In the more than seven years of coordinating L19 Messy Church I have never been on the Messy cooks' team. As we have invited our Messy congregation into the church space for each celebration time, I have marvelled at the way the 'fairies' have transformed the Messy activities church hall into a welcoming dining room for us to return to. More often than not those 'fairies' don't get to worship with us, but instead go into extra hospitality mode and prepare our third space of Messy Church at each session.
Changing communities through fun, food, friendship and faith
A practical exploration of the Christian principle of hospitality from the founder of Messy Church.
In Messy Hospitality Lucy Moore demonstrates how hospitality can be practised in Messy Church and other church contexts to promote mission and faith formation, addressing the theology of hospitality and how it can be expressed at the welcome table, the activity table, the Lord's Table, the meal table, and in the home.
Reflections from a recent Messy Church visit
No doubt it was because I was deep into Lucy's Messy Hospitality as I travelled to a Messy Church recently that I couldn't help experiencing the visit through the lens of how welcoming everything and everybody was. I was pleased to say this Messy Church scored highly!
Alison Dare is a Salvation Army minister from Blaydon in Tyne and Wear (north-east England). Recently she sent us the following Messy baptism story that is so encouraging:
'The baptism came about with a mother asking if we could 'touch' her boys as she wanted them to belong to the church. Her partner's family (the boy's dad's family) are Roman Catholic but Clare was concerned that the children wouldn't sit still in church and that they would be made to feel awkward. She asked if they could be baptised at Messy Church because that's their Christian church!
A story to share from Revd Sarah in Bolton:
I just wanted to share something our Messy Church did last week.
Both Messy Churches are run after school on school premises. It does put us at the mercy of school sometimes but we manage and the schools try really hard to accommodate us.
Welcome to our new Pinterest board! We are pinning exciting ideas to share with you and to support you and your Messy Churches. We can’t stop pinning! We have boards full of ideas on hospitality, SEND, Celebration ideas, outdoor activities, extreme crafts and so many more! www.pinterest.com/MessyChurchBRF
Another musing from Lucy’s time out at the start of the year, which ties in nicely with this month’s Get Messy! theme of generosity in the book of Acts.
Messy Church is a generous outpouring of the treasure chest of each local church to its community, offering love, attention, fun, materials and food in an abundance that reflects God’s generous provision to his people.
Just had an enquiry about Holy Communion 'although most of the team are for it, one or two are against it: what would you say to them?' I thought it might be worth popping down the answer I've just sent.
To those who don’t agree with HC in MC, I would suggest that they think about what they believe the Eucharist is really all about and what they think Messy Church really is.
Lucy's got her head down writing the last book (for the mo) in our series on the core values of Messy Church: Messy Hospitality.
Here's a sneak preview of the start of one of the chapters, as the Church of England seems to be thinking about 'welcome' at the moment. It's only in draft form so our editor will probably weed out all the over-the-top bits in the final version!