The United Reformed Church Chesham

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October/November 2014 Newsletter

Dear Friends

The autumn colours are beginning to turn the gardens and countryside lovely shades of red, orange and brown. We are fortunate that we can enjoy the changes as each season comes. In church life changes come each year and this is good because it shows that new things are happening. We need to be firmly rooted in our belief in God and that we are called to serve and help God’s Kingdom to come, but each year there will be pruning to do and the old leaves may fall and need gathering up while we wait for signs of new life to come again.

Jesus told us not to worry about tomorrow: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. … will God not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ … But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:25-34)

Picture two frustrated office workers in their twenties. One rainy, miserable Monday they resolved to grab life with both hands and embark on an adventure: the first entirely human-powered journey around the world. Although they had never been on an expedition of any kind and had no money, Jason Lewis and Steve Smith dreamed up a voyage that would take them from England to Hawaii by bicycle, roller skates and ocean-going pedal boat. At this point they needed to work to raise money to continue further. Steve worked in South Devon on the Salcombe Ferry while he wrote about his adventures. Jason and the team continued to Darwin where Steve rejoined them. The expedition’s objectives were to promote environmentally friendly travel and raise awareness of climate change among young people. The Expedition 360 team also raised $66,500 USD for orphanages and mercy centres in East Timor, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Mumbai. During the course of the journey, Jason and the team crossed five continents, two oceans and one sea using only human power – walking, cycling, roller-blading, kayaking, swimming and pedalling a total of 46,505 miles, they faced gale force winds, malaria, altitude sickness, an attack from a salt water crocodile in Australia and being run over by a car in Colorado.

In 2007 Jason, Steve and the team pedalled up the Thames to the finishing point at Greenwich in the £26,000, 26ft wooden unique pedal-powered boat Moksha (meaning ‘liberation’ in Sanskrit). At noon they took the boat across the Meridian Line marking the completion of the circumnavigation, 13 years after they first set off. An amazing travel story of two young men setting out facing each day until they achieved their goal.

Grab hold of life; don’t worry because God will look after you. Remember pruning brings new growth. Take each day as it comes, deal with what it brings and enjoy it!

With love

Lord God, show me what needs pruning in my life, help me not to worry, but to trust in you. Strengthen me to face each day as it comes and the changes it will bring. Amen