Rev. Rob’s 75th Epistle (May 2020)

Dear Friends,
How wonderful to celebrate the risen Christ on Easter Sunday together, even if we were in isolation and socially-distanced in our homes.
Personally, I love to be able to lead us in the acclamation “Jesus Christ is risen” and to join with you all in stating “He is risen indeed.
Alleluia!” Being isolated and socially distanced
does not change the truth of this statement, nor
the reality of our experiencing His Resurrection power.

Our Easter Sunday Communion was exchanged for a ‘Love feast’ or ‘Agape Feast’ as an act of remembrance for families in their own home.
This is where the spiritual inheritance of Methodism enables us to remember all that Christ has done on the Cross, whilst respecting
the authority of The Methodist Church. I trust that you have found this and our worship together both meaningful and helpful. I have certainly found the experience inspirational, if not a little challenging, but I do appreciate all those in our worship team who have continued to facilitate and to enable us to worship together as a Church family.

Each day I have been hosting ‘Devote Live’ on Facebook (when technically possible), alongside Rev Lionel (Peter), Scott and Neal also sharing their daily reflections.

Our Sunday worship will hopefully continue to be broadcast
live at 10am through the website. The worship is followed by ‘The KMC Coffee Lounge’ on Zoom, which I know has been very much appreciated by those attending.
People have commented how it has enabled them to get to know people better and in fact Suzy Keen commented “I have spoken to more people on Zoom, then I ever have at church!”
It is also hoped to continue offering Adult Bible Studies on other evenings and Youth Fellowships too. These details will be made
available through the church notices and
People have been able to share with new folks
and also at a much deeper level. New
friendships have been formed, as our telephone
buddy’s have developed relationships with
some of our older and vulnerable members, as
they have done their shopping or just phoned to
enquire about their well-being. I do wonder if
the depth of our fellowship has been enriched if
not deepened, rather than just having a cup of
tea or making small talk? There is a reality to
our being church family together.

Years ago, when we were launching the Pentecost
Festival in London, Andy Frost made the statement
‘The Church has left the building’. I wonder if now that
we as the church have had to leave the building,
whether that will impact our fellowship, worship,
mission and ministry in ways that makes us not just
Easter People, but Pentecost People who live in the
resurrection power of His Holy Spirit? Certainly as we
continue worshipping together in this season of
Easter, we can pray and prepare for Pentecost,
seeking the empowering of the Holy Spirit.
This year, I am going to be inviting you to reconsider
what it means to be a ‘Kingdom Community’ as we
revisit some studies I did on the book of Acts, but
also, we can join with other churches in ‘Thy Kingdom
Come’, ten days of prayer from Ascension Day (21st
May) to Pentecost Sunday (31st May). We will pray
for our friends, contacts and family that they come to
know our risen Saviour and Lord for themselves.

For our Church, Community and Nation, this is a very
challenging time, where we are experiencing a ‘new
normal’. Life is not the same. And in some ways, we
hope and pray that the positives that we see in local
communities will not ever be lost and that we can all
learn from this experience. Spiritually we should be
taking the opportunity to prayerfully consider our
values and priorities, hopefully investing more time in
prayer, studying God’s word and in our relationships.
If you are actually enjoying a better quality of life with
God and our loved ones, can you ensure that we
continue to have this experience in the future?

I am enjoying the greater interaction with our family on
social media, even if Carol and I would love to cuddle
our newly born Granddaughter Ruby Alexandra (to
Timothy and Alexandra) sometime very soon! I am
also enjoying my quiet times and study much more at
present, so hopefully this whole season can prove to
be fruitful and beneficial personally in the longer term.
I certainly hope and pray that this can be your
experience too.

We are continuing to take all of the relevant advice
from Methodism and the Government, plus I am in
regular contact with the Trustees on the Church
Council. Do please pray for us all, as we consider the
impact of Covid-19 upon the church and make
decisions about the future. But I will also need to
keep in good contact with the whole church family, as
we care for each other to the very best of our ability.
Thank you for your ongoing support and prayer.

Thank you for all of those who have transferred their
giving on to standing order, this will greatly help us.
Please do keep in touch with myself, Carol and the
church office if you have any concerns or questions in
the coming weeks.
Praying that we all know His resurrection power
during this season of Easter and as we prepare for Pentecost, during
‘Thy Kingdom Come’.
Your friend and minister,
Rev. Rob Cotton

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