News and Coming Up

A reminder. The KMC Quiz answers need to be sent to Sue Blower by 31st July.

Another reminder. Fund raising. Do you shop on line? Do you book travel on line? If so, if you do it via the web site easyfundraising,org.uk/panel you can raise funds for the church at no cost whatsoever to yourself. The retailer you purchase from – and there are something like 3,700 of them - will make a donation to the church.

As mentioned last week, The Leadership Team is to meet, via zoom, on Tuesday 14th July and attempt to draw up a plan for the re-opening of the church. We will have to wade through a not inconsiderable amount of instructions but what is clear is there are many steps to take before the church is open again: it will not be a quick process. In the meantime, it is re-iterated that no one may enter the premises without the prior permission of our Minister, P. J.

If anyone has any views on when the church should reopen please let people know.

Zoom worship on Sunday will be at the usual time of 10:30am. The code to use is If you are using the visual zoom the code is 820 7268 5897. If you want to listen in via your telephone the numbers to dial are 131 460 1196 or 203 051 2874.

Would anyone like to lead the Sunday zoom worship on one (or more) of these dates: 26th July, 16th August, 23rd August? If so, please contact P. J.

Lectionary for 12th to 18th July.  Isaiah 55.10-13; Psalm 65 (1-8),9-13; Romans 8.1-11; Matthew 13.1-9,18-23. Jesus tells the crowds a parable of seed being sown onto different sorts of ground. Later, he explains it to the disciples as an illustration of how different people respond to hearing the word of the kingdom. Think about how Jesus uses parables in Matthew’s Gospel.

In other news. Young people are being encouraged to experience what it would be like to be part of a secret church and have to hide their faith. The Christian freedom charity Open Doors have created activities for youth groups for 'The Secret Church Experience' to help people identify with those who could be locked up for being a Christian.  The activities include creating a trail to a secret meeting place for youth group, hiding everything that indicates you may be a Christian, reading a story about Jesus without mentioning him and writing Bible verses on toilet paper and flushing them away when you've learnt them. The toilet paper exercise is based on the experience of a man from Eritrea

Screen free Wednesdays – resources can be found here https://www.bsgc.org.uk/resources.htm

Food for thought. Many of us feel tired, worn down, fed up and hopeless.  Is there really a future for the church? Can it be resurrected? Can these dry bones live? Our numbers decline, our age increases. The level of apathy towards organised religion increases. Maybe we should all give up, let this towards version of the church die off so that something new can arise from the ashes? Or should we do something?

Good news, The New Room has re-opened. You can visit Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 3pm. The café will be open for takeaway only, offering drinks, cakes and light lunches. The chapel and Broadmead courtyard will be open for private prayer and reflection. The library, museum, shop, events space and toilets will remain closed to the public for the time being whilst they make additional changes to the way they operate - check their website for full details as to what you can expect from your visit. (Although the toilets will be closed temporarily, both The Galleries and Cabot Circus have toilets available.} Access to the site will be limited to the Horsefair café entrance.

Methodist Conference is now over.  The Reverend Richard Teal and Carolyn Lawrence were inducted as President and Vice-president for the year 20/21. In his address, the President looked ahead at how the world can adapt to the impact of the pandemic. He said “Not a return to the same old same old but a church which has the reputation for transformation, for recreation and for empowerment of what we are living through in the present in response to a faithful God who redeems history and promises the brightest of futures.” The President chose the final words of John Wesley as his theme for this year, ’The best of all is, God is with us”.

One of the actions of Conference was to vote overwhelmingly to implement a new Church-wide strategy for Evangelism and Growth. The God for All strategy commits the Church theologically, culturally, and financially to deepen its mission to be a growing, evangelistic, justice-seeking, and inclusive Church. In the context of declining Methodist Church membership numbers, God for All prioritises helping new people become disciples of Jesus, starting hundreds of new churches, and raising up new lay and ordained leaders to join God in engaging diverse rural, urban, estate, and suburban communities across Britain. The strategy also focuses significant energy and resources on developing the role of young evangelists, serving communities experiencing marginalisation, expanding the Church’s digital presence, and helping Methodists live out their faith in everyday life. God for All will launch in September with a focused Year of Prayer that will offer the Church’s work to God.

Conference also carried a motion to monitor, collect and analyse statistics on the diversity of the church to improve representation and, in the light of the death of George Floyd, to acknowledge that "racism is a denial of the gospel.’

Conference elected the Revd Sonia Hicks to serve as President and Barbara Easton to serve as Vice-President, starting their year of office when the Representative Session of the Methodist Conference opens in Birmingham in June 2021. Sonia has served as a Circuit Superintedent in three connexions: Britain, the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and Americas and the Methodist Church in Ireland (MCI), said: “As a Black person born in the UK, it is a great privilege to serve the church family I love in this new way. I will do all I can to honour this choice of the Methodist Conference and enable British Methodism to celebrate our God-given diversity’.

By the time we do re-open, Val Jeanes will have moved house. To wish her well and say thank you for all her work in the church, Helen visited her recently to give her the card we all signed some time ago and a willow tree figurine, potted house plant, a WH Smith gift voucher and a handmade wooden bowl carved by Lynda. She has asked me to tell you that she was overwhelmed with the gifts and wishes to thank everyone who contributed. She will be missing all of us and thinking about us as we try to sort out how to re-open the church.

The Methodist Church has recently published a set of good practice guidelines to raise awareness of sexual harassment, support victims and bring about a change in culture to ensure all churches are caring communities, where people safely meet for worship, sharing and learning. To learn more, go to https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/news/latest-news/all-news/methodist-

The Bristol Methodist Centre: ‘You Are Not Alone - an anthology of hope and isolation.’ A book of 44 stories to help support work amongst the homeless, including The Methodist Centre. More information, including how to order, is in one of the other attachments to this Newsletter email.

Did you know, that in addition to their day service at The Methodist Centre, the Circuit is working with other homeless charities to provide hot meals in Champion Square every night of the week during the Coronavirus pandemic? Each meal costs £3.30 to prepare, deliver and serve – not much but it all adds up! Could you help pay for the food that is served? To donate please visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/bsgcbuymedinner

Pray As You Go are producing a daily retreat for people socially isolating: 

www.pray-as-you-go.org/retreat/pray-as-you-stay 

Other Sunday Worship services: Methodist Central Hall Westminster at 11am - www.youtube.com/mchwevents  and, at the same time Wesley's Chapel London will live-stream from the chapel (the Minister lives on the premises) - www.youtube.com/channel/UCUAUqhmhevz5sqhh72LIMxA 

The Circuit web site has a number of coronavirus worship resources on it. These include a daily prayer to share for 10 mins at midday each day - https://www.bsgc.org.uk/coronavirusworshipresources.htm

The Methodist Church has introduced 2 free phone lines, 1 for prayers and 1 for news from the Methodist Church. To listen to a prayer, call 0808 281 2514 and to listen to news call 0808 281 2478. The content is updated every Thursday afternoon.

KMCs 2 main sources of income are collections and Pre School rent. With the Pre-school being closed there is no income from that source. And with no services there is little income from collections, only that from 6 people who pay by monthly direct debit. That means the church is facing a cash flow problem. We could dip into our investments but that would mean reducing our income from interest. So, can you help? There are 2 ways in which you possibly could. Firstly, you could make a one-off donation in lieu of the collections that you would have put in the plate had you been at church each Sunday. If you have internet banking you could make a transfer to the church account – Peter can provide the necessary details. Or you could send him a cheque made payable to Kingswood Methodist Church (KMC is not acceptable for banking purposes). Second you could set up a monthly direct debit and again Peter can provide details.

 A Virtual Church Choir. The National Methodist Choir want to provide all singers from all denominations, and all corners of the globe, an opportunity to come together and worship God with our voices. See www.nmcgb.org/ for details of how to get involved

New sales figures indicate that the Bible has experienced a dramatic surge in sales as readers search for hope amid the current coronavirus pandemic. Book sales data provider Nielsen BookScan said that Biblical and liturgical texts had been rapidly climbing the charts in recent weeks, noting that the clear uptick in purchases was an "unusual pattern in comparison to the same period in recent years."  Nielsen added that the closure of churches is likely to be a factor, before adding that "perhaps people are turning to scripture for comfort in these abnormal and melancholy times...or perhaps people are curious as to whether Coronavirus is prophesied in Revelations”.

Thank you everyone who has provided feedback on the daily KMC Emails.. What has been What is in them has not been all my own work, some thanks must go to  Cora and Steve. If you have anything you would like to share with everyone else, please let me have it.

As I expect you all know, whilst funerals and cremations can still take place during the crisis, attendance at them is very limited. Consequently, the Methodist Church has produced ‘A time of reflection when you can’t attend a funeral’.  This is a short period of worship to help you say your goodbyes to someone whilst remaining in your own home. A copy is available on the Methodist Church web site.

If, during this crisis, anyone finds themselves with financial problems and are struggling to buy food, toiletries etc. please contact Peter. He will arrange a Foodbank parcel and it will all be in the strictest confidence.

Are you someone who worships at KMC but has never become a full member? Would you like to become a member? Would you like to find out what membership involves? If so, please have a word with P. J..

 

The purpose of Kingswood Methodist Church is to respond to God's Love in Christ and to live out that love in God's world.