Cornwall is such a happening place! Messy Churches are popping up all over, and it was great to be invited to go and lead a 24-hour retreat for children's workers in the Methodist Church in Cornwall by Janet Tredrea, our Regional Coordinator for Cornwall.
The District Chair, Revd Steven Wild and his frog kindly dropped in and waxed enthusiastic about Messy Church - we have friends in high places.
At many Messy Fiestas one of the crafts has been to write prayers on a leaf of your own design and hang it on to the Tidbit Tree - a tasteful clear Perspex tree originally designed to be the centrepiece of your party and to be adorned with olives, gherkins and - according to the picture on the packet - lumps of spam. The prayers are nonetheless very moving, and I can't bear to throw them away, so here are some of the leaf prayers from fellow Messy Church leaders. I wonder if they're your prayers too?
Jo Birkby and the team from St Saviour's are just about to start Messy Church. She sent an email full of God's goodness and provision for, as she says, 'the who's and how's'. Be encouraged!
One mum who has been coming for ages is a member of another local church. She is deeply loyal to her church but said to Paul last night, 'The only worship I get that I can relate to is once a month at Messy Church.'
God, forgive us as a church for short-changing you in this chronic way. Show us passion and vision. Add your yeast to the lumpy dough. Make us a community of people with purpose. Help us open the windows to a kingdom that is irresistible and everlasting. Let your sun rise.
The other question we've been chewing over at our planning meeting is how to involve the Sunday congregations more in Messy Church, both as helpers and to make it clear that this is an opportunity for them to invite neighbours and friends along and enjoy coming as a member themselves.