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Ash Wednesday ImageMr Alan Yates, Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, reflects on how Ash Wednesday opens the door to thankfulness and revelation.

Ash Wednesday is a day welded into my memory – thanks to growing up as a Roman Catholic. It was one of the few times in the year that we would go to a weekday Mass before school. I used to have quite a long bus journey in the mornings so to go to Mass beforehand meant a very early start for a teenager: one of those rare occasions when I realised there were two 6 o’clocks in a day!

Read more: Ash Wednesday: refresh and prepare for the journey

Line upHow can local churches, congregations and communities use their strengths to spark transformation and growth?

That is the question at the heart of a new Appreciating Church website and book written by Fiona Thomas, United Reformed Church Secretary of Education and Learning, and Tim Slack, founder and co-director of the Appreciating People organisation. They worked as part of a group of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) practitioners drawn from ecumenical partners, advised and supported by Appreciating People.

Read more: Appreciating Church: book and website launch

sewingChristine Hall, church secretary at Moldgreen United Reformed Church in Huddersfield, tells how they have been inspired to explore faith through art in a series of missional projects.

‘In 2013, the fellowship at Moldgreen URC – ably assisted by an Interim Moderator, the Revd John Jenkinson – wanted to build on the legacy of our previous minister, the Revd Sue Macbeth, who had recently left for a calling in Devon.

Read more: Exploring faith through art at Moldgreen

handoverKaren Morrison leaves her post as Head of Children’s and Youth Work today (24 February) after 18 years of service with the United Reformed Church.

Colleagues and friends from Church House gathered in Lumen URC, London, to say goodbye to Karen and wish her well for the future. She received many presents, including book and gardening gift cards, cookery books from one of her favourite restaurants, and five fruit trees (to be delivered to her home...)

Read more: ‘Hand over the keys’ to children and young people