Rev Rob Cotton's 52nd Epistle to Knutsford (Feb 2018)
I begin by wishing you all a very Happy New Year. I trust that you managed to Celebrate Christmas and the New Year, at some point, with your friends and family. I wonder what God has in store for us as a church and as individuals during this year of "Hope 18" ?
Before proceeding any further, I would like to thank you all, on behalf of the family of Joanne Brown, for all of the support that you have given to them after Jo’s untimely death and also for the way in which everyone has pulled together as a church family, to support each other in recent weeks too. I have personally valued the prayerful support of you all through this challenging time.
There are personal tributes which I have asked people to share in this edition of ‘Open Doors’, but I also want to give thanks to God for the person that Jo was and for all that she did to serve God at KMC, as a Church Steward, member of our CAMEO and Sunday Night Live teams, plus all of her support for our work with Youth and Young Adults. We will not forget Jo and we continue to feel her loss, but we support each other and her family in prayer and practically in love. Love which is a core part of who we are as a church and who God is.
As friends around the country have been praying for me and for us as a church, a number have made reference to Psalm 23 and to me being the Shepherd of this particular flock. I would urge you all to continue to share with each other whatever is on your heart and mind, but DO feel that you can always speak to Carol or myself about absolutely anything in total confidence. What you share with us, is between us and God.
The overwhelming sense that I have, at the moment from this familiar Psalm, is that God calls us to lie in green pastures and to be beside still waters. So I know that we need time to rest, to be kind to ourselves and to know God’s peace, comfort and compassion. I am looking forward to a retreat, to pray, read, seek God and to just walk in His presence. But, I also think that we will need time to laugh together too. So it seems fitting that a KMC Family Party is being arranged for Saturday 17th February at 4.30pm.
However, as the New Year begins, we have already launched our new Toddler Group ‘Jolly Tots’ on a Wednesday morning and we have also now commissioned the Northwich Core Team, who will be developing a new Kingdom Community based in Northwich in the coming months. Please do speak to Dan Harris if you have further questions, but do pray for this team and for the work that they will be doing. You will be invited to a Prayer Gathering to undergird this work in the coming weeks.
Its TARGET AUDIENCE is not necessarily our demographic, in terms of age or background. We are commissioning a team to live from the reality of Kingdom culture. The team will grow together spiritually and organically in the purposes of God’s will. It is our role, as KMC, to support prayerfully and to 'cheer on'. So do encourage this team who will eventually (God willing) lead a COMMUNITY that does life together. We have commissioned a team to lead a community, not to plant another Sunday church service. I therefore do need to underline that although people may not yet fully understand this project, a commitment to prayer IS ESSENTIAL.
This is a Pilot Project and we will then have a public Celebration 11am on Palm Sunday (March 25th). As I mentioned in December, Dan is now part of the ‘Pioneer Pathway’, a creative community of Pioneers within the Methodist Church, which will offer additional support and oversight alongside that of two Districts and our two Circuits.
We do trust that God is with us at KMC and that we will continue to know His favour and blessing upon our mission and ministry. I am encouraged to be making at least four new members at Plumley Methodist in the
coming weeks. Could now be the time for you to explore your discipleship and to consider membership yourself?
This year, I am inviting you all to prayerfully reflect upon Romans 15 verse 13 ‘May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit.’ This is my prayer for all of you at this time.
Your friend and Minister,
Rev. Rob Cotton