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International Mess

Posted by Lucy Moore on 03 Feb 2011

We're delighted to be welcoming Nancy Rowe, Elizabeth Northcott, Thomas Brauer and Chris Barnett to our International Forum next week in Abingdon to hear how Messy Church is developing in Canada and Australia and explore ways forward together with BRF. Please pray for us to hear what God is trying to say to us.

Here's what Sue Kalbfleisch, another Canadian Messy friend, wrote about the Messy scene in their part of Canada:

'During the past year Nancy and I have conducted 4 Messy Fiestas (a Saturday, 10-3 event) as well as 4 smaller workshops (about 1 1/2 hrs each), either together or between us, and now Messy Churches are springing up as a wonderful result. We already have another MF planned for Spencerville (in a United Church near Ottawa, ON) as well as workshops in May at the Vital Church Planting Conference in Toronto (plenary speaker is Bishop Steve Croft).

'For your information, here is the list of sessions we have done for Messy Church. Most have been Anglican (with others attending):

  • Canterbury Hill Diocese of Niagara workshop
  • Diocese of Niagara Synod workshop
  • Messy Fiesta Georgetown
  • Messy Fiesta Thorold
  • Five Oaks Workshops - United Church Conference Centre (2 workshops)
  • Messy Fiesta Simcoe
  • Messy Fiesta Burgessville (United Church)

'With all the above, between us, we have worked with over 150 people.

'Because this year we are reaching complete "newbies" who have not started MCs, the format of our MF is to spend the morning (from participants arrival at 10 to 12:30) doing an actual MC using a theme (e.g. Jesus Grows Up). After lunch we do some PowerPoint Presentations and show videos - of Lucy's MC and Nancy's - if you haven't seen the video go to Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_u3yBEUbqQ. Then a short break followed by more dialogue, we "brainstorm" a MC and have lots of Q & A time, then departure at 3.

'These MFs have been very successful - here are some comments from the on-site host last Saturday:

'One participant said as she arrived at Messy Fiesta, “I’ve never experienced such enthusiasm this early in any workshop I have attended in the past.”

'Another person indicated that “the learning experience by adults was infectious and (she) wants to make sure that she passes on what she learned to her church”.

'Kent Garrett, host: “God certainly has ways of pushing his children into new territory, giving them the tools necessary to risk beyond themselves with the Good News of Jesus Christ for a new age. It is wonderful to see God working through the Body of Jesus Christ, the church, inviting people, young and old, to connect with God and God’s people.”'

Blessings to you in your role with the Messy Church and for the International Consultation next week!