From our friends in Australia -
Here it is! Full of great ideas for Messy worship, music and prayer, as well as some food for thought and reflections on the International Messy Church Conference.
Welcome to Greg Ross and Brenton Prigge in Western Australia! Also Welcome to Sue and Glen Taylor in Queensland, Australia! These enthusiastic people are our new Regional Coordinators in very large regions of Australia and we hope that they will attract even more RCs to help them build teams to support all of the growing number of Messy Churches.
The Web of Prayer Your story: At Messy Church in High Wycombe, Western Australia, we gave people balls of wool to create a massive web. We then got people to write out prayers, or cut out words or pictures to put on the web representing their prayers.
We have just celebrated the first birthday of our Messy Church at the Living Rivers Uniting Church, Nerang. After hearing Lucy speak at Ignite (the Children's Ministry Conference in Queensland) we planned a bunch of really special activities including the some of the ideas we saw at Ignite.
This is the diary I kept while in Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland recently.
Friday 15 Feb
I'm typing this in faith that I will get internet access eventually even if it’s playing silly beggars at the moment. Just back from a Dinner with a capital D to start off Summer Spirit, the weekend festival of spirituality. The keynote speaker couldn’t come so it was a replacement. And perhaps one who had been chosen to make us really wish the number one choice had been available.
Friday 17 August
Why am I cursed with travel sickness? How can a grown person be sick seven times en an otherwise uneventful route from London to Sydney? The mercy was that I had three seats to myself from Singapore to Sydney, so I could stretch out for a bit in a lumpy sort of way, but oh, the ignominy of going greeny-grey in public... so many times... Praise the Lord for airsick bags! I shall take one with me everywhere.
Off to Australia tonight for an event-packed fortnight with the Anglican diocese of Newcastle and Grafton in New South Wales (between Sydney and Brisbane) and a final day in Melbourne with the Uniting Church, which is sheer self-indulgence, to catch up with Messy friends there. I don't think there'll be much time for sightseeing but there will be plenty of opportunity to share the Messy story of what God's doing over here and to listen to what he's doing over there.
My Google Alerts for Messy Church has been sending me a plethora of marvellous links over the summer, with Messy Churches enthusiastically embracing summer sport in all its guises. Amazing to think of all those families enjoying themselves in church together!
Our most recent Messy Church event at Dapto Uniting (NSW, Australia) focused on the Parable of the Wise & Foolish Builders.
Praise God - we more than doubled our numbers this time!
Upon arrival, our families were greeted by witches hats, hazard tape, hard hats and fluoro vests galore!
We visited the Blue Mountains just before we left Sydney and were suitably wowed by the vast acres of forest stretching out below Katoomba's Echo Point. As we ambled down a path there between eucalyptus trees, I noticed the bark. It looks as if someone's scribbled on it or done some crazy modern machine stitching embroidery. This particular tree was very near the sandstone cliff on the other side of the path, where tourists over the years have graffitied their names.