In the US television sitcom “Frasier”, the main character, a psychiatrist concludes his radio broadcast with the words, “Good mental health”. As a society, we are probably more aware of mental health issues than we have ever been and many reading this letter will be dealing with their own issues and indeed supporting others. How do we ensure that we not only look after our bodies but also our mental health? We know that we need to exercise and eat healthy foods, but how do we look after our minds? How do we find peace, when the waves are crashing around us? How do we support those who are struggling with debilitating mental illness? There are no easy answers and we must each walk this path according to our circumstances. This may involve taking the medication prescribed, finding groups of people who have similar interests, forcing ourselves to go for a walk each day, especially as the darker evenings draw closer, depending on a close circle of friends and finding joy in the little blessings, taking one day at a time and not trying to plan too far forward in the future.
I am a person of faith, so I find my strength, my anchor in the psalms and in the hymns, knowing that each life has its challenges and the Bible testifies to great and faithful men and women of God, experiencing difficult times and holding fast to God until the resolution came. Hymns testify to ordinary people, facing the brokenness of life and still having peace and joy and being able to see the work of God in little blessings.
I am aware that as autumn draws to an end and winter comes upon us, many will be affected mentally by the reduced daylight hours. If you are reading this today, please put life enhancing events in place and find resources biblical and other helpful material that you can turn too, to ensure good mental health. Most churches have fellowship groups which meet regularly for discussion of various topics and support. You would be most welcome!
During the month of November, it is a good time to start Advent preparations, so that you have resources and plan of action, so that when Advent begins on 2nd December you are ready to start that amazing journey with God to Christmas Day and the birth of Jesus, the saviour of the world.
May you find joy and peace in the blessings of life.
With every blessing,
Revd Vindra Maraj-Ogden
(Methodist minister, Hemel Hempstead, Kings Langley and Ley Hill)
Christian Aid Prayers:
Christian Aid prayers: World Toilet Day, 19 November
Sounds strange to have a World Toilet Day doesn’t it! Yet 2.4 billion struggle to stay well and keep their children alive because of a lack of adequate sanitation. Pray they would get the toilet facilities they need. Give thanks for the new toilet block that has been built for boys and girls at Shree Manakamana primary school in Dolakha, Nepal. Two classrooms and toilets for boys and girls have been constructed in the school so that children can study in a safer environment.
Praise God for the restoring work of Christian Aid partner CEEPARD in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake. Pray for all those who are still rebuilding their lives and confidence after the devastation it caused.
Loving God, we pray for that day when children are protected from preventable diseases caused by poor sanitation. May all have access to clean toilets and may this day provide a focus on this so that real change may come. Amen.
Read the Autumn 2018 Campaign Update from our Christian Aid Committee.
The Kings Langley Christian Aid Annual Report for 2017 is available for download.