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Jake LloydJake Lloyd, a Manchester-based communications coordinator for the global Arukah Network, shares how his participation on a Training for Learning and Serving (TLS) course had far reaching benefits in Sierra Leone. 

‘How much Biblical Hebrew do you know? I don't know much, but I do have a favourite word ‘Arukah’. Arukah appears a few times in the Old Testament, notably in Nehemiah, where it describes the rebuilding of Jerusalem's walls. But Arukah’s true meaning is not contained in bricks and mortar – it is much bigger than that. Arukah means wholeness, restoration and health. It is spiritual as much as civic, and lots more besides.

Read more: Training for Learning and Serving has a positive impact in Africa

mission council imageThe United Reformed Church’s Mission Council is next meeting at The Hayes Conference Centre, in Swanwick, Derbyshire from 7 to 9 November.

Mission Council is the executive body of the General Assembly, and meets twice a year to reflect on and make decisions about the day-to-day life of the Church. Items on the agenda for this meeting include a debate and decision on lay training plans and resources, new flexibility around ministry, and the future of General Assembly. All Mission Council papers are now available online.

Read more: Mission Council meets this week

Betting machinesThe government announced, on 31 October, that it is to hold a consultation into Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) in order to better protect consumers and communities.

Proposals include cutting the betting limit from £100 to between £50 and £2 to reduce the potential for large losses on the machines, and tracking and monitoring play on machines to help with interventions to protect players. 

But Mr Alan Yates, and The Revd Kevin Watson, Moderators of the United Reformed Church’s General Assembly, joined churches and faith based organisations in warning that the range of options presented is too wide. 

Read more: Government urged to be tough on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

John Proctor 2Autumn 2017 is a key period in the Reformed Christians’ calendar. We celebrated the centenary of the ordination of Constance Coltman in September, and October marks 500 years since German monk, Martin Luther challenged the teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church, says the Revd John Proctor, General Secretary of the United Reformed Church.

'I want to unpack with you some luggage that comes with the name Reformed. Luther caught the mood of the times, and set in motion a wave of change that historians now call the Reformation,' John said. 'The most obvious result was a major transformation of church life, initially in northern and western Europe, and particularly, so far as we are concerned, in this island, then eventually in many other countries across the world.

Read more: Reformation anniversary reflection: ‘The Reformed roof-rack: travelling with treasure, and daring...