Dear Friends,

Over the last two weeks I have been in a number of schools for end of year productions and Year 6 farewell activities, as well as working in St John’s Church with a team headed up by Paul Saxon.  We welcomed Year 6 children from five different local schools to take part in Footprints All Over The World, helping them to explore their own hopes, dreams, fears and aspirations for their future in high school and beyond through stories of Bible characters and others who undertook major journeys for God.  Many had great ambitions to become teachers, doctors, lawyers and other fine professions.  At the end of the hour, they thought about the kind of footprint they would like to leave on the world, as well as the things they should take for their journey, like love, kindness, honesty, and the things they should leave behind, like hatred, deceit, and self-centredness.  We hope they left us feeling a little more confident about what lies ahead, knowing that God loves them more than they can ever imagine, that he will never leave them, and they can trust him. 

Those of us helping to lead found ourselves being reminded of all this as we spoke to the children.  None of us knows what the future holds.  We all make decisions at key points in our lives, and we have our own aims and hopes.  But it is good to bring God into the decision-making and then to seek his guidance daily by prayer and studying his Word as we follow the path we believe he has given us to walk.

One of my favourite Bible passages comes from the book of Jeremiah Chapter 29:

“For I know the plans I have for you” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans that will give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”           Jeremiah 29 v 11 – 13

God knows the plans he has for me; plans to give me hope and a future.  But he needs me to call, to pray, to listen and to seek him with all my heart.  Children take their guidance from parents, teachers and other adults whom they trust, but then they choose their own path.  As Christians we can know that God has plans for us – but it is up to us whether we follow or choose our own different path.  If we get it wrong, he won’t abandon us; he will still be with us always, but his way, his timing, is always the best .

If August is a quieter period for you, maybe you can take a little time to think about where you are in your life, and where you are with God.  It may be that he wants you to take on something new, or to lay something down.  Think about what God is doing in your church, and see if there is something you can do to further the work of his Kingdom, even something which to you seems quite small.  There is a place for everyone in God’s mission to his church.

St Theresa of Calcutta said “Do small things with great love.”  If great love for God and for our neighbour could be at the heart of all we do as a church, and if we seek God’s will, by prayer, individually and corporately, our church will be enriched and transformed. 

May God inspire and challenge each one of us as we look for his plans for us.

Sister Dorothy