Colin CarmichaelIt's hard to believe that this autumn marks my 10th year of working with SU Scotland in the North Highlands, Western Isles & Orkney area - time has flown by!

As I look back on the last decade there are many memories involving many people. That will hardly be a surprise as the work of SU Scotland centres around people. It has been great to meet and explore the Bible with so many young people in school, holidays and weekends away. I have been privileged to work alongside many excellent volunteers who faithfully lead SU Groups, serve on Action Groups, fervently pray for the work or give time to be team members at holidays and weekends.

There have also been colleagues who I have been on staff with that have brought encouragement, support, and inspiration. Thank you for your support in the various ways you have given it. Together we serve Christ to share the gospel with the children and young people of the Highlands, Western Isles and Orkney. Here are ten encouragements and opportunities for this school year which I would commend to you for prayer and ask that you share with others in your church.

1. Inverness Prayer Group

This group has restarted, meeting on the last Tuesday of the month. Give thanks for those people who gather together. You are very welcome to join them too - just get in touch!

2. September 'Party' Weekend

With 37 P5-7 children booked, this weekend was full with a waiting list. How great is it to see such interest from young people to attend. There were many young people joining us again but there we also new P5 children enjoying their first SU Scotland residential event.

3. School Religious Observance Assemblies

In August letters were sent out to schools across the area offering input to their school curriculum of a Religious Observance assembly led by SU Scotland. The response has been brilliant and means I am going to be having the busiest term of assemblies I can remember! Pray that each assembly is inclusive, faithful to the Bible and provides openings to other opportunities.

4. COmMISSION Events

COmMISSION events for S4-6 pupils are great for nurturing faith, encouraging discipleship and helping young people get involved in mission. If you know people in this age group please support them to get involved. Here is a quote from one of this year's participants:

"The whole COmMISSION programme was a life-changing experience that has helped my confidence to grow through the year."

The next event will be Christmas Houseparty at Lendrick Muir from 28-30 December. Check out too information about our Basecamp and LeadUP mission training events that will take place throughout 2013.

5. Action Groups

SU Action Groups across the area continue to do a great job supporting local ministry in finding new volunteers, encouraging prayer and support raising. Give thanks for this work!

6. Easter Study Holiday

I will again be leading one of our Easter study holidays from 30 March - 6 April, with a new venue of Glenshee. This is a real highlight of the year as we help pupils prepare for exams and explore the Bible together. Bookings are now being taken on the SU Holidays website.

7. School SU Groups

SU Groups have restarted and are re-starting across the area. Pray for leaders as they work with young people week by week through the year, telling Bible stories in fun sessions with games, quizzes, music and crafts. Get in touch if you want to talk about starting a local school SU Group.

8. School SU Group Box of Delights

With thanks to the Caithness Action Group for financial support, my 'Box of Delights' is now filled with new resources and treats for SU Group leaders across the area as I meet up with them during the term to offer support in the important work that they do.

9. COOL Associate Worker Trust

The COOL Trust and their youth worker Dave Mockett continue to do excellent work with pupils across Lochalsh and South Skye. Give thanks for the recent S6 Ethics Day held in Plockton High that I was part of, and the engagement with pupils that it offered.

10. YOU!

Thank you for your support - for praying, and also if you financially support us. It all makes a great difference to the work we do together.

Words by Colin Carmichael Colin is the Regional Worker for North Highlands, Western Isles & Orkney. Please get in touch if you'd like to receive his regional prayer newsletters.