The United Reformed Church Chesham

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September 2007 Newsletter

Dear Friends

September is a time for changes, especially for those connected with schools and colleges. First days of term bring changes and challenges. It is also seen as the end of summer, although this year we may well hope for a sunny September to recompense for the rain and dull days previously! New starts bring with them a mixture of fears and excitement. On the other hand for some of us September will bring a return to familiar routines after a break and the joy of renewed fellowship with friends.

Whether we enjoy these new challenges or our familiar routines is not so much to do with what we are doing as whom we are doing it with. Change is more about people than things.

This summer, Martin and I enjoyed a holiday in Northern Ireland. The friendliness of the people certainly added to our enjoyment. We walked the Giant's Causeway coastal path, but also visited the cities of Derry and Belfast. It was so good to see new developments and genuine hope for future prosperity. We followed the news reports of the 'troubles' for too many years and when talking started and peace came, I think we all wondered how fragile that peace would be, but seeing how much has already been achieved gave us confidence that things are already moving forward at quite a pace. In Belfast we were shown the site of a twenty something storey apartment block, right in the centre. Not a brick has been laid yet, but all the apartments have been sold. The Protestant St. Anne's Cathedral in Belfast lost its spire and we saw the new replacement. The river Farset flows beneath this area, which means the weight of a new stone spire would have been too much for the foundations, so the spire is of shining stainless steel. It perhaps seems rather a strange addition, but it will be clearly visible for quite a distance and after careful consideration it has been named 'the Spire of Hope'. We learned that local Roman Catholics will attend the naming ceremony, which will happen soon. Change promoting peace and co-operation.

During August a group of us watched the amazing 'Peace One Day' video. Did you know that the 21st September is the day set aside by the UN to be a day of peace and the hope is that this will eventually incorporate a global ceasefire day? Let's start to help this to come to fruition by focusing our prayers on peace on that day. Later in this newsletter you will see details of a Prayer for Peace Service on Friday 21st, which will be followed on Saturday 22nd by our annual Quiet Day; this year on the theme of peace.

Jesus said: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

Peace is a wonderful gift; in our usual routines and as we face new challenges, let's try to work to spread this gift in all we do and through our prayers.

With love
Bridget             A Prayer for September
Whenever and wherever, you watch over us as a concerned parent, loving Lord. Thank you that whatever happens with you we can find peace to face the challenges ahead. Help us to know peace inwardly and outwardly, that we may be confident to work for the spreading of peace to those we meet locally and in the wider community and the world. Amen