THE GOOD NEWS LETTER
COULSDON METHODIST CHURCH
No.318 July 2020
From our minister
For the first time (ever, I think), I have asked permission to delay producing my contribution to the Good News Letter. Jim has graciously granted this delay, because he knew, as I did, that there might be some news following a meeting a few days after the deadline. That meeting is of the Church Leadership together with Property people to consider our options for reopening the Church – especially for worship. This is not a straightforward business – and the paperwork produced by Government and the Methodist Church for us to work through is large.
The first paragraph was written before the meeting; that has now taken place, which allows us to bring you up to date with our plans. Sunday worship will resume in the Church at 10am on Sunday 26th July, and will then happen each week from then on. We will need to meet with “social distancing” – and given the age of many of us, that will mean 2 metres apart. We will not be able to sing – there will be pre-recorded music - and there will be no tea or coffee afterwards. These and other slight changes are all about making sure that we stay safe. The Covid-19 virus is still around.
Just before then, on Thursday 23rd July, we will resume Open Church – with a difference. The Church will be opened at 11.00am for people to offer private prayer (rather than for social gathering). At 11.45am, we will offer our usual Thursday prayers – and it is hoped that will continue to be live-streamed.
The Leadership and Property people will be gathering before either of those events – to make sure that the Church is clean and Covid-free, and to set out the chairs so that spacing is properly observed. We will be meeting again following our first service back in Church to make sure everything has gone well – and to look further at the use of the rest of the building by different groups. Our preliminary thoughts suggest that is going to be much more difficult to manage, but we will do our best to allow people back throughout the premises by sometime in September.
From now until the reopening, we will still continue to offer services you are able to share in. Each week there will be a Sunday service and our Thursday prayers. They will be available on Facebook and our website. These are at
Our Sunday 11.30am Zoom gathering will also continue.
The one difference to this schedule will come on Sunday 19th July, when the Circuit will meet by Zoom for the farewell service for Rev. Kathy Flynn. Details of how to join this will be published near the time.
With love and prayers
What is distinctive about Methodism?
(The ninth in a series of short articles, reproduced from the website of the Methodist Church)
8. The Methodist quadrilateral
Methodists traditionally use a fourfold approach to learn about our Christian faith and apply it to contemporary issues and to our Christian practice:
We seek to discover the word of God through reading the Bible. There are different understandings among Methodists about the Bible's authority in our lives. We need to use resources like different Bible translations, commentaries and Bible reading notes.
This is the wisdom and creativity of Christians over time and across the world. It includes inspirational material like hymns, songs, prayers, poetry, Christian art and devotional books. There are also formally agreed teachings like the creeds, the content of the catechism, and statements and reports from the Methodist Conference.
We are called to love God with our minds as well as with our hearts. To the best of our ability we need to think things through in the light of reason. This means becoming aware of different points of view, and using our own critical thinking to make sense of God's world.
Methodism particularly stresses the importance of our own experience of God's grace working in our lives. We gain wisdom and maturity from life experience, especially when we pray and reflect about our story with other Christians.
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Methodist Conference 2020
The Conference is the governing body of the Methodist Church and meets annually to discuss matters affecting the life of the Church, the nation and the world. The Methodist Council agreed that the Conference could not meet as planned in Telford this year and so it met online at the end of June.
Public Conference sessions were streamed live as usual and they are available to view on the website until 1 August, along with the conference programme, resources and other information:-
I will love thee, O Lord, my strength; the Lord is my rock, and my defence: my Saviour, my God, and my might, in whom I will trust. Psalm 18: 1
Please read Stephen’s letter at the beginning of this newsletter.