Happy New Year

A bit different from the new year we are used to celebrating but Fran tells us why September is also an exciting start to the year.

 I love September.  It is the start of the new academic year, new uniform, pencil cases, classes.  There is an expectation that the new year academic year might be more interesting than the last.  A time of new beginnings.     

September is also the time we start putting the harvest away and begin to think about preparing for next year’s growing season.  It is a time for making jams and chutneys, drying fruit, and storing vegetables for the winter months.  September is also the month in which Richard and I started our new life together nearly 40 years ago.  As a result, we often take our holidays in September. 

And, in the Jewish calendar, September is New Year, Rosh Hashana,  on the 16th to 17th.  It is a time of thanksgiving, and remembering and confessing past sins, and a time of anticipation, looking forward to God’s blessings in the coming year.  Rosh Hashana includes the reading of the Genesis account in the Torah, and the story of creation, and rituals include lighting of candles, praying near fresh water, eating sweet foods, and hearing the shofar in the mornings. 

At Crofton Park September is the end of our summer break.  Welcome Inn took a well-earned break, bible studies stopped, Sunday school had a break and we engaged in all-age services.  But now we look forward to new beginnings.  We will be resuming Bible studies, on alternate Wednesday evenings in the lounge, led by Mike Lovejoy, and alternate Thursday afternoons after Welcome Inn where we will study the book of Ruth.  Sunday school will resume, and hopefully a youth club.  It is a time of anticipation.  What new things will God show us, what new directions will the Spirit guide us into to, what new blessings will Jesus give us as we follow him?  

May I encourage you to attend the bible studies, and particularly the prayer meeting on Saturday 9th September where we will be focusing our prayers on the leadership of this fellowship and the church meeting on the 10th September. 

Jeremiah witnessed the sad destruction of all he knew, Jerusalem and the temple.  It was a time of rapid social and political and religious change.  He faced the new with confidence in the Lord, writing this: 

            The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, 

            His mercies never come to an end: 

            They are new every morning; 

            Great is your faithfulness. 

As we start this ‘new year’ we know we have a faithful God who promises to walk with us into the newness of life. 

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