As a congregation, St. John the Baptist Anglican Church members had been looking at how to grow while reaching out and serving the community.
This has led to them hosting an event called Messy Church. And although children are more than welcome, it’s not just for them.
“It’s meant to be a time to come together, to have fun, to learn, and to have a meal together,” says Bishop Larry Robertson. “As a matter of fact, if only kids came, it would be really difficult to run.”
He went on to say the event is important because it brings families together.
“The church really is the family of God,” he says. “We care. We want to be part of the community, and we invite people to be part of the family.”
Bishop Robertson says one of the church’s roles is to share God’s love in the community and to reach out.
“To me that’s an important thing — to be part of a community,” he says. “And that’s what the church is trying to do, to say to people ‘Regardless of what might have happened in the past, we are here moving forward, and we want to be part of the community.’”
Bishop Robertson says many of the Messy Church attendants aren’t Sunday-morning regulars.
“But they come to Messy Church because they enjoy it,” he says. “They learn about God and Christ, but they also learn about being together.”
He says the biggest advertisement for the event has been families spreading the word about how much they enjoyed their time. Messy Church consists of three parts: crafts, together time, and a meal.
For crafts, Bishop Robertson says families can play with beads, cut things out, and maybe paint. Folks can take their creations home once they’re finished. The crafts should take about 40 minutes and will fit into this month’s theme of “Spring Brings New Life.”
Following the crafts, there’s a 20-minute worship service filled with singing and some actions. Bishop Robertson will also use puppets to help teach a message.
After that, everyone will go downstairs for a full meal together. The dish for Saturday is yet to be confirmed.
Messy Church runs on the first Saturday of each month. This weekend will be its second instalment. The event is free and runs from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday at the church (358 Church Street, Fort Frances). Bishop Robertson says all are welcome to stop by and share in the gathering.
He says they’ll have one more session in June before taking a summer break for July and August, but will start up again in the fall.