Rev Rob Cotton's 53rd Epistle to Knutsford (March 2018)
How lovely are the snowdrops at this time of year? And already there are buds appearing on the bushes in our garden, which obviously means that spring is on its way!
Lent has begun and we are now preparing ourselves for Easter; the Lenten Cross so helpful in leading us from Tragedy to the triumph of Easter Day. I am pleased that our Chair of District, Andrew Lunn, will be leading our Meditations on Good Friday this year and that ‘The Good News Singers’ will be, again, leading an inspirational act of worship in the evening.
It is, however, quite poignant, that Easter Sunday is this year on April Fool’s Day and we plan to make this an extra special experience for our young people, who are making Easter bonnets and top hats during our 10.45am worship. Alongside sharing in Communion together, our worship will climax in an open air witness to the shoppers at Makers Market singing our final resurrection hymn with the children and the young at heart wearing their colourful headwear on the steps of the church. We may also be giving away Hot Cross buns with a gospel napkin explaining the meaning of Easter to passers-by. This will be our attempt to share with others the joy of a risen Saviour on Easter Sunday.
In the meantime, I am pleased to report that our new Toddler Group ‘Jolly Tots’ on a Wednesday morning is going well, with new parents now attending. Friendship Café continues to develop and what an amazing charity concert we had with Fish Lip Soup Band raising £1520 for Hampers of Hope. I am now looking forward to the Afternoon Tea on March 10th supporting the Jamboree trip and the Sapphire concert on behalf of Samaritans on March 17th at Toft Cricket Club.
On March 18th at 10am, we have our ‘2020’s Vision Review Day’ when there will be a Blues Brothers Theme and you are all invited to come to church wearing sunglasses, (and/or a trilby and black suit if you have one) as we enter into the fun and feel of the day. Famously, the Blues Brothers said “We’re on a mission from God” and as we review what God is calling us to do as a church and individually, we will all be invited to consider how we personally can share in the Missio Dei (the mission of God).
During campaigns, when I was the Senior Campaign Manager at Bible Society, we devised a ‘tease and reveal’ campaigning strategy to engage people in a Bible media campaign. We asked questions about stories in Eastenders to then engage them with stories from the Bible. My tease is that as part of our ‘2020’s Vision Review Day’ we will be revealing the brand for ‘A New Thing in Northwich’.
We have already commissioned the Northwich Core Team who will be developing the new Kingdom Community ‘A New Thing in Northwich’ in the coming months. This is a Pilot Project and we can look forward to a public Celebration 11am on Palm Sunday (March 25th) at Weaverham High School, Lime Ave, Weaverham, Northwich, CW8 3HT. This will be a defining moment in the life and mission of KMC and therefore it is important to note, that a coach will be leaving the bus station at 10.15 to transport those booked to travel to the event, so that we can all share in it.
Zeal is very important in the Christian life, as Romans 12 verse 11 reminds us. And my hope is that in the coming weeks, every member will own our church’s vision passionately. Community is so important to us and we move forward together. Healing can be part of what God makes available. Sacraments are a key part of what we share together. Costly discipleship is what we are called to. Happening Churches are made up of people who are serious about their faith. Urban areas of Northwich will have people in need. Research will be done as part of our pilot project, together with a five year plan as part of our application for a Mission in Britain grant to finance this mission. Caring for people, means that ‘as Christians we are passionate about sharing God’s love.’ How we do this, is discerned prayerfully and in conversation together through our committees, Church Council and most importantly at this time, at our ‘2020’s Vision Review Day’.
Please do pray for Dan, who is now part of the ‘Pioneer Pathway’, a creative community of Pioneers within the Methodist Church, which will offer him additional support and oversight alongside that of two Districts and two Circuits. Pray for Peter as he hosts a Parenting Course for those with teenagers and our work with children and young families, Carol as she works as our Church and Community Pastoral Worker, Amanda in her Administrative work, Pete and Sid our Caretakers.
We undergird everything in prayer and will share a season of prayer from Ascension Day (May 10th) till Pentecost Sunday (May 20th).
During Lent we will be praying for our neighbours ‘In your street’. My prayer is that we will know the resurrection power of Jesus this Easter as individuals and as a church. I trust you have found this letter revealing and that we will all have a deeper revelation of Christ’s love for us this Easter.
Your friend and Minister,
Rev. Rob Cotton