What is Messy Church?
Messy Church is an all age worship experience that explores God’s love in an accessible way. At Messy Church today’s busy households of all shapes and sizes are invited into a welcoming space to experience faith. Messy Church usually meets once a month. Everyone is welcomed as they are. Whether you are single or partnered, young or old, tidy or messy, have questions or doubts, are filled with joy or struggling with life you will be welcomed at Messy Church.
What to expect at Messy Church
Messy Church is Fun. All ages gather to engage in activities, crafts and games that bring the month’s biblical story to life. Messy Church is Faith. Following the activities and crafts, all ages join in a short celebration with an interactive bible story, music and prayer. Messy Church is Food. Each Messy Church concludes with a meal. Sitting at the table with new and old friends sharing the stories of our real and messy lives!
The principles of Messy Church are:
- To provide an opportunity for people of all ages to worship together
- To help people of all ages feel that they belong in church and to each other
- To help people have fun together
- To give people a chance to express their God-given creativity
- To invite people into an experience of Christian community
- To introduce people to Jesus through hospitality, friendship, stories, and worship.
Values of Messy Church
Christ-centered: Messy Church is a church, not a craft club that helps people to encounter and enter into a transforming relationship with Jesus. Messy Church believes with the historic churches, in one God who is Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer (or in traditional language, Father, Son and Holy Spirit).
All-age: Messy Church is for adults and children to enjoy together. Every element should be relevant and accessible to all ages.
Creativity: Messy Church uses hands-on activities to explore Bible stories, to reflect a God of creativity and to give people a chance to play together.
Celebration: Messy Church reflects a God of joy who wants all of God’s people to have life in all its fullness.
Hospitality: Messy Church reflects a God of unconditional love and is a church for people outside of a traditional church, providing an oasis of welcome and a safe place in which to thrive. Messy Church is about hospitality, expressed most evidently by eating together- whether it’s a plate of sandwiches to share, a full course meal or pizza.
Messy Church Introductory Video
The Messy Church Movement
Messy Church began at a small church in England in 2004 by founder Lucy Moore. Bible Reading Fellowship, a charity in the UK is the global home for Messy church. Today there are close to 4000 Messy Churches throughout the world. Messy Churches are led by laity and clergy from a large variety of denominations including Espiscopalian, Salvation Army, United Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, and United Church of Christ and many more.
Messy Church @Lewinsville
Messy Church is a once-monthly time when families come together to enjoy being together, making things together, eating together and celebrating God together through his word, through music and through prayer. It’s different from a children’s activity day because it’s an event for children and their caregivers or parents together, and it’s more than a local fun day because of the element of worship that underpins it all.
With Messy Church we are trying to be a worshipping community of all ages, centered on Christ, showing Christian hospitality–giving people a chance to express their creativity, to sit down together to eat a meal and have fun within a church context.
Messy Church Program – Fall 2021
Messy church begins the 2021-22 program year facing two challenges: The pandemic and the renovation of the church building. The renovation limits available space in the building for classes to meet. originally fellowship Hall was to be the site of messy Church but is now within a work zone. With the pandemic, any space smaller than Fellowship Hall would amplify concerns for keeping unvaccinated children safe.
The solution that we arrived at was a hybrid of our last year program that moved the monthly Messy Church celebrations with families, children and youth outside to the Pavilion in the Gardens at the Lewinsville for the first three Messy Church celebrations (September, October, November).
We will not be able to meet in person for break out sessions following the outdoor messy church so continuing education will rely upon parents to lead their children through the activities and resources provided in the weekly Mini Mess at home publications emailed to participating families.
When vaccinations for children become available and we gain access to the church building and to fellowship hall, we will restart the follow up Sunday Break out sessions in person