Rev. Rob’s 76th Epistle (June 2020)


Dear friends,
How good it is to be able to write to you all during this time of lockdown, when I am unable to share with you ‘face to face’. I well remember during ‘Lead Academy’, as we prepared as a Church Leadership to re-envision KMC for our ‘2020’s Vision’, that one Pastor said, “I have a Pastoral conversation with my church every Sunday, it’s called the sermon!” At the time, it was his way of saying that he did not offer other forms of Pastoral Care, but I am now more aware than ever, of the importance of how we communicate with each other, whether that be in sermons, Devote Live on Facebook, or generally through our church notices, magazine, website, WhatsApp, phone calls and mailings.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped in anyway with expressing the love of Christ to all those connected with our church and Carol will be more specific about this in her letter to you.
Specifically, I want to thank those in our worship team and others invited, who have patiently contributed despite all of the technological
challenges.

I know that, in particular, Graham Boler has invested many hours into facilitating our worship broadcasts, with the support of David Waters and all the team. Thank you all, for this sacrificial service and please be affirmed by the whole churches’ appreciation for all that you do, because this season is likely to continue for some time!

So, each mid-week day I have been hosting ‘Devote Live’ on Facebook, alongside Rev Lionel (Peter), Scott and Neal also sharing their
daily reflections. We now have Kidzone from 9.45am and our Sunday worship continuing to be broadcast live, at 10am, through the
www.kmc.org.uk website for the foreseeable future. The worship is followed by ‘The KMC Coffee Lounge’ on Zoom, which is where we
experience that sense of community which we all crave for at this time.

I have particularly enjoyed hosting the Bible Discussion ‘Hope in the Main Street – A Kingdom Community’ on Tuesday evenings, because of the interaction with people. And, as the filmed sessions run out, I am wondering how to continue with this fellowship together. These details will be made available through the church notices and website when available.

Currently, we are praying, waiting and preparing for Pentecost with our daily readings and reflections, as we seek the empowering of the Holy Spirit and opportunities to witness to our friends and family during ‘Thy Kingdom Come’.
There are more people than ever before attending worship (on line) and how exciting that well over two million people have watched ‘The UK Blessing’ shared by 65 Churches, which was then followed by ‘The Children’s Blessing’.
Faith conversations are happening at all levels of society and whilst many are spiritually seeking for meaning, it is a season of opportunity for the church to share in ways that were previously not a priority for us!

Now that it has been confirmed by ‘The Conference Office’ that ministers will be moving in August, Carol and I are beginning to prepare more seriously in practical terms for our move. However, it does seem unlikely that we will be able to have the Circuit Celebration of our time of ministry together that was planned and this does seem quite unsatisfactory!
Please do pray for myself and Carol during this time, plus Alan and Carol Bradley, as they have the same sort of experiences in preparing for their ministry here with you. I trust that it was helpful to receive their
greetings as part of our recent Church Anniversary, alongside those of other friends from the past and to hear Paul Wilson sharing God’s word with us. It was a case of the church ministry that was, is and is to
come! Continuity is so important.

During this time of social distancing and isolation, my prayer for all of us is that it will continue to be spiritually enriching. I wonder how we will all emerge individually and as a church. Hopefully we will all be stronger spiritually and have grown in our discipleship.
I want you to consider this season as four rooms or places as follows:
1) The Classroom – a place to learn things, to
study and learn about God and ourselves.
Learning new skills – sewing etc. We come to a
place of knowing God more deeply.
2) The Greenhouse – a place and moment for things
to grow. Things have been rationed, but we are not
isolated from God, His love and presence is more
available than ever if we are open and prepared to
grow in our intimacy with Him. It’s a time to pull up
weeds and thistles.
3) The Waiting Room – as we do our readings and
reflections together we wait upon God. Some want to
get back to the church building quickly, but we wait on
His timing for us. As the Fruit of the Spirit is growing,
our patience needs to be evident. Do not miss what
God wants for you in this moment.
4) The Pressure cooker/ Slow cooker – forcing us to
be together in families more than ever, but it does
bring out more flavour in our lives and our
relationships. It can expose cracks – particularly in
marriage relationships and family life, but God wants
to deal with the root of these issues, not just the fruit,
to bring his healing and restoration.

Let’s pray that we will all emerge much stronger spiritually as we journey through this season together.
We are continuing to take all of the relevant advice from Methodism and the Government, plus I am discussing with the Trustees on the Church Council about possibilities for the future mission and ministry of KMC.
Please do keep in touch with myself, Carol and the church office in the coming weeks. Praying for you and your families.
Your friend and minister,
Rob
Rev. Rob Cotton

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