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Minister's Monthly Message

Dear friends,

 

As we transition from the freshness of spring into the warmth of summer, we find ourselves, once again, amid a season of growth and change. In the natural world, the buds of flowers burst forth, the leaves on trees unfurl, and the world around us seems to awaken from its winter slumber. Similarly, in our spiritual lives and in the life of our church communities, this coming season is going to bring us another time of change in many ways.

 

As May unfolds, our hearts and minds also turn towards the vibrant celebration of Pentecost. This sacred season marks the momentous outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples, igniting a flame of spiritual fervour that has burned brightly throughout the ages, and we are going to dedicate the whole month of May for studying the book of Acts in our Circuit. If you haven’t joined the study sessions yet, please come along on Sundays at 3pm.

 

The Bible is filled with stories of people who navigated times of change with faith and courage. Abraham left his homeland and journeyed to a new land, trusting God’s promise to guide him. Moses led the Israelites through the wilderness, relying on God’s strength to sustain them. As Matthew Skinner has written in his book, Acts: Catching Up with the Spirit, in an era when many congregations are anxious about aging memberships, shifting demographics, and diminished cultural influence, Acts might reorient perspectives. In a period when many churches resist change, value rules more than grace, suffer from toxic ideologies that wreck Christianity’s moral credibility, and feel pressure to become more withdrawn or sectarian, Acts might cause us to notice new ways in which God makes the good news known through generosity, inclusion, and a willingness to offer bold or countercultural expressions of our faith in Jesus Christ. In a time when some congregations have stopped believing they have a future, Acts says: remember where you came from.

Friends, the stories we have in Acts are never about people of the past, but stories of how the Spirit is still active in the world today. Following Jesus involves much more than imitating a historical figure. Acts implies we still follow Jesus in the world today. Acts insists that Jesus remains present in human experience through the Holy Spirit, urging believers to keep pace so we can rediscover God among us in the midst of whatever will happen next. Acts, perhaps more than anything, is about God’s commitment to be present and active, transforming lives and societies still today.

 

As we enter into this season of Pentecost, let us do so with hearts open to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. May we be like the trees that stretch their branches towards the sun, reaching ever upwards towards the light of God’s love. May the flame of Pentecost burn brightly within us. And may we find joy and peace in knowing that through every season of life, God is with us, guiding us, and renewing us with his grace.

 

In the words of the hymn, let us pray:

 

“O thou who camest from above

the pure celestial fire to impart,

kindle a flame of sacred love

on the mean altar of my heart!

Jesus, confirm my heart’s desire

to work, and speak, and think for thee;

still let me guard the holy fire,

and still stir up thy gift in me.”

 

 

Andy, Kido, Mmasape

Barking, Dagenham and Ilford Circuit

We are a friendly family of nine churches and one community centre: Barking, Ilford, Goodmayes, Gantshill, Barkingside, The Drive, Seven Kings, Beacontree Heath and Old Dagenham Methodist Churches and Grange Hill Methodist Church Project. We serve communities across Barking, Dagenham and Ilford with membership that spans all ages. Our members come from many different countries and backgrounds and we aim to help everyone feel at home. We are part of the wider Methodist Church in Britain and belong to London District of the Methodist Church. The Circuit oversees, supports and resources local churches in living out our mission and calling. Our Circuit office is located at Beacontree Heath Methodist Church. Methodist Circuits are also grouped into Districts, and this Circuit comes under the London District (headquarters in Westminster).

Our Vision

To be welcoming congregations where all (young, families and elderly) grow in the knowledge, love and service of Christ; speaking and living out a unified vision of God’s kingdom within the BDI Circuit in line with “our calling” in the Methodist Church. 

Image by Jon Tyson
Image by Hannah Busing

Our Mission

To seek to enable its local churches to respond to the Gospel of God’s love in Christ and to live out its discipleship in worship and mission. The Circuit endeavours to realise this policy through managing its resources effectively, stimulating vision and encouraging mission initiatives. 

Growth in our Spiritual life through

Worship

Pastoral Care

Communication

Youth Work

Evangelism

Community Outreach

Image by Sushobhan Badhai

Our Priorities

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