Rev Rob Cotton's 49th Epistle to Knutsford (October)

Dear Friends,

‘Your Kingdom come, your will be done’ can be an important ending to any prayer, and in a traditional form sets the Lord’s Prayer in the proper context of furthering the rule and reign of God in keeping with His will.

‘The Kingdom of God’ is such an important theme in scripture and, at KMC, we aspire to be ‘A Kingdom Church’ made up of ‘Kingdom People’.

On Monday 23rd October (please note change of date) we are launching a series of Bible Studies ‘Hope in the Main Street – A Kingdom Community?’ which is based upon a few chapters in the book of Acts. The launch will include a wonderful meal, for which tickets are available and will include a menu of good food and teaching, which will be good for your spiritual diet, as well as your stomachs! The evening sessions (between each course of the meal) are to be filmed by British Christian TV who recently captured the essence of ‘Nativity Live – The Prince of Peace’ so effectively for us.

These will hopefully then be available on DVD and script for everyone to study in our house groups and we. Also, hope to form a new group at church, to discuss the material and questions provided.

I urge you all to participate in this initiative which forms part of our ‘2020’s Vision’ – KMC RENEWS, under the headings of Nurture and Worship, as we nurture and support one another in our fellowship groups and also seek to develop our worship with themed teaching in Matthew’s Gospel on ‘Kingdom People’. This is part of our ‘Equipping’ of God’s people and bringing people into an ‘Encounter’ of God in our worship through relevant teaching, which allows us to explore together the ‘Kingdom Values’ that are key to who we are as a church and a people who claim that ‘Our vision is to be Christians who passionately share the love of God’. We are also hosting a National Conference on October 10th ‘Altogether Now’ 10am-3pm training us to be a multi-generational, family friendly church.

Another important strand of our ‘2020’s Vision’ – KMC RENEWS, under the heading ‘Supporting - a Church Plant’ has also developed significantly. Meetings with the Chairs of District from Manchester and Stockport, plus Chester and Stoke, alongside the Superintendent of Mid- Cheshire Circuit (Northwich) have been very positive, at which Andrew Lunn commented “There seems to be something of the breath of the Spirit behind this!” This sense of God’s prompting has been affirmed again and again, but our Church Council will be deciding whether or not to proceed with this project on October 18th, so your prayerful support for this important decision making process is very much needed.

Large scale grant applications to our Headquarters are currently being prayerfully drafted under the guidance of our District, who have also offered significant financial support, alongside the Circuit support which has just been agreed. These applications go with the support of two District Chairs and two Circuits, so they are unique within Methodism and the project is already generating great interest and enthusiasm. This is ‘A New Thing in Northwich’ and will be seeking to reach young adults and families who are currently not within local churches in a very culturally engaging way, as a Community develops from the core team who have a sense of call to this new work under the leadership of Dan Harris. This Community will be known for ‘loving out loud’, meeting together to live life and to celebrate God’s love and grace for them and the people of Northwich’.

I trust that you can now begin to understand the importance of the prayer ‘Your Kingdom come and your will be done’ as we seek to be a Kingdom Church on two sites and a Kingdom people who are seeking to do His will.

It has been good to welcome Sue and Will Swires to our Circuit and to share at our recent Café Church with them, which was an inspiring evening of fellowship.

This month (Oct 1st) Jonathan Royle will be sharing his passion about the importance of Fairtrade, which will no doubt be another engaging conversation together.

I am also pleased to give you advance notice of the return of our two friends (recently-retired) ex-Bishop Mike Hill (Bristol) and Keith Garner (Sydney, Australia). Mike will be our morning preacher on December 10th, Keith will be preaching on 10th June 2018 and speaking at our Circuit Supper at Alderley Edge on Saturday 9th June.

On October 14th and 15th we will be sharing in a District day of Prayer, when Sue Swires will be leading us in a Saturday in a ‘Cobweb Prayer’ at Mottram St Andrew from 10-12, whilst others participate in the Global Leadership Summit hosted by the Willow Creek Association in Bolton.

Personally, I have been invited as Mayors Chaplain to support Neil Forbes in hosting ‘Knutsford’s Got Talent’. He is also encouraging me to be the Rocking Rev after our ‘Strictly’ event at the Curzon a couple of years ago, but I have yet to convince friends from ‘Mid-Life Crisis’ that this would be a good idea! Perhaps it is just your Minister’s Mid-Life Crisis!!

In all the good things that are happening in our church and community, it is a privilege to serve the Lord and to serve you as Senior Leader at KMC, particularly when I have those opportunities to personally pray with people and to see God’s transformation in people’s lives and to be part of His Kingdom coming in their personal experience. Thank you all for your prayerful and practical support of Carol and I, as we all work in partnership to further His Kingdom. Let’s pray ‘Your Kingdom come, your will be done’ here in Knutsford and in our world.

Your friend and Minister,

Rev. Rob Cotton