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Quiet Days at a distance

Posted by Lucy Moore on 27 Sep 2019

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It's a busy time in BRF's Messy Church this year. Correction: it's been a busy time in Messy Church since approximately 2008. And the danger we've always been aware of is that in all the busyness and 'doing', we somehow manage to stop having time for the person behind it all. We stop listening, noticing, being grateful or learning from experience and turn into a machine that churns out product. When we want to be a household the enjoys spending time with the head of the house and becoming more like that head in our attitudes and actions.

A good way of doing this is to have retreat days as a team. But when we live at opposite ends of the country, the travel means you arrive at any retreat day together completely worn out from the journey. So we're tryin gout a new concept for us: Distance Quiet Days. We gather online at 9.00, share the Bible assage and focus documents for the morning, then go offline and spend the morning with God wherever we find most helpful. Jane went to Strawberry Fields Prayer Room, Dave went into Nature and I went to the pub. Read nothing into this about our respective spiritualities. A few close friends from the wider network joined us, but only enough to give us a broad range of ears, as it were. At 12.00 we regrouped on another Google Hangout and shared what we'd experienced, prayed and sent in our findings as pictures, documents or diagrams. And it's our plan to share these with the Messy Church family via blogs, in case they are any help to the rest of our friends. 

I've added some of the 'wordy' responses in a separate blog.

This is what we were up to:

God who creates: Ephesians 2:10

'For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.'

  1. Before you look at the Bible, do this creative ‘pointless’ exercise. Take the nearest magazine or publication. Turn to p. 14. Take the photo on that page and in five minutes make 20 connections between the photo and your own life. (If there’s no photo on that page, find the nearest to p. 14 that you can.)
  2. Write down three words to describe how doing that exercise made you feel.
  3. Read Ephesians 2:1-22.
  4. Then read verse 10 three times slowly and let any word or phrase jump out at you. Play with it:
  • Look it up in different translations.
  • Doodle all or part of verse 10 and make it as visual as possible.
  • Write your own version/translation/interpretation of all or part of verse 10.
  • Mindmap or ‘spider diagram’ it.
  • Expand all or part of verse 10 into a song, poem or prayer.
  1. Listed below are some concepts associated with creativity.
  • What words would you add?
  • Which throw light on the character of the three persons of God?
  • Which throw light on creativity in Messy Church?

making, innovation, beauty, gestation, science, insight, birth, from nothing to something, right-brain, risk, engineering, time, disorganised, tortured, liberation, no fear of being wrong, nonsensical, play, spontaneity, improvisation, failure, recreation, no agenda, striving, skill, profitless, brave, waste, senses, relationship, problem-solving, resource-hungry, dreams, vision, stillness, transformation

  1. What Messy Church activity or practice has most expressed to you the creativity of God?
  2. Can creativity impact discipleship, salvation, church growth (or other aspects of God’s work in humanity on your mind at the moment)? If so, how?
  3. What one thing could we do to make Messy Church more creative?