The month of September marks the beginning of a new academic year. Whatever happened in the last academic year is past and here is the opportunity to start afresh, to learn from past experience. May young people will be starting afresh in new schools, some with friends they have known since nursery school, others alone, having to establish new friendships. It can be daunting! Many young people will begin university life and discover just how difficult it is to juggle finances, keep a room clean, do laundry, cook and attend classes! Some will also have a part time job! September marks a fresh start and will bring challenges and joys.

You are not alone! You have been created in the image of a God of love who desires to be in relationship with you. You are unique, created with gifts and talents that God wants to use to his glory and to help human kind. On the days that you waver and we all have them, have a conversation with God, tell him what is on your mind, ask for guidance, and then look for possibilities. Psalm 119: vs. 5 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” John 10: vs10 says, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” God cares about each and everyone us and gave himself on the cross, so that we could be in relationship with him through Jesus. He is always calling us and when we respond he is able to sustain, hold and guide us, so that our lives are meaningful and we are able to have that peace which passes all understanding.

Having to deal with new situations can be challenging and many schools and universities provide pastoral support. You do not have to navigate this journey on your own. The resources that schools and universities provide are there to help you. Use them! Remember that you can always have a conversation with God. He longs to hear from you! I often write to him. We are all different.

One of the best gifts I ever received was Bible on my 21st birthday. I was not impressed at the time, but as I navigated my way to adulthood, it is the best present ever. If this letter inspires you to get a Bible then get a version like the “Good News” and start with the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. If you ever feel particularly afraid, then go to Psalm 23 and tell a loving God your fears.

New beginnings! This is a very special time in your lives. Enjoy the academic year and do your very best!

Every blessing,

Revd Vindra Maraj-Ogden
(Methodist Minister Hemel Hempstead and Kings Langley)

Christian Aid Prayers:

Pray for all those who are left out by cultural systems and structures. Pray for the work of Christian Aid partner SKA in India, which challenges the system that ensnares Dalit women in the degrading occupation of manual scavenging (cleaning dry latrines).
God of hope, help us to challenge and change the systems that deny dignity and fullness of life to all. Amen

Christian Aid Week House to House: Final Totals

We are very pleased to announce that with the bulk of the envelopes now in the total is £4,857 compared with £4,622 last year, an increase of 5%. We collected 879 envelopes, and 56% of the money raised was gift aided. We are so grateful to everyone who helped with this throughout our churches. We give thanks to God for his blessing on this week and pray now for those who have the responsibility to decide how best to use it to support the poor in our world.

Read the Summer 2017 Campaign Update from our Christian Aid Committee.

The Kings Langley Christian Aid Annual Report for 2016 is available for download.