can be an uncomfortable experience. Jennifer leads Messy Church at Freysville Emmanuel United Church of Christ in rural Red Lyon, PA.
Leyla shared how their Messy Church has evolved as they have learned from each iteration of their Messy Church. Their first COVID-19 Messy Church was a 15-minute zoom celebration worship that ended up lasting almost 45 minutes because people were so happy to see each other. Since then, they have kept adapting their monthly on-line Messy Church. Their most recent Messy Church included an introduction video from their pastor emailed out one week prior, an activity bag that people came to the church parking lot to pick up, and a zoom community Messy Church that included doing activities together, worship with favorite songs, and break out rooms to share reflections from questions. Leyla is from Community United Methodist in Huntington Beach, CA. favorite songs.
Johannah kept their first on-line zoom Messy Church short and simple. The scripture story from Children of God Storybook Bible by Archbishop Desmond Tutu was read by Johannah after a time of welcome. After the story, Johannah led everyone through making a hat of flaming tongues of fire out of a paper place, scissors and colored pencils and folding an origami dove from one piece of paper. Keeping the supply list simple was important. To connect Messy Folk with Sunday morning worship, people were encouraged to drop off their origami doves at the church which were then placed in the worship space for the Sunday traditional recorded worship. Although the Messy Church zoom crowd was a bit smaller than their usual in-person Messy Church, those who participated ranged in age from toddler to over 70 years… a truly intergenerational experience! Johannah is from Aldersgate United Methodist in Greenville, SC.
Throughout the presentations and after, the chat room was busy with people sharing their own experiences of how they have continued to bring their Messy Church communities together over the past four months. Here are a few evaluation responses to the question, what are you key takeaways?
We are all in the same boat. We try things and adjust accordingly. None of us has the “perfect” answer, we just keep working at it to reach people and have connection. 🙂
We had not considered recording our event so people who cannot attend live could come. What a great idea. As well as the ideas for how to share their crafts if they aren’t live with us.
Ideas, but most of all hope and strength – not in this aloneI
We are planning more webinars for the future so that we can continue to connect as we all experiment with ways to adapt our Messy Church during this weird time in history. Share your stories with us via Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We are made in the image of God, and God is the great Creator of new things and re-creator of people and communities who are broken. As we create and play together, we echo (God’s) creativity and we are renewed and repaired ourselves.”
Lucy Moore, Messy Church: Fresh Ideas for Building a Christ- Centered Community
My husband is the gardener in our family! He patiently plants bulbs and waits for them to spring up out of the ground. He gave up on a few bulbs he planted earlier this spring only to be surprised when a little green shoot came out of the ground much later than he expected. The growth that was occurring underneath the ground was beyond our visual perception.
As I engage in conversations regarding what is next for Messy Church in the USA, as well as the global community, I wonder how God is creating something new, even though we may not perceive it. I wonder if the anxiety that I feel arising from the unknown to the many complex questions regarding how Messy Church adapts to our changed world blocks me from placing my trust in our creator God. Rev. Nicole Reilley, a Messy Church USA board member, shared in her recent sermon on July 12 that “we need to look to God rather than the past or the future…we are to live in the in-between space trusting in God.
Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43: 18-19
Trusting in our Creator God and grounding ourselves in the messy foundational value of creativity, I am wondering….
What are the most effective ways our Messy Church USA network to engage with one another to learn from one another and to perceive the movement of the Spirit?
What kind of resources do local church Messy Leaders and the households they engage with need at this time? How can we most effectively provide those resources without overwhelming overworked people engaged in ministry?
How can we equip local Messy Churches to engage with their Messy folk through on-line, in-person or hybrid experience?
How do we stay grounded in our five values of Hospitality, Creativity, Celebration, All-Ages Together and Christ Centered as we experiment with new forms of Messy Church?
How do we envision new ways of being Messy Church in our changed world?
What are the spiritual practices that we need so that we can more clearly perceive God’s presence and guidance for our ministry?
On July 23rd at 10 am Pacific time, you are invited to a Messy Church USA Zoom town hall to engage with the above questions as well as questions that you bring to the conversation. Here is a link to the Zoom invitation.
My friends, this is a difficult time. This is the first (and hopefully last) global pandemic that we have had to navigate. Many of us who work in the church, use the summer to plan out the worship and curriculum for the coming school year. However, everything is constantly changing which causes our plans to not be relevant in just a few short days or week. Let us place our trust in our Creator God who is making something new that we cannot even imagine right now. Let us live in a sense of curiosity rather than anxiety as we experiencing the unfolding of the next weeks and month. I look forward to our ongoing conversations as I hold you in prayer this day.
Prayer: As you find yourself in times of uncertainty, may you perceive God creating a new thing within your life and community. In the places that are broken, may you experience the healing power of Christ. In the spaces where community is being re-created, may you place your trust in God’s Spirit to lead and guide you. May your spirit be renewed as you place your trust in the God of Love. AMEN.
During the past several months of hunkering down at home, I have gained a greater appreciation for the global Messy Church Community and the USA network. Hearing how people from all over the world are adapting their Messy Churches to on-line, or at home, or zoom calls has been a highlight. I give thanks to God for all of the many ways that people from all over the USA network and world have creatively shared the good news of Christ in a large variety of ways over the past four months.
One of my weekly routines has been to turn into the Messy Church/BRF Facebook Live event every Wednesday. Several weeks ago, Lucy Moore,founder of Messy Church, voiced something that I had been thinking for a while. When COVID-19 began, there was a sense that we were in for a several month crisis that would soon pass and then we would get back to our regular church routines. How silly! It is now apparent that we will be living with COVID-19 precautions for an extended period of time. Even though some churches across the country are re-opening across the country many others will not hold in person worship until much later this fall or in early 2021. Even when we gather again in person, Messy Church will look much different as we have entered into a new reality of how we can gather to worship all-ages together!
Is it too early to decide on a course of action or strategy for the next seven months? Should we just do all we can to listen to families, leaders of Messy Churches, wise people?
Should we keep pushing the ‘Keep contact, keep caring, keep serving, keep reaching out even if nobody seems to respond, keep offering Messy Church at home resources, keep doing Messy Church on Zoom and Facebook Live for a much longer stretch than we’d imagined
Should we see this as a fallow/sabbatical/Jubilee period and give Messy Churches permission/encouragement to stop rushing about…and use the time to think and pray and listen to God?
Is this an opportunity to leave the garden to its own devices and recover or not after the storm to re-imagine everything from scratch and break the ground in the new field we now find ourselves in? (“Wilding” is a concept that i learned about in Lucy’s blog, learn more here)
Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything.
Rainer Maria Rilke
What I found inspiring at the end of the 30 minute FB live session with Lucy is that she did not proceed to give any answers to the questions. She simply invited others to join her in conversation to discern which questions to ask.
We are called at this time to live in the tension of ‘what next’ questions which reminds me a favorite quote:
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903 in Letters to a Young Poet
So, my friends, what are the questions that you have been asking in your local church settings? In my next blogpost I will share some of the ‘what next’ questions we have been asking at Messy Church USA. Our mission as an organization is to equip Messy Churches to start, sustain and connect. In order to meet our mission, we need to hear from you what it is that you need at this time. Look for an opportunity to gather via zoom to learn from one another on July 23rd.
Grace and Peace,
Below are some articles that have been helpful in my pondering! Happy Reading!
Johannah’s original blog post from Messy Church UK is posted below.
I’m in a part of the world where things are opening back up – including churches. In fact, we’re planning to start back with in-person worship this week. It’s very scary. And it’s very different! One of the changes that will be hardest for many of us is that we won’t be singing together any time soon. I’m not sure if I know how to be Methodist if I can’t sing!
One of my favorite hymns is ‘Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing’. There’s a line in the second verse that says, ‘Here I raise my Ebenezer.’ And of course, how many times have we sung this song without ever knowing what an Ebenezer was and how we might would raise one?!
It comes from a rather random story in 1 Samuel 7. The Israelites messed up (again) and lost the ark of the covenant to the Philistines. Of course, while the Philistines were in possession of the ark, they experienced nothing but trouble – passing it around from city to city because no one wanted it! Finally, the Philistines take the ark back to Israel! But it’s another 20 years before it seems the Israelites are ready to turn back to God in a way that they can bring the ark back into their center. Samuel gathers them to repent and pray. But the Philistines learn that Israel’s gathering, and they decide to attack. Israel calls on God for help and God protects them. Samuel takes a stone and sets it up and call it Ebenezer – eben = stone, ezer = help. Samuel wanted the people to remember the ways that God helped them. The stone was a visible sign of God’s faithfulness.
A few years ago, on a retreat, we made ‘Stones of Help’. Mine has names of people who, throughout my life, have been a source of strength, help, encouragement. As I look over this rock and all the names, I realize how many ages are represented!
As we begin to think about Messy Church during this season of forced physical distance, but also what Messy Church will look like as we begin to gather, I wonder about how we will make space for the Messy togetherness.
For the last few years at my church, we’ve had small groups (10 or so people, 3-5 family units) that meet monthly for really what amounts to a mini-Messy Church or a Messy Church at home. They’ve done Bible study and activities together, worked on mission projects, they eat together… so basically Messy Church, just smaller! As we’ve moved out of strict shelter-at-home restrictions, some of our Companion groups have even gathered to reconnect in person.
Like many of you, I’m realizing that our Messy Church may be one of the last pieces we can bring back in full. But like Greg, who did this Facebook Live earlier today, I’m wondering what opportunities this season presents for us. Our Companion groups were an accompaniment of our Messy Church – now, they might very well be the primary access to Messy Church, at least for a season. Maybe we think small as a way of thinking big?
Going back to my Ebenezer – my stone of help. These people are here, listed on my rock, because along the way we had space for relationships to grow and development. In those spaces, I found help and support along my faith journey. These are the people who pointed to God, the ultimate source of my strength and help. Where will we create the spaces for relationships to flourish in ways that we can point the way to God, our Rock?
As per the previous blog post, while sitting in our respective home offices, many people journeyed around the world on a Messy Adventure on May 21st. This fifteen-hour YouTube live event was the brainstorm of Messy Church founder, Lucy Moore. Messy Church USA collaborators provided two one-hour sessions for the world event.
Our second one-hour session explored a few of the many teachings from what is known as the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ from Matthew 5-8. We began by taking a hike with Jim and his dog Milo to the mountains surrounding Palmdale, CA. Jim shared some background on this important teaching of Jesus before he showed us the lights that began to shine brighter after the sunset.
We explored sharing the light of Christ through pictures, a science experiment, hearing the scripture in another hike in Texas, a story around the campfire and learning the art of making cards to share with others. We also explored ways in which people are reaching out to others during the Pandemic to share Christ’s light. We ended our session with the prayer that Jesus taught his followers on the hillside shared from around the world.
Below is the outline for the Messy Session. The link for the video follows the outline. Be sure to also check out the bonus video from Community UMC that we did not get into our session due to a oops glitch.
Jesus journeys to a hillside to teach Messy Adventure
Theme: Share the Light of Christ
Scripture: Matthew 5: 1,14-16 (NRSV)
“When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them…You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in Heaven.”
Hike with Jim and Milo
Science Experiment with Light
Video Montage -Where have you seen Light of Christ during the Pandemic?
While sitting in our respective home offices, many people journeyed around the world on a Messy Adventure on May 21st. This fifteen-hour YouTube live event was the brainstorm of Messy Church founder, Lucy Moore. Messy Church USA collaborators provided two one-hour sessions for the world event. Our first session was filled with stories and activities focused on baptism.
In remembrance of Jesus baptism in the Jordan, Messy Church USA virtually traveled from coast to coast as we explored stories from various waterways. We began at the James River in Virginia with Cindy Banek taking us to the water’s edge and then sharing a number of shell craft messy activities. Next, we went to the Mighty Mississippi as Jillian Mayer from Illinois led us in a breath prayer as we gazed at the Mississippi flowing past the majestic St. Louis Arch. Roberta Egli then introduced the Willamette river that flows south to north in Oregon. WE then headed to the California coast line of the Pacific Ocean as Marty Drake and Leyla Wagner shared the scripture through sand art.
the outline for the Jesus Journeys to the Jordan Messy Church Session if below and a link to the video follows the outline.
Theme: Come to the Water
Scripture: Mark 1: 9-11
“In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you, I am well pleased’”
St James River and Shell Craft Activity
Prayer at the Mighty Mississippi
A song by the Willamette
Scripture at the Pacific Ocean
A Messy Science Water activity
Renewal of Baptism Celebration
Messy Church Adventure USA Collaborators: Cindy Banek(VA), Marty Drake(CA), Roberta Egli(OR), Crystal Goetz(WA), Jillian Mayer(IL), Johannah Myers(SC),Jenna Reinke(TX), Leyla Wagner(CA) and Jim White(CA).
Are you more than ready to be done with all of the complexities of planning during a pandemic? Join us on Thursday, August 20th, at 10 am (PDT) to renew your spirit and learn some new spiritual practices.
Learn more about this webinar and register here:
The Messy Church BRF team needs photographs! As an intergenerational worldwide church they are looking for high resolution photos to use on the Get Messy! magazine covers. Please check for permission to use & send to email@example.com .
Thanks for your help! pic.twitter.com/XLYYiJwGfQ
Congrats to Freysville Emmanuel UCC in Red Lion, Pennsylvania, our August Messy Church of the Month! We will be sharing pictures and stories from Emmanuel UCC throughout the month of August but you can also read about their Messy Church experiences here: messychurchusa.org/august-mes…pic.twitter.com/5DVi8rSA7K
Messy Church USA is a newly formed nonprofit 501c3 corporation. Messy Church USA has been formed to provide an organizational structure to support the health, growth and sustainability of local Messy Churches in the USA. In addition, Messy Church USA will assist individual Messy Churches to become an integrated part of the larger national and global network of Messy Churches. Read more.