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Service Times:

Saturday (Sabbath)

Bible Study hour (Adults, Youth and children)
10:00 - 11:10
Family Worship 11:25 - 12:40.
Lunch follows


No Bible Study and Prayer Meeting until further notice.

To see details of all our programmes,
Click on EVENTS in the left hand column.
Then above the calendar click on EVENTS LISTINGS

See our recorded services on our You Tube channel.

Pastors Thought Friday Feb 8 at 2019

Upsetting news was out this week that suicide rates among teenagers have almost doubled
in eight years. Attention has been given to this since fourteen year old Molly Russell took
her own life after viewing self-harm images on Instagram.
Along with that, twice as many teenagers, one in five, feel that life is not worth living,
compared to ten years ago, when the number was one in ten.
It is hard to know for certain why all this should be. Possible reasons are given as lack of
play, pressure at school, social isolation, and the influence of social media. Another reason I
would suggest is the break-up of families. A report that came out in 2012 found that young
people in the 2000s are twice as likely to have experienced the divorce of their parents as
young people 30 years ago.
I mention that last reason, as it relates to me.
My parents divorced when I was thirteen. It had a profound impact on me, not least of
which was, it contributed to my feelings about the futility of life. So, my experience is that
family breakup can certainly lead to these feelings.
In my early twenties I became a Christian. There was a clear link between the family
breakup and my search for something of meaning. As I began to read the Bible, one of my
favourite books turned out to be Ecclesiastes. That may seem strange, as many find it a
depressing book. Here, for instance, is the introductory statement:
‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’
    says the Teacher.
‘Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.’
Ecclesiastes 1:2
I suspect I liked the book so much because it is so real about feelings of futility. I certainly
felt them, and the fact that this book was in the Bible at all was hugely significant to me.
Here was a person, a king, in fact, who had a faith in God, yet he still struggled with a sense
of futility. Even today, although I have found much meaning in my faith, at times I also feel
the same.
So, how are we to relate to young people that feel this way? My suggestion would be to
acknowledge the universality of that sentiment. As we empathise with them, we need to be
aware that there are no quick fixes, and that some people can have moments throughout
life when a sense of futility is present. However, we can also share that there is a way
through, and that the start of that is found in an understanding of the reality of what the
Bible calls “the God of hope.” The apostle Paul’s wish for Christians in Rome was that God
fill them with “all joy and peace.” Where we can, let’s get beside some of these young
people who feel hopeless, and as we show them love and support, perhaps we will also be
able to introduce them to the God who gives hope.