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RajDuring Black History Month, the Church and society are called to affirm their solidarity with the struggles of people who have been discriminated in the name of colour and race, and I am going to take a look at Luke 16:19-31 as an offering towards decolonized readings of our texts. For ‘Black lives matter’ is our affirmation and we raise our voice for justice and liberation to our fellow brothers and sisters, whose voices have been marginalised, forgotten, silenced and never heard to. Black History Month therefore challenges us to listen to these subaltern voices in the texts of our scriptures and also in our societies, for the voice of the divine echoes in the voices of the subalterns. Over the years, in the colonial and modernist constructs, the voices of the powerless, vulnerable communities have been represented by the dominant communities, and have branded ‘unspeakability’ to such people. Allow me therefore to read this parable, from the perspective of the subalterns, for their lives do matter.

Read more: Black Lives Matter: In the Speech of the Subalterns, Echoes the Voice of the Divine

MissionCouncilwebsitestoryThe United Reformed Church’s Mission Council is meeting at the High Leigh Conference Centre in Hertfordshire from 19 to 21 October.

Mission Council is the executive body of the General Assembly, and meets twice a year. Items on the agenda for this meeting include discussion on issues surrounding the deployment of Ministers of Word and Sacraments, the nature of call – in particular to ministry, the redevelopment of Church House and the 2017 budget.

Papers of the Mission Council are now available here.

The URC communications team will be reporting on Mission Council. The news pages and Facebook page will include updates on the main decisions throughout the meeting and a full report will be included in the December/January issue of Digest in Reform magazine.

Tessa Henry RobinsonTessa Henry-Robinson, who has been greatly involved with the Racial Justice Network and Cascades of Grace, offers the following reflection for Black History Month.

The times in which we live call for change, for us to be self-aware and to act in a way that brings a positive difference. The way we act ought to demonstrate deep awareness of how profoundly what we do in our lives matter. So seeking justice, sharing love and waking up to the fact that Black and other historically marginalised communities matter to God too, should matter to us all.

Read more: A call to liberating love

Tea timeA new poem from United Reformed Church poet-minister, the Revd Lucy Berry. This month, Lucy reflects on Silent Stars, which was the theme of this year's Greenbelt Christian arts festival. She says: ‘Broadly, church and Church are in steady decline in Britain, with the exception of inner-city Pentecostal churches. I admire the silent stars in any organisation but it will not be individual acts of love, unselfishness, courage, or sacrifice which will save church.

Read more: Silent Stars

Bramhall youth imageBramhall URC in Stockport decided to join in with the phenomenon that swept the nation this summer: Pokémon GO!

The game, played on mobile phones, involves searching for – and catching – cartoon characters (called Pokémon). The characters appear on screen in houses, public areas, parks, beaches, gardens, shops, libraries and churches. If players want to catch Pokémon characters and score points, they have no choice other than to go to the physical place where the virtual characters might appear.

Read more: Joining in with PokéMission