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On 13 January Greenbelt and the United Reformed Church signed an agreement, making the denomination an Associate Partner of the Greenbelt festival for the first time.

The partnership is a natural fit, building on the URC’s rich Nonconformist history of exploration of radical Christian faith and working for justice, and the dynamic and creative energy of the Greenbelt festival.

Read more: United Reformed Church partners with Greenbelt

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, John Ellis, asks how the journey of the Magi helps us make the transition from the holiday season to the challenges of everyday life.

Wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.’

We don’t know whether they were kings and we don’t know whether there were three of them. But the story is about people rich and influential enough to bring very expensive gifts. They were saying that this baby was going to matter even in circles unknown to the average shepherd.

Read more: We Three Kings

This Christmas Day the Revd David Grosch-Miller, Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, pauses to remember gifts given with great love

And the Word became flesh and lived among us…
John 1:14 NRSV

This morning, in every corner of the country, children consumed with excitement tear into their presents: carefully chosen paper is ripped away; lovingly-tied bows strewn aside.

Read more: The gift

New Year fireworks

The Revd Richard Church, The United Reformed Church’s Deputy General Secretary (Discipleship) looks back at the events of 2015 and welcomes in 2016

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’
And he replied:
‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.’
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.

King George VI quoted these words of Minnie Louise Haskins in his 1939 Christmas broadcast. They seemed to catch something of the public mood at the beginning of the Second World War.

Read more: At the gate of the year

Shepherds worship Jesus

This Christmas Eve the Revd John Proctor, the United Reformed Church’s General Secretary, turns to Luke's account of the outcast and overlooked shepherds

There were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
Luke 2:8 NRSV

Shepherds lived on the edge – the edge of town where the land opens up; the edge of the desert with just enough grass to support sheep; the edge between settled life and not quite belonging. And for these Bethlehem shepherds, the edge of a wonderful moment in history.

Shepherds came to Jesus that night – from the edge into Bethlehem, from the fields to Mary and Joseph, from work to worship.

Read more: On the edge