Tag Archives: Mission

Ministers Message: October 2019

Ministers message, as published in the Church Gazette

October 2019

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Luke 15:1-2, NRSV

Dear Friends,

As I write it’s September 20th and across the globe thousands upon thousands of young people, accompanied by many others who stand with them in solidarity, are taking part in the global climate strike calling for climate action.

The commitment, tenacity and sheer numbers of the young people taking part should be nothing less than a wakeup call to us all as we hear the message they calmly but clearly declare – it is time for climate action.

Their message is one that as Christians I believe we should be actively supporting, encouraging and listening to, as they challenge us and all society, as well as national decision makes, to live in ways that enable the flourishing of the world which God created and declared good.

As I reflect on these events, I’m challenge in three ways. Firstly I feel God convicting me in asking how I am playing my part to truly care for the environment? How much single use plastic did I put out in the rubbish today? How am I using my voice to bring people’s attention to the immediate action that needs to be taken as individuals, and as communities and societies to save ourselves from ourselves?

Secondly, I’m struck by the unwavering boldness and passion these young people demonstrate, and feel God asking me where I find that same unwavering boldness and passion in his church. What fires us up? What issues rally us to unite and stand together?

Thirdly, I’ve been stunned by the arrogance and rudeness people have responded to these young people with – which has been patronising, hurtful and deeply judgmental. It challenges me to be aware that when others challenge our behaviour, practices and activities as individuals or as church, or bring fresh ideas, our response should not be dismissal or arrogance, but one of openness, listening and reflecting and being willing to consider change. Otherwise we end up like those Pharisees and Scribes grumbling about who Jesus was spending his time with, and entirely missing the message.

As church, society, country, and climate, I think in one way or another we stand at a crossroads – and we all have a part to play in the road ahead. So the challenge we’re left with…

How will we respond?

In Christ,
Rev Dan
Tel: 01243 823895
dan.balsdon@methodist.org.uk

 

“Another year over, and a new one’s just begun!”

Ministers Message for Church Gazette
September 2019

“Another year over, and a new one’s just begun!”

Dear Friends,

I know it’s not Christmas quite yet, but for we Methodist folk September marks the turn of the new connexional year. Across the country, ministers who have moved over the summer are starting new chapters in ministry and along with their families are beginning new seasons in schools, workplaces and communities. Please pray for them, and the communities they will be serving as they all travel through this time of change and transition. In particular, please pray for Frank Okai-Sam, wife Patience, and their family as the move into our circuit and Frank begins ministry in Southwick and Storrington.

In some ways it seems like yesterday it was me beginning a new season of ministry, and in others it feels like it has been a long time. In part because we have already achieved much together over the last year.

We’ve spent time reflecting on our vision as a Christian community and have completed the first part of that process, we’ve begun to discern the next phase of property developments, we’ve continued to develop our worship and deepen our spirituality, we’ve welcomed new people into our community.

Looking forwards, among many other things we’re beginning to have further conversations about how we engage in mission, outreach and seek to be a welcoming invitational community.

Among the following pages, you will find the first of what will be 4 articles which begin to explore the 4 aspects of our new vision statement. So this month we explore the first and central part – ‘Journeying with God’.

Elsewhere, you will also find the first of what I hope will be a series of articles called ‘What’s your story’. Each month we’ll hear from people in our community sharing something of how God has shaped them and is working in their lives today. I hope we will all find these contributions invaluable as we learn more about each other and how God is working among us all.

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” says Paul (Romans 8:38-39).

Let each and every one of us, wherever we are reading these words, know God in his love is working and moving among all of us and nothing can ever separate us from that deep and unceasing love.

In Christ,

Rev Dan

Tel: 01243 823895
Dan.balsdon@methodist.org.uk

Ministers Message: Church Gazette February 2019

Ministers Message: Church Gazette February 2019

Dear Friends,

I wonder if any of you have ever watched ˜Who do you think you are”? As celebrities explore their ancestry, there are often new and interesting discoveries about ancestors history.

Our history, our past, plays a significant part in our identity. Our past can shape us and affect the sort of people we are, and seek to be. So if I was to ask that question of Bognor Regis Methodist Church, how would you answer? “Who do you, Bognor Regis Methodist Church, think you are?”

Identity is important to us. As individuals it defines us, shapes us and impacts the choices we make in life. As a church, our identity is equally important.

On March 3rd, as part of our Sunday morning worship, we’re going to spend some time reflecting together as a community on our identity and vision. We won’t be making an decisions on the day, but in conversation with each other, we will seek to celebrate what has been and look to what could be, all the while seeking God’s will and way for us as Christian community in Bognor Regis.

We’ll begin by thinking about our past:

  • What has God been doing among us in our history?
  • What brought you to BRMC?
  • What is our church’s story?
  • Where have we come from? How have we got here?

We’ll then think about the present:

  • What is God doing among us now?
  • Who are we?
  • What do we value about BRMC?
  • What is our present identity?

And finally, we’ll look to the future:

  • Where is God leading us?
  • What are your hopes and dreams for BRMC?
  • What can each of us offer to the life and ministry of the church?
  • What opportunities are there for deepening, developing and growing the mission and ministry of BRMC?

We hope many of you will be able to be there to share in our reflecting and sharing together. If for any reason you can’t be there, please do take opportunity, if you can, to share some of your thoughts with us. You can write them down and email or post them to me, or we could arrange to meet.

Do begin thinking about those questions and perhaps even talk about it to each other now, in readiness for the time we’ll spend together on 3rd March. More details about how the day will happen will come in the next few weeks. I hope and pray you’ll be able to join us.  

In Christ, Rev Dan