We are excited to be offering Messy Church as a shared program pilot project these year, for all three congregations. The clergy are working together to coordinate this ministry and are looking for your help and support. But first, what is Messy Church? Messy Church began in England as a “Fresh Expression” of church. A fresh expression is a form of church for our changing culture established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church.
Messy Church began at St. Wilfrid’s Anglican Church near Portsmouth, England by Lucy Moore in 2004. The concept was to be “church” in a way that appealed to whole families through listening to the needs of the local community and as a way to reach those who were not connected to any church. There are now almost 4000 Messy Churches registered in the UK and over 265 in Canada, plus New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, the USA and around the world. MC Regional Coordinators help to support and assist those already running Messy Churches and helping others to start a Messy Church. In Canada the Team Leader is Sue Kalbfleisch from Ancaster (Hamilton) Ontario and there Regional Coordinators all across Canada.
Traditional Church starts on time (and don’t you be late!) but not so with Messy Church. Messy Church starts for you, when you arrive. The doors open at 5:00 (or whatever time you have chosen), but you come as you are able.
Messy Church is CHRIST CENTERED. It is for all ages and family friendly. It is creating, worshipping and sharing a meal together. It is Spirit led and encourages all to discover Jesus. It is fun and builds communities with Christ as the focus.
Messy church happens once a month, with the following aims:
· To provide an opportunity for people of all ages to worship together
· To help people of all ages feel they belong in church and to each other
· To help people have fun and be creative together
· To introduce Jesus through hospitality, friendship, stories and worship
Includes four main components, with all three related to a theme…
· Activities (crafts, games)
· Celebration (worship)
· Prepared meal
· Take-home material (to connect families between MC months)
We invite all families from our congregations and your friends from other or no congregation to come and check out Messy Church. Individuals who want to come and experience this Our first pilot event will be Messy Advent on December 2, at 4pm in the Lower Hall of the Living Spirit Centre. In order for this to happen, we need the support of lay people in our community. Eastside is coordinating the Activities; Bread of Life the Celebration worship; and St. Philip the Meal. If you can help in any of these areas, please speak to your pastor, priest, minister, or let the office know. If you are able to let us know ahead of time that you/your family is coming that would help with the meal planning. Just call the office. We are looking forward to offering this ministry and hope that you will join us!