Church-lite? I don’t think so

Published 19th September 2011 by lucy moore

Our own Messy Church is enjoying the sessions of Authorised Mess this year, with brief excursions to celebrate Christian festivals in season, and on Thursday we arrived at Leviticus. Now, one issue that some people seem to have with Messy Church is that we’re just church-lite, spooning out easy meat and ignoring the tough stuff in Christianity, making it all fluffy and frothy and fun. And I’m sure there are some Messy Churches who do so. Ours isn’t one of them.
Our brave team tackled the theme of ‘holiness’, confronted the oily issue of ‘anointing’, veered not from an encounter with ‘atonement’ and faced the knotty concept of ‘sacrifice’ through crafts, art, re-enactment and prayer. The Greenbelt Messy Church team suggested we use the ribbons image from the Greenbelt service for the display, so we did (below, in production). The sacrificial goat got an emotional farewell, the scapegoat disappeared into the desert laden with the sins of the people, the ‘priest’ presided with huge aplomb over it all and Christ’s ultimate sacrifice was celebrated in awe with words from the epistles.
No, of course I have no idea what ‘went in’, any more than any minister does on a Sunday morning. I do know we had a wonderful time together, that a new family living on a difficult estate nearby said it was ‘a haven’, that another new parent scoffed and said, ‘Free? Nothing’s free these days!’ and the cooks smiled and said, ‘This is.’ Learning happens in many different ways, and very little of it is through words.

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