In April 2007, The Rev’d Nancy Rowe, invited the families who had had their children baptized at St. George’s to the very first “Messy Church” in Canada.
The Rev’d Nancy Rowe was doing her placement as a theology student at St. George’s and needed a teaching project as part of field placement. St. George’s was looking for new ways to stay connected to our baptismal families.
The idea of starting a “Messy Church” gathering was born.
Messy Church had been born in the Church of England “Fresh Expressions” movement and was just beginning to spread. It was a very untraditional and informal gathering with a Christian message communicated through crafts, activities, songs, prayers, and always ends with a meal.
Messy Church at St. George’s made a connection with young families beyond the sacrament of baptism and built a community around it.
“For many people who come to Messy Church, traditional Church is a place that their great grandma went, but for them it is a ‘foreign’ land.” Nancy explains, “The rituals, even the language of Church is confusing. Messy Church offers an opportunity to explore God and our relationship with God in ways and terms that are inviting.”
For many people who come to Messy Church, traditional Church is a place that their great grandma went
The informality of gathering invites children and adults to ask questions about God, Jesus, and faith, and to explore as they journey together.
“Time after time I have been completely amazed by the spiritual insight of the children and young adults.” Nancy says as she reflects on how the message of the gospel is received.
Messy Church at St. George’s also encouraged a dedicated team of volunteers who help prepare the crafts, oversee the activities, mingle with the families, help prepare and tidy up after the meal.
The meal is very important to Messy Church.
In the lives of busy families, this is an added bonus and an opportunity to further socialize with others who are seeking understanding of what it is to be a child of God.
“Messy Church ends with a nice meal,” says Nancy. “Everyone appreciates sitting down to a meal that has been already prepared and requires no clean-up after. In the lives of busy families, this is an added bonus and an opportunity to further socialize with others who are seeking understanding of what it is to be a child of God.”
Messy Church is valuable quality family time in the very busy modern family lifestyle.
St. George’s is proud to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this wonderful and valuable ministry and the community of families who call Messy Church home. We are grateful to the Rev’d Nancy Rowe and to all the volunteers who have help make Messy Church St. George’s such a great success
The Rev’d Nancy Rowe will be share her own stories and thoughts on this important ministry and worship community on Sunday April, 30th as we celebrate Messy Church’s 10th Anniversary at St. George’s.