Just back from a joyful weekend with Danes from all over Denmark – from up in the north where two seas meet, to Copenhagen in the east, over to the island of Bornholm right out in the Baltic Sea. Nearly 150 church and children’s leaders had trekked over land and sea to hear about Messy Church at the launch of the Danish translation Messy Church – for hele familien.
What hospitable and kind people they are! I had a marvellous weekend from Legoland to the Jelling Stone (the carved tenth-century baptism certificate of the Danish Church put up by Harald Bluetooth, I jest not).
The conference had a real buzz about it, and despite my minimal knowledge of Danish, some of the messy concepts seemed to get through, partly through the excellent translation by Anne Grete Rasmussen and partly because the Danes are embarrassingly good at English anyway. My PowerPoint was in Danish courtesy of Google Translator – I think the only major hiccup was in the slide about teamwork and motivation, where I meant to ask ‘Are you excited?’ and actually managed to ask ‘Are you sexually aroused?’ They were very understanding.
The press has already reported on the day. The headline is Kirken skal rumme rod og snotunger. I don’t know what snotunger means, but it sounds very suitable for a messy context.
The Sunday School Association of Denmark is right behind the idea of Messy Church and has already created a website to support the new ones they trust will shortly spring up. I’m really looking forward to seeing how we can be of mutual support to each other as God moves things forward with this prayerful, faithful, energetic and generous people.