I begin my letter, by thanking people for attending our recent Garden Party at the manse, celebrating my significant birthday and also acknowledging your support of the Zip-wire challenge for Grow (UK) which, together with a family party in Staffordshire has raised just over £3000!
Particularly, I need to thank Carol who made this event possible and also for her unstintingly supporting my ministry at KMC and in the Circuit.
But, the weather was also quite a factor on the day, so thanks to all those who helped to erect the marquees and PA, served the refreshments, or played and sang through the downpours! Thanks especially to Barri, Anna, Elaine, Graham and Vicky for battling through. I wonder how many references to rain you spotted in Graham’s set list. Certainly the song about being a garden gnome was in keeping with the garden context!
It was also good to welcome five new members in Adele Toulman, Brian Thompson, Kathie Toulman, Paul Stringer and Stan Jackson at our Pentecost ‘All together Worship’. I know that others are now considering membership of the church as a direct result of this worship.
My personal thanks also to those of you who have responded to the recent Anniversary Appeal, offering a reviewed financial commitment to the church and also offers to serve in a variety of ways. I encourage every church member to prayerfully reflect upon your contributions to the church as we seek to move forward in our mission and ministry. Please do take the time to complete one of the survey forms in the church vestibule.
Whilst we consider what God is calling us to do as individuals, it is good to thank Bob Boler for a long preaching ministry in the Circuit and also further afield, too, whilst also welcoming Brian Thompson as a new preacher, whose first service will be preaching on July 14th at 9.15am. It was good to share with Bob about his preaching ministry and to invite others to consider if they might be called to preach, or to be a worship leader recently.
At KMC we celebrate so much together as a church family, from the recent baptism of Austin David Anthony White, to the Golden Wedding of Barri and Ann Dodgson and I look forward to the wedding of Rhona Bowler (daughter of Margaret Squires) and Paul Kettle on 30th August. What a privilege to share in such important occasions within the life of a family.
We are also pleased to be hosting the regional 20th anniversary celebrations of ‘Open The Book’ on Thursday 18th July at 2pm, when we welcome the gifted story teller Bob Hartman back to KMC, alongside other guests. This is a great opportunity to find out more about the work of OTB and how to get involved locally. This is a free event but it is ticketed , so if you are interested in coming along , there may be places available that can be booked by ringing the following number: 01793 418355 .More details can be found on https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/get-involved/open-the-book/otb-events/otb-20th-celebration-knutsford/
Recently, the team preparing for a mission in Uganda this August, from 7th-21st, went to Cefn Lea in Newtown, Wales for a weekend of orientation. This was also an important time of team building, as the expectations of our group to see God at work in people’s lives began to grow. There will be some significant challenges for all of the team, so we do need your prayerful support as we seek God’s prompting and to see him move powerfully in Uganda. This is such a significant opportunity for everyone involved, for many of us it is our first experience of Africa, so please think of us in our preparations. And thank you for supporting our fundraising activities. Some of these have been wonderful outreach opportunities too.
As we partner with Ugandan churches and organisations, we journey together in seeking to experience the risen Christ. No doubt we will be learning more from them, than we can possibly hope to teach them, during the Firefest Conference which is the climax of our time overseas. Neal will be sharing in greater detail about the aims and objectives of our visit, but my prayer is that, as we journey together, that it will be an ‘Emmaus experience’ of meeting with the risen Christ, recognising him to be present with us and speaking to us.
On Sunday 1st September, we have a special Café Church at 7pm with Matthew Barber of ‘Spaces of Hope’, when we will be discussing the relationship between the NHS and the Church caring for the local community. This will be a very informative evening and an important gathering of everyone involved in the NHS and anyone interested in the pastoral care and outreach of our church.
Over the summer, we will once again be sharing our evening worship alternately with friends from St Cross Church and Rev Paul Deakin, which will conclude with a special CAMEO at 3.30pm on Sunday 25th August. I trust that you all enjoy the Summer and that at some point you have time for rest and renewal.
This is also an important time of discernment for Carol, myself and for the Circuit Leadership Team, as my current appointment of Circuit Superintendent comes to an end in August 2020. We are prayerfully seeking to discern what God is calling us to do personally and as a church beyond 2020. We would therefore very much appreciate your prayerful support as decisions are made and as the Uganda team prepare.
Your friend and minister,
Rev. Rob Cotton