This time last year, I wrote for the March print issue of Kidlington News and started by commenting that coronavirus was ‘dominating the media’. Little did I imagine at that point how it would not only dominate the media but all our lives. Church life has not escaped of course and while during this lockdown, meeting for worship is permitted we took the decision not to continue with ‘live’ worship after the Christmas Day service. This was not only to protect the congregation and preachers but also because some of us felt it was unfair that we could continue to meet when so many couldn’t. Church life continues of course, thanks to Zoom, YouTube and the hard work of our pastoral group leaders who have made sure that they keep in touch with their group members.
I’m writing the day after Valentine’s Day and you could say that love has been in the air at KMC. At the end of January we had a live Zoom Sunday Service which included a ‘love feast’. No, this wasn’t some strange Methodist hippy event but as we can’t celebrate communion at present we shared together online, with tea and cake instead of bread and wine.
Messy Church@Home for February was themed around hearts, thinking about how David the youngest brother was chosen over his bigger, stronger brothers to be a future king of Israel because God told Samuel to ‘look at the heart’. As well as crosswords and colouring based on this story, we also sent out a recipe for Valentine’s cup cakes to make for someone you love and thought about ‘loving ourselves’ by doing something positive for each day of Lent. You can find some of our Messy Church activities on the KMC website – https://kidlingtonmethodists.org.uk/messy-church/
Sadly, we recently marked the passing of one of our congregation, Patricia Williams, after a few weeks in hospital. I will always remember that Patricia and her husband Frank would hold hands in church – a demonstration of their enduring love. Patricia will be greatly missed – she (and Frank) always greeted you as you entered church and her ‘how are you’ was an enquiry of genuine interest, not just an automatic greeting. Our thoughts and prayers are with Frank and the family.
Looking ahead, it’s Pancake Day tomorrow and the following day is the beginning of Lent. We have a number of discussion groups happening during Lent. Wesley Memorial church are hosting a series of Lent Talks themed around a hunger free future – for more information go to their website https://www.wesleymem.org.uk/welcome.htm The four churches that our minister Paul is responsible for will be joining together for a discussion group titled ‘Here and There’ where we will look at six scenes from the Easter story and how each scene connects the ‘here’ of our world today and ‘there’, the world of the Easter narrative. Paul will also be leading a half hour time for reflection and discussion of a New Testament reading each Sunday morning during Lent. If you would like to join these discussions on Zoom, please contact us via email@example.com.
Mel Snelling, 15th February 2021