Introducing Children, Education and Youth Ministry Development Officer

By The Rev’d Julie Turnbull
Anglican Parish of Toronto

julie turnbullWhat a mouthful! The CEY Board has appointed me to be CEY MDO (that’s better!) commencing on March 1. I will be supporting all-age, intergenerational, Messy Church and/or cross-generational ministries across the diocese. Initially my focus will be on getting to know the teams offering Messy Church and other variations on that theme. I plan to develop a diocesan network of who will look out for and support one another. Please look out for a Survey Monkey coming soon.

What is Messy Church?

Messy Church is…

  • a form of church for all people that involves creativity, celebration and hospitality.
  • primarily for people who don’t already belong to another form of church.
  • for, and should include, people of all ages, adults and children. It typically includes a welcome, a long messy creative time to explore the biblical theme; a short celebration time involving story, prayer, song, games and similar; and a sit-down meal together at tables.
  • for people at all stages of their faith journey.
  • always there for the outsider. It welcomes everyone, involves everyone, values everyone.
  • a congregation that is as valuable and worthy of investment as any of your other congregations.
  • about good ways of growing as a family: a nuclear family, an extended family, and a global and local church family.
  • Helping people to encounter Jesus and to grow closer to him.

Messy Church isn’t…

  • just for children – It’s for all: young and old, families and single people, male and female, academic and practical, poor and rich.
  • a craft club – It’s a church. The whole of Messy Church is about worshipping God, having fellowship, exploring faith matters.
  • a way of getting people to come to church on Sunday – Messy Church is interdependent with established church, but will usually operate as a separate congregation or church.
  • just for church families – Anyone already belonging to church should be thinking about serving on the leadership team of Messy Church, however old or young they are.
  • just for families – All are welcome: single, widowed, childless, divorced.
  • a quick fix – Growing disciples takes time.
  • an easy option – It takes money, time, prayer, commitment and energy from the church and leadership team.
  • a drain on church resources – Yes, it will take money and time, effort and gifted people to run it, but it will give back in return a group of people who are fired up for mission,
  • set in stone – We’re learning all the time.

Adapted from http://www.messychurch.org.uk/what-messy-church-and-isn’t