Can you remember being 6 years old?
I can, vividly, walking down The Grove thinking that I was now as old as my friend, and reading the book of poems by A A Milne, Now we are Six.
Well, now we are six!
Messy Church at Emmanuel is 6 years old and this is something to celebrate. It is a great joy to see families who have been coming from the start and those who have been with us only in the last year. People bring a lot of happiness, their eagerness to take part, be with friends and share being Messy.
A new way of being church was much hoped for as we wanted to draw young families into the fellowship of Emmanuel. After some years of prayer and research we felt sure that God was calling us into Messy Church, a movement that had begun in England 10 years previously and was flourishing.
But why Messy?
Well ‘Messy’ refers to us not being perfect and needing the freedom to feel we fit in, as well as glue, paint, potting compost and other messy activities. We know that Jesus mixed with all sorts of people many of whom did not fit in to the religious expectations. He mixed a mud paste to heal a blind man, wrote in the sand and washed feet.
And is it Church?
As with all Messy Churches across the world we share in a meal, ours being breakfast, when we greet our friends and make new ones, sharing love and time for each other, as well as our concerns. We explore an aspect of the Christian faith or a Bible story through a variety of activities finishing with the Messy Grace.
If you consider the first Christians who ‘spent their time in learning from the apostles, taking part in the fellowship, and sharing in the fellowship meals and prayers’ (Acts 2. 42) Messy Church is closely following the pattern of being Church with the Holy Spirit moving among us freely.
To celebrate our 6th birthday some people have written about Messy Church and what it means to them. You will find these later in the magazine.
At the moment we cannot meet together but we have kept in contact through the ‘weekly words’ and ideas to do at home, chats, emails and texts, and a WhatsApp group. No doubt when we can be Messy Church together again we will all celebrate our 6th birthday with thankfulness and praise.