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Youth Assembly 2014

YA 2014 042aWhat do getting lost in a supermarket, tackling the stigma of mental health issues, and a strong desire to effect change in the world have in common? They all played a part in this year’s United Reformed Church Youth Assembly organised by FURY Advisory Board (Fellowship of United Reformed Youth)! Youth Assembly took place from 24 to 26 January 2014. Themed “Lost and Found: People in Exile”, the event explored the cycle of exile and renewal in spiritual relationships. URC Youth Assembly is for all young people with a connection to the United Reformed Church who are aged from 14 to 25 years old.

The Assembly offered a variety of workshops that addressed creative, practical, spiritual and emotional aspects of faith. As well as workshops, business sessions were held where important resolutions were taken and the new members of the FURY Executive were elected. There were also Bible studies and plenty of fun to be had with comedians, games and movies to enjoy. It was a great opportunity for young people to explore a range of topics, bring resolutions, and develop in their faith.

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A Poem for Holocaust Memorial Day: Auschwitz

Holocaust MemorialThe first was Adam.
We gassed him with Zyklon B;
(our favourite gas - the most effective gas -
because a heavy gas, you see;
sinking to the bottom of the pits, then bouncing up again.
Half an hour – and all dead!)
Ten thousand Adams.
And their families.

Abraham and Sarah died very quick, (so very old, of course).
The son, Isaac, took much longer.
Thirty-thousand Abrahams.
Twenty thousand Isaacs.

And we sent Rebekka, Rachel and Eva
to save their skins in the brothel block.

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Changes from Churches Together in England and the Free Churches Group

CTEFCGToday, 24 January, the Revd Roberta Rominger, general secretary of the United Reformed Church, received a joint letter from Frank Kantor, general secretary,  of the Free Churches Group (FCG) and  David Cornick, general secretary of Churches Together in England (CTE), updating her of a change in their partnership and joint operations.  The full text of that letter is reproduced below.

“CTE and the FCG have been involved in a strategic partnership based on a joint operating agreement for the past ten years. In terms of this partnership, the staff of both charities shared office and administration facilities based at their central London Office in Tavistock Square and were all employed on CTE contracts. This partnership has served both organisations very well over this period with CTE staff focussing on building and strengthening the ecumenical relationships of member churches (many of whom are also members of the FCG), whilst the FCG staff focused on facilitating the engagement of member churches in prison and health care chaplaincy and education matters (particularly getting members of the Free Churches to serve on Standing Advisory Councils for Religious Education).

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Free Churches Group urges Christians to pray for Syria

Syria Destruction 5Michael Heaney, moderator of the Free Churches Group(FCG) – of which the United Reformed Church is a member –  urges all Christians to pray for the for the Syrian peace process currently being discussed in Geneva.

Mr Heaney said: “Last week the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (NESSL) held a consultation with partner churches in Lebanon to discuss the impact of the devastating conflict in Syria on the Christian communities in both countries. Following the decision taken at our Group meeting in September for the FCG to support the NESSL’s relief program for Christians uprooted by this conflict, we prepared a message of solidarity and support for the members of the Synod which was conveyed on our behalf by the Revd Tim Clarke from the URC who attended this consultation.

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