This is my second magazine letter to you whilst in semi-lockdown. We have all been on a steep learning-curve in the last weeks, yet it is, I think, true to say that Church is as strong as ever, yet in a different way.
There is so much available to us, yet I am aware that if people are not able to access the internet it is hard to feel connected. By the time you read this Ascension and Pentecost will have happened and I hope you have all found helpful the daily readings I sent during this time, either by email or post. It is another way of us being Church together.
I am so thankful for the way people have cared for one another in so many ways in the last weeks, whether that is being a telephone buddy – keeping in touch with people from KMC, Tuesday lunches and our Friendship Café, shopping, making face masks, making hearts for people living alone and for our local Nursing Homes, making flowers and bugs for a new communion table cloth, supporting Hope Central (our food bank) and The Welcome with food and finance.
Others have worked hard to put together worship, thoughts for the day, bible studies. KMC WhatsApp and the Gardening WhatsApp are busy and a source of encouragement and advice.
I think its true to say that our experience during this time varies. Some people are finding this opportunity to stop and think, to feel refreshed and to spend time in the garden, or finding new walks a real blessing.
Others are working harder than ever, with all the risks that brings. Others are negotiating home schooling.
Some are simply finding the isolation and the lack of freedom stressful and depressing. Some people are worried about their jobs and finances. Some people are experiencing surgery and health issues and treatment that has nothing to do with the virus. Some people are afraid, not just for now, but for the future. I spoke to someone the other day and they didn’t know how their confidence would ever return, to be fully back in society. Perhaps we are looking at a new kind of normal into the future. So, a mixture of experiences, feelings and emotions all very real.
We heard a word of testimony from Cath Applewhite, a sister on ICU, caring for people with coronavirus and she spoke honestly about how this time felt for her and her family.
One thing she said to remember was that we are always to know that ‘God has us’. So whatever we are going through, whatever our fears, joys, emotions, concerns, God is with us and He has hold of us.
During this month we remember particularly those living alone, those in care homes and people who are caring for a loved one. We pray for those from KMC who are frontline workers in hospitals, care homes, schools, shops, funeral directors etc. We pray that God will strengthen them and equip them to be able to carry out their work of care, kindness and love.
We pray for our Government that they will make wise decisions about the coming days and months. We thank you Lord that we can put all our trust in you and that we are always safe in your hands. Amen
For us, we are preparing to move on 30th July, so we are getting quotes from removal firms, we are sorting and packing. We feel aware that our ending at KMC will not be quite the way we had planned for it to be and saying farewell will be fairly low key. Also moving to a new place during this time will be tricky too and it will be the same for Alan and Carol coming to KMC.
I know that in every way you can, you will make them feel welcome.
So, in the last couple of months we have had our new granddaughter, Ruby Alexandra, we have celebrated 7 family birthdays remotely, we have had the ups and downs of either delaying the move for a few months or up to a year, to now moving in July. We have just had the announcement that our son Steven and his wife Jenny are expecting a second child in November. A
good friend of ours has died from the virus. Our lovely dog, Tammy has died. I am aware that all of you have had similar experiences to ours, we have never more needed Jesus in our lives, to stand firm in our faith and
to trust in him for everything and everyone we love.
Carol Cotton (Pastoral Worker)