The Revd Richard Mortimer, the deputy general secretary of the United Reformed Church, encourages Christians everywhere to pray for peace in Gaza and throughout the Middle East. As the BBC report that more than 90 Palestinians and three Israelis have died since Wednesday, including nine members of a Gaza family apparently killed by mistake, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday he was ready to expand the operation, Mr Mortimer said: “We are thinking about all those who have lost their lives in the last few days and we hold the people of the region in our prayers; we urge all involved to apply restraint and do everything they can to protect the lives of civilians.”
Christian Aid has launched a Gaza and Middle East crisis appeal
Join us to pray for the families and communities affected by the conflict in Gaza, Israel and across the wider Middle East. This prayer was inspired by Psalm 130.
Out of the depths we cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear our voices!
Above the sound of rockets and the weeping of those bereaved,
hear our earnest prayers!
We look on in horror
at children killed,
homes and schools hit,
We listen in fear
to voices speaking defiance,
claiming violence as a solution.
We mourn with
all who have lost loved ones,
all who have fled the fighting,
all who will lie down in fear this night.
We wait for the Lord, our souls wait,
and only in the Prince of Peace can we hope;
our souls wait for the Lord,
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch in fear for what destruction the morning’s light will show.
O peoples of this troubled region,
may your angry voices be calmed,
may love drive out hatred,
may God’s peace settle upon you.
May God redeem all who call for further killing.
May the horrors of these days give fresh determination
to the peacemakers.
And may we see conflict here no more.
© Christian Aid 2012
Garstang United Reformed Church has joined a growing band of 10,000 other churches, organisations and individuals who have twinned their toilets. What’s more, they can celebrate this year’s World Toilet Day – celebrated on 19 November – knowing their generosity will help end poverty in countries such as Burundi and Cambodia.
The church set out to twin three of its toilets with latrines overseas through Toilet Twinning, an initiative of charities Cord and Tearfund. But a collection, to mark the departure of student minister Jim Williams, raised enough to twin all five of the church loos. Each toilet has been awarded a framed certificate, with a photo of the twinned latrine and its GPS coordinates.
The Revd Dr Michael Jagessar, moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, and the denomination’s secretary for intercultural ministry, reflects on the gift of time God gives us during the autumn months
From Sunday November 18 to Tuesday November 27 we’ll be marking an extended Interfaith Week. It is hoped that such a focus will not only raise awareness and highlight some significant collaborative work across all faiths in local communities across the UK; but that it will strengthen already good inter-faith relationships and underscore the role of faiths in working with all towards a just, participatory and flourishing society for all. The United Reformed Church, along with ecumenical organisations (including ACTS, CTE and CYTUN) has been actively involved in interfaith engagement at various levels of our church life.
The Revd Clare Callanan (pictured), the only female United Reformed Church minister in the Royal Army Chaplains' department, reflects on remembrance. Last year Clare spent Remembrance Sunday in Helmand Province, Afghanistan on Herrick 15; she is currently serving with the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers at Dhekelia in Cyprus.
The season and day of remembrance is always something of a challenge. According to research, in the course of our lifetime we are only able to remember the names of about 2,000 people and, of those, we will count just 150 as friends.
And yet at this time we are called to remember millions...