The Messy blog

How do you welcome newcomers?

Posted by Lucy Moore on 19 Mar 2010

Traditionally a warm welcome in church might mean a smile and polite handshake. Jane reflects on the welcome of the Messy Church in Smethwick: I wonder if getting newcomers running relays within minutes of arrival could catch on in Sunday church? Jane writes: 'Today's long-awaited visit to see my local MC in Smethwick was one worth waiting for. Having first met with the vicar some 18 months ago, it was good to go and see what has been developing since starting last September. I was warmly welcomed by a team of MC aprons to discover more about the Last Supper.

Jane in Sutton Coldfield

Posted by Lucy Moore on 16 Mar 2010

Today's Fiesta in Sutton Coldfield was privileged to have Bishop Andrew Watson doing the welcome and introduction. He was excellent. Although he could give only 20-30 minutes before heading off to Deanery Synod, he had taken the time to write something specifically about the values of Messy Church, the reality of 'mess' in people's lives and the way in which God can and does break through in the mess. He is such a gift to us in Birmingham and he really showed his support to Messy Church and BRF in general today.

Three hundred

Posted by Lucy Moore on 09 Mar 2010

Martin, the unsung hero in the BRF office who deals with all the parts of the websites that are shrouded in mystery for me (basically, all of 'em), informed me this month that we now have 302 Messy Churches registered on the Directory. 302! That's a lot of families enjoying themselves in church.

Changing the Landscape

Posted by Lucy Moore on 05 Mar 2010

In my previous blog I mentioned Lindsey who's working with me for five weeks as part of her course at Moorlands Bible College. I don't know what the rest of her colleagues are doing, but I suspect Lindsey's Friday in Lincoln might have been slightly different from the experiences of many of them.

Glasgow

Posted by Lucy Moore on 04 Mar 2010

My word, it was cold! Not the welcome, or the even more welcome soup at lunchtime or the enthusiasm of the group gathered to share stories or find out about Messy Church in Glasgow, but the temperature of the church we met at felt sub-zero, even if it can't have been. Surely. But Lindsey, the placement student from Moorlands who's with me at the moment, said she watched a pair of lips turn gradually blue in the course of their conversation... There was a gradual furtive movement towards the radiators.

Too many people!

Posted by Lucy Moore on 03 Mar 2010

I've had a couple of emails recently from leaders with a BIG problem: they fear too many people coming to Messy Church! So put that in your 'church is dead' pipe and smoke it, oh people who say church attendance is dropping irredeemably. But it is a problem, as nobody wants to turn folk away, but at the same time, you need to keep things safe and manageable and have some level of intimacy. I'll copy one of the emails below with my answer, but if you have any further inspiration, do email me and I'll share your wisdom around.

Smashing time

Posted by Lucy Moore on 24 Feb 2010

It's true: leaders have far more fun than congregations. Just spent a happy and therapeutic half hour purging the kitchen of chipped crockery and smashing it ready for our theme of 'peacemakers' tomorrow (turning the pieces into a mosaic cross, if you're interested). Lakeland bags are ideal for the task as they're very tough, and once I'd managed to convince the dog that there was nothing edible in the bag and to stand back and cover her ears, it was immensely satisfying to hurl it into the air and let the whole thing crash on to the concrete.

Local Councillor Grants

Posted by Lucy Moore on 19 Feb 2010

Looking for funding for something specific and practical? Might be worth googling your 'local councillor grant' scheme. A Messy Church in Liverpool was given £1000: £800 to get much needed built-in cupboards; £100 for craft materials and £100 for special-needs play equipment. Just a thought...

Fun Day

Posted by Lucy Moore on 15 Feb 2010

A 'next step' day for Messy Church leaders in our area, that's what we wanted it to be. And as we thought about what to do, we became more and more clear that we wanted to reflect our Messy values in what we offered. So instead of an 'adults only' training day, we put our thinking caps on and worked out how to make it a day that all ages could enjoy and benefit from. That way, all the Messy Church team, young and old could come together and be sure of an entertaining and worthwhile day out.

Spain and Portugal!

Posted by Lucy Moore on 08 Feb 2010

Bom dia or should that be buena sera by now? It's 6pm on a February Sunday and I'm typing this on the patio of a house in southern Spain in a skimpy top and a cardigan: at home I need four layers of wool on top of a substantial vest, preferably combined with a hot water bottle and a mug of tea at this time of year. I fly back tomorrow: it's going to be tough.

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