And a messily joyful one to you all!
I think it’s going to be a really exciting year, as more and more Messy Churches start up or chalk up another year of experience and wisdom. I’m looking forward with bated breath and girded loins (sounds like a corset advert) to the next few months, with all the excitement of the Children’s Ministry Conference, plus a spree to Portugal and Malaga (if I’m honest, I’m not entirely sure whereabouts in Spain it is)… Bjarne is coming over from Denmark and there are Fiestas in York, London, Bedford and Edinburgh to look forward to. The pilot Messy Fun Day on 13 February is happening at last after much pencil-sucking and head-scratching.
The theological research into two Messy Churches, one in London and one in Manchester, is going ahead. A placement student from Moorlands Bible College is coming for six weeks to breathe the heady air of BRF, so there’ll be somebody to add in all the harmonies to my warbled songs as we drive up and down the country together.
Important People are sitting up and taking notice of Messy Church’s weird and wonderful growth, so maybe some doors will open that we don’t even know are there yet.
Best of all, I get nice emails that tell me how many people are enjoying Messy Church who would never otherwise belong to any church, like this one from Rev Allie Kerr, which was waiting in my Inbox for the new year:
Just wanted to let you know about the amazing success of our Messy Church. We are now on our fourth month and it has grown each month. At this week’s session we had 106 people, including our team of helpers, and the vast majority of our guests have no other church contact. It’s so exciting to be involved in such a good group. Thank you so much for the ideas. The challenge now is to figure out how to fit them all in!
Much hoorahing on earth and, one assumes and hopes, in heaven too.
May 2010 be a glorious year for us all, with lots to celebrate, new friends to welcome and much mess to be made as God draws people close to him through (and despite) our efforts.
(By the way, if you fancy listening to them, my hopes and prayers for 2010 are included in a podcast on the Fresh Expressions website along with other people’s: lots of interesting thoughts being thunk.)