We Finally Have Clarity!
If you’re close to or a part of our church family you know we have had a real vision and a heart for opening a community café for a very long time. A space that would be a charity in it’s own right to help serve the needs of the community, from the oldest to the youngest: a space that residents can come and hang out together and feel connected but also network and get advice on money matters, mental health and careers. However after working through the idea in a workshop yesterday, we realised the unit we were originally looking at wouldn’t be viable financially. If I’m honest I felt quite deflated after the session: it had been an idea I felt could really work and could help the estate feel connected to each other and God again, after lockdown has made us all quite insular.
But after chatting it through after the session and when I got home, I realised it wasn’t the end of the idea, just the end of it being in the form of a community café. All the things we wanted to achieve through having a community café can be achieved in the form of pop ups throughout the estate. The main thing is to facilitate events that are open to anyone and everyone on the estate that wants that connection, advice and/or support. We can collaborate with the other amazing organisations that are doing great jobs in their own sectors to serve the need of our community. It would also mean the resources we otherwise would have poured into the capital and running of the café, can go into other important staff members like a specific worship leader/youth worker, to help grow our Youth hub. everything we want to achieve can be done as church. That is what we stand for as a church: we want to see Barking Riverside thrive with Jesus at the heart. At the heart of every person, place, thing and home. And it is as church that we can bring about connection for people; to each other, God and the necessary resources available on the estate and in the wider borough.
With that being said, and the fact that it’s the beginning of a brand new year, we think it really important to make sure people across the estate not only know we are here doing God’s work, but for people to really start understanding why and how we are doing it. Where we have been using other books and resources to teach the way of discipleship and the way of Jesus, over the next few months we will be using our platforms and Sunday Celebrations, to clarify to people what God has already called for us to do here and make it easily accessible for people to understand and get involved.
So on the next few months, we’ll be digging deep into who we are as a church and how that translates into supporting each other and the community. Starting this Sunday at our Sunday Celebration we’ll be setting the scene in terms of everything we do, being all about Jesus and joining in with what He is already doing here.
‘“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”’Matthew 4:19
We are called to follow Him and spread His message of love out to everyone we meet. Fishing is unpredictable. There is no guarantee of reward. It requires patience and risk. But we are asked to spread the Word regardless of the risk and lack of reward. that is His work. As church, regardless of what the guise is, our heart of wanting our community to thrive with Jesus at the heart, still remains. We just need to follow Him and the path that he is leading us down as individuals and as a church. His time is best. He knows best. We need to trust in that.
So join us this Sunday at the Rivergate Centre at 4pm for our Sunday Celebration and spread the word. Church At Barking Riverside are here, we’re doing His work and we have a little something for everyone.
In the meantime, if you or someone you know have a heart for making a positive impact on our estate, even if it’s just injecting a bit of fun, please do Get In Touch.