MESSY CHURCH will be celebrated with vigour at St Michael & All Angels, Bramhall on Saturday 2nd April 2011 when Mothering Sunday will be the theme. And that’s great, I think, because all of us who are engaged in mothering and in nurturing, and in being mothered and nurtured, all of us – men, women and children alike – know that Church, and mothering, and nurturing, ARE messy (and happy and sad and glorious) because LIFE is, and that’s what all our mothering and all our nurturing are about. Life.
Messy Church will hopefully remind us that Church is about Messy Life long before it’s about belonging to a religious institution. Messy Church, like any Church should, will celebrate with children and women and men of all ages that we’re alive.
Messy Church will celebrate life’s wonderfully creative goodness precisely because we know that life is tough, too, and that it is creative goodness – that of the Creator and the Creator’s work in and through us – that changes us, raises us, mothers us, nurtures us, loves us.
Messy Church, like any Church should, will tell us the story, the biblical epic of our own lives as well as the story of other lives. We and they, our lives and theirs, are one and the same. Connected, messy, broken, even. But growing, and laughing, and learning. And loved … until God’s Kingdom come, on earth, as it is in heaven.
Messy Church will change us, and urge us, and inspire us, and cheer us on our way. I met with our wonderful Young Church Leaders tonight to share details of the preparations. First we were “still for the presence of the Lord” for a space. And then, amongst many other words and plans and laughter I read, for the third time today, Rachel Mann’s poem:
From: Presiding From the Broken Middle
And we shall speak a song God gave us
And we shall find bread in the stones we found
And we shall receive blessing when rejection is given
And we shall arise when we’ve been beaten down.
And we shall sing a song God gave us
And we shall break bread on holy ground
And we shall proclaim a blessing in a world that is riven
And we shall stand and know we are found.
And we shall roar a song God gave us
And we shall share bread among the lost and found
And God will heal from the broken middle
and with grace and hope and love astound.
May God bless and heal us in our Messy Church, and in our messy church, from the broken middle and with grace and hope and love astound. I hope to see you on the 2nd April. Or any day.