As I write this letter, I trust that most of you will be aware that by the end of April, I will no longer have pastoral charge of Hemel Hempstead, Kings Langley and Ley Hill Methodist churches but will continue to fulfil preaching appointments until 14th July 2019. Whilst I am excited and looking forward to the future, there is also a sense of sadness, of leaving the familiar and recognising at some level the sense that this time would never come back, that this chapter of my life is coming to an end. In a few months I will not only be changing jobs but moving to a new house, two major events happening at the same time! I find myself drawn to reading the Old Testament, starting from the beginning, identifying with the call of Abraham to leave all that was familiar and to journey. The journey changed Abraham along the way, and it changes us as we rely on God to provide direction and to meet our needs. For some of us the journey is a physical one, new house , new job. For all of us, we journey through the rhythm of life, birth, childhood, youth, adult, more mature adults (as Ley Hill says, “well -seasoned”) and death. As we journey through each of these phases, we must face the changes that they bring, the loss of the familiar and the embracing of new things.
It is often said that churches do not cope well with change and yet as individuals we manage change in our personal lives constantly, even if we have lived in the same place all our lives! It is always hard to leave the familiar and to embrace new things but if we are to live our lives to its full potential, then we must be open to God’s possibilities for us and to trust that he wants the best for us and that if we are where God wants us to be there is no better place.
I stand in this in between place where I have not yet said goodbye to the familiar and the loved but am making plans for a brand-new future. It feels wobbly! And yet I know that all of this has been done prayerfully, asking God to open and close doors accordingly. Ultimately, we trust God as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all disciples have done. We are part of their story.
My churches are having to prepare for that change as well as for a new minister, who will have a different style, different gifts and his own journey with God, but who will take them on the continuing journey.
Together in this interim period we will pray that God will be in the change that we are all facing, and we will give thanks that through change our discipleship deepen and God’s promises become a reality. From time to time we are surprised by all that God has in store for us! Trust him in the changes you face today. Do not be afraid!
With every blessing,
Revd Vindra Maraj-Ogden
Christian Aid Prayers:
Praise God for the hope of Easter, the power of resurrection and the restoration of creation! Give thanks for the witness and example of all those who care for creation this Earth Day (22 April). Pray for encouragement for Lope and his family, who feature in this year’s Lent and Easter Appeal. Pray that the story of their work to protect their island home in the Philippines will have inspired many to give generously, and to play their part in caring for creation.
The reality of resurrection soars and surges through the whole creation, this is grace, dying we live therefore let us rise up ALLELUIA!
Read the Winter 2019 Campaign Update from our Christian Aid Committee.
The Kings Langley Christian Aid Annual Report for 2018 is available for download.