Barking Methodist Church
News & Events
Minister's Monthly Message
“T’is the season to be jolly…fa la la la….”
As the media bombards us with endless jingles, offers and Christmas themed movies; we know that t’is the season, as “I’m a Celebrity get me out of here” floods our TV screens every night. The decorations are up, invitations to various events are dropping through the letter/mailbox. Most of our churches are preparing for nativities and Carol singing.
For many of us Christmas is a season we both look forward to but dread in equal measure.
On the other hand, this season is marred by the heartbreaking news of ongoing conflict and war across parts of our world, especially in Israel and Palestine, a place we associate with the birth and teachings of Jesus. For those affected by war and forced migration to safety, it is a scary time.
Setting aside the glitz and glamour of our modern Christmas celebrations, we are starkly reminded that the birth of Christ was not a glittering event. Christ was born in a humble stable (Luke 2.1-21) and as a child, with his parents, had to flee from danger and spent time in exile in Egypt until it was safe to return home (Matthew 2.13-23). At this time, we are called to think of those who this time of merry making is anything but. Let us spare a thought and kindness to those who cannot make ends meet and are dependent on foodbanks, night shelters and meals from organisations like The Salvation Army.
God, however, reminds us that out of the ordinary, understated birth of Jesus and our lives, God brings the Extra-Ordinary. In Christ we are assured of a God who is with us in all that we go through. In our encounter with those who show compassion and generosity, and for those who receive this hospitality, there is a chance of making a difficult time, be an amazing time.
In our Circuit we will begin the season of remembering and celebrating the birth of Jesus the Messiah, by joining together in a Circuit Advent service (3 December), followed on the next three consecutive Thursdays in bible study (7, 14 & 21 December). On Christmas Day there will be four services across the Circuit (see poster for details).
However, and wherever you celebrate this awesome season, may you know the love of God poured out to you. May you be kept safe under his abounding love and may your faith be reawakened in the mystery of God come in human form, born a baby – vulnerable and humble.
We wish you and all you love a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Mmasape, Kido and Andy
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).
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.
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