By Roberta J. Egli
After two wonderful Sunday worship services with the Community UMC Church, the Getting Messy in the USA conference concluded. All the planning team and presenters were invited to the Rev. Ginny Wheeler’s home after worship for a wonderful lasagna feast. Thanks Ginny!
Rather than falling into a pasta stupor with a nap on the couch, we all headed off for a very warm walk ( It was about 90 degrees that day) along the boardwalk of Laguna Beach. As we looked over the beautiful Pacific Ocean, Stephen broke out in song… May you find peace, may you find hope, may you find joy this day! So, of course, we had to all break into song and much to our surprise, others walking by us joined in! Music does bring us all together!
Fischy Music provided music at the international Messy Church conference and as we planned for the conference in California we wanted to offer great music that was fun, for all ages and theological sound. We were so fortunate that Stephen was available and agreed to come all the way from Scotland to gift us with his music. The churches that attended the conference received a one-year subscription to Stephen’s “Songs for Life”. You can check out his website to learn more about that subscription and other ways to get Stephen’s music if you were not able to attend the conference. Messy Church USA hopes to have further collaboration with Stephen so stay tuned.
A huge thank you to Lucy, Martyn and Stephen for their storytelling, enthusiasm, wisdom, and general awesomeness!
So what now? The Messy Church USA board will review our evaluations and decide about future conferences— the when, where and how. The next International Conference is planned for England in the spring of 2019.
Thanks to all who came to the conference. Here are few statements from the evaluative survey:
“All positive remarks. I think having a conference next year- while excitement is growing and its new would be good. After that- maybe every other year.”
“It was so important to get together with others as we develop how Messy Church will work most effectively in the US.”
“It gave me hope that we are on the right track. We may be a ‘weed” but hopefully our church will allow us to bloom.”
“The hospitality offered by CUMC was outstanding! Meals were all delicious and serving people went quickly…Thanks again”
“It was a wonderful experience from start to finish. Being able to have conversations with people who have been doing Messy Church, are starting up , and everywhere in between. Everyone was so approachable and giving of their time and information! I am looking forward to networking and moving forward with Messy Church USA!”