Rev Rob Cotton's 48th Epistle to Knutsford (September)
I am writing this letter to you, having just returned home after a wonderful ‘Holiday @ Home’ event with a great speaker, creative activities and a wonderful team of volunteer church members, working with Carol to care for our Senior Citizens. It reminded me of a comment from one of our more mature members, after we had shared Communion together, when she said “It’s good to know that you belong!”
This was followed a few days later, in a different setting, when another member said: “I’m glad to feel still connected!” Romans 12 verse 5 reads ‘so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.’
It is an important year for a number of families within the life of the church as they celebrate significant birthdays and wedding anniversaries too! It is good that we have the opportunity to celebrate as a church family in this way. But, there are also a number of families who have health concerns about loved ones, for whom we pray together as a church on a regular basis. Healing Services have tended to be very significant times of fellowship together in recent times and are always special for those attending. As a body, ‘If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it’ we read in 1 Corinthians 12:26. Carol and I know from personal experience how good it is to be undergirded by the prayerful loving support of our church family.
As we worship and pray together as a church, we welcome our local community to share with us, but we also work in partnership with other local churches and our Circuit Churches.
In particular, in recent weeks, we have shared United Services with St. Cross, a series which culminates in CAMEO (August 27th 3.30pm) when Rev Paul Deakin speaks, prior to our Celebration Afternoon Tea.
But we are also thrilled to be welcoming Rev Sue and Will Swires on Friday 1st September at 7.30pm, as they begin their ministry in our Circuit. Please do pray for them as they settle into their new home and adjust to life in this area.
Young Children will be welcomed to the Holiday Club at KMC on Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th September, run in partnership with St John’s, plus we are hosting visitors to KMC during the Heritage Open Days on Friday 8th to Sunday 10th September. We will also be welcoming our Chair of District Rev. Dr. Andrew Lunn to preach on this weekend, as he presents our young people with their awards on Promotion Sunday. This is prior to the Closing service at Over Peover Methodist Church at 2pm on Sunday 10th September.
Themes which continue to be important to us as a church are Pastoral Care, Prayer Outreach, Celebration, Welcome, Worship and our Nurture of the whole church family.
A new series of Bible Studies by Paul Smith are being hosted at KMC by Bud Foster on four Wednesday evenings, beginning on Wednesday 20th. Which will then be followed by the launch of a Bible series ‘Hope for the Main Street – A Kingdom Community?’ on Monday 9th October which I will be leading personally. Material will then be provided for home groups to study and discuss further.
On September 23rd, Carol and I are pleased to be representing KMC at the Celebration of the ministry of our good friend Rt. Rev. Mike Hill (Bishop of Bristol) and I am sure that you will all want to sign the card that we will present to him at Bristol Cathedral.
‘Back to Church Sunday’ on 24th September will be a great opportunity to invite those friends, family and contacts who have not attended church in recent times. It is envisaged that the worship on this Sunday will be particularly helpful in offering a warm welcome to those who would like to re-engage in the life of our church family.
A new church year begins as a new season in the life of our church and Circuit evolves. Our 2020’s Vision has continued to develop as working parties have prayerfully considered the future of our Outreach and also our Worship, plus there is a growing impetus to plant a new church community in Northwich, as conversations with the Mid-Cheshire Circuit, our District and Grant giving bodies have all been very positive and encouraging. If the Methodist Church is to reach new audiences of people, particularly young people, then we cannot just keep doing what we have always done, new approaches do have to be explored seriously.
And that is precisely what we are doing. So I would ask for your prayerful support of this project and particularly for Dan Harris as he builds a team and leads them in their conversations and prayer.
For those of you who have been away, I trust that you have enjoyed a restful time of renewal and that you return refreshed, expectant about what God has in store for you personally, your family and for us as a church too.
May this coming church year, be a time of God’s favour and blessing upon us all.
Your friend and Minister,