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Exploring celebration

Posted by Lucy Moore on 09 Apr 2013

Celebration is the name we've given to the most traditional worship part of Messy Church - the 15 minutes of story, song, prayer and whatever else we bring into the gathered worship of the whole session. It's also a broader term for marking with joy or sorrow a significant event, for making that event count in our community's life.

Celebration can be engaging, fun, joyful: where people's perception of church is that it is boring, we need to show them that the church worships a God who is totally engaging.

Celebration is about significance and giving families and individuals a sense of their own identity - celebrating who they are in the eyes of a loving God and in the cosmic story of faith. 'You are more than just an isolated individual: you matter!' What might this mean to broken families in your Messy Church?

Celebration is about making the meaning of something matter: it might mean marking a death or a loss as well as a joyful event. Messy Church might be the only time a family comes into a church building to grieve a loss.

Celebration is a state of mind. Jesus would have spent plenty of time every year as he grew up joining in Jewish festivals until the emotions, foods, rituals and stories were engrained in his very being.

Celebration is about remembering the past and looking ahead to the future with the insights given by that past and the way we interpret it as a community. In broken communities the vision we can provide in Messy Church is all the more important.

Celebration is about other people - we get together as families, churches, friends to celebrate. It is a thumbprint of Kingdom. We bring people of all ages together intentionally.

Celebration gives people with drab lives something to look forward to, perhaps even to live for. Maybe just a hot meal; maybe just company, but these are things which feed soul and body.

So where do people see celebration bubbling up in your Messy Church?

What do we celebrate at BRF?

  • The stories you send us that show God at work across the world in Messy Churches large and small.
  • The friends we make and meet whenever we're invited to a Messy Church or a training event.
  • The growing number of Messy Churches (1710 now registered on the Directory).
  • The sense of being part of something bigger than ourselves.
  • And the God of life out of death whose story we tell again this month.