We hope this newsletter finds you safe and well. Here is some more news from King's Church Cockermouth of what has been happening in January.
A Note from Roger Bye
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him… Rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2v6,7 Wow – what a verse for these times! It’s helps us to know that when Paul wrote this powerful encouragement he did so from imprisonment. And in our times of lockdown, which are very different to what Paul was experiencing it can still help us to read his encouragements from prison. They give us his wisdom and perspective about the priorities that really mattered. In this letter, to the church in Colossae, he was not only absent from them, but suffering for them…yet his heart overflows with encouragement. This sentence pulsates with living truth. We have received Christ; we can live our lives in Him. We can know His presence, His grace, His spirit at work in us. We can be rooted and built up in Him. No chains, no prison wall, no confinement could stop Paul knowing the reality of these truths. Before anything else and despite everything he knew that knowing Christ was everything. The same is true for us. We are not imprisoned, and whatever the restrictions or however lockdown affects us we can continue to live our lives in Him. We can be rooted and built up in Him – even overflow with thanksgiving! I know that this is a challenge for us all, but Paul knew what he was writing about!
Life@Kings -Small Groups - Brenton Horne I’ve just had a Zoom meeting with a number of the people who lead small groups at Kings. It was really encouraging to hear how each of the groups are connecting despite the challenges that we are all facing right now. At a time where we are limited in being able to meet together physically it is so important to “…consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together …” Hebrews 10v24-25, We have a number of small groups that meet at various times of the week. Some are focussed on prayer, some are focussed on bible study, whilst most will involve discussion and sharing fellowship with one another. WhatsApp and Zoom have become tools we use on a regular basis, and whilst I’m sure most people prefer to meet in person, these tools have been really helpful to keep connected at this time. What has been really encouraging to hear is how some people who were not part of Kings, or on the fringes, have been able to get connected in with a small group. Whilst each group is different, we all have the same aims; we want to connect with each other and make them a place of belonging, to deepen those connections into friendships that are a source of support and encouragement. We want to inspire one another to live out our faith in day-to-day life, and to grow, in both depth as well as by adding more people into groups. I have to admit, sometimes I have had a tough day at work, I’m tired and don’t feel like doing small group. But then I spend some time chatting a praying with my group and at the end I am really glad I did. If you are not currently connected into a group, there is space for you. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find a suitable group for you.
Working with King's Church - Zoe Fielden
I am absolutely loving working with the team at Kings! So far, I have had the chance to be involved with things like Fair Share, Coffee Theology conversations on Sunday, youth online (including Christmas parties of course!), and planning various treats for our kids and young people.
A huge highlight has definitely been helping Joelle with Mobilise online and getting to know our awesome youth more! I love being with them every week, it is so much fun and their commitment to getting together, even with the challenges of being online, has really inspired me.
Another highlight for me was going around asking fun questions to some of our church family for the services in December! It was such a treat to see so many faces that I hadn’t seen in a while! Plus being accompanied by Santa on some occasions…great days!
On a side note - It has really been amazing to see the love and encouraging community spirit of everyone in our church during this season, I feel very blessed to be part of this church!
Looking forward to the year ahead, I’m expectant and excited for the journey – whether online or in person, it’s going to be fun…2021 let’s go!
A Note from NISCU - Sue Gorman
I would just like to let you know about NISCU's (Northern Inter-School Christian Union) forthcoming prayer sessions. I wondered if you or anyone in your church would like to join with us in prayer.
They will be taking place on Zoom and are planned for Monday 8th February at 7:30pm and Wednesday 10th February at 2pm. If you would like to join us in prayer for the work of NISCU and our schools, teachers and children at this time, please contact me and let me know which session you would like to attend and I will then forward you the zoom link.
Here is a message from Nick Klein (NISCU CEO) inviting us to pray. Please click this link: https://youtu.be/w34wzDtTRxA
I look forward to perhaps seeing you on Zoom on our prayer dates.
To contact Sue for more details, please email: email@example.com
Church@Work - Marion Weir
Zoom! The word that this time last year simply meant going pretty fast has taken on a whole new meaning in the last 12 months. It can mean connecting with family, work meetings, online quizzes but on 23 January it allowed about 15 of us to join together for the first Church@Work of 2021.
Whilst we would all love to be able to meet in person and enjoy breakfast together, it was such a blessing to be together virtually and to see and hear from friends that we hadn’t caught up with in a while. The world of work is a very different place in 2021 but thanks to God as He never changes.
We spent some time just hearing updates from people and the we had a time of prayer and calling on God. We were reminded of the words of challenge to Esther that she has been placed in position “for such a time as this.” What comfort! What encouragement!
Lockdown is challenging and this last year has been beyond anything we could ever have imagined but this time together was a source of great encouragement and hope. Why don't you come and be encouraged at our next time together – Saturday 20 February at 10am. It would be great to hear all that God is doing and be part of Church@ Work where God has scattered you.
If you have any questions or want any more info please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer points for the NHS - Hazel Raby Sometimes it can be really hard to know what to pray, especially at the moment in the COVID pandemic. So we asked Hazel Raby (who works for the NHS) for some NHS prayer points. Please take some time over the next couple of weeks to pray through the following points, Thank you. Thank God:
that the Cumbrian healthcare system has coped
that our wider NHS partners are working well together to support the Cumbrian hospitals and release pressure
that services have continued to develop and that this has been encouraging for staff
that Cumbria NHS has dedicated teams who go above and beyond
for the staff who are exhausted, especially for their mental health (particularly as many wards have seen increased mortality)
for the families and colleagues of staff members who have not survived COVID and also for staff members experiencing long-COVID
that there is sufficient resources for what we need to do (staff, equipment, etc)
for good progress on the day-to-day strategic work and that it’s able to go ahead during the pandemic
for wisdom for balancing the opposing priorities of the COVID pandemic and ongoing patient health needs
for in-patients who cannot have visitors (especially those who are long-term)
for those who need to come into hospital but are too scared to do so
Overpowering Nemo by Ginny Burgin
Ginny has been to speak a couple of times at King's Church and will be with us on the 7th March. You might recall that the last time she was with us was the last Sunday before lockdown and brought a really encouraging word which you can watch again at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x37SwUeehCY Here's her new book which Paul is heartily recommended.
Overcoming Nemo: Encountering Deliverance and Walking in Freedom
God shapes and forms things out of nothing. He takes nothing to make something which brings glory to His name. Many of us come to Him as ‘nobodies’, nothing, with no identity – Nemo (Latin for ‘no man’ or ‘nobody’) – and many of us struggle to overcome in areas like depression, negative thinking and the difficulty in seeing ourselves as having a voice in any positive way. But God is about calling, shaping, and forming a body which will ultimately become His glorious bride, His Church, bringing glory to His name. We are not meant to remain ‘nobodies’ but by His grace we are to overpower that which is of the ‘old self ’ and rise up to become part of that glorious Church and to give us a voice to speak to this chaotic world. Ginny has written Overpowering Nemo to provoke you to trust God for His supernatural intervention in your life, to overpower whatever is your Nemo and to enable you to become a voice that will be heard.
Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St John
Lucien's teasing of Dani leads to an accident with far-reaching consequences. Annette is intent on revenge and does all she can to make life a misery for Lucien. His only friend is the old man up the mountain who recognises his skill in carving wood and gives him new hope. Set in Switzerland this story of Annett, Lucien and Dani has caught the imagination of countless children. Patricia St John's classic story of love and forgiveness is as fresh now as when it was first published in 1950.
Tim Raby suggested this book which he enjoyed, he says 'It was a fun book which talked about letting God into your heart. And through the characters, you learn about forgiveness and how when you let God into your heart, it's easier to forgive and not be angry'.