Congratulations to Auburn First United Methodist! Our October Messy Church of the Month!
Messy Church began at Auburn UMC in the fall of 2017 after a team, under the passionate leadership of Crystal Goetz, attended a one-day “Getting Started in Messy Church” training earlier that summer at a neighboring church. They have been going strong ever since, even during this season of Zoom Messy Church during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Crystal, our Regional Coordinator for the state of Washington, attended the 2019 Messy Church International Conference in England as one of the delegates from the USA. She returned with many Messy friends all over the world. As the Children and Youth Minister at Auburn FUMC, Crystal leads a team of all-ages to plan and execute their monthly Messy Church. Prior to the pandemic, Auburn FUMC Messy Church was featured on a local news broadcast. Check it out below.
Messy Folk answer the question: What do I like best about Messy Church?
- Messy Church is so fun! I have trouble sitting in Sunday Church (7 year old)
- I thought this would be for little kids, but I have fun too! And I felt close to Jesus (78 year old)
- Even though I am part of the Messy Church Team, I am part of Messy Church. Together we are a family (Messy Church team member 50 years old)
- I started to come to Messy Church because my Mom had to work here. Now, I come because I really love it (13 year old)
Favorite Messy Activities
There have been many favorite activities throughout the years. The top three include a Prayer Labyrinth, a Mini Golf Auburn, WA and a living Nativity Bible Story titled “That Night in Bethlehem” Crystal writes that ” these three items have plans that are several pages thick.” If you want a copy of instructions for these three activities, contact her at Crystal@messychurchusa.org.
What worked well as you began Messy Church to get the support of your Sunday Church?
One of our team members visited all of the services to talk it up as well as one Sunday we devoted our worship to worshipping Messy Church style. It won the hearts of our congregation and they agree to financially support it and have continued to support us even through the COVID-19 lockdown.
Share a challenge you have had and strategies you used to problem solve.
Our biggest challenge is having enough volunteers to prevent burnout. While the current team really loves Messy Church, and they have real ownership of the worship, it is very taxing because it’s very personal. We would love to have more volunteers, enough to rotate teams.
How has your Messy Church adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are currently doing Zoom Messy Church once a month. We have been doing a very limited supply version, where we would email the families a list of common household items to gather for our session. Now we are able to do Messy Church in a Bag and will start that October 14.
Thank you for sharing stories and pictures of your Messy Church! Auburn First UMC is located at 100 N Street SE, Auburn, WA, 98002. You can reach Crystal at Cyrstal@messychurchusa.org.