As the 2012 Games gets underway, churches across the UK are about to set their own record – for the highest ever level of involvement in the Olympics.
Thousands of churches are running events for their communities. These include large screen festivals – with a total estimated attendance of 500,000 people – Family Fundays, children’s clubs, street parties, quiz nights, community cafés, and special church celebrations and Holiday at Home activities for those who are housebound.
To mark the opening of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games this Friday, the London Organising Committee (LOCOG) is calling for thousands of bells to be rung across our nations. The mass bell ringing on Friday morning will start at 8.12am and will last for just three minutes – LOCOG are encouraging the tolling of “any bell, anyone, anytime” and the hope is that bells of all sizes – from church bells to hand bells – will be rung the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.
More Than Gold, the agency helping churches make the most of the Games, is calling on Christians and churches everywhere to join in and use the time to stop and pray for the coming of God’s Kingdom.
During the final business session of General Assembly, Assembly members formally received the Education and Learning report, and passed a resolution that will allow the church to make certain training mandatory for ministers of word and sacraments and church-related community workers (CRCWs) in circumstances deemed necessary by Mission Council.
The Revd John Smith, convenor of the Education and Learning committee, presented the report, stating: “The United Reformed Church is a learning church – it’s in our DNA.” He added: “The day when we do not learn something new about our faith, is a day wasted. … So ... we present this to you with a sense of thankfulness, and hope, with assurance and with trepidation.”
The General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, which met in Scarborough from 6 to 9 July, has asked general secretary, the Revd Roberta Rominger, to enable the church to consider the findings of a review of the role of Synod moderators - which proposed six principles on which a redrafting of the role of synod moderator could be based.