East Antrim Battalion - The Boys' Brigade

Battalion Handbook 2021

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A thought from the Chaplain

September 20

As we stand on the verge of a new BB year, this September brings more change than we have experienced before.

There is always an element of change each September from the potential of new members along to BB, to new beginnings in school or the restart of church ministries.

We often see September as an opportunity of a new start - welcoming along new boys to BB, encouraging each other in our faith in Jesus and also new opportunities for discipleship and service within our church family.

September 2020 is definitely a new start but of a different kind.

Our new start is something that in previous years we took for granted yet this year beginning BB isn't quite as straight forward as it usually is.

This new start will bring differences in the way that we can have contact with boys but it does present opportunities for us to be creative and to ensure that we focus on the key fundamentals of BB.

In the opening chapter of the book of Joshua in the Old Testament, Joshua and God's people stand on the verge of a new beginning - life in the promised land.

God comes to Joshua with words of encouragement and exhortation that I believe speak into our situation whether it relates to BB, our families or our church families. Joshua 1:5&7 "As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. … 7 "Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go."

In our new start I believe God continues to say to us,

I will never leave you nor forsake you

In these first steps over the coming weeks we do so with the assurance of God's presence with every step we take. It is through our relationship with the Holy Spirit that in days of change that we know God's peace and hope for the future.

Be strong and courageous

As we are faced with company life that is different we are encouraged to be strong and courageous. It is because of the assurance of God's presence (v9) that we do not need to be afraid and instead BE strong and courageous trusting in our great God.

Be Faithful

In the coming days and weeks it is important that we as officers, helpers and boys are faithful to God and his word as we follow Jesus day by day in our daily lives and in the life of our BB companies.

Can I encourage you in your own personal faith to take the opportunity to draw close to Jesus and as you do so I pray that you might be spurred on to walk faithfully.

Could I ask you to pray for all those in leadership within the BB across the world as they seek to faithfully lead through these days and into this new beginning.

Peter Bovill