Roberta J Egli
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!
Lucy shared some questions that I have been pondering. (Read More Here)
- 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!