Hubs Bring Us Closer

What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

1 John 1:3

Last week we spoke about Hubs which is our main way of being church and we wanted to expand on that this week, so you can really see the heart of each of the Hubs we have.

Prayer helps change things, makes things happen and where we as church have a want to see Jesus at the heart of every person and place, naturally being disciples together but also individually in other groups we are affiliated with, the Holy spirit and love that He has filled each one of us with, seeps out whether it’s intentional or not. And it’s that that helps us to relate to people, to help people and to empower them on their own journey.

So I asked some of our regular Hub members to give me the reason why they either decided to come along for the first time to a Hub and/or why they continue to come along. Below are the responses we got which really warm my heart, as a member of some of the Hubs and generally as a member of our church family. It is lovely to know that we have created a space where people feel like they belong, where they can encounter Jesus, can express themselves and feel loved.

Family Hub

This is a time for families to connect, usually over food. We have two Family Hubs:

  1. tea at Harebell Terrace at 5pm for those with pre and primary school aged kids
  2. tea at Crossness Road at 4pm for older kids – this is more of an ad hoc group that either meets to play out together, or can be quite intentional with the Word and prayer

Joe Bayes & Hayley Sach are the newest members of Family Hub at Harebell and they recently decided to come along:

Joe and I were looking for a place to worship where we felt welcomed, a community driven church like the early church. We attended the Family Hub and found it a great experience: everyone was very welcoming. The evening was full of laughter, prayer and food, we are looking forward to going back.

Adetunji Awani said:

It’s a great place for our kids to hang out and get to know each other, while us grown ups have the chance to catch up, offload where needed and pray together. Where our daughter is a lockdown baby it’s one of the first regular ways she was able to socialise with other children in a safe environment. Plus the food…what else could you really want?

Monday Hub

These they are on the 2nd and 3rd Mondays of the month – the other Mondays that follow our Sunday Celebrations are Neighbour Mondays – and are spaces for adults to dig a bit deeper and reflect.

Randall Staley said:

What makes me keep coming back to Monday Hub is the love we all have for each other, the love we share for Jesus and our common desire to see Jesus at the heart of every person and every place in Barking Riverside!

Jeorgina Soares said:

For me, Monday Hub is like a family gathering and gives me an opportunity to worship and praise God in a collective way and to share any thoughts, concerns or issues I’m going through. And it also gives me a sense of belonging and security. I’m not always consistent with Mondays because of my other commitments, but I always have in my mind that it’s Monday Hub no matter what’s going on. When I do get the opportunity, it’s my place that I can open up about my issues in a safe place as well as being a place I can build on my relationship with God through worship, studying the Word, praise and prayer. It’s such a joy! Just a space that interrupts our usually busy day to day, to stop and reflect on the Word collectively. It’s become like a routine for me, where I don’t necessarily have the time during the rest of the week, but I know Monday Hub is there as my space, even if I’m not attending. It’s a beautiful reminder that I have a family group that I can join face to face or over Zoom to get together.

Youth Hub

This is bi weekly for our those in secondary school at The Warehouse on Thames Road. This is a time for our teens to hang out together, enjoy games and refreshments but also come together to get to know Jesus more. We are currently using Scripture Union’s Rooted as a way to shape our conversations with our young people.

Three of our young people said:

I like going to Youth Hub because it is a simple way of communicating and having fun and also a way of getting closer to God.

It gives me a place to come and have something to do once in a while and not just sit at home.

The food and the people is nice there the space is also nice because of the facilities but also the games at the start it’s very interactive.

We have other groups that meet less regularly or intentionally around faith, but are at the stages of building relationships:

  • Urbain has gotten to know a lot of the parents who have kids training with Triangoals and where there is a need or concern the group will pray together
  • There is a Bible Study Group forming amongst the staff of George Carey School – one that includes people of all different faiths but with a keen appetite to know more of the Word, especially where they are teach in a CofE school

It’s amazing how God can bring people together who wouldn’t necessarily normally be friends or choose to hang out, but through their shared love of Jesus and others, gives us a common ground from which genuine friendships are born.

There are other groups of friends who get together sporadically but look like there is a real sense of something bubbling up that may (or may not) become other types of Hubs. But it’s so refreshing seeing things happening organically, starting with real relationships, cemented in our love of Jesus and confidence in our faith. From there, we become family.

If any of the above are of interest to you, or if there’s another hub you think there’s a need for, please do come along or Get In Touch. There’s a place for everyone!

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Matthew 18:19–20

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