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William Blake's "Ancient of Days"
This picture shows God leaning out from the sphere of light that represents God’s home to begin to measure out creation. Light is symbolic of all that is God: it is life; it is truth; it is warmth; it is active; it pushes darkness away. The Ancient of Days comes from Daniel 7 which echoes the Advent themes of hope and judgement.
In Advent we are preparing our hearts and our lives for the birth of Jesus. Some of this preparation is joyful, but as with any new birth, there will also be apprehension. How will our lives be changed? How will our world change? (Paraphrased from The Art of Advent: Jane Williams)
So as you prepare your heart this Advent, come along to our Advent Reflections as we read the Bible, reflect and pray; share in our worship and celebrations.
May each one of you know God’s grace and peace through Advent and Christmas.
Rev'd John Hayes
ADVENT DATES for your DIARY
Lists Advent reflection series , at Bow Rd and Old Ford on Sundays;
at Bethnal Green on Tuesdays, at Poplar on Fridays, plus all Christmas services.
There will be a chance to join in Advent reflections during December at all four of our churches. Ministers and Local Preachers will be leading sessions, where we reflect on the themes of Advent. There will be an opportunity to read the Bible, reflect on the Word and pray as well.
The first sessions will be:
Bow Road 1:00pm Sunday 1st December
Old Ford 6:00pm Sunday 1st December
Bethnal Green 7:00pm Tuesday 3rd December
Poplar 6:00pm Friday 6th December
Sunday 17th November Whitechapel Mission
The Mission welcomed the President of the Methodist Conference to Whitechapel for the annual service for supporters of the work of the Mission with homeless and rootless people.
Rev Dr Barbara Glasson reminded the congregation that Homelessness is not the problem; the Mission's Clients are not the problem; the problem is within our society, which lets people "drop through the cracks".
The need is as great as the day the Mission was founded - and the work goes on.
Thank you so much for your continued support.
Tuesday, 26th November, 8 pm. Homelessness in Tower Hamlets
At New City College in Poplar High Street.
The Methodist circuit is a member of the Tower Hamlets Interfaith Forum (THIFF). Anyone/everyone is welcome to come and share in its programme. As we know from our own work at the Whitechapel Mission, homelessness is a massive problem in Tower Hamlets. It will be good to hear how people of all faiths are supporting projects which are tackling this issue.
Tuesday, 10th December, 7.30 pm, in the Emery Hall at QVSR:
Many people feel that Christmas only really gets underway with the annual carol service at the Queen Victoria Seamen’s Rest. We expect all the usual ingredients including the Salvation Army, great carol singing … and, of course, some terrible jokes from Alex Campbell, who heads up the QVSR.
A Christmas buffet follows.
Circuit carol service at Poplar on Sunday 22nd December at 6 pm.
LOCAL FOOD BANK
The Tower Hamlets Methodist circuit makes a grant of £6,000 to the Bow Food bank, based in St Mary’s church, Bow. The application from the Food bank met the circuit’s funding criteria of “charities providing critical services to the people of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets” and comes at a time when need in the community is increasing as families go on to Universal Credit and have to cope with the gap between application and payment. The grant is for three years. On average the Bow Food bank, which is open every Monday, supports about 1040 clients each week. It relies on financial and food donations to keep going. The enterprise is run by a remarkable coalition of local faith-based and community organisations and reaches those in need by direct access – not by referral.
We heard more detail of the local Food Bank from Mrs Marshall of St Mary's Church, at the Inter-Faith Forum meeting held at Old Ford Church, in September.
NOW St Matthew’s Bethnal Green is working with Bow Foodbank to set up a food bank on the west side of Tower Hamlets. Volunteers are to be drawn from local faith groups, universities, and other parts of the community. We plan to run the Bethnal Green Foodbank on a Friday morning or early afternoon twice monthly.
We are looking for
- volunteer co-ordinators
- people to welcome clients during the Food Bank
- people to help order and organise food in between Food Bank sessions
f you would like to help as a volunteer or with a donation, please get in touch with St Matthew’s Rector, Erin, at email@example.com or by ringing 0208 109 0644.
Sunday at Six at Old Ford Methodist Church
A chance to sing, pray, reflect and listen for the prompting of God through the Holy Spirit. This is an informal gathering where everyone is welcome to join and share in the discovery. We reflect on understanding God's guidance for our lives together as a Circuit, pray for the community around Old Ford, listen to and rest in the Holy Spirit. Come and be!
Messy Christingle: Sat 21st December, 3pm Old Ford Church
We really need your help with this, and are having a meeting at Old Ford at 10.30am on Saturday 23rd November to plan arrangements for the event. If you are able to help, please come. If you are able to help but can’t make the meeting, please get in touch with either Sue Street or John Hayes.
Old Ford Church is open every Tuesday 13.30-15.00 for craft-work, coffee and cake. Bring any craft you are working on. Beginners welcome.
Next Open House at Wesley's Chapel will be
Saturday 14th December 11.00 - 15.00
and evening opening on
Thursday19th December 18.00 - 20.30
49, City Road, Old Street Station. (Exit 3 during road works)
November 2019 A Death Café at Zacchaeus Project, Bethnal Green Church
Death Café is an informal event where people come together to explore and share thoughts about death, over tea and cake. It is a facilitated, confidential and non-judgemental space to ponder the biggest question of all with the aim of increasing our awareness of death so that we make the most of our lives.
Zacchaeus Membership Launch Event and Afternoon Tea See website
BAND FOR LIFE. The Band meets Fridays at Bow Road Church See website
Our musicians at Canary Wharf taking part in the Late Bloom Arts Festival.
Watch a clip of the group sing-a-long.
Christian Aid Collection:
Christian Aid Week this year
focussed on maternity healthcare in Sierra Leone.
Our 2019 local collection total topped £1,000, with Gift Aid to be added. Thank you.
The Methodist Church report to conference on marriage and relationships
will be the basis of much discussion in the Autumn. It is long - so probably best not to attempt printing at home! There are a number of supporting documents as well. Some of this will be used in our next set of Bible studies and themed preaching, currently in preparation.
Lengthy summary with links to the actual (even longer) report
Rev'd John Hayes
Tower Hamlets Circuit is registered for the Easyfundraising site, which means you can raise money for the church when you buy online via Easyfundraising.
1. Register as a user and choose “Methodist Church in Tower Hamlets” as your cause
2. Go to easyfundraising.org.uk first when you buy online. Find the retailer’s name, click through to their site and do your shopping
3. The church gets a percentage of what you spend
There are lots of retailers taking part including: Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Ebay, Amazon.co.uk, Clark’s, British Airways
For full address and details of each church in the circuit, see Congregations
Charity Number 1134888