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scott webb 120552 pixelledI've listened to several people recently talking about the contrast between depictions of God in Hebrew Scripture and the New Testament. Of course, it's not clear cut – but I can see why people like the 'God of the New Testament', (as if there were two), better.

So, this poem is partly about that (false?) contrast; but also about the implications of forgiveness. How do we feel about a repentant Myra Hindley? Or a repentant Hitler? A repentant Serpent? A repentant Judas? Do we tolerate the idea of forgiveness?

 

Read more: ‘At the Gates of Eden’. A poem by URC poet-minister, Lucy Berry

A writerWould you like to write a prayer for the United Reformed Church’s annual prayer handbook? 

The editors are inviting people from across the denomination to write prayers, hoping they’ll be inspired by the theme ‘Seasons of the Spirit’.

Although prayers on any lectionary reading will be considered, writers are encouraged to reflect on the dynamics of praise and lament in the lectionary Psalms in particular, to help create the URC’s unique collection of provocative, prophetic, thoughtful, and beautiful prayers.

Read more: Calling all prayer writers

Michael Jagessar colourful portrait pic credit Chris AndrewsOctober marks the celebration of both Black History Month and One World Week, and both provide opportunities to encourage people to build a more equal, just, peaceful and inclusive world, says the Revd Dr Michael Jagessar, United Reformed Church Secretary for Global and Intercultural Ministries.

 

Black History Month provides us with an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the achievements and contributions of black people and black communities, and in the process to unearth the latent histories that shape our communities. The BBC documentary series Black And British: A Forgotten History, by historian David Olusoga, expertly captured how this history is often hidden and in some instances ‘whitewashed’.

Read more: Working towards a just world for all

News Banner Conservative Party ConferenceWhile the media coverage focused on coughing fits, pranksters and collapsing lettering at the Conservative Party Conference, Alan Yates, Moderator of the United Reformed Church’s General Assembly concentrated on offering politicians pastoral support.

Mr Yates, along with Church leaders from the Baptist, and Methodist churches attended the conference in Manchester from 2 to 3 October.

Together with colleagues from the Salvation Army and Quakers they met with MPs including Andrea Leadsom, Dominic Grieve, Stephen Crabb and other politicians who live out their vocation in public.

Read more: Talking and praying at the Conservative Party Conference