The United Reformed Church Chesham

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December 2017/January 2018 Newsletter

Dear Friends in Christ,

To quote a well-known TV character "I can't believe it!" Time really flies - or is it just my age? By the time you read this we will be in Advent, moving towards the end of a year which has been so eventful for our faith at large, the URC and our congregation in particular. Coming to the end of our first year p.B. (post Bridget!), we can look back on the months we have celebrated external events, and grown in faith and fellowship within our church.

100 years ago, Constance Coltman became the first woman to be ordained into ministry - in the Congregational church - how many hundreds have followed in her steps since then? Pilots is more than 80 years old now and continues to nourish young people in the way of the Lord, planting seeds to grow in time. 45 years ago our own URC came into being when the Congregational and Presbyterian churches in England and Wales took a great ecumenical step and merged, joined later by the Churches of Christ. 25 years ago the URC then set up Commitment for Life, for work outside the UK. Of course on a national and international level the anniversary which really made the news was the 500th anniversary of Luther's theses being nailed on the church door in Wittenberg, a great trigger for the Reformation and thus establishment of Protestantism. I was able to experience the overwhelming demonstration of faith shared by a hundred thousand Christians from around the world, gathered in Berlin in May for Kirchentag, celebrating Luther and Protestantism in a truly multi-cultural fashion. It was lovely for me too, that Bridget and Martin decided to attend and I was able to meet up with them a couple of times in our busy schedules. There have been many events organised in and by our church over the past year, and as I have not been able to be involved in all of them I hope you will forgive me for singling out one service in particular which I still think about - our own Easter Sunday service which was so moving and joyful.

As is known, we had to work hard as a congregation to be accepted as having the right to have a vacancy, but our profile engendered interest and in Nov. We of course had invited a minister to "preach with a view". As the vote was not enough to issue a call, we move into the New Year trusting in God that we will discern His will in our further search for a minister. As the Good Book says in Proverbs 3 v. 5 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way".

May I wish you all a blessed Advent, a true Christmas spirit and a happy New Year.
Heather A (Church Elder)