Written by Roberta J. Egli
The alarm clock rings early for a 5:15 am flight to Toronto Canada via Denver, CO. As I head to the airport, I wonder how Lucy Moore and Martyn Payne survive two overnight red-eye flights within a several day period, first from London to LA and then LA to Toronto. I have a new appreciation for their perseverance for spreading the great news of Messy Church!
I am off to Toronto for the “Meeting Jesus in Messy Church: Loving Jesus, Making Jesus Known, Living Like Jesus” Messy Church Canadian conference. I am looking forward to re-connecting with Andy and Sue Kalbfleisch, the Messy Church Country representatives whom I met in England in 2016. In addition to Andy and Sue, I will be re-connecting with a number of the 17 Messy Church regional coordinators from Canada that I also met in England. What will the similarities as well as differences be between Messy Church Canada and Messy Church USA?
Toronto is a beautiful city and the fall colors are brilliant on the Wycliff College Campus which is the sponsoring organization for Messy Church Canada. What a wonder it is to gather with 250 people from all over Canada and to learn that there are five additional people from the states who traveled to the conference. What a blessing to be here even though I am in a Dayquil stupor from the upper respiratory cold that I have picked up.
What would Messy Church be without being centered in the news of Jesus Christ? That is a question that Lucy and Martyn ask in their first presentation in Canada. There are elements that would continue– the crafts and activities, the food, the fun, the all-ages together bonding more closely together with each other and others- but Messy Church is about introducing Jesus the Christ to and without that value, Messy Church would simply be another club. Their presentation leads me to ask myself more questions:
- How does our local messy church introduce people to the good news of Jesus the Christ?
- How do we practice in the way of Jesus?
- How do as leaders and practitioners share with each other how knowing Jesus has made a difference in our lives?
- Is it more important to share in word or practice about living the way of Jesus?
- With so many interpretations of what it means to be a ‘Christian’ in our culture, how does Messy Church offer an alternative understanding?
I don’t have a specific answer to these questions and I think there is more than one answer, however, I am grateful for Lucy and Martyn and the leadership of the Canadian conference to raise these questions. Being Christ Centered is one of the five foundational values of Messy Church so I look forward to finding out how you focus on Christ in your Messy Church? Is there a specific ritual, prayer, or conversation that you have had at Messy Church that you could share with others? I look forward to hearing from you. Respond to this post or send me an email.
Messy Church Canada has made the presentations of Lucy and Martyn available on their website so if you want to learn more here are the links– Thank you Messy Church Canada for a great conference!
Living Like Jesus: Discipleship:
Making Jesus Known: