Val Morrison, moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, takes a look at Palm Sunday from a slightly different angle.
“That first Palm Sunday was a noisy, busy, triumphant, joyous affair. The crowds cheered and waved palm branches and all seemed well for the followers of Jesus. At least that’s the scene usually imagined of Jesus’ triumphal entrance to Jerusalem. The contrast between that joy, and the pain and rejection of Good Friday is clear, as is the contrast between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. This was, this still is, a roller coaster ride for everyone who loved/loves Jesus.
The United Reformed Church sends Archbishop Justin Welby its love, prayers and support as he embarks on the next stage of his ministry to the Anglican community, the wider church and the nations, to which he has been called.
Michael Jagessar, the moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church says: “We pray for God’s abundant blessing on Justin Welby, and for his health and wellbeing, as he takes on this demanding ministry of leadership in these challenging times for both the Church and our world. May God’s Spirit lead our brother in Christ to contribute to the peace and wellbeing of all, and to bring a fresh impetus to our ecumenical calling, so that together we will grow in grace and hope towards the unity that our Lord prayed for.”
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This year’s materials for Vocations Sunday are now available to download here.
The wide range of resources, which includes an all-age address, sermon soundbites and a selection of prayers, has been designed to encourage reflection, discovery and recognition of God’s call. The materials are traditionally used on Vocations Sunday, which falls this year on Sunday 21 April, but can be used at any appropriate point during the year. This year’s materials have been prepared by members of United Reformed churches in Mersey Synod.
The United Reformed Church, together with the Methodist Church, the Baptist Union of Great Britain and the Church of Scotland, say the government must acknowledge the hardship faced by the 13 million people living in poverty in the United Kingdom.
Last autumn chancellor George Osborne claimed that he was introducing fairness to the welfare system. He said that it wasn’t “fair” on hard-working people to see their neighbours’ blinds down, sleeping away a life on benefits, when they were leaving for work in the morning. This “fairness” is now working its way through the House of Lords in the form of the controversial Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill which will push 200,000 additional children into poverty, according to figures from The Children’s Society.