Data over non-Euclidean manifolds, often discretized as surface meshes, naturally arise in computer graphics and biological and physical systems. In particular, solutions to partial differential equations (PDEs) over manifolds depend critically on the underlying geometry. While graph neural networks have been successfully applied to PDEs, they do not incorporate surface geometry and do not consider local gauge symmetries of the manifold. Alternatively, recent works on gauge equivariant convolutional and attentional architectures on meshes leverage the underlying geometry but underperform in modeling surface PDEs with complex nonlinear dynamics. To address these issues, we introduce a new gauge equivariant architecture using nonlinear message passing. Our novel architecture achieves higher performance than either convolutional or attentional networks on domains with highly complex and nonlinear dynamics. However, similar to the non-mesh case, design trade-offs favor convolutional, attentional, or message passing networks for different tasks; we investigate in which circumstances our message passing method provides the most benefit.